Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Incipio Forté F38 Hi-Fi Stereo Headphones

Incipio is another electronic accessory company which has entered the headphone market. I have used some of their products in the past and have loved the quality so I was extremely excited to check out their first headphones, the F38's.

Overall, Incipio has given the F38's an old school look. In regard to the design, I'm a big fan of the vintage feel. The headband is covered in a meshed synthetic fabric and the earcups have a matte finish. The Incipio logo is displayed on both sides and with the Espresso model, the logo is red which compliments the tan and brown design well.

My favorite thing about these headphones is the comfort. The earcups are large enough to fit around your ear which makes them much more comfortable than say the Matix Domepiece Headphones. After using them for a few hours, I hardly noticed I was wearing them which can't be said for most headphones.  One problem I have with them is the amount of sound leaked. Even though this is common with most inexpensive headphones, it's still extremely annoying.

Sound quality is about what you would expect for $50 headphones. They will satisfy most, but they aren't great by any means. However, they can get really loud, which I liked. The F38's include a black carrying case and are available in 5 colors: Matte Black, Neon Pink, Bright Turquoise, Vintage White, and Espresso.

Price: $50
Available Now

  • Inexpensive
  • Color Options
  • Thick Tangle Free Cable
  • No In-Line Mic
  • Leak Sound
  • Mediocre Sound Quality

Overall Rating: 7/10

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Able Planet Extreme Noise Canceling Headphones

Able Planet is a relatively well known company for their premium audio and communication devices. In the past, most of their headphones have sounded great but haven't featured that uniqueness in style and design that we look for here at CelebHeadphones.com. All of this changed with the release of their Extreme Noise Canceling Headphones.

The Extreme headphones feature a plaid exterior which I personally enjoy but may not be for everyone. The overall styling might be better suited for a woman. The headphones are made of plastic but don't feel cheap like many plastic ones. Being over-ear headphones, these are not made to be used at the gym or anything similar. The headphones are much larger than I expected after seeing pictures online. For being such large headphones, Able Planet has done a great job in making sure they can be compact. They can easily be stored in a compact form and placed in the included cloth carrying case for travel. The Extreme's are extremely comfortable. While worn, they have a snug fit, but nothing that causes any discomfort. The earcups encompass your whole ears and create a tight seal which helps with sound quality.

When fist testing them out, they reminded me of the Bose Quiet Comfort 15's because of the noise canceling feature. Obviously, the Extreme's don't cancel out nearly as much ambient noise as the Quiet Comfort 15's, but they are also a third of the price. Even still, it's hard to hear much at all when using the Extremes. The noise canceling feature does require the use of a battery, but unlike with the Beats Studio's, they can be used without batteries. The power switch will also increase the volume a significant amount. When listening to songs with the power off, I had to keep the volume at the highest setting on my iPod, and even that wasn't very loud. As soon as you turn the battery power on, the volume increased ten fold. Music can be played with a medium volume as these headphones can be extremely loud.

I have heard nothing but praise over the sound quality of Able Planet products, so I was extremely excited to finally test them out for myself. I'm happy to report that my high expectations have been met. Every song that I tested sounded excellent. The noise canceling feature helps gives you the illusion that the music is surrounding you. The headphones provide a perfect amount of bass for my liking. After testing the Extreme's out for a few hours, I found myself having a tough time finding any problem whatsoever with them. It wasn't till I finally took them off that I could find their flaw. The headphones sound great when worn, but they also don't sound half bad to the person sitting to the left or right of you. Unfortunately, the Extremes leak a great deal of sound. While listening to one of my favorite songs, I saw a friend sitting 20 feet away from me mouthing the words to the song.

