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Outdoor Tech Tuis Wireless Headphone Preview

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Outdoor Tech Tuis

Outdoor Tech Tuis

Summary

  • Product Name: Outdoor Tech Tuis
  • Manufacturer: Outdoor Tech
  • Review Date: June 07, 2013 12:00
  • MSRP: $149.99
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now
  • Two 40mm drivers deliver the full range of clear sound, wirelessly
  • Connect to any Bluetooth-enabled device with easy one-touch pairing
  • External controls allow you to adjust volume, change tracks, play/pause and answer calls
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Built-in microphone and 3.5mm AUX jack
  • Reconnects automatically to previously paired device
  • Integrated hinges to easy folding and compact portability
  • Play time: 16 hours
  • Standby time: 400 hours
  • Bluetooth profiles: A2DP V1.2 for high quality stereo sound streaming & AVRCP V1.4 to control track and volume remotely
  • Wireless range: Up to 30 feet
  • Size: 6.9" x 6.5" x 1.26"
  • Weight: 6.1 oz
  • Package includes: USB charging cable, 3.5mm cable, carry case, user manual

We are going to be honest with you (not that we aren't always, but this time we're telling you something with a very serious face and half whispering) - We're sick of headphones that look like Beats. There, we said it. It feels good to get that out. When they first came out, we thought they looked okay. Some of us even liked the way they looked. But since then, every manufacturer seems to be trying to trick consumers into accidentally buying their headphones because they look the same or they are trying to piggy-back on the perceived quality of the Beats by looking the same. Either way, we are over it.

Outdoor Tech is not a company we are familiar with, but we're thrilled that their headphones are rectangular and don't feature lowercase letters on the earcups. The Tuis is named after a New Zealand bird (if you've never heard of it, join the club. I lived in Australia for 2.5 years and I've never heard of it). From the Outdoor Tech website:

The Headphones That Are Better Than You. These are the Tuis, Outdoor Tech's super-premium headphones. Better than you, you ask? Probably. They're named after the flashiest bird in New Zealand, one with iridescent plumage, two voice boxes and a bit of an attitude. The Tuis fit in well alongside a glass of single-malt and a box of Arturo Fuentes, although they can also work with a milkshake and one of those old-school Game Boys. Sometimes that's just as classy.

The whole webpage is like that. Recommended reading for sure. But once you get past the quirky website and vaguely insulting insinuations, what do you have? The Outdoor Tech Tuis sport 40mm drivers. There is an integrated 3.5mm jack for bypassing the wireless option for times when wireless isn't possible (basically, airplanes). For wireless, the Outdoor Tech Tuis utilize Bluetooth A2DP V1.2 for high quality stereo sound streaming and AVRCP V1.4 to control track and volume remotely. There are buttons on the right earpeice for control. Two buttons control volume, two control track, and one does everything else (answer/exit calls, stop/pause, etc.). There is a built in microphone for calls and a promised 16 hours of playback, 19 hours of talk time, or 400 hours of standby before recharging the lithium ion batteries.

tuis_controls

As you would expect, these on-ear headphones are designed for travel. Outdoor Tech has included a hardcase with the Tuis and the headphones fold into a smaller package for easy transport. Like all Bluetooth devices, the Outdoor Tech Tuis claim an "up to 30 foot" range on the wireless. We've found that Bluetooth is really closer to 16 feet +/- 14 feet. It all depends on what is between the Tuis and the source. We like that Outdoor Tech has included a battery indicator - something that is normally absent on wireless headphones. Usually, you get some sort of visual (blinking light) or auditory warning that your battery is dying. We much prefer the battery indicator.

The Outdoor Tech Tuis headphones are charged via an included USB cable. They only weigh 6.1 ounces so long listening sessions shouldn't be a problem (depending on how tight they are). The real question, of course, is how they sound. If you believe the website, they sound "sort of like having the Apollo on your head", "like Paul Simon put them together", and "crystal-clear". Of course, there is no frequency response data on the site (not that we've found such specs to be very useful in the past). What is clear, however is that Outdoor Tech have tried to separate themselves from the pack. And for that, at least, we thank them.

Conclusion

What do the Outdoor Tech Tuis headphones sound like? We won't know until September when they come out. But they have the latest Bluetooth technology, built in microphone, earcup controls, a 3.5mm input for bypassing the wireless, and a battery indicator. They look unique, have an amusing website, and, frankly, have our attention. We can't wait to test these out and see if they are more than just snarky marketing. For $150, they have a lot of competition. In the end, it is all about how they sound.

For more information, please visit www.outdoortechnology.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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