More Earphone Madness: Griffin EarThumps

by Derrick Story

Last week I wrote about XtremeMac FS1 earphones ($149) and the Griffin TuneBuds ($20). Since that post, I've continued to test the FS1 earphones and am even waiting for a second pair just to be sure. One thing I'll say right now is that you "must" use the foam inserts with the FS1s. Don't even waste your time with the silicons because the sound isn't as good.

Amid this turmoil, someone asked me about the Griffin EarThumps, which are isolating earphones that sell for $20. I got my hands on a set and have been testing them over the last few days.

The EarThumps are available in black or white models, so you can match them to your iPod and they include 3 different sized silicon inserts. The cord is a couple inches longer than the standard iPod earbuds cord.

White EarThumps

First thing the EarThumps have going for them is that they are much more comfortable that the iPod earbuds. They fit nicely in the ear canal and do help isolate the music you're listening to from the drone of the outside world.

The bass response is enhanced. My guess is this will be a hot topic of discussion for some. When I ran blind tests with friends (iPod earbuds vs FS1s vs EarThumps), some felt the bass on the EarThumps was too exaggerated, while others liked the rumbling low end. Maybe I spent too much time standing in front of an Ampeg bass amp and speakers in my 20s, but I like the bass here.

The other noticeable trait of the EarThumps is that you have to immediately turn the volume "down." For most listening situations, I had the volume on my nano at about 40 percent with these earphones.

So for $20 you get isolating, bass enhanced earphones, a case, 3 sets of inserts, a long cord with narrow plug that works with all of your iPod cases... pretty good. Do they blow away high-end $200 earphones? Of course not. But they're a good value for dollar. Give them a listen and let me know what you think. I like 'em.


2006-01-30 16:04:49
I recently bought an ipod and could not believe how bad the default earbuds were. They let too much outside sound and cause you to turn up the volume to dangerous levels. I started looking for "isolation" earbuds.

After going through 6 different types and brands of ear buds that all fit and sounded horrible (Sony 818, Skullcandy earbuds,JVC Gummis, Apple in-ear, Koss "the plug", Maxell Digital EarBuds) I finally found the Griffin Earthumps!

Great look, fit and sound. You could pay more to get more, but this is exactly what I wanted in the right price range.

I love my EarThumps.

2006-04-07 10:08:46
If You own one of the latest batch of iPods (nano,Video,shuffle) it is best to get headphones that are designed for iPod products. i own the Nano, and when i had these shipped from the USA for just over 10 quid, i found they came with a neat and well made case. i slipped them on, and i found they not only provide use for sound, but also to block out excess noise, and they even warm up your ears a tad! with the EQ set on off, and when there pushed far in your ear, there is too much bass and a muffled high end. this can be solved by setting the EQ to treble booster or maybe rock, and then they start to really perform.if u still find that the bass is overpowering, just tug them out your ear a bit. i always wear them whilst hoovering ( in the UK these lard ass vacuum companies are set on making more power and more noise!) as they help to muffle out excess whoosh. my only complaint is that although the plug fits well, it is not glossy plastic and looks a bit cheap
2006-04-26 07:33:43
I boutght the EarThumps recently before going on a plane trip. I became tired of the default apple earphones... they let too much noise in and they hurt my ears terribly. So i got the EarThumps... I love them!!! They are EXTREMELY comfortable and i can even sleep with them on and not notice they're there.

They fit great, block outside noise (even the roar of an airplane, which i was very happy about) and they are such a bargain. Definately prefer these to so many that i had previously purchased. (Phillips, JVC Gummis, Sony, Apple In Ear, Over the ear phones) Finnally I found the perfecr one :D

2006-05-19 04:18:39
For the price these are excellent earphones. The sound is decent, they look great, and like many of you have already said, they feel excellent. Much more comfortable than the standard iPod earbuds.

The bass is slightly over pronounced and sort of muddy, but for $20 it's not a big deal, and still a great value for the money you've paid.