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kubxlab Earshots Portable Speakers Preview and Sound Test

kubxlab Earshots

kubxlab Earshots


  • Product Name: Earshots
  • Manufacturer: kubxlab
  • Review Date: November 01, 2013 08:35
  • MSRP: $49.95
  • First Impression: Mildly Interesting
  • Works with any device that has a 3.5 mm jack Smart Phones, MP3 Players, Tablets, Laptops, Desktops, Portable Gaming
  • New generation of amplifiers that delivers maximum sound and clarity
  • Lightweight, small in size, but incredible stereo sound
  • Aluminum Housing
  • Up to 5 hrs playback after full charge
  • Rechargeable Lithium Ion batteries
  • Weight: 40 grams - Height: 37 mm - Diameter: 34mm 

What's Included

  • 2 powerful portable stereo speakers
  • 3.5 mm stereo cable with Right and Left inputs
  • Dual USB charging cable (charges both speakers simultaneously)

Portable speakers are not a new phenomenon. For as long as people have had music, they've wanted a way to take it with them. Back in olden days, you either had to hum or have enough money to hire a minstrel to follow you around. Later, we developed boomboxes which were very popular with rebellious kids in the 80's if such classic movies as Beat Street, Breakin', and Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo are to be believed. Nowadays, if you want to take your music with you, you've got a number of options depending on your needs. Do you need to bust out a mad dance battle to settle a score at work? You're probably still rocking a boombox (though likely with an iPhone connected to it). Are you looking to jealously keep your music to yourself? Headphones are your thing. Do you want people to think you're keeping your music to yourself but you really want them to experience the joy that is your Gansta Rap/Death Metal mashup? Open back headphones are for you.

But what if you want to share your music and all you wear is skinny jeans and spandex? You can't be carrying around a pair of speakers, you'd have no place to store them. Sure, you could carry a bag or maybe some sort of man-purse (or woman-purse for you ladies), but what if you don't have anything to match your brand new compression top?

kubxlab_red     earshots_silver

Finally, someone has the answer. kubxlab (which I totally read the first time as "kluxlab" which would make a completely different type of portable speaker) has an offering that is both compact and unique enough to warrant a little coverage. The Earshots are, as the name implies, a similar size to a shot glass. If you are used to carrying around a pair of shot glasses...well, you likely have a problem that is beyond the scope of this article. If not, here's your chance to use the old, "I am happy to see you but these are just a pair of shot-glass-sized speakers in my pocket," chestnut.

The kubxlab Earshots are 40 grams, 37 mm tall, and 34mm wide. Of course, they are using metric measurements to make themselves feel better. I do the same thing with my height and weight - 170 cm sounds a lot taller than 5'7" and 72.5 kilos sound better than 160 pounds. So, in US terms, they are 1.45" tall, 1.3" wide, and 1.4 ounces. That's small. I converted the weight to pounds but it turned into .088. I can't even visualize .088 pounds. It's like a penny or something. I don't know. Maybe a feather?

earshot_quarter1     earshot_quarter2

The kubxlab Earshots come in two colors - red and silver. I'm actually shocked they don't come in black. Everything else does these days. They have a single driver (they don't specify the size but since the Earshots are 34mm across, the driver is probably 32 or 31). The enclosures are constructed out of "high quality aluminum" and they are rechargeable via a USB cable (both speakers are charged at the same time). There is no indication that you can play music when connected to a computer by USB, however, so it seems that there are no internal DACs (which isn't surprising given the size). For playback, the speakers connect to your portable device or computer via the 3.5mm headphone output.


Other than the size and the design (if it appeals to you), the kubxlab Earshots have the distinction of being somewhat wireless (their charge lasts up to 5 hours) and playback in stereo. As many portable speakers subject you to the glory that is mono playback, at least with the Earshots you can place them far enough apart (not sure how far the cable stretches) to get a decent stereo image. The fact that they connect via 3.5mm output means that they are compatible with everything and you won't have to worry about dropouts from some of the less-than-reliable wireless solutions.

Hands On

earsI asked for kubxlab to send me a pair of the Earshots for a quick overview. The speakers are just as small as advertised and are very light. I was disappointed that they didn't included some sort of carrying case. The USB cable is simply for charging and doesn't work for playback. For playback, you'll use the one into two 3.5mm cable. While it performs in stereo, there is no marking on the cable that I could find that indicated which was left and which was right. I had to play a specific song that had a left/right pan so that I could have them on the right side. As most music is not so specific (unless you are a big Queen fan), perhaps this isn't much of an issue (though it bugged me). The coiled cable makes it easier to store and transport the cable but, as you might expect, it pulls on the Earshots. kubxlab has included a grippy ring on the bottom, however, so that helps. On hard surfaces, I was able to place the kubxlab Earhots up to three feet apart.

The Earshots really are tiny. As you'd expect, this leads to a distinct lack of bass. The larger driver size (larger than a tweeter) translated into an unrefined and tinny top end. But it really depends on what you are looking for in a speaker. If you are looking for something louder than your laptop speakers, the Earshots work fine. One of my complaints with my laptop speakers is that I can't edit my AV Rant podcast on them. We start the podcast after the first four bars of the opening song. With my laptop speakers, I can't hear the bass line so I can't line up the audio. With the Earshots, I could.


The Earshots are portable and the charge lasts for a good amount of time. Being able to connect them to your phone or MP3 player is a pretty nice feature. When they charge, the light on the bottom glows red but there is no indication when the charge is done. Also, when you connect the 3.5mm cable, the speaker becomes active (using the battery). If you touch the other end, the speakers will crackle. You have to be sure to unplug the speakers or you'll use up the battery.



If you are looking for a little louder and portable, the kubxlab Earshots are for you. For $50 you could get headphones that sound much better but then you couldn't play your music for a group. While I'd have a hard time recommending the Earshots for all but the most specific of uses, they are interesting. I'm happy to see manufacturers trying out new portable solutions that don't involve Bluetooth or other wireless solutions. At least you know when you plug in the Earshots, they'll work. No pairing code required. At $50, on sound quality alone these are a pass but if you find them on sale, well, honestly, they are still a pass.


For more information, please visit www.kubxlab.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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