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Lifehack Product Review: Sonomax sculpted eers Headphones

Lifehack Product Review: Sonomax sculpted eers Headphones
    That's not ear wax, folks. Just some "fitting lubricant".

    Music and sound are very important to me. And since I had the chance to review the new Sonomax sculpted eers custom headphones that recently won the CES Innovations 2012 Design and Engineering Awards Best of Innovations, I had to give them a try. The eers headphones are unique in the fact that they use an expansion technology that allows them to mold to the shape of your ears. The best part about the custom fit feature is that you can have them fitted and ready to go in about 5 minutes.

    While the custom fitting aspect of the eers headphones is truly unique and impressive, I have to say that the overall sound quality leaves more to be desired, especially with the eers hefty price tag starting at $199.99 (I’m actually reviewing the $299.99 model). But, first, let’s take a look at what Sonomax got right with the new eers headphones.

    What I Liked

    There were a few things that I really enjoyed about the eers headphones. The first is that Sonomax did a fantastic job making a take home system that you can use to create custom fit earpieces that are molded specifically for your ears. At first, I was extremely hesitant to have some silicon injected into my ears to create molded headphones, but after going through the instructions a few times I knew what I was doing and became more comfortable.

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      Sonomax provides the user with a Fit System, which basically looks an over-the-head-headset that is used to inject the silicon into your ears. You lube up the tips of the Fit System with the included lubricant, put them into your ears, and follow the directions to inject the silicon. If it sounds weird to you that’s because it is; but to be honest it really is kind of cool that you can create these headphones by yourself. You are supposed to have a “animator” (basically someone else to ensure that the Fit System is in place), but if you are careful and follow the instructions you can most likely do it yourself. Once the headset is in place and activated it takes 4 minutes for the silicon to mold to the inside of your ears. If you have ever used earplugs, the kind that you roll, insert into your ears, and let them expand, then you know exactly how this process will feel.

      After the four minutes you can slowly take them out of your ears, wipe off the lubricant, and then take them off of the Fit System. You then put the provided end caps on the left and right earphones and you are done. It’s simple process but you can run into some issues if you are careful (more in a minute on that).

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      I also think that the build quality of the eers headphones is pretty great. The cable for the headphones is made of some sturdy material, not at all like the feel of the standard issue Apple Headphones. The material is definitely made to last. Also, the Ear Loops that go over your ears feel good and are comfortable.

      One last thing that is great is that the eers fit very well and for doing anything active (running, biking, whatever) they stay in the entire time without much adjustment at all. This is something that most “active” headphones can’t even do well, so it’s nice to see that Sonomax created something that could stay in your ears.

      What I Didn’t Like

      It’s hard for me to not be critical about sound quality in any headphones. I have played music for about 18 years and there is a certain quality that I expect a product to be in order for me to recommend it or use it. Sadly, the eers headphones fall below that quality of sound.

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      The sound is tinny, lacks a full depth, and sounds completely different than any other headphone that I compared it to (not in a good way). I compared the sound to the Apple In-Ear Headphones, the Klipsch Image S4, and Ulitmate Ears 700. I consider the Apple In-Ear Headphones to be the lowest acceptable sound range that I have heard, while the Klipsh and the Ultimate Ears are both excellent for their price. The eers headphones can’t hold a candle to any of these headphones. It’s a shame too, considering that the price is so high for even the “most basic” pair ($199.99), as these other headphones are around half or less than half of the price. What’s even more alarming is that the headphones that I was sent are the PCS–200 with the “Premium dual drivers with crossover” that retail at $299.99.

      I would say that for some people the sound quality may be passable, but many consumers now a days are looking for more “bass” in their headphones and make that equivalent with quality. If they looked at the eers in this regard, they would be extremely disappointed.

      Another thing that I noticed is that if you change the position of your jaw to anything other than the position that it was in when creating the headphones you will start to lose the sound isolation seal that they headphones give to your ears. I noticed that my jaw had to be slightly opened to keep the seal of the headphones. Sonomax recommends lubricating the earbuds before putting them in with the provided lubricant for a “perfect seal”. I tried this multiple times and still had the issue of the seal being broken with jaw movement. Also, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to lube-up their headphones every time they want to listen to music.

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      Final Thoughts

      I think that the idea of creating custom fit headphones on-the-fly without having to drop hundreds to thousands of dollars is a good one. But, I also think that if you are going to spend over $100 on headphones, they should have at least a bare minimum of sound quality.

      While the Sonomax eers may be innovative and are made of high quality materials (the case, the headphone cable, and the Ear Loops), I can’t recommend them for someone who wants quality sound as there are better and more affordable options. If the sound quality of the eers was on par with the more affordable options out there then I may change my tune as they would be a great way to get a nice fitting pair of custom headphones.

      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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      Last Updated on August 15, 2018

      25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

      25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

      Imagine if you could use 5 simple shortcuts while working in Excel, and increase your productivity without wasting time for searching information in huge tables, writing long formulas, and sorting the data.

      Or even better:

      What if you would get 25 useful shortcuts… and each of them could simplify your work, so you could do much more every day?

