PIONEER STEEZ HEADPHONES
“Gazuntight… Oh sorry, I thought you said sneeze”
The Pioneer rep stares back at me with a blank expression. #Cringe
Steez is Pioneer’s audio range dedicated to street dance, hip hop, b-boy etc (You get the picture- I’m sure our younger readers have much hipper word to describe sliding on the floor in perfect timing to synthesised beats). I reviewed the Steez BoomBox a few months ago and was a great fan of the way they encapsulated everything great about dancing in one device. I have now got my hands on the Steez branded headphones and have similar optimism.
Coming in brilliant white, my first thoughts are that these are not for the shrinking violets. And to make sure the look matches your new trainers, the earcups are interchangeable with a pair of green and red earcups coming in the box as accessories. Overall, the design has been well thought of and feels sturdy enough to withstand rough use. You don’t have to be a genius to work out that it’s aimed at the young adult market, which is one of the biggest growth areas in the audio market, and these headphones are all about the young and individual.
Wearing a suit with these headphones is as natural as a giraffe riding a bike, and I admit that I did feel a little uneasy walking through the city with these prima donnas on my head. However, once the sun set, I transformed into my quirky t-shirt and chinos and my eyes were strangely drawn to the Steez. At the risk of sounding a bit naff, I really did feel the part, and this is exactly what Pioneer is trying to achieve.
In terms of performance, there weren’t any stand out qualities about the sound and could at times be a bit flat- but these criticisms were made before I realised how much they retailed at. At around £50, you won’t find much better than the Steez and is even comparable to headphones almost double the price. In addition, there was no significant sound leakage, and although they don’t claim to be noise cancelling, I found myself immersed in my own little world while wearing them.
I think Pioneer have missed a trick by not offering a wireless version of the Steez. Wired headphones are so last year, and when trying to sell to the most style conscience age group, this could be a serious deal breaker. It is a pity as they are a great looking, and functional, but with so many competitors offering a similar product without the inconvenience of wires, the dance crowd may go elsewhere.
Pioneer SE D10M-W headphones, RRP £59.99. For more information on the full Pioneer Steez range, visit www.pioneer–steez.com