Monday, November 23, 2009

Nice Cans!

No, not what you're thinking, though I think about them often.
I bought a new mp3 player today.
The old one ceased to function for reasons I cannot fathom.
I think the battery died.
Okay, I fathomed a little bit.
So anyway, I went on Amazon and there are about a gagillion players out there.
What to do?
The only time I listen to it is when I'm on the bike so I didn't want to spend a lot of cash that I don't have. I am also anti-ipod.
Just like to buck the trend I guess.
So I got the cheapest player I could find.
Not really.
Actually, nevermind about the player.
This it not what that's all about.
That's not what this is all about.
Or something.
So I get home, and plug the thing in and load up some music.
I just put some stuff I already have on the computer cause I'm kinda tired and lazy right now.
See, my defunct player had about six hundred songs on it and I thought all those music files were taking up too much space on my hard drive so I deleted all the files thinking I'd never have to to that again since they were all on my player and they were all ripped from CDs but boy was I wrong so now I'm sitting here looking at my CD collection thinking about where I'm going to start re-ripping all those songs and kind of hating life for being such an idiot and deleting all those files.
Anyways, I plug in my earphone and it is an earphone cause I bought this special one that only has one side and it converts the stereo signal to mono so that even though I have only one side I can still hear both tracks at the same time:

The theory here is that I only listen on my right ear so that when I'm on the bike I can hear cars coming up on my left.
The fidelity kinda sucks but I don't care because it's pretty comfortable and while I'm flying down the road pumping out a gagillion watts with my massive legs all I can really hear is the whooshing sound of my svelte form creating a vacuum as I cut through the wind and crush the souls of small children as I ride past them.
The marriage of my new player and my earphone is a troubled one.
The damn thing clips.
Clipping rears it's ugly head when the audio source does not have enough power to drive the, well, drivers in the earphone or speaker.
My home stereo sometimes clips, but it only puts out three and a half watts per channel and sometimes I like to listen kinda loud.
I don't know how much power my new player puts out, it's like it only has to drive one side.
I am disappointed to say the least.
It does drive my AKGs okay:

If you look closely, you'll notice that there are actually two earphones on the AKGs. I use those cans when I want to listen in stereo.
The AKGs were actually a source of disdain today also for when I dusted them off since I hardly use them cause they are closed headphones and I prefer open headphones I discovered that the fake leather ear pads known as pleather had decided that they did not like the environment they were exposed to since I forget to put them away in the cloth bag they came with so they pulled some kind of biodegradable like imitation and all the pleather stuff flaked off and stuck to my ears when I took the headphones off:

Normally, I'd have a nice chuckle, shake my head and toss these things off into the trash except that they are my only working set of full sized cans right now since my freakin expensive Grado Labs headphones need new earpads too and it's not like the AKGs were inexpensive in fact they cost just as much as my new player did and they are German for Pete's sake and I expect a certain amount of quality and life expectancy from something I paid my hard earned money for even though after checking I found out that they are made in China.
I should have got some Sennheisers.
Sennheisers though are made in Germany too but they are high impedance cans so they aren't driven very well by low powered devices like portable players so instead I bought me some low impedance cans that are made in the USA that work very well with low powered devices like portable players only the cans I bought have ear pads that like to turn to dust every couple of years and only a few places sell replacements:

Normally right about now I'd be throwing the audio equivalent of a hissy fit.
See, the thing is that at one time I had another set of cans from Audio-Technica that were really good even though they were closed and the pleather on the pads were nice and durable looking but they were kinda heavy and I really had a hard time listening to them while reclining and since I already had like three sets of headphones I decided to sell them off and buy some expensive speaker cable instead.
Boy am I missing those Audio-Technicas now.
Actually I still do have some cans from Audio-Technica but they are not the ones I was talking about but are ear clip type earphones that I got cause I thought they looked cool but I hardly use them cause sometimes the clips make my ears hurt and because the two sides are connected by only one wire if you take off one side it hangs down and pulls on the side still attached to your ear:

I'm beginning to think headphones are evil.
Kinda sorta.
So anyways I'm thinking that maybe I need some new headphones or at the very least a new earphone since the one that I use the most is clipping and while I can take substandard fidelity clipping is really irritating so I am about three mouse clicks away from checking out some new hopefully improved earphones but I'm thinking that maybe I can live with the one I got if I only keep the volume level down which is good for my ears anyways but if I keep the volume down I won't be able to hear jack because when I'm on my bike I'm moving so fast sound has difficulty keeping up with me.
So I'm sitting here staring at my new mp3 player.
What's a guy got to do to get a nice set of good sounding comfortable cans?


S.Wegmann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
S.Wegmann said...

Hey, thanks for the subscribe. Should have come by a lot sooner and laid down some thanks, but I'm lazy. What can I say? Also, I found this line to be of particular hilarity: "flying down the road pumping out a gagillion watts with my massive legs." It doesn't seem that you use your site for the express purpose of making people laugh (as I attempt to do and occasionally succeed), but you seem to have a pretty healthy sense of humor. Which is never bad.

limom said...

Hello author of One Hundred Words and thank you for your reciprocation and for stopping by.
You have a great site; my subscription is due to it's great content!
Wait, did I just thank you for making it rain?