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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

      Designing & Marketing

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      Published on September 20, 2018

      11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

      11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

      In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

      Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

      In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

      Minimizing Tabs

      Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

      Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

      Incognito Mode

      Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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      1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
      2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
      3. Download extension New Incognito Window

      This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

      Save Webpages as PDF Files

      Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

      Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

      Open Recently-closed Tabs

      Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

      One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

      The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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      Solve Mathematical Problems

      Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

      For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

      Play Media Files

      Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

      In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

      Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

      With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

      Stay Focus(e)d

      Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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      Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

      With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

      This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

      Grammarly for Editing

      Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

      You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

      Loom

      There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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      There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

      With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

      Chrome Calendar Extension

      No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

      Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

      Final Thoughts

      Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

      Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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