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Crutchfield: The Podcast Ep. 9

Carter and his Bose® Frames

In this episode:

Carter, former Crutchfield Advisor and unabashed headphone-phile, talks to J.R. about his Bose® Frames and why they're a unique sound solution for him. J.R. and Eric also chat about headphone comfort, other Bose wearables, and the legendary Bone Fone.

Some of the gear discussed includes:

After the interview, J.R. and Eric answer a customer question about the best use cases for noise-canceling headphones

Note: In the time between recording this interview in 2019 and its publication in 2020, Carter moved on from working at Crutchfield, so you won't find him in our current list of Advisors. We miss him already, wish him the very best, and hope to see him at Crutchfield again someday!

Explore more episodes

Read episode transcript

Hello and welcome to another episode of Crutchfield, the podcast. I am your host, JR with me again in studio today. Eric thank you for having me. Absolutely. Thanks for being here today. We're going to be listening to a conversation I had with a relatively new advisor named carter by our standards. Yeah, he's been here a little over a year now, so he's relatively new, but he's already making waves. This guy knows his stuff seriously into audio. Has some audiophile tendencies if I may say so. He likes some high end headphones. We talked a little bit about that. The main reason, however, I wanted to chat with him was because he made a very, very cool, interesting employee purchase recently. We do that. Yes, we do. So Bose recently released a new product that I love these things. I wish I had a pair. I haven't bought mine yet. The Bose frames sunglasses with speakers in them. What? Yeah, bo's actually has kind of like a history of making some pretty interesting audio products. You've probably heard of bows, right? Yes, I have. Yes. Uh, they, they make a wearable neck speaker. Did you notice that I'm wearing one right now? You know what? I didn't even, I didn't see it there. Yeah, I've been wearing one for the last half an hour and you didn't notice I was playing music on it when you came into the studio earlier, like 20 minutes ago and you didn't say a word about it or even notice that I had him on. I am blown away and I wasn't listening to you at all when you were talking to me, I was just jamming out to music playing on my Bose sound wear. Now I have to be honest, that does not surprise me. Well, there you go. I am always looking for new and creative ways to pretend I'm listening to you and for you not to realize that I'm not listening to you. That's great for our listeners to hear. But in all seriousness, this Bose sound where is a neat product. Uh I think of the, I think of the folks working over at the Crutchfield distribution center. Uh those guys and gals are not allowed to wear headphones in both ears or cover both ears because it's a safety issue. You have to be able to hear what's going on around you. Uh lots of moving parts over there in the warehouse and Exactly and the Bose sound wear which simply sit around your neck. It's a perfect solution for that because you can really jam music and hear your surroundings all at the same time without bothering everybody around you. It's pretty cool. Uh there was actually a product that came out in 1979. It was the bone phone I guess. Well that'll find its way to the cutting room floors. No, not at all. It is a real product, it was a real product in 1979 product. Bone used bone induction, it was basically two pieces of electronics wrapped in spandex that you hang around your neck And it was marketed to people that would uh that we're working or it was, it was also marketed to people that were exercising joggers. And we have a picture of the bone phone here. Just just brought up a picture for me here and there. It is. That's like an article from some newspaper in 1979 with a lady wearing her bone phone. Uh you can google it. There are news stories like this was a big deal in 1979 to be able to wear your music, have it playing out loud, not just on speakers, but using bone induction technology to get the music into your body using. And the guy in the news story, he's like it uses speakers but they vibrate, which means he doesn't know that all speakers vibrate, It doesn't vibrate, it's a blown speaker. So my point here is that people are looking for interesting sound solutions. There's somewhere in the neighborhood of 350 different pairs of headphones on our website. And uh we all here at Crutchfield own multiple pairs of headphones because because we can and because for different scenarios and lives you need different sets of heads are like shoes, there's no perfect set of headphones and we carry some amazing ones. Absolutely, you know, depending on what you're doing. You know, sometimes the set of head is not the perfect solution, hence the Bose sound wear and now the Bose frames, which is what carter has purchased, let's hear about it. So I went down to our southwest Virginia call center carter and I do a pretty good job of really talking about and describing and doting on the Bose frames. However, there's a few things in there eric and I would like to maybe add a little bit more flavor too. So we'll be back in a minute when we rudely interrupt my interview with carter, you've been to a bunch of training, you've seen a bunch of stuff before you, your most recent purchase, what else, what other kind of stuff? I have bought way too much at this point, however I want to do. It is yeah, I'm really big into headphones. Um I've got the odyssey mobius, fantastic for gaming, wonderful. Uh ended up buying a pair of used LCD too. I got some of the mr speakers, headphones, some of the inflows, a bunch of speakers as