Acoustibuds Premium Adapters for Earphones and Bluetooth Headsets – Review


Acoustibuds Premium Adapters for Earphones and Bluetooth Headsets
Company: Burton Technologies

Price: $14.99

Acoustibuds are silicon rubber adapters that easily connect to the earphones that come with iPods and other MP3 players. The adapters achieve two purposes. First, they make your stock earphones fit more securely in the ear canal. Second, they improve the sound quality coming from most earphones.

When I bought my first iPod several years ago, I thought the earphones were poorly designed. The audio was barely acceptable considering the overall price of an iPod, and they simply did not sit securely in my ear. In addition, they came with nearly useless tiny flannel socks to cover the hard plastic ends of the speakers. My solution was to go out and spend about $50 on some decent Sony earbuds.

Had Acoustibuds been around at the time, I could have saved myself a bundle. For $15, Acoustibuds will improve the acoustics of standard iPod earphones by at least 50 percent. Made of silicon rubber, Acoustibuds are a little like a soft sock with flexible fins that keep them lodged in the ear, a big plus for those who wear their earphones while running or hiking. They fit snugly over standard iPod earphones.

The manufacturer says, “Superior sound isolation is also created with the fins to seal out noise from outside. Volume and bass frequencies are amplified allowing operation of your MP3 at a lower volume setting. Inside, the ‘Twin Cone Core’ better channels the sound wave in your ear. The twin cone core guides the sound wave like a miniature acoustic horn to minimize sound impedance enriching middle and upper range frequencies.”

I found all of that to be true when the Acoustibuds were attached to standard iPod earphones, but when I attached them to my higher end Sony earphones, they exaggerated the treble range too harshly for my tastes. They also were a little too big to create a tight fit with the ends of the Sony earbuds, and slipped off too easily.

There’s no question they do define sounds more clearly, and listeners will definitely hear more instruments than they’d hear with the stock iPod earphones, but that’s not always a plus. If you’re the kind of music buff who listens to a Bach piano sonata and tries to disassemble the melodies played by the first and third fingers on the left hand from those played by the second and fourth fingers on the same hand, and then analyze how those are integrated with the melodies played on the right hand, you’ll probably find you can do that with Acoustibuds attached to almost any earphones. For me, however, that defeats the purpose of the music. I’m more interested in the sum of the parts than in each of the parts.

I doubt Acoustibuds are designed for audiophiles. Those who are interested in high end audio will spend whatever it takes to get the last decibel of clarity out of their speakers. But I think most users will find that Acoustibuds perform as advertised. They definitely make your stock earphones sit in your ear more securely, and they unquestionably will make your iPod earphones sound much better than you ever thought they could.

Acoustibuds come with two sets of adapters, one larger than the other. Experiment with size and fit, and heed the manufacturer’s advice to turn down the volume before you put them in your ears. They definitely magnify the sound and you’ll be able to play your iPod at lower volumes without a loss of audio clarity. rating: 4 out of 5

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