So when a Swedish headphone company by the name of Nocs got in touch with me, I was a bit surprised - because I didn't know they existed. And there's a good reason for that (sort of): Nocs has specialized in making solely Apple-friendly headphone products.
Saving money is a good thing. And there's always something empowering about making a purchase where you feel like you really got your dollar's worth - especially in the world of consumer electronics.
When you think on-ear wireless headphones, your first thought is probably "expensive." Even the MEElectronics AF32's, which come in at a decidedly reasonable $80 (and which we highly recommend), may be a large investment for people who really don't care about headphones or sound.
In a move that is going to surprise approximately no one who knows anything about selling smartphones, HTC has indicated to CNET that it no longer plans to bundle Beats headphones with its handsets.
The reasoning should be pretty obvious - people aren't going to buy a smartphone on the basis that it comes with a pair of decent headphones. Headphones are a separate market, and if you care about them at all, you're going to buy them separate of any other hardware.
These days, earbuds are a dime a dozen - they can be had for as little as $1 at the dollar store, all the way into the hundreds of dollars for a high-end pair. And sound quality has improved quite a bit since the early days - any buds that are mid-range or better usually offer pretty good sound, so they're differentiated as much by features as by sound quality. That's where the $50 a-JAYS One+ headphones come through: features.
In the world of premium headphones, there is an emerging market for "designer" products - a niche Beats By Dre has been all too happy to fill in cooperation with Monster Cable (until now - HTC will be taking over Beats' headphone production). In fact, Beats accounts for over half of the $1 billion headphone market in the US - succeeding in ways and in markets brands like Sennheiser and Grado could only dream of.
I'm a big fan of cutting the cord. But this time I'm not talking about cancelling your cable and moving your Judge Judy marathons online - I'm all about going wireless in the audio department. Wireless speakers, wireless streaming, and, of course, wireless portable audio.
My Previous Bluetooth Daily Driver - Sony HBH-IS800
Up until a few weeks ago, I was using Sony's HBH-IS800, which deserves a separate review of its own if I ever get to it.
I'll make it known now, I've been itching to try out Logitech's Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10 headphones for some time. Artem, the Android Police Chief, if you will, swears by this pair of headphones. I'm pretty picky about sound, so I wasn't entirely certain if I'd come to love them as much as he does. But after a couple of weeks with these rather pricey earbuds, I have to say, the sound is better than any other earbud I've used (admittedly, I've not tried any other earbuds above the $150 mark for any meaningful amount of time).
Our final giveaway today is in partnership with GetJar, the 100% free 3rd party Android app store. All free apps, all the time.
- Rob Silva
Congratulations - GetJar will contact you for your information in the near future!
Everyone else - keep participating and stay tuned to Android Police so that you don't miss our upcoming giveaway announcements.
Before seeking out a few companies to find the best Android-friendly headphones around, I had never heard of Etymotic Research. Apparently, they've been around quite a while - since 1983, actually, and were among the first companies to market in-ear headphones to consumers. They actually claim to be the inventors of in-ear headphones (or "canalphones"), though whether or not that's actually true is apparently an object of some controversy.
Anyway, the good folks at ER sent me a pair of their hf2 in-ear headphones with Android-friendly inline controls and microphone, and I have to say, these headphones rock - the sheer difference in sound quality from your standard $30-80 earbuds is mind-blowing.
It looks like the touchscreen isn't the only piece of hardware on the Sensation that works when it wants to. Posted today on XDA-Developers, Sensation owner zmfl recounted his experience with the audio signal coming and going on his phone, and having received confirmation of the issue from other members there, enterprisingly figured out the cause of the problem and its solution.
Put simply, the paint around the Sensation's 3.5 mm headphone jack tends to wear away or chip with use.