This post is sponsored by Exeter Science and Entertainment (ESE), who provided me with a pair of CoolStream Bluetooth Headphones. I gave them a road test but only after they were pressed into urgent and unusual service…
The 4th of July brings to mind bbqs, fireworks, the ER. The ER? Yes, when your sister requires an emergency appendectomy. I survived the 6-hour pre-surgery wait thanks in large part to my CoolStream Bluetooth Stereo Headphones. If you haven’t visited an ER lately, my advice is…don’t.
Despite signs requesting No Cell Phone Use and One Visitor Per Patient, there were whole families in each curtained cubicle, loudly conducting business, berating one another and, next door to us, holding a picnic. If you know an ER employee, hug them pronto.
My sister fell asleep and I realized that I needed to immediately block out what was going on around me (did I mention the moaning, hollering, vomiting?). I extracted the headphones and easily paired them with my cell (iPhone 4S). I glanced at the instructions to locate the volume, track up/track down and call answering controls; they’re conveniently located on the outside of the right earpiece. I needed something LOUD and worlds away from my reality. My medicine? Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club. I was very pleased with the sound quality. And going wire-free was a revelation. I’m quite clumsy so reducing my tangle potential was a huge plus. Sam and I had quite a party and my sister came through the surgery like a champ.
I gave the headphones a more traditional spin later in the weekend. During the summer, I take time to explore my own backyard, so I set off to hike the cliffs above the Hudson River on the appropriately named Treason Trail. A marker at the trailhead provides the reason. Major Andre and Benedict Arnold met on the spot in 1780, an encounter that ultimately led to Andre’s capture and hanging.
The area is remote and overgrown and the steep cliffs of the Palisades flank the western side. I was afraid the craggy facade would present a formidable barrier for the Bluetooth. I really count on pulling up curated playlists of unfamiliar music while I exercise. It keeps me from singing out loud. Because I can’t hear myself, I believe the world’s gone deaf. It hasn’t, so I get laughed at.
I didn’t lose the connection or the quality during my hour-long hike. And, damn. These look good. Ear buds pop out on me so for years I’ve committed to dorky Princess Leia ear muff-style headphones. The CoolStreams are sleek and close-fitting which makes for a great audio experience and a sophisticated profile. Speaking of profiles, the house of Ted Ludwiczak is near the trailhead. His sculptures, crafted from rocks he pulls up from the banks of the Hudson, are fondly and simply referred to as “Ted’s Heads”. The crowd gathered in his front yard reminded me in some ways of the geological formations I’d just passed. I also immediately thought of the Brady Bunch tiki idol.
I was curious to know about how the headphones would function on an airplane so I contacted an Exeter representative. I assumed that when switched to “Airplane Mode”, I would lose the ability to pair the cell and headphones. She assured me that the Bluetooth function could be turned back on while in Airplane Mode, once the right altitude for approved electronics use is reached. I can’t wait to give it a try. The headphones retail on Amazon for $49.99 a pair; that’s a great price for lightweight headphones with pleasing sound performance. They’ve found a permanent home in my backpack.
The folks at ESE have graciously donated a pair of CoolStream Bluetooth Headphones for a giveaway. Three ways to enter: leave a comment here, retweet the giveaway information, or like the post on Facebook. Do all three and you’ll receive three chances to win. Contest is open to residents of the continental U.S. who are 18 and over. Contest ends August 1.