headphones

Why does my phone drop in volume when I plug it into my stereo?

Episode 1301

Mark from Sandy, OR

Mark is having issues with his mobile phone because it keeps turning down 75% of volume when he plugs it into his aux jack on his stereo. Leo says that there's a feature that will limit the volume when headphones are plugged in and the phone thinks he's listening on headphones. That's what's going on here. He may be able to disable that feature in his phone settings.

How can I hear myself in my headphones while using a USB mic?

Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

Episode 1248

Mike from Portland, ME

Mike is a guest on a few podcasts, and he usually uses his Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB microphone. He also plugs in headphones to his sound card. But he can't hear himself as he talks into the microphone. Leo suggests plugging his headphones into the mic itself. Leo says the reason the sound from the mic is disabled when he plugs into the sound card is because there's a slight delay, which can be very distracting. If he plugs into the mic directly, he'll be able to hear himself without any delay.

What wireless headphones are good for watching TV?

Episode 1238

Phil from Anaheim, CA

Phil would like to watch TV with wireless headphones so he doesn't disturb the rest of his family late at night. Leo says to look for a good Bluetooth headset that uses A2DP or AptX. USA Today recently came up with a whole list of options at usatoday.com

Another good place to look is at headphones.reviewed.com Beyer Dynamics and Sony both make great wireless headphones.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1237

Scott took a call from a guy next week about headphones with surround sound. Subsequently, he's heard about Sony's MDR-DS7500. They're wireless headphones that you can hear surround sound with. Not cheap at $300, but an option. Also, Scott heard that Sennheiser is bringing back the Orpheus headphones, which are $55,000! WHAT?! They're electrostatic and have transistors built into the cans themselves. Sure, they're probably the best headphones in the world, but for that cost, give me a break. Can you really hear the difference, objectively?

Are there good surround sound headphones?

Episode 1235

Dave from Riverside, CA

Dave lives in an apartment complex and has a surround sound home theater system, but sadly he can't use it because of his neighbors complaining. Are there surround sound headphones? Scott says there's a few ways to go about that. He could simulate it with a DTS Headphone X algorithm, but it has to be included in the AV receiver. Dolby has Dolby Headphone, which is another AV option. Mozaex makes a set of headphones that are surround, but they're not cheap. The Smith Realizer is the Rolls Royce of surround sound simulation which he would plug his headphones into. But it's about $3,000!

What are the best headphones for under $40?

Klipsch Image S4i

Episode 1159

Addy from London, ENG

Addy needs a recommendation for wired, in-ear headphones with volume controls. Leo says that it all depends on the device he'll be plugging it into, and Addy will be using a Samsung Galaxy S 4 mini. Leo says he'll want a headphone with a three ring minijack. And even then, he doesn't know if the phone will understand the volume controls.

Here are some options Addy can consider:

Can I pair multiple bluetooth devices to my smartphone?

Motorola S10HD

Episode 1132

Carlos from Brooklyn, NY

Carlos wants to know if his iPhone can pair to multiple bluetooth devices. Leo says yes! It's been a standard capability for awhile in smartphones now. Leo also recommends over the ear bluetooth headphones.

Motorola makes great wireless headphones, as does LG. The Motorola S10HD are about $40, and they go around the neck and house the batteries for longer battery life. He'll also want headphones that support the high quality stereo profile called 'A2DP.'

Where can I get a cheap pair of headphones?

Earbuds

Episode 1109

Sandra from Corona, CA

Sandra has a pair of headphones that need to be repaired. Leo isn't so sure that they're worth repairing in today's disposable design culture. What can she replace them with for around $25? Leo says that good headphones aren't cheap. If she wants to stick with earbuds, then she can get a pair of earbuds for about $30 at the Apple store. But earbuds are damaging to our ears and the sound isn't as accurate.

Why are my TV speakers cutting out when I plug in my headphones?

Episode 1098

Mark from Rhode Island

Mark's mom won a new TV at work and he's been tasked with hooking it up. They also want to have the sound transmitted to a wireless headset for his father. But when he plugs it in, it turns off the speakers on the TV. Suggestions? Scott says that's a common problem and there may be a setting for audio submenus that will give the option to leave the internal speakers on. Scott says that since Mark uses a splitter, it's likely causing the TV to turn off the internal speakers.

How can I use my good Sennheiser headset with my Moto X?

Headset buddy

Episode 1088

Bill from Portsmith, VA

Bill got the Motorola Moto-X, and he wants to know if he can use his good Sennheiser headphones with it. Leo says it should work. The headphones he's using will have three black rings on the tip, and it should work when plugged into the headphone jack of the Moto X. If the mic doesn't work, then that means it can't support the inline mic of the headphones.

Leo uses the Etymotics HF3, which are very high end. But there's lower end models that work great too.