Zipbuds Fresh review:

Headphones you can zip up

View full gallery
The zipper cord is sturdy but makes noise when it rubs against your clothing. Zipbuds

While the cord seems sturdy and the design has its pluses, it also has some noticeable drawbacks. For starters, it's a bit heavy, which means you probably won't want to use these earphones for running outside (they might be suitable for gym use, however).

The other problem is that since these are noise-isolating earphones that passively block out ambient noise, you will hear the cord rubbing against your clothing, with the zipper design magnifying that noise (you can hear a traditional thin cord with a cloth or rubber casing brushing up against your clothing, but the noise is muffled compared with the noise this cord produces).

Finally, when you roll these earphones up for storage, the ring they make is not so compact; they're just bulkier than other earphones. That said, they don't tangle and are very easy to unravel.

The Zipbuds Fresh have their pros and cons. They sound decent and they truly are tangle-free. But the zipper design creates other issues, including excess noise from the cord rubbing against your clothing. Some people won't mind this as much as others, and they're fine for stationary use.

From a comparison standpoint, there are certainly other earphones in this price class -- and some much cheaper models, including Panasonic's $17 RP-HJE355 -- that sound as good or better (see our list of headphones for under $50 for more options). So I'd say the only reason to buy these is if you can't resist the novelty of the zipper cord design, or if having a tangle-free earphone cord is a big priority.

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

This week on CNET News


Discuss: Zipbuds Fresh (Pink)

Conversation powered by Livefyre