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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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Back to School Shopping

back_to_school_2It is that time of year again…Yep, you guessed it. It is time to head back to school. Sigh… Knowing that school is around the corner, I thought that it would be a good idea to compile a list of handy items to have so that when you are shopping  for yourself or kids you have some ideas as to what to purchase.

The first thing that I believe should be on everyone’s back-to-school list is a good backpack. This was actually on my back-to-school list from last year as well and for good reason too. A good sturdy backpack with plenty of room in it to house all of your school supplies makes school life a little bit easier. When you are shopping for a backpack the first thing that you need to be aware of is the size that you need. Big backpacks provide lots of space to carry things in but can be difficult to carry and heavy which no one wants. On the other hand, small backpacks are easy to carry but don’t have very much space to put things in. Most people can get away with a medium sized backpack. Another thing to keep in mind is that there are many different types of backpacks out there so you probably won’t want to buy the very first one you see. Take your time and shop around a bit before you make your decision and don’t forget that no backpack is perfect.

The next item on my back-to-school shopping list is a power bank. In fact you can grab one of these on Velodyne.com. Power banks enable you to carry around extra battery power when you are out and on the go. These are perfect for college students out there that need to charge smartphones when they are in class or any other time that they don’t have easy access to a power outlet which makes this on my list of back-to-school shopping items.

Now speaking of other cool items for college students available on Velodyne.com why not grab a pair of vFree Bluetooth headphones? The vFree deliver crisp and clear sound without the limitations of a cord. If you are like me and don’t like to walk around with an annoying cord flopping around while on campus then the vFree are right for you. The vFree comes complete with remote controls and a built in mic so you will still be able to answer calls while listening to music on your smartphone making these a slick pair of headphones.

The last thing on my back-to-school shopping list is an external USB hard drive. External hard drives are something I have really come to love and believe everyone should have one. These are perfect for backing up all your school work and other files such as music and pictures. There is no feeling worse than finishing a big project only to discover that it has vanished the next day. External hard drives are a perfect solution for this. You can back up all your precious files on these to ensure that you never lose them. When it comes to deciding which size to buy I would recommend you go with at least 500GB. This may sound like a lot of space but in reality you never know when you will want to put more stuff on it so having a large one is not a bad idea.

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Father’s Day Gift ideas

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Father’s day is approaching in the coming weeks. Soon, many of you will be searching for gifts for the Dads in your life. So instead of waiting until the last minute I decided to write a post now to help give you great gift ideas.

The first item on my list is the ArtRobotz power bank, which is handy little device for anyone with a smartphone. Small and sleek, this device fits into your pocket, backpack or purse. When your phone, tablet or other portable device is low on power simply plug into the power bank and charge back up on the go. The power bank comes in 2 fun colors, bright blue and green – and in 10,000, 5,000, and 3,000 milliamp hours of battery energy.

The vQuiet headphones are excellent noise-cancelling headphones, perfect for any Dad on your list. These headphones reduce the amount of unwanted sound by 90%. I personally love using my vQuiet headphones to listen to music and watch Netflix as they drown out any distracting background noise. These are also an excellent gift for someone who travels by airplane or train frequently to make the trip more pleasurable.

Next up on my list of suggestions is a Wi-Q subwoofer. This wireless subwoofer allows you to experience clean and crisp bass without the hassle and limitations of wires. Sometimes the optimal place to put a subwoofer is the worst place to try to run cables. The Wi-Q solves this problem by allowing you to place it anywhere you like. The Wi-Q comes in 10- and 12-inch models, perfect for the audiophile on your list.

Hopefully this helps some of you out with Father’s Day gift ideas. If you have any gift suggestions please comment below and tell us about it.

 

 

 

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Dedication to Customer Service

Profile view of a young and diverse call center team wearing phone headsets. Horizontal shot.

Customer service standing by to help when you need it

Here at Velodyne we are fully aware of the importance of customer service. Because we believe in our products and we care about our customers we are dedicated to providing excellent service and support. Our ultimate goal: to provide you with a positive customer service experience that exceeds industry expectations.

