I recently reviewed a pair of sport earbuds from Audio-Technica that were acceptable but nothing to rave about. But raving is all I've been doing since the company sent me a pair of white SonicFuel over-ear headphones. Amazon link to buy them here.
If you have kids, and if you're reading this blog you probably do, then you've had to slap a pair of headphones on them when flying or in the car at some point. Call it bad parenting but I made it on a 3.5 hour flight sans wife with the two kids, two iPads and two pair of headphones while quietly enjoying my own book and a bloody mary while they blissed out to Teen Titans Go.
I've been using hand-me-down headphones for both of them up until now. One of them is a pair of Amazon-bought Audio-Technica noise-canceling headphones that I only handed down after getting a set of Bowers & Wilkins P5s for Christmas a few years back.
But the other pair of hand-me-down Sennheisers had worn out so badly that the black "leather" foam ears was rubbing off on the kids. After that flight I was wiping black marks from Carters noggin' before his mom picked us up.
I have never been fond of headphones made specifically for children because when I test them out in the store I can tell the sound quality is sub-par. And if I'm subjecting my children to audio purgatory it should at least not hamper their hearing.
That's why these Audio-Technica SonicFuels are so great.
The sound quality really is amazing for this price. Next to my P5s they hold up pretty well at a sixth of the price. Are they as rich and dynamic? No, but they deliver nice sound separation and when watching shows on the iPad or listening to trippy music the spatial effects are impressive.
I've been testing them out at work and a few coworkers asked about them mainly because they're bright white and stand out. I told them a little about them and they listened to a few tunes and were mightily impressed. One thought they probably cost $100 or so. The $40 price tag shocked him. One other co-worker has been rocking those same noise-canceling cans I had bought years ago on my recommendation and still loves his saying they far outperform the Bose he had previously and he thought the SonicFuels sounded nearly as good.
So, I'd rocked out with them for a few days and thought the comfort over hours of listening was quite good. The cushions are soft and the tension not too tight. They are truly lightweight though which makes them feel a little flimsy but also makes them terrific for kids.
I was surprised at how well they fit Carter with few adjustments and if they're durable they could really grow with him as he gets to pre-teen years.
The look is also pretty stellar. These are some spiffy cans for $40 and I dig the all-white look with red covers over the speakers that my test unit was sporting. They also come in all-black, red and black, blue and black and a very cool grey-green combo.
If I were putting together a holiday gift guide (hint-hint) then these would be at the top of my list for younger kids, teens and even dads who need a second pair of headphones for work or occasional iPad time.
The product reviewed here was provided by the manufacturer.