Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss an Instagram hoax, Target and Walmart’s online sales surges, an Apple apology about Siri, Bluetooth devices without a battery, and more.
Michael in Marshall, Texas listens on KTBB and asked: “I recently got a High Definition Sony Walkman. I was looking for earbuds for it and I’ve come across some that are well over $100. Is there a real difference between $100 pair of earbuds, or a $20 pair?”
Michael, yes, there can be a quite a big difference in the quality of $20 pair of earbuds and a $100 pair.
Normally, we’d ask you to consider whether you’ll appreciate that improved sound that much more, but if you went out of your way to buy a high definition music player you might be in the niche group of users, like the ones that were interested in Neil Young’s PONO or Jay-Z Tidal for their high definition music, that might be willing to pay more for improved quality.
Most users will notice two kinds of sounds coming from their earbuds: terrible and good. If that doesn’t sound like you, then it might be worth buying earbuds with proper drivers and well balanced sound, just make sure that this is a product you want to keep for the long term so you offset the value of the initial purchase through your years of use.
Also, in today’s wok $100 may get you good quality, but you’ll find out pretty soon that there are innumerable brands and models that go very far north of $100.
Arnie in Crown Point, Indiana listens to the podcast and asked: “I have a 2012 Prius and when I play Apple Music through my Bluetooth, sometimes the music drops out or skips or something and it’s very annoying.”
Arnie, there may not be a lot you can do about your bad Bluetooth connectivity in the car without spending some money, unfortunately.
Here’s why we say that: your phone is probably newer than 2012, and it probably supports a more robust Bluetooth standard that is less prone to interference, something like Bluetooth 5.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that your car is using ancient Bluetooth, in 2012 it may have come out of the lot with Bluetooth 4, which is still a relatively solid standard.
Unfortunately, short of replacing the radio or finding where to best place your phone to have its signal win over the outside interference that may be competing for the spectrum, there’s not much you can do.
If you car’s stereo supports Bluetooth, there is a good chance that it also supports USB, though. USB has two big advantages: 1) It’s unlikely to face interference of any kind unless your cable is in terrible shape and shorting out, and it will charge your phone as you listen to your music.
The cheapest and best solution to your problem may be to just plug your phone in and forget about radio interference altogether, all for the cost of a generic cable that you can probably get online for $5 or less.
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