To ensure that our customer’s receive the best care we can offer we have established a set of values for our customer service department. First, we strive to respond to respond to our customer’s question promptly. You may contact customer service via email (service@velodyne.com) or by phone (toll free, 855.219.4717). We try our best to respond to emails and messages on the same day but certainly no more than 24 hours after receiving it. Second, we address the issue at hand. We offer a solution to the problem and if the solution is not satisfactory we suggest something else until either the issue is resolved or determine that we cannot fix the problem. Third, if we are unable to correct the problem we will try to direct the customer to someone who can help. Finally, the last value that we have is to always stay positive. This enables us to get as creative as necessary so that the customer walks away feeling we provided the best solution possible. By staying true to these values we will continue to maintain customer satisfaction and loyalty that has been built over the last 32 years.

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Second Annual CoachArt Children’s Benefit in San Francisco

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CoachArt is a non-profit organization that creates a transformative arts and athletics community for families impacted by childhood chronic illness. On April 23, 2015 the CoachArt Children’s Benefit will be honoring Velodyne friend Rod Streater, wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders, as well as Selina Tabbacowala, President and CTO of SurveyMonkey for dedication to the community and children of CoachArt. Velodyne is proud to participate in the event this year.

The benefit will be held at The Terra Gallery, 511 Harrison St., San Francisco. The night will begin with a cocktail hour featuring live performances by CoachArt children followed by  a silent auction and  dinner starting at 6pm. Velodyne will sponsor the after-party from 9:00pm-12:00am. We are pleased to announce the entertainment for the after-party will feature a performance by Velodyne friend and 5-time Grammy Nominee, Ashanti Floyd. “The Mad Violinist”, as he is known, has an amazing set planned that will bring the house down. Tickets are available for $25, which includes open bar and specialty desserts. Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity to see The Mad Violinist perform in the San Francisco Bay Area!

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How to Spend $1,000 Wisely

dollar signYou might be reading this and thinking to yourself, “When I am going to have an extra $1,000 to spend however I wish?” Tax season is approaching and many of people out there will be getting modest refunds and wondering whatto do with that extra money.  I am not a financial advisor but I have some insight as what you can do if you find yourself with extra money.

In my opinion, the smartest way for you to spend your extra $1,000 is to pay down debt. Paying down debt ahead of schedule is really never a bad idea. This is especially true for credit card debt as it is probably the worst kind of debt you can have. Making the minimum payments on a credit card will cost you substantially more money in the long-run than in it would to just pay down the principal now. Let’s you have $1,500 in credit card debt. Your interest rate is 19% APR and you are paying $75 a month. It will take you 25 months…that’s over two years to pay off the credit card. It will also cost you $317 in interest over the roughly two years to pay this off. Apply your thousand dollars to this and pay the debt down to $500 and you will save yourself nearly $300 in interest over the life of the loan. Not a bad way to spend a thousand bucks, huh?

The next thing I would recommend you to do with your money after paying down debt would be to invest it. Now what you invest in is entirely up to you however unless you really know what you’re doing I would not advise you to pick individual stocks invest in. Instead, consider invest in passively managed ETF’s (exchange traded funds) or index funds. By putting your money here you achieve diversification and earn the return on the market which is usually around 10%. If you are not comfortable investing in the stock market you can always buy U.S. treasuries which are usually regarded as the safest investment in the world. While the return on treasures is pretty low they are a safe a place to park your money and save it for a rainy day.

Finally, the last thing that you can do with a $1,000 cash is to treat yourself something nice. There are a lot of things that your spend $1000 on. Perhaps a you are in need of a new computer or TV. Or why not get yourself a new Velodyne subwoofer and pair of headphones? A WI-Q 12” and a pair of vPulse is not a bad way to spend $1,000 on yourself.

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How To Properly Care For Your Headphones

LIKE SO.

Headphones are important to anyone who likes to listen to music and drown out the outside world. This makes taking care of them and keeping them in working order a high priority. Without proper care the life of your headphones will almost certainly be reduced. Here is a list of tips  every headphone owner should follow to properly care for headphones.

The first tip is to take care of your headphones while you are actually using them. Most people thinking of caring for headphones as proper storage when not in use, but this should not be the only concern. Simple things such as pulling on the end plug instead of just yanking on the cord go a long way to making your gear last. If you own a pair of vPulse, make sure that you are using the right size ear tips to minimize the amount of pushing and squeezing. The more you handle your headphones the faster they will wear.

