Manufactured by Fresh ‘N Rebel, the CAPS headphones product belongs to the on-the-ear type of private listening device. If, like me, Fresh ‘N Rebel may not be all that familiar to you, I should explain that the company has designed a number of audio devices from its design centre based in the heart of Rotterdam. These products include a Bluetooth speaker, power bank and the subject of this review, the CAPS headphones, which currently is part of the offerings available from the Vodafone store.
The Fresh ‘N Rebel CAPS headphones are available in a choice of colours that include concrete (the colour not the substance), peppermint or the indigo of my review sample which Vodafone supplied. Whatever is your choice of colour, almost every element of the headphones will be of that particular colour. In my cases, apart from the wire linking the two ear pieces, everything was coloured indigo, even the lobster logo decorating the outside of the ear cups.
As well as being of the on-the-ear variety of listening devices, the CAPS headphones belong to the tethered fraternity. The supplied lead, coloured appropriately, measures 128 cm in its coiled state. This should be plenty for most situations and you can extend the coiled section of the lead if necessary. The lead is detachable with a straight 3.5 mm jack plug at one end and an L-shaped jack at the other end. Situated near the straight jack end of the lead is a microphone remote control unit which I will return to a little later.
The ear cups are attached to the 30 cm padded head band via rigid wired contraptions. This allows for 5 cm of adjustment to the positioning of the ear cups for a more comfortable fit. This 5 cm adjustment is the only one that can be made to the headphones when wearing this piece of kit. Rather surprisingly, due to the rigidity in other aspects, you can fold the ear cups back towards the head band in order to reduce the amount of space required by the headphones when not being used.
Despite not looking the most comfortable set of headphones I have encountered in the past, I was pleasantly surprised when using these headphones. The comfort level was better than I expect. While not being the best, these headphones were more comfortable that several offerings costing far more than the £30 being asked for this product.
The lack of any documentation supplied with this product did cause me to experiment a little when using these CAPS headphones. An issue did arise when using the supplied lead which connects to one of the ear pieces. Initially I connected the lead with the L-shaped jack plug connected to headset but quickly discovered that I could get no response from the remote control panel. Once I switched the lead around so that the straight end was connected to the headphones and the L-shaped jack plug was attached to the smartphone, the control panel’s functionality became available.
In this arrangement, the control panel is positioned high up on the body where is might cause some difficulty in accessing its features. Apart from the pinhole microphone, this control panel consists of a single small button. Depending upon the number of clicks this button can be used to perform certain tasks. A single click can accept or end a call and play/pause music. A double click will move you on to the next track while a triple click moves you back a track. As there is no indication as to which ear cup should be used for the right or left ear, you can make that choice yourself. Being right-handed I opted for wearing the headphones with the attached lead linked to the ear cup on the left ear to make it easiest when using the control panel.
I did check the company’s website to see if any downloadable documentation was available. There did appear to be one but this turned out to be little more than a reference to Facebook which was hardly relevant. Currently the Fresh ‘N Rebel CAPS headphones is listed at £30 from Vodafone. The company also offers a £5 discount if you purchase it in conjunction with a Vodafone branded device.
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