My Bose headsets finally died. Frankly, while they were noise cancelling and did keep the hum at bay on long flights, they were bulky to pack and not durable for the long haul given how easily one of the ear cups fell off.
I investigated a few other options at CES and while I checked out the popular sellers, I was more keen on some of the lesser known brands, like House of Marley (am dying to test out their new over the ear and on ear headphones: Rise Up & Stir it Up are my two top favorites so far on first glance).
Sure, I was impressed by Parrot’s very sleek all black headset which if Nicholas will send me a pair, I’ll gladly put it to the test. But what about unique and interesting design? You see, for some of us, design matters.
I came across a unique pair of headsets kinda by accident. I was having a business meeting at the top of the Ritz Carlton when the WOODCHUCK guys overheard our conversation. We started chatting and they showed me their product, which proved to be interesting timing since I was about to embark on two back to back flights, totaling more than 13 hours. Their product is not actually the headset but the covering to a Beats by Dre headset, a wooden skin if you will.
Given that the Beats Studio headphones are noise cancelling, I was eager to try them out. What I was equally excited about was the natural wood skin by WOODCHUCK, one which transforms an otherwise, black and bland design into something that not only pops but makes you feel better.
WOODCHUCK is not a another product designed by a committee of suits, nor is it manufactured in China; the company was founded by a couple of guys in Minneapolis Minnesota, one of my favorite American cities.
A down-to-earth city births two down-to-earth entrepreneurs who birth a down-to-earth trendy design that is sustainable and eco-friendly.
While their passion is to create wood exteriors for headsets and other products (iPhone, iPad and others), their mission statement is to bring jobs back to America, nature back to people, and quality products back to consumers.
I have the Mahogany skin (shown above) but they offer other finishes including a darker Walnut (below) and Birch which is a lighter yellow/off white color, so neutral that it would go with any outfit.
You see, not only do they make a great pair of headsets look fabulous, but they are fashion statements in their own right, just like a pair of fabulously designed shoes. In other words, WOODCHUCK products make a statement.
Each wooden skin is individually selected for unique grain and quality. Laser cut, hand sanded, and finished in their Minneapolis workshop with the highest attention to detail and workmanship, their wooden Beats by Dre skin adheres to your headphones with 3M Brand (Non-Residue) Adhesive, and protects it from scratches, without the bulk of a full wrap-around case.
The headset itself is powered by a pair of AAA batteries and has super plush ear cups, which are covered with ultra-soft breathable materials. What I also loved about them, is that despite the fact that you’d think they’d take up more space with a wooden skin, they folded down into a smaller and more compact case than the one I lugged around for my Bose. Size and weight matter for frequent travelers.
And, they’re comfortable. With these headsets, you can take calls, skip songs and adjust volume right from the cord of your Beats Studio headphones.
I really love what the WOODCHUCK guys are trying to do and wearing a headset with their “skin” makes me feel connected to the earth and to American soil, bringing me closer to what’s natural, which is the opposite of what most technology-rich products do.
They’re currently running a Kickstarter campaign, so check them out and kick them a little money to get things off the ground. (no pun intended). Okay, maybe a little one.
GO WOODCHUCK and thanks for making me look ever so stylin’ on my recent American Airlines and Air Finn flights across the Atlantic.