SPOKE: earSHOTS Review
It’s with great sadness that in the year 2021 my life is still surrounded by wires of all sizes and colours. I honestly thought wires would be a thing of the past by now but here I am getting tangled in a web of ear bud wires while trying to delayer during a ride. Sure, there are wireless options on the market but these lack the water resistance and ability to stay in place while careering down your favourite trail.
Luckily with all good market voids there is someone tinkering away in the back ground with bright ideas to revolutionise the functionality of any given product. For outdoor audio this is Kiwi James Bell-Booth. EarSHOTS has come into the game strong and decisive with an offering that is extremely well finished and leaves you thinking, why aren’t more products this intuitive to use and maintain. While you’ve been searching for your lost EarPods in the redwoods or untangling the wires of your trusty earbuds in your driveway before your ride, the team at earSHOTS has been putting some serious thought into what outdoor athletes want from their audio experience.
In a nutshell they have created an audio product for the outdoors that allows riders to focus on their ride rather than their audio. What do I mean by this? Well for starters the case allows you to not only store them neatly but also charge them at the same time. I know this is nothing new but when the need to stay on top of charging is absent you end up with a product that is working with you rather than against you and this idea is at the core of everything earSHOTS wants to give its users. With a 4hr running time these will depressingly still outlast your iPhone that seems to need charging twice a day. So far these have not once gone flat on me simply because the case resides with my riding gear and when I’m home from a ride they go back into the case to be ready for next time. The case holds 16hrs of charge so depending on long your rides are will determine how often you plug you case in for some juice.
Now you’re probably looking at the photo wondering why these look so different to regular earbuds. The fit is definitely different to the shove and go earbuds. It’s more of a place and twist motion. Remember that first time you put a condom on, well that is kind of what it’s like, it can take a few tries to get it right and it can be difficult at first but you know that once you’ve got the hang of it, that’s when the good times roll.
Once you given up on your first attempt of getting them in and asked your buddy to grab a soft face mallet to help with installation you will probably stumble across the Shock Lock. Although this sounds like a revolutionary bike lock system that deters thieves by use of electrocution, its actually something quite different. Shock Lock is the small integrated magnets that softly hold together the body of the device behind your ear with the earbud inside. This helps with those harsh flat landing that jar so hard you think you’ll snap a pedal axle. I found the magnets were also useful for attaching them to your handlebars for when you’ve overplayed that One Direction song you tell your friends you hate and want to just listen to the birds on the pedal up. In all seriousness the earSHOTS ability to stay still and in place through rowdy riding conditions is a huge selling point.
With a built in microphone and functionalities to allow you take calls without needing to touch your phone you can be rest assured you won’t miss any of those business calls when you’re out riding on your sick day.
The sound is like that of many waterproof headphones, it’s not the strength of the product but I didn’t expect it to be. EarSHOTS is clearly not looking to be the Bose or Sennheiser you use at the office, they, like many smart companies have chosen their niche and designed a product that triumphs in the usability for that given field. They stay in and stay charged while supplying the tunes you love as you ride the trails you can’t get enough of. To release a debut product with this much attention to detail is unfathomable and shows earSHOTS have waited years to enter the market at the right time with the right product. I’m very excited to see where this small Kiwi start up goes from here.