Wednesday, May 29, 2024

REVIEWED: Red Fox EDGE headphones

Bluetooth, lightweight and waterproof, but these workout-proof cans ruin their chances by bringing Mini USB back from the dead

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OK, so it’s frowned on both at 40,000ft and by those after exacting audio, but Bluetooth IS the answer. Travel brings a few unwanted challenges – Bluetooth headphones need recharging – but the cable-free approach is, or soon will be, the only way to go. But only if it’s done properly. Primarily designed for runners and gym-slaves, can the Red Fox EDGE appeal to those after some lightweight, toughly made and waterproof headphones for the road?

Lightweight & waterproof

Weighing just 32g, the Red Fox EDGE have a solid feel to them, though it’s the silicon rubber backplate which offers just enough friction to prevent them from moving around. That’ll be the IPX4 nano coating for sweat and moisture protection. Controls are beside each earpiece; the right ear gets play/pause, and skip controls, while the left ear has call answer (or for activating Siri or Google Voice if you’re that way inclined), and volume rockers. There’s a built-in mic for taking calls. It’s all easy to work, but does take a while to get to know.

Mini USB alert

Sound quality is OK – a bit flat and bereft of mid-range – but these cans do stay in place well. They’re a comfy fit, too. Crucially, the battery inside the Red Fox EDGE lasts for nine hours, and recharges in an hour, but here comes the massive faux pas; the Red Fox EDGE uses Mini USB. Mini USB? “No, I don’t have a spare Mini USB cable. What is Mini USB?” I can imagine everyone you ever meet on a trip saying to you. Doh!

Leave them at home

As well as Micro USB, an analogue wired option would have been nice, because no-one wants to have dead headphones half-way through a trip; Bluetooth only feels futuristic until it runs out of juice. What feels like progress can quickly feel like going back to the Stone Age. The waterproof design is handy, although we’re not convinced that sound quality is high enough for most users. If you’re a runner after some basic tunes, go for it – they’re great – but if you want decent, reliable and easy-maintenance sound, there are dozens of better-sounding options that are more suited to travel.

Price as reviewed: US$119.99

Buy the Red Fox EDGE headphones