Monday, 20 December 2010
Phoning in the cold
So it's going to be a bit random, and today's quite arbitrary topic is audio. I use my mobile phone a great deal on the move and normally I'm happy to hold it up to my head and speak. The cold weather, though, makes that a bit of a palaver. First I have to find the phone, which is suddenly in one of six rather than one of three inside pockets because I'm wearing an overcoat. Then I need to uncover my ear, which is tucked under a dirt cheap but very warm beanie hat from Thinsulate.
You get the picture - this is the one time of year I want to use a Bluetooth headset. I used to use them a lot before car kits connecting to stereos became easier to afford and get installed. My favourite on the market at the moment is the Jabra Wave (pictured) - a variation on the original Jabra design but slimmer. Set-up was simple - charge, switch on, enter code on phone. Volume switch is easy, it's slim enough to be worn under a hat whilst wearing glasses without suffering discomfort and it just works. There's all sorts of technical guff under the bonnet but I don't care - i just need something that works and is comfortable.
Which is why I'm also kind of attached to a pair of earphones Audéo has sent me to evaluate. Called Perfect Fit, the sound is perfectly fine but the clever bit is that you rub the foam earpiece and it shrinks, then gently expands in your ear so it's a perfect shape. Tailored, noise reducing earphones which are then audible at safer volume levels because the earbud blocks out external sounds, £119.99 - the last pair of tailored, fitted earphones I had retailed at £499. Admittedly that was a long time ago but even so, something effectively bespoke to your own ear at the current price is pretty good.