Midland SubZero ears on (or in rather)

When we first got wind of the Midland SubZero headphones, we thought that they sounded like a rather nifty little idea, especially given the freakishly cold weather that we're experiencing in Blighty at the moment.

And, with the cold snap seeming set to continue for a while yet, you may want to take notice of this hands-on.

The SubZero headphones are wrap-around earmuff style cans, with the insides covered in faux fur to get your lugholes warm.

And we have to say that the design works. It's a fairly tight fit, that is adjustable, but we found that the tighter you could handle the band, the better the cups fitted and the warmer our little ears stayed.

The design, apart from the practicalities, does look rather cool as well. We tested the black (non-leather ones) and they are even sleek enough to fit under a woolly hat, if you're on a mission to keep your whole bonce balmy in the cold weather.

The cable has a nice silver, and rubbery feel to it, which makes them pretty tangle-hassle-free, and there's a remote and a mic on board to take care of all of your calls, and music controls. We tried it out with an iPhone and all of the commands seemed to work without any problems.

The sound quality is decent. It's not brilliant by any stretch of the imagination (especially if you're used to in-ear buds, or noise isolating cans) but we've tested earphones that are around the same price with inferior quality and those did nothing to keep our little ears all nice and warm.

We found, with an iPod at least, it didn't pay to mess around with the EQ settings, you got a better sound with everything balanced. The SubZeros do struggle with bass a bit, but come on, these are not the headphones for audiophile listening - they are for chucking on in the freezing cold for that walk to work, or down the shops.

And yes, we know you can simply slip your buds under your beanie, but let's be honest, the pressure on your ears with them digging in eventually gets a bit irritating.

UK-based company Midland has done a deal with Firebox to get the funky headphones on sale in time for Christmas, and we think they'd make a great stocking-filler.

They are priced at £34.95 and come in black, camouflage or white.



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