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About Audio8Master

Born and raised in Silicon Valley, I am a student at San Jose State and Marketing intern at Velodyne Acoustics. I am an avid San Jose Sharks and San Francisco 49ers fan. When I'm not watching sports, I'm listening to music and thinking deep thoughts about sound.
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How To Choose The Right Pair Of Headphones

headphones

As you probably already know Velodyne has a full lineup of headphones. Choosing the right pair of headphones may seem daunting with so many different options to choose from. There are in-ear headphones, over-ear headphones, wireless headphones, noise-cancelling headphones…all of which Velodyne makes. So how do you pick the right pair of headphones for your needs?

What do you plan to do with your headphones? Are you someone who likes to listen to music out and abut or will you primarily be listening to your headphones at home on the computer? If you are like me and you like to listen to music while walking around at school then I would highly recommend that you get yourself a pair of the vPulse. Not only do they sound excellent but they are small earbuds that won’t get in your way while you are walking around. I do not enjoy wearing large, cumbersome headphones on my head which is why I prefer the vPulse for on-the-go listening.  Now of course there are other things to consider when choosing headphones such as affordability, style and wireless capability. The vPulse are the least expensive pair of headphone that we offer, so if you are budget-conscious those would probably be your best bet. If  you don’t mind wearing larger headphones and you are on a budget then the vLeve wired headphone would be a great choice too. Not only do they have a larger driver than the vPulse but they are also our least expensive on-ear model headphone if you are trying to save money. Not to mention, you can change up their look with headphone skins. Several looks for one low price!

Now maybe you are not someone who will be listening on-the-go but instead will be primarily using your headphones at home on the computer or maybe even a stereo. If this is the case then you probably consider the vBold or perhaps even the vTrue if you plan to use headphones on a stereo. The vBold are our largest pair of over-ear Bluetooth wireless headphones. With a 40 mm driver and comfortable over-ear pads the vBold provide excellent sound quality and great comfort. Meanwhile, the vTrue – which is our studio headphone – utilizes a 50 mm driver to deliver premium sound that you will not find anywhere else.

If you are a big traveler and spend a lot of time on airplanes, then the vQuiet noise-cancelling headphones would clearly suit you well. However, airplanes and commuter trains are not the only place that noise-cancelling headphones work well. In fact, the vQuiet works well anywhere. In the bedroom when someone is mowing their lawn outside. When your kids are running around the house making lots of noise and you just want to tune them out. Or anytime you just want some good old peace and quiet the vQuiet can get the job done.

The last thing to consider when choosing headphones is comfort and style. Nobody likes to wear headphones that are heavy and become uncomfortable after you have had them on your head for a while. Fortunately, Velodyne’s full lineup of headphones has plenty to offer in this department. The vFree, vLeve, vBold all have very soft padding on the ears and headband which makes them very comfortable to wear for long periods of time. These headphones are also very light, you might even forget  you are wearing them.

No matter what your headphone preference, Velodyne is a one stop shop.

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Must-Have Back-to-School Items

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It’s August now and we all know what that means…It’s time to head back to school. This can be a sort of chaotic time of year as many of us are scrambling to figure out what we need to buy in order to get ready for the first day of school. This post is intended to provide some insight as to what kinds of things you should consider when you go back to school shopping in the next few weeks. Instead of boring you with the obvious necessities like pens, paper, binders and stuff like that I will try to give you some ideas for items that you may not think of right off the top of your head.

The first item that I think everyone needs to consider closely is a new backpack. I know that I promised that I wouldn’t bore you with obvious items, but this is actually something I felt is worth mentioning. When kids go to school they have to lug around books which are HEAVY. When I was in middle school it always drove me nuts having a backpack that hurt my back when it was full of books. Often I would just choose to not bring books with me to school because I didn’t want to carry them around.  This didn’t always go over well with teachers, but I didn’t want to have a sore back at the end of the day. What is my point? Well, when it comes to backpacks my advice is to shop around a bit and invest in a good one.  They even have back packs with wheels on them now which are a lifesaver. You will thank yourself for it down the road.

The second item that I think everyone should have is a reusable water bottle. These come in BPA-free plastic and stainless steel, among other materials. There are convenient sizes and shapes, those that fit in your cup holder in the car, as well as the side sleeve of your backpack. Remember that when school starts it is still actually summer which means that it is still quite hot out. Being a equipped with a water bottle will keep you hydrated to avoid fatigue and other side affects of dehydraton. This is especially true for grade school kids who play outside in the heat during recess. You will also save money with a reusable water bottle as you won’t have to buy individual bottles of water whenever you are thirsty and this is also kind to the environment.

