Hands-On Review: Chic Buds and Speakers

Holiday shopping might be over, but some of you are probably looking for some new headphones or speakers to go with that new MP3 player you got from Santa. We got our hands on a set of new sound products from Chic Execs, none of which are your simple, white earbuds.

Holiday shopping might be over, but some of you are probably looking for some new headphones or speakers to go with that new MP3 player you got from Santa. We got our hands on a set of new sound products from Chic Execs, none of which are your simple, white earbuds.

RockBuds: While most of Chic's products tend to feature very bright hues and prints, they do have a more toned down collection as well. Upon removal from the box, they felt as compact as a pair of keys on a key chain. The jet black earbuds are maintained through a retractable cord with five stopping points. It stalled somewhat when I tugged at it, but I finally read the instructions that both the headphones and the jack cord need to be pulled at the same time. A bit frustrating, but it's certainly less messy and won't get tangled in my bag so easily.

Comfort-wise, the RockBuds come with soft padding around the speakers. And as for sound, while the quality isn't the best, it's volume range is powerful. I had to tone down the volume immediately from the previous setting with my Apple earbuds. They're certainly a good set of headphones, and if you want a bit of personality at an affordable price, it's a good option to consider. (MSRP: $19.99)

Fauvette chicBuds: They're pretty much like the RockBuds, but with a more feminine touch. The Fauvette chicBuds are an inner ear, retractable headset. At first glance, it might look like white earbuds, but they have been bedazzled with giant crystals on each ear piece. They're compatible with almost any listening device (and it says airplane connectors too, although beware that not all headphones work on all planes due to dual-socket jacks). The only difference I noticed is when I put them on, they felt slightly uncomfortable. The earpads were too big and the headphones kept falling out of my ear. However, this pair, fortunately, comes with an alternatively-sized pair. Fixed the problem immediately. (MSRP: $19.99)

chicBuds Sport Headphones: This colorful headset will certainly turn heads. It's built with an adjustable headhand and extra padding around the ears for comfort. With the plush coverings on the ear, it might be good for traveling. The sound quality is definitely far better and more pure than with the earbuds, although don't expect them to cancel any noise from the engines. (However, they might cancel out the usual traffic on a city bus or subway.) The packaging (and name) specifies that the headphones are meant for sporty activities, but they moved around a lot on my head when I moved around, so they might not be comfortable for a serious work-out. But they would be perfect for any 80s party. (MSRP: $29.99)

pinktooth: If you can't guess, it's quite similar to Bluetooth. Pinktooth is a shiny hands-free device, adorned in either white or pink Swarovski crystals. It has a talk time of up to six hours and standby up to 200 hours. It's very light on the ear but not the most secure. This makes me worried that it would just fall out any time, and I would not notice until it's too late. (MSRP: $48.00)

chicboom: The best part about this product is its mobility. Powered via USB cable, the tiny chicboom speaker connects to your media player with a standard 3.5mm stereo jack cable, both of which are included in the box. The bad? Aside from the fuzzy leopard print, the sound quality isn't much better than that of an iPhone on its own, and you can hear a bit of a raspy sound when at maximum power. (MSRP: $24.99)

RockBoom: If you really like to combine your gadgets and accessories down to as few items as possible, then take a look at the RockBoom iPod case and speaker. All-in-one. It won't fit every device though, primarily geared for the iPod Nano and similarly sized MP3 players. It also requires AAA batteries, which aren't included in the box, frustrating me and forcing me to go scavenge for some. The case is fairly durable, and the speaker's quality is about on par with that of the key chain, but without the raspy sounds. (MSRP: $24.99)

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