New headphones bring fresh beat to music

John Schimdt

Headphones are almost necessary for campus life; there is nothing like having some music playing when you’re trekking across the tundra to get to chemistry lab on time. Luckily, the new addition to the bookstore, Hobo Tech, has new headphones to help us all stay sane.

As the dust settled on the new bookstore renovation, Hobo Tech appeared. It is an Apple certified expansion that sells Macbooks, iPads, iPods, various kinds of software, and last but not least, mid-to-high range quality headphones.

Staring at the west wall of the new bookstore, I’m greeted with various kinds of treats an audiophile would love. Skullcandy, Beats by Dre and a brand I had actually never heard about before, UrbanEars, hang off this wall.

The rather new Swedish UrbanEars headphones stuck out more than the other brands because of the color and simplicity of the boxes they rest in.

“Their name is only on a small tag,” said Royce McDaniel, the Hobo Tech sales manager. The tag is located on the very edge of the headband on the right side. He showed me around the sales floor of the new shop and held up a pair of UrbanEars.

McDaniel chose UrbanEars because it doesn’t have the name plastered all over its products. Each set of headphones is only one color; there are no graphics, quotes or UrbanEars labels, just color. The minimalistic look of the UrbanEars allows for a broad personal statement.

“It gives them their own identity,” said McDaniel. Showing off a pair of Plattan headphones with a Hobo Tech sticker on the earpieces. Being plain allows students to sport them with nothing, or do what they want to them.

There are 3 different kinds of UrbanEars headphones hanging on the wall:  Medis, Plattan and Bagis. They are all different styles of headphones and have rather low prices. Each headphones sport a cloth cable, so getting tangles on your headphones is not a problem if you go UrbanEars. They also have a microphone on each cord for cell phone use. According to McDaniel, UrbanEars considers putting that on their products “common courtesy.”

The first is Medis, which fit over your ear. The earbuds I own, as of now, go into my ear like earplugs and cancels all the noise around me. That can be rather annoying sometimes. On the other hand, regular earbuds just kind of sit on your ear and can fall out at any given time.  The Medis changes this game by having a piece of silicon that forms to your ear, keeping the earpiece intact and unable to fall out.  This is a nice characteristic for these headphones because the earpieces won’t fall off when you turn your head too quickly or move suddenly. This allows you to actually move about and still hear your surroundings. These are ideal for working out in the Wellness Center, running around campus or simply listening to music while studying. These headphones will cost you $44.99.

The second style is Plattan, which have standard over-the-ear headphones.  These have a ball joint at the earpieces, allowing the listener to move them to their comfort. What is really cool about the Plattan is a second headphone jack on the right earpiece. Allowing someone to hook his or her headphones up to the Plattan and listen to the same thing. “It’s a built-in Y-Splitter,” said McDaniel. Simply plug in the other set of headphones and you’re set. Not only is the design of these headphones simple and chic, the advances made are also simple yet effective. The Plattan range from $54.99-$59.99. The difference comes between the Plattan and the Plattan Plus. The Plus version includes volume control on the cord. Not a bad price for what you get.

The third is Bagis, this includes your standard earbuds with adjustable sleeves. They fit in your ear like a plug. These are the cheapest headphones UrbanEars has to offer with a price tag of only $24.99.

The simplicity and uniqueness of these headphones is what really stuck out to me.  The ability to simply have one color for your headphones really lets the listeners be themselves. No matter the preference in styles, Hobo Tech offers a variety for all students. I suggest forgoing the cheap Walmart headphones, which will break in a week and invest in a quality pair of headphones.