It’s always a pleasant surprise to come across a device that exceeds one’s expectations, and that is certainly the case with the over the ear headphones from Houdt. Now granted, I’ve come to expect fantastic sound from the likes of Bose, Beats or Sennheiser, but there are a lot of other brands that similarly make stylish and more affordable offerings. Some are poor to decent, and others are pretty good.
Then there are those rare few that are better than hoped. Such is the case here. To start with, the headphones have a distinctive, premium look, thanks to the presence of wood (a brown walnut blend) on its earcups. The rest of the body of the headphones are black, lending the phones a less is more, classy and not ostentatious aesthetic that I instantly liked.
It’s the little things
That was not the first thing though that won my favour. Over the ear headphones can quite easily feel heavy on one’s head, reminiscent of wearing a miners helmet (not exactly fun), which mitigates against using them for long periods of time. Houdt has addressed this issue by making its over the head band as slim as possible – in fact, the headband consists of just two thin tubes that join the headphones together.
Then, two small padded sections adjust to the shape of one’s head. The net effect is that the weight pressing down on one is minimal, making for a much more easily wearable experience.
The next arena where the Tsunami impressed was in the earcups, which while covering the ear well, are well padded and light over one’s ear. This manages to create enough of a cocoon to get lost in the music, without feeling like one is being slowly smothered by two small pillows.
Listen closely now
So, as for comfort, the Tsunami clearly tick the right boxes. But what about the sound? Well, here was where I found the most pleasant surprise – it’s terrific. The audio output is crisp with a very welcome and strong presence of treble, while still providing a richness and warmth on the other end of the spectrum.
This makes for clear but certainly not tinny music, with individual notes and instruments standing out (rather than getting lost in an abundance of bass) while still providing a full bodied auditory experience as well.
They are not quite as bass driven as your typical over the ear offerings by Beats, but that, at least to my taste, is another point in their favour. I was also very impressed by how they coped with a range of outputs, whether watching a movie on my iPad or listening to music on my iPod or phone, the sound was more than acceptable.
There are also a few little touches I appreciated as well – the nylon was a lot less flimsy than I have experienced on other headsets and thus seemed less inclined to turn into a tangled spaghetti mess at a moment’s notice. The connections on either end are top notch – gold plated – and detachable from the headphones themselves for easier storage.
The Houdt headphones also come with a rare nice, drawstring bag to keep them protected from the other denizens of your backpack/briefcase/purse.
In the final analysis, I was more than surprised, I was also very impressed. If you are looking for a less pricey alternative but appreciate your sound, then I can easily recommend giving the Houdt Tsunami over the ear headphones a listen to. They are available from iFix stores and online from www.houdt.co.za for a RRP of R1 500.