Dont Be scared! Some Thoughts on the Fututre of wireless technology



It’s been discussed ad nauseum and you can fight it tooth and nail until you’re 6 feet under, but bit by bit (and with a significant push with iPhone 7(+)), we are being pulled kicking and screaming into our wireless future.

This isn’t a totally scary thought on it’s own for me. We already bluetoothing or chromecasting audio at home on the stereo. And I’ve been known to cruise down NYC streets on my Brompton with my Boombot Mini playing mixtapes chock full of old & new indie music.

But with the loss of the headphone jack on our beloved mobile devices and even previously with my general irritation with earbud wires getting caught, snagged, tangled, and generally just in my way on my ol’ iPhone 6, my eyes started turning toward bluetooth headphones ready to embrace our glorious future!

So while we waited for the 7, I’ve been cruising Amazon, checking out BT headphones, over the ear, in the ear, wings, hooks, and freeballers and to be honest, it’s like being hungry and looking at a stale buffet at an outlet mall’s Golden Coral restaurant.

Yeah, it’s food, yeah, it’s probably edible, but mehhhhhhhhhhh……

Friday was launch day of the new iPhone and I was up for a new device. Walked into my local Verizon and 20min later walked out with the new phone and a pair of half-off Beats Powerbeats 2 with a two week return window, figuring ah-what-the-hell, let’s throw caution to the wind and give this a go, eh?

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#gpoy in the headphones, me at my most badass-est.

Well, needless to say, to continue with my buffet analogy, I loaded up my plate with shrimp and the shrimp smelled kinda funny.

The Beats Powerbeats 2 six hour battery life was fine for me, I’d charge them up overnight and not worry about things too much. Sound wise, they crackled a bit on the high notes, was bass-y as all hell, but they did add a bit of warmth to the music, so maybe I could live with these…. until I tried to be active with them. Walking with the phone in the back pocket for my weekly grocery shopping or riding a bike with the phone in my front pocket, they would cut in and out constantly making it impossible to enjoy. – And yes, I tried resetting, rebooting, forgetting and reconnecting, etc.

Worried that maybe it was the phone and not the headphones, I connected my trusty ol’ Boombot Mini for a ride, phone in my front pocket, and everything was gooder than gold.

Saturday morning these headphone will be going back to Verizon and I’m back to stalking Amazon, analyzing comments, trying to weed out the junk outlier and incentivized reviews.


All this has left me jaded. According to random internet commenting types here and on reddit, you’d think Jaybirds were the next coming of Bluetooth Jesus, but when you head over to Amazon and check out the reviews on a pair of Bluebuds, you’ll find broken wires, missing bits, and the real reviews averaging in the mid-3s.


Lauren was all about these Jlabs, but again, Amazon doesn’t really agree. After you clear out some riff-raff, you are still looking at a middling mid-3s review average. Albeit, this person looks pretty stoked.

Some people will swear by cheap $20 BT headphones from Random China Brand No. 7, but I’m dubious and besides, most are pretty fugly.

I look ahead to next month and maybe the W1 chip will be the savior for those grabbing a plate to the wireless buffet, but when your cheapest options there are both around $150+ and one of them looks like my cordless toothbrush head with same smooth plastic finish that I’ve disliked for 2 years, my excitement wanes.
*Fedora not included


How do you feel about the present state of our wireless headphone future? What are your experiences, your joys, your trials, your tribulations? Your successes and your failures?

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