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Have you ever wondered why so many manufacturers make cameras in loud colors like hot pink? It's more than just a fashion statement. Some people feel a strong connection to their personal electronics, which become vehicles of self expression, and an extension of their personalities. Many people feel the same bond with their headphones, and just like a hat or a pair of glasses, they don't have to be dark and dreary.
There's something inherently powerful about wearing headphones that stand out. For example, consider the wild success of Apple's iPod. Competing portable MP3 players had already been commercially available for several years when the iPod made its commercial debut. What made it surge forward in the marketplace? Its user interface was much better than its competitors, but what really pushed it over the top was the physical appeal. The iPod just looked really, really cool. And a big part of what made it stand out visually was its white headphones.
Wearing non-traditional headphones isn't always about attracting attention or being vain. Headphones are our physical link to recorded music. The love and appreciation that most people share for music is a very personal thing. Headphones shut out the outside world completely and bring us as close as we can get to our tunes. It's only natural that some people would want a pair of headphones that have a little more character than a drab, black piece of plastic.
A manufacturer called WeSC (which is pronounced "Whee! Ess See") makes a wide range of headphones that are designed to break you out of the mold. The famous singer Morrissey once sang "I wear black on the outside because I feel black on the inside." In the event that you're not feeling so glum, you can let the world know with a funky pair of WeSC Headphones.
The WeSC Bongo is a good example of fashion meeting function. The cable that you plug into your music player is only connected to one of the ear cups. Having a single wire gives you a little more mobility, and cuts down on tangles. Another nice thing about the cable is that it's only 19 inches long, so there won't be excess spaghetti that you need to stuff into your pocket. However, for the times that you need a little extra reach, a three foot extension cable is included.
If purple and green plaid isn't your thing, there are many other flavors of the WeSC Bongo headphones available. There is the yummy Chocolate Brown (which features bright orange leatherette ear pads, of course), the Birsch (purple, brown, black and white) and the Red Ribbon—which will match perfectly with a lumberjack's flannel shirt.
The WeSC Bag Pipe is a step up in quality from the Bongo. The nice thing about the Bag Pipe is the swiveling ear cups. This allows the ear cup to turn and rest on your ears. It makes a more comfortable fit, and because the ear pad is nuzzled over your ears for a better fit, more sound makes it into them and overall, they sound better.
The Bag Pipe is designed for DJs, but they would be great headphones for anyone who likes good-sounding music and thoughtful color combinations. There are two versions available, Jazz Blue (pictured to the left) and Gunmetal, which features a snappy combination of black, gray, neon green and white components.
Showing a little flair isn't exclusive to "over-the-ear" style headphones. Many people prefer the ultra-light ease of in-ear headphones. But just because the headphones are tiny, doesn't mean they have to be boring.
Sony manufacturers a number of eye-catching headphones. Pictured to the right we have the inexpensive MDR-EX35 In- Ear Stereo Headphones. The multicolored eartips on the MDR-EX35 should appeal to anyone who has intentionally swapped out the black shoelaces on their sneakers for colored ones. These headphones have an L-shaped 3.5mm mini plug, a cable slider to adjust the wires, and they come with three different-sized ear tips so you can find the right fit.
You can mix things up even more for the MDR-EX35's by picking up a set of EP-EX10A Replaceable Ear Tips. They feature different colored inner rings, and the flexible silicone ear tip portion is available in black or white.
There are more lively designs from Sony, like the MDR-PQ4 PIIQ Qlasp and the MDR-PQ5 PIIQ Bass Exhale Earbuds. If you've ever had trouble keeping in-ear headphones inside of your ears, you should check out the Qlasp. They don't just add a splash of color to your head, they cling to it as well. A set of lower clips can be attached to your ears, helping to keep them in place (the Qlasp is also available in black). The Bass Exhale Earbuds are for those who like loud colors and loud bass.
Just in case those offerings weren't colorful enough for you, a company called Aerial7 makes a set of in-ear headphones called the Sumo Graffiti. In addition to having shades of violet, orange, yellow and blue, the Sumo Graffiti also features a microphone so you can gab away on your iPhone.
If you love in-ear headphones but you want a model that will deliver the best sound possible, look no further than the Eymotic Research ER-4S. Eymotic is famous for providing professional recording-studio-quality monitoring in the earbud form factor. The ER-4S gives you pristine audio, and a tasteful mix of red, blue, black and white.
Hot-pink cameras allow us to explore the visual world with a creative eye. They enable us to capture images of our loved ones, and they always travel with us on vacation. It's no mystery why people have such a strong attachment to them, and why stylishly colored cameras are so prevalent. We have now entered the age of portable entertainment, and our headphones go everywhere we do. Perhaps a pair of these fun headphones can brighten up your day.
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