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A Good Gadget Review Website?

Some good news: I actually found a useful site for gadget reviews. But let's set the situation up, so it doesn't look like it was easy.

The project was to find better noise-cancelling or masking technology. For instance I installed the MyNoise app on the smartphone. It produces the soothing sounds of nature: Rain, Spring Walk, Temple Bells, Ocean, Waterfalls, etc.

But wait, you say, why would I need to generate those sounds electronically when I am in a campground in Colorado, and all I need to do is open the door and listen to the real thing from Mother Nature? 

Clearly the reader has never been to a public campground in their life. 'Peace and Quiet' are the last things you should expect in a campground. Basically they are noise ghettoes. 

The next step was to experiment with headphones. As usual I ended up wasting my time on reviews that I didn't trust, subjective anecdotal reviews by customers who can't type or spell, and the info-tainment of Yoob Tube. (My name for You Tube, since it is just amateur Boob Toob.)

But I got stubborn and finally bumped into RTINGS. At first I thought they were going to fall into the Consumer Reports syndrome of setting up a spreadsheet-like comparison between two products. I'm sorry, but the human mind doesn't work like that: it can't compared 30 criteria of Product A versus B.

Soon the human mind loses patience and asks, "What's the catch with Product A? What is the weak link in the product? The fatal flaw that the reviewer is hiding?"

I was so impressed with this screen shot from RTINGS:

It showed that one of the headphones did a poor job of cancelling bass frequencies near 70 Hertz. It is the bass from asshole-campers' stereos that I most want to eliminate.

Can it really be true that a reviewer's website goes into the lab and measures something?!  Previously I had pessimistically assumed they just sat in a cubicle and dicked around all day on MicroSoft Excel spreadsheets. It is great to be proven wrong!


Ted said…
Well crud. It was the Bose QC25 headphones that have that gap in the mid bass. Hm, perhaps a good excuse to upgrade to the QC35 bluetooth versions since mine are wired I'd like to go wireless anyway!

Maybe next year when I have spare $$. ;)
Bon vivant said…
While I appreciate the data you share, I'm currently looking for the same) let's step back a bit. Why is it campgrounds don't have personnel expel have anyone using anything Ed Abbey wouldn't approve of, same day/night??
Another way of asking the question you asked, Bon vivant, is, "Why isn't there a (metaphorical) leash law for music in public campgrounds?"

Some of the reason is the difficulty of enforcing it. But you only get into subjective factors when you are deciding how MUCH of WHAT is too much.

In the national monument at the bottom of the Rio Grande gorge (near Taos, NM) a sign said, "No Amplified Sound." I think that was great! I think generators should also be banned, unless the forest is deep.

Of course then there are the bongo drum-circles.

Ted, I guess I am your "enabler."
Ed said…
Enforcement is the problem. I walk past a sign on the highway every day that claims NOISE ORDINANCE STRICTLY ENFORCED which is just as effective as the signs for GUN FREE ZONE.
Ed, I too have wondered about all those "Noise Ordinance Strictly Enforced" signs. I have never seen a cop pulling over a "boom car" and giving them a ticket.

But noise meters should be available at moderate expense? How is it any harder to give tickets for noise than speeding tickets?
Anonymous said…
I'm using the Bose QC 20 in ear headphones and they work well for me. Check the review which is good for noise isolation.