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Published on October 5th, 2012 | by Greg

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Quarkie Earbuds: Odd Looks, Surprising Sound

We test out a lot of au­dio gear, and we’ve seen ear­buds and ear­phones and head­phones and over-ear stu­dio mon­i­tors of ev­ery shape and size. They can be wire­less or of­fer car­bon fiber, use sin­gle or mul­ti­ple drivers, and some even wrap around your ear in­stead of sim­ply fit­ting in snug­ly. There have been bone con­duc­tion mod­els, and noise-can­celling ones, and they have ranged in price from $2 to $2000 (yes, re­al­ly).

The Quarkie Gem­stone Ear­buds still man­aged to be unique. The ap­pear­ance is the most dis­tinc­tive bit, and you’ll ei­ther love it or hate it- most of our staff weren’t fans. But teens will prob­a­bly en­joy the style, or va­ri­ety of styles. Ours were per­haps the most “bor­ing” of the bunch, a pur­ple gem, but five oth­ers are al­so avail­able- in­clud­ing one for the per­son who has al­ways want­ed a small snake’s head stick­ing out of their ears, and an­oth­er that looks like you’ve in­sert­ed a bolt in­to your ear canal. The oth­er three are eyes: cat, snake, or chameleon. And they’re cer­tain­ly eye-catch­ing.

Plus, the dec­o­ra­tive el­e­ments of­fer quite a bit of room to hide what are pret­ty large drivers, 13.5mm. While you shouldn’t re­al­ly buy these for the sound, we’re hap­py to re­port that they are much bet­ter than stock ear­buds. Four eartips are in­clud­ed so they should fit just about any­one, and there is a built-in mic and re­mote. We weren’t thrilled by call per­for­mance or the fair­ly small con­trol but­ton, but mu­sic rat­ed a sol­id B- no over-done bass, rea­son­able highs even at de­cent vol­umes, no au­di­ble noise. The ca­ble is cloth-wrapped, which was nice and pret­ty qui­et even while mov­ing around, and iso­la­tion bet­ter than many ear­buds at this price range.

Quarkie is cer­tain­ly quirky- but we can re­spect a com­pa­ny will­ing to step out of the box a bit and of­fer some­thing new. Their style cer­tain­ly is not for ev­ery­one- but if you like it in pic­tures, you’ll al­most cer­tain­ly be sat­is­fied by them in re­al life. $100, avail­able on­line now.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.



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