Some of you may know that I am sort of the headphones and headset guy around here. I have reviewed quite a number of both consumer based, as well as, higher end headphones, earphones, headsets, and pretty much anything else that can pump audio and music directly into your brain. We’ve looked at in-the-ear, out-of-the-ear, over-the-ear, even around-the-ear. Frankly, I thought I had seen it all…the good, the bad, and even some of the ugly. Then I came across the Flamingo Music Earphones, a new wired music solution which, frankly, stopped me in my tracks. Their EarClick system, which allows the earphone to dangle in front of your ear like a musical circus act, was unlike anything I had used before. I knew I would have to take a closer look and review this one.
When I first saw the Flamingo headphones, I have to admit that I was a little bit nervous. I mean, with their shiny silver surface, and strange nubs on top, they did look a little like something out of Alien Autopsy. But, the box claims this is a revolution in fit and style, so I couldn’t turn back now. Viva La Revolution and off we go.
As it turns out, the nubs I mentioned are not alien torture devices at all. In fact, they are Cellpoint’s innovative EarClick technology. They way they work is pretty ingenious, really. You see, you have a flap of skin on the outside of your ear, just above your ear canal. The EarClick system slides beneath that flap of skin, securing the earphone in place. The rest of the earphone then hangs down in front of your ear, with the speaker resting just outside of your ear canal.
The headphones include several different sizes of Earclick earpads, and you will want to test them out. I started off with a set or earpads which were a little too large, and then I really did think I had discovered the missing artifact from Alien Autopsy. My ears were sore for a week. Once I got them sized correctly, however, I could wear them comfortably for hours at a time, with only some mild fatigue after I took them out.
I did find that there was a slight learning curve to the Flamingo headphones. They do not attach to your ears in any way that is familiar to you. So, as strange as it may sound, be sure to read (and reread) the user manual. Once you figure it out though (I found the easiest way to get them in was to rest the speaker on your ear canal and twist the earpad beneath the flap of skin), they are pretty easy to operate (they are marked for left and right so make sure to pay attention to which is which.) In fact, I was extremely impressed by how well they stayed in my ears. Because they are secured only from the top, I expected them to fall out of my ears frequently, so I was surprised to find that they were incredibly secure in my ears. I even tested them while engaging in physical activity, such as mowing the lawn and walking, with no problems. Given the fact that these are designed to be used while jogging or biking, this kind of secure attachment to the ear can be critically important. Not only that, but when I wanted them out of my ear, a gently tug was all it took to remove them.
As I mentioned, the Flamingo Music earphones are really designed to be used while playing sports, such as running and biking (for you triathletes out there, I would probably not recommend them for swimming.) That means they are also designed to allow outside noises to enter your ear canal. As a former runner and biker, I can understand the importance of being aware of outside noises, especially traffic noises. I almost never wore headphones while biking, because not being able to hear approaching cars can be quite scary. As such, the speakers reside just outside your ear canal, without fully enclosing or covering your ear canal, allowing outside noises to be heard. I have to be honest here, though. I do not tend to bike or run recreationally anymore. Typically, when I am wearing headphones, it is while walking to or from my office, or while riding the train. As such, I really do not want to hear outside noises. My needs tend to require more noise isolation than these headphones allow.
Noise isolation aside, you are probably thinking at this point, that’s great Doug, but how does dangling a small speaker in front of your ear canal really sound? And then I would say, just take a listen. And you would say, “Holy cow that is incredibly crisp.” Frankly, I was amazed by the sound quality in these headphones. Many of the out-of-the-ear headphones I have used do not offer a quality of sound which is comparable to most in-the-ear headphones. Not so with the Flamingos, they really did a nice job of capturing the rich tones and subtleties of my music. In a word, they sounded amazing. Much better than a number of “higher end” earphones I have used in the past.
I am not really sure what I expected when I started testing the Flamingo Music headphones. I was intrigued by the EarClick, but also a little scared of it. Would it hurt? Would it be secure enough? How would it sound? Well, whatever my expectations were, Cellpoint far exceeded them with the Flamingo Music headphones. Not only did their EarClick technology work, but it was secure and comfortable (once I got them sized correctly). I was also extremely impressed by the construction of the headphones, which included a nylon, rather then plastic, cord. This nylon cord was flexible without breaking or splitting the way a plastic cord might. Unfortunately, this did not make it less prone to tangles. Despite my initial misgivings, these headphones turned out not to be related to any alien autopsies at all. In fact, that only thing they ripped were sweet melodies directly into my ears. And that is exactly what I want from a headphone.
What I Liked: EarClick was comfortable and secure. Fantastic sound quality. Nylon cord.
What Needs Improvement: I would like noise isolation. Something to keep the cord tangle free would be nice.
Where to Buy: Cellpoint