I love the noise-blocking isolation a good set of in-ear headphones provides, but the trick lies in getting the best possible seal. Sure, most headphones come with a selection of three or more silicone, foam, or Comply eartips. I recommend trying on as many tips as you can, and see which set provides the best possible fit. Once you have achieved that, you'll have the maximum isolation from environmental noise, optimum bass response, and the right tip will likely provide the most secure fit, making the earpieces less likely to accidentally fall out. The problem I'm talking about … Read more
I sympathize with the hordes of urban dwellers who begrudgingly subject themselves to the purgatory of daily public transportation -- the screeching teenagers, sticky floors, and potpourri of smells are part of the reason I ride a bicycle. That said, there are things you can do to ease the pain of your commute.
First, don't look at anyone -- gawkers are universally creepy, so pick a spot on the ground and stare. Next, source a pair of headphones using the following criteria as your buying guide: durable, compact, noise-isolating, and "closed-back," meaning they won't betray your privacy and leak your music to fellow commuters.
This list includes both circumaural (over-ear) and in-ear, bud-style headphones. Both styles are suitable for noise isolation, though you may prefer active noise-canceling headphones if your ride is extra-annoying. If not, earbuds with well-fitted tips (silicone or foam) can be just as effective at muting the world around you.… Read more
Apple dislikes seams in things. This very obsession led it to the point where it spent an estimated $6.6 million on a remodel of its Fifth Avenue store in New York to cut the number of glass panels it was using in its exterior cubic entrance from 90 down to 15.
Now another iconic Apple-made item could be in line for a seamless makeover: the company's earbuds.
Finnair business travelers flying between Helsinki and Shanghai will soon have the chance to be test subjects on the effect that "brain stimulation" headphones have on jet lag.
The $240 earbuds, made and tested by Finnish company Valkee, already blast LED lights instead of music into desperate and willing ear canals with the intention of alleviating seasonal affective disorder. (The company has claimed, too, that the light helps improve reaction time--at least in Finnish hockey players.)
Now Valkee is working with the airline Finnair to determine whether the lights may instill a sense of well-being in long-distance … Read more
During my recent vacation, I rediscovered the importance of owning good headphones. Specifically, noise-isolating earbud 'phones, the kind that allow you to watch a movie on an airplane, listen to music in a noisy coffee shop, and go for a run without wind noise drowning out your tunes.
Alas, my earbuds are always going missing--or getting permanently "borrowed" by certain family members who shall remain nameless (all of them). That's why when I see a deal, I like to stock up.
While supplies last, J&R has the Altec Lansing Muzx Core MZX206 noise-isolating stereo headset for $12.99, … Read more
If you're sick and tired of looking for the tiny L and R printed on your headphones every time you want to plug in, this news will be music to your ears.
Researchers at the Igarashi Design Interfaces Project in Tokyo have developed a pair of "Universal Earphones" that automatically switch the audio channels when they detect that you've placed an earbud in the wrong ear.
The team achieved this by attaching a proximity sensor on one of the earpieces to measure the distance to the ear.
When placed in the right ear, the sensor detects the ear behind it and points to the back of the head. The position of the sensor serves as a cue for the auto-correcting earphones. If you accidentally insert the right bud into your left ear, the sensor ends up facing the front. Noticing this change in position, the sensor triggers a small embedded audio circuit to adjust the audio so you're hearing the proper stereo mix in your left and right ears. … Read more
TGIF, am I right? To help kick off your weekend, I've rounded up five eclectic deals--a little something for everyone, I hope. First up: a ridiculously inexpensive HDTV.
1. An story in today's USA Today suggests that pre-Super Bowl TV deals are "less super" this year, but apparently Walmart didn't get the memo. They've got the Sceptre X460BV-FHD 46-inch LCD HDTV for $409.98, plus sales tax where applicable. You can bag free shipping with the site-to-store option. The user reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
2. Today only, 1SaleADay has the factory-refurbished Jawbone One Bluetooth headset, in black or silver, for $9.99. … Read more
Yurbuds was at the Showstoppers media event at CES to show off earbuds designed specifically for athletes. The products, which start at $49.99, have a twisting mechanism that keeps them in place. The company makes six different sizes according ot CEO Seth Burgettt (scroll down to listen to podcast interview) and if you buy a size doesn't fit, you can take a picture of the inside of your ear and the company will send you one that does fit for no extra cost, said Burgett. Youbuds are available at Apple stores, Best Buy and other retailers. Models … Read more
LAS VEGAS--We've heard of headphones delivering new highs before, but never quite like this.
At the Polk Audio booth here at the Consumer Electronics Show, the manufacturer has set up one of the more brazen gimmicks at a show filled with brazen gimmicks: a trampoline gymnast who zooms toward the high convention-center ceiling with every jump. Of course, she's wearing Polk's new Ultrafit sports headphones, which--big surprise--stayed put despite her vigorous bounces.… Read more
LAS VEGAS--The Beats and Monster brands are so synonymous that it's hard to believe the relationship is over. After a five-year lovefest that spawned dozens of headphones including the eponymous Beats by Dr. Dre and Lady Gaga's own Heartbeats, Beats is cutting ties and refusing to renew the partnership contract.
According to a report from Businessweek, two anonymous sources confirmed that Noel Lee's Monster Brand and Jimmy Iovine's Beats label severed ties after an irreconcilable dispute over who should get more credit for last year's 53 percent headphone marketshare.
Dre and Iovine remain adamant about their aim to educate young listeners on the value of accurate sound reproduction seemingly lost in this era of awful-sounding Apple ibuds, and they even brought names like Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, and Miles Davis into the fold to help drive sales with cameos in music videos and live DJ sets.… Read more