Griffin debuts EarThumps earphones | iLounge News


Griffin debuts EarThumps earphones

imageGriffin Technology today announced its EarThumps in-ear earphones. The EarThumps are available in black or white, offer neodymium dynamic micro-drivers, and come with three different-sized silicone inserts and a nylon zippered carrying case. “EarThumps deliver clean transparent atmospheric highs, and deep, low bass,” says Griffin. “EarThumps increase your iPod listening experience by an order of magnitude, and come in either Status Symbol White or Undercover Black to match the newer iPods.” The EarThumps sell for $20.

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Silver_Haze: Submissions to news@ are screened by Larry Angell; I don’t touch the inbox. The standards (broadly stated) are that news has to be timely, accurate/verifiable, and of general interest to our readership. There are some exceptions to this based on concerns about individual submissions, but that’s it.

Code Monkey: To suggest that we’re “failing” or focusing only on $900 headphones is profoundly ignorant - cheap-shot debate tactics that won’t score any points here, especially since they’re not grounded in reality. The site’s traffic has never been higher, our reviews section has never been larger, and our forums never more popular.

Headphones are a very small part of what we do, and what our readers care about. To quantify this a bit, reviews of low-end headphones represent maybe 1% of this site’s content and about 0.25% of what readers are looking at every month. Reviews of price-no-object headphones also represent maybe 1% of this site’s content, and probably a little more than that of reader attention, because people are more likely to care about product reviews when they’re making big-ticket purchases. That said, we’ve consistently made an effort to cover virtually whatever comes in the door here without consideration of price, and we’ve always taken pains to underscore the superior value of lower-priced alternatives to their higher-priced equivalents.

Take another step back and look at the bigger picture. iPod accessories are only a fraction of this site’s content, and headphones an even smaller fraction of the total pool of accessories. Our “purpose” is to provide close to complete coverage of all products and services specifically marketed at iPod owners by significant distributors/manufacturers. That’s “all products and services,” not just headphones.

Beyond the fact that there are over 1,000 non-headphone accessories to review, we have also not seen any broad-based demand for what you’re asking for. Many people are perfectly happy with Apple’s pack-ins, and don’t replace them at all unless they break. When they do, they are as likely to look for a pair of replacement Apple buds as anything else. This kills headphone obsessives, who want to convert the entire world over to their favorite brands of buds, but most people are not looking to be converted. They are looking for things they did not get “for free” in the box with their iPods. And that’s what we spend the bulk of our time covering.

I’ll also note briefly that there is definitely a “you get what you pay for” phenomenon at play with inexpensive products, and we are not looking to recommend things that need to be replaced every two or three months. There was a time (called youth) when we were willing to throw a $20 bill at something rather than a $50 bill in the thought that we’d save money and get an ‘almost good enough’ experience. Over time, this has changed, and we’d now sooner spend $50 once, up front, than buy three $20 things (or worse yet, the $20 thing and then the $50 thing) every time the first or second one breaks. But your mileage may vary.

Final point, for Code Monkey specifically: I can see from your post history that you have some sort of need to insult other people, so this isn’t unexpected from you, but as a word of warning, continue with that sort of stuff and it’ll be your last post here. Have some respect for other people in this community.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on December 3, 2005 at 12:27 PM (CST)


Hey i really dont think reviewing headphones arent really important especially ones that are $20.00 when you can test it out for yourself and if you dont like return them its not that hard. Asking a big website like ilounge to do a review on a pair of $20.00 headphones is very difficult because im sure they get a lot of stuff in everyday and they cant review every iPod accessory they get.they review the ones they think is important and what readers want to read about. my 2 cent

Posted by Bob on December 3, 2005 at 1:07 PM (CST)


So, while you can do whatever you want with this site, a set of reviews that found good products available cheap and in brick and mortar stores is going to serve your readership by several orders of magnitude above what your review of the the $900 Ultimate Ears UE-10 Pro Earphones ever will.

Perhaps there are far more who have $20 budget, but it’s still nice (at least for me) to read about the upper end of the marketplace, though I admit if I really wanted such gear I can afford the stuff.

But even for those not in that market stratosphere, I’m sure there’s at least some curiosity amongst quite a few of them on whether dropping a greater part of a grand on earbuds is really going to get one a better product. At the very least, it gives some life to products that most will probably never see, let alone consider owning.

It’s sort of the same reason why mags like Road & Track and Motor Trend constantly paste pictures of Ferraris, Maseratis, Ford GTs and other exotics on their covers. Who among usual their readership really can affords these cars? Not many, but they still peak a fan’s interest. If a music fan truly, TRULY cares about sonic quality of the equipment he or she uses, then they should be at least curious about the normally unattainable as they are about the products they can buy.

