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Tuesday, January 9 2018

3 Ways to Get the Most out of Your Noise Cancelling Headphones

There’s nothing new about noise cancelling headphones other than that the get better and better every year. They are getting so good they even almost cancel out all of your own voice.

It’s common to wear them when studying or in the subway, but there are some other great times and places to take advantage of the silence and bliss they create.

You’ll Never do These without Headphones Again

Once you try any or all of these without the racket they include, there’s no going back.


Sleeping on a Plane

Some people can sleep on a place like a newborn baby. However, many people fidget restlessly. There’s just so much noise if you think about it. The engines, crying children, conversations, the seat belt alert dinging randomly, and in-flight announcements all add up to a whole lot of noise and not much peace and quiet.

That’s why if you plan to sleep on your next flight, you’ll want to invest in some noise canceling headphones. You’ll be amazed how much more bearable a long flight can be when you can catch a few Z’s.

Landscaping with Power Tools

While drowning out noise on a plane so you can get some sleep might no seem like a groundbreaking idea, this next one is a bit different. If you do any kind of yard work, you can enjoy the silence created by some quality headphones that electronically cancel all external noise.

It’s not uncommon to listen to some Creedence Clearwater Revival which motoring around the lawn on your mower, but that only somewhat drown out the noise. Instead, you can completely block it out.

But, why stop with mowing the lawn. Block out noise from chainsaws, wood chippers, and even log splitters.

It’s okay. John Fogerty won’t mind.


Planes are noisy and so are power tools. Why in the world would you need to block out noise while backpacking?

Backpacking as far as hiking in the woods doesn’t warrant extra peace and quiet. In fact, peace and quiet are often two of the main reasons someone would go backpacking in the wilderness.

However, urban backpacking is a completely different situation. A major part of backpacking through different towns and cities, like gap year students might do in Europe, is cutting you expenses by sleeping in crowding hostels. If you have ever tried to sleep in a hostel though, you know it’s not always that easy.

Unlike having your own hotel room, if you are in a dorm-like hostel with strangers, you never know when one them has a tendency to snore. A partner who snores is bad enough, but a total stranger sound asleep while simultaneously keeping you wide awake is not a great way to spend your trip.

Noise canceling headphones can quickly change that scenario.


While not the most economical of listening devices, noise cancelling headphone can more cover their expense. In fact, if you treat them well they might actually be more cost effective then that cheap pair of ear buds you have to replace monthly because they crackle or one ear constantly cuts out.

The value they deliver in improving your life is also something you need to add into the, “Are they worth it?” question. And, the answer to that question is a resounding, “Yes!”

Monday, December 11 2017

Choosing a the Right Headphones for your New iPhone

Now that all of Apple's newest smartphones are available for sale, including the extremely pricy yet extremely attractive iPhone X, consumers will be looking to trick out their new purchases with a wide variety of accessories. open source audiophile.jpg

In 2017 the smartphone accessory market value is estimated to be valued at over $24 billion dollars. This includes things like external battery packs, phone cases, screen protectors and of course, the quintessential headphones.

Outside of the "utilitarian" realm of device protection the headphone marketplace is the biggest behemoth because the OEM ear buds that come with many smartphones, the iPhone included, are severely lacking in audio quality.

So if you are a new owner of an Apple smartphone and looking to upgrade today you have two options for consideration.

Lightning or Bluetooth

Since there is no traditional headphone jack on the new iPhones consumers will have to choose between wireless headsets that utilize Bluetooth or lightning-cable options.

There are pros and cons to each headphone type. Bluetooth provides mobility and unique form factors that are great options for people on the move who value freedom of motion over sound quality.

Lightning cable options on the other hand, while not providing quite as much freedom of movement generally offer a much higher audio quality standard as audio transmitted via copper cable is of a much higher quality than that which is shared via wireless Bluetooth tech.

For most audio lovers, the cabled option is the better one as cables, while connecting you to your device, still allow for a pretty fair range of motion while simultaneously providing an exhilarating listening experience.

Over-Ear or In-Ear Options

Regardless of whether headphones are cabled or wireless, the second consideration to take into account when shopping around for new music-listening options is whether the listener wants headphones that sit on top of their head and cover their ears, of if they want something smaller that fits snuggly within the ear canal.

Known as "over-ear" models, these headphones are usually bigger and bulkier and have a classic headphone silhouette.

The advantages of over-ear options are primarily their size. In the larger form factor manufacturers can fit bigger drivers and more padding/ear cushioning, which can result in a very refined, superb listening experience.

