After years of enduring the standard range of iPod and mp3 player earphones, which I have never found too comfortable and that for some reason have a habit of falling out of my ears when on the move, I did eventually purchase a budget set of over the ear headphones.
The difference was incredible but they also had their own drawbacks in that they never fitted around the ear, got uncomfortably sweaty after a short time of wearing and they never stayed in place properly.
Phillips in partnership with the extreme sports brand O’Neill have come up with some revolutionary new headphones, aimed specifically at the action sports enthusiast, but equally at home for the not so action packed life style that I lead.
The Stretch headphones from Phillips O’Neill are designed to be both tough and flexible and unlike their competitors these ‘phones can easily withstand any ill treatment thrown at them, stretching, twisting or even throwing them around will not damage them and neither will extreme temperature, thanks to the TR55LX material used in their construction.
Unlike materials like Poly Carbonate, the most common material used in heavy duty headphones, which can lose strength or become brittle in extreme temperatures, TR55LX retains its strength and durability in temperatures as extreme as +25º C and down to -25ºC.
While I am unlikely to venture out into those sort of temperatures it is reassuring to know that Phillips O’Neill have and their testers include Big Mountain Rider of the Year Jeremy Jones, Big Wave Charger Mark Mattews and World Skier and Xtreme Verbier Champion Ane Enderud. They represent the Phillips O’Neill Test Animals and the headphones have come out with flying colours.
The Stretch headphones come in either black with red inner lining or powder white and feature a wetsuit inspired super stretch headband that enhances durability, but more importantly for me ensures a flawless fit.
They come with powerful 40mm drivers nestling in super soft noise insulating cushions and the first impression when wearing the headphones is one of comfort and near silence before firing up the mp3 player.
The headphones completely cover the ear making them extremely comfortable to wear and the headband ensures that they stay put without sliding back and forth when on the move.
They are fitted with a tough tangle free cable with reinforced connectors that can be detached from a short length on the ear cup and connectors are top quality gold type.
Even after hours of wearing The Stretch headphones there is no discomfort whatsoever, the ears remain cool and there is no irritation, it is easy to forget that you have them on.
Sound wise The Stretch headphones deliver pretty much what you would expect, there is good clarity and decent bass at mid to high end volume, but a more muffled sound on low volume. This is the only fault I have with the product as I prefer to set the sound device on full volume for maximum input and adjust the volume from the headphone cable – something that The Stretch does not provide.
This is being rather picky and something that I have easily lived with since trialling the headphones. They are a superb product that have generally enhanced my listening pleasure and the comfort level is unsurpassable.
The Stretch is the flagship in a series of four innovative designs from Phillips O’Neill which includes the fold-flat design of The Snug, powerful in ear headphone The Covert and the small but incredibly strong in ear designed The Specked.
The full range of Phillips O’Neill headphones are available at retail stores throughout Europe and the US now.
Visit the TestedOnAnimals Phillips O’Neill website for further information.