Category Archives: How To

How to Make the Best of Classroom Headphone Storage

If you are a teacher or administrator in a school or library, there is a high chance that technology and headphones are a part of your toolkit. Storing multiple pairs of headphones in a manner that keeps them clean, safe and yet easy to access is a challenge. Never fear, we have many great solutions for the best classroom headphone storage.

The Listening Center

If you were fortunate to receive your school classroom headphones as part of a listening center, you may have a headphone storage solution built in to your center package. If you are in the purchasing phase, this might be a great option to consider. Listening centers come in wired and wireless varieties, so you can choose the solution that works best for your classroom. Both Califone and Hamilton Buhl offer lab packs with up to 30 headphones and a storage case. If you have not yet purchased your headphones, consider buying them as part of a listening center or lab pack. Many of these options come with a storage case. In addition, the headphones sold as part of a package vary widely. You can choose on-ear or over-the-ear headphones. You can choose mono or stereo headphones or models that have the ability to switch between the two formats. The Titanium series headphones from Califone offer a lifetime guarantee on the headphone cords. You can choose headphones with in-line volume control, mute and on/off switch. Some models are primed to work best with iOS, Chrome or Windows hardware. Headsets with an attached microphone are available. The type of storage solution included may affect your decision: there are toolbox style cases, metal racks, suitcase style cases and a variety of noise canceling options in listening centers, too. With so many options, we can help you find just the right solution for your classroom or library, just ask.


The Storage Case

If you’ve got the headphones but are in need of a place to keep them, check out our selection of cases, bags and racks. Hamilton offers a tool-box style case and a steel rack to keep your headsets organized. Califone offers a wide range of storage options for headphones and your larger tech gear.

More Storage Ideas

If your budget is small or previously allocated and you still need a storage solution for your supply of headphones, we’ve got you covered! Check out these storage solutions from Pinterest.

28881c59dac159082a14e0ada16f7368Do you know someone who is crafty with PVC? PVC can be turned into a number of different storage units, including a rack for your over-the-ear headphones! We’ve also seen PVC pipe used to store yoga balls, colored pencils, ribbon and playground equipment.

132e3bf048ff468aeb82e039c9c00680Got earbuds? There is nothing worse than a big pile of earbuds with cords twisted together. Here is a clever way to use a jewelry case to keep them – and all those cords – organized. Jewelry cases are inexpensive and can also be used to store small rewards, erasers and treats in the classroom.

da886bb6af02cbab8054f62b0e8e9e7fThe variety of repositionable hooks on the market today is astounding. Take a look at your favorite home or craft store to find a style that will work best for you and create a wall storage unit for your headphones. You can position the headphones above computers, tucked out of the way, or create a cozy listening corner like this one.

Whether you are creating a new classroom listening nook or replacing old school classroom headphones with a new listening center package, we’re here to help! Contact us at Encore Data Products for more information about cases, bags and racks.

 

How to Extend the Life of your Headphones

With the growth of technology and mobile devices, headphones and headsets are increasingly becoming as important and as mobile as their electronic device counterparts. But do they get the same care and treatment? While many models are designed with simplicity in mind and the expectation that they will get replaced, learning to take good care of your headphones can be important.Here is a simple how to for extending the life of your headphones/headsets, no matter their use and type.

First Step: Choosing Quality

One of the ways to extend the life of your headphones is to pick a set of headphones that are fit for their use. Asking yourself questions like: will these headphones be mobile or stationary at a workplace? Would you benefit from headphones with wires, or could you immensely improve your listening experiences with wireless headphones? Will your listening need to include low bass capabilities, high volumes, or general use? And if you do have headphones or headsets with wires, what length is appropriate? These questions can help you pick out the right headphones with the specifications suited for your audio needs.

For example, a music studio sound engineer can benefit from a quality over-the-ear headset, capable of handling higher power, low and high frequencies, and heavy bass. A headphone set that cannot handle these qualities might get damaged during listening. In addition, he or she could use a shorter, yet durable cable, if they headphones are meant to stay close to the mixing board.

In contrast, having disposable bulk headphones can be a perfect option for environments where headphones will be used by multiple people – think classrooms of children or learning labs and libraries. Kids can get sick and having disposable options in the library can be better than buying hygienic covers, in some cases. In a classroom, where students can be taught to carefully clean headphones and change out hygienic covers, a more sturdy headphone may be best. By picking the right set of headphones you have a better chance of ensuring their longevity.

Overall Care and Storage

A lot of headphone damage comes from improper storage, whether you have on-ear or over-the-ear headphones, wireless or corded. From throwing them into backpacks where they can slide to the bottom (and get crushed by books), or letting them hang and fall off tables, headphone life is easily shortened just by a poor system of storage.

