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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.

      Get What Matters Done by Scheduling Time Blocks What Everyone Is Wrong About Achieving Inbox Zero 4 Simple Steps to Brain Dump for a Smarter Brain Why Is Productivity Important? 10 Reasons to Become More Productive How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

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      Last Updated on December 3, 2019

      10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

      10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

      There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

      Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

      1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

      Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

      There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

      Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

      2. Pace Yourself

      Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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      Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

      Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

      3. You Can’t Please Everyone

      “I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

      You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

      Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

      4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

      Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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      We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

      Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

      5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

      “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

      No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

      We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

      6. It’s Not All About You

      You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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      It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

      7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

      No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

      We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

      Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

      8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

      That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

      Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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      Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

      9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

      Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

      The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

      10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

      We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

      When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

      Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

      This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

      More Inspiring Lessons

      Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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