Fashion-forward headphones are nothing new. In the past couple of years, we've seen quite the parade of chic earphones from the likes of V-moda, Radius, and even Monster Cable. Nixon, a company best known for its board-sport-inspired line of watches and other accessories, has decided to dip its toe in these waters, too, and it should come as no surprise that the company's Wire Mic earphones are among the most stylish we've seen. However, quality is not all about good looks, and we're not without some criticisms for these $90 'buds.
The main problem this reviewer has with the Wire earbuds is the fit. Although Nixon put some thought into the design of the earpieces, giving them longish angled arms to better fit the contours of the average ear canal, the earphones refused to stay put in our ears for long. This is most likely because the "arms" are fairly big around, so they interfere with our ability to fully insert them. (And while the package includes three sizes of silicone eartips--S, M, L--we generally don't find this to be sufficient for our fitting needs.) Now, fit is very personal, so there's no guarantee that you'll have the same issue, but we still wouldn't recommend the Wire Mic for active use. The mic module hanging off the left portion of the Y cable is relatively heavy, which--combined with the uneven-cable design--can tend to pull the earpiece out. There is a shirt clip attached to the wire, but it didn't stay put during our testing.
Those gripes aside, we're pretty keen on the style of the Wire Mic earphones. First, you can choose from a variety of colors: all black, black, white, and lime. Each model boasts a cloth-covered wire, which is not only more durable but is also less tangle-prone than one that is covered in plastic or rubber. Also, with the exception of the all-black model (which has black hardware), the headphones are decked out in fashionable silver accents. The outside of the earpieces and the mic module are all cool-looking metallic discs. We also appreciate that Nixon included a hard-sided, zippered carrying case for protecting the earphones when not in use.
As for sound quality, we have some mixed feelings about the Nixon Wire Mic earphones. One thing is for sure: you need to get a proper fit to hear the bass. Initially, we though the 'buds were lacking in this area, but holding them into our ears, we experienced a nice, deep low-end response. In fact, the bass response is among the best we've heard in this price range. Also, the high-end detail and clarity is impressive for the most part. However, music sounds rather cold in general, and can come across flat-out harsh for certain tracks. In the final analysis, we've heard better from some other models in the $100 space, but if you're looking for the highest in style (and can get a good fit), the Nixon Wire Mic earphones are certainly worth consideration.