      You’d definitely feel excited to read about them.

      Today is your lucky day because we are going to share with you in this article 25 great Excel shortcuts you can use in your work every day! This is your lucky chance, so go ahead and become a real professional in Excel without wasting your time.

      How important are Excel shortcuts for you?

      The most effective thing to check out if people really need something is to release a survey and look at the results. So, according to the anonymous survey, 99% of people said Excel shortcuts are critical or important for them.

      In general, there are more than 200 shortcuts in Excel. But when we have analyzed the data about how many shortcuts people know, we got the next results:

      • 26% of people know 10 or fewer shortcuts;
      • 61% of people know 10-50 shortcuts;
      • 10% of people know 50-100 shortcuts.

      As you can see, not so many people know a lot of shortcuts. Probably, some of them never think about increasing their productivity in such a simple way.

      Of course, it depends on how deep you use Excel. Some people use this powerful application just for making simple tables or graphs, others use it for everyday work to count something.

      Most of the accountants and businessmen use much more Excel functions for more complex tasks such as creating VBA macros, managing PivotTables, recalculating huge workbooks, outlining data, etc.

      But even those people who work with Excel every day very close may know a few shortcuts. Needless to say, they can do their job without shortcuts, but it usually takes for them much more time. T

      his sounds not funny, especially if you must finish a huge amount of work urgently. There is a great opportunity for you to increase your productivity in Excel and do your job faster with our useful shortcuts.

      5 Main reasons to learn excel shortcuts

      Many people don’t understand why they should use shortcuts if they can work without them. Of course, if you use Excel twice per year to make a simple table or a graph, it is probably not so important for you to know many shortcuts.

      But if you work in Excel every day, sorting huge tables and managing with tons of data, then shortcuts will help you to reach the next five goals:

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      1. Work efficiently and faster in Excel
      2. Manage big amounts of data easily and fast
      3. Stay calm and concentrated even while doing a tedious job
      4. Make your work accurately and properly without errors
      5. Get a better understanding of Microsoft Excel

      Who can use Excel shortcuts?

      There are a lot of people who can simplify their life with Excel shortcuts, and here are the groups that will definitely love using them:

      • People who work in banks, finance organizations, etc.
      • Businessmen who make tons of various reports and presentations in Excel for meetings and briefings.
      • Students who usually are lazy and impatient to make their homework because they don’t want to waste a lot of time working in Excel.
      • Private entrepreneurs who keep various data in Excel tables.

      Whether you are a student who hates Excel because it seems a time-wasting and boring application, or you are an accountant who must recalculate huge worksheets every day without making errors, we recommend reading and learning these Excel shortcuts to make your work simpler and save some time.

      With these simple but useful tricks, it is so easy to finish your job and get more time for yourself.

      25 Excel shortcuts to increase your productivity

      Here are 25 great Excel shortcuts you should learn and use for work or studying to make your job faster and simpler. Try to use them all and you will realize you were totally blind before while working in Excel:

      1. Format whatever object fast with Ctrl+1

      If you select any object in Excel – a cell, a chart, a chart axis, a drawing object – then press Ctrl+1, and you will get the Properties dialog for the certain object. This shortcut offers a very quick and easy way to format whatever object you’re working with.

      2. Use range names with Ctrol+G or F5 key

      If you use range names (which we strongly recommend to do) and you want to choose the range with a specific name references, press either Ctrl+G or the F5 key, which launches the GoTo dialog.

      If the name is simple, you can click on it in a list in that dialog. But if it’s at all unusual, Excel won’t list it; so you will need to type in the name. Then press OK.

      3. Use a range name in a formula with =sum( and F3

      Suppose you want to use a range name in a formula. For example, you want to sum the Sales range. Enter…

      =sum(

      …and then press F3.

      When you do so, Excel launches the Paste Name dialog. Just choose “Sales” from the list, press the OK button in the dialog, then enter the SUM function’s closing “)” to complete the formula.

      4. Launch Function Arguments dialog easily with Ctrl+A

      Suppose you want to check the help topic for a worksheet function. For example, you want to read about the MATCH function. In a cell, type…

      =match(

      …and then press Ctrl+A, or click the Insert Function (“fx“) button to the left of the formula bar.

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      When you do so, Excel displays the Function Arguments dialog, which might offer all the help you need.

      But if you still want to see the complete help topic, click the blue “Help on this function” hyperlink in the lower-left corner of the dialog. This technique works with all documented Excel functions.

      5. Copy stuff down the column without scrolling with Ctrl+D

      If you added a formula in a new column on the right of a huge dataset, and you want to copy that formula down without scrolling, do these steps:

      • go to the right to the column that has data (the column to the left of the new column with the formula);
      • press Ctrl+Down – to get to bottom;
      • move one cell to the right (with arrow key naturally);
      • press Ctrl+Shift+Up to select the new column, at the top of which is the formula you just created;
      • press Ctrl+D to fill down the formula.

      6. Quick access to any function with Alt+

      By customizing the quick access toolbar, you can create simple shortcuts to commands that you would otherwise have to find in the Ribbon tabs, or macros you have created yourself.