well, headphones and speakers are probably my biggest thing. Where do you do most of your listening with headphones at home at home? Of course I do a lot here. Well I'm working on e mails. Okay, so if you're not on the phone with customers, you're doing chat or email your, what are your go to headphones while you're talking or while you're working with customers for here, it's actually gonna be the audio quest the not ours, they're very non fatiguing. So when I have a longer chat or email session, um, I can listen to them for hours on end with no fatigue whatsoever and you just plug them into your phone or do you have a headphone? Yeah, I have one of the Sony high risk players, the N W A 45. I mean, just to be a little tiny thing thing is great. Um, and also have a dragonfly red that I keep in my desk. So if I'm listening to my phone, I wanted to go through titled Recoba's, I'll use it. So eric non fatiguing, he doesn't like it when the speakers or his headphones are fatiguing. What exactly does he mean by that? So there's a couple different ways that I could take that, you know, one is just the general fit of headphones can sometimes be fatiguing the physical fit on your head. Right? Right. So, you know, I think he spoke about the in ear style headphone and you know, they kind of push against his ears and maybe they're not comfortable for him. Some people don't have an issue with that whatsoever, but for some people, they find that a little uncomfortable or against the year or the way and over there might set against your head. So there's, that's one way the physical fatigue of wearing headphones that wearing them for too long or they don't fit quite right. Or they're not right for what you're wearing them to do and then the other side of that would be the, the, the feeling of having something that produces sound right by your ears over a long period of time. And sometimes I can feel a little harsh. Um and the fatiguing comes from just kind of that, that pounding the way the air moves a little differently in a, in a closed back headphone for example. Um and I know I've certainly experienced that, you know, folks that maybe worked in a call center, uh, perhaps have experienced a similar situation as well. So you know, a lot of our advisors spend time on the phones with customers and they're always looking for ways to describe sounds right? And one almost universally loved attributes of a good speaker or a good headphone is warm. We want our music to sound warm, which is kind of the opposite of harsh right? When someone hears harsh, they usually note with things that are in the high frequency range like electric guitars, trumpets, horns of all sorts of things. That kinda, if, if the speaker isn't super lovely and warm, it's going to be harsh, it's going to be in your face. It's going to Make you tired of listening to music faster. Let's talk a little bit about these headphones that Carter seems to really enjoy. He mentioned three pairs of headphones just now. Uh, the Odyssey Mobius, which is like a $400 pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones that's a pretty convenient thing to have around good sounding headphones with no cord, listen to whatever you want. Uh And they sound great, they have some three D. Processing in them. Odyssey makes fantastic, fantastic headphones And uh and that's a that's a great set. He also mentioned two other pairs the odyssey LCD twos and the Mr speakers aon flows which are both a little different than most other headphones. They use a technology called planar magnetic which is like a a large diaphragm speaker which is usually like a thin thin film of material uh sandwiched between some magnets. Uh and it's so it's since it is so large it can actually produce quite a lot of sound. Very deep bass and definitely sounds warm as we described earlier. Warm is good known to be incredibly accurate. That technology yeah precise, accurate while not sounding harsh. He likes a good warm sound. And so carter is clearly uh cares a lot about what he puts on his head what he listens to. And he uses these headphones with his uh Sony uh N. W. A 45 which is a portable uh Hi res music player. So he's a bit of an audiophile listens to great music and has three separate pairs of headphones yet he still bought himself a pair of sunglasses with speakers built in. So that's where we're going to go here in a minute to talk about a little bit about why he's why he's made such a jump uh to something so different than what he listens to normally before we do that though, That little Sony hi res Walkman. That is a great little piece of gear. Uh it's, it's like, it's less than 250 bucks. It plays hi res music. It has Bluetooth, uh and it even has an FM tuner and Sony calls it a walkman, just seeing that word on the Crutchfield website. Right? Yeah, it's a modern day Walkman. It sounds better than any Walkman ever up until recently. Right. It was all FM and AM and tapes and Cds, but now it's a high rez streaming content over bluetooth and it's a pretty great little piece of gear. Well sometimes I listen to Goldfinger boss tones, it sounds like a lot of horns. Love brass. So that is going to really test any good speakers. Horns can be tough. Oh, absolutely. If that's kind of my go to uh not only do I enjoy the music, but it is a great test of how reliable they can be as far as producing a realistic sound goes. Yeah. Um, and I'm sure you've caught on with the Mr speakers and odyssey headphones. I'm a huge fan of planner Magnetics, which is what they're fantastic for his realism and crisp sound and no, they are weighty. I look like Princess Leia when I'm wearing the main reason I wanted to talk to you though is because of your most recent purchase, the we recently had training on them, which means the guys from