I don’t often plug products on the blog, but it’s such a pleasure to find a well-conceived, well-designed product that delivers what it promises that I feel I need to say a few words about my Skullcandy Indy wireless headphones.
I like listening to music when I take a morning walk or work in the yard. Previously, I used the standard iPhone earbuds that would connect to my phone with a cord. After a while they started to bug me, for two reasons. First, it was hard to keep them in your ears. And second, if wasn’t unusual to snag the cord on something and yank the earbuds out of your ears, which was supremely annoying. And don’t even talk to me about the issued posed by cord connection with you’ve got a leaping, oblivious dog in the vicinity.
So I decided to go cordless and wireless. But, what to buy? I’d heard good things about Skullcandy products, so I decided to buy their “Indy” product. It turned out to be a great decision. It’s easy to sync the earbuds with your phone, even for a technophobe like me, and the product delivers great sound quality. You charge up the earbuds in a little charging station and remove them when you are ready for use. They turn on automatically — with a great, authoritative “Power On!” statement delivered by a female voice with a faint accent that I inevitably try to mimic — and have a kind of foam insert that allows you to place them securely in your ears to prevent slippage. And best of all, there is no cord to be tangled. They are ideal for walking, gardening, or otherwise sitting outside and listening to your favorite music.
During an otherwise immensely enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday, the hang-over-the-ear earphones that I normally use with my iPod were borrowed and now are nowhere to be found. So, I am relegated to using the “earbuds” that come as standard equipment with the iPod — and thus I feel both frustration and shame.
I experience frustration, because the Apple ear buds simply will not stay in my ears. They may look cool and sleek, but with the slightest head movement or gentlest jostling, the earbuds will plop softly out of my ears. The only way I can keep them in on the morning walk is to put on a ski cap that tightly binds them to my ears and then walk with head held stiffly, like I’m wearing an invisible neck brace. It’s not a comfortable start to the day.
I feel shame, too, because I know that Apple makes only excellent, well-engineered devices. Steve Jobs himself must have given these earbuds a thumbs-up. Therefore, my inability to keep them in my ears must mean there is something defective about either the structure of my ears or my understanding of how to use the earbuds. Perhaps the little flap on the forward part of my exterior ear — called the tragus, for those who haven’t memorized Gray’s anatomy — is embarrassingly undersized. Maybe Steve Jobs’ ears had tragi the size of catcher’s mitts, ready to hold the earbuds snugly inside. Or perhaps I’m using the devices improperly. Maybe they go in upside down, or backwards — or maybe they aren’t intended for the ears at all, but were designed by Apple to be inserted into the nostrils and reach the inner ear through a more indirect route?
It’s time to help our retailers have a good holiday season and buy some new earphones.