You might have noticed that I’m updating this website more frequently now. That’s because I still want to keep this blog going (I pay about USD100 annually for hosting), and this site does allow me to layout my thoughts and images in a more cohesive and detailed manner.
Facebook is great for “micro-blogging” or mild ranting on a daily basis, but one thing I love about having my own website is how it allows me to trawl though very old postings when their links randomly pop up at the end of each post. I don’t think any of us (except the most egoistic) will bother to revisit older FB postings.
This also means that a lot of the links that we put up to recommend stuff, disappear almost within the same day. In short, there’s no real persistence pf thought with FB, apart from what people see in mere glances as they scroll through the dynamic News Wall.
Twitter? I have never liked Twitter very much, because its 140-character limit really puts too many restrictions on what people can share. It’s also destroying proper grammar when people use truncated words and don’t have the discipline to use proper sentence structures. What really kills me is that Twitter is so unvisual. Why do I want to read hundreds of SMSes a day?
While it may seem very unlikely to happen, my personal prediction is that within 5 years, Twitter will be dead and gone unless it can offer a more personable, and less “shoot from the hip” kind of format.
Anyway, in one of the many new format attempts for this website, I’m kicking off a hopefully long-lived series called Recommendations. It’s a lazy man’s way of reviewing what gear or services I’ve been using or experienced, and I hope these things benefit you as much as they’ve benefited me. Sure, I could do this with a quick sentence or two using a Facebook link, but I have much more to say than that! So my very first recommendation of the year is…..
The a-JAYS Three earphones
I stumbled upon this Jays brand only a few weeks ago at an Apple reseller. I’ve been hunting around for a different brand of earphones that didn’t cost over S$100 and provided great sound quality. Also, I thought that I should live up to my previous posting on getting better audio.
Now to be honest, you can get any standard Sony earbuds from S$39 and it’ll sound pretty ok (and definitely better than those crappy iPod earphones), but I wanted to look for something that was a step up from the Sennheiser CX300 (S$99) that I was using previously.
After a recommendation from Chris Lim, a fellow music lover, I decided to give the a-Jays Three a try. I found the best price at Challenger (S$86 after member discount and free parking) and upon first hearing, was VERY pleasantly surprised.
While most mid-range earphones excel at only one frequency range (treble, midrange or bass), the a-Jays manages to strike a good balance between all three, with a bigger focus on the highs and lows. All good earphones need to provide decent, tight bass. Otherwise the music just sounds too light.
Now the highs were a bit harsh at first, but I ran in the earphones with 24hours of music playing and it sounded much better after that. I don’t profess to have tried many earphones but the a-Jays provide great audio for the money.
One fancy feature is that the wires are flat like fettuccini, apparently to reduce tangles, but I honestly prefer my cables thin and light. The flat cabling also makes it more difficult to stuff into the bundling circular casing. What I do find awesome is the inclusion of adaptors for sharing and airplane use. Each costs about S$5 if you were to buy them separately.
The only major downside is that the a-Jays aren’t as comfortable as they could be, because the straight edges along the bottom of the earbuds can come into contact with your ears. But your mileage will vary, depending on your ear genetics. And speaking of ears, it comes with not three, but five sets of rubber fittings in case you happen to have super tiny or extra huge ear passages.
Another small issue is that the cables are equal in length, not neck-cord style which I much prefer for ergonomics’ sake.
Now I don’t profess to be an expert on earbuds, having been satisfied with Sony and Sennheiser models for the past 20 years. But the a-Jays are a breath of fresh air and demonstrate that you don’t have to spend silly money to get great sound on the go.