The next item on my list is a pair of headphones and not just any headphones. Get yourself a quality pair of headphones that are stylish, comfortable to wear and above all deliver premium sound. You may, depending on your school and grade, wear headphones while walking to class, waiting for the bus, on the bus, in the library and during free time on campus. The Velodyne vLeve are an excellent choice for those students out there who are looking to invest in a good pair of headphones before heading back to school. As you may already know the vLeve are customizable with our designer skins. The vLeve are also very light weight with soft ear pads and head pads making them comfortable to wear. Finally, the vLeve provide premium sound quality so you can listen to all your favorite tunes loud and clear while you are on-the-go.

Now of course if you are going to invest in a pair of vLeve headphones then I would also highly recommend you download Onkyo music player to get the best sound performance out of your new headphones. For those of you that have never heard of Onkyo music player, it is an equalizer app that works much like the music player app on your iPhone or Android phone with one key difference. It allows you to equalize all your songs either by the presets or by hand. I’ve had this app on my phone for about 6 months now and I love it. By changing the presets for individual songs I can get the best sound performance out of all my Velodyne headphones which makes this app a must have in my book.

There are two more must have items on my back-to-school list. The first of which is a USB thumb drive. Most of you know what these are and what they are used for. Thumb dives are little pocket sized flash memory cards that plug into the USB port of a computer. You can put all kinds of different files on them in order to go from one computer to another. These are handy for research papers, PowerPoint presentations, pictures, music and anything else you might have that is school related on your computer.

Lastly, I recommend a dry erase board for lockers or dorm rooms, or even study areas for those headed back to school. This will allow you to write reminders and have themt posted somewhere that you will see it. These also come in handy to jot down ideas, and rough outlines of papers. You can’t beat the visual impact notes written on a dry erase board have, and the ease of changing those ideas with the swipe of the eraser.

Hope everyone is prepped with all of their essentials. Comment below with your favorite back to school item for a chance to win some Velodyne swag.

 

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SaberCats Fan Appreciation Night

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Another SaberCats season has come and gone and we are proud to say that we will attend Fan appreciation night on July 11 when the SaberCats take Tampa Bay Storm. The SaberCats will play their final home game of the regular season at SAP center at 7:30pm.  We will be there out one last time this season to showcase our lineup of headphones.  So if you are there then don’t forget to stop by our table and listen to your favorite music on any of our headphones.  We will once again showcase our vTrue studio headphones, vLeve on-ear headphones, vFree and vBold Bluetooth headphones and finally our vQuiet noise-cancelling headphones. We hope to see you at the game.

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Summer’s Here: Tips To Help You Wake Up In The Morning

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Do you often find yourself hitting the snooze button in the morning at the sound of your alarm clock because you are not yet ready to get out of bed? This tends to happen even more during summer since many of us stay up later since it stays light longer. We also tend to be more active in the evening due to the light and warmer weather, which can also lead to more barbecuing and socializing, creating the need for more rest. So how do you combat these things to get yourself up in the morning?

My first suggestion is that you try to adjust your circadian clock. Your circadian clock is your body’s internal clock that tells you when to go to sleep and when to wake up. So how do you adjust your internal clock? There are several factors that go into how your circadian clock is influenced. One factor that affects your clock is light. Light signals to your body when it is time to go to bed and when it is time to wake up. In one of my previous posts I suggested avoiding bright objects like T.V. and computer screens an hour before bedtime. When it comes to waking up the opposite is sort of true. Instead of avoid light in the morning you need to expose yourself to it. Open up your blinds if it is sunny out. If not, then turn on lights in your bedroom to make it bright. Bright light helps your body to accept that it is time to get out of bed and begin the day.

wakeup

Next, try to play with the time that you go to bed but not with the time you wake up. Our bodies sleep in cycles. The best time to wake up is when we are in the lightest phase of the cycle. By changing the time that you go to be but not changing the time that you wake up, this teaches your body that wake up time is inflexible and therefore it must instead adjust your bedtime. By setting a rigid wake up time your body will start to become tired earlier.

A great way to wake up is  by turning on music. Some may use music as their alarm clock. Upbeat, happy tunes will rouse you from sleepiness, get your blood pumping and may even get you singing. If your living situation is such that a stereo system complete with subwoofer is a too much for the rest of your household (or your neighbors!) in the morning, put some headphones on while you’re getting ready so you don’t disturb anyone.

