Monday, December 24, 2007

Product Review - Airdrives

I'm long overdue on this, but I might as well get to it...

Some time ago, I was contacted by this company. They offered to send me a set of headphones, and I'd review them on my blog. I've actually gotten a few of these offers over the years. Not many, but a few. In general, I've refused them, but this sounded interesting.

The concept behind these headphones - called AirDrives - is that they are the opposite of isolating headphones. They allow you to hear your environment. They're also designed for use during sports. In the setting of all the recent hullabaloo about headphones during races, I thought this might be a good alternative.

So I agreed, and they sent me a pair. They came in an attractive little carrying case. It was actually handy, since my shuffle could be squeezed into the case as well.

The style of these headphones is that they have a soft rubber hook that wraps around your ear. The actual speaker part sits over your ear, and not in it. I found that the ear hook takes some time getting used to. It's very flexible. I guess that's good because it will fit most people. But on the flip side, you can keep fiddling with it until you feel comfortable. Also, when you put it into it's case, it can get bent again. Until you get used to how you like it shaped, it's a bit annoying.
Once you do have it on, I found that it stayed put during running. The earhook really works, and is fairly comfortable as well. I have to say that I generally like earbuds, but for people that don't, this is a really good alternative. Definitely better than regular foam pad headphones.

In terms of hearing the environment, they seemed to work. I felt very aware of all the sounds around me. But then I went back to my iPod earbuds, and I still seemed to hear the surrounding environment. I didn't do any scientific tests, but it didn't seem that different to me. I think that since I'm used to earbuds, when I used the Airdrives I just turned to volume louder. I think you can use it at a lower volume to be more aware of your surroundings, but I didn't.

In summary, I think they work ok. (They actually got a pretty positive review on CNET.) If you really like earbuds, you probably won't go for these. I personally have gone back to my iPod earbuds. If you don't like earbuds, this might be a good alternative - especially if you want to be aware of your surroundings. They sell for $99. More than I'd pay for any headphones, but perhaps there are some audiophiles out there that feel differently.

That's all I have to say.


Blogger Runner Susan said...

What no running skirt review? I always get skirts, but I like music too.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007  
Anonymous tom said...

I own a pair of airdrives and they work as advertised. I also use a product called lobie from Same basic features but lobies only cost $12, come in lots of colors including clear, some with glitter. Lobies work with your ipod earbuds or any other earbud. bass response seems better.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008  

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