Headphones can sometimes be extremely hard to give an opinion on, with so many on the market there are quite a lot of options and features to choose from and compare between, but what the heck, were going to take it on, reviewing iLuv’s latest on-ear headphones called ReF.
The ReF headphones come with quite a different design from what you would normally expect from a set of headphones, designed with a canvas exterior, that iLuv claims to be “a durable fabric that suits your urban lifestyle”, and I’ll give them one thing, these headphones defiantly look great, but I’m not sure they would be everyone’s cup of tea, but then again, what is?
On the exterior of the ear cups you grab your first look at the canvas design, which you might be surprised to know, feels great.
I really liked how iLuv added detail with the stitching around the edge of the ear cups too.
On the inside of the ear cups however, you will find a comfortable “premium” protein leather, which much like the outside feel great and defiantly make the strain of wearing on-ear headphones a lot less strenuous.
In terms of sound, the ReF headphones features a titanium diaphragm, with a Supra aural sealed speaker driver, for deep bass. The speaker itself is sized at 40mm, with a frequency response of 20Hz to 20KHz.
The ReF features a maximum input of 200W with a 3.5mm gold-plated headphone jack, iLuv have put so much detail into these headphones, they are one of the only ones I have seen in a long time (apart from Razer’s) to feature a braided cord, sized at 1.2 metres the cord itself is also kitted out with fabric.
The band of the headphones are actually quite weird, 1/3 of it is made of metal connecting to the ear cups themselves, and the other part of the band is a sort of fabric and plastic hybrid, I’m not sure if there is metal inside however.
However this band will allow you to fold the headphones up, upon doing so I actually noticed that the metal part of the band sticks a little, making it difficult to adjust the height of the ear cups, however this is probably so the ear cups actually stay in the place you want them.
One thing I forgot to mention, the braided cable also features an in-line remote control with three separate buttons designed to work with various Apple devices, however the middle button will work with most smartphones.
The buttons allow you to skip/pause/play tracks as well as change the volume on the device itself, around the back of the buttons there’s also a microphone, which brings a similar experience to that of the Apple created headphones, which are okay but not the best.
However this microphone is more for casual use.
The sound of these headphones is actually quite impressive, they create a full and rich sound in a range of environments from simply watching a movie, to listening to your favorite tracks on the bus.
Bass sounds great on the headphones, something that doesn’t always come naturally with headphones of this type, but due to the soft ear cups, the headphones actually mold around the ears to create a tight seal, resulting in a great surround sound, without surround sound technology.
Overall I did like the ReF on-ear headphones by iLuv, they sound great, look great and feel great to wear, and to top it all off they come with an awesome braided cable, something I am always happy to see with any product, we really need to outlaw tangled headphones and cables.
However some people may not be a huge fan of their design, as it is something quite unique, alongside this I felt more work could have been done with the packaging and I would have liked to see the inclusion of a carrying case.
The iLuv ReF on-ear headphones are priced at around £70 around the web(you can check them out on the iLuv website), which places them a quite a high quality range. I think however they belong there, but if the things I pointed out a moment ago were used then I think they would have a lot more value for money.
Disclosure: We were sent these headphones for review by iLuv.