For the first time in a horrendously long time I’ve missed school/work due to illness. I just wasn’t well enough to go back to work today. In fact, I’m not even going tomorrow. My throat is now raw from coughing and my nose is running like some Olympic sprinter. Needless to say, I would not be halfway to presentable in my current form. Add on top of that the fact I’d hardly be productive at anything other than infecting people, I think it’s a good idea for me to stay at home and rest.
But the fact that I haven’t taken time off due to illness in the past couple years has had an effect on me. I sounded strangely apologetic to my boss for missing work. Yeah, it’s weird but there was a bit of guilt for not being able to show up to work. Being sick is hardly my fault (well, that depends on how you think about it) so I should have nothing to be ashamed of. Nonetheless, I am.
Enough about illness and personal issues, let’s talk about audio. Being the musician (used in that word’s most flexible form) I was for 8 or so years, I obviously developed a thing for listening to the stuff. Aside from the numerous MP3 players I’ve collected, something has to be said for the things that output the sound: speakers and headphones. Now I’m not going to pretend like I’m some sort of audiophile that can hear the difference between a 256kbps and 320kbps MP3, I do have certain standards. However there are time when those standards are merely there because of ignorance.
Let’s take the first example: the iPod. The iconic and most popular MP3 player in the world is actually bundled with the most pitiful excuse for earbuds I’ve ever heard. Even compared to the low-end EP-480s that came with the Creative Zen Micro, the iPod earbuds are completely lacking in bass response and overall sound fullness. In a song like Radiohead’s ‘Packt like sardines in a crushd tin box‘ the bass attacks are actually felt in the EP-480s while the same passage is rather dull and bland sounding with the iPod earbuds. I’ll be honest though; before using the Creative earbuds, I never really realized just how poorly the iPod earbuds sound. But now that I have, I can’t go back to those iPod earbuds. So really, save yourself the possibility of being robbed because you’re wearing the iconic earbuds and get a better set. I’m currently looking to kill two birds with one stone. I’m going to get a pair of Sony Ericsson HPM-70s that’ll give me the in-ear earbuds I’ve been wanting and an upgrade over the HPM-60s that come with K790a.
Next up is speakers. I’ve generally been content with a decent set of 2.1 speakers for my computers. I don’t do a whole lot of movie watching on them so I never believed in buying a $400 5.1 speaker set to hear the Windows startup and shutdown sounds in higher fidelity. However, I’ll point you back to this post, when I picked up a set of Creative T20s for a nice price. I’d read about the clarity and performance of the set and I thought I’d give it a try. Of course there was the whole ‘oh, but it doesn’t have a subwoofer so it sucks’ from the Futureshop guy but I bought it regardless. Boy am I happy that I did. True, you don’t get that thumping that you can get with a decent subwoofer, but you also don’t get the muddy sound from most of those systems either. Mid-ranges are actually present instead of just being somewhere in there between the satellite’s tweeters and the sub’s rattle. As well, bass response isn’t as low, but you can actually distinguish the bass notes instead of them being a random rumble. My Harman Kardon 2.1 and Altec Lansing 5.1s both sound like they have their drivers stuffed with some cotton or something.
Alright that’s all. I’m going to go rest, right after I read some of this crap they call a course (PDEng). I just did a quick check of our final assignment and it’s looking like a 5 pager. YAY. I’m so excited I could gag. 😐