Besides this flaw, there wasn't much I disliked about these headphones. At only $100 (and you can find even cheaper online), the Able Planet Extreme Headphones are a great option for anyone looking for a stylish great sounding headphone. They are available in 5 colors: Green, Red, White, Pink & Black

Price: $100
Available Now

  • Sound Quality
  • Affordable
  • Noise Canceling Feature
  • Leak a lot of Sound
  • Style might not be for Everyone
  • No In-Line Mic

Overall Rating: 8/10

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sol Republic Amps Headphones

Today I will be looking at the Sol Republic in-ear headphones, the Amps. Having been extremely satisfied with the on-ear Sol Republic model, the Tracks, I couldn't wait to test these new ones out. Since Sol Republic tries to replicate the Beats by Dre models (since the owner of Sol Republic is the son of the owner of Monster Audio), it comes as no surprise that these headphones are large, stylish and flashy.

The outer portion of the earbuds is extremely glossy and features the SOL logo. This same glossy finish is used on the inline remote. While at first, I really loved the glossy finish. After a few minutes of testing, you could definitely see fingerprint smudges, which I could see become annoying. The earbuds have a curved design with a flat back which help them fit deep into your ears. The Amps were designed to conform to your ear so the earbuds are made for either your left or right ear and are not interchangeable.

The Amps come with four silicone ear tips which gives each person the ability to achieve that perfect fit. Even though the buds are larger than most, they are much lighter than they look. I found the weight to be perfect: not too light so they don't fall out, and not too heavy that they weigh your ears down. Even though most earbuds fit differently for each person, most people who tried them out found them comfortable and had no discomfort whatsoever. The inline mic is by far the best one I have seen. The mic looks flat to the eye, but the buttons are easily clicked. When you want to pause a song, you can actually feel the button click, which can't be said for many headphones.  Like with all headphones, there were a few minor complaints with the Sol Republic Amps. There is no included carrying case and the cord is prone to tangling.

Before I talk about the sound quality of these headphones, I have to tell you that these headphones are loud, really really loud. When I had my iPod on medium volume, I had to lower the volume.  Don't even think about using Sol Republic Amps and listening to songs with high volume as you will probably go deaf for at least a good 5 minutes. So I would definitely say that the sound quality is excellent. High and low volume sounded crisp with every type of music I tested.

Overall, the Sol Republic Amps In-Ear Headphones are one of the best earbuds I have come across due to their affordable price, great sound quality, and stylish design. They are available in 2 Colors: Black & Red.

Price: $60
Available Now

  • Sound Quality
  • Extremely Loud
  • In-Line Mic
  • Prone to Fingerprints
  • No Carrying Case Included

Overall Rating: 8.5/10

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sennheiser Adidas HD220 Headphones

Sennheiser and Adidas have collaborated to create a line of headphones which target the young and active consumer. The line is composed of 3 models: in-ear, on-ear and over-ear. Today I will be reviewing the most affordable option, the on-ear HD220's.

When first heard about these headphones, I found myself extremely excited because I had very high expectations. In theory, the combination of Adidas Originals' sporty and classic look with the well established audio company, Sennheiser, would be a perfect fit. After testing out the product for a few days now, my high expectations haven't been met.

Design-wise, they are very stylish. The blue and white color combination is one of the nicest I've seen. The Adidas Originals logo is placed on the outer portion of each earcup. The big problem I have with the design is the overall cheap feel. When you are holding these headphones, you feel like you could be holding a $2 airline set. The plastic construction gives the HD220's a flimsy feel. The positive of this flimsy construction is that they are light. In fact, these have to be one of the lightest on-ear headphones I've ever reviewed. Another positive feature is their comfort. The ear cushions act like a pillow which make them perfect for long use. At no point will you ever get ear fatigue or start to get the dreaded ear sweats. The  included carrying bag should also not be overlooked as it is the nicest accessory I've seen since the House of Marley Positive Vibration's.

With Sennheiser's history of great sounding headphones, I was disappointed with the sound quality of these headphones. I realize they are inexpensive, but there are other headphones for a similar price with much better sound quality. The poor sound quality might have to do with the foam ear cushions, as opposed to the standard design of on-ear headphones.

