What is the point of NFC in Bluetooth headphones?

We begin today a brand new series of posts under the “Headphone Tips” umbrella, covering some questions and topics that may be the subject of confusion. Today’s subject is NFC. It is better known and popular for its use in contactless payments (eg Android Pay). So much so that its absence from some devices (such as the popular Moto G series) can derail the purchase of an otherwise great bang for the buck phone.

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List of Smartphones With a 3.5mm Headphone Jack

LATEST UPDATE: March 29 in 2018: the new Oppo flagship loves the headphone jack :)… Samsung and LG lead the way… for now, I am only including smartphones announced in 2018 or later (excluding entry-level and lower mid-tier phones) and a few select pre-2018 models…

More and more manufacturers are making the mistake of abandoning the headphone jack, so I think the time is right now to start listing the headphones that come with a headphone jack.

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Opinion: the owner of Venture Electronics is wrong

A controversy has broken out on the headphones reddit, as the owner of Venture Electronics, the makers of the famous VE Monk earbuds (among others) said that anyone who leaves a review lower than five stars out of five on their website will be banned from buying again. He also shared a screenshot of people getting blacklisted from buying their products on their website.

Needless to say, this did not sit well in the sub-reddit, and there are already calls to ignore and boycott VE products in light of this development.

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Headphones to Avoid: Sony RF-995-RK Wireless RF

We are starting a new series here at this blog, the “Headphones to Avoid”. A lot of audio publications, websites, forums, and enthusiasts are quick to profusely praise, but it’s crickets when it comes to criticize. However, if it is fair to praise a product, it is also fair to criticize a product. In this series we spotlight headphones that have issues that would make them deal killers for potential buyers.

The first headphone to be “featured” is the Sony RF-995-RK Wireless RF. This is a headphone system of a transmitter/base and a headset, not unlike the Sennheiser RS-series. The RF-995 is well-made and all the good stuff, however, it fails at its #1 job: wireless audio. It has trouble keeping a connection running. Even minor movements of the body or head cause it to make “clicking” sounds. Whether you are listening to music or watching a movie or TV show, this is very annoying and distracting.

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Unboxing the Tennmark PRO In-Ears

This is one of the “Chi-Fi” in-ears that are riding the hype train, so when I noticed it on a lightning deal at amazon.com, I gave in to the temptation and picked it up to see what all the fuss was about. I did this knowing that this is a bass-favoring earphone. This post is our customary text and pictures unboxing. The review will come later on 🙂

WHAT’S INCLUDED

The box includes the following:

  • the earphones (with the cables attached to them) in a zippered hard shell case
  • different size eartips in a sealed little bag
  • warranty card
  • nothing else is included

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Unboxing the Vivian Acrylic Headphone Stand

I needed to get a clear headphone stand to make pictures of headphones for blog-purchases more useful (you can see more of the headphone instead of the stand), so I picked up the Vivian Acrylic Headphone Stand in the Clear color scheme. It arrived a few hours ago, and this is the unboxing post. A review will come later on after I use it for a while…

They arrive in a sturdy unbranded cardbox box. The only thing on it is a white Amazon sticker that has the Amazon product code and bar code. On that sticker, it says “Made in China”

The box is easy to open with your fingers, and it looks solid enough you can easily reuse it for other purposes, or keep this stand in there.

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New Headphones at CES 2018

And here we are again! Another CES 2018 trade show is upon us and with it we have another wave of new headphones. Some are revealed in Las Vegas at the trade show, but that’s not all. A lot of the smaller audio companies can’t afford the lavishness of Vegas, but they also announce new products to coincidence with CES, and of course the start of a new year.

LATEST UPDATE: 1/20/18 at 9pm ET: CES 2018 may be over, but I continue to slowly add new headphones to this list… the order of the headphones below is the order I posted them. After I complete this post, I will re-order them based on importance of the announcement (eg, the Sennheiser HD 820 will be on top).

CES 2018 HIGHLIGHTS

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New Sony headphones at CES 2018

Sony released a number of new headphonalia at CES 2018, so they are getting their own post, so as not to overwhelm our main CES 2018 round-up

Sony reveals 2nd generation MDR-1A

Sony is back with a second generation model of their MDR-1A, and the new model has the goofy naming scheme they also used on the 1000X second generation model. The new model is the MDR-1AM2, or to make sense of it, let’s call it MDR-1A M2 🙂 It is a closed-back over-ear headphone with detachable cables (3.5mm and balanced are included) and a starting price of $300. The Sony press release claims this is lighter than the first generation model.

Per the specifications section of their product page these are 16 ohm headphones with 98 dB / mW sensitivity and a numbers-gone-wild frequency response range of 3 to 100,000 hertz 🙂

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Unboxing the Symphonized NRG 2.0 In-Ears

After posting about them one too many times in our deals blog (they are frequently part of the gold box lightning deals), I gave in to the temptation and picked up the Symphonized NRG 2.0 Earphones. They just arrived, so here I go, in record turnaround time posting the unboxing post. I haven’t yet listened to them, so opinions on how they sound will come in a separate post in the future…

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