Manufacturer
Kitsound
Product Website
URL Screenshot of www.kitsound.co.uk
Price
£19.99
Pros
Light, bright, comfortable, inline mic/control button
Cons
Feel very plasticky, bass could be meatier
Summary
Would I buy them for someone younger and more trendy than me, perhaps as stocking filler gift to brighten up Xmas day for someone? You betcha.
Rating
7/10

The odd thing about these particular headphones is the marketing, in my opinion. The very bright colours, mine were what I can only describe as dayglo yellow, are not offset by any calmer touches; the same colour is applied to the wires, cups, buttons, jacks, headband, everything. It's a deliberate ploy to attract the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) fans, and the back of the box even states "EDM is taking over clubs and festivals all around the world, provoking the return of neon body paint, fluffy boots and glow sticks. In keeping with this trend, the KS iD headphones come in a range of bold colours." Yet, although I admit I am no expert in this particular field, EDM encompasses an entire spectrum of dance music from house through trance to hardcore. All of which has one thing in common, quite a lot of bass. Yep, the one thing I felt that these 'phones didn't handle too well is the one thing that the target market will want. I tried a lot of reggae tracks and dance remixes such as the Calvin Harris treatment of When You Were Young by The Killers and in every instance I wished there was a bass button that I could ramp up to 11, but had to do with a virtual one stuck at 5 instead.

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Bankrobber by The Clash was also lacking in bass oomph, not to the point of my being unable to enjoy this classic track but enough to make me think 'I could do with a little more bass in this' which is both distracting and disappointing as other Kitsound headphones I've listened with have performed better in this regard. Still, you get what you pay for and at a smidge less than twenty quid you don't need to be a bank robber to afford the iD 'phones. Other tracks that came up on shuffle fared better, especially those in my rock playlists. Avenged Sevenfold (Nightmare) and Dropkick Murphys (Caught In A Jar) both sounded crisp throughout the audio spectrum and the vocals were delivered with a clarity and focus that my ears truly appreciated. Indeed, vocals are very well reproduced across musical genre and tracks such as Morrissey (I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris) and Adele (Don't You Remember) fared equally well, with the iD headphones actually performing as well as sets costing more than twice as much as this.

My complaints about the bass aside, there's no doubting that these headphones are fun. I mean, bright yellow, come on! They are also supremely comfortable, and you quickly forget you are wearing them thanks to being very lightweight. They fold, well partly-fold would be more accurate, which makes stuffing them in a bag or large coat pocket doable. This also flags another problem though, they do feel more plasticky than some others which are in the same category of headphone. This may, or may not, be a showstopper for you. Personally, I think the overall look and feel wins out and there's even something of a retro charm about the fully plastic look of the things. If I am being uber-critical, then I prefer to have headphones which actually cover my ears entirely if I'm not wearing the in-ear ones. The iD set sort of sit over my ears, albeit in a super-soft and hugely comfortable way, but don't surround them which lets more exterior noise through than I would like. Especially in a noisy café environment or out on the street.

And talking of in-ear 'phones, these always seem to come with an inline volume control these days which is a good thing. My larger headphones do not, and I kind of miss it. So discovering that the iD set has an inline microphone and control button was cool. Unfortunately it didn't control volume (at least not on my iPhone 5s) which, I feel, was a trick missed. What it does do, however, is pause play with a single click and fire up Siri with a long hold of the button. Functionality will, I am guessing, vary according to what phone handset you are coupling it to.

OK, onto the specs:

Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Sensitivity: 105 dB
Drivers: 40 mm
Cable length: 1.2 m
Speaker magnet: NdFeb
Jack plug: 3.5 mm

So, to sum up, would I buy these for myself? Probably not, due to the ear size thing and the too-plastic look and feel. Would I buy them for someone younger and more trendy than me, perhaps as stocking filler gift to brighten up Xmas day for someone? You betcha.

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

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