A surprisingly premium listening experience from a cost-effective set of headphones.
Outside of my writing responsibilities for MacSources, I have a regular 8-5 job during the day. I work in marketing and public relations so I spend about 90% of my daily time behind my computer either composing emails to potential supporters or designing collateral materials for our organization. No matter the activity, I am almost always listneing to some form of music. I have a radio in the corner of my office, but with a busy hallway with lots of outside noises, I like to try and isolate myself so that I can concentrate. I’ve found the best way to do that without being completely oblivious to the world around me is to put in a set of in-ear headphones or earbuds. I typically detest this style of listening device because my ears are a bit smaller than it seems like the ‘average’ person. I do love the Apple AirPods’ shape, but have found a new love with the Fight earbuds from Wicked Audio. They are wired headphones which is a change for me, but what they lack in wireless connectivity, they make up for in sound quality.
The amazing little earbuds pack a serious punch. Wicked Audio has this descriptive text as a part of its product page:
The battle has begun, earbuds are fulling by the wayside. Blood runs hot, sweat burns the eyes. When any other sidekick would call it quits, this little guys holds tight in any fight.
I love that this company uses creativity when describing their products. In truth, the Fight earbuds are in-ear headphones with a flex-grip earhugger attached. The earhugger is designed to wrap around the back of your ear to secure the earbud while you are active in an activity. For me, sitting behind a computer isn’t exactly what I would call ‘active’, but the earbuds are certainly secure on my head and I appreciate that since so many earbuds tend to work their way out of my ear canal, which causes me to have a horrendous listening experience.
The Fight earbuds feature a 10mm driver, 102dB sensitivity, an impedance of 160 hms, and a listening frequency of 20-20,000 Hz. They are wired earbuds and have a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack attached to a 4ft tangle-free cable. The plug is gold plated for extra durability and a superior connection between the earbuds and your device. Wicked Audio includes 3 sets of cushions, or ear gels so that you can find your best fit. The earbuds have ‘enhanced bass’ that provides the listener with tremendous depth of sound. There are in-line controls that provide the user with hands-free operation of the earbuds (play/pause, voice assistant access, and track control). While they aren’t ‘noise-canceling’ headphones, the Fight earbuds do provide a certain amount of noise isolation. You can still hear ambient noises, but it’s dramatically reduced. Finally, because Fight earbuds are designed to be for active users, they are sweat resistant. There is, however, no IP rating included so it’s recommended that you do not swim or submerge the earbuds in water.
For me, the user experience started with the packaging. The earbuds come packaged in a delightfully colorful branded box with many details included. In my opinion, the style is similar to a comic book cover. It’s whimsical and eye-catching. Unfortunately, you can’t reuse the box very easily. In order to open it, you have to rip it apart. The earbuds are wrapped up and set inside a molded plastic inner package. The cushions are set inside this plastic as well. Wicked Audio includes a decent set of instructions with the headphones in the form of a folded up paper brochure. In truth, the only thing I used this for was to determine what the in-line controls did.
I fumbled around a bit when I placed the earbuds in my ears for the first time. I found it’s best to place the actual earpiece and then wrap the earhugger around the back of your ear. Once they were in my ear, I plugged the headphones into my iPhone (using a Lightning adapter) and turned on Pandora. I was blown away by the sound quality I experienced over the next few hours. The sound was just as good as if not better than my Apple AirPods. It’s possible that some of this could be due to the wired connection, but the fact is these earbuds are just built that well.
As far as sound testing goes, I like to listen to a variety of music, watch movies and TV shows, and do a frequency and balance check. Here are some observations I made when completing my testing.
Balance: I used L or R Check to test out the balance between the two earpieces. The app plays an even tone and you can select either the left or right earpiece to hear the tone through. I was able to hear the tone equally and evenly through both the left and right earbud.
Frequency: The app I use for this is called Tone Generator. It allows me to play a tone through both earpieces at the same time. The tone starts at 20Hz and goes up through 22 kHz — the basic hearing range for human ears. I do want to note that I personally can hear a range between 30 Hz and 17 kHz through the iPhone speaker without headphones. At 50% volume, I was able to hear 30Hz to 16-17kHz and at 100% volume, I was able to hear 20Hz to 19-20kHz.
Music: My main method of listening to music these days is streaming through Pandora. I started listening to tracks from my Mr. Blue Sky radio station. It plays a wide variety of tracks and one of the songs that came on was Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) by Looking Glass. I am a fan of this track and know it quite well. The sound was superb and I could hear the entire range of the song. The mix was spot on and I was completely shocked at how good it sounded through the Fight earbuds. After the track ended, I thought it would be an interesting experiment to pull up Netflix and hear the same music track, but integrated into a movie. So, I loaded Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (GOTG2), which opens with Brandy.
Movie: GOTG2 opens on a wide expanse of the countryside and zooms into a car driving down the road. The music track playing as the main audio is Brandy. There is no other sound aside from the music until the car roars into the scene. When it does and you finally see the people inside, the woman is singing along with Brandy on the radio. This provides a very cool comparison for this particular track of music. First, you have the high-quality sound of the music that has been mastered for the big screen. Then you have the radio and sound effects mixed in. There was incredible depth and sound design that I’ve never taken notice of that I now have because of these earbuds. The mix is perfect and nothing beats down any other part of the soundtrack. The surround sound even moved from ear to ear beautifully.
The only ‘issue’ I have with the Fight earbuds is the in-line controls. They lack some basic functionality that most other headphones include. The in-line controls are attached to a microphone. There is one multi-purpose button that controls play/pause, advance track, and voice assistant activation. There is no volume control. Aside from that, I really have no complaints about these miraculous earbuds.
The Fight earbuds from Wicked Audio are an excellent set of headphones for any type of user. I do wish the in-line controls were a little more functional, but they serve their purpose well and I’m willing to forgive that small problem since they provide such amazing sound. I didn’t have any issues with the earbuds sliding out of my ears. I did find it hard to just get up and walk away from my desk. Since I’m used to wireless headphones, I’m used to just getting up and walking away from my phone. I couldn’t do that while I was tethered by the wired connection of the earbuds. I would give these a 5-star rating and suggest them to anyone looking for a strong set of earbuds at an affordable price ($25).
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