Category Archives: Tech

Yes, I need one more set of headphones!

So, I have a problem. I love gadgets and technology. The techier (that’s a word right?) the better. If I can buy something with Apple Pay, I will. If I can put a ticket in my Apple Wallet, it’s a no-brainer. Use Alexa to turn on my home theater? Check. Use my Apple Watch to take a phone call so I can talk to someone like I’m Dick Tracy? Hello.

And when it comes to headphones, I really have an issue. I have a set of earbuds that I keep at work. I have a set of noise-cancelling earbuds to watch movies when I fly (which is often). I have a pair of Bluetooth bone conduction headphones that are great for listening to music or podcasts while out and about because they don’t cover my ears and I can stay alert to what’s going on around me. I have a pair of Bluetooth earbuds that I was using for working out (but they have a wire connection between them that’s annoying when I start moving around).

At the beginning of this last tour with the Field Band, one of my van-mates took out his Apple EarPods. Now, I’ve thought about buying the AirPods but always decided against it because they are basically the same shape as the earbuds that have come with the iPhone for years and they just don’t stay in my ears. But there I was, minding my own business, when he took out his EarPods with the wingtip things similar to the ones I use with my Bose earbuds that help keep them in my ear. That blew my mind. Yada, yada, yada, and a few days later I bought a set and had them delivered to one of our hotels.

I won’t go so far as to say it’s been life-changing, but it’s been pretty darn useful. If you’re an Apple person and are on the move a lot, you need to look into these. While on tour, I use my iPad to play workout videos; having the EarPods immediately made that more efficient and less painful. They automatically connected to my iPad when I put them in my ears and they stayed in my ear during the workout without any cords. Phone calls and FaceTime took on a whole different deal. I don’t like being on the phone mainly because I dislike holding the phone up to my ear; the EarPods eliminate that issue…and if the person calling you is in your contacts, the EarPods will tell you who is calling. Pretty cool.

The sound quality is pretty good but these are a functional tool more than a vehicle to listen to music. If you are part of the Apple ecosystem and want to be able to use Siri, take calls, listen to music or watch stuff on your devices, then I’d look at the EarPods.

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Cut the Cord (already)

Over the last year, more people cut the cord from their cable providers than ever before, and why not? Between the multiple streaming services, the move by networks to place content online – even original, exclusive content – and the different devices we can now use to watch said content (pretty much all home theater devices are “smart” at this point), there’s really no excuse unless you like paying all that money for channels you’ll never watch…or if you really do use most of those channels, go for it. I know a little about this because my wife and I were a little ahead of the curve when we cut the cord back in 2011. Home theater is one of my hobbies so after recently upgrading our set up, I thought it was time to write another post about how we continually enjoy our home theater without the “aid” of cable television. Continue reading

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How I kicked cable to the curb . . . and saved my soul

So, you sit down after dinner, fire up your cable or satellite box, and surf for something to watch…221 channels later, you’re back where you started.  After going through the 200+ channels again without finding anything interesting enough to hold your attention, you decide to grab a book and listen to Army Bandstand online radio instead.  Or, maybe you bought the MLB Extra Innings package for cable and realized only after spending over $150 that most, if not all games, are NOT shown in HD.  Perhaps you realized that you only watch a handful of shows or a handful of networks, which hardly justifies the monthly bill you’re paying.  Maybe you’ve never used and will never use the 30 “radio” channels that are simply a waste of space on your cable or satellite channel lineup… Continue reading

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