There are however some very high quality "in-ear" options as well, as new technology has allowed manufacturers to fit very small yet very high fidelity drivers into tiny "buds" which can be discretely slipped into ear canals for a low-profile look.

Ultimately there are high fidelity options in both form factors. Choosing an over-ear options or an in-ear option often comes down to where the listener plans to spend most of their time enjoying their music.

If most music listening occurs at home, perhaps reclined on a couch, or in the office while sitting at a desk, then over-ear headphones are a fantastic option as while they are big and sometimes bulky, offer superior comfort for long listening sessions.

If the listener is a traveler or commuter, then an in-ear option is more practical as these units are much smaller, lighter and can be pulled out and inserted very quickly should the need arise.

New Set or Upgrade Existing Set

Choosing a new listening solution to accompany a new smartphone purchase does not necessarily mean one must invest hundreds in brand new headphones.

There are a wide variety of after-market accessory makers that are offering lightning cables that can be swapped out in many popular headphone models to adapt older models for use with new headphones.

From Bose to Sennheiser there are a variety of affordable cables that can replace old 3.5mm cables to make old headsets relevant again in a lightning-only world.

This is great for people who have already invested hundreds in their headphones and don't want to throw them away just because they upgraded phones. Upgrading expensive headsets can help save a lot of money given how frequently smartphone refresh cycles hit the market.

If you can afford a new thousand dollar iPhone X however chances are you have a decent sized budget to spend on accessories, in which case buying a new dedicated lightning cable headset might be a smart, and fun decision to make.

Standout Brands

If you are in the boat where you are considering buying a dedicated Apple-compatible headset for your new iPhone there are a variety of new companies specializing specifically in this type of product.

For high-end luxurious listening French audiophile brand Audeze provides a wide variety of unique over-ear and in-ear headphones, all of which come with lightning cables built in.

However if you don't have the budget to spend hundreds on new headphones there are also new iPhone-dedicated options from the likes of JBL, Libratone and AKG that provide lightning solutions for a fraction of the price of the bigger audiophile companies.

For a full direct comparison of the new lightning-specific headphone options for iPhone users tech geeks at have composed a wonderful comparison overview of all the major lightning headphone makers that make understanding this new tech simple.

No matter how you slice it there are a bunch of fun solutions for those looking to upgrade their listening experience to a level that matches the fine craftsmanship of the new iPhone itself.

Thursday, November 16 2017

Don’t Leave Home Without Them

Traveling can be fun. Seeing new things and eating new food is a great way to spend your vacation days. Whether it’s heading to Mardi Gras for some New Orleans fun or flying to a completely foreign land like China, there’s always something new to explore.

But, that doesn’t mean you have to leave all your comforts at home. Here are a few ideas to make your trip as smooth as possible.

3 Great Travel Accessories

Here are three accessories of varying prices that if you can afford, get them and use them


Yes, iPhones are not cheap. But, they are the ultimate travel accessory. You could use any smartphone for your music and movies while traveling, but if you have the choice, go for an iPhone.

One of the biggest bonuses that iPhones have over other smartphones is their charger. You can charge you phone safely in any country, regardless of the electrical system they use with any extra adapters. It makes all the difference for international travelers.


Having a sweet iPhone and not being able to use it for listening to music and watching music in public would be a total waste of money. Earbuds let you enjoy all the entertainment options on your phone when you’re waiting for a bus or on a bus, on a layover, and on long flights when the on-flight selections are poor.

They’re also good as make shit earplugs for blocking out some ambient noise when you want to try and catch a nap. And, they work great to deter other passengers from talking to you if you aren’t in the mood or fine them annoying.

A Coffee Mug

Nothing keeps you moving along a long trip like a hot cup of coffee. When you set out on a long car ride, having your favorite cup of coffee in quantity along for the ride can be a lifesaver, especially if you are up early to try and beat the traffic or driving late at night.

Having a great insulated mug or thermos makes all the difference. They keep your coffee warmer longer, so you can enjoy it over time and not have to guzzle it down all at once. They also allow you to bring more as you know you won’t have to drink it quickly.

It’s much more low tech than a phone, but it might be more important for coffee drinkers.


Traveling is fun, but the actually journey can be long and tiring. But having some of your favorite comforts around, you can make a long trip feel like a short one. You might not even notice time flying by.

A great way to pass time is to have your favorite music or your favorite movies or TV shows right in your pocket. A smartphone allows you to do that. And, an iPhone is a great international smartphone.

