Lou got these things as part of some PR “seeding” project a while back. He doesn’t listen to tunes as a way of life like everyone else in the world, so turned the product over to me.
As stated before here on WildSnow, “the idea with these things is they don’t plug up your ears” and allow external sound to enter the ear unobstructed. What can I say, the do what they claim. I’ve been very happy to cruise around town and hear someone shout my name from across Main Street all the while enjoying the soothing sounds of Kenny G or John Tesh. Or taking them skinning and know that my skinning partner is stopping behind me to take a break. Okay, I lied. I’ve never been in front of anyone skinning up anything, but if that ever happens, I’ll hear them!
I think these will come in especially handy during the sunny seasons while mountain biking. With the ability to hear upcoming bikers and hikers and avoid a singletrack collision.
The over-the-ear setup keeps them on my head more and dangling by a cord less. My iPod earbuds barely stay in during a jaunt across town to WildSnow HQ, and in cold weather, they require at least three adjustments for the 1 mile ride (picture a Colorado highway, no shoulder, icy, and a biker swerving into the northbound lane just to hear the climactic end to…). And the inline volume adjustment is perfect for those times when you don’t feel like pulling your valuable mp3 player out into the snow/rain but need to turn it up to jam over the noise of your elderly friend’s mobile-pollution-generating-snow-access-device (grin).
The biggest negative for the Airdrive’s is slightly less musical “depth”. Sometimes they sound a little muted. And if you get caught on the bus near a crying baby, you will hear the bleating and there will be no escape.
Overall, Airdrive Earphones are a great addition to anyone’s portable audio quiver. Mine are definitely making a regular appearance with my iPod. So, a Wildsnow thumbs up and the ubiquitous shopping link that supports the blog.