It really doesn’t get anymore minimalistic than Incase’s Pivot on ear headphones. Sometimes larger isn’t always better and if you are looking for a subtle and comfy pair of headphones, than the Pivot headphones might just be what you are looking for. Incase’s freshman entry into the headphone market is certainly interesting since they are known for producing quality case accessories for the iPhone, iPad, MacBook, and iPod. The Pivot on ear headphones happen to be just one of three different on ear headphones that they have introduced and this one in particular, hits the sweet spot in terms of comfort and price.
Minimalism is the key driver in this line-up of audio headgear from Incase. There are no flashy ear cups or loud paint jobs. These are just discreet comfy headphones that will emit a calm and soothing sound. The split headband is lightweight and comfortable without being loud. The exterior of the headphones feature the signature Incase soft touch finish that adds polish and class to these featherweight headphones, making them not only a joy to wear but also to hold in your hand. The interior of the earcups feature a soft felt material that hugs your ears, but over time might also absorb the grease from your face.
Not only are the headphones simple in design, but also in packaging. Simplistic and modern is the staple of this product. Included in the box is a drawstring bag that is lined with plush fur lining. Unfortunately, the bag will not provide much protection for your headphones from being crushed or smashed while traveling.
So why the name Pivot? This is most likely due to the fact that the ear cups pivot up and down on your ears for maximum comfort. They also can rotate flat for easy portability. The headband on the Pivot headphones does not adjust, but the earcups do. Just slide the earcups up or down for the perfect fit. While this design is an interesting twist on adjusting a pair of headphones, it didn’t feel like over time and heavy use, this would hold up before breaking.
While the Pivot definitely has won design points, it sadly fails at the most important thing – sound quality. For $59.95 we don’t expect to be completely blown away, but unfortunately the sound reproduced is completely weak and lacks body. Bass is lacking and so are mids and highs on many different genres and bit rates. When you turn the volume way up on some tunes, you can detect a hint of static as well. Leaking sound is also very prevalent as people standing around me could hear what I was listening too while testing. The mids and highs exhibited are certainly stronger than the bass outputted, but still lack a crispness you can get with some other headphones at this price range.
That said, we will give props for the integrated remote. This remote with mic is designed for the MacBook, iPod, iPhone and iPad. On the iPhone calls came through clear and functionality with the remote works well. The construction does tend to look a bit on the cheap side, but again, it works well, and without issue.
The Pivot over the ear heapdhones are perfect for those that care more about looks, comfort, and less on sound. If minimalist design, comfort, price, and hipster cred is important to you, then the Pivot headphones are your perfect match. But if you are looking for something with a little more punch in your music, look elsewhere. The Pivot on ear headphones retail for $59.95 and come in three different color combinations: Ash/Fluro Pink, Black/Fluro Green and Dove/Fluro Blue.
The Good: Minimalist and hip design concept; lightweight and pivoting ear cups that contour to your ears; comfortable; integrated remote control with mic.
The Bad: Music output lacks bass and body.