Beginner’s Guide | Find the Best Headphones Using Headfonica Headphone Selector

Photo by Lee Campbell on Unsplash

Photo by Lee Campbell on Unsplash

Introduction

With the advent of Apple’s iPhone 7 and Google’s Pixel 2 it appears that more and more cellphone makers are opting to no longer include headphone jacks with their newest models of cellphones. Whether or not this trend is going to continue is anyone’s guess. Some of the top Android phone makers still do include them…notably, Samsung and LG.

Users however are flocking to both Apple’s newest iPhone’s which include the XS, XS Max and XR, as well as Google’s newest Pixel 3 lineup, and neither of these cutting edge models feature headphone jacks. Which means, the wireless headphone and earbud markets are booming.

Whether or not you’re seeking wireless headphones or your very first ‘audiophile’ quality fones, you’ll be in for a bit of surprise when you discover just how complex and time-consuming finding the right set of headphones has become.

Which is why, when I discovered an awesome new tool that can dramatically simplify and speed up the selection process, I decided to write a post about it.

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Photo by Bruce Mars on Unsplash

Get Down to Basics First

Before I get to discussing the tool that’s the main focus of this post however, I’d like to introduce a few other great resources I ran across.

TechCrunch’s In 2018 the Headphone Jack is a Rare Beast

TechCrunch offers some great insight into this new trend.

TechCrunch Article

Digital Music News Lists all of the mobile phones which don’t include headphone jacks.

Digital Music News List is filled with annoying ads, so I’ve made a clean screenshot of their list shown below.

DigitalTrends List

Audiophile 101 The Beginner Guide to Headphones & Hi-Res Audio by Headphone Zone.

Audiophile 101

Too Much Audio Mumbo Jumbo? Read Audiophile 101

Audiophile 101 is an amazing resource created by Headphone Zone. Headphone Zone is a site that was conceived of with the aim of catering to India’s enthusiastic audiophile community by bringing them the best listening gear, be it headphones, earphones or audio accessories. While the site is geared towards providing a comprehensive, one-stop shop for headphones to the citizens of India, it can’t really be utilized here in the U.S., their educational materials are highly appropriate, very well executed and extremely useful to anyone wanting to get up to speed quickly.

Headfonica

Headfonica Headphone Selector

The Main Event | Searching for Your Best Headphones with Headfonica

What is Headfonica?

Headfonica appears on the surface to be a very simple site, but the power behind it’s engine is far from simple. From a shoppers viewpoint however, it couldn’t be simpler. In addition to offering a great tool that helps you drill down to the best headphones for your unique needs, it also offers quick, in-app instruction for all the terminology used by the selection engine.

How to Use Headfonica’s Headphone Selector

Go to Headfonica’s Headphone Selection tool.

To begin using the headphone selecting tool, you start by choosing the type of listening device you’re seeking, closed, open or earbud. You’ll find a discussion of what the difference between open and closed is in the Audiophile’s Chapter 9.

The next 2 Steps are easy. Chose your price range and the kind of music you listen to most frequently.

Then you’ll need to indicate whether or not you like a lot of bass or just the average amount of bass.

Last you need to indicate whether or not you’ll be providing a separate Amp which you’ll attach to the headphones, or utilizing the amp the headphones provide. I suspect, as a beginner choosing a headphone with an included amp is best…but I’m no expert! So you may want to peruse Audiophile 101’s Chapter 2  or read up a bit more on amps at Digital Trend’s What’s a Headphone Amp and Why Would I Need One first.

Photo by Mpumelelo Macu on Unsplash

Photo by Mpumelelo Macu on Unsplash

What Happen’s Next?

After all your selections have been made, the Headphone selector will present you with a short list of headphones that meet your criteria. If you click on one them you’ll be taken to Amazon’s listing for that model, where you can read more about that specific headphone’s features and user reviews. It also might not hurt to read some of the questions and answers too. This is generally the process I use for almost any tech purchase I make from Amazon.

