Product Test: Coosh Earbuds

Written by Consumerism, Product Tests

Just over a month ago, I received an out-of-the-blue e-mail from friendly fellow named Ryan, who works for a word-of-mouth marketing site called BuzzParadise. Ryan invited me to try out a new line of earphones, called Coosh, and even though Ryan’s timing was annoyingly shitty — I’d just caved in and bought a new set of noise-canceling, in-ear ‘phones to replace the painful and lame set that came with my iPod — I agreed. Mostly because I like getting stuff for free, but also because I’ve always wanted a fancy set of high-end audiophile earbuds.

So I signed up. And what should arrive at my house a few days later but this goofy-looking package:

Kind of…weird…but creative, right? Plus, bonus points for giving my nine-month-old son something to chew on for a few minutes. (Don’t judge me. If it’s non-toxic and it keeps him out of the cabinets, it’s all right in my book.)

There are apparently several varieties of Coosh, and the fine folks at BuzzParadise shipped me the set geared for the iPhone, which doesn’t really apply to me, since I have an iPod Touch. From what I gather, though, the button on the cord is used for answering and hanging up your iPhone, and there’s a built-in microphone or something. Whatever — all that matters to me is how they feel and sound.

The short answer to both questions: Awesome.

I say this even though I’d love to report that the earbuds I just fucking paid for are superior to Coosh in every way, but the truth is, my in-ear buds sound boomy and lack stereo depth in comparison. The Coosh buds don’t have any noise-canceling features, but they are extremely comfortable (if funny-looking), and they offer crystal-clear separation. I didn’t expect to be impressed when I put these on — or to let my other set gather dust — but that’s what ended up happening. If you’re the type of listener who really likes to crank up the volume, you may find the sound excessively bright; personally, I never move mine much past the 50% mark, so these are pretty much perfect.

And here’s the kicker: the Coosh box came with no hammy press kit or any kind of extra marketing information — just the buds in the box — so I knew nothing about the brand when I got them or tried them out. I didn’t do any kind of research until I sat down to write this post, at which point I discovered that Coosh is a budget line, owned by Bic. Prices start at $19.99; the pair I have goes for $24.99. Very reasonable.

Coosh won’t open up untold sonic vistas for you, and if you’re happy with your current headphones, I’d hesitate to recommend making the switch. But if you’re in the market for a new pair and you don’t fall into the “demanding audiophile” category, consider the Coosh earbuds a safe investment. And if you’re the type of listener who tends to have problems with earbuds falling out, watch the “crash test” video below — the silly-looking white rubber pieces attached to them apparently do exactly what they’re supposed to:

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