Outdoor Tech

Get in the Groove: Finding the Right Headphones For Your Active Life

No matter what sport you enjoy—save for backpacking, alpine climbing, and hiking, perhaps—a soundtrack can help improve your performance and keeping you going mentally and physically long after your body is ready throw in the towel.

But if you want to listen to music while working out or enjoying high-impact endurance sports, you’ll need Bluetooth headphones  or some wireless earbuds that are easy and comfortable to wear, offer a secure fit, and are resistance to dust, sweat, grime, and searing or freezing temperatures.

The more action-packed the sport, the more ergonomic, seamless and secure the fit you need. Few headphones meet these needs like earbuds, tethering your headphones securely to your head, and locking them into place without putting undue pressure on the ear canal. Outdoor Tech has you covered for all these issues, including headphones that seamlessly integrate into audio-ready sport helmets.

Here are 10 things to consider when buying headphones for active pursuits:

Awesome Technology, Minimal Design, Easy to Use
Look for headphones with a low-fuss design and a simple interface. They should also come with a secure cord you can wear around your neck when you’re not using them.

Hands Free Hi-Fi Sound
Wireless headphones connect to Bluetooth-enabled devices; look for headphone with easy one-touch pairing that let you listen to music, skip tracks and control volume without ever touching your device. When choosing wireless earbuds, look for headphones that deliver rich, crystal clean sound with 8mm drivers and at least 30 feet of reach. Advance sound enhancements to keep an ear out for include apt X and AAC.

Wireless Connectivity
The best wireless headphones let you reconnect automatically to previously paired devices.

Bluetooth Connectivity
Headphones with an Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) offer high-quality stereo sound streaming. Those with an Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVCRP) let you remotely control track (next/previous track) selection, pause/play and volume.

Wireless + External controls
Having both wireless connectivity and external controls provides even greater flexibility. Look for three-button inline controls that easily let you adjust volume, change tracks, pause/play and control calls effortlessly while on the move.

Batteries
Look for lithium-ion powered headphones. Lithium-ion batteries’ greater energy density means you can operate them longer between charges. They also have a much lower rate of self-discharge than other rechargeable cells such as Ni-Cad and NiMH. Also, you never need to prime a lithium-ion battery before its first charge, or do any maintenance on them, unlike Ni-Cad cells, which require a periodic discharge to ensure that they don’t hold a short charge “memory.” The best headphones have rechargeable lithium-ion batteries offering up to 6 hours of playtime and at least 120 hours of standby time on a single charge.

Built-in microphone
Multi-tasking headphones give you the option of listening to music as well letting you receive hands-free calls from anywhere, any time.

Surround Sound
Earbuds that offer ambient noise-enhancing features are critical for skateboarders, cyclists and runners. You should be able to safely hear sounds in your surrounding environment while enjoying your playlist.

Security
For high-impact sports, look for earbuds with removable over-the-ear clips paired with custom-sizable ear pads/cushions for extra secure staying power. Having the option of removing ear hooks and just having a bud in your ear are also indispenisable features.

Waterproof, Sweatproof
If your pursuits take you in or anywhere around water (like running in the rain or stand-up paddling), look for silicone-wrapped waterproof headphones that provide quality sound even when submerged, as well as the ability to adjust them easily for sound level and track changes.

Audio-ready, Hardwired, Cold Play
If you have an audio-ready liner in your ski or snow helmet, and would rather hit the slopes with a mp3 player or hardwired smartphone, look for hardwired headphones that seamlessly integrate with your helmet liner to allow you to control music tracks, play/pause, or activates voice command via one glove-friendly button, and also keep in you in the groove for as long as you or your battery holds up. You’ll also to look for headphones that stay functional down to -20°C/-4°F so you never have to worry about frozen button syndrome.

 

The Big Turtle Shell: #KINGOFTHEBEACH

Maxim Mags July August Issue featuring The Big Turtle Shell on Page 36

Maxim Mags July August Issue featuring The Big Turtle Shell on Page 36

As an up and coming lifestyle accessory brand, good PR is worth its weight in gold. Here at Outdoor Tech we have been lucky enough to be well liked by the press, we make Stuff You Probably Want® and it looks really good in photographs, so why not. We also have a great PR Team and that doesn’t hurt.

