December 20, 2014

Quarkie headphones review

quarkie_720

Don’t laugh when we tell you this but some of the best-sounding headphones we’ve played with these last few weeks have giant viper snakes that stick out of your ear.  No, seriously.  Their called Quarkie, they look quirky, but they sound terrific.  We tested two models: Viper Head and Gemstone.

Features:

  • British studio-monitor sound quality
  • Unique custom-made, high quality eartips, in four sizes: XS, S, M, L, give perfect ear canal seal for top performance and enjoyment
  • Excellent external noise isolation
  • 13.5mm hi-tech driver with exclusive aluminum voice coil and neodymium magnet
  • High sensitivity, low distortion and amazing bass performance

If you were standing nearby when we pulled these out of the box then you would have definitely heard us laugh and sigh, “Oh boy.”  Why?  Because the earbuds are freaking snakes that stick out of your ear a good 1-1/2 inch.  At first we though these would be snap-on parts that we could pop off for those times we wanted to go out in the public.  Alas, the snake stays with your every move.

To be fair, this is but one model offered by Quarkie and does say anything about the build quality.  The fact is these are designed very well and there is an incredible amount of detail in the look.  Get up close to the Viper Head and you see all the scales; the tongue and eye are great touches.

We found the Quarkie headphones to sound incredible, isolating sound and delivering a very rich musical experience.  I’ll often give accessories like these a go when mowing the grass just to see how much it blocks out ambient or background noise.  Suffice it to say, these were impressive in electronic music, spoken audio, and everything else we heard.  It’s just… well, we looked like an idiot in our yard, walking back and forth with snakes that stuck out of our head nearly two inches.

Insert Frankenstein joke here

As we indicated above there are other designs to choose from, including Gemstone, Snake Eye, Rusty Bolt, and Chameleon Eye. Each one is completely unique with vibrant colors, solid materials, and attention to detail.  It’s hard to talk about these in a way that does not sound discouraging, but we’d be lying if we said you don’t feel downright silly wearing them. We showed them to a few middle-school kids who simply loved them.  The problem is, it’s hard to justify dropping about $100 on headphones that only a child would wear in public.

What we Liked:

  • Great attention to detail in design
  • Sounds better than most earbuds we’ve tried
  • Tangle-free cord
  • Multiple design options to suit your tastes

Room for Improvement:

  • We’d love to be able to pop off the ends for a more professional look
  • Price is too high to justify for most users
  • Two-inch snakes sticking out of each ear

Where to Buy

Amazon offers the full selection of Quarkie earbuds for around $99 each, a savings of around $10 from buying direct.