Being a Headphone Enthusiast , I find myself auditioning quite a few headphones. Not as many as some people on this website, but enough to give me an idea of what things should sound like. My other hobby besides audio is invention and innovation. I create products on my 3d printer either for around the home or prototypes for places like Gatorade. My passion for audio and innovation lead me to two main websites. Headfi and Kickstarter. I can spend hours on each website per day. When i saw the Decibullz Contour on Kickstarter, I knew that i needed to get a pair. So I backed the project and awaited my budget custom iems. What is so unique about these headphones is that they come with a 2 part ear tip system. The first part is a double flange silicon ear tip. The second part is a DIY custom ear tip that comes in various colors ( mine are blue) that can be molded to your ear in a matter of minutes.
Pros: COMFORT, Fit, Will not fall out, Isolation is phenomenal, comes with case, easy molding process,Double Flange Silicon tips
Cons: With the exceptional seal I found the bass to be very heavy, All plastic, "Tangle free wires" aren't so tangle free, very muddy, no detail, straight headphone jack ( I like 90 degree or V Moda's 45 degree)
Listening setup: 1) HTC Vivid -> Decibullz Contour 2) Ipad 2 -> Fiio e11 -> Decibullz Contour 3) Pc (Xonar Stx) -> Kasso Yj-01-> Decibullz Contour
What Comes in the Box
The box itself is a very nice box. it gives the overall product a premium feel. With a magnetic viewing door ( opens from the bottom right of the box) It feels like you are buying a product that is worth more than just 50 dollars. Going into the box you are presented with a clean presentation of simply your Decibullz Countours, The case ( which hold 3 sizes of double flange silicon ear tips), and the stand alone, most unique part of the headphone, The mold able ear tips.( In the picture the eartips are already molded to my ear.)
Design and Build Quality
From watching the Kickstarter Video and seeing pictures ( like the official one at the beginning of the post), I Thought that these were made of some brushed metal. To me that would make sense because in their video, it seems that they want to market this more towards the activists and runners more than casual listeners. Opening the box i found these to be a very cheap plastic. Besides the audio components, There is not a single peice of metal on the housing of the headphone. The finish is extremely glossy similar to the Ultimate Ears Ue4000/6000 and the Beats by Dre Studios/Solos. Again im not quite sure why they went this way with these ear buds considering they are aimed towards getting beat up. I Know that if I am going to go out running with these, Id better bring the case because I don't trust these in my pocket alone. The Cable itself is a flat cable starting to appear in some consumer headphones. The claim is that these are way more tangle resistant. I found them to tangle up as easily as the standard apple ear-buds and other normal headphones. The vibrant colors of the custom ear pieces give it a appealing contrast to the minimalist housing. It comes with a remote on the right wire ( also entirely plastic). At the end there is a straight nickle plated 3.5 mm jack.
Custom Tips and Fit
The overall Experience with molding was as simple as it is in the video. I plopped my molds into boiling water, took them out, stuck them in my ear, let them cool down. This is why i bought these headphones in the first place and this component works beautifully. It similar to a football mouth guard for your ears. This makes the fit absolutely incredible. They stay in just like they are supposed to. If you don't like the fit, you can always remold these again. When the thermoplastic cools, It turns to a solid hard plastic (which I feel is more sturdy than the rest of the headphone). This is definitely the highlight of the headphone and for good reason. Its a breakthrough for custom iems bringing custom earphones to you for such a cheap price.
I don't want to get into to much of the sound quality because honestly its not much to talk about. If these had improved sound quality over the rev1 model, I would hate to see what that sounded like. The bass was WAY over bloated. I felt like I was listening to some Monster, SOL, Or Beats. Similar to those headphones, This lead to detail being almost non existent. I felt as if there was some piece of paper between the driver and my ear. Something to muffle the sound. If it wasn't for the custom tips, These would be one of the worst headphones I've tried yet. If your are looking for sound on a budget, go buy the Monoprice 8320.
The isolation was excellent though. Because of the custom tips, no sound comes in. If you are the person that is on a train every day, or riding bike, These are the headphones for you. I actually put over ear headphones over these, played music, and still couldn't hear what was playing. The headphones make for better earplugs than anything else
Amping these headphones was not necessary as i saw little to no change. The headphone itself is not of a high enough quality to see any improvements from amps. Your phone will work fine.
Decibullz are something that are not quite developed yet. They set out to make revolutionary ear tips, then implement them on a line of headphones. The ear tips do everything they are supposed to and get the job done exceptionally. The problem is that the headphone itself is not there yet. Decibullz needs to not be afraid of making a cheap product and put much more R&D into their sound quality. I would be comfortable paying 100$ for these if they were A a better build quality and B better sounding. Although this is a rising company from Colorado, Their product works and it works well. They now need to focus on a better headphone to compliment their product. What good does a perfect fit mean if it doesn't make good sound? I suggest buying the tips alone rather than the entire headphone. They sell for 20 bucks and get the job done on your own headphone. Wait until rev3 of these and hope they improve the headphone more than the ear tips.
Edited by Mr calvin - 6/21/14 at 8:47am