Sunday, Sep 21, 2014

Quirky gadgets: Earphones on a zip and USBs for the phone

Quirky gadgets don't have to be expensive Quirky gadgets don't have to be expensive
Written by Abhimanyu Chakravorty , Nandagopal Rajan | Posted: May 10, 2014 7:48 am | Updated: May 10, 2014 8:50 am

This section will feature the quirkiest gadgets in town. Here are the first two.

STK Zip Stereo earphones: Made for EDM, not Rock N Roll

If you have the habit of shoving your earphones into your pocket in a jumbled heap and spending your next ten minutes figuring out the wire puzzle, these earphones will make your life a tad easier.

With a fancy tangle-free zip design, these earphones are purposely made keeping daily commute and ease of use in mind. With one sweep you can pull the chain up and down without any hassle.

Aside from a cool design, STK earphones offer decent sound quality, although nothing to write home about. We listened to jazz, hip-hop, dubstep, bollywood (Yo Yo Honey Singh), rock n roll, EDM, trance, instrumental etc, and our inference is that the bass overshadows the treble and the overall sound quality lacks depth for an earphone that costs Rs 999. The treble is quite flat and dissatisfying. These earphones are bass-heavy so don’t expect to hear crystal clear voice or instrument-based songs.

Out of all the genres we heard, EDM, Yo Yo honey Singh songs and trance sounded best. If you want to listen to voice, this isn’t for you. However, one good thing is that these are good noise cancelling plugs and that even if youre listening to slightly louder music, it doesn’t leak out of the earphones.

All said and done, STK earplugs sport a cool and practical design, but don’t offer great sound quality for the Rs 999 price tag it commands. It’s designed primarily for those local commutes from your office to home. You wouldnt use it as a primary headphone, but rather as secondary travel earplugs.

Specs: Zip design for tangle free cables, built-in microphone and answer / end call button, Impedance: 32ohm±15%, Sensitivity: 105dB±3dB (At 1000Hz 1mW), Frequency response: 20Hz-20 KHz, Rated power: 3mW, Maximum power: 5mW, Cable length: 110cm +/- 2cm, Audio connector:  3.5mm gold plated.
Price: Rs 999

USB-mix

Kingston 32GB DataTraveller microDuo: The phone specialist
With an increasing number of Android phones shipping without the ability to support external cards, storage companies seem to have found an opporunity to sell USB drives that cater to these devices. These USB flash drives are made primarily for tablets and smartphones that are USB On-The-Go (OTG) compatible. The Kingston 32GB DataTraveller microDuo also belongs to the same breed.

The microDuo looks like any USB flash drive at first sight. But it has a flip side, quite literally. While you see the USB 2.0 port to the front, the other side has a micro-USB port behind a flap. Using it is as simple as copying files from a PC using the USB and playing it on  a smartphone using the other.

We tested the device on a Gionee Elife E7 Android 4.2 smartphone and the results were quite good. The file transfers were continued…

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