- Brand: Griffin
- Model: Woodtones
- Price: £74.99
The Griffin WoodTones over-ear headphones, as their name suggests, is made with a real wood finish. This is something that has become increasingly popular, be that from a design and visual stand point, or from the audio characteristics which it brings music and sound in general. The Griffin WoodTones come in three different varieties; dark walnut, blonde beech and rich sapele.
Today we are looking at the blonde beech versions. Whilst I am not sure as to what the different wood types bring to table in terms of audio experience, they certainly do possess a very unique design.
Griffin Technology began designing and manufacturing technical solutions with an innovative flair in 1992. We’ve since grown to become one of the largest providers of accessories for personal computing and digital media. We ask ourselves: What would you like to do with your computer, your TV, your stereo system, your MP3 players, your musical instruments… the technology that enhances your life? Our approach has given birth to some of the best known accessories in the digital entertainment and personal computer markets, including the iTrip family of FM transmitters and the ground-breaking Evolve Wireless Sound System.
Today, Griffin designs, manufactures and delivers useful and fun solutions for digital entertainment and personal computing to people in the Americas, Europe, and Asia, through major retailers and online.
• 50 mm moving coil neodymium magnet drivers for powerful sound
• Over 90-degree pivoting earphones
• Impedance: 32 ohms
• Sensitivity: 108 dB ± 3 dB
• Frequency response: 20 to 20,000 Hz
• Detachable 1/8″ (3.5 mm) cable with built-in mic
The front of the packaging is a simple affair, with the internal moulded plastic being held in place by card board which is held in place by small circular plastic stickers which are common place on most product packaging.
That cardboard also has the manufacturers logo and the name of the product itself on it as well as a short product description. The entire of the packaging is black like the product itself with only colouring being the branding and text information.
The back of the packaging has more detailed information, with specifications and diagrams showing the headphones and the location that the cable fits to them. This also includes how the in-line microphone works in correlation to answering calls and playing, pausing or stopping the music playback.
The plastic insert holds the headset in place as well as display the wood effect used on the ear pieces themselves. This makes up the bulk of the packaging as well.
With the wood look becoming a trend within the audio market, it is surprising that Griffin have not only incorporated the wood design but also made it a selling point within the product itself. The WoodTones have a real wood housing in the ear cups coming in three different varieties, Walnut, Sapele, or Beech. Another fantastic part of the design is the auto adjusting headband and plush comfortable ear pads. Here we have a clear image of what the WoodTones look like once removed from the packaging, both the ear pieces can rotate so that they light flat which allows for much easier storage.
The detachable cable continues with the WoodTones Beach colour design with both the 3.5mm connections having the beach effect, which I think is a nice touch by Griffin. The cable looks and feels of high quality and connects to the headphones via a socket on the left ear cup.
From the outset you can see that Griffin have put a lot of time into the design and construction of this headset. Whilst it is predominately constructed of plastic, it is of an excellent build quality and shows that Griffin have thought long and hard about the materials used. The ear pads are extremely comfortable and the auto adjusting headband is an excellent approach to design and comfort. It is constructed of two faux leather pieces stitched together. This is wide enough to sit comfortably on your head without causing any discomfort.
Setting up the WoodTones was simple affair, though do not do what I did initially, plugging the headphone cable in the wrong way round as the cable has two poles at one end and three at the other. Whilst this did not effect the audio quality in anyway I soon realised there was a problem when I attempted to call someone. The WoodTones cable has almost identical 3.5mm connectors at each end the only obvious difference is the in line microphone and audio controls, switching the cable round so it is plugged in correctly I made some calls using the headphones and whilst the microphone quality wasn’t the best. it certainly wasn’t terrible – something fairly typical of microphones integrated into headphones.
Now lets test the sound quality, of the Griffin WoodTones. Griffin claim that the headphones are designed for warm overtones, which accentuate the mid-range, vocals come alive and low frequency bass emerges without distorting harmonics or clarity-destroying echoes.
The above is a bold claim, and I was eager to test this out and find out for myself. I tested the WoodTones with various different music genres, covering some key music demographics, dance, rock and classical. In tracks with a large amount of bass some headphones cause the music to sound distorted or washed out, this isn’t the case with the WoodTones as they provided a rich, smooth and deep bass.
The WoodTones performed equally as well with rock music as they did with dance. Classical on the other hand the WoodTones didn’t perform as well, higher registering strings aren’t delivered with much richness like I expected. It didn’t sound thin but the balance is more in favour of the lows and mids.
The Griffin WoodTones in my opinion would be an excellent option when looking to purchase some on ear headphones that you intend to use on a regular basis, whether you are at home or during your commute to work. Not only is the audio experience excellent but the comfort of them is above anything I have experienced in the past. During my commute I rarely listen to music purely because the ear buds I usually have with me can be uncomfortable after a period of time, but wearing the light and comfortable WoodTones, I barely noticed I was wearing them.
Whilst there are many products within the same price range as the WoodTones, it is my experience that they fall short of the quality and comfortableness of the WoodTones. I have no doubt that the WoodTones would suit almost anyone’s musical tastes and possibly be one of the best audio experiences within its price bracket. That is not to say that they are the best of the best, as at Play3r we have only just stepped into the audio world, so I have had not that many other headphones to comparing them against, however in my eyes they are most definitely a worthy purchase. Due to the audio quality, design and comfort of the Griffin WoodTones, I am pleased to award them with our prestigious Editor’s Choice Award.
The ratings given for the Griffin WoodTones are in direct correlation to the excellent value, design and overall performance that the headphones have achieved.
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