Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Review: Nakamichi NW7000 digital wireless headphones

Having kids in an age of technology is both exciting and daunting. I'm in the camp of restricting screen time until the kids learn how to discipline themselves and practise time management. Although if they're anything like their father, this probably won't be one of their better traits.

In reality, restricting screen time is difficult when the temptation is all around and toddlers have long learnt the concept of object permanence. But we try, and hence have had to relegate screen time to "after-hours" ie when the kids are asleep. Where once tv, 2-3 computers, tablets would all be in use throughout the day, sometimes simultaneously, these have now become nocturnal activities. And the most challenging of all is to watch movies. After all, why have *ahem* cable if not for the movies?

But how do you enjoy a 2-3 hour long movie date with your husband without waking up the kids?

If your house is big enough and your kids sleep like logs, sure that might not be so bad. But my hole in the sky has walls so thin that even with doors closed, I can hear what's going on in the room furthest from me. You could watch it on the computer, as GY sometimes does, but I'd rather not watch it if I have to squint my eyes at a 20" screen thanks. 

So dear GY, who is constantly thinking of ways to improve the house (occasionally to my chagrin) found this gem on his quest to upgrade the entertainment system.

Nakamichi headphone on dock

Nakamichi wireless bluetooth headphones. I hadn't even heard of this brand. What's so special about it, I asked.

You can pair up to 3 headphones with your audio device.


Before I go on, I must first tell you of a time when GY and I were on a 7-hr flight, approximately 10 yrs ago. I'd wanted to watch a movie and suggested that we watch it together, as we did in the cinemas. What this meant was either waiting for the show on the channel to start or starting the on-demand movie at the same time. Since the entertainment had been on for some time, we opted for the latter. 

It was a tricky business, trying to push the start button at the exact same time, giggling shamelessly when it didn't, then pausing and rewinding so it was the same scene on both screens. I don't know how, but we got there, with my screen playing a few seconds faster. So I'd spent the entire movie peeking over to make sure he didn't fast forward the movie (cause I'm competitive like that) but also that I didn't cause any spoilers for him.
It was so silly and ridiculous that I even remember which movie it was: Alien vs Predator. 

Anyway the point is, with these headphones, there's none of that. Now, we can watch one movie using two sets of headphones! Repeat after me: AWESOME!

In this day and age, you'd think that this is a no-brainer, especially since it uses bluetooth technology. You could almost say caveman. So I was surprised to learn that this model was the only one GY could find, hence the lesser-known brand.

When we first got it, we were pretty excited to try out the pairing system. The first set was pretty easily done, all you had to do was follow the thin instruction manual. Then when it came to pair the 2nd set, there was alot of cussing and swearing. We just couldn't get it to work, and there wasn't anything in the manual about pairing multiple headphones. 

In the end, GY had to bring down the entire set to the retailer office on a weekday during work hours to learn how to pair the 2nd headphone properly. It only took 5 min and it worked fine but he was slightly peeved about it. 

Actually, I don't like headphones in general because 1. Sound quality is harder to achieve  2. I look stupid. While the Nakamichi does have a decent surround sound, the quality isn't the best and there's not much bass to speak of.

However, I do like that the system is quite compact and doesn't take up that much space. You do need to charge it regularly but unless you buy another docking station, the headphones will need to take turns. Won't want to be soundless mid-movie now would we?

Slightly suggestive pose, in the "bed"
Power button on the left; volume adjust on the right

The headphones themselves are quite comfy with plenty of cushioning. You can also adjust the volume on the headset. From an aesthetic perspective, it's pretty bulky, which looks fine on GY but not on me. But then again, these aren't meant for outdoor use so what the heck.

Verdict: Rave

Trading off the sound quality (which isn't that bad) for the convenience is priceless in my circumstances. But the actual price is somewhere in the range of $190 for the whole set and $80 for additional headphones, available at the DFS shop. That's a small price to pay to enjoy movies without the kids!

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