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

Microsoft To-Do is Replacing Wunderlist

Microsoft To-Do - Maximize Your Productivity

Microsoft To-Do - Maximize Your Productivity

I do indeed use Wunderlist quite a bit to help with my Productivity, but I also rely heavily on Office365, so I’m thinking although it’s scary to think Wunderlist will be gone, it’ll be cool to see what extra features Microsoft can add / come up with to make it even better!

Original Story

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

Lapel Mic for iPhone 7 Plus (Lightning to 3.5mm)

iPhone Lapel Mic Adapter Setup - Productivity Hacks

I’ve been doing more editing on my iPhone lately, so naturally I wanted a way to get higher quality audio during videos than the iPhone’s built-in microphone allows.  I thought it might also be handy to record podcasts directly on my iPhone, when I didn’t feel like sitting at my work desk.

TRS TRRS ExplanationI have used a Sony ECMCS3 Lapel mic for a couple videos I’ve recently uploaded to YouTube, and I really like the way it sounds.  I want to use this mic on with my iPhone, but this mic has a ‘TRS’ (Tip, Ring, Sleeve) input; whereas the iPhone needs to accept a ‘TRRS’ (Tip, Ring, Ring, Sleeve) input.

This is because the iPhone wants to have access to 1) left audio, 2) right audio, 3) microphone, and 4) ground.

How I Hooked it all Up

iPhone Lapel Mic Adapter Setup - Productivity Hacks

I plugged my lapel mic into the TRS to TRRS adapter, and then plugged that into the Apple Lightning to 3.5mm dongle.  I then opened up the Voice Memos app to test it out.

Phantom Power

It didn’t work. *Frown face*  From what I’ve read on multiple Amazon product reviews and other websites, the audio recorder that I normally use with my lapel mic (the Olympus LS-10) must be providing phantom power to the Sony mic, and the iPhone is not providing that power.

There are other options for adding microphones to the iPhone via lightning, but I really wanted to continue using this lapel mic that I already enjoy.  Sadly, it appears that won’t be possible.

Perhaps if I get a splitter for headphone and microphone inputs, and have a pair of headphones plugged in at the same time, the iPhone will see the proper load and use the microphone.  I’ll try that next, but for now I’m upset that the adapter I already bought won’t do the trick.

Data Limits are Bullshit

Data Limits are Bullshit

Pretty soon, I’ll be depending on an LTE-only data connection to access the internet.  I’ve found an ebay seller who offers Verizon Jetpacks with truly unlimited LTE data for $120/month.  Not bad, given that other costs of ours will be going down, and we make our living on the internet.

However, it’s still incredibly lame that wireless carriers inflict ridiculously small data limits on users for their normal plans.  They have stated time and time again that only 2% of users use gobs and gobs of data each month (technical, I know), so I don’t understand the point in having data caps.

This graph shows our data usage with Time Warner, and the August bit is only until today, 7 August 2015.

Data Limits are Bullshit

156GB over the past 7 days.  Yes, we have about 17 phones running Perk, 10 of which are running low-res, low bitrate video for about 12-16 hours a day, but we only started that in July.  April, May, and June were months of usage where we simply streamed an episode or two of Parks and Rec at night, and browsed the internet / sent emails normally during the day.

I keep up with about 5 subscriptions on YouTube, but they only post videos about once a week.  I do watch other YouTube videos as well, as does Jessica.

My point is, we aren’t doing any massive downloading (any more).  This usage is what I would call “typical usage” for people our age (twenty-somethings) using the internet a bit less than average.

Yet cell companies want to impose a 5GB cap on usage.

It’s stupid, and I know that probably within the next 5 years Google will have their WiFi balloons over the entire inhabitable earth, and there will be no need for cell data any more, but it still just irks me now.

How much data do you use each month?  (I found out by logging into my Time Warner account and clicking on “My Internet” and “View Usage Details”.)