Ambient noise a thing of the past thanks to Yurbuds [Review]

by Mike
Posted December 26th, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Ever wish you could get some of the background noise blocking characteristics of expensive in-ear headphones without shelling out the top of the line price? One word: “Yurbuds”.

At first, I thought they were a tad gimmicky — slipping what are basically rubber/synthetic sleeves over your current ear buds and all of a sudden gaining sonic qualities often lost to the nuances of everyday life that invade your music listening experience. But I was surprised, quite surprised in fact.

My Yurbuds came pre-fitted to a pair of stock iPod earbuds. As many of you out there know, the buds aren’t special in any way. Honestly, I’d go as far as to say the iPod style ear buds are nothing but crap. Sonically the are. But I’m not nit picking over the choice of freebie headphones because they were (1) free and (2) show off what the yurbuds can do quite well.

Perhaps the usage of stock iPod ear buds was a great idea. A fair amount of the general population has used the now iconic white earbuds at least once or twice in their lifetime so they have at least a small taste of what those white buds are (or more accurately…*not*) capable of. They are what you’d expect — lifeless. The highs are severely rolled off unless EQ’d in which they become way too harsh. The mids are overpowering and muddy. The bass (if you can find it) is either invisible or a mosh pit of nonsense. So how do the yurbuds help?

Now don’t misunderstand the purpose of Yurbuds. They’re not meant to add sound quality or make up for your set of buds’ poor audio reproduction. They’re designed solely to block out ambient noise which in return has the added benefits of making more apparent the pros and cons of your particular buds.

In the case of the stock iPod earbuds they shipped with, they make bass a night and day difference on heavier (read: hip-hop and similar) songs. It isn’t necessarily clean or articulate bass, but for bassheads, anything is welcome. The mids become even more apparent and forward while the highs somehow manage to slip further into the background. A little EQ’ing helps eliminate some of these stark differences so that most will be pleased.

The biggest addition however is the now quieter yet louder environment your encapsulated in. Gone are the simple sounds of the air-conditioning, the TV blaring in the background, the annoyingly loud guy at the coffee shop next to you, etc. etc. Instead of hearing all of the background sound that invades your personal listening space, you hear nothing but music — the music you set out to hear in the first place. Besides “added” sound quality by way of background noise reduction, you can set your player at a lower volume level, reducing battery drain and giving your ears a much needed break in the process. A trifecta of sorts if you will.

If you find yourself blessed/cursed with an audiophile ear, the Yurbuds won’t add quality to any earbud that lacks it from the factory. But most of the global population aren’t audiophiles and the like, *raises hand* meaning that for most consumers using the stock iPod/mp3 player earbuds, the Yurbuds actually do quite well.

Overall, for their intended purpose the Yurbuds work wonderfully well as I’ve come away again, quite surprised that some blue rubbery skin can make even stock iPod earbuds sound as they did to my ears. After all is said and done, we come to the million dollar question: Are the Yurbuds in their most basic form — the rubber sleeve that fits over your earbuds — worth the $19.99 asking price? If you’re the type that can’t fathom spending $30+ for headphones of any type and don’t buy into the whole “audiophile” thing, then yes, Yurbuds are very well worth it as you’ll more easily enjoy the added sonic benefits. Audiophiles and the like not so much. There’s other options for you out there. But then again, you kind of people already know that. Lol.

If you’re interested in a pair of Yurbuds for yourself, simply take a photo of your ear so the Yurbud team knows what size to send you and email your photo to “[email protected]”.

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