Accessories

Wired earphones are still better than wireless, science says

Bring back the headphone jack!

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In everyone’s desks, there exists a forgotten and perpetually tangled pair of earphones buried under piles of cords. The rise of wireless earphones coincides with the slow death of wired ones. The tech industry hopes to replace everyone’s audio equipment with wireless technology. As a result, new smartphones have frequently done away with the once-celebrated headphone jack. Jacked smartphones are a rare thing now.

Unfortunately, the argument of convenience has not convinced the entire market yet. Even now, users are clamoring for the return of jacks. Sadly, companies are championing the contrary.

Now, it’s time for a gut check. Despite claims of success, wireless earphones still don’t match up to the quality of wired earphones.

Audio website Sound Guys tested the audio quality of current Bluetooth technology. The test involved several flagship phones and Bluetooth earpieces. For actual audio, Sound Guys used several codecs including those used for high-fidelity and CD-quality audio.

It’s a sad day for Bluetooth. Wireless earphones could not accurately reproduce the audio quality of wired earphones. Regardless of codecs used, the technology lost a significant number of bits at the other end of the hardware. This includes Apple’s poster child for wireless audio: AirPods. So far, only Qualcomm’s aptx HD and Sony’s LDAC came close.

Amidst arguments against sound quality, wireless technology’s support for convenience still stands. Wireless earphones are still an easy solution to music while on a commute. Regardless, at their current state, Bluetooth earphones are bad alternatives to the smooth and crisp sound of wired earphones.

With tests to prove it, tech companies are making a mistake by getting rid of the headphone jack. Wireless technology is still in its toddler stages. To its credit, new devices are coming out every month. The technology can land into a renaissance in the future.

SEE ALSO: Swings Bluetooth earphones are also good-looking earrings

Accessories

PhoneSoap Go: A portable device that will sanitize your smartphone

It isn’t called PhoneSoap for nothing!

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That smartphone in your purse can do so much but it also has 18 times more bacteria than the average public toilet. Before we continue, let that sink in.

Before you drop that phone you’re probably reading this article on, know that there’s a way to clean your handset and it doesn’t involve soap and water. Introducing: PhoneSoap.

PhoneSoap Go is the brand’s latest release. It’s a tiny chest that will literally clean your smartphone. It uses UV-C light to kill bacteria on your device. All you do is put your smartphone inside, tap the lightning button, wait 10 minutes for one cleaning cycle, and your phone should be germ-free.

The inside compartment can house your phone, no matter what size. It’s pretty spacious so it can even fit small everyday stuff like keys or wallets. Despite all that space, the PhoneSoap Go is designed for portability. This is PhoneSoap’s smallest device — something you can bring along on trips to make sure your handset is sanitized anywhere you go.

On the back of the chest is a USB-A and a USB-C port. This is because the PhoneSoap Go has a 7000mAh battery built into it. That’s enough for 45 cleaning cycles, or four phone charging cycles.

Yes, I said phone charging cycles. That’s because you can actually use it as a power bank. There’s even a slot for your charging cable so you can charge as you sanitize your phone. That means even if the whole cleaning cycle is just 10 minutes, you can leave your phone plugged in longer. There’s even “acoustic outlets” at the bottom so you can hear phone notifications.

Of course, unless I have a petri dish and some phone swabs, I won’t be able to say definitively that this thing can clean 99.99 percent of bacteria on your phone, as the brand claims. But, I will say that if it does end up sanitizing your phone in any capacity, that’s already a good enough deal considering how dirty these things supposedly are, and how much we’re holding on to them on a daily basis.

But really, more than phone cleaning, what you get is peace of mind. Honestly, my own (many, rotating) devices have been chilling a lot in my PhoneSoap ever since I got it.

The PhoneSoap Go retails for US$ 79.95 and you can get it from their website.

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Accessories

This titanium strap elevates the way your Apple Watch looks

And doesn’t deplete your savings

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Although Nomad is best known for its beautifully crafted Horween Leather accessories, that doesn’t stop the company from trying other things like the Tesla Model 3 wireless charger from six months ago. This time around, the company dabbles in something familiar but still different — its first metal Apple Watch bands.

The new straps come in silver and space gray, and fits the 42mm/44mm models. There’s no word yet on rose gold and gold bands, as well as straps compatible with the smaller 38mm/40mm models.

The company promises the metal bands to be as light as possible, while maintaining that premium feel and durability thanks to the use of high-grade titanium.

The straps come with Nomad’s custom lugs and over twenty titanium links — ten of them removable — that you can customize according to your wrist size, as Nomad is including the link removal tool in the package.

Nomad’s new titanium Apple Watch bands are available now for US$ 179.95 on the Nomad website; that’s half the price of Apple’s own metal link band.

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Accessories

InvisaWear: Great-looking smart jewelry that doubles as a panic button

Protected and in style

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Who knew that something this pretty can potentially save your life?

These beautiful pendants are not just accessories. Called InvisaWear, these trinkets also double as panic buttons.

Designed specifically to be discreet, this different type of jewelry is the product of a harrowing experience. Rajia, InvisaWear’s CEO, was leaving an event when she was catcalled by a group of men in a car. As she was walking, the car stopped and one of the catcallers started to get off. Thankfully, Rajia, was able to get to her car and drive off unharmed. But, that incident left a mark on her: She felt completely helpless in the moment. Thus, the idea of an easy-to-reach panic button for everyday wear was born.

All you need to do is install the InvisaWear app, choose up to five emergency contacts, pair your jewelry to your phone via Bluetooth, and you’re all set.

With a quick double-click on the back of the charm, this accessory will send an SOS message to five contacts which will include your GPS location. You can even enable 911 functionalities that will automatically connect your emergency contacts to 911, who’ll then be able to view your location.

The best part is that you can wear this every day without ruining your #OOTDs or tarnishing. These dainty and useful charms are made with brass and are plated with either 14K gold or rhodium with cubic zirconia.

Check them out here.

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