Sennheiser HD 650

Possibly my single most extravagent purchase ever. Get it here.

So my history with headphones is essentially. Garbage -> ATH-AD700 -> Sennheiser HD 598 -> Sennheiser HD 650.

I think at this point I’m all in the open headphones camp. The bass isn’t as strong, but honestly it’s good enough. And when listening to instrumentals / orchestral music. It just blows my mind.

So I’m a big fan of open headphones. The Sennheiser 598s were so unexpectedly good. When I first got it back in 2013. All old music was new again. It’s like.. you get to hear new details and stuff. And then… the HD 650 is I would say a half step above it. I mean… it’s noticably better. But like. The 598s was as Peter Thiel would put it. 0 -> 1. Going from the Sennheiser 598 -> 650 is 1 -> 2? But the gap between 0 -> 1 is like an immeasurable chasm. But I digress.

First off, the HD 650 aren’t as comfortable. When I wear glasses, the clamping force of it is really strong. And when I’m not wearing glasses, the clamping force is still strong. I think the limit is around 2 or 3 hours before I start feeling slightly uncomfortable from the clamping. But from a sound perspective. It’s better in every way. There’s stronger base… and the instrumentals are even better.

Specifically the piano, violin and guitar instrumentals just sound so great. Honestly, everything about it is good. The jump of old music to new music is there again. You notice more details in the music. Even if the source file is the same. Also, when listening to vocals, it feels like they’re right there. There being nearby. It’s like having a concert all the time.

I actually don’t use the headphones for movies / anime / video games. But I imagine that it would be really good for all of the above. You get to hear all the fine details of people’s voices and footsteps in video games.

In conclusion I’m more shocked that I bought $400 headphones for myself. My headphones is equivalent to a PS4. It’s more expensive than my cellphone + tablet. And when I’m planning on getting a laptop in 2016… It’s gonna only be ~$500. I’d say it’s totally worth it though. Considering the joy that music brings me.

I feel compelled to write one negative thing about it so here it is. The bad thing about these headphones besides the clamping and lack of comfort compared to the 598s. Is that the music is just so captivating. When I listen to music with it during reading / coding. Sometimes I just end up enjoying the music and spacing out. Clamp / discomfort and the sound is too distracting.

tl;dr - enjoy music on another level. just get it

Best Pocky

Get the best pocky here.

Nah. I lied. It’s not the best pocky. It’s just that… before I ordered it I imagined it would be the tastiest snack in existence. And then when it arrived in two days and I had some… it was only really good. It wasn’t as heavenly as I imagined it.

I feel like that’s almost a metaphor for life. I always imagine x will be heavenly. And when I get it… it’s only good.

Still. This is delicious delicious pocky

Fitbit Charge HR

The Fitbit Charge HR is one of my many christmas presents to myself. I’ve been using it for about 2 weeks now and I think it’s quite a good item.

First off, it keeps track of your heart rate. I wish that the heart rate monitoring was more… finely grained. I don’t think it keeps track of your heart rate 24/7. I think I have some random spikes of heart rates… but it doesn’t show up on my graphs. The other thing is that I wanted to use this device to detect if I have an irregular heart rate… but I think it auto averages over the minute… so even if I had an irregular heart rate… all it would do is raise my average at most a few bpm. So I don’t get to see an instantaneous spike on my charts.

The heart rate is accurate to my knowledge. Much more accurate than the treadmills at the gym. I’ve been using it while working out. Turns out… even max sweat during spin class.. my heart rate barely tops 130bpm. When I do weights.. my heart rate hits 110. Which is surprising… and also expected. The thing is.. my resting calm heart rate is surprisingly variant. It can be 60 ~ 90. Like… if I’m stressed out at work… sitting in front of the computer I’ll have a heart rate of 90. That’s kinda crazy.

The other thing about the fitbit is the built in steps tracker. I think the steps is based on the distance. So.. one of my steps gets logged as two steps. I can’t complain. I think the only benefit is that the fitbit encourages good behaviour. Instead of ordering take out… I walk half a mile to eat out in a restaurant. Because I know that the walk to get food is almost 5000 steps. So… the gamification of working out and exercise actually works. It makes me want to walk more.

