I was pleased to receive a nice surprise in the mail in early November: a box containing a pair of Colorado-flag running socks…and a QAK Thump Case Pack. The company—named QAK to mean Quality in Accessories are Key—is right up the road from me in Boulder, Colorado, and they apparently embraced my living in Colorado as an opportunity to speak out about these headphones.
For those who have been following my adventures in headphones, it might be worth noting that of all the headphones I’ve reviewed in the past couple years, my favorite pair has been the Jaybird Freedom Bluetooth headphones that I had reviewed in summer 2012. I travel with them, run with them while my tunes play on my iPhone, and they’ve given me a lot of great times in the past year and a half.
Recently one of the Jaybird’s over-the-ear pieces got lost and, while I can still use them, running with them has become more difficult.
Then along came the QAK Thump headphones. Read on for more about these athlete-proof headphones.
What Comes in the Package
While you can purchase components of this system separately, you can save $10 by purchasing the case pack:
- QAK Thump Blu headphones, blue in color (other colors are available)
- Rigid zippered carrying case
- USB charging cable
- “Pair and Wear” instruction card
- Quick Start Guide (which to me looks like more comprehensive instructions)
Ease of Use
It’s simple: Follow the instructions and you’re on your way! The Thump Blu comes pre-charged so I got a full 6-7 hours of use before needing its first charge. I’m still only on my second charge. So far I’ve used these headphones for a couple of 5K runs and listening to music and Netflix on my laptop. Make sure your device to be paired with the headphones is in “Discoverable” mode, and then turn on the headphones, holding down the power button (which doubles as a phone switch) until the lights on the back of the headphones are alternating blinking blue and red. Continue the pairing per the instructions on your device.
After the connection is made, these headphones work similarly to any other. On my iPhone, volume control is relinquished to the headphones, but on my MacBook Pro, I could control volume both with the laptop and with the headphones.
The instruction sheet that’s included will guide users through the button operations: volume, playing/pausing, fast forwarding, and phone operations. All buttons worked as advertised.
Charging the headphones is very easy—simply plug them into any USB port with the included cable. The headphones’ charging port is near the LED lights behind a rubber cover.
Fit and Comfort
The earbuds are larger than many other in-ear headphones I’ve used. Others in my household who tried these headphones also noticed this. I don’t mind this, especially when pounding the pavement on my runs, but I can imagine others might have a hard time with the “tight” fit it might present in your ears.
Users have the option to wear the headphones “over the ear” or “under the ear.” I tried them in both configurations for longer periods of time and I very much prefer the “over the ear” configuration (such that the word “THUMPBLU” is facing upward). I always felt like the headphones were going to fall off my head in the “under the ear” setup. I prefer letting the headphones rest on the tops of my ears.
These headphones are lightweight enough to not give me any problems when I was out running. However, I had issues when sitting on my couch using them with my laptop: If I leaned my head back against the back of my couch, the headphones would press forward and be less comfortable. For me this was a problem that other headphones hadn’t ever given me.
QAK claims in several areas that these headphones are sweat resistant. Sweat resistant…not sweatproof. Nor are they waterproof. Don’t wear them in the rain, or in the pool, or while kayaking.
The QAK Thump Blu will make a great gift this holiday season for your favorite athlete or friend who craves a lightweight wireless headphones solution.
The Thump Blu comes in six colors and retails for $79.99 by itself with a charging cable, or $99.99 for the Case Pack that includes the rigid carrying case and charging cable. Buy the Thump Blu through QAK’s website, or through other electronics retailers such as Amazon.
GeekMom received this item for review purposes.