I've reviewed Wicked Audio headphones before, and while I wasn't blown away, they were certainly adequate. I'm quite happy to say that the Shred 2 sport earbuds from Wicked are more than adequate (thanks in a HUGE way to the Neck Lock feature).
I've been used the Shred 2s for just over a week, in and out of the gym, so without further ado, let's get to the review (ALL THE RHYMES).
Wrap your arms around my neck and don't let go
I want to get straight to the Neck Lock feature of these earbuds, because I think it's what truly makes them shine. All Neck Lock is is an added bit of cable that connects the battery to the earbuds via a magnetic clip. The clip secure behind your neck and accepts all the weight of the battery, so the earbuds feel wonderfully unfettered in your ears — I'm talking zero tension.
With many Bluetooth earbuds I've tried, they've either been too heavy in the ears, flopping around while I run, or the playback controls have been awkward and cumbersome. The Shred 2s eliminate that nonsense, stashing the battery in the Neck Lock clip, leaving a lightweight playback control module that hangs down like a necklace. It has just three buttons: power/play/answer calls, volume up, and volume down (the volume buttons are also how you change tracks and whatnot). It's simple, easy to navigate without looking, and above all, light. That's imperative in a pair of workout headphones, and these nail it.
The Neck Lock clasp is magnetic, and while it's strong enough to hold while you work out, it comes apart easily if you just pull the headphones off you. It also snaps easily, so you're not fiddling when you put it on. This feature makes these headphones.
A fit for every ear
Another rad aspect of the Shred 2 earbuds is the customizable fit — they come with two sets of large fins, two sets of small fins, two sets of loops (if you're not into fins), and large, medium, and small cushions, in both black and red.
Basically, you can make them fit your ears perfectly, and even change that as needed, depending on your workout. I don't usually expect a lot for $50 (even though that's an exorbitant price for "budget headphones"), so I was pleasantly surprised opening this box to find out that you do indeed get quite a bit of bang for your buck.
Listen to the money you'll save
The sound aspect of the Shred 2 earbuds is where you find out why these are priced the way they are. Though the bass is present and warm, the high end is a bit muffled and less than crisp, which is not to say that these sound bad — they just don't sound great. If I had to give them a score out of 10 for sound, I'd put it somewhere around a 7.
That being said, I pop these in when I'm drumming (under construction earmuffs), and they are more than adequate. Would I use these as a means to truly enjoy the music I love? No. But are they more than perfect for the gym, jamming, or walking the dog? Absolutely. In fact, the longer you listen, the more the sound grows on you.
For most people, these might even sound good enough for your daily 'buds. For audiophiles, not so much.
Should you buy these? Yup!
I've been looking for solid workout headphones for a while, and none have ever really done it, until the Shred 2s. That Neck Lock makes all the difference, and I'm even willing to compromise on audio quality (a little bit) for that. They're not available just yet, but you can keep checking back on Wicked Audio's site for stock, or your favorite local electronics retailer.