I am an audio tech junkie- we constantly have music playing in ear or throughout our environment and our audio needs are always evolving. For example, I don't take my $180 Bose earbuds to the gym, or on a bike ride, and the same rich, immersive audio earbuds I use while gaming are not necessary the same noise filtering ones I need to use for aware driving at night. We were not familiar with the Tate and Bauer brand of electronics, and further research, when shopping didn't help us much on Amazon so this purchase was based mostly on the compact and stylish design.
*These are very compact while still maintaining some design sense and style consideration. The flat cable lost it's kink fairly quickly and did not feel heavy when wearing. The flat facing of the earbuds and control configuration made these a bit tricky to learn (operation when on and in use) at first, but soon became intuitive. The bright red color is beautifully vibrant and accented by the black and clear custom earbuds. I do with these came with a small carrying case for protection in storage- we have taken to storing them in an empty Altoids can.
*Easy to set up- Comprehensive instructions are provided though must who have used a Bluetooth device in the past will be able to pair it with no difficulties. Simply hold the aide button on the right ear piece for three seconds to send the earbuds into discovery mode and pair your device with the "KX9" connection. Voice commands are enabled to help guide the process, as well as the visual cues of a red/blue indicator light.
*Custom ear buds in 2 different colors (black and clear,) 3 sizes each, with stabilizers, for a comfortable fit. We found swapping these out was a bit of a pain, but no more so than any other interchangeable earbuds.
*Wear and fit- Comfortable enough to wear over 3 hours at a time without fuss or irritation. These do not feel 'heavy' on the ear and do not seem to need adjustments with normal movement and even moderate jogging (as tested on a treadmill.) We like how the cord falls behind the neck with enough length to allow full range of movement, but with minimal excess. We can't really detect the cord swinging or on our neck.
*Audio- These are not the best, clearest, bluetooth headphones we own. It would be a lie to say so. That being said they have an impressive amount of Bass and clarity for mid-range Bluetooth headphones. We especially noted how clear we came through on phone calls with the earbud's mic feature. There was no muffling for the recipient of our call. Music was equally sharp though lacking an overall depth. Some of the finer mixing of tracks was missed with Bass and vocals taking prominence. In general, some outside noise filters through- making these good for a bike ride, gym workout, dog walk, or other situation where you may wish to be mildly alert of your surroundings.
*We liked that these were partially charged out of the box, and we could begin playing with them right away, important when gifting.
*We were a bit bummed we could find no published information about the anticipated charge time or listen time. From our own experiments, we noted about 2 hours to a full charge, which lasted us about 6 hours or solid music streaming time.
*The controls are all on the Right ear, which is clearly labeled as R, for right, because these buds do not offer rotation or orientation adjustments for those who are ambidextrous. This could be a pain for lefties.
*No storage or carry case.
*Short USB charging cable (though most cables you likely already have at home will be interchangeable if micro USB.
*This is a minor thing but some people are picky about being able to properly clean the internal ear bud (under the silicone cover) piece- many high end buds have a grate or screen to prevent dust or earwax from building up inside- it does not seem these do (as seen in our photos.)
In summary we are pleased with these for the price, and feel these earbuds have a lot going for them and would make a great gift for any teenage or casual audiophile. Consider a pair of these for the gym or other mobile activities where you'd like the convenience of sharp sound without the safety risks of full immersion. I'm not sure these are the headphones you want if noise cancelling is your sole goal, though they DO block outside noise better than many earbuds in the same price bracket.
These reviews are the subjective opinions of ChickAdvisor members and not of ChickAdvisor Inc.