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The Vibe earphones were a Christmas present last year, everyone in my circle knows I have an obsession with earphones and headphones so they were gratefully received and especially so as they have a zipped style cord that can be zipped up closer to your chin or opened up as far as the zip will go for more freedom of movement while you're using them.
As far as I know they are available in different colours but I have the red pair, which is the colour I have seen most people with who are using these earphones.
The ear buds are comfortable in the ear and have never fallen from my ears even on the few occasions that I've worn them while cycling or in the gym. The buds lock out external noise but do not do such a good job of keeping my music to me and I've been told that people who are nearby can hear what I'm listening to.
The price of £20 for this earphones is much too high as the quality of sound is no better than others I have in my earphone collection that cost half the price. Music can be tinny at times and there is no hint of any hidden layers of audio in anything I'm listening to, the zip function is good but it is no more than a novelty and I would prefer no zip but a pair of earphones where I can hear what is playing to full effect.
If I could recommend these only on the design they would get full marks but however good a pair of earphones looks that can never replace the quality of the audio they produce and in the Vibe earphones this is definitely lacking.
I bought these on a BA flight for £19.99, £5 below their retail price of £25, simply because I'd lost my headphones on holiday and wanted a replacement to listen to music on the flight. They were a lot more expensive that I was used to spending on headphones, but they are living up to their price.
As someone who always just shoves their headphones into their jean pockets they are proving invaluable as I no longer have to spend 5 minutes untangling the wires before I can listen to anything; now it's about 2, as although the main part of the zip doesn't tangle, due to the magnetic nature of the headphones and audio jack they still can get a bit muddled though nothing like I'm used to.
The sound quality is about average; you can't hear too much bass, but they are alright just for listening to music daily. As a composer I use the headphones to listen to playback of my music on Sibelius, and have found they are excellent at cancelling out some background noise, and they play the midi files as well as any other headphones. The gold plated connector seems to help with playback quality.
Because they are in ear, they are able to cancel out some low volume noise, but they aren't completely noise cancelling. The in-ear section of the headphones can be a bit uncomfortable, particularly if you are listening to music in bed before going to sleep, you can't listen to the headphone on the side you are lying on.
I have only had them for 2 months now, but their function has not decreased over that period of time.
As headphones go these are midrange, both in price and performance. The rrp is £25, so not so expensive that you are going to feel precious about them, and for the price they are well made and look good, however in use the sound is definitely not amazing as I shall explain, hence these being a three star product for me.
The main feature of these headphones, as the name would suggest, is the zip. This, as you can see from the photo, is fused onto the fabric coated wires and forms the "V" at the top of the phones, meaning you can zip them up so that the wires don't get tangled in transit. This works well in terms of transporting your headphones and it gives the headphones an original design look - you can buy varied zip colours; I have the red that is pictured, but there are 9 colour choices all together - details via the link at the end of this review. I don't find the zip so heavy that it pulls the headphones out of my ears whilst in use, however if you are on the move it does sometimes swing around a little which can mean it bashes the wire, which interrupts the sound. In all other aspects the headphones are comfortable to wear - they come with a choice of 3 sizes of silicone ear buds, which is a good feature, and the 1 metre total cord length is adequate. It's a bit of a shame that there is no carry case included, and also the packaging is heavy on "plastic and annoying to open" - this British company could take inspiration from companies like Marware who have embraced a more minimal and environmental approach to their packaging.
Where headphones are concerned though, design and comfort aside it has to be all about the sound, and this is where, sadly, these headphones fail to deliver the "enhanced bass" promised on the aforementioned packaging. Although the sound is undeniably crisp and clear, whether you are listening to voice or music, there just isn't much depth to the sound and the bass is pretty well non existent whatever volume you are listening at. The housing to the headphones is of a quality hybrid alloy and they certainly look the business (and promise a frequency range of 20 Hz - 20 KHz) but sound wise they failed to impress me on first use and this initial impression has continued through further use. The headphones are adequate for listening to radio on my iPhone (they have a standard 3.5mm goldplated jack), and I use them a fair but when working on my PC, but they don't provide an outstanding audio experience - the bottom line is they look a lot nicer than they sound. On a positive note they don't leak sound, so aren't going to annoy your fellow passengers on the commute, however if you are cranking up the sound you are probably going to end up feeling a little cheated by these headphones which leave you feeling like something is most definitely missing.
It's a shame the sound, and in particular the bass, isn't better because in all other aspects I really like these headphones. They look good and seem to be really well made too - the jack is molded to protect the cable and I can't see mine failing any time soon. I would recommend them for an everyday pair of headphones, just don't expect the kind of sound detail you might get from a more expensive pair, it's just not there, these headphones are all about the design and just don't quite have the substance.
rrp £24.99, item was received by me for review as part of the Amazon Vine programme