Review: Griffin EarThumps
When you see white earbuds, what comes to mind? Duh—Apple’s iPod (or its ripoffs) and white earbuds go hand-in-hand, even if the iPod is not white, but blue, green, pink, gold, silver, or black. This automatically lets thieves know what you’re listening to without them even seeing what’s on the other end of the cord. Besides that, Apple’s earbuds aren’t the greatest out there, so what can you do?
One inexpensive solution is Griffin’s EarThumps, a $20 pair of in-canal earbuds available in “Status Symbol White” or “Undercover Black” to match your iPod, or make it less conspicuous.
EarThumps + Case
EarThumps in Case
Included with the earbuds is a little grey nylon carrying case which features a zipper compartment and two mesh pockets. Obviously, this is intended to carry the earbuds and extra silicone sleeves. Six sets of these sleeves are included to fit over the end of the earbuds to ensure a comfortable fit with your ears.
The earbuds themselves are quite comfortable and are attached to a rather thin cord that splits the left and right sides at a “Y”, rather than going to one ear and having a cord go to the other. The headphone plug is rather thin—great for anyone who uses a specialized case that isn’t very forgiving towards fat headphone jacks.
You could have the most attractive earphones outthere, but if they sound lousy they’re not all that useful. Fortunately, the EarThumps sound decent—not as crystal-clear as some other audio products, but they are decent for listening to music. The audio tends to be more bass-heavy than Apple’s standard ‘buds. To get this effect now, try the “Bass Booster” setting in the equalizer. It’s basically like that, but in your ears instead. Most music sounds fine in this way, and the EarThumps don’t distort easily.
Besides the boosted bass, the EarThumps do flatten out the midrange and treble areas, but it’s not dramatic enough to make you want to look for replacement earbuds. For most people who are listening to rock, pop, R&B, hip-hop, or anything else that gets plenty of radio play or doesn’t require “audiophile-grade headphones”, the EarThumps are a pretty solid performer.
Although the EarThumps come with a neat case and some extra silicone cushions, there are a few minor drawbacks. They probably won’t win over any audiophiles, but sound pretty good for the price.
The One-Sentence Verdict™
The EarThumps sound pretty good for the price—you can do a lot worse for $20.
Pros: Increased bass, more isolated than Apple’s earbuds, inexpensive, color choices
Cons: Midrange and treble suffer