Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Full Steam Ahead!

2nd September 2008, Tuesday

Recently the daily newspaper horoscope column stated that curtailing August would be a well-deserved rest for the hectic work schedule for Scorpios, but seems like my life turned out to be the contrary.

The projects picked up since early last week and we now worked on 6 and a half days basis to produce as many samples to be analyze as possible.
I have already came in on Saturday which wasn't too bad though Shitty Green was around the whole time we were here and seemingly Sunday as well, once again highlighting what illustrious life he is living in.

Due to the endless red tape and rigid system the main company is upholding, we weren't be able to be rewarded with a grand amount of overtime pay for the effort on the weekends, so time off is all we could labored for from the bosses.
And it seems like everyone is holding that for the end of the year, think myself likewise.

Well at least during the spare time for the weekend shifts, I could indulge in some NDS fun with the newly released "Inazuma Eleven" which had perked my interest since it incorporates my favorite sports, soccer (in this case high school soccer) with Role Playing Game with a tinge of out of this world Captain-Tsubasa style footballing skills.
I was in the midst of "Final Fantasy 4" before the hot-blooded sports game won me over...
I really am running out of time for plenty of games with "Disgaea 3(English Version)" recently being released and I had to shelf it over the horizons perhaps when I was clearing my off-in-lieu or annual leave to dabble in that.

I have well documented bad luck with styling headphones acquired from Japan since 2004 when I first got my Audio Technica ATH-FC5 from Bic Camera during my summer Wonder Festival escapade.
It actually lasted me a year or so before the amplification just decimated into nothing.
Prior to that I had bought a Victor sports clip back in 2000 which lasted within a month (I was bought over by the design and of course the endorsement by Luna Sea but ultimately the low price).

Then in winter 2007 with the La Tendo people, I bought an Audio Technica ATH SJ-3 as I was seduced by the white chassis and the equally white cable which certainly will match the iPod...that lasted around half a year before one side (think it's the right) started to lose connectivity and nothing could be heard.
I was distraught by the short live span and decided not to buy anymore stylish headphones from Japan electronic store which is low in durability (though it's likely due to my poor handling and maintainence).
And since we bought from Japan, there is no way we can claim for warranty...without flying back or course.

That stance lasted merely few months when this Feburary, another trip down Yodobashi Akihabara and I was succumbed to this JVC HP-S550.
The fact that the cable cord comes out from one side and could easily be retracted for safe-keeping with one hit of the button and there are few ways to fold the headphones make this an ideal headphone and a prize property of mine till a drizzling Wednesday morning last week while listening to Hamazaki Ayumi's 2005 hit "Alternate" and the right side went busted like its predecessor...
I was devastated but was helpless on how to fix the problem..
Unless I am good with dismantling the headset and soldering the wire, I think I just had to discard that 4000yen worth headphone.

4000 yean (around $60+) ain't consider cheap but for a good, stylish headphones with quality sound brands like Audio Technica can deliver, it's pretty worth it if it can last a good 2 years that is...

I am truly weary on these headphones going dead on me merely half a year after purchase...
Normal earphones can never satisfy my needs for quality sound and at least masking away 70% of the noise around me when I travel.
Neither were my ear lobes made to accommodate normal earphones (say those included in the iPods) as my frequent need to adjust the earphones while jogging on the threadmill is a testament to that.

Perhaps it's by fate, but there was COMEX, the biggest annual IT event of Singapore (there are 4 in total) for the past weekend and I might find what I need there.

On Sunday after fulfilling my obligation for my missus with a charity walka-thorn cum health check and product launch at the Singapore Expo, we ventured into town especially the Suntec City area which was clustered by Singaporeans trying to haul some good deals on IT products from the event (though there was an IT show merely 2 months back though at a smaller scale).

Encircling the Fountain of Wealth, we were flabberghasted at how we were denied entry to 2 of the car park entrances and had to patiently work through the traffic jam to the final hope for parking slot which by then I was feeling jaded and felt we should just go home but the lady who wears the pants in this household perservered through and finally parked the vehicle.

As anticipated, the entire convention center was swamped with people to and fro from the event which occpied 3 levels of exhibition hall which was a way to maximise the space between each booth for better manuvering but it didn't really worked.
The likes of Audio Technica, Sennheiser and Philips which I had a bluetooth wireless headphone in mind were all located on the 6th level.

I felt since it seems like the cable is always the root of the spoilage of my headphones might as well get a wireless one though the hassle of recharging it or inferior sound quality.
However my search for a wireless one was left in vain except for a seedy model from a seedy brand.

Then we stumbled upon the Ban Leong Technologies Ltd booth which distribute many high end quality products from the likes of Altec Lansing, Razer and most importantly Shure.
The company with a long history of quality microphones and the motto of "legendary performance) is a renowned name in the field of audio accessories and Chan mentioned to me for consideration days before.
There were a range of in-ear earphones on promotion with the introductory product just off the $100 mark and the highest pedigree on SE530 at a whopping $600....

I had my reservation on in-ear earphones thinking it would heard the ear drum or ear lobe though will be more secure in place than normal earphones.
But I was pleasantly surprise that the Shure range has took comfort into consideration.
The sound is really good and has the ability to cut away any noise from the outside while you blast music through the ear pieces, yet the person next to you would not be disturbed by the noise you generate.

The difference between the 3 lower range are not so significant, It was when I tried the top tier SE530 with its Triple TruAcoustic Speakers which really really bring the fullness of the music you are listening to (if you actually rip in high quality format).

I was quite bought into the volume controller and the Push-To-Hear accessories for the SE530 which comes with the set, and with the one-year installment plan which actually gives one month of installment free, the SE530 isn't too daunting a choice (since you don't see yourself splurging that big a sum).
The 2 years warranty also play a part for the value of the earphones which I think should last much longer than the stylish headphones from Japan.

It took me one round to consider before I decided upon that and along the way the demonstration perked the missus' interest and in the end, she bought a pair of the lower end one herself.
The Ban Leong people gave us further discounts off the promotion prices which see me make a saving of a hundred odd dollars off the normal retail price (inclusive of the installment discount).
I didn't realized I was such an extravagant audiophile who went all out to please my sense of hearing while commuting till Sunday.

Upon unwrapping the package for the set, I realized the Push-To-Hear was not included but that was another model altogether.
Made a call to the HQ and the sales manager of the Shure products gave me a rundown of this particular item and it seems like the PTH is merely a microphone so that you can listen to what other people say while still donning the sound-isolation earphones.
The acessory is rather heavy with the battery, which can be quite a turn off.

So for the next 11 months, I will try to refrain from spending a certain amount, do a bit of budgetting and hope this high-end earphones will truly prove its value and surely much more long-lasting

Japanese word of the day: 蒸気 (Steam) Surely having quality (& durable) headphone/earphone is a vital essence of letting of some steam from the hustle bustle of everyday traveling.

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  • OoT: This is just my luck. I wanted to get a normal colorful PSE Solid Collection Ver 1.5 and this is what I get:


    Well, at least the doll doesn't have that awful pink color. lol

    By Anonymous Lotta, at 2:57 AM  

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