Once you’ve narrowed down your selection to the top headphone set for your needs you can decide whether or not to purchase them directly from Amazon or another vendor of your choice. If you end up using a different online vendor, you can scroll back up to the top and copy the exact model name and any identifying information which you can then use to paste into Google or your preferred vendor’s search tool to locate the exact same pair.

Photo by Icons8 team on Unsplash

Photo by Icons8 team on Unsplash

Conclusion

That’s it! Utilizing Headfonica’s headphone selection tool can reduce your search from a number of days to a number of hours! It’s pretty amazing!!!

Comments

You can leave comments and questions a little further down the page.

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How to Add Nondestructive Borders to Images on ios Using Pixelmatorl

What’s a Nondestructive Border?

Most photo apps that have tools for creating borders or frames end up removing a portion of the image in order for their frame to occupy that space. But that’s not necessary, and I don’t usually want to have any of my image removed! A nondestructive border or frame is one that wraps around the outer perimeter of the image rather than encroaching upon it.

Comparison of nondestructive and destructive borders.

For Some Inexplicable Reason Very Few Photo Editing Apps Have Nondestructive Tools

I had been using one app for this for several years but the developer abandoned it and when ios 10 came out it no longer worked. So I had to find an alternative!

I do have one great alternative to use when I need to add borders to many image at once…it’s called OneEdit Pro and it’s one of my favorite apps! I’ve both written about it here before and I’ve even done Youtube videos about it. But sometimes I just want to frame one single image.

While I could use OneEdit for that, it will degrade the resolution of my image somewhat. That’s OK for the many images I use on my websites…in fact it’s what I want! Because I need to make my image files sizes small so that my page load times are good.

But usually when I’m working with just one image I don’t want the resolution changed much if  at all.

Meet Pixelmator for ios

Pixelmator is an amazing app for anyone who’s creative. Pixelmator  is the second photo editing tool that I use every single day. I call it Photoshop for iPads because it does pretty much everything that Photoshop does.

I think Pixelmator is $1.99 now…but I can’t say for sure because when Apple redid the App Store they changed how the price displays and if you own an app you can no longer see its price.

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How to Create a New Folder in the New Pages

Apple's support page describes how to add a new folder

Apple’s support page describes how to add a new folder

Introduction

I’ve been using Pages for many years and I love the power of it combined with its simplicity. That’s saying a lot…because I had been a diehard Microsoft Word user. I really didn’t think anything could change that.

As  life intervened I shifted to primarily using iPads for my work. This was still before Word for iPad even existed!

Incidentally, now that Word for ios does exist…it’s the bomb! And by that I mean it’s great! It’s super easy to get started using and it’s powerful!

I quickly became a Word Processing aficionado for ios. Mainly because there weren’t really any good ones back then. I wrote a lot…even back then…so, I was determined to discover any hidden gems. Sadly…that never happened.

Good Word Processors did finally arrive on the scene…but they were from the big players that you’d expect. So where there was once a dearth of good Word Processing Apps for iPad…now there are probably a few too many. Yet, even with all the great choices, I still really love Pages!

Some Handy Links for Pages & Word Processing

Apple’s Online Support Pages for ios 

Pages 4.1 New Features

How to Remove Red Lines Under Misspelled Words in Pages

My Overview of Word Processing Apps for ios

Advanced Tips for Pages

How to Add A New Folder in Pages

Personally I liked the old method of creating a new folder in Pages better. There was just one problem with it. The older method required you to have at least 2 documents to put into the new folder. That was mainly because you needed to smush those 2 documents together to create a new folder…the new method let’s you only put 1 document into the newly created folder.

Intuitively I figured there would be a + somewhere for me to use to create the New Folder…and in the end I discovered that I was correct in my assumption. But no + for that purpose could be found…anywhere. I literally spent 15 minutes trying to find it before deciding to use an iPad that’s still on ios 10 to accomplish the task (using the smush method ;-) Which I did and it was faster than my trying to use Google to find the answer.