Bose came here. They brought us a couple of products uh, and spent a good amount of time showing them off. So we got to check them out in training. I know we had training on them in Charlottesville. You've had training on them down here, Norton. And uh, there's, there was, I can tell you about what it was like in the session I attended in Charlottesville mixed on the frames. There are plenty of people that are not quite sure why we need uh, sunglasses with headphones built in, which is what the Bose frames are. I am not one of those people. I am incredibly jealous that you already have. I don't, so, but I might play a little devil's advocate just for the benefit of our audience because there might be people out there thinking wait, sunglasses with speakers built in. Why do I need that? So you have the pair? You bought a pair? Why do you need these? Why did you fork over your hard earned money to purchase a set of those frames? Well, there's a couple of reasons that really, really, really wanted them. Um the first is actually just walking my dog. I love to go out to walk my dog up and down the street, but I also like music and I don't really want to be sweating into my heavy planner magnetic headphone pads. There's a lot of weight, a lot of pressure and they're hot a lot of my clothes back. So they get warm. Exactly. Um and not to mention when it's a sunny, beautiful day as it is now. Yeah, that's why we're recording these outside. I figured if we're gonna talk about sunglasses that play music, we should probably be outside. It was a good call, Great call. Um that's one of the, that was one of the first things that I actually did when I took them home, put them on my head and I walked my dog. Not just that, but the spatial awareness that you get from not having something over or inside of your ear is fantastic. I'm walking my dog. I don't want to hear a car at the last minute pulling up behind me. Um somebody can wave hey and I hear them and I'll be jamming out to Metallica and they'll never know. Um also like to use them for wanting to get into hiking this summer. And with that being said, this will be great for that as well, hear music. I'm not disturbing anybody around me but enjoying the scenery. I might as well enjoy the audio as well. And if there's a bear sneaking up on you, you got a chance of hearing that bear? How good how how well can bear sneak. Well, exactly. They're gonna make, you know, the traditional thing to use for music listening in these scenarios you described would be probably like in your ear, but type of headphone something that's not huge. So they're not Princess Leia buns on the side of your head there, something you can wear for a long period of time. They're designed for exercise, they deal with sweat. Well, why not? Just get a decent set of earbuds? This is a personal thing. So I can't say this is going to apply to everyone. But I've, I've never found a pair of earbuds that I thought was comfortable for more than about 10 minutes. So what do you think eric are they're comfortable earbuds carter doesn't seem to think so. I think so, yeah, I've absolutely had uh, comfortable earbuds in the past. We carry a lot of different styles types that kind of fit in the ear in different ways, kind of for everybody's uh, ear type. You've, you've experienced quite a few of them. You've worked on some videos recently where you had a chance to take a couple home, personally owned three different pairs of in ear bud headphones. You love them. Some accorded one ones with a little neck band cord and a truly wireless set of in ear buds and I will say some of them fit better than others. Some of them are good when I'm just sitting there at home listen to music or maybe I'm on an airplane, others are better when I'm mowing the grass or working out and they all fit just a little differently and it is such a personal thing. It's one of the only products crutchfield cells that you actually stick in your ear so it's gotta feel good and sound good and not everybody's ears take two earbuds well and I didn't like any. So that's okay. We have other options. There are other options like the Bose frames. It definitely was part of the cool factor too. I mean sunglasses that play music and I can actually talk to people on the phone. The bluetooth communication of it is just very clean and crisp. It seems like as well. Um, you've actually used it for making and receiving. Phone calls, gotta set up with the google assistant, everything how loud they're pretty loud um, loud enough that if two people were across this gazebo from us, which is about seven ft away, would you say? If they were having a mild conversation at a mid level, I would barely hear them. You can crank them up loud enough that it makes conversation hard to do. But you can also turn them down so that you can listen and converse at the same time. Is that sure can uh, I don't know if you saw me over there talking to one of the other fellows in the other gazebo. That's right, listeners. We do have two gazebos. It's an extremely nice campus. Also the view here, I wish this was a visual podcast. We've got mountains. We've got blue skies, we got birds chirping a nice little breeze. We couldn't have picked a nicer place to record this. Absolutely. But when I was on my way over here, I stopped and talked to him and I actually had music playing while we had a conversation. Yeah. If you put them up, put them on your head. Yeah, it actually cuts the volume down about in half. It doesn't pause it or turn them off. No, it doesn't does not any of that automatically. So you can still kind of hear your music even when you're wearing them on top of your head. Like I'll put my sunglasses on my hat brim when I don't need them, but I want to have them in case like if I go inside