Headphone Basics: Open Back vs. Closed Back


closed-vs-open-back-headphonesA pair of stereo headphones might seem like a pretty simple thing. You plug them in to a computer or iPod and you listen to music: what else is there to know?

The truth is that there’s a lot more to headphones than you might think. At a broad level there are earbuds, on-ear headphones, and over-ear headphones. Within each of these types, there are different quality levels and price points designed for different types of listening. A pair of headphones that a DJ or musician uses might be very different from the kind a recording engineer uses or a commuter uses while riding public transit to work.

Today I want to talk about over-ear headphones such as Beats by Dre, Skullcandy Hesh, and the AudioSpice Force headphones by US Digital Media. These type of headphones fall into two categories: open back and closed back. What is the difference between the two and why should you care? Read on to find out.

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Split Earbuds Are A Truly Innovative Idea


The word “innovative” gets thrown around a lot these days, but I feel that it’s the most appropriate word to describe the Split Earbuds from Greenwing Audio. This 3-person startup company from Miami Beach, Florida has come up with a completely new and original way to listen to music.

Let me explain what makes their idea so different from other earbud headphones on the market. If you’re like most people, you probably use your iPhone or Android smartphone for listening to music. The phone is a player, which stores the audio tracks digitally and converts them to an analog signal. That signal becomes a sound wave by means of a speaker driver, such as those found in a pair of speakers, or a tiny version inside a pair of headphones.

The Split Earbuds combine the player and the earbuds into one device. You don’t plug them in to anything. You don’t pair them wirelessly with your phone. The earbuds ARE the player!

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OnBeat Solar Headphones – Powering your Smartphone

OnBeat Solar power headphones

When what you need can’t be provided and when it is not yet available, the best thing to do is to innovate. This seems like the principle behind the invention of the OnBeat headphones whose creator, Andrew Anderson, admitted that the USB solar charging headphones are a result of his frustration on the low battery life of his phone. Now a Kickstarter campaign, OnBeat is looking for interested investors to raise the money needed for its mass production.

Naturally, the more you use your smartphone, the more energy it consumes and hence, less time for you to use your phone. But with the OnBeat headphones, juicing up your phone is much more convenient. This is because OnBeat contains a flexible solar cell which is incorporated into the headband and connected to two rechargeable lithium batteries on each of the cups. Solar energy is collected by the headphones so that it can transfer energy to your plugged phone. Yes, the headphones then are your portable charger!

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Earbud Phone Case by Sound Pockets

sound-pocketsListening to music or audio with earphones is the ultimate convenience. They don’t mess up your hair the way headphones do, they’re discrete, and, best of all, they’re very portable. Earphones, however, are tricky accessories to store. They seem to abide by a condition that they will almost always get tangled, even when you’ve taken pains to wrap them neatly and carefully for storage. Some kind of mystery happens between the time you neatly stashed them in your bag and the time you’ll take them out again to listen to files on your phone. It may be a mystery that will never be solved. Luckily, Sound Pockets is offering a practical solution for this common problem. The company’s solution takes the form of an iPhone case that comes with a earphone cable management system. The case is none other than the Sound Pockets Freedom Case.

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Introducing US ARMY® Mobile Accessories

us-army-mobile-marsShowing military pride in any small way means a world of difference to our troops. It’s always good to know that the people you’re fighting for appreciate your service for your country. Though there are many traditional ways to show your support, why not extend it a bit further and include your gadgets and their accessories as one of the new things you can utilize to show your pride?

US Digital Media makes this possible with a recent collaboration with the U.S. Army regarding mobile accessories bearing the U.S. ARMY® logo. Now you can honor the troops through your accessories, be it a set of headphones or an earbud storage pouch!

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