What: Nox Audio Scout headset
At first glance, the Nox Audio Scout looks like a set of plain earbuds. But take a closer (actually, much closer), and you’ll notice, the Scout will not only be able to pump out jams, but also let you answer phone calls.
The Scout is actually a crossover earbud and microphone headset that can be used for cellphones, media players and gaming consoles.
Design / Comfort
The headset is sleek and made from a durable rubber-like material. The linguine-like design of the main cord helps the headset stay tangle-free, even after its been shoved in a desk drawer for a couple of days.
Although they feature a lightweight design, the silicone earpieces can get a little bothersome after prolonged use. The earbuds also have a removable rubber tab that can be positioned to help eliminate outside noises, like traffic or that pesky talkative co-worker.
The beauty of the design however is the microphone, which is nearly invisible. A piece of plastic on one of the earbud cords, it hangs somewhere around the jaw or cheek. The microphone was clear enough for regular conversations while walking on a busy New York City street.
The scout also features, according to Nox, the "world's smallest" send/end button. The button is located at the juncture where the left and right earbud cords meet. Like the mic, the control is super discreet. It can be used to answer and end calls or play and pause a music track.
This micro button eliminates the need to dig into pockets or bags to perform some of the basic function of your gadget. Sadly, Nox omitted a volume button for a true hands-free experience.
I used recordings of Pink Floyd’s “Fearless,” Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good,” and Chris Brown’s “Yeah 3x” encoded in lossless WAV format and MP3 format with a bitrate of 320 Kbps to test the real world capabilities of the Scout. The result is a mixed bag.
The headset is designed to bring out accurate high, mids, and lows from high quality audio mixes. If you listen to musicians who make use of the entire audio spectrum with wide ranging vocals and instruments, the Scout will make sure you’ll be able to hear the minute details. Simone’s smooth vocals felt vivid, while each instrument in Pink Floyd’s band could be distinctly heard.
But if most of music stuffed into your media device is pop or hip hop, the audio quality actually sounds flat. Most pop and hip hop today is produced with a hard bass base line that dominates the track. Although the Scout provides accurate bass, the earbuds put out little thump – making the Chris Brown’s and Jessica Black’s of the world inconsequential.
I would recommend Nox Audio’s Scout headset for commuters who store high quality audio recordings on their smart phones.