Tech News on G4

Winter Inspired Holiday Headphones

Dec 14, 2015

By Greg Gazin - Apple Gazin' - G4 Canada

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Let's face it, we take our music seriously and take it everywhere - rain, shine or even in the dead of cold. So with the holiday season right around the corner here are a few winter inspired holiday headphone gift ideas, ideal for keeping the tunes streaming and some to take and make calls when the temperature drops below zero.

Winter Inspired Holiday HeadphonesWireless Earwarmers

At first glance, the 180s Earwarmers look like simple earmuffs, but under that insulated poly-spandex shell with polyester lining is a Bluetooth enabled set of wireless headphones, so you're just as likely to find them in a place that sells gadgets as one that offers outdoor wear.

They don't have a lot of bells and whistles but they also don't add a lot of bulk to your winter attire. But don't let that fool you. Under the padding are high definition speakers plus they are Siri and Google Now friendly so your hands can keep more time in their mitts. They are also designed to sit behind your head than over the top so you could call them "toque-compatible". The headband is adjustable plus they fold down for quick storage.

They have a built-in rechargeable battery rated at eights hours of music and a little longer if you simple use them for talking on the phone. If you are a fan of iOS they are also Siri compatible.

They ship with a charging cable, available in a variety of colours and retail for about $80 and available from the iStore. There are also other lower cost models available like the 180s Lush Men's Fleece Earwarmers ($35) that offer a wired connection, less convenient in my opinion, that you can find at Sport Chek.  

Winter Inspired Holiday HeadphonesYatra Furry Music Muffs

If the gift you are looking for needs to be affordable, fun, fashionable and a little on the furry side, for people of all ages, then the Music Muffs Ear Muffs Headphones by Yatra might just fit the bill. And if you are worried about the fur, don't worry; it is totally faux, so no animals were harmed in the making.

Rather than ultra hi-tech, the focus is on functional and trendy. All models are designed with the same functionality. Under the muffs are 50mm Neodymium Drivers. You can take and make calls, control your music's volume and shuffle through playlists with a single button. They connect to your device through a removable reinforced nylon braided cable so it can withstand the elements.

While the soft faux fur lining keeps your ears warm, the outer ear cups are also covered with a seasonal woven material, which extends all around the headband with styles that matches your outerwear and your taste. They have a relaxed and adjustable fit for so they're suitable for most people.

The fun fashioned and faux fur Yatra Music Muffs retail for $34.99 US and come in a variety of styles. They don't have colours, per se, but rather names like Krissy, Stephanie Marie, Lisa Anne Black, Emily and others. They're available directly from Yatra.

Winter Inspired Holiday HeadphonesSoundcap Beanie

If you are looking for a gift for someone who is more of a toque person than earmuffs, then the 808 Audio Soundcap Beanie with Built-In Headphones might be the right choice.

It's a one-side-fits-all Beanie designed to fit snuggly on your head. It's made from a polyester cotton blend that comes with a set of removable compact speakers that fit into a special pocket inside the hat. The speakers are connected together with a short cable with a female 3.5 mm connector. It comes with a detachable 4 ft. cable with clip attachment that has an in-line music control button as well as a mic to make hands free calls.

It comes in one colour - black and since the speakers are removable, the cap is fully machine washable. It retails for about $25 and available from London Drugs, or directly from 808 Audio


Wireless Ski & Snowboard Helmet Audio

The Chips by Outdoor Technology, our final selection for the holiday headphone roundup is not really a standalone headset, but rather a set of universal wireless audio drop-ins designed for many of today's compatible ski and snowboard helmets, 

Winter Inspired Holiday HeadphonesThe great thing about them is that you can simply drop them into your helmet and listen to your favourite tunes and with its built-in mic; you can also grab a call without even having to take off your gloves. They've made the controls as simple as possible, placing with a single button embedded on both the left and right ear cups to do all the work. If you have multiple helmets, there's no need to buy another set, just transfer them over.

Many helmets today already have a built-in audio enabled liner. The company says the Chips should work with most helmet brands including - Bern, Anon, Giro, Smith Optics, POC, Pro-Tec, Solomon and BollĂ©. 

They are also fairly rugged. They are IPX4 rated so they are both sweat and water resistant and tested to work down to a brisk -20c. The battery is designed to last about 9-10 hours and good for 10-12 days on standby. 

The Chips by OutDoor Technology comes with a USB charging cable, backup audio cable and a carry pouch. They retail for $129.99 and are available from Amazon and Sport Chek. You can also pick up a wired version from London Drugs or Sport Chek for under $50..

Keep Warm and Happy Holidays!

Greg Gazin can be reached at  gadgetguy "at" telus "dot" net , , or on Twitter @GadgetGreg

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