I can see these headphones as a great option for those who don't like in-ear headphones and want to be able to listen to music while at the gym or doing any physical activity. Overall, the Sennheiser Adidas HD220's would be a perfect fit for those looking for a relatively in-expensive stylish on-ear headphone that aren't so concerned with sound quality. While the sound quality and cheap feel are serious drawbacks, the style and accessories somewhat make up for it.

Price: $65
Available Now


  • Sporty Design
  • Comfortable
  • Light Weight


  • Poor Sound Quality
  • Flimsy
  • Plastic Construction

Overall Rating: 6.5/10

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Consumer Reports & ABC Video

With headphones expected to be one of the most popular gifts this holiday season, ABC, along with Consumer Reports, has created this video which examines the growing trend of celebrity-endorsed headphones. 


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Call of Duty MW3 9mm Billets Headphones

With the recent release of one of the most anticipated video games in recent history, Modern Warfare 3, it comes as no surprise that there have been a number of newly-released, special edition Call of Duty-licensed products. We have seen Special Edition COD everything, ranging from gaming devices to headphones, to even a car! Yes, it's true, there is a Call of Duty Car! Munitio has hopped on the bandwagon to make it's own COD CelebHeadphone! Munitio is an audio company based in California that specializes in earbuds. Today we will be taking a look at the Munitio Call of Duty MW3 Special Edition 9mm Earphones.

First off, the packaging of these earbuds is one of the best I've seen. Munitio has made a strong effort to mimic the look and feel of something out of Call of Duty with the great packaging design. The earbuds themselves are made of aircraft-grade billet aluminum which give them that bullet look and feel. What I like most about these headphones is that they are the perfect weight. They don't feel light and cheap while also not being too large and heavy like many more expensive earbuds. To further emphasize the Bullet theme, the earbuds have a Kevlar reinforced rubber cable which actually works great. The earbuds come with six sets of silicone ear tips. Each size ear tip comes in two colors, lime green and black. I had never seen an in-ear headphone which included different color ear tips for customization. Although the different color ear-tips don't make that much of a difference since they rest inside your ear and are hardly visible, I still appreciate the option. Unlike other brands of headphones, Munitio has done a great job with the Call of Duty brand on the headphone's design. Since I'm assuming not many people want to walk around the street with a huge Modern Warfare 3 logo on the side of their heads, Munitio had to make sure it was subtle. The MW3 logo is laser etched into the back of the in-line mic which is the perfect amount of product branding.

Comfort can be a big issue with in-ear headphones. Some tend to fit too far inside the ear-canal and cause discomfort while others are too small and fall out easily. In my opinion, the Munitio Billets are the perfect size and are extremely comfortable. If they don't feel comfortable when worn, all you have to do is switch in another sized ear-tip. Sound quality won't disappoint but also won't win any awards. Unlike similarly priced earbuds, the Billets don't get as loud or sound as crisp. With this said, the headphones still sound much better than any inexpensive earbuds and will satisfy most.

Price: $70
Available Now

  • Stylish Design
  • Included Carrying Case & Earhooks
  • Ear Tip Color Options
  • Expensive
  • Don't Get Too Loud

Overall Rating: 8/10

Thursday, November 17, 2011

House of Marley Positive Vibrations Headphones

The House of Marley Company was started with three principles in mind: Superior Quality, Eco Friendly and Charity.  The company ensures outstanding quality that even Bob Marley himself would be proud of; while also maintaining products that are sustainable, renewable and recyclable.  In addition to the eco-friendly aspect, the Marley Family wanted to give back a portion of their profits to the 1Love Fountain, which is an organization that continues to instill Bob Marley’s message of a more peaceful, clean and hopeful future.

The House of Marley has decided to divide its audio products by price points into three collections: Jammin’, Freedom, and Destiny.  Each collection has a variety of earphones, headphones and docks.  The product’s names bear some memory of Bob Marley.  Today, I will review the Positive Vibration on-ear headphones, which is part of the Jammin’ Collection. 