Keeping your headphones clean is also important to make them last as long as possible. Anytime you use your headphones for an extended period of time you should wipe them down afterwards as bacteria does start to grow on ear tips and ear cushions. Cleaning products do not mix well with electronics. A little bit of warm water and soap should suffice to clean your headphones. Remember that electronics to not like water so be very conservative with how much you use. You could also try using some rubbing alcohol if you really want to get your equipment clean. Rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs work well to clean the ear tips of the vPulse as well as the ear cushions on Velodyne’s other headphones. Wiping down the cables occasionally can be helpful, obviously placing most attention on the part that come into contact with your skin. Keeping your headphones away from heat and liquids are also important for obvious reasons. You should also avoid humidity as the function of the electronic components will become affected over time.

Finally, storing headphones carefully when not in use is very important to their longevity. A clean and dry place away from heat and sun is ideal, as sun will fade the finish and cause the ear cushions to fall apart.  The best thing to do is utilize your headphone storage case or bag; if they do not come with one then invest in one. The hard carrying cases for the vPulse cost $0.99 and are worth the investment. Cable tangling is a constant problem with in-ear headphones that can be managed by wrapping the cord carefully. The vPulse do have a flat cord which does help to reduce tangling but it is still important to wrap them nicely before you out them in your case. One trick you might try to reduce the amount of time it takes you to unravel the cord before use is to wrap them in a figure 8 around your fingers. Doing this allows you to pull them out of the case and unravel them instantly.

Taking care of your headphones is not difficult or very time consuming task however the benefits of it are significant. Taking good care of your equipment will increase their lifespan and save you money. Next time you are using your headphones remember to treat them right.

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Holiday Gift Suggestions 2014

It is officially the holiday season and you know what that means…. it’s time to go gift shopping for your friends and family. This implies the obvious question,  “What should I get them?” This post is intended to give you some gift ideas for loved ones this holiday season to hopefully make your gift shopping a little bit easier.

In order to select a gift for someone, it is important to first consider who it is that you’re shopping for. Many of you are parents and will be shopping for your kids. Boys of nearly all ages would enjoy a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox one. I remember how happy I was when I was 14 years old and I woke up on Christmas morning to find a PlayStation 3 under the tree.  Alternatively, if your son is satisfied with his current gaming system, two of Velodyne’s wireless headphones are sure to impress your tech-loving teen. Check out the vBold or vFree on www.velodyne.com.

On the flip side of the coin, you may have a teenage girl. I suggest a Bluetooth tracking tag from uncommongoods.com or even a pink pair of vPulse in-ear headphones from Velodyne. The Bluetooth tracking tag is a handy little device which attaches to your keychain, wallet or whatever you want. Then you download the smartphone app which allows you track down the tag using your smartphone. Now the cool part of this tracking tag is that it also works in reverse. So if you lose your phone and have your tracking tag you can use the tag to locate your phone. The in-ear headphones have amazing sound, with kicking bass, and the pink is just on point for today’s fashion-conscious girl.

For you guys out there that are shopping for your wife or girlfriend you will need to think carefully about your significant other to decide what to get her. Observe what she likes to do in her spare time. Does she travel, read books, watch movies or listen to music? Perhaps a pair of vQuiet headphones would suit her well if she enjoys these activities. Think about what would make life easier or more enjoyable for her. Maybe a new Keurig coffee maker or sassy pair of shoes would put a smile on her face? You can also try asking her friends if you are really having trouble figuring something out. Of course if all else fails, you can always just ask her wants she wants. It won’t be a surprise but at least you will get her something she likes or needs.

Ladies, if you are shopping for the man in your life, there is no doubt he will love the masculine look, feel and solid sound of our vTrue headphones. The supple brown leather and forged aluminum paired with the deep resounding bass that Velodyne is known for will make your guy feel like a king!

Overall, if you want to select a good gift for anyone this holiday season you need to be observant and pay close attention to how that person spends their time to figure out what they might like and what they would use. Don’t be afraid to ask for help either. Asking for someone else’s input can often save a lot of time and trouble. There’s nothing worse that being disappointed with your gift, or feeling you have disappointed by missing the mark with your purchase. Happy Holidays and good luck gift shopping. You’ll need it!

