Review: Griffin EarThumps

Color coordinate your earphones and iPod (April 19th, 2006)

MacNN Rating:

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Product Manufacturer: Griffin Technology

Price: $19.99 US

The Good

  • Great value at $19.99 for sound and function.

The Bad

  • Have to disconnect headphones from music device to store in case. Inserts highlight earwax on them.

White headphone cords have become ubiquitous in this age of portable music players. The previously distinctive and bold white earphones are what the public expects to see. Following Apple's release of black iPod products Griffin Technology followed suit with EarThumps, in-ear headphones, available in black or white. They include three sizes of silicone inserts to better fit your ears.

Good Fit and Nice Pouch

Griffin paid close attention to detail in making these headphones. The fit is secure, the cord is not too long or short, and the lightweight headphones are only 12 grams. Most importantly, the headphones come with a soft, zippered carrying case. This simple addition keeps the headphones safe, untangled, and clean while not in use. The case is small and fits in most pockets, making it easily accessible. The inside of the case is impressively functional. Two webbed pouches plus a zippered pocket holds the sets of silicon inserts without adding extra bulk, while still offering plenty of space to stash the earphones away. A small omission in design is that there is no way to leave the EarThumps attached to a music player while in the case.

Vibrant Sound

The move from earbud headphones to in-ear headphones is a small leap of faith. It can be uncomfortable to insert a foreign object partially into the ear canal, but, once accustomed to it, the benefits of this style of headphone outweigh the minute discomforts. You have more control over your music's volume without battling the level of ambient noise. The bass is much richer and vibrant in your ear. Songs that used to need a bass-heavy equalizer sound warmer. Even higher frequencies carry better thanks to the neodymium dynamic micro-drivers and the shorter and more direct route to the eardrums. Another benefit to having in-ear headphones is, of course, that they stay in place in your ear. To be sure not to damage your eardrums, turn down the volume if you cannot hear people talking next to you; that means the volume is too loud.

While the EarThumps are not as advanced in their sound frequency reproduction as a $300 counterpart, the EarThumps have become a constant companion to this reviewer's iPod. On a daily commute, the EarThumps easily sweep away the sound of the subway and bus, immersing my journey in music.

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by James Trousdale


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