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Lifehack Product Review: Andrea SuperBeam Headphones

Lifehack Product Review: Andrea SuperBeam Headphones
    Andrea SuperBeam Headphones

    As a person who makes Skype calls and podcasts regularly, there’s nothing like getting a quality pair of headphones to make the experience that much more enjoyable. I’ve tried my fair share of headphones — mostly earbuds in recent months — and still my trusty AKG headphones from my days as a college radio station employee.

    So when Andrea Electronics offered me a pair of its new SuperBeam Phones (SB-405 model), I was intrigued and they sent me a pair to try out.

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    Once they arrived, my intrigue was soon met with disappointment.

    I’m afraid I wasn’t overly impressed with them, although there are some positive points I’d like to shed some light on before diving into why they left me wanting.

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    What I Liked

    The Andrea SuperBeam Phones are definitely lightweight. They don’t feel bulky and can be carried around either in the handsome case they come with or loosely in a backpack and they add very little heft and take up a small space.

      Neatly packaged inside the case.

      You can mute the phones directly on the headphone wire, as well as increase and decrease volume. pretty standard stuff, but handy nonetheless. The ability to plug in either through a traditional line-in/headphone jack or via USB (an adapter comes with the headphones) is useful, especially considering my MacBook Air does not have a microphone input other than through USB. That said, there is an extension you can buy for the SuperBeam phones (Andrea provided me with an adapter to test as well) that allows for the headphone and microphone signal to be used in one jack — ideal for use with mobile devices.

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      I did like the fact that the phones had a built-in USB sound card that enhanced the sound quality of the phones. The software is easy to install — and also required to take advantage of the built-in card — and definitely improved the overall performance of the phones from an audio standpoint. When using the SuperBeam to make calls and conduct interviews, I didn’t hear any background noise seeping in…and I work at home with two kids.

      What I Didn’t Like

      The enhanced performance with the sound card is a bonus, but having to download software to take advantage of it certainly isn’t. I understand the need to do so, but it’s something that will turn off plenty of users who either don’t want to go down that road or might be disappointed by the results.

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      The weight of the phones was what I liked, but they felt, well…cheaply made. The pieces that held the very small earphones to the headpiece felt as if they would break with the slightest abuse (and headphones do get tossed around from time to time, even my old AKG ones). The construction of the Andrea SuperBeam Phones didn’t feel hardy enough for my taste — I expect earbuds to be flimsy, but not headphones — and especially not at the price these are selling at.

      Which brings me to pricing. These headphones retail for $149.95 USD, while the earbud version runs $20 less. These do not feel like $150 headphones, nor do I feel they perform as such. Perhaps if the construction of the phones had a less disposable feel to it, then the price would be a bit more reasonable. But even with the enhanced quality that the sound card enables, these are overpriced in my book.

      Final Thoughts

      I really wanted to like the Andrea SuperBeam headphones. The craftsmanship that they have put into the software and the built-in sound card is to be commended. I only wish they had put as much thought and craftsmanship into the exterior of the device as they did to the interior — and to the pricing as a result.

      Full disclosure: The contributor received no monetary compensation from the product manufacturer/company in return for this review. Should you wish to submit a product/service for review consideration, please submit via this contact form.

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      Mike Vardy

      A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

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      Last Updated on June 23, 2019

      20 Things People Regret the Most Before They Die

      20 Things People Regret the Most Before They Die

      Close your eyes and imagine that you’re at your own funeral—a bit morbid I know, but there’s a reason for it. Now think about what you’d like people to say about you. What kind of a life do you want to lead? People die with all kinds of regrets. Don’t be one of them.

      1. I wish I’d cared less about what other people think.

      It’s only when you realise how little other people are really thinking of you (in a negative sense) that you realise how much time you spent caring and wasting energy worrying about this.

      2. I wish I had accomplished more.

      You don’t have to have won an Oscar, built up a business or run a marathon, but having small personal accomplishments is important.

      3. I wish I had told __ how I truly felt.

      Even if the “one” doesn’t exist, telling someone how you truly feel will always save you from that gut wrenching”but what if…” feeling that could linger for life if you stay quiet.

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      4. I wish I had stood up for myself more.

      Sometimes, it’s too easy to think that if you go all out to please everyone you’ll be liked more or your partner won’t run off with anyone else. I think age probably teaches us to be nice but not at the expense of our own happiness.

      5. I wish I had followed my passion in life.

      It’s so easy to be seduced by a stable salary, a solid routine and a comfortable life, but at what expense?

      6. I wish our last conversation hadn’t been an argument.

      Life is short, and you never really know when the last time you speak to someone you love will be. It’s these moments that really stay clear in peoples’ minds.

      7. I wish I had let my children grow up to be who they wanted to be.

      The realisation that love, compassion and empathy are so much more important than clashes in values or belief systems can hit home hard.

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      8. I wish I had lived more in the moment.

      Watching children grow up makes you realise how short-lived and precious time really is, and as we age, many of us live less and less in the present.

      9. I wish I had worked less.

      There’s always a desire to have loosened up a bit more with this one and the realisation that financial success or career accomplishment doesn’t necessarily equal a fulfilled life.

      10. I wish I had traveled more.

      It can be done at any age, with kids or not but many talk themselves out of it for all kinds of reasons such as lack of money, mortgage, children, etc. When there’s a regret, you know it could have been possible at some stage.

      11. I wish I had trusted my gut rather than listening to everyone else.

      Making your own decisions and feeling confident in the decisions you make gives us fulfilment and joy from life. Going against your gut only breeds resentment and bitterness.

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      12. I wish I’d taken better care of myself.

      Premature health problems or ageing always makes you wonder if you’d eaten healthier, exercised more and been less stressed, would you be where you are today?

      13. I wish I’d taken more risks.

      Everyone has their own idea of what’s risky, but you know when you’re living too much in your comfort zone. In hindsight, some people feel they missed out on a lot of adventure life has to offer.

      14. I wish I’d had more time.

      Many people say time speeds up as we age. The six weeks of summer holidays we had as kids certainly seemed to last a lifetime. If time speeds up, then it’s even more important to make the most of every moment.

      15. I wish I hadn’t worried so much.

      If you’ve ever kept a diary and looked back, you’ll probably wonder why you ever got so worked up over X.

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      16. I wish I’d appreciated ___ more.

      The consequences of taking people for granted are always hard to deal with.

      17. I wish I’d spent more time with my family.

      Some people get caught up with work, move to other parts of the world, grow old with grudges against family members only to realise their priorities were in the wrong place.

      18. I wish I hadn’t taken myself so seriously.

      Life is just more fun when you can laugh at yourself.

      19. I wish I’d done more for other people.

      Doing things for others just makes life more meaningful.

      20. I wish I could have felt happier.

      The realisation that happiness is a state of mind that you can control sometimes doesn’t occur to people until it’s too late.

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