Outdoor Tech is a relatively new company with a product line that emphasizes bluetooth-enabled headphones for people who love the outdoors. At $79, the Privates aren’t their most affordable headphone, but they’re close. So with that in mind, how much do they suck?
Outdoor Tech Privates Review
The Privates come in a pretty cheap-looking plastic box with some cardboard inside. There’s also a carrying pouch, a usb charging cable, a 3.5mm audio cable (in case you run out of battery), and some nifty stickers that you can slap on things – your laptop, your trapper keeper, or your boss’s car.
With a soft fabric headband, wire enxtenders, and some soft earpads, the comfort is decent on these headphones. They also fold up to a fairly compact size, so portability is another perk.
Bluetooth version: Bluetooth 3.0 + EDR
Bluetooth profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
Range: up to 32 feet
Battery: 3.7 V 350 mAh
Charging time: about 3 hours
Play/Talk time: 10 hours
Sound Pressure level: 115 dB
Impedance: 32 ohms
Frequency range: 20-20000 Hz
Rating power: 200mW
Max input power: 1000 mW
The specifications show that these headphones offer a standard frequency range, as well as a standard low impedance. Charging time seems a bit long, but the battery life is definitely more than what we see in most headphones at this price point. On top of all of this, the headphones will reach a decent level of volume.
The Privates feature some impact to the bass, and if you’re used to Apple earbuds, this may seem like an improvement in sound. However, this is about the only good thing to the lows; there’s ample distortion in there, as well as a complete lack of fine detail. The bass is sloppy and tends to bleed.
Not horrible, but close. The mids are characterized by a canned sound and unrelenting distortion. While the lackluster performance here almost made me want to rip the headphones off and stomp on them, it’s important to keep in mind that these are bluetooth headphones for people who spend more time listening to chipmunks and whippoorwills than they do studying the intricacies of Tannhauser.
Finally, a ray of hope. The highs aren’t nearly as bad as the lows and the mids, with a slightly recessed or relaxed feel to them that isn’t great, but still doesn’t suck too bad.
Haha! Soundstage?!?! On these headphones? Okay, so there might be the slightest bit of spacing or placement or depth to the music, but we’re talking really slight. Like, sliiiight.
It’s a wireless headphone for outdoorsy types. So I should probably lower my expectations a little. But even then, it still probably wouldn’t meet them. Because it’s not a great headphone, and it barely qualifies as a decent headphone. Now, maybe you have a kid sibling or a really audio n00b who just doesn’t know what they’re missing. They want “good” headphones that they can use wirelessly. By all means, take a chance on this headphone. Those people will probably love the Outdoor Tech Privates.
Want better bass? Shell out some more cash for something along the lines of the Audio Technica ATH-WS99BT Solid Bass (you’ll also get more detail!). Or, if detail is the goal (and you don’t really care about wireless doohickeys), go with the Koss Porta Pro and call it a day. But if you do have that audio novice who wants something Bluetooth-enabled – or if you just really, really hate someone – the Outdoor Tech Privates may be the route to go.