Science Archives - Outdoor Tech Blog


Music Makes You A Better Athlete. Science Says So.

Music is a blissful thing, isn’t it? It picks us up when we’re feeling down, adds excitement to our favorite movie scenes, helps us in our bedroom activities…and it turns out music can actually make us better athletes, too.

Some professional runners are already aware of this—race organizers have been banning iPods and other musical devices for years in an effort to assuage what many believe to be a competitive edge. That’s right, music is so great at increasing a person’s athletic abilities that it’s been banned so people rocking out on a run won’t ‘unfairly’ win.

Costas Karageorghis, an expert on the psychology of exercise music at Brunel University, once claimed that music is a “type of legal performance-enhancing drug.” You don’t even need a bowl to get high with this one, just a good pair of bluetooth headphones.

The More Beats the Better
Researchers at the John Moores University discovered that increasing the tempo of music during a cycling session can boost a person’s power output by 3.5%. It turns out “Eye of the Tiger” really is an effective performance enhancer, after all. On the other hand, when they slowed down the tempo performance actually decreased. If you’ve been spending time on the treadmill rocking out to the “My Heart Will Go On” there’s probably a reason you still haven’t lost that extra weight from last Christmas even though it’s well into September.

Another study at Lincoln University in England found that any music might be better than no music at all. Researchers there established that subjects performing endurance tests while listening to their preferred motivational music outperformed those simply listening to white noise.

Meanwhile, more recent studies seem to indicate that, while some apps and trainers suggest choosing songs with average beats per minute between 160 and 180, the true ceiling for performance enhancement rests somewhere around 145 bpm.

Synchronize Your Grooves
The key is allowing your body to flow naturally with the beat of the song. When you synchronize, your body is able to use energy more efficiently than when it’s trying to work against the beat. A study conduced in 2012 found that cyclists who pedaled in sync with the tempo of a song used 7 percent less oxygen than those who didn’t synchronize with background music.

It’s also helpful to listen to your favorite songs when you’re performing routine or boring tasks. Music increases electrical activity in the brain in areas that control movement so we’ll move in time with the beat and at a faster pace. The music increases our movement, which also helps to increase our mood. You know they say time flies when you’re having fun, which is why you might find that performing chores or running long distances while rocking out to Kanye seems to go by faster than when you have no music at all.

So, you see, music is essential to performing your best and it’s important that you find an excellent conduit through which to listen to it.

Now Get Yourself In the Groove
If you need a little inspiration on what songs might help you push through that plateau in your training sesh, here are a few tracks proven to help increase power. There’s no Taylor Swift or Imagine Dragons on there, but we won’t judge too hard if you want to sneak them into your playlist. The Biebs is unacceptable, though.

If you need help finding the proper phones for the job, might we recommend these bad boys? They’re wireless (which means no tangling), sweat resistant, and they fit so snuggly inside your ear you can blast your music to decibels incredibly loud and no one will notice while you try to “Shake it Off.” They also look pretty kickass. Plus, the sound quality is pretty hard to beat. That music will probably boost your skills a lot better if it’s loud and clear. Just sayin’…

We love you, just remember that.

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Water Proof, Water Resistant, and IPX – What Does It All Mean?

A lot of the bluetooth stuff we make is water resistant, obviously you are stoked on that. This means that if you are playing in the snow, the sprinklers, the bath-house, in the middle of a super soaker fight, or all male wet t-shirt contest with something from us, it’s gonna be fine. But hold on kiddies, water resistant is different than water proof. There are different “levels” of water resistance that are standard. This standard is referred to as IPX, kinda.

And now, a picture that represents flowing liquid. I sure am getting thirsty…

Booze, and lots of it.

If something has a water only rating (whether 4, 5, or 6) you write it as IPX5. The X acts as a placeholder since there is not a particle (or dust rating)

If something has a dust rating of 6 (dustproof) and a water rating of 5, you write it as IP65

In the rare instance that the dust and water rating are the same (let’s say 6), you write it as IP6 This isn’t used nearly as often as the other two models.

Here is a breakdown of the IP standard as it relates to water proof and water resistant:

IPX0 – This means it’s not water resistant at all. Think of what happens to paper when it gets wet. It’s a mess and your novella is ruined.

IPX1 – This will protect a device from some water drops that are falling vertically on said device. I guess it’s possible for this situation to actually occur but so is winning the lottery. If you or someone you know has won the lottery, sharing is caring.

IPX2 –  This will protect your thingy from some water drops when the device is tilted up to and including 15°. If you have your device at 16°, you are screwed, sorry but there are limits in the world.

IPX3 – Getting better, you can now spray your gear up to 60° from the top of the device. So that’s cool, I guess.

IPX4 – Now we are getting somewhere. This will keep “yo ish chill” from splashing water from any direction. So if you drop some cubes of ice into you scotch and it splashes, there is no need to worry. Well, except for those drops of scotch that didn’t make it into your tummy.

IPX5 – (this is where the super soaker is allowed). Will protect your stuff from water jets at any direction. Spray away kiddo, spray away.

IPX6 – Protects from powerful water jets. So if you modified your super soaker with an air compressor and an aftermarket tip, your stuff is still safe.

IPX7 – This is for full water splashdown. If you drop your device in water up to 3 feet (1 meter but this is ‘Merica and we don’t do the metric system. USA USA USA) your device is still going to work.

IPX8 – You can protect your device in water over 3 feet. This is for your stuff at the bottom of a pool, lake, or even Shamu’s tank. Good luck getting your stuff back from Shamu though. I mean, that guy never gives back the stuff you let him borrow.

In a very strange, completely unplanned, and non-thought-out coincidence, here is a list of some of our products and their IP rating.

The Turtle Shell Bluetooth speaker has an IP65 dust and water resistant rating.

The Buckshot Pro rugged wireless speaker has an IP65 dust and water resistant rating.

The Chips wireless helmet audio kit has an IP45 sweat and water resistant rating.

Super Soaker

The knowledge has been dropped and science has been performed. Everyone is actually smarter for having read this. You can thank me by liking on Facebook, tweeting on Twitter, plussing on Google+, puffing with Smoke Signals, tapping on the Telegraph or sharing during your drum circle.

We love you, just remember that.

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