Haven't heard about Eskuche yet? Neither have we, but you'll be glad you just did. The newly formed audio brand based in Los Angeles is apparently heavily inspired by 70s industrial design of audio equipment, and it shows. Eskuche's new Control-i V2 headphones are perhaps one of the first affordably priced headphones that I'm thrilled to be testing out. The Control V2 headphones are a part of Eskuche's latest collection of trendy headphones dubbed the V2 series which combine retro styling with modern urban characteristics. Our full review is waiting for you down below.
Eskuche's Control V2 have a terrific pleasing design, an unbelievable sturdy build quality and an overall great distinctive fit and finish all throughout the durable 70s monitor-like ABS construction finished off with a matte look. They might not have an outrageously unique design since we have seen similar headphones like these around for a while now - hence the retro throwback, but the construction and solid feeling of the build quality the Control V2 headphones present makes us think they're a very good pair of large on-ear headphones for the $60 going price.
I love the classic, retroness appeal and the original creamy color tone. A light shade of baby blue in this case with a milk chocolatey leathery looking headband and ear pads finished off with chrome accents. Simple, and very mature. You'll be able to grab a pair in this blue color as well as in orange and brown exclusively at Apple stores at the moment. It's a shame that there isn't a black and white monotone colored Control V2 headphones. That would seriously be epic.
The polished metal adjustable hinges are some of the best designed and performing hinges I've come across on these style of headphones. They not only perform very well with a smooth up and down fluid motion, but they add a very stylish and chic appearance. The cable is a braided nylon fabric which does not tangle and gives the headphones their much deserved finishing touch of warmth and age. You'll also find machined metal inlay on each of the driver housing. Overall great build quality.
I could not believe how comfortable the Control V2 felt after wearing them thru a 2-hour long movie. Generally such type of headphones are almost never too comfortable to wear. While there is a significant clamping force from the metal headband, the Control V2's hidden tilting and articulating ear cup joints coupled with the chubby ear cushions, you get a comfortable fit for extended listening durations. Best of all, the plush padded cushions do their best in covering up your ears with very good passive sound isolation that blocks much of the external background noise.
With those fluffy ear cushions and oversized rectangular shaped ear cups which naturally fit your ears, the Control V2 boast an near over-ear design while keeping their footprint more at the level of on-ear design. Compared to the Nocs NS700 Pahser on-ear headphones, the Control V2's larger than normal on-ear ear cups destroy the small circular shaped cups and pads found on equally comfortable NS700 Phaser.
Nothing much to say about the lightly padded headband which is stiched together with a leathrete type of material.
The Control V2 feature a fully functional Apple in-line 3-button remote and mic which resembles the one found on Incase's Sonic and Reflex headphones, and will let you use your headphones as a headset for on the go or indoor skyping and whatnot. It's a cylindrical shaped remote with easy to use, great tactile multi-function volume control - play/pause and skip buttons as well as your call answer/end functionality. The mic quality serves its purpose adequately with clear sounding audio.
With the Control V2 headphones, you're not forced to take sound too seriously. Obviously they don't compare to higher-end headphones, but we did have our hopes since you can never know until you go ears on. Nonetheless, the Control V2 sound surprisingly good. Starting with their pronounced bass response that has a thumpin' clean presence followed by very warm mids without much forwardness to them. Lastly, highs need to be infused with some more umph meaning they do sound weak and not bright, albeit clean and clear across the board.
Technical talking aside, I'm quite pleased with how the Control V2 sound and I did not expect them to perform this well as a whole package. It's worth mentioning that the sound signature is on the warm side, in fact very warm. If I had to choose between the sound and the way these look, I'd have to pick the design because sound quality wise, the 40mm drivers in the Control V2 are in need of some more custom tuning. After the dynamic drivers settle in more, the sound will open up a bit with use (burn-in miles).
If you like bass that makes you nod your head noggin to the rhythm of the beat, then you'll enjoy the Control V2's deep lows. They sound very close to the Beats By Dre's signature bass performance, but without costing you an arm and a leg.
Eskuche's efforts in creating the design, build quality, the generous large on-ear cups and sound output on the Control V2 headphones are all quite above our expectations for the $60 price tag. You're not getting anything more or less for the price you pay, and for that we think the Control V2 are definitely a good choice at this price if you like the design and what they have got to offer. We're giving the Control V2 a solid recommendation for their all-inclusive performance package.
Update: We managed to get hold of another pair of Control V2 headphones, but this time in the orange color thanks to Eskuche. As you can tell, the color is just as awesome as the blue pair we reviewed above, only it's got a much more retro scheme to it with the burned orange tone and the milk chocolate trim. Very distinct style.