Inspect-a-Gadget: USD17 Bluetooth Headphones

By Sky Gidge, December 13, 2017

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Inspect-a-Gadget is a monthly segment where we feature a tech toy our editors have been playing with.

In 2010, the iPad arrived, proving that tablets could be done right and leading a pack of new entrants to the market – not aiming for Apple-level quality, but competing on price point.

2016 saw Apple’s Bluetooth headphones, the AirPods, and, again, a follow-the-leader rush. But costing more than RMB1,000, there is plenty of space for lower prices. 

Though the tech is old, the Bluetooth headphone has seen price drops in 2017, making a solid set less a show of buying power than a natural next step – if you can accept the drawbacks.

kugou-cheap-bluetooth-headphones-shenzhen.jpg

Audiophiles will wretch at a decreased sound quality through the RMB129 Kugou brand headphones we tried, but to the average ear they are good enough to get through a run and the lack of a wire means your phone can stay safely zipped in a pocket.

The Kugous packed a surprising amount of bass, which may owe to an earplug design that almost seals the ear. It’s great if you want to hear the music, not great if you want to hear anything else. 

Placing the headphones back to back sees a magnet hold them together and functions as an on-off switch. Separated, they connect to a nearby Bluetooth device – which can be both convenient and baffling.

Finally, they need to be charged. Yes, microUSB is universal enough that a cable is likely within your reach right now, but it is another complication over the headphones’ cabled cousins.

RMB129 Kugou Bluetooth headphones; available on JD.com.

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