The battery life is rated for 5 days. The most that I’ve gone without charging it is 3 days and it’s been going strong. It fully charges within about 1 ~ 2 hours. I normally take it off to charge when I shower. And then forget to put it on afterwards until bedtime and it’s always fully charged. I guess one downside of the charge hr is that it’s not waterproof. I wish that this thing was IP67. If it was.. then I wouldn’t have to worry about wearing it when I’m washing the dishes and stuff.

The sleep tracking isn’t that accurate. The charge HR automatically determines when you go to sleep and the quality of your sleep. I’m not sure how it determines if you’re asleep or awake. But it doesn’t seem accurate. I went to bed and laid awake… but the tracker said I slept like a baby which isn’t accurate. And also… the tracker doesn’t add up naps. So say you slept 5 hours during the night. And took a 2 hour nap. It’ll log that you slept 5 hours the whole day. Because you know… only a huge continguous block of sleep counts right? face palm. How hard is it to sum your daily sleep logs into one daily count? Other people have complained and fitbit does nothing.

I think… overall the fitbit charge hr is great. I wish that they let you access the data via an api. I feel that existing apps are lacking. I could probably write a better sleep monitor and heart rate monitor over a weekend. The fitbit software team… oh shit wait. I know the lead android engineer. Maybe I should just complain to Greg. But anyways… maybe it’s not the android team. The product team decided that naps don’t add to your daily sleep total. Which is stupid AF.

tl-dr - The Charge HR is a really good fitness, sleep and heart rate tracker for the price. The software could be betteer thought

Portable USB

I think I bought this back when it was around $40. I bought it on a black friday deal. And I felt so amazed. It was a whopping 16gb usb drive. And it’s lasted me for over 5 years I think. Get the newer and cheaper version here.

It’s so crazy to think that it’s now only $7 with free shipping. And I paid like $50 for it back in the day. Technology advances so fast. You can get a 128GB version for $30. That’s… x8 of what I got for a fraction of the price. Man.

I’ve mostly been using this USB to transfer files between PCs. I normally don’t safely remove and it’s still survives. Plus I’ve been using it for OS installs. I installed various versions of Linux, and even made 2x Hackintosh with it. It still holds up so life is good.

Of course… I’m a sample size of 1 so YMMV. I think it’s lasted far longer than I expected and considering the price it’s totally worth it. Get a cheap USB3 for on the go storage here.

Fiio E6 amp

You need a good amp to go with the Sennheiser 598. The Fiio E6 is an amazing cheap and lightweight amp that does the job. It even has a bass amplifier.

The thing is charged via usb. And the battery life is about 10 hours. One of the best things about it is highly portable. So you can bring it on the airplane so that the max volume doesn’t kill you. Whenever I take airplanes… I’m watching a movie or listening to music.. and then the announcement goes to max volume and freaks me out. So… with an amp you can actually lower the input volume to something that you can listen to. The other good part of this is that there is a bass boost. I think there are some headphones that I own that aren’t that bassy… and this amp helps out with that aspect.

The amp actually makes a noticable difference in powering the Sennheiser 598s. It makes the music sound much cleaner as opposed to it being slightly muddy / blurry. It’s so good for so cheap. You should just get it.

tl;dr - get this amazing cheap amp here

Black Friday 2015

Hmmm. So it’s officially Black Friday 2015. I’ve been looking forward to today for like… the longest time. It’s the time that I get to buy all the shiny toys that I’ve wanted. I actually just finished meditating. The reason is… I’ve accumulated so much stuff in my short stay in the States. I’ve been living in San Francisco for 3 years now… soon to be my 4th year. And at this point I own so much crap. As soon as it was Friday… I started refreshing slickdeals obcessively. It’s probably bad for me. And the thing is… I noticed the Sennheiser 598s for sale. It’s the special amazon edition that’s black that I don’t own. But I got the Sennheiser 598s last year for $99. I currently own 2(TWO!) pairs of Sennheiser 598s. One pair for home and one pair for work. And I still really really want to buy the Sennheiser 598s black. Just because they look different. The thing is… I’m also planning on buying the Sennheiser 650s. It’s just that… the deal seems so good. The quality of 598s for $99 is such a steal. Even though… I already own 2. And I have about 6 headphones. And I’m planning on getting the Sennheiser HD 650s this year. Blargh. I dunno why. I think that’s why I meditated. I’m still really tempted to get it.

