Zipbuds SLIDE In-Ear Headphones Review

Tangle-free budget earbuds with noise canceling microphone

Zipbuds SLIDE
Zipbuds SLIDE (Black Sea version). Image © Zipbuds, LLC.

Zipbuds SLIDE

Having a pair of earphones that don't tangle is probably a feature that's high on most people's wish list. Just think of the time you've wasted sorting out a scrambled mess of wires when you could have been listening to music.

So, when I received the Zipbuds SLIDE to review I didn't hesitate to check them out. As well as a zipperless zipper design to keep cables tangle-free, the SLIDE's also boast:

  • Precision-tuned drivers.
  • Military grade fiber reenforcement.
  • Oxygen-free copper wiring.
  • Noise-filtering microphone.
  • Angled earphone design.
  • Three custom ear tip sizes (s / m / l).

Currently they come in four color options. These are: All Black, Black and White, Black Sea and P.O.P.

As you may know, Zipbuds has already launched a line of earphone products that have a traditional zipper design. In fact, I reviewed the Zipbuds Pro Mic with this exact same design and they impressed me with its tangle-free abilities.

But, the big question is, 'how does the SLIDE's anti-tangle design compare, and do they give good sound?'

Design

As previously mentioned, Zipbuds have gone for a zipperless zipper design for the SLIDE's to keep cables from twisting together. This is similar (but not the same) as Ziploc products you might have used. A slider mechanism moves up and down the length of the cable to open or close the ridge and groove zipper.

The design works very well and has a smooth action, providing you keep the individual cables reasonably straight and separated from each other. It may be an improvement on the original zipper design, but personally it doesn't feel as robust. That said, it worked faultlessly during testing and isn't as clunky as the old design.

Moving on to the cable, you'll notice that the quality of it really stands out. The company say their cable construction is built to last and comes with military grade fiber to protect the internal oxygen-free copper writing. It's nice to see a healthy amount of strain relief too where it's needed -- wiring tends to fail around the earphone housings and jack plug.

All this cable protection doesn't make the cable heavy at all either -- in fact, it is remarkably light-weight.

The Comfort Factor

As with most in-ear headphones, the SLIDE's come with extra ear tips to get that perfect fit. The large sized tips are fitted as standard, but in the box you'll also find small and medium tips which are easily swapped.

For the driver housings, Zipbuds have continued their angled design which is called ComfortFit4™ on the SLIDE's.  This is engineered to make them more comfortable to wear as well as improving driver position. When testing them out I found them comfortable to wear. Although one minor point to mention, it would be nice to see a visual left/right mark on each earphone casing -- sometimes I got them the wrong way around.

Remote Control / Noise Canceling Microphone

It's almost expected these days that a pair of earphones should come with an in-line remote control and microphone.

Zipbuds have dutifully obliged and included a noise-canceling microphone for clearer voice pickup when in call mode.

The built-in button also serves as a multifunction remote for music playback so you can send basic commands such as skip, play / pause, etc. This part of the SLIDE works very well and is a great feature to have if your smartphone is used for digital music.

Audio Performance

As far as design goes, the SLIDE checks all the boxes. It's constructed well and looks good, but what about audio? Is the sound, 'an insane clean mix of clarity and bass' as the company claims?

Audio quality is always a subjective matter.

But, my overall impression after listening to the Zipbuds SLIDE is it delivers quite a respectable sound. But, as you might imagine not as remarkable as more expensive ear gear. The clarity of the audio is excellent and was the first thing that I immediately zoned in to. Vocals are crystal clear and the mid to highs are nicely detailed.

However, the SLIDE's sound signature lacks a little bass end. This gives things like drums a weaker punch than you might expect. It's not bad, but a little more low end response would be better balance in my view.

Conclusion

Overall, the SLIDE's are well made and look good. They are a decent step up from the usual crop of budget earbuds.  However, they lack a little bass response. If you like to listen to bass-heavy music, then these might disappoint in this area.

That's only one downside though. The upsides are plentiful. For starters, the anti-tangle zipperless design works flawlessly and is a lot less clunky than the traditional zipper design (used for the Zipbuds Pro Mic). They are comfortable to wear for long periods and the cable is well engineered.

With the military grade fiber re-enforcement there's no reason why your investment shouldn't last a long time.

 

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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