Being only a few days away from Christmas, now is the time to figure out those last minute gifts and/or plan how to spend that Christmas cash. If you’re anything like me, then skateboarding and music go hand-in-hand. But, listening to music while skating tends to have its problems; the cords get in the way, the headphones get disconnected, the iPod flies out of your pocket, etc…
This is a problem Aaron Phillips, founder of Soundescapes Inc., has provided a solution for. Through Soundescapes, Aaron brings to you i360 Music Infused Apparel, offering a line-up of beanies, hat beanies and headbands that have hidden pockets that house an internal speaker system and your iPod Nano, removing cords from the equation. The speakers are detachable so that they can be taken out, along with your iPod, and the hat and wiring can be washed safely.
I was given the opportunity to try out an i360 beanie (Holiday price of $29.95). This hat is designed for the 1st, 2nd, 4th & 5th generation Apple iPod Nano and the 6th generation Nano and Nike + iPod system. The limitations of what mp3 player you can use is based on size and comfort, seeing as the mp3 player is placed inside the hat. But, if you have an mp3 player of a similar size, it is compatible.
All of the headwear is tagged as being ‘one size fits most’ and I had no problem with the hat fitting. When putting on the hat, you have to adjust the position of the speakers over your ears by hand. This is not a difficult process, the speakers can move just about anywhere in the hat and doesn’t require any real effort. The mp3 player is positioned sideways on the left side of the head with the buttons towards the back of the head. All of that being said, I did not find the speakers or iPod to feel uncomfortable on my head. If you are familiar with your iPod, there should be no learning curve in getting used to pushing the buttons on your head to change the song. Not being able to see the screen may be a problem for some people so I would suggest setting a play list before you put the mp3 player into the hat.
As far as sound quality goes, the i360 speaker system sounds no different than your standard iPod earbuds. But, seeing as these are speakers rather than earbuds, I was curious to see how the sound held up while actually out skateboarding. I kept the volume at half on my iPod and had no trouble hearing the music at a comfortable volume above the noise of my skating and the wind. Even though there are speakers in the hat rather than earbuds, the people around could not hear the music. The speakers can get pretty loud so any other noise distractions can most likely be blocked out by the speakers.
I must say I was impressed by the ingenuity of this product and was even more impressed when it worked up to my expectations. Aside from the iPod Nano limitation, I had no problems wearing or using the hat and would recommend this to anyone who regularly listens to music while they skate (or any other time you throw on a hat).
To check out all the different products i360 offers and to take advantage of the holiday pricing (items as low as $19.95), click here.