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Tag Archives: bluetooth

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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How To Choose The Right Pair Of Headphones

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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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Get Personal With Customizable Headphone Skins

brentshapiro

In the past year, Velodyne’s Designer Skins have taken on a life of their own. Starting off with 35 designs available on our website, the designer skins originally were created as a true fashion accessory to fit over our vFree wireless headphones to match any mood or outfit. Over time, we held a few contests, promotions and developed partnershnips that involved blank skins and non-Velodyne employees getting creative and designing their own. The “Artist Corner” has been a popular activity during music festivals and concert ticket lines. We have also partnered with the Anno Domini Gallery in San Jose, CA which has led to custom painted subwoofers in addition to several one-of-a-kind headphone skins that may have the chance to go into mass production.

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Blank headphone skins are available at Velodyne.com for you to unleash your inner artist. They are available in both white and black. You can paint them, draw on them with colored markers, or add other materials for a true multimedia art project.

Most recently, we have released the vLeve headphone, which is the perfect base for any one of our headphone skins, whether it be Designer, Artist Series, or your very own creation. The sound is incredible for a basic headphone with the unique teardrop design trademarked by Velodyne President Marta Hall.

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The most exciting development we have for the headphone skins is the custom design for musical artists, athletes/sports teams. We have designed a skin for The Mowgli’s, which we will debut at SXSW in March. We started by creating one for the 2013 California-Carolina All-Star game held here at San Jose Municipal Stadium last summer. From there, we have created many renderings that are still under consideration. There are other custom skins in the works, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, go to our site and pick up a skin for your vLeve or vFree. Or two or three.

How do you express yourself? The choice is yours.

 

 

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Going Cordless: Bluetooth Headphones

Probably one of the most annoying things about listening to music with headphones is the cords. They tend to always be where you don’t want them to be. They get tangled up. They get wrapped around something and are pulled from your ears. I’m sure there are various “solutions” to the cord problem, but none are so effective as Bluetooth headphones. It’s the most effective because it gets rid of the problem, literally. Bluetooth removes cords from the equation completely.

Black and Silver vFree

Black and Silver vFree

The Velodyne vFree and vBold headphones embody all that is good about Bluetooth. They are perfect for many different situations. They’re great for late at night when everyone else is asleep, because you can move about without being tethered to your computer, iPod, or other device. When you’re cleaning up the house, there aren’t any cords to get in the way of whatever you’re doing. The vFree have hardly any noise leakage, so you don’t have to worry about disturbing others if you’re in a quiet location such as a library.

Satin Silver vBold

Satin Silver vBold

In case you forget to charge up your vFree or vBold headphones, there’s an audio bypass cable that allows you to connect directly to your device. This can be used while the headphones are charging up, so you’re always able to use the headphones. The sound remains crisp and clear, and the bass is as deep and resonating as ever.

 

Finally, the Velodyne vFree and vBold headphones have a sleek, modern design that can go with any outfit. They can also be accessorized with artist-designed skins. The vBold comes in two colors: matte black and satin silver. The vFree comes in three colors: black, silver, and white. Each has its merits. The black and silver lean towards a more traditional headphone look, whereas the white is bold and stands out. Whichever version you prefer, the sound and design retain their quality.

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Finding Sanity In Music

Lately, I’ve been staying up late into the night, typing up various papers, reading entire novels, frantically studying for that next midterm. The only thing that’s kept me sane throughout this quarter has been my music. And coffee. But really it’s been the music. At first I was just listening to the same old songs, the ones on the radio, the new pop songs. But after a while, I felt like I was lacking something crucial. These songs weren’t enough to keep me going night after night.

I needed to find new motivation. I searched my iTunes library, hoping for something to pop out at me. I tried Afro Celt, a unique mixture of African beats and Celtic instruments, but it couldn’t keep me up for more than an hour. Then I thought that maybe I needed to hear some of the old classics, the ones of my childhood. Which turn out to be the same songs my parents enjoyed in their youth. Soon, all that was emerging from my vFree was good old Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen, the Moody Blues, Rush, the Who, Boston, Kansas, the Beatles, and other classic rock. It brought back pleasant memories, and revived this wonderful fondness in me for these bands. They got me through many a late night.

But there came a time when I began yearning for something new, but not any radio pop. I wanted something new to me, but still with that classic rock feel. I guess what really helped me then was Pandora, bringing me variety, with some songs that I knew, and some that I had never heard before.

I also took a stab at watching The Voice, to see if any of the contestants had what I was looking for. One caught my attention right away. Singing the Who’s “Baba O’Riley,” Terry McDermott of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, stole the competition, at least for me. I’ve been following his work, and each song has been beautiful, especially his rendition of Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed.” I began to wonder if McDermott had any original songs to offer, and I began to search for some. It turns out he had been in multiple bands—the two most prominent being Driveblind and Lotus Crush. Driveblind was formed in Scotland, and came over to the U.S. in the early 2000s. It caught my fancy right away, and I’ve been listening to it ever since. It helped me get through my last midterm, just last Friday. Specifically, the song “Autumn Red” got me through the midterm. I did receive some pretty strange looks in the library, with my vPulse in, rocking out to my new favorite band, but I didn’t care. It helped me keep my sanity throughout this first quarter of college. I’ll always be grateful for that.

