Friday, September 15, 2006

Product Review- Griffin EarThumps

EarThumps Anyone?

Its review time again, folks. Griffin Technologies has sent some loot over to the Clubbing Baby Seals staff to review (and no-one is more shocked at this than us, trust me.) So, stay tuned for a series of reviews on some Griffin's iPod accessories over the coming weeks. Today, we will discuss the EarThump.

So, what are the Griffin EarThumps? The EarThumps is simply a set of inexpensive (under $20) earbuds which fit into your ear canal. In the package you get the earbuds, 3 sets of inserts (small, medium, and large to accommodate different sized ear canals) and a little carrying case. The construction of the earbuds is good, with a decent length cord. I was lucky, in that the medium sized ear inserts fit my ear perfectly (in fact too perfect… see below for near death experiences caused by this product.) I have found the earbuds comfortable to wear for long periods of time and they stay in even while running or bouncing around on cardio equipment at the gym.

But, how do they sound? I am very impressed with the sound quality from these earbuds, especially given the product price point. The in-the-ear format isolates the listener from outside noise very effectively (perhaps too effectively!) High and mid-range sounds are great. Bass reproduction is "ok," meaning that while you can certainly hear the bass sounds, a heavy bass track will not overwhelm you like it would out of a high end set of headphones. I used these headphones with both my iPod and iPod shuffle, with the same results. Taken as a whole, I would rate the sound quality as very good (and excellent given the price.)

Sounds positive, huh? Wrong! These earbuds almost got me killed twice in one morning! See, I like to run early in the morning. I am used to wearing either the iPod stock earbuds or Sony over-the-ear when I run. These headphones allow a lot of ambient noise in, even with the music being played at a high volume. The EarThumps, on the other hand, almost totally isolate the listener from outside noise. This may well be a bonus on a train or airplane etc, but when running during morning rush hour traffic, it can cause the tired (and stupid) runner to not hear the cars coming up behind them as they weave along the road. Fortunately the EarThumps do not block car horn levels of noise or I would not be writing this review! Seriously, these headphones do an awesome job of blocking out sound and if you run/bike/rollerblade/walk with headphones, be aware that you need to pay attention when wearing the EarThumps!

To Sum up:

Pros- Good sound, good construction, and you can't beat the price.

Cons- Mediocre bass.

Conclusion- For the price, everyone should own a pair of these earbuds, if even as a quality backup to high end listening equipment.

And I might add, this product is the first winner of our Coveted Clubbing Baby Seal of Approval Award!


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