I still want to get a pair. Even though the savings of $60 is like nothing to me. I mean… I spend more than $60 on what I consider random shit. Yet… for some reason - I think it’s like borderline addiction. It’s almost a shopping addiction at this point. The thing is… if I have a shopping addiction… I feel so bad for the regular people. I guess… that’s what compels people to actually leave their homes and line up in the cold for black friday sales. I think writing about it… made me want to buy the headphones less. I told myself that if I still wanted to buy the headphones after meditation and writing this blog post that I could just buy it. I think the monetary cost is secondary to me just having garbage at my place.

I’ve also been wanting to get a new laptop even though my current one is fully functional. My laptop is a sandy bridge i3 with 16gb of rams. It dual boots El Capitan and KaOS. So it has both linux and mac running perfectly on it. And… I don’t need anything that requires more horsepower. I just want a new laptop for no reason. I’m sitting in my house… surrounded by 2 laptops, 1 desktop, 3 monitors and a TV. Visitors just look at my setup and go whoa. 6 monitors. I mean… I have so much stuff.. and yet I still want more crap for some reason. I guess it’s suffice to say that I’ve been americanized.

Now… I guess I’ll write about some of the stuff I’ll plan on buying. So the aforementioned Sennheiser HD 598s are a steal. So if they are still in stock I”ll probably pick up a pair as a gift for my dad. I also saw the Nexus 6 for $199 and the Xperia M4 aqua for $199. Both devices were on my list of potential phones and I kind of want to buy the M4 aqua just because it’s so cheap now. Even though I have a mostly functional phone. I’m planning on buying the Sennheiser HD 650 and an amp to pair it with. Also a new tablet that’s capable of running cyanogenmod. I don’t really have a tablet preference. I also wanted to get the ipad mini 4. But… ipads still don’t make sense to me. The hardware is so overpriced… I don’t think I’ll end up getting one this year still.

Aside from the tablet and headphones. I was thinking of buying a new laptop. But I think I’ll wait till next summer. Since I don’t really need it and next summer is when skylake successor comes out. The chase freedom has a 10% bonus rebate. And I’m gonna just buy $1200 worth of amazon gift cards in order to take advantage of the bonus. There’s also the chase sapphire preferred 50k that I’ll be signing up for. That way I’ll have 70k points for flights for next year. I guess… even though I currently have more points than I know what to do with. =

tl;dr - I have so much stuff. And yet I just want to buy more crap. I’ve been looking forward to black friday for the longest time. And now that it’s here… it’s like meh

Sennheiser 598

The best headphones ever

The Sennheiser 598s are the best headphones that I ever used. It was a major investment when I first bought it for $200 back in the day. So totally worth it. I actually own 2 pairs. I managed to snag a pair for $120 from the amazon black friday sale. So I guess I averaged around $180 per pair. And now it’s even cheaper so you should totally get it.

The sound quality on the 598s… even unamped is unbelievable. I went from shitty headphones -> Audio Technica ATH-AD700 -> Sennheiser 598s. And each change bought major sound quality changes. Like… you don’t even have to change the source. When you get the Sennheiser 598s… all your old music will sound new again. Because you didn’t even know there were all these amazing instruments in the background. It just blows your mind. The sound quality is amazing. I’m not a true audiophile in a sense that there are people who use specific headphones for specific genres of music. But the Sennheiser 598s are magical. It’s mind blowingly magical.

The other big plus of this is the comfort. I wear glasses and despite the fact that I have glasses I can wear these headphones for pretty much an entire day non stop. I wear them at work for 8 hours a day. And I wear them when I’m home. On weekends sometimes I’ll wear this thing like 14 hours a day. It’s just that comfortable. Even with glasses. Also I should note that I have really big ears. And these headphones totally cover my ears. So the sound and comfort is amazing.

I think that headphones are a quality investment. I easily spend over 2000 hours a year on good headphones. When you compare the price to how much time spent using it. Totally worth it. The quality is amazing. The sound and comfort is so good. You really need to just buy it. Or find a store to try it. Buy it from here now!

tl;dr - Sennheiser 598s are my favorite headphones. They are mind blowingly good in terms of sound quality with great comfort. Get it here