JBL Synchros S100a

Boy. The newest radio accessory is breathtaking. I mean it is just so stunning and so sophisticated. I pity individuals who grew up without the earpiece.

headset. earphonesIt’s hard for earphones to stand out in the $100 price range, but the JBL S100 does a laudable job and should grab the attention of any big bass fan seeking affordable in-canal earphones. At $99.95 (direct), the sensibly priced S100 doesn’t distort on deep bass tracks and brings some serious low frequency thunder to the mix. JBL offers two S100 optionsthe S100i (with a remote optimized for iOS devices) and the S100a (with a remote optimized for Android devices). Both models are $99.95. The S100 won’t appeal to purists, but bass lovers seeking subwoofer-like lows with (some) balance in the high-mids and highs should read on.

Visually, there’s not much about the S100$99.99 at Best Buy that will knock your socks off. It’s only offered in white or black for both the Android and iOS versions, and the earpieces are simple and nondescript, with just the JBL logo to catch your eye. Each earpiece connects to a flat cord, with the inline remote control and mic just below chin level along the left ear’s cable.

There aren’t too many accessories, but each inclusion is sensible and useful. The S100 comes with three silicone eartip pairs in different sizes, one Comply foam eartip pair, a shirt clip, and a zip-up protective pouch. The Comply eartips will offer the most stable fit, but the silicone eartips are also comfortable and secure; they just block out less ambient noise than the Comply eartips do.

Performance
On tracks with powerful sub-bass content, like the Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the S100 delivers some serious low-end rumble without distorting even at top (and unsafe) listening levels. At more moderate volumes, the S100 still brings more booming low end than a flat response pair would, but not so much that it’s unlistenable or woefully off-balance. Bass lovers will enjoy the S100 because it brings serious rumble, but doesn’t completely ignore the high-mids and highs necessary to keep the sound from getting muddy.

JBL S100a inlineThat said, if balance is your top priority, you’ll probably find the S100 is weighted a bit too much in favor of the lows. On Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” his baritone vocals get a lot more added richness than they probably need. There’s still plenty of treble edge there to keep a sense of clarity, providing his vocals with a decent high-mid presence and allowing the guitar strums not to get lost, but the mix seems a bit too weighted towards the lows for anyone seeking an accurate listening experience.

On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild,” the big bass is on full display. The deep bass synth hits on this track are delivered with subwoofer-like gusto. The attack of the kick drum loop could use more definition in the high-mids to help it slice through the mix, however, and even though it’s never a problem to hear the various vocals on this track over the dense mix, a bit more high-mid and high presence would have balanced out the ominous bass presence.

Classical tracks, like John Adams’ “The Chairman Dances,” actually sound pretty exciting through the S100. It’s not a sound purists will gravitate towards, but the higher register strings hold their own in the mix quite wellpartially because classical recordings naturally favor the mids and the highs and often lack much in the way of low-end thunder. Here, however, the S100 adds some power to the lower register strings and percussion. The balance is more favorable here than on pop tracks that already have plenty of low-end to work with, and it’s a sound that many listeners will enjoy.

If you prefer more balance in your earphones, you have plenty of options in this general price range. Consider the TDK EB95022.49 at Amazon or the Jay t-Jays Three. If you want to spend less money but still want booming low-end in your mix, the SOL Republic Relays$79.99 at Verizon Wireless are a solid option, and the RHA MA15010.95 at Amazon is a truly inexpensive, decent-sounding pair. For $100, however, the JBL S100 offers a bass lover’s mix that doesn’t overpower, and a thoughtful array of accessories. This price range has several winners, but for lovers of deep low-end, the JBL S100 is an option worth considering.

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Arena Round the World, Radios in Stadiums and Arenas

What’s your favorite feature of my earpiece? In my opinion, I much like the design job – It is cooler than an Inuit’s underpants!

Stadiums are used for a great many things. It could be a weekend football game, a pop concert or another kind of sporting event. The recent London Olympics reminded many British people of our country’s great sporting traditions and, as a result, more and more people are flocking to large-scale stadium events, be they cultural, athletic or simply a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

A well-run stadium is almost like a miniature town; there are people working at food stalls, cleaners, V.I.Ps, fully trained paramedics, merchandise salesmen (and Women), car park attendants, managers, photographers, artist’s entourages, stage personnel, security guards, groundsmen (and Women!) and more others than I can think of right now. Whatever the event is, you can bet that there will be a committed group of professionals making sure that everyone is safe and well looked after. These people communicate with one another via the use of two-way radios.

Given the sheer size and scale of a modern stadium, it would be quite impossible for some of the employees to reach areas of the venue that require their immediate attention without the use of radios. Two-way radios keep the staff connected and on the same page regarding the smooth running of the stadium itself.

In an accident, or in case of fire, for example, emergency services need always to have a way into the grounds. Personnel already employed by the venue need to be able to work with these emergency services in the event of an accident. Employees need to liaise quickly with one another, especially during situations where lives are very much at stake. How do they do this? They use their radios, of course.

To this end, the Stadium Safety Officer has one of the most important jobs in the entire venue. Their responsibility is to implement a stadium’s safety or security strategy in the event of an accident or emergency, as well as to ensure that the strategy is workable in all situations and eventualities.

All layers of a stadium’s workforce, from the security in the front row of a rock gig, to the person who examines your ticket at Saturday’s game, have to be contactable easily, reliably and instantly. Two-way radios have been in use at venues like these for many years now and it is unlikely that this trend will stop any time soon.

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