Fashion headphones aren't a new phenomena, a number of companies have been targeting this growing market over the last few years by combining outlandish designs with teenager (let's be honest, they're the real target market) friendly prices.
Probably the most famous for exclusively targeting this market, though, is Skull Candy. It produces a range of headphones of all shapes, sizes, and designs ranging from sub £20 to around £45 (it does also do some wireless ones that retail for about £65). However, there's now a relative newcomer, at least here in the UK, which is looking to grab itself a slice of this lucrative pie.
Hailing from Sweden (as Skull Candy also does), the founders of WeSC are a self-proclaimed mad-hat bunch (they'd have to be to call their company 'We Are The Superlative Conspiracy') of ex-skateboarders and snowboarders who wanted to create some products that would appeal to the type of people that they themselves would hang out with. It started with clothes and various skater culture accessories and has now branched out into headphones as well.
Its range of 'phones is aimed a little higher than the likes of Skull Candy with prices starting at around £35 and breaking through the £100 barrier at the top end. Today I'm looking at a middling pair from the Bongo Art range, which cost about £60.
The particular pair I've got was designed by Thomas ‘ Marok ' Marecki, the art Director and founder of pop culture magazine Lodown. Now I'm sure a few of you will be instantly horrified by the garish design as, in truth, was most of the office when they saw these. However, there are plenty of designs to choose from if these don't take you fancy, including a plain black one. Personally I think that defeats the object of buying a pair of headphones like this, though. They're wacky, and that's a good thing sometimes.
They're quite well built with solid chunky metal headband and earcup brackets and reasonably resilient plastics used throughout. The padding on the earcups, though, is not the deepest or most luxurious and is plastic coated rather than leather. Also, the headband is not padded at all, but that's not something I've ever seen as a problem - it's always my ears that start hurting before my head.
The earcups pivot up and down freely on their brackets but the only adjustment of the headphones, per se, is by means of pulling the cup-holding bracket through the white mounting point on the headband. This means they can be made to fit most head sizes but the lack of rotational adjustment means the 'phones can't fit to the angle of your ears. With the fairly strongly sprung headband and slightly miserly padding on the cups, this can make wearing these headphones for more than an hour a little painful.