Personally I think ilounge does a pretty good job of addressing all price points, even if I don’t always think there’s enough of a critical ear when doing so.

Posted by flatline response on December 3, 2005 at 1:56 PM (CST)


I say Kudos to Jeremy and all of iLounge. They have THE best reviews for iPod accessories I’ve found. And the popularity of the site agrees. Every iPod owner I know talks about this site. (ok, I only know 2 iPod users, but still!) As far as reviewing run of the mill earphones in brick and mortar stores. I personally don’t care about iLounge focusing on those. If you want to see reviews on that, go to and check out the user reviews. Products specifically made for iPod should get the forefront of attention. Especcially Griffin, since most of their products are A+ (in my opinion) and they won the best accessory maker for 2005 from iLounge.

I think the EarThumps should prove to be very good, considering they’re from Griffin, but am waiting for a review first. since they cost 28 dollars after shipping.

Posted by DeaPeaJay on December 3, 2005 at 3:31 PM (CST)


I’ve just discovered that my 4G (bought in Nov 04) actually does say 2003 on the back. For whatever that’s worth.

Posted by aliste on December 3, 2005 at 4:15 PM (CST)


I have two pair of iPod in ear buds that no longer work. my 20$ sony in-ears lasted over a year as did the 40$ sony, I just gave away a pair 50$ earphones that fit great but only delivered bass, nothing else.
I am sure the 600 or 90 or even 200$ headphones/buds etc sound great, but am not willing to pay that much for anything i cant try first.i’ll chance it and buy a set of these 20$ bargains, knowing full wee you get what you pay fr, but occasionally get a lhelluva lot more then you expect!!

Posted by dogratty on December 3, 2005 at 11:40 PM (CST)


Am I the only one missing something here?
Headphones are not only for ipods! Although, headphones are an important part of the ipod experience, they are only a fraction of what this site encompasses. This site does an amazing job in reviewing almost anything for ipods, I’m sure you can easily find a site that reviews only headphones, and will get a great selection of products and reviews there. If you feel you can do better than ilounge, go start your own site, dont waste all of our time.

Posted by Mike Bayuk on December 4, 2005 at 1:55 AM (CST)


Jeremy… don’t pay attention to morons… and thank you for your always helpful reviews.

i would however appreciate a review on this product someday (even if it’s from a random user… i’m beginning to think they don’t exist)

Posted by facciadicoolo on December 4, 2005 at 4:35 AM (CST)


I’m sure you can easily find a site that reviews only headphones, and will get a great selection of products and reviews there. If you feel you can do better than ilounge, go start your own site, dont waste all of our time.

The internet used to be such a great place for intelligent, thought-provoking discussion, even if it sometimes got disagreable. Then all the crass commercialism that now dominates had to lay waste to it all, and now everyone’s so hypersensitive about anything that can be construed as negative, as if anything bad is always bad and oh-so-detrimental to The Image. I mean, it’s not like it’s SonyBMG around here or anything so laughably pathetic…

Quite frankly, I find I’m having a tough time understanding what it is was that Code Monkey posted in this thread that was so wrong and harmful to ilounge as to invoke threats of banishment. It seems to me if a publicly viewed entity like ilounge can’t take even this sort milquetoast level of critique of itself (as I consider CM’s comments to be), it becomes harder from me to be sypathetic and accepting of its own critiques of others. As a spin on the old adage: if one can’t take ‘it’, then why should it be when that same one dishes its own ‘it’ out that there be an expectation that all others freely and openly accept its own opinions? I may be oversimplifying certain aspects, but after rereading all the posts here it was easy for me to come to this conclusion.

It seems to me it’s unfair and more than a little naive (or perhaps even a fair shade toward arrogance) to expect the contents of this site to fit all people all the time. Yet that’s exactly the impression I’m left with when I read the rebuttals to CM’s comments in this thread. Don’t agree with some of the content? Then go somewhere else as some of the loyal fans have suggested…well that’s a real winner of a close-minded answer.

People are obviously different, with obvious quantities of differing expectations and values and agendas…if you’re choosing to live out in the open in a very public spot…there’s no choice but to live and deal with it (well, unless one see’s himself as God or a cult). Just like you end up keeping product manufacturers honest, others (i.e., your readership) do the same with you, positive OR negative. Works pretty well for the NYT, CBS, zdnet, Popular Science, Forbes and all the other assortments and varieties of information dealers…seems reasonable to assume it should work here too (gawd, it’s scary how these days how I’m really sounding just like my Dad did when berating…er, I mean…lecturing me. Hope he’s not reading this…).

I expect someone will now probably tell ME to get lost; such it is these days on the internet (sigh).

