Lifestyle

The Audiophile Hoodie Won't Mess With Your Music Quality—We Tried It

Last week, we were sent the first prototype hoodie from Betabrand, which claims to enhance (or at least not hinder) music played through headphones while your hood’s up. Because you want to listen to music on your headphones when your hood is up. You just do. 

So to test, I first wrapped myself in an H&M hoodie, flipped up the hood, and jammed out. Then put on the Beta and did the same thing to compare. These are the results. Oh, and the cans were the killer B&O H6 Studio Headphones; highly recommended. 

Enya, "Only Time"

H&M 
Music's soft, fuzzy, like I'm in a phone booth at a concert. It's there, it wants me to slip into another dimension with Enya, but I just can't quite get on her same level. The girl sitting next to me popping her third MDMA has gotten much more out of this show.  

Betabrand 
It’s as if the girl turned to me, melted the phone booth’s glass with her ice cold Scandinavian blue eyes, handed me a pill, and the world finally made sense. Christ. Enya, this is how you were meant to be heard, if you were in fact meant to be heard while walking through an office in the summer while wearing a hoodie. 

Lil Jon, "Turn Down For What"

H&M 
I'm envisioning belly-flopping through a concrete roof (watch the vid) and for some reason, I feel like I'd just bruise my six-pack and cut my chin. This time, too, I feel like I'm distanced from the party; like I'm at my kid's friend's birthday party at a roller rink, and the DJ's playing the song for the skaters, but I'm stuck in the bathroom keeping guard of the stall door as my son goes number two. SON LET'S GO I JUST WANNA SKATE. But alas, I can't.  

Betabrand
Fire up your loud! Holy crap. Yup, Lil Jon, who made all my dreams come true 10 years ago with this gem, is going at it again, this time to a better degree as I really focus on the ludicrousness of his music. You can’t see me right now. But this is me. This is where I’m at. 

Taylor Swift, "All Too Well"

H&M 
If you know me, and you don't, you know that this song brings me to tears at nearly every verse. This '14 Grammys version, somehow, is better than her studio track, and I could listen to it 100 times and never NOT burst into tears when she belts out, "So casually cruel in the name of being honest." Until now. Now, it's like I'm lost in translation, or paralyzed by it. I might be okay, but I'm not fine at all. 

Betabrand
I'm bawling. It's like I'm in the theater, and she's on the stage with giant eagle wings, singing lead vocals, and I'm in the front row, and I'm HAMMERED drunk! Sorry, Talladega Nights reference. But no, seriously I am in tears. This is much more like it. I will remember this all, all too well.


Final verdict? As you can guess, yeah, the Beta was far superior of a listening device if you're going to rock your hood and wanna keep bumping along. But still, I just can't shake the notion of why you'd want to do this in the first place? The hoodie is awesome; warm but not stuffy and flexible both to lounge in and to run around the city. Why complicate things?


Ryan Hatch is the deputy editor for Supercompressor. He once took a day off work in 2008 to listen to this on repeat.