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It’s hard to know exactly what to expect out of budget audio equipment.
After a certain price point, quality improves very little, but brands have to get creative to coax high fidelity out of mid-priced headphones.
IFrogz impressed me with its Impulse Wireless headphones last year, which had a smart design and relatively good sound for their price.
This year, they have added $US5 to the price tag and refined that initial design to create the Impulse Duo. I was sent a pair to review and am happy with what iFrogz chose to change and leave alone.
Physically, these headphones are nearly identical to the previous model. They have the same magnetic clip that you can attach to your shirt while listening and use to neatly secure the earbud cables when you’re not.
A year later, it’s still my favourite earbud design by far.
The wireless dongle is also the same this time around, and despite its small size, it still delivers satisfying battery life and solid connectivity. The three buttons on its face still let you play or pause your music and adjust the volume.
I’ve chosen to mention what iFrogz kept around because they’re all features I liked last time and am glad didn’t change; there’s no use changing something that works for the sake of changing it. Instead, the brand focused on what really matters to budget headphone buyers: sound quality for the price.
The Impulse Duo got its name because the earbuds have two drivers (ie. mini speakers) instead of one. This gave iFrogz the ability to calibrate both to handle different frequencies instead of trying to get everything right with one. This choice didn’t make the earbuds much larger physically, but it did have a big impact on their overall sound.
I’ll be frank, these aren’t audiophile headphones, but they’re not meant to be. Instead, they’re headphones that sound really good for under $A65. All genres of music sounded pretty balanced, and I never noticed any clipping or other types of audio distortion that sometimes crop up on budget audio. They were definitely good enough to listen to what I wanted without noticing any big gotcha or compromise.
Although they couldn’t reproduce every sound I could hear on better headphones, they did a more-than-adequate job of making music sound good, which is the whole point.
Given the improvements iFrogz made to create the Impulse Duo, I don’t have very much to complain about. The holdover features from last year still hold up and the audio improvements make the price increase in price more than understandable. On top of that, iFrogz guarantees you free eartip replacements for life, so you’ll even be protected from damage due to regular wear.
If you’re looking for a good-sounding pair of earbuds with a forward-thinking design on a budget, the Impulse Duo is a good choice.
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