Review: Incase Capsule

When I first heard Incase had a line of headphones coming out, my reaction was, “You mean the people who make iPhone cases?” And yes, it’s the same company, and yes, the same functional and colorful design has been applied here to its Capsule earbuds as its line of bags and protective cases.

The tooling is understated and smart — primarily muted earth tones with flashes of neon styling hidden beneath the rubber tip of each bud. They’re good-looking without being ostentatious. The finish is the same rubbery, grippy treatment found on other Incase products.

And the sound is excellent, especially for $50. The highs are crisp without being grating or fatiguing, distortion only creeps into the in the low end when the volume is dimed, and only on aggressive tracks. Overall, the sound is very well-balanced. They aren’t true in-ears, but the rubber tips form a seal that’s tight enough. In fact, I wore them to the gym and on a couple of long hikes, and it’s evident Incase knows its materials very well. The grippy rubber tips stayed put and performed admirably, but cord noise was kept to a minimum. Also, I abused them considerably for over a month, jamming them in my pocket instead of the case the whole time. They never once became tangled, and they still look brand new.

By and large, the best choice at the $50 mark — sound, styling, fit and durability are all excellent. – Michael Calore

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