Many high-end speakers features solid wood enclosures. The argument is that this particular natural material offers superior acoustics. It makes sense, then, that we'd eventually see a pair of earbuds made of wood. Enter the Woodees Inner Ear Stereo Earphones, a reasonably-priced set that offers some of the most natural-sounding bass we've ever heard through headphones.
The Woodees earphones are available in two models: a standard MP3 player version that sells for $59.99 and an iPhone/smartphone set with an inline mic and a price of $69.99. Both options feature fairly long (nearly 1-inch), cylindrical earpieces that are ensconced mainly in wood, though the speaker end is actually constructed of metal.
Descending from each earbud is a relatively thin, black Y cable that meets 14 inches down to form one thicker cable. (A slider here helps prevent tangles when the earphones are not in use.) The iPhone model offers a mic and call answer button midway down.
The Woodees' arrow-straight earpieces aren't the most ergonomic we've seen, meaning some users will certainly have fit issues. For our part, however, we were able to achieve a surprisingly secure fit with one of the four pairs of silicone eartips that are included in the package. You also get a soft velour pouch for storing and transporting the earphones.
One thing can be said for certain of the Woodees earphones: they sound noticeably different from any other earbuds we've tested. First of all, audio comes across as much more open-sounding than what is typical with in-ear 'phones. Also, lows sound exceptionally natural.
As for general sound quality, we found that some genres tended to shine more than others. Almost unsurprisingly, "older" music--i.e., classic rock, new wave, oldies, jazz--sounds great, with good high-end detail and warm mids. Mellow electronica and downtempo tunes are also well-represented by the Woodees. However, rap and pop have a certain harshness to them and just didn't stack up to the other genres.