While no one disagrees that sound quality and comfort are the most important factors when buying a pair of headphones, style cannot be ignored. Fashion-minded folk join those looking for better comfort and sound quality, and likely want something more than the generic iPod earbuds. Following in the footsteps of other companies such as Earpollution and Skullcandy, Coloud aims to attract hipsters that must express themselves and their hero-worship of various Marvel comics, from Hulk and Iron Man to the Punisher. We got our hands on the latter to see how they stood up to our tests.
Since these headphones only cost $39.99, we weren’t expecting mind-blowing audio. Surprisingly, the Twelve Marvel Punisher headphones provides a nice range of sound. While it manages to deliver good highs and lows, the mid-range sound could have been just a little better.
When listening to Daft Punk’s bass-heavy Alive 2007 album, the booming beats were prominent without overwhelming the rest of the songs. When we tried Coheed and Cambria’s “Here We Are Juggernaut,” the loud drums and the singer’s falsetto voice came through loud and clear, but the guitar was a little harder to make out than we expected. You’ll probably enjoy these headphones the most if you listen to music that leans more towards bass, but overall we were pleased with the sound we got out of them.
Of course, the main highlight is the design of these headphones, emblazoned with the classic Punisher skull logo. While we don’t think we can ever imagine Frank Castle using an iPod, we have no complaints about the appearance. The white logo combined with the black band kept the testosterone flowing. We’re glad that Coloud didn’t go for a complex design, as we think these look far better than the downright obnoxious Retro X-men model. Other designs include Iron Man (red/yellow), Wolverine (black/blue), and Hulk (black/green).
The cups on the Twelve are oddly shaped; noticeably larger than most budget headphones, yet nowhere near as large as professional models. While the foam padding was not uncomfortable, the biggest problem with these headphones is that they are tight. The headband is easily adjustable, but even at max length, we felt a huge amount of pressure on our ears, making us think these may be meant for smaller/younger heads. In fact, it’s so tight that we found it to be one of the most uncomfortable headphones we’ve ever used - It literally felt like they were pinching our ears. Also, this pair is neither collapsible nor foldable. It’s also lacking a volume slider on the cable, making sound adjustment a little less convenient than it has to be.
We wish we could give the Twelve high marks, but the lack of comfort holds it back. The Punisher design works, and the sound quality was satisfactory for the most part. However, the tightness of these headphones can’t be ignored. We found them hard to wear for anything longer than 15 minutes, which is pretty much inexcusable. If really you prefer style over comfort, the Twelve might be worth a look, but we find it hard to recommend.