GADGET review: FLIPS Audio

I haven’t reviewed a gadget in a month of Sundays, so it is high time we got back in the groove around here.

This weeks’ interesting item is the FLIPS audio headphone.


FLIPS in flipped out mode

The premise behind the gadget is simple.  You are interested in a high quality sound experience for your portable audio or home stereo system.  But you are also interested in turning your Ipod into a stereo for an impromptu party or back deck gathering.  Do you lumber out a giant set of speakers?  Carry an extra set of capsule speakers, maybe?  No need!  The FLIPS will do both things for you.  Wear the FLIPS as a set of excellent high range noise-cancelling headphones, and when you want to bring the party out, you simply rotate the speakers around in the headset for a set of 40mm speakers with excellent range and realistic bass and treble.  I was fairly impressed by this.  I’ve had the FLIPS for about 3 weeks now.  During that time I’ve used it to routine play audiobooks during my commute, music out loud from my Ipod and streaming audio and video.  The FLIPPED side of the speakers are not going to replace a home theater unit any time soon, but they are impressively loud and can fill up a room with sound.

FLIPS, normal side

The Normal “UNFLIPped” side of FLIPS.

The important feature to note is that the FLIPS phones definitely have a safety feature.  A 40mm speaker blasting into your eardrum wouldn’t be pleasant.  So the FLIPS people have a noise leveling feature that reduces the sound to safe audio levels while wearing it in the normal, unflipped orientation.  I call it wearing Indoor Voice, wearing Outdoor Voice.

The sound is great on these headphones in either orientation.  I do a lot of audio book listening (though my Ipad) during drive time, but don’t have an auxiliary jack in my car’s stereo system, which sucks.  I was using a single capsule speaker which can be very tinny sounding and it fades quickly as it loses charge.  The FLIPS phones (flipped) make an excellent alternative to driving around with noise cancelling headphones, which the local police frown upon.

Summary: An excellent innovation, and an excellent, high end set of headphones.  Great for impromptu gatherings and improvised, on the spot social gathering.   I am enjoying these quite a bit.

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