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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Headphones in 4 Steps

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Headphones in 4 Steps

In the last few years, headphone technology has made huge strides forward. In light of the recently released Apple’s iPhone 7 having no 3.5mm jack, this is especially clear.

And if you’re in the market for a new pair of headphones you might be confused by all the various headphones, earbuds, and earphones on the market. How can you make sure to make the right decision without overpaying by tens or hundreds of dollars?

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    Don’t worry; in this guide, I’ll explain how you can pick the perfect audio accessory without breaking the bank.

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    1. Don’t Worry About the Brand

    In 2014, ConsumserReports.org found that Grado headphones beat both Beats and Bose devices when it comes to sound quality.

    And yet most people have never heard of Grado.

    What does that tell you?

    First, that great marketing doesn’t necessarily make a product great. Dr. Dre is an iconic music producer but the headphones he endorses may not be your best choice – especially since rumor has it they only cost around $14 to manufacture.

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    And this is rule #1. If you’re serious about getting great quality for your hard-earned money, don’t worry about the brand of the headphones you’re buying. And if you do care about brands, just buy whatever’s popular; I won’t tell anyone.

    2. Pick a Headphone Type

    Modern headphones come in 4 general types:

    1. Over-ear headphones. These tend to have a powerful bass range but can be bulky to carry and loud to the people around you.
    2. Earbuds are easy to carry in your pocket and can provide amazing sound quality. Even better, many companies offer custom earbuds that fit your ear perfectly.
    3. Noise-canceling and noise-reducing headphones block external sounds fully or partially. In the past, they were extremely expensive – especially the noise-canceling variety. Today, you can get a pair for as little as $20 – or $200 for a high-end pair.
    4. Wireless headphones. The new apple AirPods released concurrently with the iPhone 7 are one example. These operate via Bluetooth and require no wire to use, which is convenient.

    Consider the pros and cons of each headphone type before looking at any specific models. Nowadays, most stores help you make the right choice by separating headphones into general categories – and Amazon even has a few extra sub-categories like “foldable headphones”.

    3. Read Reviews or Visit a Store

    The best way to find out whether a headphone is good is by listening to it personally – or reading a review made by someone who has. At the end of the day, a device can be made from great materials, look good on paper and seem like a bargain…

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    But unless someone you trust has recommended it, be careful about ordering it online.

    Fortunately, plenty of websites offers extensive headphone reviews. Cnet has a wonderful “best of 2016” review series that covers various kinds of headphones. Other websites get as specific as listing the best wireless headphones for TVs available on the market.

    That means there’re lots of places to look for information. Just remember to…

    4. Buy Your Headphones From a Reliable Store

    It can be easy to confuse real brand headphones with cheap imitations at first glance. Many unscrupulous online sellers take advantage of this by selling fakes that resemble the real deal.

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    Unfortunately, the whole point of nice headphones is that they reproduce music well – and you don’t get that with a pair of knock-offs. That’s why it’s important to buy yours from a store you trust; preferably, one recommended by friends.

    Maximize Your Headphone’s Usage

    Don’t you hate it when your headphones get tangled? How about losing small earbuds; isn’t that a pain?

    I think so too. Here’re just a few things you can do:

    1. Turn headphones into speakers using paper cups
    2. Wrap headphones without tangling them
    3. Turn the wire into a headphone case (!!!)

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      If you like the sound of these useful hacks, here’s more information – and have fun choosing and buying your new headphones!

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      Vikas Agrawal

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      Last Updated on May 14, 2019

      8 Replacements for Google Notebook

      8 Replacements for Google Notebook

      Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

      1. Zoho Notebook
        If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
      2. Evernote
        The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
      3. Net Notes
        If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
      4. i-Lighter
        You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
      5. Clipmarks
        For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
      6. UberNote
        If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
      7. iLeonardo
        iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
      8. Zotero
        Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

      I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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      In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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