Here’s a listen to the song that brought Driveblind to America, “The Fool Rides Again.”

http://soundcloud.com/terryvox/the-fool-rides-again

Also, for a look at what he’s done on “The Voice,” here’s “Maybe I’m Amazed” (skip to 1:22 for Terry’s performance):

http://youtu.be/EAkDasYZr88

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Types of Headphones: An Overview

There are a lot of terms to describe different kinds of headphones: Bluetooth, noise canceling, in-ear, earbuds, earphones, on-ear, over-ear, studio…and sometimes it’s hard to keep track of what each of them really mean. That’s why we’ve assembled a short glossary of terms to help you keep them all straight! Without further ado:

 

What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth is a wireless technology that connects portable devices using short-length radio waves.

Bluetooth headphones are often used with stereo Bluetooth-ready phones & computers. Bluetooth is a relatively short-range transmission method, allowing connection between devices up to about 30 feet apart. Some wireless headphones, however, can transmit longer distances and can be used anywhere in the home or office.

In-Ear or Ear Bud Headphones

The vPulse in-ear headphones from Velodyne are compatible with most iDevices, allowing you to easily switch between calls and music.

In-ear headphones offer great sound in a small, lightweight, and portable package. They are excellent for on-the-go cell phone and music listening.

In-ear headphones (also called in-ear monitors, IEM, earphones, ear canal headphones, ear buds, and canal-phones) are small earphones that fit into and seal the ear canal. In-ear headphones are commonly used by pro performers to monitor sound mixes; this prevents possible feedback from stage monitors and isolates the artist from audience noise.

The Velodyne vPulse in-ear headphones fit snug in the ear canal and thus provide the best isolation and reduction of ambient noise. In-ear headphones help to ensure safe listening levels since they block ambient sounds so thoroughly you won’t have to turn the music up loud just to overcome noisy environments. The vPulse come with a variety of different sizes / types of eartip sleeves; it’s important to experiment to find the tip that works best for you. To get solid bass from in-ear headphones it is CRITICAL that you have a securely tight eartip seal within your ear canal. The Velodyne in-ear headphones, like most in-ear headphones, are efficient enough to work well directly out of an iPod or portable player without necessitating a headphone amp.

About Studio Headphones

Studio headphones fit comfortably over your ear for an immersive listening experience.

Studio headphones are full size headphones which fit completely around the ear for a rich and sensual sound experience.

Full size headphones may be open-back, closed, wireless or noise-canceling types. Generally speaking, full size headphones are the most comfortable to wear for listening around the home or office, but they are often too large for portable use.  Some are easily powered and will reach satisfactory volume and sound quality direct from an iPod/iPhone, computer or portable player without the need for a headphone amp. Studio headphones will typically fit all the way around the ear (circumaural) and work best with home stereo equipment and/or headphone amps. All professional, high-end and audiophile full size headphones should be driven with a dedicated headphone amplifier for best acoustic performance.

What are Closed Headphones?

Closed headphones, aka sealed or closed-back headphones, have an enclosed, non-vented earpiece to most effectively block out ambient noise.  Closed headphones are often used by DJs.

Closed headphones, also known as sealed headphones, have a solid-backed earcup construction preventing noise from leaking into or out of the headphone. Closed headphones block ambient noise and also prevent those nearby from hearing your music. Closed-back designs may be either full size (circumaural) or earpad (supra-aural) types, and all noise canceling headphones are also closed-back.  Audio professionals such as DJs and location recordists — and also portable listeners — will often choose closed headphones. The sound quality of closed cans has continuously improved in recent years and some can now compete directly with the top open-back headphones.

About On-Ear Headphones

Also known as ‘supra-aural’ headphones, on-ear headphones have earpieces that will gently rest on the earlobes.

Earpad — or ‘on-ear’ — headphones are available in open, closed, and noise canceling types, and can vary greatly in size.    On-ear headphones come in both open and closed-back earcup designs.  They usually have a standard over-the-head headband (some fold for compact transport or storage), but earpad headphones can also be behind the neck or clip-on types as well. Closed back or sealed earpad headphones can isolate from some mild ambient noise, but typically not as well as closed-back studio, full size headphones.

The Headset

This Bluetooth headset allows you to talk hands-free.

Headset headphones let you  talk while you listen with a built-in microphone.  Compatible with iPhones & other cell phones, headsets include all types of headphones including Bluetooth, wired, full-size, and earbud style.

Headsets are designed to let you listen AND talk, and are commonly used with cell phones. There are many different types of headsets: wired mono (one earpiece) and stereo (two earpieces) headsets, earpad headsets, in-ear headsets, full size closed headsets, Bluetooth headsets, USB headsets and more. You can also turn any pair of headphones into a headset by adding a headset adapter with a microphone.

Noise Canceling Headphones and How They Work

Noise canceling headphones are designed to insulate you from outside noise by using ‘active’ battery-powered electronics.

Noise canceling headphones use tiny built-in microphones in the earpieces to sense ambient noise around the headphones with an active (battery powered) electronic circuit that amplifies and inverts those signals, then adds them into the music signal to ‘cancel’ the acoustic noise pressure present at the earpieces. Noise canceling headphones are designed primarily to block airline/train cabin noise during travel and usually isolate sound better than a basic closed headphone.

Clip-On or Wing-Style Headphones for Activity

Clip-on headphones, or ear-clip headphones, are designed to stay in place during physical activity.

Clip-on headphones and wing adaptions stay secure on the ear for listening while you are in motion. They are lightweight and compact, and you’ll be able to stay aware of your surroundings while running or walking.  Waterproof styles are available for swimming.  The clip-on style headphones will usually fit under a skateboard or bicycle helmet.

Now that you’re armed with knowledge, you can make an informed decision about which headphone type is perfect for you. Happy listening!

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