Monday, July 19, 2010

Headset


Considering myself a frugal guy, I don’t easily open my wallet for gadgets easily. Being a full time worker and dad of young boy, I just don’t have much time to play with any gadget even if I’ve money to spend on them. That’s one of the reasons why I’ve not dived into DSLR photography as well as getting a Wii at home. Nevertheless, the toy that I still bring along with me as a need as well as a hobby is the iPhone. Therefore, I still try to squeeze time to check out new apps and got new music/podcasts on, so as to enjoy them during my commute and other brief but cherished timeslots. In contrast to many iPhone users, I use it extensively as a replacement of my old iPod Classic, so I do take the headset with me 80-90% of times that I’m out of my shack.

I don’t have a very unrealistic requirement for headset. To me, as long as it does its job of playing whatever is on on my iPhone clearly and comfortably, then I will be happy. However, the original headset that comes with the iPhone just doesn’t do the job as much as I want it to be. It worse thing about it is the comfort level to my ear while I’m in motion. I’m kinda surprise that I’ve bear that for so long until today. Yes, I bought a new headset and it costs more than the DVD player that I’ve at home. Ah, not because my DVD player was expensive, but the headset does cost about US$100. It is from the brand of Ultimate Ears, called ‘Metro.FI 200v’. On the package, it says – Noise Isolating Mobile Headset – Balanced Microspeaker design for premium sound high sensitivity in-line microphone voice/music control button’. Similar to iPhone, it is designed in California and assembled in China, like most of things these days.

I did contemplate the idea of getting a new headset for a while, finding time to research and really go to a shop to check out one were things that I just never got them done until now. This time I did research a little bit and finally went to a headset special shop near my office to check out the final four selections on my list. Out of the ‘seems to be honest’ recommendation of the staff in the shop, I got this one.

I’ve thought for a while on my headset purchase is not because of issues like cost, color, brand, quality, etc. It is actually about a ‘risk’, whether there is any tradeoff or getting a balance among comfort, quality, and ‘SAFETY’. I’m not talking about the common sense issue of keeping the volume of headset down, so has to protect our hearing capability. I think I’m old enough to understand that. The real issue here is that most of the good headset replacements are those ‘in-your-ear’ model where they can deliver most acute sound to our ears by blocking most of the ‘noise’ in the surrounding. This design can do that as it really plugged into your ear while you are wearing the pairs of ear pieces. My concern was firstly the comfort level. I don’t know if it is because my ear is too big or too small or has weird shape. Many people can wear the regular headset comfortably and have the ear pieces safely clanged on their ears that I just can’t. My old headset would come off easily with or without the traditional sponge wraps. That’s why I had been searching everywhere to get some plastic wraps for my traditional headset so as to hold the ear pieces on my ear in a more secured way. However, the newly purchase headset should have no such problem after trying the earplugs on today. I just need to push them a little it, they stuck comfortably in my ears and I could listen clearly with only 60% of the volume that I used to turn on. Nevertheless, my concern is the catch 22 case that, the new headset can block out most of the background sound, but that may raise the risk of safety while walking down on the street or other matters. Cuz, I may miss horns or calling by others, or else in some situations with the headset on. Thus, I must pay extra attention to my surrounding for safety. Well, you might say that it is something we should do all the times. Yes, that’s true, but knowing it and doing it are not 100% overlapped. We are human after all, so there expects slippages; hopefully, they won’t lead to something tragic…with my fingers cross. I just need to remind myself to be more alert without letting my guard down while enjoying my audio entertainments.

Anyway, I can say that I’m preliminarily happy with this purchase. I hope it is really proved to be worthy as days go by.

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