I’m the kind of guy who was born with earlobes unsuitable for the headphone industry. Earphones would fall right off, and even in-ear variants had difficulties staying in place (Ultimate Ears 600vi’s Comply foam tips getting closest to reliable fit). So when I saw the first photos of Coloud Hoop’s intriguing design, I knew I had to try them out.
Check out the updates from the bottom of this post!
Turns out that although Hoop was announced earlier this year, it was still surprisingly hard to find a retailer. I ended up ordering them from here, since the price seems to be the same everywhere, 29 euros. Considering my previous earbuds were almost three times that, I was a bit skeptical about the product.
Skeptical no more!
Although I’ve been using Hoop only for a week or so, I can safely say that Ultimate Ears can stand aside. Adjustable loop (or should I say hoop) that comes through the earpiece itself is actually just the cable, not a separate thing. This “AnchorLoop” (Coloud’s official term, had to check) has stepless adjustment which should give a solid fit for any ear. Other positive remarks about the design:
- flat cable is advertised to be tangle-free, and from my experience flat cables usually are
- that grey color on the cable is actually reflective strip
- mic and remote buttons have very sturdy feel to them
- plug has angled design and reinforced structure
- weighs only 139 grams (almost can’t even feel them on my ears!)
- resistant to sweat, dust and splashes
So how about the sound then?
As you can see from the pictures, the earpiece actually does go a bit into your ear canal. This semi-canal design together with AnchorLoops’ snugly fit provides surprisingly decent sound and noise isolation somewhere between in-ears and regular earbuds, without adding pressure inside your ear canals. I was especially surprised of the amount of bass these quirky fellows can output (again largely dependent on how good seal you get), those 40mm dynamic drivers really seem to pack a punch. Take a look at that:
Hoop comes with secondary set of plugs(?), but to me they seem to be about the same size as the original grey ones, just different color. Here’s a size comparison to regular ear canal plugs:
So far I haven’t found anything truly negative about these earbuds. If anything notable will come up, I’ll update this same post with detailed info. Honestly I’m a bit dumbfound that there isn’t really reviews or any buzz about Hoop. If you are looking for earbuds that will stay on no matter what, I think there’s nothing that would beat Hoops in this price range.
Coloud Hoop earns my seal of approval.
UPDATE – After 5 months of use
I’ve been using Hoops nearly daily at the office, and few times in the gym. So far I’ve encountered one minor problem: the reflective strip is starting to flake/peel off from some points in the wire. Obviously this doesn’t affect the performance of the earbuds themselves, but it’s good to realize that with this price point, the build quality with details like this is what it is.
UPDATE 2 – HOOPS HAVE DIED after year and a half of use
Wiring inside has broken somewhere near where the reinforced area after the plug starts.