GADGETSLAB: Blaupunkt Style

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SPECIFICATIONS:
Drivers: 40mm
Jack: 3.5mm stereo with adapter
Impedance: 320hm
Range: 20-22,000Hz
Cable: 2 x 1 .4m cables, one with
remote button.
weight: -230g
WHAT’S HOT:
•It sounds like Blaupunkt should
·Great isolation and comfort
• Lots of accessories
WHAT’S NOT:
• A little heavier than expected
BOTTOM LINE:
If you have always wanted to try the Blue Dot, but haven’t had a compelling reason to do so because of their utilitarian designs,
congratulations. You’ve just found your device.

Some things never, ever go out of style: blue jeans, dark suits, the little black dress, and music. Lots of trends have come and gone, but those have, thankfully remained constant. Blaupunkt, one of the world’s finest manufacturers of audio equipment has placed their efforts towards making listening fashionable, through the Blaupunkt Style headphones, a very handsome pair of what look to be large on-ear cans. With smooth lines and a sleek white finish, they are eye-catching, and do deserve the”style” moniker attached to them.

The cans come in a rather large box that makes opening it feel like your birthday. I like how they went out of their way to give the product a premium feel, even down to the packaging. Inside are the headphones themselves, nestled quite snugly in a foam cutout. Once the cans are freed from the foam, the cutout can be lifted, revealing another bed with a whole lot of accessories. The headphones themselves are finished in a soft rubbery skin that feels like a million bucks. Blaupunkt did a great job giving it this finish, as there’s just a certain richness that soft, smooth, matte finish brings. The headphones a little on the small size. They don’t completely cover your whole ear, technically placing them in “on-ear” territory, but they are certainly some of the largest on-ears I have ever had the pleasure to try out. While not exactly heavy, the Style headphones have quite a bit of heft to them, particularly given their size.

They fit snugly on my head, with the soft, cushy ear cups working in tandem with the tension created by the headband and its own pad, handily located at the top of the band. As I mentioned earlier, they don’t fully enclose your ear, which is great, since it allows for a rather comfortable fit, particularly during warm days. If you’re concerned about isolation given the lack of a perfect seal around your ear, don’t worry; the isolation of the earcups is great, and even on their own manage to cut out a very significant amount of outside noise. The weight of the style headphones, while adding to the premium feel ofthe device, is a little noticeable, particularly since the pair sticks out a little from the edges of your noggin as you wear them. Leaning back creates a little problem, as the headphones tend to slip a bit whenever I take a break and stare at the ceiling instead of the blank page of my word processor. They fit pretty well regardless, and only start to pinch long after a reasonable time on your head.

Sound quality is amazing, and I expected no less from Blaupunkt. The sound is very balanced, and while it is a little more bass-y than their other offerings, but very pleasantly so. Unlike a lot of headphones that offer style but no substance, the Style headphones’ bass notes don’t overpower the rest of the tones, though it does muddy up the mids ever so slightly. It seems these would be perfect for rich, bass-heavy tracks, but can still do much more than most with a quick trip to your device’s equalizer. the headphones readily accept the tweaks and very nicely translate it to your actual listening experience. Try bumping the highs and mids a little more than you normally would, and these things really shine. There isn’t any worry of breaking the band at any point during the lifetime of the device. The top, plastic part of it is nice and flex-y, while the hinges upon which the cups slide for size and fold are thick, robust and made of metal. Once you’re done listening, the headphones fold up neatly for easy storage and transport.

I mentioned accessories early on, and how many of them there are in the box. With your Style headphones, you’ll also be taking home a carrying pouch that can carry the headphones in the folded configuration. It comes with a standard 3.Smm cable, and another one with a play/pause button, for use with a mobile phone or similar device. There is also an adapter for the larger stereo jack, as found on professional equipment, and an airplane music jack adapter, for the jetsetters among us.

The kit also comes with extra ear cups in orange and pink, if the default white ones are a little too plain for your liking. These swap out with a quick twist. While i was at first hesitant to apply the necessary force to remove them (you will be too, I guarantee), I slowly came to understand just how solidly-built these things are, and swapped them out regularly, depending on what I felt like at the start of the day. I do think though, that the plain blue and white of the cans right out of the box look great, and will probably keep it that way for the rest of the time they are with me.

A very small complaint I have with the Style headphones, though, is that they are a little small, or rather, that my head is a little too large for them. They are not uncomfortable, not in the least. They just look a little tiny when they sit on my dome. This is, obviously a style thing, and won’t be a problem for everyone, but make sure you get to give yourself a quick look in the mirror before cashing out for a pair, just to make sure you like what you see. This is, again, not going to be a problem for all. Just those of us with big heads. An extra bonus of which I am a huge fan is the jack on the right cup that allows a friend to plug their own headphones so you can share your music with no problem.

I am very pleased with the Style headphones, and I expected no less. Blaupunkt has never, not once disappointed me. Even as they said they would enter the space of lifestyle products and fashion-oriented devices, I knew if any compromises were to be made, it would not be in sound quality. I am very happy to say that I was absolutely right. This pair, while stylish and marketed as such, sings Blaupunkt from the lowest bass note to the very top.

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First published in Gadgets Magazine, July 2013

Words by Ren Alcantara