The thing about Bluetooth headsets is this: they usually cost a pretty penny. Were not talking about the standard one-ear solutions here. Were talking about the headsets that go over both ears for a true stereo listening experience for music and chat.
Enter Outdoor Technology (“OT”)(the “Company”); the Company has some serious spunk. Yet, at the same time anyone visiting the company’s website can tell that these guys are not messing around – especially if said viewer is familiar with the Extreme Sports genre (think: Parcour, BASE jumping, BMX) or just general exercise . The company is targeting a specific group of tech users: the people who like to play rough. Since technology has a way of breaking when manhandled, the company has put an extreme amount of effort into ensuring that its products will survive its user’s day through night insanity – without breaking the bank, which is extremely important given the fact that a good snowboard costs a pretty penny.
Furthermore, the company also acknowledged the fact that wires get tangled and often caught on edges, so Bluetooth truly is the practical solution here.
Design, Look, and Feel
The OT “DJ Slims” are designed with an almost unibody design. The unit looks like one well cut piece of plastic. Yes, it uses plastic construction, which feels rubbery to the touch, and is actually quite strong. Something users will not notice unless they give it a squeeze. Surprisingly, the headphones weigh next to nothing. The foam padding over the drivers don’t feel that nice to- the-touch, with a sort of coarseness to it. Yet once on the ears it actually feels really good. The headphones don’t fold up for on-the-go storage, however most users will find the headphones quite comfortable to wear around their neck while on the go. On the right side of the unit is a full control module for changing tracks, volume, and play/pause as well as answer/end calls. The headphones have a single blue / red LED embedded in the power button. The LED blinks blue when the headphones are in use and red when the battery is nearly empty.
Android or iPhone? Turns out it plays well with both.
Here we go. These things rocked. I mean for a pair of Bluetooth wireless headphones, these things are seriously impressive, sporting some really kicking bass (thanks to 30mm drivers), and crystal clear sound (granted these are not noise-isolating) but still, impress they did.
Did I mention they also work as an actual headset for making and receiving calls? Well that feature worked decently in quieter settings but once I hit the streets, getting the person on the other end of the call to understand what I was saying was an absolute nightmare. Getting the headphones to pair with my smartphone proved fairly easy, as they paired on the first attempt. However this may be more due to the fact that I am a veteran Bluetooth user. So for those who have never used a Bluetooth headset, just to be safe, I would strongly recommend glancing through the user manual before you use them.
Rock, Rap, Dubstep, Trance – all came across quite beautifully on these. Not quite as nice as they did on the House of Marley Redemption Song on-ear headphones – but those cost $200, aside from the fact that they are wired.
Running with these on was also quite enjoyable. For starters they have a sort of tight fit, but thankfully they can be adjusted to fit large heads. The good thing about this fit is that I did not have to worry about them falling off of my head as I ran, they stayed in place. It gets better! The sound suffered no noticeable distortion as I moved. This is truly surprising. I think this has a lot to do with the excellent fit. Bluetooth products have an advertised range of 33 feet; I found that these headphones worked well up to distances of 25 feet. After that sound became choppy. Generally speaking, most users won’t find themselves more then a few feet from the source device, so this should not be an issue,
Well OT says 8-9 hours or roughly a full day. And that’s for nonstop use of music or talk time. In testing, I squeezed a solid 9 hours out of these – with at least 8 ½ hours dedicated to music. My testing worked like this: Sunday morning – 6am, I am out the door. I get to the Central Bus Station at 6:20 am and by 6:30am I begin my 3 ½ hour bus ride to base. I arrive at 10 am. So that is 4 hours right there. Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday night I go for a 15 minute sprint/run during my free time – because I am not in a position to use these during the day, I must wait until my free time at night. Friday morning I get on my bus to go back home at 5:30 am and arrive in my city at 9:30am. Total use time: 9 hours, and I do not charge them during the week. Now I have found I can run these for an additional 30 – 45 minutes on top of their advertised battery life.
What could have made this better?
The use of a standard micro USB port to charge the headphones. The USB pin charger is nice and dandy, but if you lose that wire? Good luck charging those headphones till you can find a replacement.
$69.95 is the going price for the DJ Slims on the Outdoor Tech website. So, if you want a pair of on-ear headphones that will impress your friends, stay on your head while you run, and cut down on your worry about the number of wires slowing you down? Yeah, these are the perfect headphones to get in that case. Color options include Black, White, and Blue.
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About Benny Sabghir: Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I enjoy all aspects of consumer electronics - especially writing about it. I also enjoy hitting the gym, running and discussing the history of my three favorite wars - The American Revolution, The Six-Day War, and the Star Wars Trilogy. Currently in Jerusalem, Israel. Find me on Google+ View author profile.