Confessions of An Audiophile – Every Cans I Am Using

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This is my personal confession, and with the numerous gears for your ears – it’d be my pleasure to share what gears I am currently using. To keep things simple and short, I’d only recommend the ones that I used on a daily basis and has survived till today.

Wired earpiece: SoundTrue® Ultra in-ear headphones – Apple devices, US$129

Bose SoundTrue In-Ear, with Wing-Tips

This is a very comfortable in-ear headphones, period. With its wing-tip design, they stay in ear without having the feeling of having eartips jammed into your ears. The buds are designed to sit loosely but always held in place. I used them for working out when my Jaybird X3 runs out of battery and I forget to charge them. Some might argue that due to this open design, alot of ambient sound are let in but for me personally, it helps me stay aware of my surroundings during a run. Which proves helpful (you never know what happens on the road)

If you sweat profusely though, SoundSport might be a better choice than SoundTrue. Main difference lies in its sweat resistance design but otherwise, everything else is pretty much identical. Of course, this only works if your device is an iphone that has a headphone jack. There’s also an android version for the non-apple fan.

Wireless earbuds: Jaybird X3, US$129

Jaybird X3 – Comes with a really nice looking box

This in-ear wireless sports headphone has been on the roll for years, coming out with its third series and bettering itself with its generation. Third time’s the charm – and X3 really gives great audio quality for a wireless headphone. Compared to wired non-sports version and other more pricey models, I think X3 is the best valued for money in terms of style, functionality and longetivity. With the three button remote, it makes taking call while working out, adjusting volume really easy. Also I have been using it for about a year – still works fine. No other wireless earbuds have survived this far!

Wireless headphones: Bose QuietComfort 35, US$349

QC35 is basically a wireless version of the infamous QC25 that’s on the head of everyone in business class on every flight you’ve taken. Heck, even the vending machine at the airport sells these. What really makes QC35 rock is the weight. When it comes to wireless cans, the most important factor really boils down to the weight on your head – you dont wanna feel the neck strain after a prolonged period of listening. After trying out a couple of cans (JBL Everest Elite 300, Jabra Wireless), my personal take is QC35 really minimizes the strain and provides exceedingly great marginal benefit in comparison. For sound quality, dont expect a wireless can to be comparable to a wired one. But QC35 really do the job for a workhouse everyday headphone. It is also one of the more pricey cans out there but over time, I think its really valued for money. Especially in Singapore where the weather drives you nuts, Qc35 is the sort of headphones you don’t mind wearing out on the bus, MRT or wherever you go.

There’s a reason why airport vending machines sell these babies

Wireless speaker: Amazon Echo, US$179

Not my setup in office but close enough

For a stationary speaker, Echo can fill a room with sound loud enough to get complaints from your colleagues or family members. But for its smart features and functionality, the price is really a solid thumbs-up. I know Alexa can do much more but let’s not kid ourselves – who really uses it for anything else besides playing music. It is a pleasure for me to go into my comfort area (be it office or my room) and able to play music on my voice command.

Me: “Alexa, play Spotify”

Alexa: “Resuming Spotify”

Me:

When Alexa hears and obeys your command at one go

Even better, Echo just keeps getting smarter with more voice command apps in place and with Amazon’s domination today, I believe an Echo will just get more bang for its buck as time goes. I call this a great investment.

P.S. There are also variations such as Amazon Dot ($49.99) and Amazon Tap (US$129), cheaper variations with the same features but less powerful in terms of sound quality.

Wireless stereo system: Sonos PLAY:1 + Play:5, $698

PLAY:1, where you can place at every room/corner in your house to form a network

Where do I start? Someone out there must have known that home sound system is an overpriced, ego-driven gadget that caters for the audiophiles that wanna splurge a ton of cash for nothing. Sonos was started by a bunch of people that wants to change that. It has a smart network of wireless speakers that produces incredible, immersive sound room by room. And you can sync up your Apple music, Spotify just via your app! There are plenty of wireless speakers and multi-room sound system in the market to challenge their dominance but as technology advances and our home gets smarter, you really want to be in the know of using Sonos for your home surround system and receive free compliments for visitors about it. Best of all, there’s no need to get a technician to fix it up. The speakers are designed to work with each other with easy set-up – and the controller enables you to control every speakers in your house in one click.

There are other picks like ATH-500X, Shure SE series. But this post is meant as a sharing of what I am currently using and have NOT broke/gave up on them yet. Feel free to comment and discuss more on what I missed out!

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