This holiday you’ll probably no someone, some where, that will be hit with a request for a new pair of earbuds.  You can thank Apple and the vast array of Android handsets that now double as a media playback devices, for this.  So sifting amongst the hundreds if not thousands of ear buds on the market is a daunting task.  Unless of course you can find a novel and unique approach that will keep those in receivership of their audio cans happy long after the gift has been given.  And what better way to achieve, at the very least, a unique reaction with a set of ear buds from Zipbuds.

We looked at the first set of Zipbuds last year and while they were decent, they were plagued with a few short comings that made them less than an ideal suitor for anyone in need of audio piped directly into their ears.  I’m now glad, almost elated, to report that DGA went back to the drawing board and has reissued a second iteration of the zipper headphones with positive results.

Now, I can’t lay claim that they read my review and then decided to make changes, but as it happens, they’ve addressed one of biggest concerns: the weight of the original Zipbuds.  Granted no one before DGA had attempted to line a headphone cord with a zipper, and I applaud them for blazing a trail, but the original Zipbuds were so heavy that they constantly slipped from my ears’ canals.  So in this iteration, they’ve managed to cut the weight and in turn eliminated this shortcoming.  However, they’re still shipping them with the same ear hooks, which in my testing were anything but practical.  But on the flip side, I didn’t have to depend on them to keep the buds in my ears, even during exercise.

That’s not all DGA has changed in the second gen version of the Zipbuds.  Inside you’ll now find 11mm drives, an upgrade from 8mm.  So suffice to say, bass response has been improved, though  I had no qualms with the sonic capabilities of the original Zipbuds, especially given their rather low price tag and unique feature set.  But, if I had to be a devil’s advocate, which I am, the latest Zipbuds suffer a bit in the higher frequency department.  It’s a bit tough to put it too words, but with select music, especially of the electronica ilk, they’re a tad shrill.

My ear canals, as far as I can tell, are shallow, so ear buds with a long bud tend to fall out of my ears.  Zipbuds actual buds are nice and short, and a result stayed snug in my ears and fit comfortably after prolonged use.  The same fiddly ear hooks, as found in the first generation and as I’ve already mentioned, have been included, so I completely avoided them all together for fear of frustration and disappointment ensuing.

So, needless to say, but DGA has addressed the bulk of the first ZipBuds’ shortcomings.  They’re now lighter, more nimble and sound better.  The zipper, though a bit of a gimmick, and rightfully so, is actually a practical method to avoid tangled cords and zips with such ease that even Levis (the Jeans manufacturer) should be jealous.  Not once upon removing the Zipbuds from my bag, where they sat uncontained, were they tangled.  It’s just a shame that they don’t have an inline mic for taking calls and the highs are a bit shrill.

Editor’s Rating:

Rating: ★★★★☆

Great

Bottom Line: The second generation ZipBuds now stay in the ear without using the included ear hooks, sound great and as always, prevent the cord from transforming into rat’s nest.  However, they’re a bit shrill with select music and don’t have an inline mic for taking calls.

You can buy the Zipbuds, in a variety of colors from Amazon for $39.99.

Pros:

  • They’re now lighweight and nimble enough to stay in the ear sans hooks
  • Affordable; $39.99
  • Zipper prevents the cord from tangling

Cons:

  • Shrill audio with select music
  • Same annoying ear hooks as found in the first generation
  • No inline mic

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Christen Costa

 
Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."