The Positive Vibrations have three distinctly different designs: Sun, Rasta and Roots.  Each design sports vastly different color schemes, which allows consumers to choose a style that best fits their personality.  We will be looking more closely at the Rasta design in this review.  The heavily padded headband is covered by a stitched canvas, which I like because it gives these headphones a unique look and feel.  One of the best features is the stylish cord, which is wrapped in fabric and engrained with Rasta colors.  Overall, the design fuses a rugged feel with a modern and youthful style.

As with all on-ear headphones comfort is a very important aspect.  Although these headphones do not pinch your ears like some other headphones, they do cause your ears to become warm during long uses.  This is mostly because of the snug fit, which in turn minimizes bulkiness when worn.

Now I will move onto the sound quality aspect of the Positive Vibrations.  Not surprisingly, these headphones sound much better with genres like R&B, Hip-Hop, Pop and Reggae. There is a good balance between treble and bass, with neither overpowering the other.   There is some slight sound leakage but that is to be expected with a lower priced headphone.  While sound quality is nothing special, the House of Marley’s target consumer will surely be satisfied with the overall sound quality.  If you decide to pick up these headphones, be sure to throw on a Bob Marley song, sit back, relax and feel the Positive Vibrations.

Price: $59.99

  • Rugged & Modern Design
  • Included Carrying Case
  • Fabric Rasta Cord
  • Causes Ear Sweats
  • Sound Leakage
  • Average Sound Quality

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sol Republic Tracks Headphones

Sol Republic is a relatively new headphone company that was created by Kevin Lee, who is the son of the founder of Monster Cable. Mr. Lee saw an opportunity to make great sounding headphones for the masses with affordable prices. While Kevin's dad sells premium headphones which sell for over $250, the most expensive product in the Sol Republic line is $130. The Sol Republic brand is an anagram for Soundtrack of Life.

The Sol Republic Tracks are the on-ear model. One of the big selling points of these headphones is that they feature swappable headbands, speakers, and cables in different colors and designs. This feature is possible because the wires and earcups can be detached. While I have seen detachable cords before, I have never encountered a headphone that allows the earcups to be taken off the frame. This definitely takes some getting used to and will feel strange at first. I am not yet sold on this whole "swapping idea" because the company currently doesn't sell individual pieces. Therefore it means the only way you could swap something would be to buy a completely new set of Tracks headphones. However, the company does plan on releasing an assortment of different color headbands.

When worn, the headphones look different depending on the size of the person's head.  The smaller the head, the more the bottom portion sticks out and and visa versa for larger heads. However the design does make sure that any person is able to get a perfect fit every time. Before trying on the Tracks, I was most worried about the comfort of the design since I find the Solo Beats extremely uncomfortable. However, after trying them out for a few minutes, I was extremely pleased to find that they were not uncomfortable whatsoever. In conclusion about comfort, I much prefer the Tracks over the Solo's even though the Tracks are about $80 cheaper.

A problem with the design, that I noticed, is the ultra-glossy finish that is on the outer portion of each earcup. Avoiding fingerprints and smudging is difficult, but not impossible. Durability is not an issue because they are made of an indestructible material called FlexTech. The Tracks include a built in microphone for cell phone calls or playing/pausing songs.

