Look at that will you, just look at it. That's a pair of $50 iFrogz EarPollution DJ Style (heavy on style, light on the DJ) headphones we've been testing for the last week. As you can tell by the colors, graphics, faux-chrome accents, and over-the-top bulk, these headphones are meant to communicate a statement just as tersely as they'll strum your cochlear nerve. If you don't care about posturing cool, if you're the type who walks the sidewalk wearing a Bluetooth headset in staunch oblivion to ridicule
, well mister these aren't the headphones for you. For the rest, click through for our expert urban-hipster review honed by years of knee-jerked responses to trends, ironic facial hair, and a taste for thrift-store clothing. With cred like that, how could we be wrong?
Build quality and comfort
The materials here are, how should we say, good enough
. The 1.2-meter cable with 3.5-mm plug is just the right length to reach the audio player tucked inside your skinny front pocket or shoulder bag. Too short if you're a DJ, which you're not, so get over it. The chrome is fake, the fit is a bit rigid, and the padding on the headband is almost non-existent and could be a bit more supple around the otherwise plush earphones. The DJ-inspired hinges offer variable (and therefore suspect) resistance -- the left speaker is harder to rotate than the right on our review unit. Not that we'd expect much better from this class of "lifestyle" headphones. Besides, who cares about long term build quality with these? You'll likely replace them to match your new Vespa jacket come autumn or they'll be stolen or lost long before you manage to cause them any real harm.
While these iFrogz aren't the most comfy headphones we've tried (they're close), we've made it through marathon stretches of 3+ hours (twice) without suffering any serious injury to our fragile egos or form. They'll certainly get you back and forth to the cubicle farm each day in stylish comfort and fold up, nice and compact when you arrive.
Hint: You can deftly slide a single can behind the ear -- the ultimate in DJ poser moves -- to engage in what people with social skills call "verbal communication."
The sound is decent, about exactly what we'd expect for this market segment and price. To these ears, the iFrogz 50-mm driver brings a fuller sound with deeper (but not by much surprisingly) bass than the standard buds shipping with Apple's gear. They're not even close to the head rattling thump of Skullcandy's bass amplified Skullcrushers
($70) but definitely superior to the relative limp sound produced by Skullcandy's popular $50 Hesh-series
of comparable urban headphones. A decent showing for iFrogz since Skullcandy is king of this market based on our casual observances of the beautifully unaware. Just don't kid yourself into thinking that you're buying these EarPollution cans based on the quality of the listening experience alone.
Besides looking the part, the iFrogz EarPollution DJ Style headphones also serve the purpose of adding a soundtrack to your life, dampening the city hum, and thwarting requests for change from vagrants with dirty outstretched palms. Oh, and chicks dig 'em. Lets wrap it up with this; we've had more ladies and dudes stop to ask us about these headphones in one week than seven years of wearing white earbuds. They're like a puppy without all the high-pitched yowling and mess.