What with the abundance of in-your-face Skullcandy headphones, it's easy to assume that the company has the corner on the market for over-the-top earphones. However, there are competitors out there with an eye on young, extreme, sports-loving types, and Aerial7 is among them. The company's $80 Tank headphones' splashy design and chunky, plastic construction are a testament to this. Though the headphones offer a couple of compelling features, we're not keen on the uncomfortable fit and muffled sound. Still, the target audience may be willing to overlook these gripes.
The Aerial7 Tank headphones and their array of color options are sure to turn a few heads. The seven choices range from the relatively mild all-black Midnight version to the undeniably loud Graffiti to the somewhat cutesy Hello Kitty. In fact, this last model is surprisingly subdued for Hello Kitty tech, with a black, red, and white color scheme and tiny HK heads smattered all over the earcup padding. We can see it appealing to certain young, female DJs.
Beyond the style, the Tank headphones aren't terribly impressive in design. On the one hand, the earcups are dynamic; you can fold them flat, flip them in, and twist them all the way around. Also, the thick plastic construction does seem pretty durable. Still, the fact that they are all plastic--and rather stiff--makes the headphones feel cheap. Also, there's barely any padding on the headband and the leatherette earcups are far from cushy. As a result, the earphones aren't very comfortable.
In addition to the headphones, Aerial7 includes a few extras in the package. Of least note is the splashy travel pouch, which offers very little in the way of protection, but is quite striking. There are also two detachable cables, which you connect to a short cord that descends from the left earcup. The first is for portable use and features an integrated mic, call-answer button, and shirt clip. This cable terminates in a 3.5mm gold-plated straight plug. There's also a coiled cord for at-home and DJ use. It has screw-on connections and terminates in a gold-plated quarter-inch plug.
Unless a flashy style is your main objective as a DJ, the Aerial7 Tank Headphones aren't really going to cut it. Audio quality is not up to snuff, with the main issue being the loose and loopy low-end flailing around the sound space. The result is music that sounds as if it's coming from underwater, with highs that mesh together and mids that fall flat. That said, listening is not intolerable, since there is no background hiss or obvious distortion. And one plus is that audio sounds pretty open for headphones. Still, the muffled quality extends to all music, so no genre sounds good. These are not a good choice for people with a keen ear.