The best way to care for headphones is to have a specific place or case for them. If your headphones are to be used while traveling, placing in a special carry case or bag can make it easy to take from place to place, while keeping them safe from being crushed or tangled. A case is also great for long-term storage, as it keeps your headphones safe from humidity or temperature changes. When exposed to wet conditions or extreme temperatures, the headphones can short-circuit or lose quality over time.

In stationary situations (such as computer labs and classrooms), having a storage rack for headphones will keep them from getting tangled, or from being placed in precarious situations. Especially in a busy classroom, where headphones can be knocked off desks and stepped on, a storage rack is a great solution for minimizing damage.

Cable Wrapping

One of the most vulnerable components of headphone sets are their cables. They can be dragged, rolled over by chairs, tangled easily, or snapped by drawer doors, all instances that can reduce the life of your headphones. The key component to wrapping your cables neatly is to do it regularly and properly by following the cables natural bends.

There are many methods for neatly wrapping cables, such as the devil horns method. For headphones with big earpieces, wrapping the cables around the set is a simple way of keeping them neat and untangled.

When you do notice wear on your cables, especially at its jack connector, using a product like Sugru to keep it from falling apart can be a simple fix.

Earpieces

Besides coiling your headphone cables the right way, the best way to extend the life of your headphones is to care for the earpieces. Cleaning them with disinfecting wipes frequently will keep dust particles from damaging the hearing components. With foam covers, simply washing them in warm soapy water and air drying them is best. These foam covers should also be replaced as time passes, since they lose quality to wear.

Overall, headphones can last a long time when you pick the right ones for your audio needs and store them properly. For more headphone tips or advice when choosing headphones, contact us.

What is the Difference Between Mono and Stereo Headphones?

When shopping for headphones, you might have come across two different basic types: mono and stereo. But do you know what the difference is between mono and stereo headphones? And do you know which ones are right for you?

In this guide, we’ll walk you through what makes them so different, and how to choose the best pair for your specific needs.

Mono Headphones

They used to be the industry standard, but recently mono headphones have been falling off in popularity as the sound industry trends towards stereo.

The reason is simple: versatility.

You likely already know that “mono” means “one” – in this case, one channel and one mic. This means that you get a single source of audio.

So, if you recorded a band in mono, you would get all of the sound coming from one direction. That means that, if you wanted to make it sound like you had dueling guitar players on opposite ends of the stage, you’re out of luck – it will all be mashed together.

A more common example is applause. If you listen to a live recording in mono, it sounds uniform – like it’s one enormous blob of clapping. In stereo, however, you’re immersed in the direction of the sound.

This is why stereo is winning the war. However, mono can be more affordable and is still the go-to for many industries, including the medical field, classrooms, museum tours, radio, and tape recordings. Basically, anytime you record with a single mic, mono will serve you just fine.

Stereo Headphones

With stereo, you get sound from multiple channels, funneled left and right. Of course, this corresponds to your left and right ear, and is useful for determining distance, direction, and focus.

This is why stereo surround sound is so popular in movies. Instead of just blasting you with a wall of sound, filmmakers want to immerse you in the situation. That means they want you to hear the gunshots in the distance to your left, and the people screaming and running away in the opposite direction. You can’t do that with mono.

The Avid Education SM-25 headphones or the Califone 3068-AV headphones are excellent choices in this class of headphones.

This can also be useful for creating an experience in music. Say you wanted to start a song by having the bass player play a note on the left of the stage. Then the drummer comes in from the back, the guitarist on the right, and the singer adds vocals from right up front.

In mono, it would sound like they’re all in the same place, because as far as the electronics are concerned, they are – they’re all being fed into the same mic.

With stereo, you can have multiple mics picking up sound from many different directions. By controlling when and how you feed this sound to the left and right headphone, you can go a long way towards controlling the experience.

Which is Right for You?

To decide whether you need mono or stereo headphones, you first need to determine what you’ll use them for. If you are looking for disposable bulk headphones, cost is certainly a factor.

If you’re watching movies or listening to music, stereo headphones will provide a richer, more elaborate experience. Stereo headphones can truly change the nature of a scene or song, if used properly.

However, stereo headphones are usually more expensive than mono headphones, so you need to be sure you’ll get your money’s worth.

If you’re not doing anything that requires varied sound – talking on a webcam, or listening to a tape recorder – than mono will be just fine. In fact, if you’re listening to anything that was recorded with a single mic, you’ll be listening in mono – even if you have fancy, $500 stereo headphones.

Getting the Most Out of Your Headphones

If you’d like to find the best headphones for you, contact us today. We’ll find the right product for your needs and budget, but better yet, we’ll introduce you to a world of sound you never knew existed.