Tired of full-size headphones made of plastic that crack and break after a few months of heavy use? Or how about ‘phones that are tuned to play the deep bass of rap, and make everything else sound dull and muffled?
So were the guys who started California Headphone Company. They wanted a set of headphones that were made of durable materials that could withstand a lifetime of use, looked good on your head, and had acoustics that could really deliver the vocal and guitar heavy California music they loved. Since they couldn’t find any that fit their requirements, they built them—the over-the-ear, top of the line Silverado, and the slightly smaller, on-ear Laredo.
They’re both made of die-cast, brushed metal components and are fitted with padded leather headstraps with contrast stitching for a look that is inspired by the headsets worn by aviators flying missions in WWII.
But the real story is the sound. Both models feature 40 mm titanium drivers tuned to work inside the large metal chambers with their Natural Vocal Centered audio technology, delivering a natural rich sound that emphasizes the high frequencies favored by rock and country. You’ll hear crystal clear vocals and subtleties like the nuances of acoustic guitars.
I gave the Laredo a try and the sound was spectacular. I threw rock tunes at it, a little R&B and even some classical to test out the clarity of these cans, and all were fantastic. One of my favorite features of these ‘phones is the Duo-Jack cord. It’s got an extra port built in so you can share your music with someone else. All they need to do is jack in and rock out. And the headphones will draw more power from the source, so you don’t sacrifice sound while in Duo mode. Another well-thought-out touch is the knitted zebra cloth jacket over the cord for lasting durability.
Which model to buy? The $225.95 Silverado features die cast metal hinges that give the ear cups 360 degrees of articulation for ultimate adjustability and comfort, and the left/right cord plugs are removable. Plus you get a leather case with a carabiner for carrying.
If you’re more budget oriented and still want great sound and comfort without spending more than two bills, go for the $99 Laredo. It’s got the same die-cast, brushed metal and leather construction and titanium drivers as the Silverado, but it comes with swiveling friction hinges and the braided cord is not removable. And you don’t get a carrying case. But in all honesty, they’re probably not going to be off your head much anyway.
UPDATE: Got some cash burning a hole in your pocket and you’re looking to invest in something? You can be a part of CHC by contributing through Kickstarter. You can back the project until Friday, August 10, 2012, and depending on your level of participation, you’ll get a pair of Laredos or Silverados thrown in. Click for details.
(Photos: California Headphone Company)
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