Bluetooth headphones aren’t a new accessory category created by Apple’s decision to remove the headphone jack from the iPhone 7.
What was created, however, was a market for inexpensive wireless headphones that don’t cost hundreds of dollars. Even Apple’s own offerings, both through its Beats brand and under the Apple name, are over $150.
While I still think the Apple AirPods are some of the best tech I’ve used in years (they truly do “just work”), I’ve been using the IFROGZ Impulse Wireless headphones off and of for a few weeks, and you know what? At $60, I don’t think you can find a better wireless experience.
- Drivers: 40mm
- Resistance 32hms
- Sensitivity: 120dB +/- 3dB
- Frequency: 20Hz – 20KHz
- Listening time: 12 hours
- Standby: 58 hours
- Charge time: 2.5 hours via microUSB
- Connectivity: Bluetooth and 3.5mm headphone jack
In the box, set up
In the box you’ll find the headphones, a microUSB charging cable, and a 3.5mm cable. Unfortunately, a small travel bag or carrying case isn’t included.
Before you use the headphones with a Bluetooth device, be it your Mac, iOS device, Android device, or PC, you will need go through the pairing process.
To put the Impulse Wireless headphones into pairing mode, you hold in the power button for roughly five seconds, and then connect to the headphones through the pairing menu on your phone, tablet or computer.
A moment later, you’ll hear a tone in the headphones and the pairing process is complete.
The Impulse Wireless headphones are available in black with red highlights, or white with tan highlights. The majority of the housing is made of plastic that doesn’t necessarily evoke thoughts of high quality, but it doesn’t feel extremely cheap made either.
A pair of “AreoFoam” pads rest against your ears, providing comfort during long listening periods. I found my ears would begin to hurt around the four-hour mark, but after a short break, I was able to continue listening. As someone who hasn’t worn on-ear headphones in awhile, the discomfort isn’t necessarily this particular pair of headphone’s fault.
The same type of foam is used to line the top band that rest against your head, again providing comfort.
IFROGZ claims the pads also work as a means for passive noise isolation. I found that claim to be true, but only for every day environmental sounds (example: typing on a keyboard, someone walking down the hall, etc). I wouldn’t expect the passive noise isolation to block out a screaming child or a chatty traveler in the row behind you during a flight.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to the feature as noise cancellation, when it should have been isolation. ZDNet regrets the error.
On the left side is where you’ll find a 3.5mm jack, for use when the battery is dead, and the power button. On top of the right side is a volume rocker, with a play/pause button found on the bottom next to the microUSB charging port.
Each side of the headphones fold into the middle of the footprint, decreasing their overall size and making it a breeze to throw in a backpack or purse when traveling.
One of the biggest drawbacks to any Bluetooth device is battery life. Apple’s AirPods, for example, can last five hours before they have to go back into the charging case. Samsung’s Gear IconX last under two hours.
IFROGZ touts the Impulse Wireless headphones as having a battery life of 12 hours.
I wasn’t unable to test these headphones for 12 hours straight, but I did keep track of various listening sessions, and I feel confident in saying the IFROGZ estimate is possible.
That’s what’s so appealing to me about Impulse Wireless. As someone who frequently travels for work, walking through airports, sitting on a plane, and waiting for an Uber all while listening to music, battery life is of the utmost importance.
When it comes to headphones under the $100 mark, you usually have to make concessions on battery life, sound quality, or both.
With the Impulse Wireless headphones, battery life isn’t one such concession. However, sound quality isn’t necessarily one either.
I would put the sound quality of Impulse Wireless just below that of Apple’s AirPods, yet above the included wired headphones Apple puts in each iPhone box.
Unless you’re an audiophile accustomed to hearing everything high, low, mid, and in-between, there’s little to complain about in regard to sound quality with the Impulse Wireless headphones.
After a few days of use, I told my wife when it comes time to buy our children wireless headphones, they are getting Impulse Wireless headphones. Not only does the battery keep going, but they are comfortable and sound quality is a non-issue for my kids.
Oh, and the $59 price tag makes it a bit easier to deal with the inevitable stolen or broken pair of headphones.
If you want wireless headphones without spending a fortune, the Impulse Wireless headphones should be near the top of your list.
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