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Product Review: Wireless Headphones Rule Everything Around Me

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Product Review: Wireless Headphones Rule Everything Around Me

Old 01-06-06, 07:21 AM
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Product Review: Wireless Headphones Rule Everything Around Me

OK, so this isn't technically FG/SS specific, but we're always talking about the music we listen to and the relative dangers of riding brakeless vs. riding helmetless vs. riding with your music cranked up, and all that, so I need to tell youse about the wireless headphones I got from my mother-in-law for Hannukah: For rockin' out and being able to reach into my bag, pockets, etc. without getting all tangled up in a cord, they rule my world.

I have the Logitech "Wireless Headphones for MP3" (although you could just as well use them for your tape player, discman, or portable record player), which is the non-iPod version (which is why they're black). My dear mother-in-law initially got me the white iPod-compatible ones, which have the little extra thing that lets you control the iPod from afar, but I have a 1st-gen white elephant that can't deal with all that fanciness. Anyway, a few days ago, Amazon finally delivered my version of the headphones, and they really do work like a dream with all their fancy bluetooth tricknology. It is true that the sound isn't as crystal clear as with regular, corded headphones, and every now and then there is a little blip of interference (maybe once or twice during my 20-minute commute, usually when I am right in downtown Boston), but it's definitely not bad sound quality, and for my money (or my mother-in-law's, in this case), being able to keep the iPod snugly tucked away in my bag while I ride and not having to worry about catching my hand on the cord and accidentally giving my head an angry tug is the awesomest thing ever. Also, it has volume control, which is good because for some reason, many of my late 80s/ early 90s hip-hop albums (A Tribe Called Quest, 3rd Bass) are much much quieter than stuff that came before (James Brown) or after (Bounty Killer).

The downsides to this product are
(a) the price: $120-ish, which is about ten times as much as I usually drop on headphones, and which causes me (even though I didn't pay) to be incredibly neurotic about f-ing the headphones up in some way.
(b) the sound quality and periodic interference, as mentioned above. Seriously, the sound quality is damn good, just not spectacular. The interference is a little annoying, but infrequent enough that I don't care - I mean, I'm not using these to sit in my teak-paneled sunroom and appreciate Bach sonatas while writing the great American novel; they're for riding my bike.
(c) the recharging: Logitech says you can get eight hours of use from a full charge, so in theory I should only have to plug the headphones and transmitter unit in about twice a week, but I dread running out of juice, so I charge 'em up every night, right next to the iPod and the cell. That makes my nighttable really crowded, and my going-to-bed routine just a little bit longer. At least there's a split charging cord, so you only need to take up one plug for both the headphones and the transmitter.

Anyway, I just figured I'd share. Take it for what it's worth.
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Old 01-06-06, 07:29 AM
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get da headphones. dolla dolla bill yall
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Old 01-06-06, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by genericbikedude
get da headphones. dolla dolla bill yall
You forgot "WHREAM!"
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Old 01-07-06, 01:11 AM
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The audio on your old Tribe stuff is wack because CDs have a different audio response profile than cassette or record. Cassette in particular (I won't pretend like I know about vinyl) tends to have a bass-heavy signal. CD on the other hand is true to the master.

Consequently, the first generation commercial CDs tend to sound a little bit quiet and tinny. Over time, record companies figured this out and punched up the mix before going to CD.

Anything issued after (including remastered rereleases such as old James Brown) will have been corrected to give a more satisfying sound.

Last edited by bostontrevor; 01-07-06 at 01:20 AM.
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Old 01-07-06, 01:14 AM
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For $120 I would've gotten some actually good headphones like the Grado Sr-80/125's.
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Old 01-07-06, 01:14 AM
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I won the white iPod set in an online contest. I have only used them once but I will admit that they are pretty rad.
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Old 01-07-06, 01:16 AM
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you know I was just looking at that ish in a radio shack catalog that came to my house. Looks like the ish. Most def
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Old 01-07-06, 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by operator
For $120 I would've gotten some actually good headphones like the Grado Sr-80/125's.
F-word..... Grado Labs stuff is the best. You might look like an astronaut, but they sure sound good... MMmmmmm.... Grado....
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Old 01-07-06, 01:41 AM
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Oh, something else also occurs to me. Up until the 90s, audio was normalized. The loudest sound in the master would correspond to the loudest encodable signal on the CD.

Later, to push sales and especially for radio broadcast, CDs were mastered so that the audio was all punched up. This sort of CD will be louder than a CD mastered with appropriate audio levels, at the cost of lots of clipping. That's good for pop record sales, bad for audio quality.
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Old 01-07-06, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by bostontrevor
Oh, something else also occurs to me. Up until the 90s, audio was normalized. The loudest sound in the master would correspond to the loudest encodable signal on the CD.

