Philips-O’Neill “The STRETCH”

Philips O’Neill “The STRETCH”

My previous Philips and Sennheiser cans retired after their wires snapped. I bought a cheap around-the-ear mini-headphones from a famous otaku store but it only lasted for a month. Wiring issues have become my usual dilemma. I am having a hard time looking for someone who could repair my headphones as well.

Anyway …

I needed new headphones badly and I don’t want to buy ordinary nor generic ones anymore.

PowerMac is my favorite headphones supplier. The only problem is that not all of their products can be tested prior to purchasing them.

I love rock music more than any other genre so I require my headphones to have very defined sound quality, dynamic bass, reduced treble and (of course) a reasonable price. So far, only a few Sennheiser level-entry headphones fit the bill. Unfortunately, all Sennheiser cans are tightly sealed so the salesladies refused my request of trying them out. I think I spent about 15 minutes looking at all the available items in PowerMac, while reading and trusting only their descriptions, before I finally stumbled upon “The STRETCH”

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Life cannot be without music ♫ ♪ ♫

I travel almost everyday and everywhere I go, there’s bound to be music — the FM radio being played on the bus, the novelty songs on TV or the jingles being repeatedly played in malls. They are all “music” but to me they are considered as NOISE. Anything that doesn’t appeal to my ears is noise.

I bought my own awesome headphone, a rare amplifier then I used my PSP as my Digital Audio Player (DAP) — so I can save myself from being irritated by the noise around me. Unfortunately, my PSP died and I badly needed a new DAP. My mobile phone is a good choice but it doesn’t entirely block ambient noise and the cable that came with it also has a loose channel.

I cannot stand traveling without listening to my playlist! Good thing it’s payday so I passed by the Robinson’s Appliance Center and bought a new DAP — the Philips GoGear Spark.

CNET marks it as the “diamond in the rough” because of its features and compact design. It’s so small that it’s just about the size of my amplifier.

PROs:

  • It has preset equalizers (Rock, Funk, Hip-Hop, Classical, Jazz, Techno, Pop) and an extra option to customize it.
  • If the equalizer cannot produce the preferred output, the FullSound™ can be selected instead. It’s a plus for bass-heavy music.
  • The 1.5 inch (128×128 dpi) color display screen shows the album covert art of the song currently played. If there’s none available, it shows the wallpaper.
  • The font size on the menu is readable, unlike most DAPs wherein you’d have to squint a bit to see the small letters.

  • The response-time is quick. Each click brings up the selected option immediately.
  • Sound quality from this DAP is at par with its competitors.
  • Battery life is up to 27 hours!
  • It’s easy to carry!!!
  • It comes with free firmware upgrades/updates.


CONs:

  • The earbuds that came with the package are sub-standard. Match this DAP with your cans or earbuds of choice for a better listening experience. *wishes for an AKG K701*
  • The DAP is inaccessible while it’s charging.
  • It can only be charged via a USB port. If a PC is not available, buy a Universal USB Charger.
  • It only supports MP3, WAV and WMA sound formats.
  • Only songs that are currently played can be added to the preset playlist(s). You can’t create your own playlist.
  • The screen is prone to fingerprints.
  • Chappy FM radio tuner (don’t need this anyway)
  • Hissing sound on recorded audio (don’t need this too)
  • People with large hands may be frustrated with the volume, power and lock switches found on the side of this DAP.
  • First-time users may find the navigational keypads “challenging” .. We though it was using the touch-screen technology. It turned out that they were near the edges of the display screen and I have to click them to use the DAP’s menu. The sales guy and I took ten or so minutes to figure that out! We had to ask assistance from another salesperson who attended a seminar conducted by Philips. Damn noob-moment! LoL!


I finally figured out how the playlist works!!!

Beside the 3.5mm headphone jack, there’s the OPTION button. While a song is being played, click it and there is the option “Add to Playlist” . LoL!

Overall, it’s a good gadget once you get used to it and it’s worth the money.
I have no regrets buying my own Philips GoGear Spark.

☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻

UPDATE: January 4, 2011

My DAP has been acting up for the past few weeks.I was very frustrated because I lost my receipt and I cannot take it back to the shop where I bought it.

  • It fails to power on. I have to press the power switch several times before it boots.
  • It doesn’t play the songs in a random order even though the “Shuffle” option is on.

Thank goodness for the Internet! I read a couple of articles indicating that Spark users also have problems similar to mine. I visited the Philips official website and there’s a walkthrough on how to resolve these. I had to reset my DAP to its factory settings and reinstall the drivers and firmware updates. After I did those, my DAP is back to normal.

☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻

Rabid Wolverine …

I know, it's an old thing … but I am still baffled as to how a person such as Chris Benoit would do such a thing – or if he really did that to his family and to himself…

Chris Benoit has been a pro-wrestler for many years (I think over 20 years already) and he's really good at what he's doing. He's been one of my idols along with Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Triple H, Eddie Guerrero and our very own Batista.

He's famous, he's rich, he's got a family, he's got everything. WWE people say that he's a real icon and he's good for the business. I didn't hear any comments from his family members as well. His neighbors say that he's nice — not so warm but nice, nonetheless.


So why did he kill himself and his family? What was the reason behind it?

I searched all over the net and I found no straight answer as to why… One website say that his excessive anger might have been triggered because he took in anabolic steroids. Do these drugs really cause paranoia?

Forensics may hold the key as to what really happened … but they said it will take weeks before they get results. Hmph! I guess even CSI-like organizations can't solve it as quickly as they do it on television.

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