The art of thinking clearly needs above average listening skills. One way to develop this skill is to listen to books being read out to you… particularly by people who know how to read well. By the way, even when we read books, our mind pauses other activities and listens carefully… and we call this being attentive. The easiest way to learning how to listen is to follow the newest technology in audio devices. Only the very weak refuse to be influenced by advances in technology. This is probably one reason why some of us take more time in accepting new realities and one among these is the rise of podcasts and audio-books.
Why do you resist listening to books? – I asked a friend. He smiled and told me that he finds the dangling cables from his earphones too distracting and then after a pause, added that all those wires must be making him look funny. Moreover, I have never liked those bulky over-the-ears and on-the-ears headphones and the others still have a wire connecting the left and right side.
I then went on to tell him a funny story that happened to me while I was on a trip to London. There was this guy wearing nice glittering rounded things right in the center of his ears and I asked, ‘Lovely jewelry there. What is it called?’
‘Buds,’ he said and smiled.
‘Buds!’ I replied, ‘Interesting…’ Before I could ask, he added that these were listening devices and could be bought in any store selling audio devices. I did not know then that I would be wearing a far better accessory just a few years later.
Let me add here that my early morning walks are for well over an hour and this is the time when I listen to audio-books on my LG Tone Free HBS FP9. The entire experience is immersive, and the small talk of others around never bothers me. It is just me and the book connected through my LG Tone FP9. And I love my audio relationship with William Dalrymple, Shashi Tharoor, Kazuo Ishiguro, Yuval Noah Harari, Agatha Christie, Charles Bukowski, Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol, Virginia Woolf, Khalil Gibran, Viktor E Frankl, Steven Pinker, and hundreds of others over the past few months.
Now before I go on with my experiences with audio-books, let me add here that my LG Tone FP9 has been with me for a month now and its silicone ear tips are absolutely trouble-free. They slip in and slip out without a murmur of protest… and importantly, they stay there until I decide to put them back in their charging case. The UV Nano charging case is a big help as it is rated to kill up to 99.9% of S. aureus and E. coli bacteria on the earbuds. All that I have to do is to place the buds in the case for just 10 minutes to complete the exposure cycle. Why I mention this feature before any other is that these days when sanitizers are in vogue, no one wants any infection to creep in from any end! This charging case isn’t just to sanitize but also to charge the buds. As we are talking about the charging case, let me add here that the long indentation along the seam makes it easy to open the lid even with one hand… and what makes them so dear to me is that soft blue glow that goes on when I am doing this. Another vital aspect is that I do not necessarily have to worry about rushing inside if it suddenly begins to drizzle. These buds are IPX-4 rated and stay protected when the rains come down.
Technology in audio devices is not limited to just cases and protective features. More than any other aspect it is the choice of four meridian presets that include immersive, bass boost, natural, treble boost, and the ability to create two of my own presets that makes the entire experience stay on for long. I remember those days when I had to listen with cabled ear-phones that were shrieky, squeaky, and forever whining. Those days are definitely over with the LG FP9 in my pocket. The audio environment isn’t just about presets, but I have access to three degrees of ambient passthrough intensity, volume adjustment, touch controls remapping, and locking the touchpads. Yes, I can do all this… and the best part is that the learning curve is simple and does not need more than a few minutes of twiddling with the device. By the way, LG has had the far-sightedness to add a dual-microphone array for clear vocal transmission and the audio in such cases is impeccably blemish-free. With maximal call clarity, echo cancellation, and noise reduction, this set leaves hardly anything else to wish for.
Now if you are wondering if I am trying to avoid talking about little technology potholes in this device, let just say that I was a bit inconvenienced when I wanted to switch from my smartphone to my laptop. A device-to-device Bluetooth connectivity needs to be done manually which is a bit of bother but then even this isn’t really time-consuming action. In technical terms, the LG FP9 with me does not have a multipoint support and I can connect only one device at a time. To me this wasn’t a problem as I generally listen to my books on Audible only during my morning walks. But a friend tweeted to me that she listens to audio-books as she washes utensils and does other chores when she is at home… and she does need to do this connect-reconnect routine once she is back in front of her laptop and must attend conference calls. But then, this is life… and it is good to look at the positives. Always.
Coming back to the art of thinking clearly, do you think it is possible if what we hear is fuzzy and comes to us meandering lazily through a constant stream of ambient noises? Paving the way to clear audio is the first step towards our goal of thinking clearly… I do this the LG FP9 way.
24 June 2022