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Breast Cancer Awareness

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As many of you already know October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Breast cancer is something that affects the lives of many people in ways that are both measureable and unmeasurable. In recognition of this, Velodyne is running a promotion this month on our pink vPulse in-ear headphones. We are offering 2 pink vPulse for $50 on velodyne.com and 10% of the proceeds will be donated to a breast cancer charity.

Breast cancer affects many people in many different ways. It is true that about 1 in 8 American women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. It is also true that about 40,000 women will die from breast cancer just this year alone. Breast cancer research is of great importance to those affected, whether, victims, survivors or their families. Funds are required to support scientific research, whether it be to raise awareness about early detection and treatment options, prevention, risk reduction, and research into possible environmental contributors.

How can you help? Spread the word. Many band together to do breast cancer walks, which are as much about support and solidarity as raising funds for the cause. Be a good friend, spouse or child to someone you know that is affected. And, hope for the cure.

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Five Must-Have Items for Gadget Lovers in 2014

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I have compiled a list of five items that gadget lovers are going crazy for this year. Can you live without these? Sure. But they really do make daily life much for fun.

The Sony Smartwatch 2 is the #1 gadget on this list. This is for android smartphone users out there. This little device pairs up with your smartphone via Bluetooth and goes on your wrist for easy access. The Sony Smartwatch allows you to initiate, answer and end calls. It also allows you to send text messages, emails and access your apps. You can also receive Facebook and Twitter updates on this little device too. It is water resistant and even comes with a stainless steel band which makes it stylish. Furthermore, it has a rechargeable LiPo battery to give you up to 7 days of uninterrupted use. What, you say your smart phone already does all those things (except rest on your wrist)? Well, the beauty of the Smartwatch 2 is it keeps all of that information at the ready, but you can receive your updates more discreetly and even better, keep your hands free!

The Waterpebble is an interesting little device that I believe people who spend a lot of time in the shower should consider buying. If you find yourself in the shower for more than 20 minutes, that is too much. With the current drought situation in California, reducing water usage is of utmost importance. Not only are long showers a waste of water but are ultimately expensive as they rack up your water bill fairly quickly. If you are looking to reduce your water usage, then get yourself a Waterpebble. The Waterpebble monitors your shower’s water flow and tells you when your time is up and you need to get out. You can set it for however long you want, but bear in mind more time is more water. Not a bad little device to have to have if you are looking for ways to cut costs.

The next item on my list is vQuiet noise cancelling headphones. With so many noise cancelling models flooding the market, what makes Velodynes so special? Well, the first thing is how comfortable they are to wear. The soft ear pads and headband pad coupled with the relative light weight of the vQuiet make them very easy to wear. My ears never start to hurt from wearing these headphones which is not the case with many other brands. The second reason I love the vQuiet is because of the sound quality. The vQuiet headphones deliver the superb bass that Velodyne is known for, making these headphones a definite must have in my book.

Next up on my list of must have is the KeySmart key organizer. Are you one of those people that has too many keys jingling around on your keychain? The KeySmart key organizer is the place for ALL of your keys. This organizer is sort of like a Swiss army knife. You place them all in one little convenient organizer and when you need one of them you just flip them out. The KeySmart organizer will eliminate key jingle and thigh poke. The KeySmart can be enlarged with an expansion pack to hold up to 10 keys for those of you out there that carry a lot of keys.

Last but certainly not least on my list of must have gadgets is the IN1 iPhone case. The IN1 iPhone Case is an 8-in-1 multi-tool phone case. Have you ever noticed that when you need a Philips screwdriver, a pair of scissors or a pen to sign something you never seem to have those items on your person? Now if you are like most smartphone users your smartphone is pretty much always in your pocket or somewhere nearby. This clever little phone case houses a Philips screwdriver, slotted screwdriver, scissors, tweezers, nail filer, toothpick, phone stand and red and blue pen. How’s that for convenience? Now you can have these items on your person at all times.

So there you have it, my list of 5 must-have gadgets in 2014. If you know of any other cool gadgets that you think should be on this list, please comment below and share it with us.

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