Tag Archives: audio

Are wireless headphones just over-hyped or are they worth the extra money?

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I was recently browsing through the Amazon store for a new pair of headphones. I have countless pairs of earphones – some of which have great sound quality – but they tend to break so easily and are only goody for light use.

However, whilst browsing, it crossed my mind to have a look at some wireless headphones. I’ve previously known them to be very expensive and many of them seem to have poor build and sound quality.

However, I stumbled across a £24 pair on Amazon that had good reviews and thought I didn’t have much to lose – so I bought a pair.

It’s fair to say – considering the price tag – they’re brilliant. They aren’t branded (so those of you who like to show off their brands – these aren’t for you!), but that never seems to bother me!

The sound quality is relatively good and I was pleasantly surprised. The headphones have decent bass and don’t seem to sound “tinny” in the slightest.

They will happily connect to any Bluetooth audio device in stereo and/or mono (eg PC, iPod touch 2G or above, iPhone, any smartphone, etc) and it’s really simple to get them going. Simply hold down the multifunction key for 7 seconds (when the blue and red LEDs flash) and connect to them as normal.

I was also really impressed by the battery life. I’ve had these headphones for several days now and have used them for hours on end – and they’ve still only been charged once! They usually outrun the battery life of my iPod by miles!!

My only minor complaint is the LEDs on the device. When you’re using the headphones, a blue LED flashes occasionally. Whilst this is fine in a well lit room or outside, it can be irritating if you’re trying to use them in the dark or at night.

Other than that, they’re a fantastic pair of budget wireless headphones and seem to outsmart many of their more expensive competitors. At £24 a pair, you really don’t have much to lose.

Spotify introduces a new inbetweener package for non-mobile users

Spotify has today launched a new go-between package, presumably to try and increase the amount of paying customers.

The new package sells at £4.99 per month. It includes unlimited streaming (see Free package below), abroad usage for more than 2 weeks and no advertising. However, it lacks the offline syncing and mobile use. I actually think that this is a clever idea – not everybody has a phone or device that works with the mobile system so it makes sense to have a cheaper PC only package.

The £9.99 Premium package remains unchanged. However, Spotify have now introduced a new free package that doesn’t require an invite. You essentially get the same as the old free package, but you are limited to 20 hours streaming per month. You also don’t get the Spotify radio mode, but I don’t believe that many people use it.

Overall, I’m pretty pleased. It won’t really affect me, but for those who don’t have a compatible mobile device it makes sense to just go for the cheaper option.

Review: Budget iPod dock

With my new iPod Touch going fine, I needed a budget dock for it. I really don’t like spending a fortune on gadgets if I don’t have to, so I tried to aim for something cheap but reliable.

After a lot of browsing round various sites, I found this. It’s a real entry level iPod dock, but it does the job I want it to do fine.

It doesn’t have speakers so it won’t play your music aloud (and frankly for something this cheap I wouldn’t want it to – the sound quality would be relatively poor) but it does have a 3.5mm line out socket so you could hook it up to some external speakers or a hifi. It also has a sync plug so you could either hook it up to your computer and iTunes will sync and charge it, or you could just plug into a mains USB charger which would then charge the iPod when it’s docked (which is what I do).

It also comes with a remote control so you can change the track remotely. Seems to work fine. It has the usual controls you’d expect (change track, volume, play/pause), plus controls for mute, repeat and shuffle. It also has controls so that you can browse for a track and play it, but I think this is relatively unnecessary as when I sit 2 meters away from my iPod I can’t read the screen to see what track I’m choosing – and that’s on an iPod Touch with large text, so it will be useless on something like a Nano.

Overall, I’m very happy with it. It works fine and it’s really good value at £12.99. It comes with a range of dock adapters for the different types of iPod, but personally I don’t use any of them since my iPod has a case on it. Works just as well without them. A good budget buy.