Also, having your favorite beverage right by your side, warm and ready to keep you feeling good helps. A great coffee thermos can make a potentially unpleasant trip a wonderful one.

Saturday, September 9 2017

China’s Ever-Growing Role in Global Trading

China’s role in global trading has become very important. The economy of China is thriving and is one of the fastest growing economies of the world. The economic boom has resulted in making China a great place for global trading.

Global trading has played a great role in the enhancement of economy of the country. Companies outside of China are getting their products made in and shipped from China directly from the Chinese manufacturers. There has been a great demand for Chinese products in different parts of the world due to extremely competitive labor costs.

Trading groups in China help outside companies get access to thousands of different manufacturers in China. Trade experts play a big role in global trading. With development and investment in the economy, industrialization has become very advanced and more and more factories and companies are moving their production to China.

The manufacturing companies of China, today, have been upgraded with latest equipment and quality control procedures. As a result, more and more global trade companies are getting interested in trading with China. There is an even greater demand of the products that are made in China by authentic China manufacturers and the global trading has helped to satisfy this need to a great extent.

For a long time due to political restriction China was not a part of the global economy. The economy of China was dependent on agriculture to a great extent and industry did not flourish. But along with the reforms of the economy China became open to the world market and the country started to receive foreign investment, which helped the economy boom.

With a better economic scenario the per capita income in China has increased greatly though it is still much lower than that of many developed countries. The growth of the economy has resulted in establishment of big industries as both public and private enterprises.

The factories of China are well equipped with modern and advanced facilities. China has come up as leading supplier to the consumers from all parts of the world. The extraordinary rise of China’s economy has allowed the country to rise and become among one of the three leaders of global trade. The first two are of course the United States and Germany.

The total two-way trade in goods and services in China according to the figures released by the World Trade Organization reached to $1283.8 billion in the last year. The demand for the low cost electronics in the world market is trending upwards and the export of the textiles, sporting goods and other commodities along with electronics good reached more than $600 billion last year with a leap in the export of such goods of more than 35 percent.

Also, the imports of oil, coal, iron ore and other products also increased to more than $560 billion with a hike of 36 percent. In the service trade the exports was of $59 billion and the import was of $70 billion.

China is playing a significant role in global trade and the economic development of the country is greatly based on global trade. With a booming economy, China’s role in the global economy is more vital than ever.

Sunday, August 20 2017

As Tech Grows More Important in Logistics, so Does Cyber Security

Hackers are slowly turning their eyes to a new target. An investigation of the emails of a medium sized shipment firm revealed how their system was being manipulated by hackers. A small virus had been placed into the systems of the company. All the emails to and from their finance department were being monitored. When one of the firm’s fuel supplying partners would send an email asking for payment, the virus would change the text of the email before it was read and replace the bank account number with a different one.

It took a while for the company to realize something was wrong. It was then that they hired a cyber security expert firm that conducted an investigation and informed them of what was going on. The shipping firm reportedly lost 300 million USD in profits alone.

Shipment firms have always been relaxed about cyber security as they have believed they were safe from such attacks. But things are changing now as more and more such incidents come to light.

Commercial ships carry 90% of the world’s trade. It is not just the computer systems of shipping companies that are at risk from hackers but shipping vessels themselves as well. As ships become increasingly more computerized, they are vulnerable to manipulation as well. A virus can spread and affect the navigation system of a ship through an infected device brought on board and connected with the system as well.

More dangerous scenarios involve hackers manipulating a ship’s computer systems to sabotage or even destroy it. Pirates have also taken to hacking to find out which particular vessels will be transporting the goods they intend to seize, making it easier for them to target, locate and steal the intended goods.

China is the world’s largest exporter of products to several countries and continents. One of China’s leading importers is the United States. As air shipment costs more, the majority of shipments are made through the sea. Although this takes longer, it is significantly cheaper than air shipment. In 2016, US imported more than 460 billion dollars’ worth of goods from China. The trade between China and US is huge. The US is the largest importer of goods from China. Thus, these two countries pose as the biggest targets for hackers looking to target shipment firms and vessels.

In lieu of these rising risks, shipping firms in not just US and China but worldwide should quickly catch up with other industries that employ adequate cyber security measures.

The risks of such an attack increase every day. It is no longer safe to assume the simple security measures of old will hold up against modern hackers and manipulation software. It is imperative that the shipment industry take the necessary measures to guard themselves against such attacks to prevent major loss.