Connect with us

Music

Wicked Audio Heist Headphone Review

Published

on

Heist-Rust-and-Ivory-SideHeist-Rust-and-Ivory-BackI get a lot of headphones requests coming through my email. Companies left and right are touting new sets of cans nearly every day and it takes a lot to get me to pay attention. That is exactly what Wicked audio was able to do however with their new Heist earbuds. While they look like traditional in-ear headphones, a closer look reveals they have one very unique feature, a built in audio splitter.

That audio splitter is what gives the Heist its name. Your friends can literally heist your music without the need for any adaptor. The splitter itself rests roughly two-thirds up the cord, about where you would expect volume controls, and is a direct tap into the audio feed. Just plug in a second set of headphones and away you go. In theory it is a great idea, but we did run into a few hiccups. The first is that unless you are running through a preamp or

using a powerful head unit, audio volume drops on both headsets. You get the same issue when using a traditional splitter, but it helps to be aware. We obviously were able to exacerbate this issue by plugging in a large set of power hungry headphones like our V-Moda Crossfade Customs. Of course, unless your friend is someone like me, he likely won’t be carrying a studio quality set of headphones with him everywhere he/she goes, so the impact will be minimal.

The trick audio splitter may be cool, but it is not the only reason to pick up a set of Heist headphones, they also have surprisingly great sound. Seeing as how these things only retail for $30, they come packed with features like the splitter, 10mm drivers and even gold plated connectors. While I am not here to debate the effectiveness of gold plating your plugs, it is hard to argue that seeing it on any audio gear south of $50 is a rare thing. Now true, these buds will not knock your socks off, especially when compared to more expensive sets of cans like the V-Modas and the Kilpsch Image Ones, they can hold their own with most anything I have tested below the $75 range.

Heist-White-JackHeist-Black-and-White
Of course, Wicked Audio tends to cater to style as much as substance, so the headphones come in three colors, the white and black we have here, a white and red model, and finally a garish but surely popular canary yellow and gray. Aside from the two tone color scheme, the Heist earbuds are fairly traditional in styling featuring a simple rubber coated cord and straight plug design that is guaranteed to fit in your phone, even with a large case on it.

Heist-Yellow-and-GrayDuring my testing, I have to say I was continually surprised by the Heist headphones. They fit well, blocked out most noise and had remarkably good sound quality. My only points of contention with them are the lack of in-line controls/mic and the placement of the audio splitter. While having the plug farther up the cord means that you can keep your expensive device in your pocket and away from sticky fingers, it can create some awkward weighting of the headphones and some tugging on the cord. It does have a clip built onto the splitter so that the tugging happens at your shirt and doesn’t pull the headphones out, but we feel that if you are sharing music, you are likely among friends. I don’t anticipate sharing a song with a stranger on the subway, so keeping my device in my pocket is much less of an issue. Plus if the splitter was at the base, they would have been able to include in-line audio control and mic; a near must with today’s smartphone dominance.

All in all, the Wicked Audio Heist headphones are a great thing to have. Thanks to the unique built in splitter, great sound and rock bottom price, they can be a great addition to anyone’s audio arsenal. I am not entirely sold on some of the more outrageous color designs, and I am bummed with the lack of in-line mic, but all-in they are hard to fault.

 Pros: Great sound, built in audio splitter, rock bottom price

Cons: Design may seem cheesy, audio splitter location can be odd, lack of in-line mic or controls.

Guys Gab Score: 7.5/10

GuysGab Score7-5

Christian is the Technology and Gaming guru of Guys Gab, and he also happens to be damn great with auto coverage as well. Big dreams and big enthusiasm are great ways to describe Christian. As a writer he strives to bring concise information together with quick wit to create an enjoyable and informative experience for his audience. When not writing he can be found trying to complete his life goal of becoming a race car driving, astronaut, rock-star. Big dreams indeed.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.

Music

Libratone’s TRACK+ Wireless Headphones Keep The Chaos Out And The Music In

Published

on

Libratone TRACK+ Wireless In-Ear Earphones

When the Libratone TRACK+ Wireless Earphones were unveiled at CES earlier this year, I was intrigued by their Smart Noise Cancellation technology, which lets you control how much of the world you want to let in or out.

Now, active noise cancelling headphones are nothing new, and they’ve long been a must-have for frequent travelers like myself who want to “get away from it all” and just enjoy their tunes.

But Libratone has taken it a step further, with the TRACK+ offering 4 levels of adjustable noise cancellation so you can control how much you hear of the world around you. You can even let Smart Mode do it for you automatically, adjusting based on your environment and activity.

Libratone TRACK+ Wireless In-Ear Earphones

When the TRACK+ detects movement like running or a workout, it will automatically allow in slightly more ambient noise so you’re aware of your surroundings. Because let’s face it, the last thing you want is to get hit by a car or bike because you couldn’t hear them coming!

