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Radius TruTune Earphones

October 21st, 2008
Fashionable and reasonable; these earphones make a great gift.

Stylish and inexpensive are the best words to use to describe the Radius TruTune earphones. The minimal metallic design looks appealing and feels nice in your hand. While testing these earphones I found myself more likely to choose to use them because of their size, features, and looks, over the countless other earbuds I have collected over my years of digital audio player ownership.

A Style Upgrade

The TruTune earphones make an excellent choice to replace the stock iPod headphones, if you prefer the in-ear design. They come with three different gauges of silicon fittings, so it is easy to find a comfortable and secure fit. TruTune earphones come in seven different colors: five metallic hues, plus silver, and black. Six of these earphones have white cables mimicking Apple’s now ubiquitous iPod earphones, but the black earphones have a now-rare black cable and connector. Metal accents for the connector give the TruTune a welcome feeling of quality and sturdiness. During my evaluation, the TruTune earphones have withstood being shoved carelessly into pockets and bag compartments without scratching or other damage; thanks in part to an impressive abrasive-resistant paint considering the inexpensive price tag.

Sound Quality

Radius is much more concerned with style and form than on the phonic capabilities of the TruTune earphones. I commend their effort at creating low cost earphones that rival many expensive models for style, while providing adequate sound. With headphones so small, magnetic shielding is not an option, but it seems more present in these headphones than others I use. This may be due to the use of metal in the design. The dynamic range is listed as a somewhat unrealistic standard 20-20,000Hz. After listening to many different music genres, I am pleased with the level of mid-range while the high treble is a little thin and light and as expected, the lower end of the bass fell flat. Radius offers the more expensive Atomic Bass earphones ($40) to fill that gap for those who enjoy a full sound.

Unique and Useful

One product highlight is the inclusion of the color coordinated 42-inch extension cable. It allows you to use the standard 12-inch earphones on a jog with a lightweight, small audio player without worrying about cable length. The functional U-style cable joins the speakers and allows you to wear the cable in front or around the back of the neck. That means easy removal of the right earphone when needed. This leaves the earphone resting around your neck and avoids placing the earphone in harm's way, unlike a dangling Y-style earphone.

While the Radius TruTune earphones may not give you audiophile level sound, the fashionable design and low price make them a good holiday gift.


Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor
Great minimalist style. Great design. Good price for the features offered. Cons
Silicon fittings are challenging to swap. Medium quality sound. No case or bag to hold unused fittings. Surprising resistance when plugging into recessed earphone jacks.