Incipio FORTE 38 headphones

Grace Robinson
16 June, 2011
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Incipio FORTE 38 Headphones



Competitive price; rich bass and full spectrum sound


Poor level of passive noise isolation; design a bit clunky



Incipio – best known as the brand behind cases and power solutions for smartphones, tablets and notebooks – has expanded its product line to include headphones.  The first cab off the rank is the FORTE 38 model, part of the FORTE series, which includes headphones and earphones.

When it comes to headphones, there’s no doubt that at $37.99 the FORTE 38 is affordably priced amongst its competitors. And this may be most appealing to users who prefer headphones over earphones, but don’t necessarily require a high end model for listening to music.

The FORTE 38 is capable of delivering a pretty good spectrum of sound across a variety of music genres – I tested it listening to rock, hip hop. blues, indie and even jazz. Its best feature is the bass, with a rich sounding quality, ideal for listening to your favourite dance track.

The biggest problem I encountered is that its passive noise isolation is almost non-existent, which means you take in all of the background noise and clutter you wish to escape when listening to music. The sound of doors closing, keys typing and coffee cups pounding table tops makes for a frenetic addition to a jazz track, for example. The result is a dizzying sound experience that cut my listening time by about half.

The design of the FORTE 38 is a lightweight  – but sturdy – steel wire headframe with stylish detail, like the perforated leather covering the headband and ear frames. Admittedly, it is a bit clunky and cumbersome in size, but if you’re after something solid this would be a good model for durability; perfect for travelling in a schoolbag. You can also choose from a range of seven colours to customise your look (take note: the pink model is possibly the pinkest thing I’ve ever laid eyes on!).

Macworld Australia’s buying advice

All up, you can’t go past the affordability factor of the FORTE 38. But for those who want top-level performance headphones, cost is hardly a factor. The FORTE 38′s biggest flaw is that it muddies the quality of sound, remixing music with a plethora of background noise. That being said, if you’re after a well-priced and sturdy pair of headphones to plug into your music playing device, Incipio’s new-to-the-market offering is a good option to consider.

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