Posted by flatline response on December 4, 2005 at 5:43 AM (CST)


Thank you flatline, I haven’t always agreed with you, but I don’t have to, and that’s the whole point. Although I am usually blunt, and even rude sometimes, you will find few instances of me making genuine personal insults against people or, in this case, sites (although I have slipped from time to time - I am, after all, in the running for the most moderated moderator where I get to be in charge ;-)). Instead I attack ideas, which is the fundamental basis of dialogue: to be able to disagree with what someone believes or says and not be restricted by meaningless and artifical constraints designed to protect people from ever thinking or being told they might actually be wrong.

I provided feedback on something I do believe is a failing in the reviews for iLounge. At no point did I say the reviews were all that mattered. At no point did I claim that all that was reviewed were $900 *-phone sets (in fact, I actually checked the price point and model for every single *-phone review before I posted because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t skewing things unfairly). Yet, that is all that Jeremy got from my post and threatened to ban me for *insulting* him/the site.

However, let’s make something clear: I agree 100% with the notion that a privately run website is free to do whatever they want and have any policies they want. A website is not a democracy, they are dictatorships, and they should be. All Jeremy had to say, if he felt like saying anything at all, is that he “chooses what he wants to review, there is no overall goal in place, and they aren’t going to change” and I’d have been perfectly placated. Instead I got my words twisted completely out of context and threats of banning. I don’t get it.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on December 4, 2005 at 8:46 AM (CST)


Code Monkey’s suggestion is stemming from his (incorrect) assumption that iLounge is in the same vein as Consumer Reports or PC Magazine.  For better or worse, what iLounge chooses to review is determined by one person, Jeremy Horowitz.  While other review establishments may strive to build a more comprehensive database of available products, Jeremy Horowitz chooses to not review products that don’t interest him, and that’s fine (I wouldn’t expect him to have the time to review all the products out there, as, apparently, he’s very busy).  iLounge does seem to review a majority of the products that would interest the average iPod buyer (but certainly not all of them.)  There are venerable review establishments, and then there’s iLounge, essentially a useful, well run iPod blog on sterioids.  Expectations should be set accordingly.

Posted by Grant on December 4, 2005 at 9:21 AM (CST)


I think iLounge is as comprehensive as any other site out there.  And I see plenty of discussions of values in reviews, particularly noting when accessories in the same price range as the item being reviewed is better or worse in some way.

I am however curious whether iLounge only reviews products which are sent to them for reviews or will buy things in order to review them.

I’m sure the latter was the case in the earlier days of the site but by now, I’m sure all accessory makers want the iLounge review, even though there are plenty of items which have B- grades or worse.

Posted by wco81 on December 4, 2005 at 10:22 AM (CST)


iLounge is certainly relatively comprehensive when it comes to iPod accessories - I can’t think of a site with more reviews on iPod-focused products.  My point to Code Monkey was just that iLounge is currently more like a blog than a fully staffed instrumented test lab, and, unfortunately, can’t be expected to review every single good accessory out there.  Not a ding on iLounge by any means - they’re doing their thing and are popular for a reason.

Posted by Grant on December 4, 2005 at 11:23 AM (CST)


“Code Monkey’s suggestion is stemming from his (incorrect) assumption that iLounge is in the same vein as Consumer Reports or PC Magazine. “

But I NEVER made such an assumption, which is clear to anybody who actually reads my comments. I even went so far as to spell out that I was making a suggestion based on *what* iLounge’s goal for the reviews was, and that if their goal was not to be a more balanced service, then the suggestion wasn’t relevant.

As I said:
Jeremy, thanks for commenting, but you are largely ignoring my point. I understand you have limited time, funds, etc. However, *what* is your purpose in the reviews? If it’s to entertain yourselves, hey, I fully understand, but if it’s to actually serve the public, you’re failing in my opinion.

My initial suggestion, which was simply a “I wish iLounge spent more time reviewing…” was received in totally out of context manner. My follow up, which I quote from right there, was received as hostile and insulting. Rather than say something akin to what I already suggested, i.e. “it’s my site, I’ll review what I want to”, he instead chose to threaten me with being banned.

The problem is not with my comments, but in the way Jeremy and others choose to read them due to their own biases.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on December 4, 2005 at 11:26 AM (CST)


This is turning into iLounge’s biggest wise-ass contest. Congratulations.

Posted by Jay on December 4, 2005 at 12:53 PM (CST)


Does anyone care about submitting information about the headphones…  I am curious to know what kind of response they have, etc.

Posted by Tim on December 4, 2005 at 1:06 PM (CST)


i am looking to puchase headbanger earsubs for ipod. please advise who has them

Posted by alarmo7 on December 4, 2005 at 3:02 PM (CST)


First, thanks to all who have posted in this thread, regardless of opinion. Words of support are always welcome, as is constructive criticism.

