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Talking about those Aiaiai Y-com Earphones | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

Talking about those Aiaiai Y-com Earphones

Aiaiai Y-com Earphones

Aiaiai Y-com Earphones

Aiaiai Y-com Earphones

Aiaiai Y-com Earphones

In early December I came across a post from Adrian Lai’s blog Mdmrare about some pretty cool earphones from Aiaiai. Between Adrian’s post and NOTCOT’s mention a blog reader can get a pretty quick lowdown on how cool those Aiaiai Y-com Earphones are. I’m pretty tough on my headphones. I’ve managed to wreck apple ear buds (x3), high end buds, and lost a couple pairs along the way. Up until yesterday I was stealing Tamara’s Sony MDR-EX71 as a last resort. They’re actually really good and for 30 bucks you can’t really go wrong with them. But she wanted them back so I thought I’d give those Aiaiai’s a try. Yesterday I took the L train to Brooklyn, got off on the Bedford stop and walked a block to Dijitalfix.

I’ve never been to Dijitalfix before (I think I can count with two hands the number of times I’ve been to Brooklyn) but if you’re just looking for something cool digital wise, that would be a first stop. It’s kind of an updated version of the MoMA store. I also knew I was getting the right earphones when they were on top of a Nooka display. After giving Y-com’s a quick try with my iPhone all I had to do was decide what colour I wanted. The guy that helping me seemed a bit surprised that I didn’t care whether they had a mic or not for the phone. Any time that I’ve needed to talk to someone with my ear buds in the past has been fine by just talking into the actual phone – so it wasn’t a deciding feature. I could have gone with black, but decided to keep up with my trend of buying orange. It’s the highlight colour for DesignNotes and it’s my fav. colour. At the time I didn’t think about it, but that colour also really pops outside in a world of gray and black too.

Now that I’ve been using those earphone for a full day I can’t recommend them enough for the sound quality (and they look really cool too) and their strength. I doubt I’m going to be able to break them, or loose them either. They’re big enough that if they fall out of my pocket I’m going to realize it. Just like my post about my Freitag bag, I think there’s a lot to be learned from Aiaiai’s design for both the earphones and the packaging. They come in a plastic tube, have a great wordmark (and great name), and contain additional buds for every type of ear canal. The only thing that isn’t great is their website which is all flash when it didn’t really need to be. The tube serves some practical functions aside from just protecting the earphone. They have the instructions printed on the side – you’re probably asking why do earphone need instructions? I wondered the same thing myself until I actually looked at them. I didn’t realize that you’re supposed to wrap them over the ear, not just under as I had done. I’m happy to have know that as they were popping out on the train back to Manhattan.

I listen to a lot of music (and podcasts) so sound is pretty important to me. Ironically when I was waiting for the L train to go back to the island there was a really great trumpet player on the Bedford platform. So as I was about to to use my bright orange earphone for the first time, I decided to wait and listen to him play. Sometimes there’s no substitute for the real thing.

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  • http://www.noahbrier.com Noah Brier

    I had a pair. They stopped working in three months and none of the email addresses on the Aiaiai website worked. Needless to say I was disappointed and have since moved on to a new brand of headphones.

    With that said, I'm with you that they look cool and sound nice.

  • http://sixfivesamurai.blogspot.com neil

    These do look great, and I have been thinking about getting them. The only thing I'm unsure about is the over-ear design..how does that feel?

  • http://sublimeguile.com Will

    Only a fingerful of times in Brooklyn? Embarrassing.

    But as to the importance of the microphone, it's by far the feature that I love and use the most on the iPhone — one click to pause, two clicks to skip to the next track, and three clicks to rewind. I like to use either the genius play list or shuffle when walking around and this lets me tailor the experience to the vagaries of my mood at the moment without hauling out the device. Especially handy on those cold, windy days. I only like podcast when I'm in the subway, oddly enough, otherwise I prefer to be with my own thoughts.

  • http://www.gradiate.co.uk James Greenfield

    I hate the earphones the iPhone comes with so had been using Senheissers until i saw these. Have the yellow ones and two weeks in am so happy. The noise cancelling, bass and fit are all great. Worth the money for sure.

  • http://tokyohanna.com Johanna

    Beautiful, the orange was a great choice.

    The Dijital Fix guys are really nice, they ordered some MDR-7506s for me a couple of years ago. Talk about magnificent sound, but they're as big as one of my boyfriend's Vermonter boots… these seem great for going to and from work (and everywhere in between).

    Glad that El Beit was one of those Brooklyn visits ^_^

  • http://designnotes.info/ michaelsurtees

    that sucks on both accounts, i'm surprised to read that. they seem pretty durable – if i can get at least four months use of them that would be on par for me.

  • http://designnotes.info/ michaelsurtees

    they don't feel weird at all, though today it was pretty cold out so the wires got stiff and didn't fit perfectly as they do indoors.

  • http://designnotes.info/ michaelsurtees

    are “Vermonter boots” a real term out there in the wild? and yes El Beit was a nice stop over that i would do again…

  • http://designnotes.info/ michaelsurtees

    hey will – i heard brooklyn is a scary place. you're telling me that's not true?

    you do make a really good point about the controls. i've been using other headphones for so long that i've forgotten how useful that was. but orange is still a cool colour so i have no regrets…

  • http://designnotes.info/ michaelsurtees

    agreed

  • http://tokyohanna.com Johanna

    I hope it's a real term! I made it up 🙂

  • http://www.noahbrier.com Noah Brier

    I'm happy to report that thanks to my comment Aiaiai contacted me and are sending me a new pair. Looks like my email bouncing was a freak occurrence.

  • http://designnotes.info/ michaelsurtees

    good to hear, i was a bit worried the same thing was going to happen to me…