      The keyboard shortcut is simply selecting Alt+ (the number of the command you wish to select).

      For example, if you have customized your quick access toolbar to have Calc Sheet, Save, Open. To calculate sheet you would hit Alt+1, for save Alt+2, and for open Alt+3.

      A lot of people are unaware of this useful function, and it’s a great time saver.

      7. Format cells with Ctrl+1

      When you need to format cells, use Ctrl+1. Most people know this as the shortcut for the Format Cells dialog, but you can also use it to format almost anything in Excel, without a care about the state of the ribbon. Try this amazing and simple shortcut!

      8. Choose visible cells with Alt+

      When you need to choose visible cells only – use Alt+. This is the trick to copy only what you see. It is a priceless shortcut when you’re manually hiding rows and columns in the table.

      9. Use filtering

      Filtering – it is a powerful way to slice, dice, and sort through a huge table of information.

      It’s amazingly effective when you’re participating in a meeting to discuss something like a sales forecast, and everyone is looking in real-time at your spreadsheet projected on a screen (or on their monitors).

      To some people, you will be seen as the God of Spreadsheets, and this is not a joke!

      10. Insert or delete column/row easily with the Ctrl key

      Some people waste a lot of time even for simple operations, for example, when they need to insert/delete columns and rows in Excel.

      Use this shortcut to insert: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl+Shift ++.

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      To delete: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl + –.

      11. See formula results with F9

      If you want to check formula results within multiple formulas, highlight the formula and select F9 to see formula result.

      Don’t forget to undo before exiting the formula.

      12. Use ALT+Enter for more text within a cell

      If you want to add a second line of text within a cell, use ALT+Enter.

      13. Use EDATE to move a date on by a full calendar month:

      Here’s how to use EDATE:

      =EDATE(15/01/16,+1) = 15/02/2016 (15th Feb 2016)

      =EDATE (15/01/2016,-2) = 15/11/2015 (15th Nov 2016)

      14. Use EOMONTH to move a date onto the end of the month:

      Here’s how to use EMONTH:

      =EOMONTH(15/01/2016,0) = 31/01/2016 (31st Jan 2106)

      =EOMONTH (15/01/2016,-2) = 30/11/2015 (30th Nov 2015)

      15. Remove spaces with TRIM

      TRIM is a useful function known by few people. It removes any spaces at the beginning of a value. This is useful if you are pulling in values from somewhere else.

      16. Repeat commands with F4 or Ctrl+Y

      In many cases, you may need to repeat your last action. Use F4 or Ctrl+Y; you can repeat many commands like applying the same borders, format, or insert a worksheet again.

      17. Quick access to cells with the Ctrl key and Shift key

      When you need to go to the first or last cell of a worksheet, no matter where you are, use Ctrl+Home, Ctrl+End combinations.

      And here is a pleasant bonus for you: add the Shift key to select everything on the way!

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      18. Use Ctrl+ to create a timestamp

      If you need a date stamp and/or a timestamp in your document, there is no need to type a date and time! Use shortcuts Ctrl+ ; (date) Ctrl+Shift+ : (time). It works like a magic and helps to save your time and nerves.

      19. Use autosum shortcut for sum function anywhere

      Autosum shortcut – use Alt =. It is a “magic” shortcut of Excel to automatically insert a sum function.

      You can use this shortcut to sum rows, columns, or even an entire table in one step without wasting your time.

      20. Use data validation

      This is an amazing but underutilized tool in Excel, which can be used for a variety of things:

      • Create dependent drop-down lists;
      • Create drop-down lists;
      • Protect/restrict data input of specific cells (without the need for VBA macros).

      21. Use conditional formatting

      It can be used for various purposes such as color format or cell format of cells, rows or columns based on dependent cell values or formats.

      22. Use formula auditing

      This is a great tool to analyze and trace precedent or dependent cells, check errors and evaluate formulas.

      The “Watch Window” is a feature to keep a snapshot of an area of the spreadsheet, and then move to another area of the workbook – particularly valuable if you’re managing large spreadsheets or don’t have a second screen.

      23. Use Scenario Manager to generate summary outputs of a spreadsheet

      Scenario Manager (under “What-if Analysis”) enables users to generate high-level, summary outputs of a spreadsheet – without the need to replicate the entire workbook.

      It will present multiple scenarios of a spreadsheet in a succinct, high-level summary worksheet.

      24. Use INDIRECT to set up large tables

      INDIRECT makes it easy to set up tables which reference larger tables without a lot of referencing work or cutting and pasting; especially for dynamic spreadsheets.

      25. Use OFFSET for complicated calculations or formulas

      OFFSET can be useful for things like calculating YTD numbers or creating formulas that take data in rows and using in columns.

      The bottom line

      As you can see, when you have a boring or tedious job to do, the best way to do it fast is not looking for a way how to avoid it, but searching for the shortest variant to do it!

      That is why we suggest keeping in mind these Excel shortcuts that will help you to save a lot of time and nerves.

      If it seems hard for you to remember all them, you can print out the list of shortcuts and keep it on your worktable. Use it to search for some help when you need it, and over time, you’ll remember all shortcuts easily.

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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