Headphones have come a long way since they were popularised with the Sony Walkman. I remember my first pair were foam padded and bright orange. They also sounded terrible. But as listening to music on the move became more popular, the push to get better quality out of smaller speakers became a technological race.
Before the Walkman, headphones were huge things with padding around the ears to block out external noise. The quality wasn’t great, either, and they were mostly used by people in their homes, which was good because they looked ridiculous.
Then mobile phones came along and these popularised ear-buds that were neat, discrete and could still pack a punch. Yes, you could still get the big ear-covering ones, but they weren’t ‘cool’. Of course, fashion is a fickle thing and if you get a big enough name behind anything, you can sell them by the bucketload.
Enter Dr. Dre, the record producer, rapper and entrepreneur. He changed headphones with his range of ‘Beats’ products that made wearing huge cans on your head fashionable again. With great marketing and almost blanket press coverage, his headphones became the must-have fashion accessory for anyone listening to music on the move. Even though they didn’t sound that great.
The thing is, they’re expensive. The cheapest pair on Amazon is £149.00. As as I say, they’re OK quality, they certainly don’t blow you away.
And so, when ByteMyTech loaded up the Urban Revolt Duga at only £16.99, I was sceptical to say the least. I got my test pair and popped them in my rucksack ready for my motorhome trip to Cornwall.
And then it rained and rained and rained. I remembered my headphones and decided to give them a go. Wow, they were great!
Let’s just set the scene. It was pouring down with rain, absolutely hammering the metal roof so it was deafening. My two kids were running around like lunatics making a din. I popped on the headphones, cranked up the music and was suddenly propelled to a different place!
The cushioning and sound proofing on these little marvels was superb and the sound was as good as my favourite Koss PortaPros and Lstn Cherry Wood Bowerys. Yes, I’m a bit of a headphone nerd. And all for seventeen quid?
They look the part, too in a matt-black finish that is minimal yet stylish.
I tried them with my favourite 80s playlist, some select tunes from Metallica and Queens of the Stone Age and also some classical. They were excellent with all music types with incredible bass and superb top-end. However, it was in classical where they excelled.
The thing is, when you’re listening to loud music, external noise isn’t much of a problem, but the nuances of classical music means you really do need silence. These headphones give you that, so music pops out and you can hear everything. When listening to a live piece, you can hear clearly the tap of the conductor’s baton and his feet as he moves around.
These are a cracking pair of headphones; they’re not getting them back!