Model: Pipe CMYK
Compatible: All iPods except iPod shuffle 3G, iPhone*, iPhone 3G/3GS
AIAIAI Pipe Headset CMYK
This interestingly colored iPhone-ready headset -- complete with an integrated in-line one-button control and microphone -- was developed by Denmark's AIAIAI design company, with tuning by C4 Studios. Pipe (€45) features three sets of rubber ear tips, distinctively jointed rubber cabling, and soft rubber-coated earpieces; other colored versions are available as well. Tube-styled packaging was even more eye-catching than the headset itself.
Though we’re not going to give Pipe a full, formal review, we’ll note that the sound quality of the earphones struck us as only passable. They’re relatively inefficient drivers, requiring 50% or so of the iPhone or iPod’s volume meter to perform at the same amplitude reached by other earphones at 25-40% power, and between some very evident bass distortion and limited dynamic range, they don’t sound great, either, unless you’re willing to turn them up to unsafe volume levels—it’s our impression that the drivers were optimized for the wrong amplitude. We consider them to be style-conscious listening devices, not serious audio gear.