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Review Of The Audio-Technica M50xBT: Studio Sound Cuts The Cord

The Audio-Technica M50xBT are simply a more portable version of a classic headphone with a very specific purpose – to provide studio quality sound – especially useful for video editors. That’s not to say the M50xBT aren’t a great pair of headphones but rather, if they’re the only headphones you’ll be using, it’s important to consider a few things.

You can watch my full review in the video above or read on.

More Or Less Portable

Over-ear headphones are always going to be larger than earbuds like the Bose QuietComfort 20i (my full review) so for any traveler, the size considerations have to bring notable advantages. In general, going over the ear means a more natural sound (our ears have funny shapes for this reason) and being larger, longer battery life for wireless listening.

Studio-headphones like the M50xBT are designed to give a very flat sound profile, ideal for editing sound from music or in videos. A pair of headphones like the ATH-SR30BT (my full review) on the other hand pump up the bass and treble, giving a pleasurably distorted nightclub sound.

A good analogy is the different in photo quality of a phone versus a traditional camera – phones automatically pump up the colors to be vibrant, higher-end cameras tend not to. The less manipulation done by the device leaves more room for a human editor later on.

audio-technica m50xbt

Know What You’re Getting Into

You won’t be disappointed by the M50xBT at all, they are very good headphones. But for frequent travelers who aren’t at all interested in editing audio, something like a pair of Bose QuietComfort 35 or Sony WH1000XM3 with active-noise canceling or Jabra Move without it will be better suited for you.

Everyone else, the M50xBT give you the option of a headphone cable for low-latency but when you do go battery, it’s got around 40 hours for wireless listening. (Apple’s Airpods for comparison run only about 5 hours.) I did have to change the factory ear cups on the M50xBT with these Brainwavz pair – something to keep in mind if the M50xBT get uncomfortable after a while.

Overall, these are a reliable pair of studio headphones where Audio-Technica did the smart thing, don’t try to change much but give you the option to cut the cord when needed.

Gear Travel Bloggers Carry: Jessie Festa Edition

It’s no secret I can’t get enough travel tech gear and I’m very curious to see what other travelers have in their backpacks as well. On a recent trip to New York City I got a chance to meet up with Jessie Festa to show you the photography gear she packs on every trip. You can see all of the electronics in Jessie’s backpack in the video above.

The Best Places To Eat In Puerto Ayora, Galapagos Islands

curious traveler

The Galapagos is, in places, a remote wilderness but Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz island is as close to a tourist-theme town you’ll find anywhere. Puerto Ayora is the main settlement where tour boats come to restock and budget travelers base themselves to do shorter excursions to nearby Galapagos Islands.

Tourism is still in its early stages in Ecuador‘s Galapagos and Puerto Ayora (population 12,000) is beginning to offer visitors a lot of places to eat: many mediocre, some decent, and a few rare finds. These are some of the best places to eat in Puerto Ayora, the largest town in Galapagos.

1. La Garrapata

la garrapata

Right in front of the dock are a long string of restaurants and bars along the tiny main strip in town, visually blending into one another. At first glance, there’s not much to distinguish La Garrapata, one of the better places to eat (with good service) close to the dock. Prices are slightly above average than nearby restaurants but fairly inline with general costs in Puerto Ayora. Food (and beer) portions are large and range from a variety of traditional Ecuadorian to Western dishes.

2. Galapagos Deli

galapagos deli

I like simple foods in large quantities at good prices with a decent selection of alcohol to go with it. If that sounds like you, then you’ll enjoy Galapagos Deli. It’s about a 10 minute walk from the dock – the location keeping its prices under the average of places like La Garrapata. They serve large sandwiches, pizza, salads, fresh juices, beer, teas, and coffees to. Anywhere else Galapagos Deli would be average at best but in Puerto Ayora where much of the ingredients have to be shipped in from the mainland, it differentiates itself in simplicity.

3. 1835 Coffee Lab

1835 coffee lab

Looks like a tourist trap – you know, the kind that’s especially alluring after a long travel day when you just want to hear some trendy pop music you only sing alone in the car. 1835 Coffee Lab checks those boxes (even some 80s hits too!) but does serve a good variety of local coffees. Galapagos coffees are well-known so it’s best to get a good taste while you’re in town. Keep in mind it’s a bit pricey so if you’re on a very strict budget, 1835 Coffee Labs might not be the best place to grab a daily caffeine fix.

The Best Of Average At Best

As I mentioned before, Puerto Ayora’s selection of restaurants and cafes wouldn’t stand out in many popular tourist destinations around the world. In Galapagos however, where there’s not much of a tourist trail yet, most supplies have to be imported, and there’s a steady supply of tourists with little competition, it leaves few remarkable choices. Like albatross returning to land, Puerto Ayora is a rest stop for a great adventure just beyond the shore.

