If you bought an iPhone 7 you know that the loss of the 3.5mm earphone plug means a new learning curve and new ear. Thanks to iFrogz there are some great choices that won’t break the bank. The $29.99 iFrogz PLUGZ Wireless and the $39.99 iFrogz IMPULSE Wireless are two of the choices.
Sure Apple minimized the outcry when they removed the 3.5mm headphone jack on the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus by including both a pair of Lighting Earpods AND a 3.5mm to Lightning adapter. Still, I’m not a fan of the Apple Earpods and I think I have already lost the adapter. Fortunately iFrogz, a ZAGG company, have rolled out some wireless headphones that cut the cord AND won’t break the bank. They were kind enough to send the $29.99 iFrogz PLUGZ Wireless and the $39.99 iFrogz IMPULSE Wireless. The two headphones have the same design so I thought we would take a look at them together.
Both products take a different approach than most of the wireless earbuds being advertised for the iPhone 7. One style consists of two earbuds connected by a thin cord. They are light and for the most part comfortable, but tend to get poor battery life. It is for that reason that some companies opting for this design include a pouch with a built-in charger. These earbuds also tend to have small controls on the cable that are often difficult to access and use. A second design consists of two earbuds connects to a “necklace” that hands around your neck. This approach allows the earbuds to get better battery life but as a result of the design, you end up regaining a piece of rubber or plastic around your neck.
iFrogz took a bit of a hybrid approach with these wireless earbuds. They consist of two earbuds that connect to a “wireless Bluetooth hub” via thin wires.
The difference in this design is that the “controller” is designed to clip to your shirt or jacket. This means you get decent battery life: up to 10 hours depending on your use, and having the controls easily accessible. But you don’t have to wear it like a necklace. The design is rather ingenious. The “hub” is actually an extra piece of flexible rubber that is attached at one side and is held to the rest of the controller on the “open” side thanks to the magic of magnets. You simply open the flap, put it around your shirt collar and allow the magnets to hold it in please. It works well and means the controls are always easy to find and activate. It also means the microphone on the unit, built unobtrusively into the “hub”, is placed near your mouth for better clarity on the other end of the call.
The hub also serves as a storage device when you aren’t using the earbuds.
Simply wrap the earbud cables around the unit but beneath the magnetic clip and, once the clip is back in pace and held securely by the magnets, the cable is too!
Both sets of wireless earbuds come with a USB to microUSB charging cable and a variety of different earbud tips so you can get a comfortable fit and a decent seal. In addition, both products are IPX-2 sweat resistant so you can use them when working out without the worry that your sweat will damage the earbuds.
So what are the differences between the two products? Let’s look at each.
PLUGZ Wireless Earbuds
The $29.99 PLUGZ Wireless Earbuds are an inexpensive way to cut the cord and truly enjoy your music. They have 9mm driers and come with three sizes of eartips. The sound they deliver is not going to win any awards, but its certainly good enough when you want to listen to music while working out or simply taking the dog for a walk.
- 9mm drivers
- Wireless Bluetooth hub clips to shirt collar so music and call controls are within reach
- Magnetic clip on the wireless Bluetooth hub securely stores the earbuds when they’re not in use.
- Three sizes of ear tips
- The Earbud Tips for Life limited lifetime warranty to replace tips if they get worn or damaged
The PLUGZ Wireless Earbuds are an incredibly inexpensive way to get wireless Bluetooth audio from your iPhone 7 to your ears!
IMPULSE Wireless Earbuds
At $39.99 the IMPULSE Wireless Earbuds are $10 more than the PLUGZ and take the audio up a level. These earbuds have 11mm neodymium drivers (2mm larger than those in the PLUGZ) and feature Reflective Acoustics. Reflective Acoustics is “an advanced audio technology that formulates sound based on the fundamentals of human hearing.” Translation: they sound better than the PLUGZ. How much better? Well it is difficult to quantify but in my opinion, assuming you can afford it, the $10 upcharge is well worth the expense.
The IMPULSE Wireless Earbuds have the same basic design as the PLUGZ and are available in White and Rose Gold, White and Rose Gold, and Black and Silver.
The improved audio delivered by the IMPULSE Wireless Earbuds isn’t the only difference between these and the PLUGZ. While the PLUGZ have a single level silicone ear tip, the IMPULSE come with standard ear tips AND ear tips with a dual-flange design that offers a better seal inside your ear canal. While I suspect it may be a matter of individual preference, I prefer the comfort offered by this design.
- Reflective Acoustics advanced audio technology for “premium sound and rich, natural clarity”
- 11mm drivers but into acoustic-rich chambers that provide “maximum performance at any volume”
- Wireless hub clips to shirt collar so music and call controls are easily within reach.
- Magnetic clip securely stores the earbuds when not in use
- The Sweat-resistant design meets IPX-2 standards to keep the music going through any workout
- The Earbud Tips for Life limited lifetime warranty replaces ear tips if they get worn or damaged
- Includes two ear tip designs- standard and noise isolating
Neither pair of wireless earbuds are going to win audiophile awards. Then again, at $29.99 and $39.99 these earbuds aren’t targeted at audiophiles. Instead, they are meant for anyone who wants to enjoy full-featured wireless audio without breaking the bank. Based on that as the criteria, they’re a home run!
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the PLUGZ and IMPULSE wireless earbuds
What I Like: Decent sound without breaking the bank; Ingenious design protects cable when not in use and clips securely; Sweat resistant; Good battery life.
What Needs Improvement: Good sound but won’t blow you away; No protective bag included.