The problem with most ear buds is that, sooner or later, they’re going to fall out of either or both ear. Unless they’re custom-fitted to seat directly into your ear canal, and that’s gonna cost you beaucoup bucks. So the vast majority of users resort to a variety of foam earpieces and hope for the best.
Wicked Audio, it must be said, is a belt-AND-suspenders kind of company. Their Helix line of in-ear headphones come with not just a set of assorted-size interchangable foams, but also over-the-earlobe clips. To quote Wicked’s own hyperbole, “Swirl these eaer [sic] blasters around your ear and feel free to jump, flip, spin, and groove at-will. These babies stay so snug on your ear that we dare you to try and ditch ’em.”
The phones, which retail for US$14.99, come in Blue/Orange, Black/White, and Magenta/Yellow color combos and are available in consumer electronics and cellphone stores such as FYE and Verizon Wireless. Our tests revealed that, while the Helixes sounded just fine, the in- and over-ear fit comfort is very subjective; we were also concerned about the ease with which the ear foams could get misplaced, and the relative fragility of the cable (although the latter is about on a par with other earbuds in this price range). But for the price — and that extra element of security the external clips offer — the Helixes are worth checking out if you’re an extra-active sort.
Check out our hands-on review below: