Beats by Dr. Dre Studio

Without giving too much about this headphone short article, but I thought it exciting and relevant to what Im currently doing.

headset. earphonesAudiophiles and lovers of booming bass alike often ask me what I think about Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, assuming I’ll somehow slam the company. But I’m actually a fan of what Beats has accomplishedin 2008, virtually no one was paying money for headphones (except for audiophiles). Beats more or less eliminated that complacency for dismal soundtrue, it was achieved by making bass-heavy headphones a fashion statement seen on celebrities and athletes alike, but it was still a marked improvement over the status quo. The new Beats Studio, at $299.95 (direct), is the second version of the original pair made by Monster (Beats is no longer associated with Monster, and HTC, which had a controlling interest for a while, is now also jumping ship). Equipped with some decent noise cancellation, the signature glossy look, and the deep low-end that made this lineup famous, or infamous, the new Studio will appeal to bass lovers and repel purists.

Design
Visually, the Beats lineup is possibly the most recognizable headphone design made since the 80s, even if that makes audiophiles cringe. You’ve seen them on the heads or resting around the necks of pro athletes and pop stars during press conferences and music videosand that familiar look is a brand unto itself at this point. In other words: Beats isn’t going to mess with the formula too much. The Beats Studio looks, to the casual observer, like most other Beats pairs that came before it, offered in shiny red, white, or black, with a bright red lowercase B logo on each ear.

The circumaural (over-the-ear) design features large, exceedingly comfortable earpads and a well-padded headband. Even over long listening sessions, the earpads don’t get uncomfortable or too hot, and the same can be said for the headband. The headphones do not fold down flat, which is something much of the competition now does to allow for easier stowing.Beats by Dr. Dre Studio

The famously red cable is detachable from the left ear, and the Studio ships with two of themone with an inline three-button remote control and mic for controlling playback, volume, and answering calls on mobile devices, one without. There’s also a red USB charging cable (it connects to the right ear)this represents a leap for the redesigned headphones, as they now run on an internal rechargeable lithium ion battery and not AAA batteries, a minor victory for the environment. Beats claims an approximate battery life of 20 hours, but this will largely depend on how you use your headphonesspecifically, how loud you listen to your tunes.

The left earcup has a Mute functionif you want to pause or play, use the remote on the cable, as the left ear’s button will simply mute your audio while it’s still playing. A Power button on the right ear activates the noise cancellation, and holding it down for a prolonged period powers them down. The power button can also be pressed and held for a shorter period to activate an LED display that shows how much battery life you have leftfive dots is good, one dot is on the verge of death.

Annoyingly, you cannot listen to music on the Beats in passive mode without activating the noise cancellation, so the battery life will always be impacted by the noise cancellation circuitry when you’re using them. You can also (quite easily) unintentionally leave the noise cancellation activatedit will remain on even if the cable is removed if you don’t shut it off, as there’s no auto-off function like you find in some competing models. It doesn’t help that the Power button is tiny and easy to forget about.

The headphones also ship with a zip-up hard shell carrying case, a Beats decal, and a cleaning cloth.

Performance
Let’s first briefly address the active noise cancellation. It would be one thing if the noise cancellation circuitry were ground-breaking (it’s not) and was the primary draw for these headphones (ditto), but since it isn’t, it would be nice to be able to use the Beats Studio passively like many pairs allow you to do now. The noise cancellation itself is decentit can eliminate wide swaths of ambient noise and even tone down chatter and talking around you a bit, but it can’t compare with the latest technology from the Bose QuietComfort series, and it also introduces a noticeable hiss to the equation. Many noise-canceling pairs do this, but few of them cost so much. The verdict here is: These headphones would be a better deal without the noise cancellation, and with a lower price as a result, but it’s intrinsically tied to the design, so thankfully it’s at least a somewhat useful feature.

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CCFC award the ipotty as 2013’s worst toy

Wow. The new technological advancement is spectacular. I mean it is just so stunning and so advanced. I pity individuals who grew up without the technology.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) has officially selected the ‘iPotty’ (from CTA Digital) as the worst toy of 2013.

In case you’re wondering, the iPotty consists of a basic potty setup, but with the added innovation of a stand for holding an iPad (apparently an aid to toilet training). I’m also assuming that there is an app. There’s always an app.

Once the infant is placed on the potty, the iPad can be rotated 360 degrees around the seat on its stand, meaning that the device can be switched between vertical and horizontal views. The iPotty even has a protective touchscreen for use in case of…Well, you get the idea.

However, that’s not all. You’d think it would be, but it isn’t. The iPotty also has a clip-on cover that converts it into a regular seat, so your child can enjoy a quiet, insular, sedentary activity in the exact same place they just took a dump.

The CCFC’s TOADY (Toys Oppressive and Destructive to Young children) award, a dubious honour that the group bestows upon the worst toy released over a 12-month period, is a rather damning indictment of the iPotty’s usefulness.

Despite being described by its manufacturers as a “comfortable and fun place to learn to use the potty”, the CCFC’s Michelle Salcedo said that, “Children should be aware of the cues in their bodies as they learn. This toy takes this social/emotional focus out of the process and substitutes the hypnotism of a screen,” CCFC voter Alex Reynard added that the iPotty, “not only reinforces unhealthy overuse of digital media, it’s aimed at toddlers. We should NOT be giving them the message that you shouldn’t even take your eyes off a screen long enough to pee.”

He’s got a point.

According to the CCFC, potty training ought to be a time of positive interaction between child and parents. Sigmund Freud also famously suggested that potty training is a vitally important time for the development of a child’s psychology.

The iPotty is available online for about £30, but the iPad itself will need to be sourced separately (they start at about £400, so I’d suggest instructing your child to read a book instead, like the rest of us do).

Evidently, a parent did not design this device, as any parent knows that it is hard enough to get your child to focus on the task at hand in the first place, without throwing a few levels of ‘Angry Birds’ into the mix as well.

Amazingly, were CTA Digital to have marketed this product to a certain variety of adult, I personally believe that it would have been very popular indeed.

Anyway, that’s all from me this year!