the store or something like that. So if I put them up on the hat brim, they would still play music. I'm not sure through a hat. Um, but I would imagine so, uh, it's really all about placement. I'm not sure where they would actually lay on my ears with the hat on. I need to, otherwise I'm gonna burn my dome. Sure. But so like right now you're wearing them on top of your head there nestled in your beautiful big hair and, but the ear pieces are still down right down there by your ears so you can still hear music when they're like that. Oh yeah, I'm playing right now. I don't think you would know it. I'm not just listening to music while we're talking. I have a feeling. It would have been fantastic. That would that would be cool. Go ahead and do it. Let's see what happens. Carter is now getting out his phone, You know what? Hold on the phone in the pocket, let me turn him on a little pear and putting the phone back in the pocket and showing off now. So the sunglasses are now in front of his eyes. He's hitting a button on the right hand ear piece. Play my travel list on Spotify. Yeah. So I could hear her saying things and I couldn't make out what she was saying. But this microphone picked up that something was happening there and so you've got the glasses on and you're listening to music right now. I am. I'm currently listening to the distance by cake. Yeah, we can the microphone can barely pick up that there's music happening. Yeah, I've got the I've got the sensitivity jacked way up so that we don't have to be six inches from the mic but it's faint. It's very faint. I'm gonna take the headphones off and see if I can here. So so we're just talking. We're having a normal conversation now. No, I know there's no way I cannot detect any music, you can't detect any whatsoever. This microphone is better than my ears for reference. This is how loud it is right now. I'm gonna wear them myself. So, and this is one of my favorite songs by the way, I love this cake going the distance, this is awesome. Yeah. So we're literally just carrying on a conversation. I'm wearing your sunglasses listening to one of my favorite songs. I could just picture, I have a dog, I walk the dog, I would go to the beach and now that I know you taught me something, I don't already know about them. I thought I knew all the stuff about these, but if I want to try now I'm gonna put them up on my hat. So I'm picturing, I've always pictured myself going to like grocery shopping. I wouldn't wear earbuds, grocery shop. I see people do that, but at the same time I would like to keep listening to a podcast or some music while grocery shopping. Um but I wouldn't want to wear sunglasses inside of the grocery store. So if I put them up here, take my other non music playing sunglasses off. So yeah, I still hear them. It's at a much lower volume is lower. Can I turn it up? You can turn it up on the headphone itself, No volume controls on the headphones. Can I tell the voice assistant to turn it up? Yes, I have done that before. So what would I say? Just hold the button down, You hear the beat and then do I say it's google right, just turn the volume up, google, turn the volume up, she said, all right, yeah, and now it's just a touch louder and I'm not wearing them looking stupid in a store. I'm wearing them on top of my head. I can still see his beautiful blue eyes. Thank you. Let's talk battery life. How long can you get out of the battery charge so far? I've not had any issues of it dying on me. Um they speak it out for up to four hours um and I run it on half volume most of the time. That's plenty loud enough but silent enough. That doesn't bother anybody else. Um and I've run it for, I typically only get about an hour, an hour and a half use out of it, but that's not because the battery dies. That's because I'm done walking at that point. The dog is tired. Yeah, the dog is tired. And right now that's two dogs, They're both out of shape, but either way and which ones are these? There's two shapes of the frames, right? There are two shapes. There is the auto which I have on, that's the kind of squareness looks like a wayfarer. And then there's the rondo, which not exactly, but kind of john Lennon frames. Yes, there we go, A little bit bigger and bulkier, but they sort of have that look and feel exactly exactly. Um and these do tend to cover uh more of your eye? The the frames on them are actually larger. Okay. When, when Bill was giving us training, they talked about the ability to change lenses on them. Yeah. Actually have changed the lens already. You brought extra lenses did the day I got them. I wanted to see how the lenses water. So this here is actually original black ones. Okay. Got put in the blue box safekeeping. And as you can see these are blue. All you gotta do is pop them right out. Oh my gosh, It's that easy. It is that easy and you pop them back in, wipe the fingerprints off and you're good to go man. I didn't realize it was gonna be that anything. And they have, they have red lenses, blue lenses. They even have polarized mirrored lenses which were actually the ones I intended intended to get. But I hit the wrong button here that be careful people. What are the lenses you want? Don't be like. So carter purchased a set of extra lenses for his Bose frames because they do come in several colors. I want to be clear though. I know one of my first questions as a lifelong prescription glasses and or contacts where my first thought was, I wonder if I can get these with prescription lenses. They are not available with prescription lenses. I'll say, you know personally, you know, this may be a little bit off topic, but as far as uh, sunglasses go, I don't, I'm not one that normally wears them. I don't love them. Um, I did. I was pretty excited by this