Culture | September 22, 2014 9:00 am

Learn the Ropes

Ropes: Commuter headphones evolved

By The Editors

The dust has settled on yet another Apple unboxing day.

And whether you spent the weekend mooning over a new phone or smug-mugging from your carefree Android perch, now’s a fine time to give some thought to your sidekick’s most essential accessory:


Our suggestion: Ropes, unorthodox new bluetooth earphones from the audiophile upstarts at S.F.’s ROAM, taking orders now.

Like any premium headset, Ropes bring two trump cards to the table: good looks and better sound.

But ROAM’s taken things a step further by making them easy to deploy by design.

Let’s call it a sexy lanyard. Oddly not an oxymoron in this case.

The premise is simple. In order for a headset to be effective at what it does best (staving off unwanted conversation, let’s say), it should always be on hand.

Something tangled wires in pockets and cumbersome cans aren’t so good at.

Something Ropes pulls off by looking sharp on or off your ears.

As for sound quality, on-board signal processing rounds out the jagged edges of your phone’s digital compression and an app-based five-band equalizer makes for easy refinement to suit your taste.

Whether or not that includes U2.