Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Whoomp! There it is

Sorry, couldn't resist the song reference for this device since it helps your mobile music sound better. I'm talking about the Whoomp! earbud enhancers. (They insist on putting an explanation mark in the trademarked name, to the sure consternation of picky editors everywhere.)

If you're one of the few people that didn't already have an MP3 player of some sort and you got one under the tree or in your stocking, you've probably already noticed that the earphones they came with aren't so hot. Sure, they'll do since you're probably not willing to pay a hundred dollars or more for really good ones, but they seldom deliver auditory bliss. Blame it on cheap manufacturing, a bad ear cavity fit, or bass leakage, but the sound is generally just so-so.

These Whoomp earbud enhancers are a novel solution. They fit over the earphones that came with your player and dramatically enhance the sound by extending it into a soft foam bud that goes further into your ear canal. I know, this is a recipe for future hearing problems if you're the kind who cranks it up to 11 and we can hear you across the room. For those who keep things below the ear-splitting level though, these enhancers make your normal little earbuds sound fantastic. The bass really thumps, the vocals are really rich, and you can hear the whole mix clearly. When I listened to one track before and after style, there were sounds coming through the Whoomp enhancers that weren't even there with the iPod earbuds alone.

You have to judge whether that enhancement itself is worth $19.95 because if someone just dropped these two little bits of plastic and foam in your hand, you'd probably say, "20 bucks for this?!?" Maybe the price will come down once they're in every Best Buy or Target. For now they're kind of hard to find, though you can get the Whoomp earbud enhancers at Amazon (via a third party).

The verdict though is that these things allow your music to reach its full potential. They make your compressed MP3s played through crappy earbuds sound like CD tracks played through real headphones. Nice.

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