Similarly, when you’re sitting still in a loud place (like an airplane or train), the earphones will cancel the maximum amount of outside noise so you can focus on the music and nothing else. And in that respect, they work incredibly well.. assuming you read the directions.

You see, during my first testing session, I wasn’t all that impressed with the TRACK+, as there was too much ambient noise coming through, even on the highest noise cancellation (-20dB) setting. The problem? The eartips weren’t forming a perfect seal with my ear. Once I switched to a larger eartip (four different sizes are provided), the difference was night and day, with the outside world completely disappearing.

Libratone TRACK+ Wireless In-Ear Earphones

Since then, I’ve taken the TRACK+ on a few flights, on a train ride to New York, and even into a crowded Starbucks. And in every case, they performed amazing well, allowing me to focus on my music, movies, podcasts, and such without being distracted by the outside noise.

Those planning on hitting the gym will be pleased to know that they have a splash-proof IPX4 rating, that the earbuds are sweat-proof, and the included sport fins allow you to run on the treadmill without concerns about them falling out. And thanks to the ANC, you can drown out those grunting meatheads and focus on what you’re there to do.

Overall, there is a lot to like about the Libratone TRACK+ Wireless Earphones, and I’d highly recommend them to anyone who’s looking to drown out some of the outside chaos. At $199, they’re not to cheapest option out there, but they’re well worth it. These wireless eadbuds offer high quality sound, 4 levels of adjustable noise cancellation, long battery life (8 hours), and a sleek, minimalist design. Seriously, what more could you ask for?

Visit www.libratone.com to learn more about the TRACK+ earphones.

Continue Reading

Music

Alpine Unveils 9-Inch Aftermarket Head Unit With Floating Design At CES

Published

on

Alpine HALO9 iLX-F309 in-dash system

Many of today’s newer cars come with huge infotainment screens (like the Lexus LC 500 with it’s 10.3″ dash-mounted screen). But if you’ve got an older car and want that big screen experience, you’re pretty much out of luck, as most single DIN and double DIN radios only give you so much space to work with.

Alpine Electronics came up with a unique solution to this common problem with their new 9-inch iLX-F309 in-dash system, which they debuted at CES this week. This AM/FM/audio/video receiver uses a 1-DIN chassis for installation, with a 9-inch touch screen “hovering” in front of the vehicle’s dash, allowing the oversized screen to be added to a variety of vehicles without the need for custom installation.

Installation of the Alpine iLX-F309 sounds like a breeze, as described here:

The 9-inch screen is attached to an adjustable mount connected to a 1-DIN chassis. Once installed, the screen and mount are fixed to the chassis for a sturdy installation. The screen hovers over or in front of the dash while its rear housing tapers off cleanly at the edges for a thin, modern silhouette. At its default position, the screen’s sliding mount is pushed out, sitting at a 90-degree angle and the bottom of the screen is centered with the 1-DIN chassis.

At this point, the screen can be angled at select positions to assist during installation, help with visibility, or move it away from other items on the dashboard. The screen can be positioned 20 mm back from its default position, to move it closer to the dashboard. It can be moved up or down 30mm from its default position and can be tilted up/down at a maximum of 45-degrees, depending on the position of the up/down location.

The iLX-F309 has a suite of entertainment features sure to please the most discerning of techies, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth streaming audio, HD Radio, SiriusXM, Alpine TuneIt App integration, AUX, HDMI, and rear camera inputs, and more. The system doesn’t include a CD or DVD slot.

If you’re interested in getting the Alpine iLX-F309 for your vehicle, you won’t have long to wait, as the system will be available at authorized retailers in February, with a suggested retail price of $1,100.

What do you think of the Alpine iLX-F309 with it’s 9-inch floating screen?

Continue Reading

How Cool Is This

This Is The Gravity-Defying Death Star Speaker You’ve Been Looking For!

Published

on

Star Wars Levitating Death Star Bluetooth Speaker

Unbound from the laws of gravity, Plox is bringing the might of the Empire to your home with the Official Star Wars Levitating Death Star Speaker. Amaze your friends and yourself as your Death Star speaker delivers 360 degrees of uncompromising sound for up to five hours on a single charge.

The gravity-defying orb combines 360° Bluetooth sound projection with an out-of-this-world levitation system using Plox’s force technology. This exclusive Star Wars collectible is the Death Star you’ve been waiting for.

This is a great sounding speaker that any Star Wars fan would want. Sadly, this model does not come with the planet-destroying super laser. Hopefully, they can add this to their later models. For now, you can only ‘blast’ some cool tunes.

The Empire’s ultimate weapon can now be yours. May the force be with you!

Continue Reading