These headphones were made to target the same young demographic as the Beats by Dre line does. So it's no surprise that they have good bass and the audio sounds loud and aggressive. I tested the Tracks against the Solo's and found that most songs sound crisper with the newcomer: the Tracks. This seems to be the case probably because they have less overall bass.  In conclusion, the Sol Republic Track On-Ear Headphones are a great option for those looking for an on-ear headphone with style and very good sound quality. They are available in 3 colors: Black, Red & White

Price: $100
Available Now

  • Inexpensive
  • Comfortable
  • Stylish Design
  • Currently No Interchangeable Parts
  • No Carrying Case
  • Prone to Finger Prints

Overall Rating: 8/10

Monday, November 7, 2011

Beats by Dre Retail Store Opening

A few weeks ago, I gave my thoughts on why a Beats by Dre retail store could take the company to the next level. On Wednesday, the offical Beats by Dre retail store opened in NYC's Soho neighborhood with a small private party. The event had a DJ, which is kind of strange since it seems to me like most people would want to test out the headphones during the party instead of listening to loud speakers (unless they were Beats speakers). Dr. Dre and will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas attended the event along with Beats By Dre executive and Interscope Records Chairman Jimmy Iovine. Inside the store, there are personalized celebrity headphones on display in glass cases. There is also a soundproof room where shoppers can test the Beats speakers. I hadn't thought of having a soundproof room, but now I think it's necessary and incredibly smart to have. They sell unique Beats by Dre t-shirts which, in my opinion, look really cool. Last but not least, there was an enormous cake in the shape of the Pro Beats!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tony Bennett Signature Edition Koss Headphones

First it was Quincy Jones, then Miles Davis, and now Tony Bennett... It's not just rappers and pop artists that are getting into the headphone market. The Koss Tony Bennett Signature Edition Full Size Headphones are pretty much the same as the Koss DJ100 Headphones with a few minor cosmetic changes. The headphones feature a Tony Bennett logo on the side and his signature on the top of the headband. Included in the box is a hard carrying case and a download of his new album, Duets II.

Price: $150
Available Now

The Perfect Pair: Tony Bennett and Koss from Koss Corporation on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Madison Avenue BiGR Audio Headphones

The first feature that stands out with the new Madison Avenue Headphones is the packaging. All of BiGR products like the Crooks & Castles, Hellz Bellz, and MLB Over-Ear Headphones include the signature bamboo case. The BiGR Bamboo Box consists of all natural fiber and ultra strong construction for extra protection for your headphones. In addition to the headphone, BiGR Audio has included an ultra soft carrying case that is amazingly, also made of bamboo. Both the headphones and box are green and environmentally conscious.

The design features argyle stitched leather on the outer portion of the earcups. These are the only headphones that I have seen that have leather on the outside of the headphones. The headband also features the same argyle pattern. In my opinion, the Madison Avenue Headphones are extremely stylish and look more expensive than they actually are. One problem that I had with the headphones is that the headband seems to stick out and aren’t streamline at all.

Usually, my biggest gripe with on-ear headphones is comfort. What usually happens is that the small earcups end up pinching the back of your ears, which causes major discomfort. While I would still prefer over-ear headphones, the Madison Avenue Headphones are one of the most comfortable on-ears that I have tested. Another feature that I found with these headphones is that they block ambient noise extremely well. When listening to music, it’s extremely hard to hear people at all.

Now onto the sound quality. Sound quality with these headphones is above average, but not exceptional. Sound quality is most similar to the Matix Domepiece On-Ear Headphones. These headphones don’t provide much bass at all so if you’re into bass heavy headphones, these definitely aren’t for you. One nice design feature is that they include an inline microphone for Smart Phone users or for stopping/playing music.

At $130, the BiGR Audio Madison Avenue Headphones are a little more expensive than most but some might feel that the fashionable design outweighs the extra cost. They are available in 2 colors: Black & White.

Price: $130

  • Argyle Leather Stitching
  • Lightweight
  • Bamboo Case
  • Minimal Bass
  • Headband Sticks Out On Sides
  • Expensive

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Beats by Dre Retail Store Advantages

One announcement at Tuesday’s press conference that has been overlooked by many is the decision to open a Beats by Dre retail store. It will be located in lower Manhattan and the plan is to keep it open till the end of the holiday season. One part of the press conference that caught my attention was how Jimmy Iovine kept comparing the newly released headphones to an exclusive pair of sneakers that can only be found in boutique shops. 