Tim: Prior to a burn-in that I put them through yesterday, the operative description of EarThumps is “very bass heavy.” Additional testing will start shortly.

Code Monkey: Sorry, sir, but you have been hostile and insulting to people on this site, and that is the reason for the threatened ban. Your comments across multiple threads have referred to fellow community members as “idiots,” plagued with “mental retardation” and so on. There are many people who would (and do) consider this trolling. But because you sometimes contribute to discussions in a useful way, I am attempting to provide you with an opportunity to stick around and continue to be a productive, non-offensive member of the community, rather than persist with the “you people are idiots” attitude. It’s your choice.

As pertains your specific comments above, there is no ambiguity in what you said: “One of the things I think this website misleads people on is headphone/earbud/earphone choices through their favoring of reviewing higher ended toys[,]” and “if it’s to actually serve the public, you’re failing in my opinion.” If we take the remainder of the “I wish” quote that you selectively edited in your most recent response above, your intent is even more obvious: “spend a lot more time reviewing accessories for their value to the widest audience instead of fostering the notion that we should all be saving our money to buy overpriced earphones[.]”

Those are your words, not taken out of context. In sum, you claimed iLounge is pursuing a selfish and/or misleading agenda, skewed towards promoting expensive products while not focusing on affordable ones. Not only is this offensive, but it’s untrue. Apart from iPods themselves, easily 70% of the products we review on this site sell for $40 or less, not even accounting for MSRP/street price differences. Additionally, our Buyers’ Guide had featured reviews of 13 total pairs of headphones: 4 of them sold for $50 and under (2 with MSRP under $30, and another was pointed out as available for $35). The only headphones we featured in Sneak Peeks were 3 sets of under-$50 headphones, with internal references to 2 more sets of under-$50 headphones (note: 3 of the 5 were actually under $30).

Grant: Thanks for your comments, but your statement, “for better or worse, what iLounge chooses to review is determined by one person,” and subsequent characterization of our editorial focus, are inaccurate. iLounge has as many as five people at certain times involved in the product picking process. I am one of those people, and a primary decision maker, as is Dennis Lloyd. We also get coverage input to varying degrees from Jerrod Hofferth, Bob Levens, and Larry Angell. The one thing that might surprise you about this process is that it is far more inclusive than exclusive - we go out of our way to seek out worthwhile things to review, and create a big pile of them, rather than trying to find ways to minimize our effort and the pool of possible items we look at. As stated above, “our ‘purpose’ is to provide close to complete coverage of all products and services specifically marketed at iPod owners by significant distributors/manufacturers.” We do our best, and will do better.

wco81: A combination of both.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on December 4, 2005 at 4:02 PM (CST)


Flatline: You said: Quite frankly, I find I’m having a tough time understanding what it is was that Code Monkey posted in this thread that was so wrong and harmful to ilounge as to invoke threats of banishment. If the earlier reference to his comments in other threads was not clear enough on this point, hopefully the links above will provide additional clarification for you. iLounge is a place for people to relax and discuss iPod- and iTunes-related information, not a place for people to insult others or provoke petty personal battles. We do what is necessary to preserve the peace here.

Regarding the suggestion that we have problems with competing comments or criticism on this site, seriously, give me a break. Our news stories, reviews, and the like are probably the most open to public commenting of any comparable site online. Since you brought these examples up, please feel free to point me to any news story or review on the NYT, Popular Science, and Forbes sites (or, better yet, in their printed editions) where reader comments sit on the same page as the original editorial content. They don’t. There’s a specific letters page where readers selected by the editors get to praise or critique past content, separate from the original articles. We haven’t done that. We have also gone out of our way to encourage reader comments, with basically three caveats: nothing ad hominem/personal, no advertising, and nothing that would mislead readers.

The problem you’re having here is not that this site discourages debate and discussion, which clearly is not the case, but that - heaven forbid - anyone from iLounge would publicly respond to and disagree with patently inaccurate characterizations of our work, opinions, or decision-making processes.

Your statement, “there’s no choice but to live and deal with it (well, unless one see’s himself as God or a cult)” is a bit absolutist. We are under no obligation to deal with users who abuse the site or its readers, and frankly don’t want them here. This site is moderated by several people - albeit loosely - for a reason, and again, we will do what is necessary to preserve the peace for the community at large.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on December 4, 2005 at 4:02 PM (CST)


When can we expect a review? I’m looking to purchase this, but at the same time, I’m not hesitant.
You said after short-tests, they were bass heavy, would you say overall, they are better, or worst then Apple’s own In-Ears?


Posted by Jay on December 4, 2005 at 4:45 PM (CST)

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