Top 10 of All Time, #8: “Review: Frends “The ALLI” (Over-Ear Headphones)”

No… I did not misspell the maker of these damn-fine headphones, the missing “i” is on purpose…  and for good reason!  Here’s their story:

What is Frends

Frends is a brand platform that follows the theory that “there is no I in Frends”. We believe that frends are the family we choose. We are a collective family who celebrates life though sport, art, music and fashion. Frends provides a platform to share our passion for life and we creatively weave this inspiration through our products. We believe that innovation consists of seeing what everybody has seen and doing what nobody has thought. Welcome to Frends.

While the selection of audio badassery is plentiful at Frends.com… (Remember our last outing with the Clip?) today I’m talking about just one product:

The recently redesigned ALLI ($35).

So… the most important question when dealing with ANY pair of headphones, “How do they sound”.  Without beating around the bush too much I’ll come right out and say, pretty damn good.  If you are looking for a comparison against some of the speakers we’ve tested in the past like the Beats solo or Klipsch in-ear then you’re missing what the ALLI’s are all about.  They are not designed or built to go blow-for-blow next to these juggernauts of audiophile obsession… no, these are a great pair of regular every-day headphones.  I will say this for the dope cats at Frends and the ALLIs, these are very comfortable, stylish and very good sounding cans for the price.

More detail?  OK.  The design: Clearly built for comfort… the ALLIs are incredibly light-weight for over-the-ear headphones.  At one point, while watching a movie on my iPad, I actually forgot they were on.  The cool part about their build is that even thought they’re light… they are far from fragile.  I felt more than comfortable tossing these into my backpack and traipsing through rugged terrain during a recent outing.  When the time came to add a soundtrack to my surroundings I pulled them out… plopped them on… and they rocked accordingly.  They also have a head-band designed to float over your noggin comfortably close… allowing you to toss a beanie on OVER them.  Comfortable and functional.  AMEN!

The Cord: One thing that many headphone makers seem to overlook (oddly) is the cord.  They either tangle easily or pinch and bind.  Frends recognized this problem and put their design monkeys to work.  They created a truly tangle-free and nice-looking durable cord.  “Yeah-yeah… I had a nylon covered cord before WhiteGlossy and it made a rustling sound every time I moved”, dude… I’ve been there too.  These little mofo’s don’t do that either!  Boom!  Click on the pic to the left for a better look at their design.

The Tech: All the important “great looks” crap aside… these guys even put some of that hi-tech and functional stuff you need in there too.  In fact, you’ll find a bunch of tech you usually see in the higher end headphones, or in-ear models… like the always important microphone and button for taking/making phone calls.  Yeah… those are in there!  

Here are a few more things that you may, or may not, give a damn about… but are important if you’re looking for quality sound:

Bottom line, if you have ears, like the “don’t talk to me” vibe that a set of headphones give off and dig great sound quality… jump on board the Frend train and get some.  They’re comfy, stylish, functional and have wonderful sound… where is the bad in that?

If you’re one of those people who has to have a few cons tossed into the mix… I really only found one thing.  While wearing these out in public I noticed that other people could hear my music too.  Was I listening to it a little louder than I should?  Yeah… it was Hendrix!  But you wanted something to yang out the yin of my positivity right?  These aren’t noise-cancelling cans… and they don’t pretend to be either.

One last thing… here’s a cool little video Frend put together to give you a taste of their vibe and all-around style.  Enjoy:

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