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.