The Big Turtle Shell is our marquee product of the year and while we thought it was far and away the best Bluetooth Speaker on the market based on internal testing and market research, well, we have a little bit of a biased view. So when Maxim Magazine declared it “The King of the Beach” we couldn’t have been more stoked. I am happy to report the Big Turtle Shell is flying off the shelf and online (we are having a hard time keeping it in stock) and the reviews from our customers are in line with Maxim’s opinion and our own. If you want gray it is available only at Apple.

Thanks Maxim for the rad write up and photo and for being the premier men’s interest pub out there, I can tell you, here at ODT, we DON’T just buy it for the articles.

Trade Shows…ODT Style

urinalscreens

I have been doing trade shows for the better part of my professional career. When I was in the freight and customs brokerage business I would walk shows to look for prospective customers, I wore a jacket, sometimes even a tie, it sucked. I walked everything from SEMA to the CA Gift Show, I learned how the companies would market themselves, usually in an uncool but appropriate for the industry way. At SEMA and AAPEX for example this was common place.

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The car industry has made “booth babes” the norm, the expected, commonplace, and well, kinda cheezy and played out.

The next phase of my career I was in the promotional products industry, I owned a company that supplied Distributors who then in turn sold the product to large corporate clients like State Farm, HP and the like, its called the ASI or PPAI industry. I worked our booth for the better part of a decade reating relationships with the heavy hitters in the industry, it was a very corporate audience, dress was business casual or professional , this might help paint the picture.

All Biz Gear

All Biz Gear

While it wasn’t all bad by any means and we certainly found ways to have fun, get attention and stand out from the crowd, we were still confined by the standards and norms of the industry.

Well, then I started Outdoor Tech and our first trade show was SIA, it was, well, not super corporate. Production value of the booth were taken to the next level, the party WAS the show, on the floor, kids were hammered, athletes were doing dumb shit all  over the place, everyone was puffing, ON the show floor. It took a few years for me to make the full time transition out of the corporate show world, but I realized then, if you have to do 7 or 8 shows a year, you might as well make it as fun as possible and be a part of putting on a show, at the show.

Making your booth, products and marketing standout and having fun isn’t easy, trade shows are a grind, physically taxing, and you have to be “on” at all times, day and night. All the more reason you need to let go a little, make sure it’s organized in advance, and when it comes times for the show, let the games begin. Don’t give away a tote bag, give a vibrator like Trojan did at CES at got this response.

Photo Cred to tech.co

Photo Cred to tech.co

That leads me to Summer 14′, ODT Summer Show schedule:

Outdoor in Friedrichshafen,Germany

Agenda Long Beach and Agenda NYC

Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City

Surf Expo in Orlando

Interbike in Vegas

THAT ISN’T AN EASY SCHEDULE FOR ONE SUMMER!

Now back to the first photo , I have wanted to use this particular method of trade show marketing since a friend of mine drove traffic to his booth at a show I was at in Atlantic City in the midst of the Anthony Weiner scandal. I finally decided to get off the pot and get’er done and I called my buddy, Robbie, first he laughed at me, then he asked if I was serious, and then he asked if I knew HE PRODUCED the urinal screens in his facility in Texas. It was too perfect, so Purple G got our order, and we became the official sponsor of the Surf Expo urinals, the unofficial sponsor at Outdoor Retailer, and a new tradition was born at ODT. People loved it, it was fun, and certainly was a conversation starter.

Here is the short list of ODT Trade Show lore promos or events:

Bloody Mary Breakfast in the Airstream (a long standing and highly popular one)

Beer Bong Races and Marathons (with Charlie in his Unitard)

Shoelaces (seems innocuous, but we usually throw them at people and litter the isle with them, people love it)

Condoms for #SummerofHelmet (and my 13 & 15 year old nieces giving them out saying “have a safe summer”

Urinal Screens

So next week we go to a new show, one we have never done before, Surf Expo in Orlando, come see us at Booth 1475, see what trade shows are all about, ODT Style.

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What’s Next??