Digital Editor Mason Cusack reviews one of the UK’s coolest consumer tech exports: BassBuds in-ear headphones, with a special treat for readers who reach the end of the article.

Redbrick's Digital Editor 2015-16. Founder of Redbrick Gaming. Computer Science student.
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A good go-to set of earphones is a must for student life. For train journeys to your job or internship, to and from the city centre, or walking to and from uni, music and podcasts are a must – and your chosen pair of earphones needs to be versatile enough to handle it all.

In my time using BassBuds, versatility is exactly the word that has recurrently come to mind. Don’t let the name fool you – BassBuds aren’t by any means specialist or genre-biased headphones. They’re not even notably bass-heavy. Rather, they offer consistent, robust sound quality 100% regardless of what you’re listening to. I’ve tested these things with everything from Sinatra to Sia to System of a Down, and they simply refuse to break down in terms of overall sound quality. I’m not entirely sure what their renowned Crystaltronics sound technology is doing, but it’s impressive, and it gives the earphones a generic range I’ve never encountered in any other in-ear headphone. It’s easy to see why they come recommended by the likes of Calvin Harris, Rita Ora and a wealth of other industry professionals from a range of genres from EDM to Hip hop. They just work.

The Wanted show off their BassBuds.
The Wanted show off their BassBuds.

They also come in a bunch of colour variations, although all are made from precision-cut aluminium and encrusted with a Swarovski crystal at the back of the earpiece. The Classic Range – which I tested – includes platinum, white, purple, green, yellow, red, blue, light blue, pink and black variants. Different colours of crystals are also available. Personally, I went for the more low-key black-on-black option, and even then, these earphones still shine – quite literally. The aluminium casing provides a sheen that immediately suggests luxury quality, and the crystals provide enough of a unique shape and light sparkle to catch the eye, without being gaudy.  They aren’t too effeminate, and they aren’t going to outshine your earrings – they simply have a unique and distinctly fashionable visual identity that differentiates them from other offerings. You even have the option to have them engraved (for just an added £5) upon purchasing.

Then there are the extras. One essential feature BassBuds ship with is hands-free functionality: the buds are compatible with all modern phones, and include a mic and a dual-function call answer/call end button on their wire. It’s a simple thing, but provides a huge step forward if switching from earphones that don’t include it, as it means no more hurriedly pulling your phone out of your pocket – often with the rest of its contents – having to take a call with a handful of wires and then replace and reorganise everything when the call ends. If you’re on the move, this feature is absolutely essential.

Lawson are also proud owners of BassBuds.
Lawson are also proud owners of BassBuds.

BassBuds also come with a handy bag which I’ve found doubles as a cleaning cloth, that helps keep them tidy and prepare them for storage in a backpack or suitcase, along with another extra: the wide variation of earbuds the headphones ship with. These include the familiar silicone buds you might already use in a range of sizes, but also something pretty revolutionary, at least in my experience. These are the BassBuds’ memory foam earbuds, which come free with the earphones themselves in a range of size variants, and get top marks for comfort and universality, as they easily squish down to fit into the ear, where they reinflate for a snug and comfortable fit. Not only are your earphones going nowhere, but they’re so comfy you’d barely notice if they did.

Overall, BassBuds are the whole package – noticably fashionable and incredibly robust in terms of both build and sound quality, made with genuine Swarovski elements and complete with memory foam tips and hands-free functionality. For the student go-to, there are few pairs of earphones that offer the same value for such versatility and raw coolness, especially for around £40. And that’s if they cost that much. Because for you, Redbrick readers, we’ve obtained a 33% discount code for use at, which you can pick up below. Happy listening indeed.



at the checkout for 33% off.