Now I will give my opinion on why I feel this newest development could lead to a new business for the Beats by Dre Company. If the test store is successful, it could lead to a whole new business for the company. There are many reasons as to why a Beats by Dre retail store could be successful and beneficial to the company. Nothing creates more brand recognition and growth in popularity than a retail store (look at NikeTown & Apple Stores).

Some might ask what a Beats by Dre retail store would even have or sell. I mean, you can find any headphone at any Best Buy or any electronic store around the country, and pretty much anything can be found online. While all of this is true, there is no place that sells all of their growing number of products in one place. The key to merchandising is creating a brand. When you walk into a NikeTown, all you see is the swoosh logo, and the same goes for Apple and its logo. Walking into an electronic store and seeing a Beats product would feel completely different than walking into a Beats retail store with the infamous “b” logo surrounding you.

A customization counter could be another added business that only a retail store could bring. With the popularity of NikeID and ColorWare, the retail stores could feature a booth which would let you customize your Beats. To play off the sneaker comparison, retail stores could sell ultra exclusive headphones that wouldn’t be available online or at other retail stores. This would help create buzz in the marketplace which could help make Beats headphones turn into the equivalent of Air Jordan sneakers. Another advantage would be that the company could showcase its partnerships with Beats incorporated HTC, HP and even Chrysler products. Employees could help demonstrate the innovations that the partnerships have. Along with the obvious ultra-premium headphones and sound systems, customers would be able to test out HP laptops, HTC mobile phones, and Chrysler cars all with Beats technology. For all of these reasons and more, I feel like the upcoming retail store in NYC could be the start of a whole new journey for the Beats by Dre Company.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Beats by Dre News Conference

On Tuesday, Beats by Dre executives unveiled three new products and two announcements to the media in New York City.  

Since the company was first started, they have been trying to figure out how to make a great sounding headphone that uses Bluetooth technology. Finally, they are ready to unveil the new Beats Wireless Solo on-ear Bluetooth model Headphone. They will be released next month and price has not been announced. It's a little funny to me that both the SMS by 50 Cent wireless Headphones, and now the Beats by Dre wireless Headphones are being released next month and both have yet to announce their price.

Although they had already been known for a few weeks, the next product to be announced were their newest DJ Headphones, called the Mixr DJ Headphones. Beats has worked with David Guetta to release an over-ear headphone that is made to be used by professional DJ's.  Jimmy said the headphones will be "strong, light, durable and powerful." We'll see if it's all of those things Jimmy...

There will also be a new portable Beatbox dock in time for the holidays. The Beats Electronic President has said that with this new dock,  "you can connect your phone, your tablet, your computer, anything with Bluetooth pairing for audio out, which is almost every device now." The new dock will cosmetically look a little different from the one thats out now. It will feature the Beats signature logo on the front and a handle on each side. I much prefer this new look to the previous BeatBox, which was kind of plain and generic.

The last announcement made was the limited availability of Studio Beats in new colors. Next week, the Studio Beats will be available in 5 more colors, bringing the total to 8 (not including the Boston Red Sox edition). The 5 new colors will be purple, blue, orange, pink and brushed aluminum. Frankly, I am surprised it took them this long but I'm glad that it finally happened.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Woo Audio Headphone Stand

Where are your CelebHeadphones right now? If their not on your head, they are probably in a drawer or laying on a desk. Why not show off your stylish headphones as if they were a piece of art? Woo Audio has  created a way to show off your CelebHeadphones in an elegant and sleek stand. The height of the stand is adjustable which gives you flexibility. The hanger distributes the weight of the headphones evenly which keeps them looking as fresh as possible. The bottom of the stand has a rubber bottom which protects surfaces and keeps them more secure. The Woo Audio Headphone Stands are available in 2 designs: Single headphone or a double headphone. They are available in 2 colors: Black and Silver Aluminum.

Price: $59 Single Headphone
          $79 Double Headphone