There are two final pieces of advice that I have for you to help you get up in the morning. If you find yourself frequently hitting the snooze button, then you need to make it more difficult for yourself to do this. One such way is to set your alarm out of reach so that you have to physically get out of bed to turn it off. This helps to avoid the temptation to go back to sleep.  Lastly, you should try to maintain your sleep pattern every day….including weekends. This is probably the hardest thing for all of us to do. I find it very difficult to not want to sleep in on the weekends but keeping our sleep pattern will make it easier to get out of bed on Monday morning, typically one of the toughest days to wake up. Give these a try and let us know how they work out for you. Or, share your tips if you have a great way to get yourself out of bed in the morning.

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Reasons You Need A Pair Of Bluetooth Headphones

Black and Silver vFree

Black and Silver vFree

Nearly all of us own a cheap and practically disposable pair of headphones that we likely received with the purchase of an iPod, iPhone or other listening device. Due to the popularity of mobile devices like smartphones and mp3 players, the demand for headphones has increased dramatically. Headphones come in all sorts of styles, brands and price levels to meet consumers appettite for them. This has raised one important question. Are expensive headphones worth the money? The short answer to this question is, yes they are and in this post I will explain why sound quality is important and how the vFree and vBold meet this need.

 Sound quality is of utmost importance to many people. Musicians spend numerous hours in recording studios tailoring their music to be heard just the way that they want us to hear it. In order for us to hear all of the different instruments and frequency ranges that there are in different songs we must have high quality speakers that can accurately reproduce the sounds that these musicians create for us. Without well-built speakers we will not hear music the way that artists intended for us to. The sound quality of the vFree and vBold is excellent. As you would expect from a subwoofer company, these headphones deliver the excellent bass that many music lovers seek without compromising the mid and high ranges. The first time I listened to a pair of the vFree headphones I was very surprised at how crisp and clear the audio was. Producing clean and true bass as well as a good mids and highs make sound quality a big strength of both these headphones. This makes them both a big winner in the audio quality department.

Another reason that I believe that they are worth the investment is because they are comfortable to wear. Nobody likes to wear uncomfortable headphones. I remember the first time that I saw the vFree headphones and I felt the pads on them. I was immediately pleased at how soft the padding was, not to mention how light they are, making them almost un-noticeable when you wear them. Put these two things together and you have a very enjoyable pair of headphones. 

Bluetooth capability is the final reason that I love both of these headphones. The ability to go wireless is awesome. You can roam around your house without the limitation of a cord. You can also listen to music on the go without having an irritating cord tangling from you headset down to your pocket that can get caught on something. Both of these headphones have microphones built into them so you will also still be able to answer calls while using the Bluetooth capability. The thing that surprised me the most about the Bluetooth feature was that the sound quality was not noticeably inhibited when streaming music wirelessly. My biggest concern about using Bluetooth to stream music was that the audio quality would suffer. However, after listening to a pair of vFree using the Bluetooth feature I was very surprised to find out that they still sounded wonderful even while streaming music. In fact, the only difference that I noticed between cordless and wired use was the strength in the volume; you get a little bit more volume when the headphones are wired but that is about it. Velodyne’s Bluetooth vFree and vBold have proven to be quite a “sound” investment.

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Tips to help you get to sleep at night

sleeping zzz

Getting to sleep at night has been a challenge for all of us at one point or another. This can be especially frustrating when it is late at night and we have to be up early the next day. In an effort to help you deal with this irritating occurrence here are some helpful tips below to help you try to cope with this common problem.  

The first and most obvious suggestion that I have for you is that you need to make your room both quiet and dark. Your body’s natural response to darkness is to start getting sleepy. If you have a T.V. on or you are staring at a bright screen like a cell phone or computer then you are inhibiting yourself from becoming tired. You also need to make your room cool.

The Next suggestion that I have is to regulate your room temperature. Optimal room temperature for falling asleep is in the low to mid 60s which is fairly cool. The reason for this is believed to be that a cool room helps to lower your core body temperature which then makes you sleepy. If the temperature gets too hot or too cold many people have trouble falling asleep. 

It is also not a bad idea to shower or even better take a warm bath before you go to bed. Just as throwing cold water on yourself wakes you up and makes you more alert warm water has sort of the opposite effect. It relaxes you and also starts to make you tired.

