I always feel like a kid in a candy store whenever I look at the MobileFun.com website. The company sells a huge number of iPhone and iPad accessories — chargers, docks, automobile kits, cases, you name it. I still love the DODOcase HARDcover for iPad mini that I reviewed early this year. MobileFun recently sent me a free review unit of the iT7x Premium Wireless Bluetooth Headphones and I've been testing them for the past month. I've been a happy user of Apple's $80 ($60 on Amazon) in-Ear Headphones for over four years now, so I'm very used to having a pair of white cords dangling out of my ears, and I wasn't sure how much of an advantage it would be to use wireless headphones. But soon after I started usig the iT7x, I realized that wireless headphones are both useful and fun. If you listen to just about any audio from your iPhone or iPad — music, audiobooks, podcasts, movies — you'll enjoy using this product.
Before talking about the product, a brief word about the packaging. Apple is famous for creating an amazing unboxing experience. It only takes a few minutes to open a box containing an iPhone or an iPad, and after you do so you may never look at the box again, but the care and attention that goes into the packaging signals to you from the outset that you are about to use a premium product. I won't ruin the surprise by posting pictures of the iT7x packaging, but suffice it to say that it is delightful. If you decide to give this as a gift, your recipient will appreciate the quality even before first pairing the headphone with an iPhone.
The iT7x is an over-the-ear style headphone, which means that it isn't small. Frankly, the last time that I regularly used this style of headphone, it had a curly black cord and I connected it to the amplifier in my room to listen to my record player as a child in the 1970s. I was happy to discover that the iT7x is quite comfortable to wear. The cushioned speakers surround each of your ears, the padded headband feels good, and you can adjust the size to ensure the best fit whether you have a small or a big head. (Yes, I realize I'm setting myself up for a joke there.)
The Bluetooth pairing is simple. Just hold down the large button on the side of the right ear speaker for a few seconds as you turn on the unit until a blue light flashes, then pair using the Settings app on the iPhone or iPad. You will then start to hear all audio through the iT7x.
And the audio sounds quite good. Nice highs and lows, and decent thumps from the bass that are enjoyable without being overpowering. My music sounded beautiful and the audio portion of videos sounded great. (I'm currently catching up on Breaking Bad; I'm in the middle of Season 4, so no spoilers in the Comments please!) I only have two minor complaints about the sound. First, when no sound is playing (such as between songs) I can hear a slight hiss in the background. It's not unpleasant, but it is noticeable. Second, about 10 seconds after you pause or stop audio on your iPhone/iPad, the iT7x enters into standby mode, after which you no longer hear that slight hiss or any other sound — and as it goes into standby mode you hear a slightly startling pop sound that I did find somewhat annoying. But those complaints are minor, and overall I was very satisfied with the sound on the iT7x.
There are controls on the side of the right speaker that make it largely unnecessary to touch your iPhone or iPad. There are buttons to increase the volume, decrease the volume, skip to the next track and go back. If you hold down the next track button the music will speed up but there doesn't seem to be a way to return the speed to normal, which seems like a bug either with the iT7x or iOS 7. You can tap the large power button in the middle to trigger Siri, making it easy to tell your iPhone to call someone, ask Siri the current time, etc. One obvious omission — there is no play/pause button. Instead, there is a mute button that stops the sound as long as you hold it down, useful if you want to talk to someone for a few seconds (sound keeps playing on your iPhone but you just don't hear it), but I'd find it more useful for that to be a play/pause button. You can press the large button and tell Siri to "pause music" but that's not as fast as pressing a pause button.
I mentioned that you can tell Siri to call someone. The iT7x includes a built-in microphone. It is invisible — there is no boom mic coming out of the side or anything like that — but in my tests it worked well for making phone calls with the iT7x, and as noted, it lets you give instructions to Siri.
You charge the iT7x with a cable that plugs into USB on one side and plugs into the bottom of the right speaker on the other side. A charged iT7x lasts for about five hours. The iT7x also comes with a cord so that you can plug it in to a headphone jack if you want to do so, although that obviously defeats the purpose of a wireless headphone.
You can fold up the iT7x to make it a little more portable for travel, which works well if you are putting them in a suitcase but I still found them a little large for a briefcase.
The iT7 Audio line is part of British company Bluechipworld and is named for Ian Taylor, who Wikipedia tells me is a retired English soccer player best known for playing for the Aston Villa Football Club in Birmingham. With that background, it comes as no surprise that one target market for this product is folks who are working out or otherwise involved in physical activity where wires can get in the way. I prefer to use my Nike Plus enabled iPod Nano when I run so I didn't test that use of the iT7x, but I found many other great uses for wireless headphones. When I was cutting the grass or doing other yard work, or doing other chores around the house, it was great to be able to slip my iPhone in my pocket and wear the iT7x without any risk of a headphone cord getting caught up in whatever I am doing. When I watched those Breaking Bad episodes on my iPad at night, it was nice to not have to worry about a cord dangling down across the iPad screen. (And even though the headphones were plenty loud enough for me, they are designed to make very little noise for others so there was no risk of waking my wife in bed.)
I see on the Bluechipworld website that the company makes other iT7 products, such as the newer iT7x2 (which comes in different colors and can go longer between charges, but I don't believe is for sale in America yet), plus the website says that the iT7i and iT7Pro are "coming soon" with other features. But I've been very happy with the iT7x. Other than the minor inconvenience of no play/pause button (which also appears to be missing on the iT7x2), these headphones have worked well and have shown me how useful and fun it is to have wireless, great-sounding audio.