Sunday, August 25, 2013

Blaupunkt Style On-Ear Headphone Review

A few months ago, we got a glimpse of Blaupunkt’s line of personal audio devices. Now we finally have an opportunity to dig in one of those devices we featured and see how the Blaupunkt Style on-ear headphone performs.
The product design looks well-polished from the get go with the packaging. You’ve got a very sturdy box and the items are kept in place with rubberized foam cutouts. When I opened the box, I can’t help but notice the smell of new slippers which was a little odd. Inside the box we get a slew of accessories for the headphone apart from the headphone unit itself.
Blaupunkt-Style-02 Blaupunkt-Style-03
Items include:
  • 2 sets of alternate ear pad
  • 1 1 meter gold tipped 3.5mm audio cable
  • 1 1 meter gold tipped 3.5mm audio cable with integrated headset unit
  • 1 draw-string soft case pouch
  • 1 transport bag
  • 1 airplane adapter
  • 1 3.5mm to 6.35mm step-up adapter
  • 1 cleaning cloth


The colors for the alternate ear pads are reminiscent of a donut shop…hmm. The neon colors really stand out, but looks like the colors will match up better with the white version of the Blaupunkt Style. The L and R labels are found inside the ear pad so that can be tricky. With the different colored pads, you might want to assign one color for the left and another color for the right.
Blaupunkt-Style-04 Blaupunkt-Style-05
The pads are lined with very soft leatherette. Replacing the ear pad is a bit tricky. At first I felt some hesitation because I was afraid that I might tear the soft leatherette as I was turning the ear pads to remove it, but it held up well. I also noticed that the left and right unlatch the ear pads through different directions so that’s something to look out for.
Blaupunkt-Style-06 Blaupunkt-Style-07
The entire headphone is also coated with a rubberized finish which feels really nice to the touch. I just hope that it will resist scratches and retain the finish over a long period of time.
The headband is a bit original in design as I haven’t seen one like it. It’s made of thick plastic rubber (I think) and it makes the headband really flexible and sturdy. Blaupunkt also added a rubber stopper at the bottom of the headband to add more grip to the top of our head and also to provide a little cushion.
Blaupunkt-Style-09 Blaupunkt-Style-10
The headband adjusts by pulling the earpieces downward. Doing this will reveal metal parts that hold the headphone together. It looked like it is made of aluminum alloy. The headband also folds inward so that we can easily store it inside the pouches that come with the Blaupunkt Style.
Despite the flexibility of the headband and the softness of the ear pad, I found it painful to wear the Blaupunkt Style over long periods of time, because the headphones were pushing too hard against my ear. Maybe I have a big head? Haha. This “strong” clamping force might be great for folks that move a lot while listening to music.
The cable with the integrated controller works as it should on the iPhone but what I noticed is that the controller looks to be made of cheap plastic. The jacks will also fit an iPhone with a casing, although the allowance it provides might not be enough if you have a really thick casing. The other audio jack is just a straight up 3.5mm stereo cable so it’s nice to have if the cable with the controller doesn’t work on you device.
Blaupunkt-Style-12 Blaupunkt-Style-13
The audio jacks connect to the bottom of the ear pieces. It doesn’t matter which audio jack port we connect them on the headphones. Curiously, one port has a blue ring and another has a black ring. Not sure what the color coding is for but we can certainly use this as another way to differentiate the left and right side.
A nice design feature allows us to daisy-chain another headphone or earphone on to the Blaupunkt Style. You can easily use this if you’re watching or listening something together with a friend…or a special friend? We could probably daisy-chain more headphones as long as possible but I wasn’t able to try that out.

Sound Quality

So enough with the looks, let’s move on to the really important part – the sound quality. The first time I used this, I was listening to Dave Matthews Band and I was blown away. The song I was listening to had a lot of percussions and a guitar and the Blaupunkt Style was able to deliver crisp sounds to all those little details from all the instruments. Vocals were also emphasized by the headphones giving it a live vibe to the music. Overall the trebles and midrange were so crisp that the bass didn’t come out as punchy.
Consequently, music genres that are bass heavy don’t seem to match the Blaupunkt Style really well. Not that the Blaupunkt Style can’t handle the bass, but for me it just sounds different in a bad way for certain music genres. On the flip side, I really enjoy watching dialogue heavy shows with this because the boost in vocals makes it easier to hear the actors’ voices.
It is also amazing how much louder these headphones are compared to other headphones that I used. If we were to compare it to the Superlux HD 681 EVO, I’d say that the Blaupunkt Style is 30% louder when I tested it at the same volume level on my audio device.
Speaking of comparisons, the Blaupunkt Style feels a little bit sturdier than the Superlux HD 681 EVO. This is probably brought about by the rubberized finish on the Blaupunkt pair. The smaller size of the Blaupunkt Style and the better pouch and extra ear pads are all huge pluses compared to the HD 681 EVO.
I would like to say that the Blaupunkt’s can also reproduce accurate sounds but only for certain music genres so the Superlux wins in this department. The trebles and vocals are crisper on the Blaupunkt Style compared to the HD 681 EVO, but not too much that it would crack my ear drums. Bass seems a little more pronounced on the HD 681 EVO than the Blaupunkt Style as a consequence of its preference to enhanced vocals and crisp trebles.
So, for Php14,500, these can be yours at Mobile 1 and Egghead where you can also audition a pair before purchasing. A little out of my budget…but if you’re looking for that live sound vibe or if you want a headphone that will stay on your head on the go, the Blaupunkt Style should work for you.

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