There is no shortage of options for skiers and riders who want to slide to music. (See headphone-equipped helmets, in-ear choices from Skull Candy, and DJ-style headphones from WESC, Technics and Sony.) Another one? How about a beanie with headphones by Aerial 7.
The company’s Sound Disk Beanie was released last month. At $59.99, the hat offers a mid-range option compared to similar products from Burton, Bonfire, The North Face and Volcom.
The Disk Beanie has a hand-knit look and is stylish on the slopes. For audio, the headphones are sewn into the beanie but can be moved around. This is good when you want to fine-tune placement. But I found it to be a bit maddening to get the speakers in place at other times because the ear phones are between the hat itself and the liner. Since they’re connected, sometimes they go just where you want them. Other times they don’t and hence the frustration. Ideally they would be sewn into mini pockets, so they were always in correct, general vicinity and the placement would still be fine-tunable.
Once you have the small speakers situated, sound quality is good. The beanie “merges fashion and function with industry-leading acoustics,” claims the company. In my test so far, I have found this to be a mostly true remark.
Beyond music, the hat has a microphone and iPhone and Blackberry compatibility. It performed flawlessly with my Blackberry Curve. Talking on the phone, the sound was great on my end and folks on the other side said the same.
I’ve tried a few different in-ear devices for my cell phone, with varying results. The Aerial 7 Beanie worked as good as anything I’ve used — and the beanie fits my style better than an earpiece. www.aerial7.com
—Stephen Krcmar lives in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.