Zipbuds- Changing How We Carry Earbuds Forever
by Nicole Nymh
I strongly dislike untangling things. I am the person that watches Tangled and thinks to themselves, “How in the world does that girl keep crap out of her hair?” I patiently untangle my Christmas lights every year, but that’s about as far as that patience goes. My current headphones have a thin, flat, ribbon style, rubberized cord—Kill me. This is the story, of how I met Zipbuds, and how they are about to change everything for me.
Zipbuds changes everything
I am an audiophile; music plays an extremely large part in my life. The lifelong challenge of finding decent headphones that I can afford, as a single mother on a tight budget—is daunting. I tend to gravitate towards earbuds with the soft silicone bulbs.They create a nice seal, don’t hurt my ears, and have a bit of passive noise cancellation, all of which are some of my favorite things in a pair of headphones. Being that the ability to own a pair of earbuds with phenomenal sound quality is far out of my monetary reach, these are the features I focus on instead.
The feature that usually goes by the wayside? Whether or not I can get those suckers in and out of my pockets without wanting to throw them out a window. When I stumbled upon the Zipbuds website, I actually dismissed it immediately, thinking “too good to be true.” About 10 minutes later when I tried to disentangle my earbuds from my keys, I emailed their press team. I figured, I can’t be the only one who hates untangling their headphones from their well organized purse, backpack, or diaper bag—this could save us all, guys!
These things are designed with anti-tangle in mind. They’ve got a heavy zipper running about 14” long, with an approximately 14” braided, heavy duty cord at the end, and about 3 inches of the same cord between the zipper and the earbud.
Like most earbuds, Zipbuds have a bit of passive noise cancellation. While listening to a podcast a friend tried multiple times to get my attention, to no avail. This is a great level of soundproofing for me, it’s worth reminding that runners or bikers should definitely use caution. I couldn’t hear my air conditioner, baby monitor, or the dulcet tones of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, less than two feet away.
My musical choices are very varied in nature, I love indie/alternative rock, celtic instrumental, “chick rock,” and chiptunes. I tested my Zipbuds on just about all of the above over a few days, and never felt that they didn't meet the challenge. I also compared them to my standard everyday earbuds, a $22 mid-range pair, and felt that they were slightly above par overall in sound. The key to getting Zipbuds right: make sure you have the correct size bulb attached to them! Switching the bulbs and making sure they were sitting correctly (which can be helped by wrapping the cord up and behind your ear as shown in their diagrams), helps to give the best possible sound quality, which is great.
Not sure whether or not I would log this as a positive or a negative, but the noise you hear when you zip up the cord with them in your ears, is loud—yet amusing.
Zipbuds come with three size bulbs for the earbuds, and even the ones that weren’t the best size, still felt good and comfortable. They create a nice seal, but an easy way to tell if they aren’t the right size for you, is how they feel when you pull them out. If removing the earbuds creates an uncomfortable amount of suction, try a size smaller. If they pop out too easily, or if you're not getting a good seal—try the next size up.
I was concerned that the weight or stiffness of the zipper would get too uncomfortable. The only difficulty I’ve encountered thus far is that they do need a little bit of “roughing up” to make them slightly more flexible. Zipbuds sent me two pairs of the Juiced headphones, I gave the second set to a friend who is a more casual user, and listens mainly to audiobooks, he agreed overall with this feedback. He also said that sometimes listening to them in the car was distracting, because they needed to be bent or twisted to position in such a way that he wouldn't notice their stiffness. While this didn't detract from his listening experience, it was great feedback to have overall, since I mostly listen while active and standing.
I love these. No really, I do.
I love that I can ball them up, shove them in my pocket or bag or drawer, pull them out and tug once to produce a childishly satisfying zip, and I’m good to go. The price is right for the casual user, and they have great options in their assortment for folks who want to invest in higher end units. I have a friend who does some sound editing, but occasionally has to pack up and record from a different location, Zipbuds over-the-ear units were right up his alley.
Below is a breakdown of style and price options:
- Juiced (no mic) $19.99 come in black, blue, pink or green.
- Juiced w/mic $29.99 (same colors)
** I reviewed a pair of Juiced headphones with no mic, for details on the differences between each pair, take a look at their style and pricing guides here.**
- Fresh (no mic) $29.99 (same colors)
- Fresh w/mic $39.99 (same colors)
Over the Ear Headphones
- Select $149.99 (Black & White)
- Choice $199.99 (Black & White)
A Zipbuds journey in photos
(I had hoped to do a video review, but still have no voice!)
If you're still not sure what you think, check out some photos of my unboxing and comparison between Zipbuds and my normal headphones.
Want more details? Visit www.zipbuds.com and get zipped. (Careful though, that could hurt.)
**Disclaimer: This review was generated from a review unit of a product which was provided by the manufacturer. Gameskinny and its writers generate genuine, unbiased, and honest reviews regardless of how the review unit or product was acquired.**