Ear Candy, Apple AirPods

Music Products

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Apple’s new device reflects their ongoing interest in creating light electronic products that customers can take anywhere. AirPods are unlike any headphones you have tried before. Their design is seamless and the technology behind them will take your breath away.

No More Wires

Regular, wired headphones are messy. They get caught in things, twisted, and pull out of our iPod Shuffle. When you go for a jog or walk on a chilly day, there are layers to consider; layers you want to take off as you warm up.

Undoing the mess is time consuming and interrupts the flow of exercise. Parents have to keep their wired headphones away from small children with a penchant for wrapping themselves and their siblings in anything long and flexible.

Little Ear Plugs with Posts

What do they look like? AirPods are like the ends of traditional ear buds.

Image: Apple

The difference is that, where the cable would be, Apple has installed a short, stiff post. It’s about an inch long; just enough to hold the item and place it in your ear or take it out. AirPods are white to match all of your devices and so you can find them more easily than, say, black ones. A letter “L” or “R” indicates which ear to place them in. With their tiny speakers and other features, these resemble Lilliputian alien beings.

Multiple Uses

Apple AirPods can be connected to any Apple device. In fact, they automatically connect; users don’t have to turn them on. Listen to music on your iPhone. Hear alerts on your Apple Watch as you cycle. Skype mom and dad on the iPad or watch a movie on your home computer.

Voice Control

Apple’s virtual assistant is available from their AirPods too. All you have to do is double-tap one side of your wireless headphones and she is ready to get to work. Activate Siri and get directions to the nearest shop for a bottle of water.

Make a phone call, asking a friend to pick you up when you strain a muscle. Change your music playlist as the current one starts to bore you. Ask for louder music where traffic is noisy or lower volume along a quiet route.

AirPods can tell when the user has started talking so that background noise doesn’t come through; just your voice. When you want to listen again, AirPods know that too. They contain a special chip, the W1, which performs an unimaginable amount of work for something the size of a very small fingernail.

Sensible Sensors

Talk, listen; do it all with the W1 chip. This little device contains visual sensors and a device for measuring acceleration. The W1 knows when the earphones are in your ears so they start playing then and not before. That’s not just a detail but an important energy-saving feature.

Long Battery Life

Apple conserves energy even though their battery will last 24 hours. Enjoy up to 5 hours of music after the AirPods are fully charged but use the recharging kit to keep them going. Place the AirPods in a special charging case which holds enough banked power for 24 hours of use overall. That’s a full day of listening with a few short breaks of about 15 minutes to replenish power for 3 hours. Not bad, as long as you remember to recharge the wireless charger.

Sound Quality

You would happily reattach the wires if wireless sound was crummy, but compromise is unnecessary. Apple AirPods emit a beautiful sound. Audio quality has been optimized for anything you want to listen to: an action movie, workout music, or the sound of a loved one’s voice.

No controls are necessary to change which device you want to use. Just turn off one and turn on another and Apple AirPods connect.

Master & Dynamic

Music Products, Product Reviews

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From their base in New York City, US company Master & Dynamic designs high-end headphones and accessories. Their target is your audio pleasure; enhancing it while you work or go about doing whatever you do that has to be accompanied by audio tracks from your portable device.

Whether those are songs or spoken words, Master & Dynamic is pleased to create luscious sound and to provide a luxurious headphone or earphone for that purpose. These aren’t just any headphones; these are more like jewellery you will want to keep safe between uses.

If you see someone lovingly storing his headphones or earbuds in their own case, perhaps after polishing them with a special cloth, they are probably wearing Master & Dynamic products worth several hundred dollars.

The Approach

The people behind Master & Dynamic believe in routine and discipline, doing the same things over and over to understand them but also exploring new possibilities. They always expect to improve and create; to become masters over audio technology, but to relinquish that title at the end of every day and reclaim it as they start a new one. This approach keeps them humble but confident.

They believe you need an audio component to a creative environment. So many people say it — they work better with sound in the background, a voice singing or talking. They can focus when they know the sound hasn’t been taken away.

Otherwise, it’s like trying to live and work in a black hole. Headphones, in Master & Dynamic’s words, are “modern thinking caps.” With these, designers at Master & Dynamic are also better able to concentrate on their work.

Although there is that pledge to innovate and improve, a pair of Master & Dynamic headphones will last for years as long as you treat them nicely. They have been made with top materials we will talk about in a minute, each one chosen for comfort or performance; endurance or amplification.

Master & Dynamic Materials

These products are made from leather, brass, copper, stainless steel, neodymium magnets, and more. The last of these is a part of every ear piece and is probably the best sort of material for driving amplification. This is probably why they call it a Neodymium Driver.

Leather on the ear pads and internal parts of headphones enhances their comfort. Doctors will say you should take headphones off and take a break for the sake of your eardrums, but some people live in them. If so, leather is easy to wipe clean and provides a cushion against ear cartilage which, though bendy, can become sore over time.

Headphones for the Best Sound

master-dynamic-black-over-ear-headphones

Expect to experience sound as it was meant to be experienced; let it flood you with a feeling of satisfaction. Sound is tuned, three-dimensional, not tinny. Hear a balanced presentation of instruments from a symphony orchestra or a live band.

MH30 Headphones

These come in several colors but also a designer version by Carolyn Rowan featuring black beads. Stress points like the hinges are all made from stainless steel but the body of forged aluminum is light. Personalize the pads by replacing them periodically just for fun. Master & Dynamic makes wireless, on-ear, and over-ear headphones in several warm styles. Alcantara on the band, both inside and out, provides a luxurious feel like the kind you find in an expensive car.

Earphones

In-ear phones like the ME05 are ergonomically shaped to fit in the ear and stay. Silicone tips are soft and easy to clean with the cloth provided. If you are tired of twisted and knotted cables, the copper internal parts of these ones won’t tangle while a brass body optimizes acoustics.

These come with a remote, a mic, and they filter audio so all you are conscious of is glorious sounds, not background noises. There are three styles of earphones and, as always, numerous styles. The MEO5 variety is compatible with Apple devices.