Eskuché 33i and Control-i Headphones Review

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Back in November we brought a pair of on-ear headphones to your attention that look great, sound good and don’t break the bank. At under $70 for each pair eskuché’s 33i and Control-i headphones are worth considering if you’ve been looking for a pair of on-ear headphones that include an in-line mic.

We’ve had both of them here for the past few weeks and have used them to listen to a variety of music. In this lightening review we will take a quick look at both, give you some of the upsides and some of the potential downsides and then give you a chance to win each.

So without further ado here are eskuché’s 33i and Control-i headphones.

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First up, the Control-i headphones:

The Control-i riffs off of the original Control headphone, jacking it up a few notches and improving it overall with updated structural components and drivers. The rectangular shell promotes a duel nature of utility: users can experience an over-the-ear functionality while enjoying the on-ear size. The shape of the cups mimics another artifact of 70s hi-fi —the studio monitor—while again seamlessly incorporating modern audio specs and fun- ctionality into the product. The Control-i covers you ear, mitigating and minimizing outside noise interference, while enhancing the warmer, subtler tones of music you often find in re- nowned and lauded classic albums.
Soft, plush ear cup cushions enhance the experience of the speaker driver’s crisp highs and deep lows, all while maintaining comfort.

In addition, eskuché provides a custom one-touch mic answer/end/play/pause premium cloth cable system compatible with iPod/iPhone/iPad and a 6.3mm adaptor enabling you to experience the headphones with multiple music and media output devices.

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Then there are the far rounder eskuché 33i headphones:

The 33i looks to one of our first headphones, the 33 1/3, for its chassis, and merges it with the improved structural components of the 45. The minimal, futurist exterior boldly takes 70s hi-fi stereo industrial design and amps it up for a modern, cutting-edge aesthetic. A single-rod headband-to-ear-cup connection reduces the number of parts to increase durability while maintaining its sharp appearance.

The circular ear cups also tastefully nod to the 70s: the 12” vinyl record texture evokes the music format of the era; the metallic material finish represents the premium audio ID’ing codes of the day. Plush ear cup cushions are designed to mitigate outside noise influence while sharpening the experience of the speaker driver’s crisp highs and deep lows, all while maintaining comfort.

In addition, eskuché provides a custom one-touch mic answer/end/play/pause, premium cloth cable system compatible with iPod/iPhone/ iPad, and a 6.3mm adaptor enabling you to experience the headphones with multiple music and media output devices.

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While they look, and feel different, each pair of headphones has the same general description and list of specs.


Custom-designed single control touch control for seamless play/pause and answer/end technology

Gold plated at 2.5 mm 4 pin plug for music and talk and a goldplated 6.3mm adapter

Plush ear cup cushioning and soft pliable headband for hours of comfort

Compatible with iPod and iPhone and other music output devices

Premium woven cloth cording to prevent tangling

Protective headphone travel bag

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My Take:

I like the look and feel of both headphones. They are, to a large extent, a throwback to some of the headphones I used as a teenager. There are, however, some differences. First, these sound a lot better. Yes, they are not expensive but they sound very very good.

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Second, both of them have an in-line controller/microphone that works quite well. I used it to record some voice notes and the quality of the recording was excellent in both cases. I also really appreciate the woven cord that both headphones have. It is heavy-duty, won’t get tangled, and feels substantial enough to be used for a long time without fraying. That certainly wasn’t the case with the headphones I used as a kid.

There are, however, two downsides to the headphones.

The first simply has to do with the bag that comes with them. It will let you carry the headphones and will keep dust off of them but they really don’t offer any real protection. I understand that this is likely the result of trying to keep the price of the headphones down but I still would have appreciated the headphones coming with a hard protective case.

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The second issue is a bigger concern for me but it MAY be unique to me. The concern? The headphones hurt. I enjoy wearing on-ear headphones and find them preferable to over-the-ear styles. Elana, on the other hand, can’t wear any headphones that sit on OR over her ears without getting a headache After using these I have a better understanding of what she is saying when she refuses to even TRY on or over the ear styles. Yes, after just a few minutes I found my ears hurting and that was the case with both styles. It was the case no matter how loose or tight I made the headband.

I don’t see any reason this should be the case and I suspect that it is just a matter of these particular headphones not working well with my particularly fat head. It is a bit of a bummer since I really like these headphones.They sound good, are priced well, and look really nice.

So IS the issue unique to me? There’s one way to find out.

Leave a comment below about why you want to win one of the two pair and which of the two you want. We’ll give them both away the day after Christmas. BUT, and this is important, if you enter you need to promise to come back to this post and let us know your experience with them.

The fine print–

1. This contest will be open until Dec 26; the winner will be announced shortly after.

2. Shipping address must be in the USA

3. If you’re entering this giveaway using Facebook connect, you MUST have your Facebook page set to accept messages from non-friends so we can contact you through your page if you are the winner. If you are unsure how to set your privacy settings to allow this, feel free to contact us for assistance or read Facebook’s instructions.

4. The winner will be announced on the site and will have 24 hours to contact us. After 24 hours a new winner will be picked.

The Eskuché 33i and Control-i Headphones are available directly from the company. Check out all the styles here.

MSRP: $69

What I Like: Stylish; Well priced; Hefty cord; In-line microphone/controller

What Needs Improvement: Cheapo bago; Both styles hurt my ears after a time


Categories: Reviews

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9 replies

  1. I’d love the white pair because they look unique. The headphones I use with my computer are fairly uncomfortable, so I’d love to give these a try. And I promise to come back and tell you what I think of them if I win!

  2. I would like to win the Control-i headphones, so I can give then to my Dad as a late Christmas gift.   He has an iPod touch and I know he would really enjoy his music more with a nice set of headphones.

  3. I would like the eskuché 33i headphones mainly to use with my computer.  I listen to streaming music and earphones just don’t cut it anymore. 

  4. I would like to win the Control-i, but I think my son would like either. If I won, I think I would give them to him, since he doesn’t like the earbud style. He is only 8 (9 in January) and I think he would wear headphone like either of these and listen to more music.
    Perhaps I could get him to dictate something to me about how he likes them, and I could post his comments!

  5. I like the eskuché 33i headphones. I would use them with my computer to listen to music or watch videos without waking my kids up.

  6. These sound (ha) great!  I’d love a pair to listen to music on the computer or with my iphone.  I would share (a small bit) with my kids… but mainly I’d use them. The ear buds  just don’t fit.  Oh my oh my santa Gear Diary… hohoho… these would be spectactular!

  7. I dont have a preference on which one to win. They both look good to me. I just need new headphones, because I cant stand the little earbuds that came with my iPod.

  8. I would like either one. Need new headphones to use with computer now that I have to take work calls at night.

  9. I’d like either one.  My wife uses a CPAP machine to help her with sleep apnea which affects BOTH of our sleep.  So, I either get crazy loud snoring, or the noise the machine makes.  I’ve tried a bunch of styles of in ear headphones, but I haven’t found any that are good to use on my side, and I think the over-the-ear style may be more comfortable.  Added to that, I seem to have a freakishly small head (children’s size hats and classes actually fit me…) that these may be just the solution to a better night’s sleep for me!