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Where are my wireless earphones?

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  • #16
    Ghettoblaster.
    I've allways wanted to play "Russ Meyer's Civilization"

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    • #17
      Ety8, right here.

      If you like little boxes hanging from your ears....
      Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. - Ben Franklin
      Iain Banks missed deadline due to Civ | The eyes are the groin of the head. - Dwight Schrute.
      One more turn .... One more turn .... | WWTSD

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      • #18
        Actually I have a bluetooth mouse that needs to be recharged all night long every day of usage, so I wonder how much time could be used for recharging the batteries of both the iPod and the earphones
        I will never understand why some people on Apolyton find you so clever. You're predictable, mundane, and a google-whore and the most observant of us all know this. Your battles of "wits" rely on obscurity and whenever you fail to find something sufficiently obscure, like this, you just act like a 5 year old. Congratulations, molly.

        Asher on molly bloom

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        • #19



          I'm getting an headache just at the thought of those things falling down every second
          I will never understand why some people on Apolyton find you so clever. You're predictable, mundane, and a google-whore and the most observant of us all know this. Your battles of "wits" rely on obscurity and whenever you fail to find something sufficiently obscure, like this, you just act like a 5 year old. Congratulations, molly.

          Asher on molly bloom

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          • #20
            Actually, the technology does exist. My Mom has total hearing loss in one ear and 70% in the other. Her hearing aid for the dead ear sends its signal wirelessly to the other earpiece, which has both a wireless receiver and speaker. They cost about $3500. There are several issues with bringing this technology to the mass market.

            The first is bandwidth. Music reproduction requires relatively full-range response. You can use companding to help, but that creates pumping and breathing effects in the sound.

            The next consideration is RF channel availability. The US radio spectrum is extremely crowded. The few remaining open areas were all reallocated in the move to digital television (still ongoing), with the leftovers being auctioned off by the fedgov. What's left is the "unregulated" 2 GHz band, where celphones, WiFi, Bluetooth, and a zillion other unlicensed devices fight for space. Finding an open channel, with enough bandwidth to carry hi-fi audio, is a challenge.

            Bluetooth, BTW, is a pretty basic spec that was designed to carry basic control signals across short distances (eg wireless mouse). It was not designed to carry all the information required for realtime broadband audio.

            Then we go to physical size. Adding a Bluetooth (or similar) transmission scheme will take space, probably necessitating a behind-the ear receiver. This issue will be solved over time, especially if the market $$ are there. (In fact, everything here is predicated on long-term market demand in the millions of units.)

            Fidelity and hearing loss. Fear of litigation on hearing loss is another wildcard in this equation. After the big "iPod is killing hearing in teens" scare, manufacturers are a tad gunshy.

            Physical earphone design. In-ear monitors (that is, "canalphones" like Etymotic, Sensaphonics, Shure, Westone and Ultimate Ears) use balanced armature drivers and deliver excellent sound when the ear is sealed against ambient noise. When you take ambient noise out of the equation, you can listen with great fidelity at lower volumes.

            Problem is, it's difficult to measure decibel levels within the ear, and OSHA's safe exposure guidelines against NIHL (noise-induced hearing loss) are not effective (as they were developed for workplace situations and don't consider frequencies above 8 kHz). the two big issues against in-ear designs are that full isolation is less than safe when out in public, and people don't like dealing with cerumen (earwax). So it's hard to put a notch in the volume control and say with any assurance that "this is the highest safe level, only exceed at your own risk." (Well, you can, but that level would have to be pretty low, and any stereo salesman can tell you that consumers will very reliably buy the loudest product over one that is sonically superior.)

            External earphones (Apple and Sony earbuds, etc.) relinquish control by admitting ambient noise. So when there's a lot of ambience, the tendency for the user is to turn it up. Plus, they don't stay in place all that well. Traditional and noise cancelling headphones are bulky and thus not part of the discussion.

            What's needed is a total-control design. This means a sealed ear canal, but with microphones embedded within the earphones to allow selective admission of ambient sound. Such products already exist for musicians, but they are not wireless.
            Shure consumer earphones with "push to hear" button
            Sensaphonics ambient in-ears for musicians
            Westone ambient ear monitors for musicians

            The bottom line is that there are several companies (including Apple, Sony and others) actively pursuing the prize of wireless earphones that deliver great sound. It will take a breakthrough transmission scheme to accomplish this with great fidelity, comfortable size and reasonable price.

            My guess is that there will be compromises in sound quality, since that's the easiest thing to scimp on to attain the other goals. Still, a viable Bluetooth-ish design will likely be on the streets for about $500 within 2-3 years.
            Apolyton's Grim Reaper 2008, 2010 & 2011
            RIP lest we forget... SG (2) and LaFayette -- Civ2 Succession Games Brothers-in-Arms

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Datajack Franit


              I'm getting an headache just at the thought of those things falling down every second
              I hadn't seen these Etymotics (the Ety8) yet. They are a great illustration of the limitations people are fighting:
              1. The electronics pack is (obviously) bulky.
              2. There's no way to admit ambient sound.
              3. Frequency response sucks: +/- 3dB in speech range (50 Hz to 6 kHz), +/- 6dB above and below that, with an upper limit of 15 kHz.

              So it's just what I suggested would happen: $300 for a bulky system to work with your iPod, with compromised sound quality. But it is wireless, so if that's what's important to you, rock on with your bad self.

              Etymotic Ety8 info
              Apolyton's Grim Reaper 2008, 2010 & 2011
              RIP lest we forget... SG (2) and LaFayette -- Civ2 Succession Games Brothers-in-Arms

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              • #22
                Snoopy, you can always hide the wires under your shirt.
                USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!
                The video may avatar is from

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                • #23
                  If you want wireless, go for headphones.

                  If you want earphones, go for wires.

                  That simple really.

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                  • #24
                    Ecthy, they want wireless earphones.
                    Thus the thread title.
                    Apolyton's Grim Reaper 2008, 2010 & 2011
                    RIP lest we forget... SG (2) and LaFayette -- Civ2 Succession Games Brothers-in-Arms

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                    • #25
                      Earphones

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