Hold the presses! Make sure you catch my Global Sunday Morning News Tech Talk this Sunday for the contest entry word to four back to school giveaway prizes:
-The Samsung Galaxy S5 heart monitor, water resistant smartphone with Samsung SMART SWITCH for seamlessly transferring contacts, photos and music from your old phone to your new GS5. It’s paired with the slick Samsung Galaxy Fit smart watch too.
-The 8.4” WQXVGA 2560×1600 AMOLED screen Samsung Galaxy 8.4 inch Tab S with 8 MP camera, Universal Remote Control and more.
-Epson’s Expression Premium XP-610 small footprint printer with cool features like disc cover printing, auto two-side page printing and wireless printing off smartphones.
– A one year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Home (PC/Mac) – good for five users.
Shopping for back to school is also looking for new technology or ways to do things better and off course, with more fun. Today we look at my choice of well-designed headphones.
-The highly rated wireless Plantronics BackBeat Fit, $149.99, is comfortable, durable and sweat-proof. It lasts through a week’s workouts and comes with a smartphone armband. I found it to be the best fitting with little play, sealing off outside noise and considerably louder and richer sounding than competitors. It comes with three of the smartest fitting ear tip sizes and key stabilizer loops. In-line controls and microphone let you take calls, skip tracks and adjust the volume of your compatible device and more. Its deep sleep mode when away from your media device can extend your battery charge for up to six months. A full charge provides up to 8 hours of music listening, 6 hours of talk and 14 days standby. On the iPod/iPhone and iPad, its battery meter widget displays automatically while Plantronics Battery Meter widget shows the meter onscreen on Android 3.0 tablets or Android 4.0 mobiles or higher. It includes a quality neoprene armband case for your audio device. It is Bluetooth 3.0 and A2DP; AVRCP; HFP; HDST capable for the best wireless quality and control from similarly equipped media players. Available at most stores.
-The more affordable Jabra Sport Wireless Bluetooth headset, $99.99, currently only available at Apple stores or online retailers has similar features. I found the “lock” on ear design looser than the BackBeat Fit, less restricting…it’s a personal preference. Its battery talk/listen/standby battery life is average. It comes with more types of ear-tip fittings you will ever need and a soft carry case. The sound quality is not as full bass but it runs on most iPhone fitness programs and includes a free Endomondo Premium three month trial voucher. If you don’t need the armband case and can settle with acceptable performance, check it out and save a few bucks.
-If light weight corded in-ear headphones are your thing, then the Creative Aurvana In-Ear3 $125.88 on www.amazon.ca has the quality and performance you need. It fits so snug that it provides 98 per cent noise isolation. I know the package talks about studio speaker experience and I can’t fault Creative because it’s true. Full balance sound, period. It comes with travel case and a set of multi-sized silicone and squeezable (you need to squeeze real hard) foam ear tips.
-If you are serious about your music without draining your budget, the Bose SoundTrue on ear $149.99 and around ear $149.99, deliver. Sure it’s a pricier big brand name but these are the folks who have been king of the hill, since forever, on the Quiet Comfort in, out and around the ear noise cancelling headphones. The sound is equally rich with full bass in either model. They are light weight and durable, with weight distribution on the padded headband for long music listening. Made for iPod/iPad/iPhone controls on the cord. Includes a matching carrying case. Available at most stores and our very own Bose store at WEM.
-For one-ear Bluetooth headsets, Voyager Edge, $129.95, available at the Apple Store, is totally hi-tech. Its fashionable charge case also includes a built-in battery for 16 hours of talk time (6 hours outside the case). It has one of the best background noise suppressors (triple mic wind and noise cancelling) and announces incoming caller ID. You can answer by voice or use smart sensors which answer the call when you place the unit in your ear. It is Bluetooth 4.0 and ready for the best wireless connection experience. It’s HD voice ready and has fast A2DP audio streaming capability. Worth every penny.
-The TP-Link 10400 mAh Power Bank, $59.99, portable rechargeable battery can recharge several smartphones or other accessories with power to spare. It has a USB 1A and faster 2A charge port, a capacity indicator and a powerful LED flashlight. You can’t imagine how handy it can be. Take it with you in meetings or wedding receptions and save the day charging everyone’s phones! One tip. As with other high capacity portable battery chargers, it takes about six hours to charge one. I recommend you use a double speed 2 amp charger. Available at The Source.