‘One size fits all’ is an adage that does not apply to headphones — or sound systems.
We know that the modern man busies himself with different pursuits. While some love to hit the gym and sweat it out after a long day at work, others may opt to lounge in the comfort of their bachelor pads, put some classical tunes on loop and nurse a dram or two. Some, of course, exchange their office wear for slacks, and fountain pens for a joystick, and proceed to spend the night adventuring in a virtual world. You get the drift.
No one sound system is optimal for running, swimming, gaming – or even sleeping – at the same time. So we figured we’d curate a list prescribing one for each face of your lifestyle.
For the athlete in you
Bose Soundsport Free
The American brand has outdone itself again. And this time, it’s for you sportsmen. Bose made sure it left no stones unturned when designing its Soundsport Free headsets. For one, it engineered the nozzle of its headphones to spread evenly around your eat, also ensuring that it will not fall out of place. The brand also flaunts its digital signal processing system to ensure your music sounds balanced regardless how noisy the gym is (you know, the occasional grunts and swearing). Just when you thought it’s over, the headphones are also water-resistant, durable and light, best when you’re out to push your physical limits.
The frequent flyer
Sennheiser PXC 550
Headphones are an essential travel item, and it it’s only right if you’re picky. These are going to be your best friend on a long-haul flights inter-country train rides across Europe.
Noise cancelling, lightweight and long battery life are some of the boxes that Sennheiser’s PXC 500 ticks off. It boasts its foldable design, which takes up less space in your suitcase, and it uses the brand’s adaptive noise cancellation technology — best used when you’re watching an action-packed movie on board, reading a book, or even to soothe your ears from the crying baby in the next cabin. The headphone also has a near-immortal battery life of 30 hours, making it your perfect travel companion.
Samsung x Harman Kardon HW-N950
Electronics giant Samsung last month announced its latest collaboration with Harman Kardon, and its result is formidable: the HW-N950 soundbar. With four speakers and two wireless surround sound speakers, the premium soundbar assures an immersive theatrical experience, all thanks to its Dolby Atmos technology. Its 7.1.4 channels — the largest number of channels currently available in a soundbar, according to the brand — coupled with a built-in wireless subwoofer and rear wireless speaker kit might make you want to stay home a little longer from now on.
SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless
Unmatched in quality when it comes to gaming, the Arctis Pro model by Danish gaming manufacturer SteelSeries features a control centre that grants easy access to the audio output with just a reach of your finger.
The brand’s flagship headphones also feature customised LEDs that outlines the ear cups, paired with its classic all-black design. You’re all set for a 10-hour playtime with its lasting built-in batteries, which takes less than an hour to recharge.
The futuristic one
Bang & Olufsen, Beosound 2
If you are up for a futuristic treat or if you just can’t seem to divorce technology, Danish luxury audio brand Bang & Olufsen last month announced it will be bringing Google Assistant to its Beosound 2 speakers. The brand is breaking boundaries again by marrying tech giant Google’s voice assistant expertise with the brand’s superb craftsmanship.
With built-in sensors, the speakers will be able to detect your presence when you are near it, allowing you to swipe right and left intuitively for the next and previous tracks. The speaker’s spherical shape, together with its built-in echo-cancelling technology and five microphones, promises premium sound quality.
The restless one
Bose’s Noise-Masking Sleepbuds
Many will laugh the idea off. A pair of earbuds engineered to put you to sleep – but nothing else? It is indeed a baffling decision to leave out basic functions like music playing and taking phone calls on what is obviously a pair of Bluetooth-enabled earbuds. But light sleepers or insomniacs with night time anxiety will beg to differ. Think about it – slaving earphones to a smartphone means potential interruptions by notifications, calls or even your phone running out.
Decoupling the earbuds and letting them play one of several ambient noise tracks makes for a better night’s rest. Where the Sleepbuds stand out is its material and make – impossibly soft and pliable rubber is used for the frame and ribbing so the buds can snuggle in your ear without causing discomfort. The elegant charging case holds charge as well, allowing you to go five days to a week without having the juice up the device. That longevity comes at a price too, though – there’s no active noise cancelling on board this version, so the hum of plane engines and very shrill noises may still filter through.