The solution is so simple…but a bit infuriating too!  Please refer to my screenshot below for the answer.

Below:  The trick to create a new folderThe trick to create a new folder

It’s infuriating because Apple is constantly doing things like that! Things like hiding important commands or tools behind a view that is intentionally presented to the user with those elements hidden out of sight.

Why?  I have no idea, but I suspect it’s that kind of behavior that so angers many Android users and causes them to conclude that Apple is arrogant. I mean…it’s kind of a dick move truthfully. I NEVER use that kind of language, but in this instance it seems like the best, maybe even the only way to describe it. I finally ‘get’ just a little bit why there are hoard’s of Android users who lose it and exhibit such over-the-top hostility towards Apple.

So…that’s one good thing to come out of this frustrating experience…I finally understand something I’ve been puzzled by for years. There’s quite possibly another good thing too.

I’ll never again forget how to add a new folder to Pages!

Comments

Pease leave any comments or questions a little further down the page.

 

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3 Free Collections of Master-Class Notification Tones & Ring Tones

Happy Labor Day!

Introduction

I’m an ironclad skeptic when it comes to free deals. I rarely bother to even look at something offered for free when it crosses my path.

But its Labor Day and I’m chilling just a little instead of working on a video for YouTube about decluttering a free Amazon Fire tablet’s homescreen. So, when I saw this today on How-to Geek I was in the right frame of mind to be summarily disappointed.

A 1 in a Million Chance Prevails

It wasn’t immediately obvious to me that this was a scam…but the reverse wasn’t true either. It really only dawned on me how unique this offer was when I arrived at the download page. But one thing on the information page leading up to it did sound promising (shown below.)

•••••••••••••••••••••

We created the tones we’ve always wanted; sophisticated, professional, and envyingly fashionable.  

•••••••••••••••••••••

There are 3 Collections which are described here. All are prefaced with the above statement. The site seems safe enough and nicely designed too.

The Download Page Confirms My Good Fortune

I’ve been there before…everything seems good until that very last moment when I click on the download link.

Once again however I was in for a surprise. I was met with the webpage shown below when I clicked on the download link.

Still not entirely believing my luck I scrolled down a little further looking for the box where I was required to create a user account and enter my credit card #…which wouldn’t really be charged but was needed for some bogus reason.

Instead I found the statement below and I finally understood that this wasn’t a scam at all but a pretty cool sort of tribute to the author’s former business partner, Jeff Essex. The author is Joel Hladecek.

Joel's tribute to Jeff was free tones

 

What to Do After Downloading the Notification Tone Collections

I downloaded the ios collection which is in a zip file, so I imported it into GoodReader. You can use any file sharing app to place it in. Then I opened GoodReader and unzipped the file to view its contents. Inside the file are Read Me Instructions which explain how you import the tones into iTunes and then sync them to your device.

Since I don’t have an Android phone…just a tablet…I didn’t download the Android tones, so I can’t give specific instructions for what to do. But the ios files seem very easy for anyone to use just by following the great written instructions.

Sample of Some of My Favorite ios Tones

I’ve never tried to upload an audio file to WordPress, but I’ve been wanting to give it a shot. So, below is (hopefully) an audio file you can play which is a sample of some of the tones I liked the best in the ios collection (there were a lot to choose from and this sample is tiny!)

More About Joel Hladecek (the free tone benefactor)

I always want to know the reasons behind things. In this case I was curious about who Joel and Jeff really were. I can’t say that I got too far in that pursuit because I became immediately distracted with a section on Joel’s website entitled ‘Messages from the Future.’  I found this to be so entertaining that I never really moved past it…and then it was time to go. So, while I can’t tell you much more about our benefactors, I can tell you that The Interactivist’s Messages from the Future are fun and interesting!

Comments

Feel free to leave me any comments or questions a little further down the page.

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