Easy connectivity and great looks, the latest headphones make you spoilt for choice, in-ear or over-ear. Alvin Thomas checks out the sound systems.
Sound over matter
There was a time when AKG was touted as the “poor man’s Bose”, but not anymore. The Austrian brand – which is powered by Harman from the US and (currently) owned by the Koreans from Samsung Electronics – is far more superior to most high-end acoustic companies today. The AKG K92 is a prime example of how far the brand has come in the last two decades. The device comes with a superior sound driver, which helps reproduce heavy bass with adequate oomph while maintaining the consistency of the mid-tones and vibratos. It’s not studio-ready but is very well up there with the best, to say the least. Sadly, the only letdown is the construction: the audio cups are plastic-y and the two-prong headband is overly flexible. But, can you really complain about that when the device is priced at a meagre RO19? Probably not. Buy it from amazon.com.
There’s a fine line between style and function, and in the acoustics world the line is a Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear headphone. Not only is it capable of producing some great sounds, but it is also quite the looker. The Momentum comes in various colours; our favourite being the candy apple with the intricate brushed aluminium detailing. Of course, as is the case with most Sennheisers, the Momentum suffers from a short fuse for deep bass and keeps true to the sharper notes, although I’m nitpicking here. This is definitely the best headphones you can purchase for your smartphone today. And yes, there’s a different version for each flavour of OS. Buy it for RO36.5 from amazon.com.
May the force be with you
Optoma are a relatively new acoustics manufacturer, but that hasn’t stopped them from breaking into the scene with some stunning audio devices. They have quite a fan base in Asia. However, it is their latest offering, the Optoma Nuforce BE6i, that we are interested in. These Bluetooth in-ear wireless headphones reproduce superior acoustics as well as provide excellent battery life of up to eight hours (!) The device will also connect with your audio player at a distance of 98 feet. The headphone isn’t feature packed like some of its competitors, but the build-quality is excellent and it will not break on you every three weeks (take a note Yamaha). Yours for RO30.4 from amazon.com.
Quiet and comfortable
Oh, what a wonderful world we live in. We have come to a point wherein we can dial down all the voices around us – and with the simple push of a button. It’s uncanny. If you’re looking for a pair of headphones that can do the job well, look no further – the Bose QuietComfort 35 is the one for you. Not only does it seclude you from the surroundings but is also wireless, which means you don’t have to worry about snapping the wire. As expected, the audio quality is crisp and there’s very little – negligible to be specific – white noise interfering with the audio you are playing. Get it for RO135 from amazon.com.
App of the Week
Music lovers in Oman (and much of Asia) are left out by major streaming applications such as Spotify and Pandora; it’s inequitable. But, fret not, for Mixxlist is here to the rescue. The app lets you stream all your favourite music – from various online sources – through the app. It also lets you create your own playlist and share it with the world, or indulge in someone else’s playlist, if need be. Just make sure you stash your Backstreet Boys and NSYNC songs elsewhere before you go public, though. Download it for free from Google Play or iTunes.