New Desk HiFi Audio Setup (Audiophile)

HiFi Desk Audio Setup Audiophile - Hack Your Productivity

(Infographic picture at bottom of post)

When I really need to focus on getting work done, I have to turn the music in my headphones up really loud.  My headphones are Sennheiser HD600, which have an impedance of 300 ohms.  This means they are a bit harder to drive than other ‘normal’ headphones.

When I listen straight out of the headphone jack from my MacBook Pro – even at max volume – they don’t get as loud as they are capable of getting.  This is where my headphone amp comes in handy.

So now, I want a way to get digital audio out of my MacBook Pro, then send a fresh analog signal into the O2 headphone amp, to be amplified into my headphones.  However, I also want to be able to easily switch between headphones and desk stereo speakers.

The downside with using optical out from my MacBook is that it’s a fixed level, so I can’t adjust the volume with my keyboard knob any more.  So now I’ll have to use the knob on the desk speakers and the knob on my headphone amplifier – but that’s a small price to pay for high quality – very amplified sound.

Here’s an infographic to display how my setup will function when I get the remaining parts.

HiFi Desk Audio Setup Audiophile - Hack Your Productivity

Awesome Headphone Hanger – Organize My Desk

Aluminum Headphone Desk Hanger - Organize My Desk

I usually store my headphones on my desk somewhere, but it’s always annoying having them taking up valuable space that could either be housing something else, or just adding visual clutter to my workspace.

My Sennheiser HD600 cans came with a desk clamp / mount, but I donated it while we lived in the trailer thinking I’d never need it.  This new aluminum headphone hanger is even nicer than the Sennheiser one I got, and it works great!  It comes with two screws, if you want some added stability / security, but I’ve had it attached to my desk with only the 3M double sided tape for three days now, and it’s held up great.  Feels super sturdy!

This is a great way to clean up your workspace and make you feel like a badass at the same time!

Aluminum Headphone Desk Hanger - Organize My Desk

The little rubber half sphere you see is also a great way to route and organize the cables on your desk.  I got a pack of 6, and still have 4 left to add somewhere on my desk!

Aluminum Headphone Hanger at Amazon - Organize My Desk             Rubber Desk Cable Organizer at Amazon - Organize My Desk

Coldplay Everglow = Rudy Soundtrack

Coldplay - A Head Full of Dreams

Coldplay – A Head Full of Dreams

If you’ve listened to Coldplay’s (EXCELLENT) new album, A Head Full of Dreams, you might have noticed a similarity between their song ‘Everglow’, and the theme of the football movie Rudy.

Once you’ve heard the first bit of the flute solo, pause that one, and turn this one on.

* * *

Same key and everything.  😀

Driving Off On Your Blind Man’s Bike

Blind Man's Bike - Jason Mraz James Mercer

When Jessica and I went to see Jason Mraz live (thanks, Jessica!), he mentioned that he was part of a writing group that sends each other words and phrases to use in their songs, and they have to write a new song – using that word or phrase – within the week.

Jason said that when he wrote the Dynamo of Volition, the phrase of the week was “Blind Man’s Bike,” and the whole song was created because of that phrase.  Jessica’s stealthy ear noticed that The Shins also use that phrase in Split Needles (“It’s like I’m perched on the handlebars of a blind man’s bike”).

I’ve done some Googling, but I can’t find out if James Mercer and Jason Mraz are in the same music writing group.  Dynamo of Volition was released in 2008, and Split Needles was released in 2007, so it’s completely possible that they both wrote the songs based off of the music group, but just released them on albums at different times.

If only one of them could come to my blog and leave a comment to settle this debate…

Some Shins For Ya

Some Jazon Mraz For Ya

Amazing Jason Mraz Live Recording FREE!

Jason Mraz Ootmarsum

I’ve been a fan of Jason Mraz since about 2001, and I actually realized earlier this week that he has surpassed Incubus as my all-time favorite artist.  It was hard for me to accept that fact, since I’ve been to three Incubus concerts and loved their music so much for so long; however, sometimes things just change.

Awesome Artists Share

Strengthening my enjoyment of Jason Mraz as an artist is the fact that he allows people to record his live shows and post them to archive.org!  If you haven’t already browsed archive.org for some great free content, you really need to.  I was previously looking for content to test how full I could get one of my retroMods, and I came across just a ton of Jason Mraz content.

Archive.org is full of free content.  The catch is that some of it is just recorded from one microphone location, which is nowhere near as clear as taking all of the performers microphones and running them into a sound board.  However, there is one recording of Jazon Mraz that defies that standard.

Never Thought I’d Settle Down in Ootmarsum

Jason Mraz performed in Ootmarsum, Netherlands, in 2007.  It was a “garden concert”, with just a handful of people there.  The majority of the concert is Jason singing and playing his guitar, and for three or four songs, he invites a local drummer up on stage.  The audio quality of this recording is phenomenal.

Seriously, get out your good headphones and get ready for some sonic awesomeness.  This is one of the best-sounding recordings I’ve ever heard, rivaling Dave Matthews Live at Radio City and Adele Live at the Royal Albert Hall.

The best thing about this recording is that you can download it in uncompressed FLAC format (Free Lossless Audio Codec), and get the full fidelity of being there, live at the concert.  Jessica thought I was playing my guitar from one room away when she heard me listening to it.

Download the High Quality Audio

Wanna See it Too?

Although the audio is not as high-quality as the FLAC download, you can also watch this concert on YouTube.  I personally suggest downloading the audio and then syncing it to the YouTube video (on mute), so you can get the benefit of watching and listening to it.

The audio recording does flip two songs, which makes it confusing, since Jason talks to someone on the phone, saying he’ll play “Live High” for him and his girlfriend, but the audio recording puts that one track behind where it should be.  Nonetheless, check it out one way or the other!

And a Curious Bonus

If that’s not enough to completely whet your whistle, here’s a video of Jason with Raining Jane, playing my favorite Jason Mraz song of all time.  This recording is just MAGICAL.