Aerial7 is a company that specializes in stylish headphones that are meant to compliment your lifestyle. I just finished up a review on their Chopper2 headphones. I was also lucky enough to receive one of their Sound Disk Beanies. Since many of us are fighting off the chill of winter with a few extra layers of clothing, it only makes sense to take advantage of more “tech-enabled” clothing. The Sound Disk Beanie fits into that mold by integrating headphones right in the beanie, so you can stay warm and listen to your music collection without having to mess with separate earbuds or headphones.
What’s nice about the Sound Disk Beanie, is that since the earphones (disks) are actually placed inside the beanie, they can be used while skiing, snowboarding, running, hiking, or during an active outdoor adventure. That convenience is coupled with comfort. The sound disks can be worn inside the beanie — which means you can enjoy your music for hours on end without having to insert earbuds directly into your ear.
Interested? Well then, let’s take a closer look and see how the Sound Disc Beanie fares with some hands-on use.
The Aerial7 Sound Disk Beanie is a fitted, “one-size-fits-all” cap. I was very impressed with the quality of the cap itself. I was sent the Brown Wool Knit Beanie for review (there are several styles of wool-knit and cotton beanies offered, including a Knit Green and Black Stripe, Knit Black, Shredded Knit Black, Cotton Black, Knit Grey, and the Knit Brown). The material is thick and feels like it is meant to last through years of regular use.
Here’s a shot of the “sound disks” that go inside the beanie:
There are actually two separate “parts” to the sound disk earphones. The first encompasses the actual disk earphones that will be placed inside the beanie. The second is the connector extension that you will use to plug into your iPhone/iPod, mobile phone or dedicated MP3/audio player.
The beanie itself has an opening inside to place the sound discs. Since the discs are housed inside the beanie, you will be able to wear the cap and listen to your music without having to worry about any discomfort that may occur due to extended periods wearing “regular” earbuds. The tradeoff here is sound quality. While sound discs placed inside the beanie do provide a nice, crisp sound — they’re simply not going to compare to the sound of high-end earphones like those made by Shure or Etymotic.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get an opportunity to do any major outdoor activities using the Sound Disk Beanie — like skiing or snowboarding (see the pic below, which is included in the product’s packaging).
I did, however, get to put the Beanie to use on a cold morning’s dog walk. Here’s a photo upon return:
Notice that you can’t tell any earphones are being used when wearing the beanie 😀
Overall, I found the Sound Disk Beanie comfortable, stylish (I usually don’t wear beanies/caps), and that I was able to enjoy listening to music without having earbuds in my ears. Another benefit is that, since the Sound Disks are housed inside the Beanie itself, I was still able to hear the sound of approaching cars while taking the dog for a walk. Even at lower volumes, if wear my Shure headphones, all sound is blocked out. I preferred the Aerial7 Sound Disk Beanie during active or outdoor use since it allowed me to enjoy music without risking not hearing other sounds …like those approaching cars while walking the dog. I suspect this would be a feature that runners/joggers would also find as a benefit.
What I Like: Quality beanie/cap that provides a comfortable and stylish solution to listening to your portable media player while engaging in any outdoor activity.
What Needs Improvement: The only “negative” I was able to find while using the Sound Disk Beanie — even with moderate volume — is that others around you could hear the music/whatever content you’re playing since the disks are housed in the beanie.
The Aerial7 Sound Disc Beanie is available in several Knit Wool and Cotton styles; including Knit Green and Black Stripe, Knit Black, Shredded Knit Black, Cotton Black, Knit Grey or Knit Brown (the style I was loaned for this review) .