Just because you want a better music experience doesn’t mean that you need to break the bank. Interestingly enough, it also doesn’t mean that you should necessarily stick to big, well-known brand names. The Wicked Reverb full-size headphones carry a suggested retail price of just $30, making them a seemingly great value. But are you really getting a good deal or are you just throwing thirty bucks down the drain? Let’s find out!
Who Is Wicked Audio?
You’re not alone if you’ve never heard of Wicked Audio. In fact, a Google search doesn’t even reveal an official website. It was only after some digging around that I found that Wicked Audio is an off-shoot from Empire Brands. Even then, you can’t even find the Reverb headphones on their website. That’s not very good from a brand marketing perspective, but it does help that these headphones are being sold through major outlets like FYE, Wal-Mart, and Amazon.
You may not have ever heard of Wicked, but there’s no way that you’d miss these headphones if you saw them in the electronics aisle.
Yes, it’s quite possible that they’re biting some of the “edgy” style you may find with a better known brand like Skullcandy, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. These headphones have style; whether they’re your style is up to you decide.
Specifications and Box Contents
Inside the box, you get the headphones themselves with the attached four-foot cord. Aside from that, there is a six-foot extension cord and 1/4-inch audio adapter.
The version being reviewed here is the Wicked Reverb WI-8200. These full-size headphones come in a black and white color scheme. Alternatively, you can opt for the WI-8201 or WI-8202 for a blue or red color scheme, respectively. From a technological standpoint, the three headphones are identical.
In terms of specifications, you get a 20Hz to 20MHz frequency range, 32 ohms of impedance, and a pair of 40mm drivers. These are just regular headphones, so don’t expect a simulated 5.1 experience like you would with something like the Saitek Cyborg gaming headset but a little more like the experience you’d get from Ultrasone’s S-Logic Plus technology. The Reverb is made for music (and movies).
General Audio Performance: Thumping Bass
Before I describe the performance, I should note that while these phones feature a trendy “street” style, the build quality is anything but the best. It’s made with cheap hollow plastic and it feels decidedly cheap in the hands. It’s very lightweight, not at all giving the sense of a premium product. They are just $30, after all. Even so, the sound quality isn’t “cheap.” In fact, I was quite surprised with how good these budget headphones sound. The bass really thumps hard, making these “cans” a great option for people who are into hip hop and other bass-heavy tracks.
While the bass is massive, this comes at the expense of somewhat muffled mids and highs, but I can’t say that the mids and highs are terrible either. The highs aren’t harsh at all, which is a good thing. The range is decent and there’s no shortage of brain-shaking sound.
Just as I had some issues with the Creative Aurvana earphones, depending on the audio source, the same applies (to a lesser extent) here. Sound is great straight out of my laptop and it’s pretty good from an iPod, but going through a pass-through on my USB-connected 5.1 surround speakers left much to be desired. This re-affirms the importance of your audio source and how clean the signal is.
MegaTechie Bumping or MegaTechie Nothing?
I went in with fairly low expectations. After all, how good could $30 headphones really sound when they are compared to headphones that cost up to 10 times as much (if not more)? No, the Wicked Audio Reverb full-size headphones won’t sound as good as the $200 alternative, but they do sound really good for the price.
The bass is particularly impressive and the lightweight construction is actually quite comfortable, even for longer listening sessions. There is some sound “leakage,” but your neighbors shouldn’t be bothered all that much. The bigger concern comes from the cheap materials and cheap build quality. Handle them delicately and you’ll be just fine. Luckily, the price tag does come with a lifetime warranty, however we have yet to test the effectiveness of this value added feature. Though I’m sure all the usual “abuse” stipulations apply and all that is required is that you hang on to that receipt.
At such a budget price — I’ve seen them for as little as $20 online — the Reverbs are a pretty stellar deal.