Unconventional Headphone Hacks

This is a brand new diary-style post that I will keep adding to it over time. As the title suggests, we’ll have unconventional and off-beat headphone hacks. Randomness is key here 🙂 They are posted in reverse chronological order, so the newest ones will appear at the top. You can read them in any order, this is not a book 🙂

#1: BEANIES AS EARPHONE HOLDERS

Do you have earphones that refuse to stay in your ears? Are you looking for a way to “encourage” the earphones not to fall out of your ears so easily? Well, how about a beanie hat? Wearing it on top of the earphones gently holds them in place, so they are less likely to fall out of your ears. Or even if they get out of the ear, they won’t fall on the ground or drop into your drink 🙂

Note though that depending on your situation, they may slightly alter the perceived sound signature, especially if the earphones don’t isolate very well (by design or you can’t find a perfect eartip fit).

This is mayhaps more helpful when the weather co-operates. I’m not sure how many people would be willing to wear a beanie in 100+ F / 40+ C degree weather 🙂

List of Smartphones Without a 3.5mm Headphone Jack

LATEST UPDATE: November 1 in 2017 ~ Razer joins the list of “traitors” :)… the big Google day, the Pixel 2 ditching the headphone jack with Google releasing $159 wireless but not truly wireless “Pixel Buds”. The War for the Headphone Jack got real!

Even the best of futurists sometimes have a hard time beating a coin toss with their predictions, so I have no way of knowing where the headphone jack will be in five or ten or twenty or thirty years from now. At the moment however, it reigns supreme in smartphones, despite some high profile defectors to the Lightning cable (Apple) and USB-C (a few Android models).

Given the situation today, it is a lot easier to keep track of the smartphones that do not have a 3.5mm headphone jack, rather than keep track of all the ones that do (the vast majority of them). There is only a handful of defectors so far. 2016 created a mini panic, but as of mid 2017, the existential crisis that was predicted did not materialize.

Samsung’s Galaxy 8 co-flagships along with the LG G6 and Sony XZ*, Huawei P10 flagships continued to embrace the headphone jack. Heck, even the brand new iPad Pro 10.5″ has a headphone jack 🙂 But the year is not over yet, we are still waiting for the new Note 8, LG V30, Pixel 2, iPhone 8, Moto Z flagships.

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New Headphones Tracker

LATEST UPDATE on 10/25/17 – the Beats Studio 3 is here (hide them from your audiophile friends!)

This is version II of the “New Headphones Tracker”! Version I was at our deals blog, but this is a better place for it, since the former focuses on quick short posts, while this focuses on longer and more reference-y posts. Here we will keep track of some of the latest and hardest to find new headphones.

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Smartphones with Bluetooth 5

LATEST UPDATE: October 4, 2017 – the Pixel 2 phones are here, and they support Bluetooth 5, but not just that, they also support LDAC, apt-X and apt-X HD…

Bluetooth is a tug of war between convenience and compression. Some vow never to use it on the grounds of the additional compression step. Others will under certain circumstances. Certainly, after one ruins enough headphones and earphones during specific tasks and activities, one may be more inclined to give bluetooth a chance, at least during those activities.

Which brings us to Bluetooth 5, a point of hope and hype that you can listen over bluetooth without noticeably sacrificing audio quality. It is too early to tell as of June 2017, as we only have a couple of smartphones and no headphones supporting Bluetooth 5. But IFA is just around the corner, and so is CES 2018, so we should expect more action on this front in the next few months.

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