Portable Podcasting Setup For Travelers: Audio-Technica ATR-2100 Microphone Review

Those of you looking for a simple portable microphone setup out of the all the (complex) audio options available will want to take a close look at the Audio-Technica ATR-2100. The ATR-2100 is versatile, durable, and provides good sound in a portable body.

You can watch my full review of the Audio-Technica ATR-2100 in the video above.

Thule’s Subterra 34L Backpack Tries To Blend Hiking Design With Tech Gear

There are a lot of great electronics backpacks, an excellent choice of hiking bags, but few travel backpacks that blend the features of both. Thule’s Subterra 34L is a good attempt at doing so, giving travelers a large, empty front pocket with one dedicated for organization on the front. A high-quality backpack walking the line between travel styles, the Subterra 34L is a unique choice for select travelers.

You can watch my full review in the video above or read on.

Who’s This Bag For?

Thule has designed the Subterra 34L with a primary, top loading main compartment. It’s large but looks deceptively small for a 34 liter bag. Inside there’s an option packing cube, a laptop pocket, plus two size zippers to get at both without opening the top. Photographers or those of you with a lot of bulky gear will enjoy the space but top loading is not entirely convenient for trips through airport security.

Still, if you have one larger electronic like a DSLR camera but want room for a laptop plus a few days of clothing, the Subterra 34L fits the specific niche well.

Organizing The Basics

On the front of the bag, the thoughtful front pocket is very good at maximizing its use and limited space. Again, from the techie or hiking perspective, the Subterra 34L is an in between, not leaning too far in either direction. It doesn’t have the pockets of the Scansmart 1900 for instance. Travelers who’ve got as much electronic gear as I do will find the organizational space lacking. (A Grid-It might help here.) Trying to stuff the front pocket to your liking also doesn’t work, since when loaded it pushes into the main compartment. Stuffing the top loading main compartment works much better, provided the front isn’t very full.

thule subterra 34l review

For a straight hiking bag, the Subterra 34L is ideal for a day trip or two, but really isn’t a full fledged hiking pack. Thule has consciously limited the size to stay under most airlines’ requirements for carry-on.

Perfect For 30

The Thule Subterra 34L works best when it’s only full to about 30 of those liters. Such a precise physical design is beautiful (the construction of this bag is simply elegant) but isn’t well suited to be stuffed to capacity. In that case, you’re better off looking at larger bags or more specific ones for your particular travel needs.

Still, the Subterra 34L is a few tweaks away from being one of my favorites. Switching the design from top to front loading, with a separate laptop sleeve, and larger organizational front pocket would be my personal modifications. Then again, most people don’t travel with an office on their back. For those of you who travel light and want versatile bag with lots of storage space, I highly suggest a close look at the Subterra 34L.

MagBuddy’s Wireless Charger Is The Slimmest Way To Quickly Charge Your Phone While Driving

Most wireless car chargers mounted on your windshield or phone replace the charging wire with two very inconvenient arms to hold your mobile device hostage. The MagBuddy gets around this common design inconvenience by using a powerful magnet to keep your phone in place plus fast charging.

Although you might not immediately see the benefits of paying a little more for a car charger, they quickly become apparent after a few rides. You can watch the video above for my full review or read on.

Ditches The Arms

The primary advantage of desktop wireless chargers is being able to quickly grab your phone but most made for the car use rubber-lined arms you have to awkwardly pry open. It’s a few seconds every time in and out of the car so, instead, MagBuddy uses a flat, thin, and surprisingly powerful magnetic roughly the size of a small coin. The magnet is about as thin as a sheet of good paper and can stuck directly on your phone or the case.

One thing you’ll have to remember is to center the magnet (not the phone) on the charger but after one or two uses it becomes second nature. Even on bumpy mountain roads the MagBuddy never lets it seem like your phone is in any danger of falling off.

naztech magbuddy

Percent Per Minute

The other benefit of the MagBuddy is how much faster it’s able to charge Qi-enabled phones (pretty much all newer phones that support wireless charging). Charging up to 10W is throttled but for some average real-world results, you’ll get at least a percent per minute of battery life on an iPhone X. Other phones will vary but higher-end flagship phones should be able to absorb electrical charge at autobahn speeds, if not faster.

The Price Of Slim

Clearly the MagBuddy sits well ahead of the competition, roughly 2-3 times the price of most competitors with arms and sluggish charging. Given how much time many of you likely spend getting in and out of your car on road trips short and long, $60 for the MagBuddy seems a reasonable investment for the time savings. Not to mention reducing the risk of dropping your phone every time it interacts with your wireless car charger.

About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutI'm the blogger and computer security engineer who writes foXnoMad while on a journey to visit every country in the world. I'll show you the tips, tricks, and tech you can use to travel smarter. Read More


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