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 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.