Griffin Technology's Ear Jams

Review

posted 11/10/2004 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
Platforms: PC
Forget about those over the ear headphones, the new rage for the 2000s are these earphones with cones that go inside your ear. Yep, inserting a piece of plastic into the outside of your ear simply isn’t enough; companies are jabbing pieces of silicone down the canal as well. The charge is being led by Ultimate Ears, but unless you’ve got $500 lying around you’re probably looking for other alternatives. Shure Ears has an affordable solution for around $100 but that cash can buy a hell of a lot of ramen. Griffin Technology has decided to toss its hat into the ring, but instead of introducing its own line of headphones, it has decided to release a peripheral that enhances the existing iPod earphones. There’s this old saying that goes “you get what you pay for” and it definitely rings true in this instance.

The Ear Jams are unique in that they attach to the existing iPod earphones. You’re actually only buying the part that goes in your ear, sans the cords and plugs. It’s an interesting concept that’s been raising a few eyebrows. The concept is very simple; take the Ear Jams and attach the clips over the front of your earphones. Snap in the other earpiece and you’re ready to go. A nice feature about the EarJams is that they work with all circular-shaped earphones on the market, not just the iPod ones. So if you damaged your original pair and resorted to a third party solution, these puppies will still work although your mileage will vary.

I don’t normally use the iPod earphones because I opt for a larger DJ-style solution, but I can attest that there’s a significant boost in quality. I don’t know about all that fidelity and technical jargon but I can attest that the sound is clearer and the bass is stronger. Overall you feel more immersed in the experienced and entrapped by the music. Since the drivers now go deeper into your ears you also get the added benefit of noise cancellation. It’s not all high-tech like the kinds that send the cross singles to cancel the outside noise, but it definitely does an excellent job of keeping preventing unwanted sounds from entering your ears. All of your deaf bastards who like to crank up the noise will be glad to know that Griffin is claiming that the unit will boost the sound level by up to 10 decibels. I can’t state that number as a fact, but I do know that the sound is definitely louder and the bass is definitely stronger.

The actual devices are constructed from a plastic polymer that’s similar to the plastic found on the iPod. This makes them extremely durable and less prone to the breakage that you might find from similar devices. If you have a dog with an affinity for biting things you should be careful with the Ear Jams. I was doing work at my computer when I looked down and found my dog gnawing away at one of them. It turned out to be a decent, albeit unexpected, stress test that shows the durability of the product. I was able to clean them off and use them as if they were new, bite marks and all.

The Griffin Technology Ear Jams won’t revolutionize the way you utilize your iPod, it’ll simply enhance it. They’re perfect for budget-minded individuals who don’t want to make the plunge to full-blown headphones but would like to get more out of their iPod. At this time we've only seen these babies online; if you're smart you'll go out of your way to find them.


B-
A simple and intuitive device that will give you the most out of your standard iPod earphones. If you're too cheap to pony up for the more expensive solutions on the market, you'll want to check out this well-priced solution.


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