Listening to some music can also be a helpful way to get you to sleep at night. Not everyone sleeps best in total silence. In fact, some people may find it easier to fall asleep when there is ambient noise. This would be a good time to pull out your vFree or vBold headphones.  Obviously you will want to listen to music that is soft and soothing. Nothing that is loud or hard on the ear as this will make it even tougher for you to fall asleep.

The last piece of advice that I have for you is to take some melatonin. For those of you that have never heard of melatonin it is the natural hormone that your body produces that regulates sleep. As you age your body naturally produces less and less of this hormone which is why that as you get older you begin to sleep less. Taking a small dose of melatonin is a simple and natural way to get to sleep at night. I can personally vouch that melatonin works as it has helped me get to sleep countless times.

Now that I have given you a list of things to try to help you sleep I will give you a list of things to absolutely not try. As I said before you should seriously refrain from watching television or looking at any bright screen about an hour or so before bedtime. The reason behind this is because darkness tells our bodies that bedtime is approaching and it is time to get sleepy. When you have a bright television on in your bedroom you are artificially tricking your body into thinking that it is not time to go to sleep yet. This is why we are told not to go to bed with a television on. When it starts to get dark our body begins to produce natural hormones that make us sleepy. By having lights or other bright things on close to bed time it tricks our body into thinking that it is earlier in the day that it really is.

The next piece of advice that I have for you is don’t work out close to bed time. Workouts do the opposite of putting you to sleep they wake you up. It is actually better to work out in the morning than it is to work out at night for this reason.

 I would also strongly advise you not to nap during the day. This is one that I personally struggle with. When I am tired in the middle of the day nothing sounds more appealing than a nap. However, it has also been shown that taking naps messes with you sleeping pattern which I can also attest to. An interesting suggestion that I have heard of is to take a nap with keys in your hand. Whenever the keys fall out of your hand this wakes you up and this is the right amount of nap time for you to get a burst of energy without messing with you sleep pattern. Lastly, I would also recommend you not eat before you go to bed. Going to sleep when your body is trying to digest food is difficult and you should therefore avoid it. You should especially avoid drinking anything that has caffeine in it for obvious reasons.   Hopefully the next time you are having trouble falling asleep you will find these tips helpful.

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San Jose SaberCats

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Arena Football season is here. We are happy to say that we are again sponsoring the San Jose SaberCats this Arena Football season. For those of you that were not aware, we sponsored the SaberCats last year during the 2013 season. We attended three home games at SAP center where we showcased a few of our headphones including the vTrue, vFree and vLeve out on the concourse. We also did a raffle and gave away a pair of headphones at each game we went to.

We are proud to say that we attended the SaberCats home opener on Sunday March 23rd at SAP Center and showed off almost our full line of headphones. This year we are showing off our vQuiet noise-cancelling headphones, vBold Bluetooth headphones in addition to the vFree, vTrue, vLeve. If you did not see us at the home opener don’t worry because we will be at 2 more SaberCats home games this year. Our next game will be on May 3rd at SAP center when the SaberCats take on the Orlando Predators. We will also attend the SaberCats last home game of the regular reason on Friday July 11 when the SaberCats take on the Tampa Bay Storm. So if you were not able already please stop by our table and listen to our headphones at our next game.

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Must-Have iPhone apps

We all know that there are countless apps in the app store. Some of them are great and other not so much. Unfortunately, most of us do not have time to sit down and sort through all of them to find the best ones. This post is intended to give some guidance to a handful of apps you might want to consider. Instead of boring you by listing off a bunch of apps that everyone already has like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter I will try to list some apps that maybe you don’t know about or at least some that I think that everybody should have.

            The first iPhone app which I believe is a must have for everyone is the “Find iPhone” app. This app shows you where your phone is on a map so that you can retrieve it. It also allows you to lock your phone remotely and play a sound so that you can hear it. I’m sure many of us have heard of this app already but I felt that it was worth my mentioning given how many times it has saved my bacon. If you ask any of my friends they will tell you how bad I am with misplacing my phone when I am over at their houses and this app has helped me find it many times. I will certainly not be removing this app from my phone anytime soon.

            “SoundHound” is another handy little app that I like to have on my phone. This app is  a brilliant idea. How many times have you been driving to work or school or anywhere for that matter to hear a song that you like on the radio that you don’t know the name of? This used to happen to me all the time until I got my hands on this convenient little app. There is finally a smartphone app that can figure out the name of the song that you are listening too by using the microphone on your iPhone. I have used this app to figure out the name of dozens of songs over the last couple of years which is why this app is definitely on my list of must-haves.

