You can read 6 of the best in-ear headphones, but if you want something more unique, check this out.
Zipbuds aren’t exactly a new idea, but when I got word that DGA was taking the idea from concept to reality I couldn’t help but get a bit giddy.
Though the concept is rather simple – a zipper, much like found on your jeans or sweatshirt, doubles as a cord that lets you zip up the buds to prevent the cord from tangling during storage – the execution calls for a significant amount of finesse to deliver an actual working and usable product. So do the Zipbuds deliver or can they claim the best earbuds crown over Wang Bud earbuds by Fanny Wang? Read on to find out.
Much like the concepts we’ve seen over the years, including the Yamaha EPH M200 high-performance in-ear headphones, the Zipbuds are just what they promised to be. We saw an early prototype at least year’s CES (2009) and believe me when I say they’ve come a long way. According to DGA, it was no easy feat getting all the components to play nicely, but what they’ve achieved is a rather seamless form factor that will have most people guessing that this isn’t the first iteration of the product.
The sound quality of the Zipbuds is on par with any similarly priced ($39.99) pair of earbuds. The sonic capabilities of the buds are rather vast, boasting significant lows and highs that accommodate a wide variety of music. However, I noticed a fair amount of cord noise in the headphones while walking around – more than the average pair of earbuds – even when compared with those with an anti-tangle cord system. This was a result of the zipper portion of the headphones, which is made from plastic, rubbing against my clothing as I walked.
Zipbud ear hooks for exercise
Related: If you like these earbuds, check out our Sennheiser Cx Sport Wireless Earphones review.
Included in the box is a pair of ear hooks, which are designed to hold the Zipbuds in place while performing a rigorous activity. Unlike other earbuds, which usually have this feature built-in, DGA’s version doesn’t wrap around the top of the ear. Instead, they hang over the back of the ear. While effective at offsetting some of the weight created by the zipper, they aren’t very useful, are tedious to install and if I had to guess were an afterthought. I’m still scratching my head as to why they didn’t opt for a standard over-the-ear hook.
Because the Zipbuds include a built-in zipper, they probably weigh almost twice as much as a pair of standard earbuds. Without the ear hooks in place, I experienced the sensation that the Zipbuds were constantly falling out or being pulled out of my ears. I also struggled to achieve a comfortable fit in my ears, which made it even more challenging to keep the headphones in place.
Related: Also check out our Yurbuds Limited Edition Focus Sport Earphones review.
Despite the weight issue that I experienced, the zipper portion of the Zipbuds worked flawlessly; they zipped up again and again without any problems. In the past, I’ve used many anti-tangle corded headphones, but despite this feature, they still get tangled up. So it stands to reason that this is the best “tangle-resistant” cord system I’ve seen to date. Though, one additional caveat I noticed is a slightly larger than normal form factor when they’re wrapped up.
While the Zipbuds are a fun and novel idea, the benefits of the “tangle-resistant” cord aren’t enough to sway me from using my everyday in-ear headphones. But don’t be fooled. The ZipBuds deliver superb sound quality and will surely make a great gift for anyone who has a hard time keeping their headphone cords in check.
You can buy the Zipbuds from Amazon for $39.99.