Gadget Review: Wicked Audio's 3D Series Headphones

Eye-catching headgear with decent sound at a reasonable price

By , Columnist

Wicked Audio

If you are looking for a personal on-the-bus listening experience that gives you street cred without you having to pay top brand prices, consider Wicked Audio's 3D series headphones. The Gadget Inspector had the opportunity to try out a pair recently and for modestly priced cans, they're not bad.

These days, of course, you can find pretty much anything with the word 3D on it from products that clearly don't warrant it (deodorant) to things that do (Blu-ray 3D movies). Wicked Audio's headphones definitely fall into the former category but you can't blame the company for trying to jump on the bandwagon.

What the 3D Series does have is the bold, bulky look that you wouldn't be seen dead wearing in the days of Sony Walkman cassette players but that has a cool credibility now. This is particularly true of the "Hero" model that I got to test. Its bright blue and yellow coloring won't easily be missed on the street and the raised graphics (that's the 3D bit) add aesthetic interest. Aside from the decorations, though, there is nothing particularly striking about the design. It includes a solid headband, conventionally-sized swiveling padded cups and a handy in-line volume control.

The fit of the 3D series is as comfortable as you should expect with headphones at this price point (around $30). That means it’s neither luxurious nor distracting. The adjustable headband has a nice amount of springiness that ensures the cups fit snugly enough to muffle a lot of external noise without cutting off the circulation to your earlobes. In addition, the build quality of the headband is good and it adjusts easily. Unless you're Postman Pat, it should fit your head without a struggle.

wicked3d.jpgAs important as comfort, of course, is the sound quality. I tested these headphones by blasting Stereophonics, Anne Murray (it’s a requirement for Canadian citizenship), Luke Doucet and talk radio into my cranium. What I heard compared well with other models at a similar price.

Thanks to the relatively high bass level, there was a solidity and earthiness to the audio that is lacking in many cheap headphones. This helped to prevent the distortion that low price products often produce with shrill sounds or passages of music where lots of instruments are playing at the same time.

The downside of this was that the quieter components of some passages sounded muffled. Personally, though, I find this preferable to a screeching mish-mash of noise where nothing is distinguishable. If you listen to a lot of bass-heavy music, the muffling is not likely to be a big issue. If you’re a fan of spoken word recordings or folk, however, the bass might be too much (then again, you probably won’t be wearing this style of headphone anyway).

With headphones, as with other audio products, you get what you pay for to some extent. If you're someone who likes the bass to bounce your brain around  your skull, the 3D Series probably won't cut it. This Wicked product is likely to be wicked enough for the average popular music fan, though.

Wicked Audio's 3D Series  is available in North America from FYE, Fry’s Electronics, Airport Wireless, and select international retailers.

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Michael Simpson is a freelance writer, editor, presenter, researcher, instructor, gadget freak and sci-tech consultant based in British Columbia’s beautiful Okanagan Valley. Formerly from the UK, he’s converted from tea to coffee and written and presented on film, TV, science, nature, technology,…

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