product, which just seemed a little different from anything that he carried in the past when I got, I got my hands on it and um, I may be changing my mind on that. The style that they use is I think pretty cool, looking pretty, pretty clean. Seriously Dude, thank you so much for talking to me. We've been doing a lot of these podcast recordings. We've been talking about speakers and turntables and car stereo systems. As soon as I heard you had purchased a set of the frames, I was very excited to talk to you about these. And when we were beginning to conceiving this podcast, we were thinking to ourselves, we don't want it to sound like an infomercial. Right? This is really just us talking about the stuff we've bought that. We love this one. Maybe has an infomercial feel to it because it's such a recent purchase. It's such a new product. I want to buy one. And so I'm talking to you about why you buy yours. So we weren't setting out to sea if we do. I am so sorry. There's a reason for that. There you are. Thank you so much to carter for hanging out with me, showing me his Bose frames, sharing with me his love of music and listening to stuff. So as you may know, if you listen to this show or if you've been on the Crutchfield website, We've got articles after articles of great information on how to choose stuff, how to choose a car stereo, how to choose a tv, how to choose the right camera and of course how to choose the best headphone, including how to choose the best noise canceling headphones. And on a lot of these articles, you will find actual questions from our readers, our customers, they pose questions there and we try to answer them whenever we can and we'd like to do that right here in the podcast. So this question comes from Jeff and it is on the article called How to choose the best noise canceling headphones. Uh Jeff says I really appreciated your article. I'm in the market for noise canceling headphones, but I'm not much of a jet setter, more of a lawnmower. I've got 10 acres to knock down on a constant schedule. I also do a fair amount of shooting both rifle and pistol, wondering if the noise canceling headphones made for playing music will work for the gun range. Or do you have to be playing music for the noise canceling technology to work? I would definitely play music while cutting the grass on the track, but listening to music on the shooting range is not safe. In my opinion, I have to agree with Jeff on that. I think we'll go with that. He continues, do you have to be listening to music for the noise canceling technology to work with the Bluetooth models, you are recommending, What do you think on that one? Eric You got any thoughts? I have thoughts but I'd like to hear yours first. Alright, I'll start with it. Uh I as a person who most grass on a regular basis, I do, I have tried many different headphones during many different grass cutting sessions and I gotta say the Bose noise canceling headphones are the ones I keep going back to because they do a wonderful job of blocking out that constant droning on or that sound that that buzzing of my lawnmower, which is exactly the type of noise noise canceling headphones are designed to cancel. So it's very similar to the engines of an airplane. It's a constant hum. It's always there and it's pretty easily for the noise canceling technology to attack that sound, minimize it. So you're barely hearing it at all. Yeah, they know what frequencies those sounds come in at. So these things are tailored to be able to cancel out certain frequencies. Exactly. And it's got to react right. It's got to actually hear the noise that's going on outside the headphones creating out of phase noise that cancels it out inside the headphones and if it's a constant droning on, it's pretty easy to do that. So yes, definitely. A great setup for mowing the grass Jeff? The gun range is a slightly different story. My gut tells me that that might not be the best solution in that situation. So in my experience, quick acute sounds like gunshots, uh they're not going to be as great at canceling those out. Now. There's two questions going on here, will they be able to cancel out the noise of the guns or make them less dramatic to your ears? Uh as well as can you use the noise canceling technology without playing music? I know for a fact in the, in the Bose noise canceling the quiet comfort 30 fives that I own, you can definitely just turn the noise canceling on and it does its thing whether you're playing music or not. So if you just wanted to mow the grass in peace and quiet, you could do that when you're at the gun range though, when you're firing your pistol or your, whatever you're shooting. It is, it's going to be such a quick and such a loud sound, you're definitely going to hear it through the headphones now. It will be less, it'll be muffled a little bit, but you're gonna hear it for sure exactly what they were engineered for. No, that's not really. Their purpose is not the type of sound, they're excellent at canceling out. However, you can certainly give them a try, You will not regret owning a pair of those headphones or most noise canceling headphones that do a good job and there's plenty to choose from. So that pretty much does it for yet another episode of Crutchfield the podcast Thank you to my co host, the lovely and talented eric. Thank you sir. Oh, you're quite welcome. Your eyes are looking stunning today and I was going to talk about your beautiful hair, but I didn't know you when you had beautiful hair, carter carter carter has enough beautiful hair for both of us though. So if you like the podcast, please hit subscribe. Tell your friends we'd love to keep making more crutchfield the podcast. Thank you so much for listening.

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