The next app that I like is the Netflix app. You may or may not be interested in this app depending on whether or not you are a Netflix subscriber. If you are a Netflix subscriber then you then you should really get this app if you don’t already have it on your iPhone. This app enables you to stream movies on your phone just as if you were in front of your computer. If you have unlimited data on your phone then this app is wonderful because you be able to stream all of the movies that you want and not have to worry about using too much data. Now only if the battery life on your phone was unlimited too…

Not too long ago I heard about an interesting alarm clock app that wakes you up naturally by monitoring your sleep cycle. The name of this app is called “Sleep Cycle” and I have come to be a fan in the past few weeks. The purpose of this app is to prevent sleep inertia by waking you up in you lightest sleep cycle. Now for those of you that don’t know sleep inertia is when we wake up in the morning feeling groggy and not fully awake. This is something that has happened to all of us at some point in time or another. Whenever we are asleep we go through different cycles known as Deep sleep and REM. Deep sleep is the part of sleep where our brains are the least active and is therefore the least desirable stage to wake up in. On the other hand, REM which stands for rapid eye movement is the most active stage of the sleep cycle for our brains. In fact, there is more brain activity during REM than when we are actually awake.  This app uses the very sensitive accelerometer in the iPhone to monitor what stage of sleep you are in and wake you in your lightest sleep stage. The app wakes you during a thirty minute window that ends with your set alarm time. So if you normally wake up at 7:00 then this app would wake you sometime between 6:30-7:00am. Alarm clocks like this have been around for a while now but are usually pretty expensive. At just $0.99 this app is definitely on my list of must-haves.

Recently a customer emailed us about an equalizer app that he was using in tandem with our headphones to get very good sound. The name of this app is called “Onkyo” which has quickly become one of my most used apps on my iPhone. This app is a sound equalizer that enhances the sound quality of your music. This app works pretty much like the music player that comes standard on your iPhone except that the equalizer works to improve the sound quality of your music. This is especially true when you are using this app with a high quality pair of headphones like the vFree or vBold just to name a few. The app allows you to make a playlist of all your favorite songs and also allows for you to search through your library via playlists, artists, songs and albums just like the music player on you iPhone. The equalizer is awesome on this app. Not only does it have different presets loaded onto it for different music genres, but it also allows you to adjust the bass and treble manually as well.  Overall, I love this app as it is a significant improvement in sound quality over the standard music player that your iPhone comes with which makes this app a must-have for anyone who is a high-quality sound enthusiast.

So there you have my five “must have” iPhone apps. I’m sure there are plenty of other great apps out there that I completely forgot about or don’t yet know about. If you feel that you know of a great app that everyone should have then please comment below and tell us about it. 

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Earworms

earworms picture postHave you ever heard a song on the radio only to find that it is stuck in your head and is driving you nuts? This phenomenon is known as an earworm and almost all of us have fallen victim to it at one time or another. Researchers have discovered that some songs are more likely to get stuck in our head than others. One theory as to why we get earworms is that our brain simply likes to occupy itself during idle periods. In other words our brains simply don’t like to be bored. They have also discovered that we are more vulnerable to earworms when we are stressed or tired. Researchers have also found that we do not just get songs that are really annoying stuck in our head. In fact, many of the songs that get stuck in our head are songs that we like. Still what exactly causes this phenomenon remains somewhat of a mystery.

            Knowing that earworms are experienced by pretty much everyone at one point in time or another, I thought that I would give some tips on how to get rid of these irritating occurrences. Although there is no guaranteed method that can get rid of earworms, there are many tricks which you can try. One of them is to simply pop in your headphones and listen to or try to sing another song. This can help your brain to concentrate on another song and consequently forget about the one that is repeating endlessly in your head. Another trick that I have heard is to listen to the song all the way through. This may or may not work for you. I have tried this one in the past and have had limited success but that is not to say it won’t work for you. The last tip that I can give you is to do something that keeps you busy or distracts you from the song stuck in your head. This could mean watching television, exercising, doing a crossword puzzle, or anything really that makes your mind focus on anything but the earworm. The basic idea is to preoccupy your brain with something so that it will forget about the broken record in your head. I am sure there are tons of other possible methods that do not guarantee success,  so you will just have to experiment around and find the method that works for you. The overall idea is to do something that distracts you from the song that you are thinking about.What other ways have you tried to cure an earworm? What songs are most likely to get stuck in your head?

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