REVIEW: ‘Steampunk’ headphones more 1970s than 1870s

Steampunk headphones

Your dad was a steampunk. Who knew?

Pendulumic has come out with “steampunk” headphones. Steampunk is supposedly the art of applying Victorian era aesthetics to modern technology gizmos.

Think Jules Verne imagining modern nuclear submarines in “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” Victorians couldn’t even make cash registers without throwing in all sorts of ornamentations.

Yet Pendulumic’s new headphones only look steampunky in that you have a couple of metal bands flying over your head. Other than that, they look like the big black headphones from the ’70s that covered your ears so thoroughly that you looked like Princess Leia from “Star Wars.”

Remember those? Your father wore them on Sunday afternoons when he laid on the couch to listen to his Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass albums.

Nonetheless, Pendulumic execs ballyhoo their headphones as cutting edge steampunk.

The website Digital Trends quotes designers as saying they drew inspiration from “steampunk subculture and clockwork movements” and the “mystery of dark noir.” (As “noir” is the French word for black, it’s hard to envision “light noir.”)

The real mystery here is why steampunk afficiandos would shell out $130 to $200 (depending on the specific model) for headphones that could easily have been used as props on the set of “Three’s Company.”

“Deep tones and dark chrome highlights create a stealthy air of mystique,” Digital Trends quotes Pendulumic executives.

OK, one thing these headphones are definitely not is stealthy. You can see Princess Leia coming from a light year away — probably listening to her Herb Alpert tapes.

None of this has anything to do with the technological aspects of the headphones. Each model comes with Bluetooth 4.0 for wireless capability and use the aptX codec for clean playback.

A nob on the ear cups controls the volume, you know, just like the cutting-edge headphones you bought for your father at Radio Shack during the Bicentennial. Those are were cool back then — something right out of Dick Tracy.

And just who is Dick Tracy, you ask? The prosecution rests.

To be fair, Pendulumic did an admirably job of coming up with a design that evokes another era. However, they were apparently shooting for the 1870s and their Way-Back Machine hit the 1970s.