ShareBrand: Headphones with Heart
ShareBrand was created by two friends in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. They’ve created a diverse line of products that connect commerce with charity. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds from all their sales go to charities. Items are color-coded - blue product proceeds go to men and children’s health, yellow to education, pink to women and childhood causes, green to environmental issues and red to fight poverty.
Their partner/benefactors include Project Angel Heart that delivers meals to people struggling with life-threatening illnesses, Rays of Grace that’s building a school in Uganda, and Friendship Bridge that helps Guatemalan women escape the bonds of poverty through microcredit and education.
The products offered by ShareBrand are limited: tee-shirt, coffee mug, dog collar, iPhone cover, wallet, tote bag, yoga mat, earphones and headphones. Obviously, I wanted to check out the headphones.
The stereo headphones ($65 retail) are available in the whole range of colors. I got the red ones. They’re on-ear headphones with an inline microphone for taking phone calls. They have a 40mm neodymium driver. The upper area of the headband is well-padded and quite comfortable. However, the rest of the band is plastic and has a rather cheap feel. The cups swivel to ensure a good, snug fit at a comfortable angle.
I really embrace what ShareBrand is going for, but I was disappointed in the sound of the headphones. I checked out the headphones with Michael Jackson’s Xscape downloaded from HD Tracks. The first single is “Love Never Felt So Good” - this version features a guest appearance by Justin Timberlake. The high end had a veiled, pulled-back quality, especially on both men’s vocals. I noticed that there’s a rather thick layer of foam covering the drivers inside the ear cup. I wonder if simply replacing that with thin fabric would help bring back the treble. The lush strings and upper percussion lacked sparkle. A song this happy and upbeat needs that sparkle to shine.The bass had a warm, enveloping sound but lacked distinction.
If you’re looking for a meaningful gift for someone you know with a kind heart, take a look at the whole ShareBrand product line. An audiophile might be looking for something with a better sound, but for many people, helping out a charity is just as important. Make a statement: giving is good for the giver and receiver. While most products make corporations richer, these are products you can feel good about buying - they enrich in other ways.