Later, to push sales and especially for radio broadcast, CDs were mastered so that the audio was all punched up. This sort of CD will be louder than a CD mastered with appropriate audio levels, at the cost of lots of clipping. That's good for pop record sales, bad for audio quality.
Squashing recorded music is nothing new, but yeah. Making it REALLY LOUD and aggressively bland at the same time is what seems to be important now.
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Old 01-07-06, 10:47 AM
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Wireless headphones? F*** that. I've been rocking the boombox in the bag with a cassette adapter hooked up to the ipod. It's great to roll around london blasting "let me ride." Remember kids, sharing is caring unless it's the clap.
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Old 01-07-06, 11:33 AM
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I agree in general ... Grado 125s have an amazing, sometimes overwhelming, ability to pickup the detail in recordings.

I'm currently using audio technica A900s at home. They have a rep as having a scooped out mid range, but honestly I haven't noticed. The main reason I got them was for their bass range, which is lower than any other cans that I'm aware of. I do feel, even compared to Grados, that they have a much richer overall sound. But I'm an audio snob.
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Old 01-07-06, 11:37 AM
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and for portable use ... i definitely recommend etymotic. ER-4Ps. great sound range, closed, ... but expensive. you'll never look back though.

Last edited by salome; 01-07-06 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 01-07-06, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by salome
and for portable use ... i definitely recommend etymonic. ER-4Ps. great sound range, closed, ... but expensive. you'll never look back though.
I'd love to get a pair of these, probably the next set of phones I'll get. There's no such thing as expensive when it comes to certain things. Accept no substitutes.

Those wireless 'phones sound pretty good, especially compared to my bulky Advent wireless home set. I might check those out. For wired, my Denon AH-D950's are dang good. You won't catch me buying any open-air Grados anytime soon.
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Old 01-07-06, 12:13 PM
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A tip for non-snagging of 'phones. When you ride, run the cable down the inside of your shirt or jacket or whatever, next to your body and out the side or the back of the shirt and attach to your audio player of choice. That way the cable is unseen, tucked away and not flapping out there in the wind ready to be snagged.

That said, today is the day I pick up some new headphones - it's been too long since I've had some nice studio monitors.

Those Etymotic's looks interesting - I've always wanted a better core ear phone set.

The Grado's are on my list (as well as the SR60's), Sennheiser and some others.
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Old 01-07-06, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by absntr
A tip for non-snagging of 'phones. When you ride, run the cable down the inside of your shirt or jacket or whatever, next to your body and out the side or the back of the shirt and attach to your audio player of choice. That way the cable is unseen, tucked away and not flapping out there in the wind ready to be snagged.

That said, today is the day I pick up some new headphones - it's been too long since I've had some nice studio monitors.

Those Etymotic's looks interesting - I've always wanted a better core ear phone set.

The Grado's are on my list (as well as the SR60's), Sennheiser and some others.

word. at home i use sr60's and i love them. i got a pair of sennheiser px100's for when i'm out of the house and they're fantastic. i'm not a huge fan of closed headphones or earbuds (although shure e2c's are fantastic) when i'm riding, and the px100's give me great sound and i can still hear a bit of what's going on around me. plus you don't look like a clown wearing giant ass headphones in public.

pic of the px100's.



pic of the e2c's.

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Old 01-07-06, 01:30 PM
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e2c's will have to be checked out. If I'm doing solo rides on the path, I wear ear buds (I don't usually listen to music for daily riding) under a helmet so I usually wear ear buds.
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Old 01-07-06, 01:35 PM
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you'll love them. just make sure you hold on to the extra ear inserts because it's a damn nightmare to get ahold of replacements.
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Old 01-07-06, 01:49 PM
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i have the e2c's. They're great, but I wouldn't want to ride in em. Block out a little too much outside noise for my comfort.
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Old 01-07-06, 01:49 PM
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i have shure IEMs very similar to the e2cs, they are a slight step up but now that i'm looking for them i dont see them or their specs anywhere, they look exactly like the e2cs but were about double the price, damn nice. the e2cs are very nice as well and are probably a better buy then what i have given the price. I would gamble though that any IEM are going to suffice for just listening to music, mixing or mastering recordings is an entirely different story, but for on the bike anything around the e2c pricerange will be great.
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Old 01-07-06, 02:00 PM
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I would love to get a set of E2c's but they're pretty pricey. I wouldn't sweat it except I'm pretty hard on the phones I ride with. A nice lower cost option with similar performance are Sony's Fontopia earbuds.

Even those were a little fragile and died way too soon, so I've gone back to my old stand-by Koss The Bud. They've made improvements in recent years that improve sound quality, fit, and the tendency of the sound channel to get clogged. They're still a little on the muddy side, but then I'm not really looking for a pristine audiophilic experience when I'm listening on my bike.

Oh, and they have great bass.
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Old 01-07-06, 03:43 PM
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screw what to use when riding. the etymotics are hands down the best. if i ride and must listen to music, i only use one side and put turn the volume way down. i'm a big fan of hearing what's going on around me
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Old 01-07-06, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ImOnCrank
Wireless headphones? F*** that. I've been rocking the boombox in the bag with a cassette adapter hooked up to the ipod. It's great to roll around london blasting "let me ride." Remember kids, sharing is caring unless it's the clap.

HI-5! we're on the same page.
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Old 01-07-06, 04:05 PM
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Hell yeah!
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Old 01-07-06, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ImOnCrank
Hell yeah!
well .... at least you drink good beer.
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