I’ve carried around a lot of different types of earbuds over the years but I’ve never had a pair that I’d consider innovative, but Zipbuds might be the most convenient earbuds. I’ve never really cared about the technology inside of them, I just wanted them for when I needed music immediately in my ears. Fortunately, there’s a company out there making products that are for people who just want earbuds without any hassle – and their newest pair may be the coolest set I’ve ever owned.
If you’ve never heard of Zipbuds, they’re a company that makes in-ear headphones with a very clever little gimmick: They’ve built the cords to connect to each other and literally “zip” up, just like a zipper. Most earbuds you get are actually stuck together and you pull them apart to give you more slack. You can then adjust this typically with some sort of slider that keeps the cords close, but doesn’t reunite them. This keeps you from getting your earbuds wrapped around each other in your pocket or accidentally tying a knot in them if you’re digging for them in your purse or bag. Their newest product features an innovative zipperless zipping technique called Slide.
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The way Slide works is that these earbuds cords actually have little a little groove on one side, while the other side has a small rail that is guided into this groove in order to keep them “zipped”, and this is accomplished simply by pushing the little logo block up and down. It’s simple and effective. While I personally wish they had just a slight bit more slack as they’re still closer to my chin than I’d like fully opened up, but they work really well – though I worry that the rubber may become more flexible over time and that rail may pop out of line, but so far so good after about two months of heavy carrying and use.
I was pretty impressed with how much easier fishing these out of my pocket became thanks to the zipper tech. The earbud cable zips up to the base of the bud, which makes them sit tightly together and nestled in your pocket. I’ve carried them with me for almost two months now almost daily, and they still look (and function) just as well as they did the day I got them. I’ve even carried them in my back pocket and sat on them for hours at a time, often forgetting that I even had them with me, and for a product so seemingly flimsy, holding up under my 300lb frame is quite impressive.
While the biggest appeal to the Zipbuds is their namesake, the earbuds themselves are pretty solid as well. They aren’t the deepest sounding buds I’ve used, and they certainly don’t do anything to complement 3D sound or binaural recordings like popular sleep aid ASMR videos, but they do handle anything you throw at them flawlessly. It’s true that they aren’t for audiophiles, but they were crystal clear no matter what I threw at them. I put them through the gauntlet as well – playing samplings of various genres of EDM, Hard Rock, Trap Bass, HipHop, and even orchestral elements. I never once heard distortion, no matter what type of music I played or at what volume. Phone calls also worked quite well, as the in-line microphone sounded good with no complaints from those I spoke with.
If I had to make one complaint about the Zipbuds Slide, it’s that I’m not a big fan of their angled in-ear approach. While I appreciate them not being the standard “push in” type, instead opting for a unique design which requires putting the right side in the right ear for optimal use, they take a little bit of wearing time to get used to. Still, for my ears they’re far more comfortable than the garbage Earpods my iPhone 6+ came with.
While the Zipbuds Slide are a little costly for earbuds, the clarity of music at any volume makes them easy to recommend, while the convenience of staying tangle free only further increases my recommendation. Even though I slightly complained about the fit being uncomfortable at first, they stayed in my ears no matter what I did while wearing them, making it easy to recommend these for use at the gym as well.