Product Type: Wired headphones | Manufacturer: ReTrak | Price: $19.99 | Where to buy: Amazon | [et_social_share]
The Animalz Retractable Headphones are fun take on traditional cans which will probably appeal to children, though sound quality leaves a lot to be desired.
ReTrak is an American smartphone accessories manufacturer hailing from Dallas, Texas. The company is currently making a footprint in Europe, with London acting as their Marketing Headquarters for the region. The Animalz are a simple and cutesy product which will no doubt fly off the shelves, but the product itself is pretty mediocre. The ones we received are the Unicorn variant, however there’s also five other animals to choose from. Taking them out of the box, I was impressed with the design. They look pretty damn adorable and have very soft fur, while the stitching doesn’t appear to be cheap and poor quality. It’s the type of material that you find on Plushy toys, meaning it won’t shed all over your house. Putting them on my head, I noticed an immediate problem. Clamping force is nonexistent, which makes the cans prone to falling off. Now I’m an adult with a fully grown head, so I can only image how difficult it would be for children to keep them on. As far as I could tell, there’s also no way to adjust them either.
There’s also no clear indication of right and left channels, meaning it would be quite easy to mess up the stereo image by mistake. A retractable cable sits in one of the earpieces, which can be pulled to various lengths. It has certain points where the cable will catch and remain, so to retract it you just need to yank it until it starts to go back in. It’s a little confusing and the lack of a button is annoying, but we imagine this is a safety feature to stop kids going crazy with the cable.
They look pretty damn adorable and have very soft fur, while the stitching doesn’t appear to be cheap and poor quality.
Sound quality on the Animalz is not great. A lack of bass makes music sound empty, while the mid-range is muddy and difficult to interpret small details. Volume limiting technology will stop the sound hitting 85 db in order to protect your child’s ears, which would be great if it ever got that loud. Playing them through my HTC 10, the sound was very quiet. To the point where even in a quiet room, it was still possible for outside noise to interfere with music and media. We did discover that a lot of this could be down to clamping force, as when the earbuds are pushed closer it is possible to get a louder, fuller sound. Once they are pushed closer to the head, things start to improve. Still, we would hardly call it a stellar listening experience.
Obviously, the design is what makes the Animalz stand out. They’re cute and cuddly, which appeals perfectly to children. With six different versions available, I imagine it’ll be easy to find one that your kid likes best. The unicorn variant is probably our pick of the bunch because of how hilarious it is, though the monkey ones look equally funny. It’s just a shame that the sound quality couldn’t be a little better.