“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.” – Maya Angelou
That is precisely my favorite thing about headphones – they let you immerse into a world of your own, a world that is impervious to noise pollution. It has never been easier to enjoy life at your own pace; all you need is your favorite tune and a pair of headphones.
Never has a song sent more shivers down my spine or made my arm hair stand up straight than when I heard it through headphones. Music actually does sound better through headphones, and we can thank our brains and physics for making it happen.
Headphones have become a vital piece of equipment in our daily lives as they have the power of setting the atmosphere we like in everyday chores. As with most people, I find headphones to be most useful while commuting, but the experience applies to almost anything. I’ve seen window washers with headphones, morning joggers keeping the rhythm with the music, even people enjoying a bench in the park while being dazzled by music.
I’ll leave the music choice to you, but when it comes to headphones, there are certain things you should consider to get the best feeling and the best quality to price ratio.
1. Type of Headphones
Type of headphones basically translates to the choice between earbuds and over-the-ear headphones. People that have used both can testify to the fact that even though they serve the same purpose, they are actually entirely different.
Earbuds are, because of their size are easier to store and carry around (i.e. in your pocket). They tend to be less expensive than their counterparts, but their type and size carry along a whole set of problems. Frequently falling out of ears and even ear pain are the reasons I gave up on earbuds. Another reason is that they simply produce lower quality sound even if they are made by well-known companies.
Over-the-ear headphones are the ones that we all imagine a DJ wearing, and there is a reason behind it. They are bulky and a bit awkward to carry around all day but they more than make up for it by giving you the best sensation possible.
They are perceived as being extremely pricey, but the truth is that you can get a decent pair for at a lower price. Check out the best headphones under $100 for example. Except for the superb sound quality, over-the-ear headphones are easier to wear and much less harmful than earbuds.
2. Noise blocking
Noise blocking is crucial for a quality pair of headphones. There is nothing worse than having to turn the volume up to maximum so you can overpower the sound of the annoying music in a bus. Not only will that hurt your ears in the long run, but you also might not even be able to play it as loud to negate outside noises.Advertising
Take a look whether the headphones have an open or closed back which will probably tell you the most about the quality of sound isolation. Open-back headphones do have a more appealing sound but are at the same time more liable to unwanted sounds. Closed-back headphones will give the bass a nice boost, negate the outside effects but will suffer in the quality department.
I have found that the special noise-cancelling types aren’t really worth the money. It will take at least $250 for a decent pair, and still you will be left with having to turn up the volume wasting precious battery life .
When it comes to frequency, try to find headphones with the largest range possible. Roughly said, human hearing ranges from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, and that is basically your target area if you want to hear the entire spectrum.
However, headphones differ in the sound curve. The sound curve is an indicator of what the manufacturer meant to emphasize in the sound. High-priced headphones are well-rounded and place no distinctions between the lower and higher frequencies. In practice, this is often not a great trait.
Less expensive headphones have a U curve meaning that you will probably hear the low and high frequencies better. As oppose to higher-priced headphones this means that you will really feel that bass in a song. Simply put, higher-priced headphones do give a better sound, but at a price of sounding bland and monotonous – something you don’t want when listening to music.Advertising
Impedance is a well-known term from high-school frequently used in electrical circuits and is shown in ohms (Ω). I don’t want to get all boring and technical so let’s just say impedance plays a significant role in playing music through headphones.
Lower impedance (less than 25 Ω) in headphones means that they require fewer amounts of power to transmit sound. 25 Ω is quite enough when playing music from phones, Ipads, and similar devices but what happens when you need a more powerful sound as a DJ might.
DJs use headphones that have 25 to 70 Ω of impedance, so they don’t “blow out” their headphones when using sound amplifiers. If you are not going to use headphones professionally, you should stick to low impedance headphones (far less expensive) but keep in mind the devices you are going to pair them with.
5. Try Them On
This is basically the best advice I can give you about getting yourself a decent pair of headphones. It doesn’t matter if someone gets technical or tries to explain by using their own words; there is no way to present the feeling you get from certain headphones.Advertising
Ask a friend to lend you his pair (if they are something you would consider buying) and plug them into your device. Have your device ready with music you are most fond of and simply listen to how they perform.
Another way to test headphones is to try them on at the store. Most audio stores will let you try the headphones without charge so you can decide from your own experience.
6. The Experience is No One’s but Your Own
Whatever headphones you choose just remember to use them responsibly. Be careful while behind the wheel and try not to play the music louder than you need it to be.
The wonderful world of music is for you to discover and I bet a quality pair of headphones can only make it better. Let the music set you free and allow me to quote Neil Young – “Keep rocking in the free world!”
Last Updated on August 12, 2019
12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health
Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.
But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.
I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.
Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:
The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.
Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.
Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.
Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.
Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.
When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.
Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.
While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.
Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.
Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.
5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids
Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.
The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.
Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.
Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.
Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.
Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.
7. Dark Chocolate
When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.
Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate
8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron
Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.
B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.
Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.
Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.
To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!
9. Foods Rich in Zinc
Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.
Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.
Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.
10. Gingko Biloba
This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.
It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.
However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.
11. Green and Black Tea
Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.
Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.
Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)
12. Sage and Rosemary
Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.
Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.
When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!
More About Boosting Brain Power
- How to Increase Brain Power, Boost Memory and Become 10X Smarter
- 11 Tactics on Increasing Brain Power, Memory, and Motivation
- Do Memory Supplements Work? 10 Supplements to Boost Brain Power
- 15 Ways Meditation Benefits Your Brain Power and Your Mood
Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com
|||^||Perkins AJ, et al. Am J Epidemiol. 1999.: Association of antioxidants with memory in a multiethnic elderly sample using the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.|
|||^||Tuffs University: Researchers At Tufts University Report Blueberries May Reverse Memory Loss|
|||^||Smith AD, et al. PLoS One. 2010: Homocysteine-lowering by B vitamins slows the rate of accelerated brain atrophy in mild cognitive impairment: a randomized controlled trial.|