I, like many of you, spend time during each working day on video calls – Teams, Zoom, etc. I enjoy a nice daily soundtrack while I am working at home – and even while in the office. Since the pandemic, I have enjoyed listening to more music than ever and it’s become part of my work routine. Its a great motivator, distractor, calming agent, and a way to consume podcasts while not commuting in traffic.
So a good pair of headphones for personal enjoyment is a wonderful pleasure instead of using out-loud means to consume your media. Personal. Directed. Portable with your runs to the kitchen for some pout-over coffee brewing, the mailbox, trips to the bathroom, the stoop for Amazon deliveries of office-worthy knick-knacks. Plugged in.
I have been using Apple AirPods, being sold on the Apple ecosystem. Once you’re invested, it’s difficult to leave the convenience. The self-voice is a major concern of mine in regards to portable audio. When I am on calls, I like to be able to hear myself clearly – without sounding like I am swimming in a telephone booth. So I looked for another piece of kit to up my game.
I borrowed a pair of Apple AirPod Max and they are wonderful. I love the controls (UI) and the self-voice is tremendous. The weight after several hours wasn’t what I would call wonderful. Acceptable, but not luxurious,. I was about to spend some earned “points” on a pair – until Bose released their QuietComfort Earbuds II.
Excellent Active Noise Cancelation, excellent and light-weight fit, great battery life, and self-voice that is very close to the over-ear capabilities of the AirPod Max cans. A lot more affordable as well. After a few days with them the decision has been made – I no longer have a need for the AirPod Max. It’s a great product, it’s just not necessary.
I have been playing podcasts, BBC Radio 1, and Johnny Clegg & Juluka’s “Work For All” album. I have been smiling like a sailor in a gale. There are so many aspects that all come together in a wonderful package. Fit is one of them. Normally I can only wear buds or headphones for a few hours before I need a break. With these buds I don’t know I am wearing them sometimes – when my content runs its course, I leave them in and go about my day – only to realize later that I still have them in my ears. That speaks volumes in my opinion.