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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.

      More by this author

      CM Smith

      A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

      To Automate or not to Automate Your Personal Productivity System How to Beat Procrastination: 29 Simple Tweaks to Make Design Is Important: How To Fail At Blogging 7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively 6 Unexpected Ways Journaling Every Day Will Make Your Life Better Why Getting Things Done is the Best Productivity System For You

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      Last Updated on October 16, 2019

      11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

      11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

      Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

      Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

      Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

      In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

      1. ScheduleOnce

        ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

        ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

        ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

        Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

        Available on Web

        2. Calendly

          Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

          You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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          Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

          3. Assistant.to

            For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

            From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

            While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

            Available on Web

            4. Acuityscheduling

              Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

              It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

              Available on Web | iOS | Android

              5. Pick

                Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

                At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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                Available on Web

                6. X.ai

                  For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

                  This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

                  Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

                  Available on Web

                  7. YouCanBook.me

                    is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                    They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                    Available on Web

                    8. Doodle

                      Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                      It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                      You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                      While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                      Available on Web | iOS | Android

                      9. WhenAvailable

                        WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                        Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                        Available on Web

                        10. Rally

                          Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                          Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                          Available on Web

                          11. NeedtoMeet

                            Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                            NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                            While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                            Available on Web

                            Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                            In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                            To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                            Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                            A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                            Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                            If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                            Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                            With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                            The Bottom Line

                            Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                            Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                            Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                            Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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