The Sound Of (Apple) Music
With Apple Music having been available for a few months now, I have noticed listening to music much more than before, even with Spotify.
Factors for that include the suggested human-curated playlists, which are usually spot-on and lead to discovering new (to me) artists or those I had forgotten about during the years. Also, the convenience of having one library comprising all music I listen to certainly beats a separate app for streaming music.
So, all under one roof - Apple Music, stuff actually bought on the iTunes store, or on CD and then ripped, or from…other sources.
And, at least in our ages old (almost three and almost two years…) Audis, the standard iOS music player works much better when controlled via the in-car entertainment than Spotify.
Yes, there have been bugs (playlists that should be available offline aren’t sometimes, at least not fully), annoyances (have the same song in three playlists? it will show in its album three times!), and iTunes is still in major need of overhaul.
But in general, it has been smooth sailing, with - at least for me - none of the horrifying stories like Jim Dalrymple’s.
To sum up, I unsubscribed from Spotify as soon as Apple Music went online, and will be a happy subscriber with the fruit company at the end of the free trial.
So far, in good company with apparently 11 million others. Must be because of Taylor.
So, more music to listen to. But what to listen to that with?
Well, the Bowers & Wilkins family in our home has grown considerably, and aren’t we happy with them.
Some time ago, the MM-1 computer speakers were first to arrive, after a long history of “whatever Logitech stuff is recommended most”. Logitech’s products are still nice, but if you are looking for a combination of design, excellent materials and surprisingly great sound, you may wish to have a listen at a B&W dealer. And then buy these right away.
Next in line, immediately after the launch of Apple Music, a portable Bluetooth speaker just had to be bought - because it is summer and we want to listen outside while BBQing the cats and watching the steaks hunt for bees. Or something like that.
A thorough research session through the night, followed by ordering the T7 Speaker. No regrets.
This thing may not be as portable or even water-proof as some other offerings, but the sound is excellent, design and materials…see above with the MM-1s, and we have yet to deplete the batteries during sometimes very long listening sessions.
Last, but not least, Bluetooth headphones, for not disturbing the wife with one’s music™ while being free to dance around the room in a spirited fashion.
Thankfully, B&W had just decided to make an offering of their own in this area as well, and emboldened by the prior purchases, I went to my dealer™ to have a listen…
A quick decision and 5% off, and back home I was with the P5 Wireless headphones.
Suffice to say, it appears Bowers & Wilkins is unable to build something bad. Comparing the P5s to my prior experience with Sennheiser and Bose headphones, they are supremely comfortable.
And their sound is, to my untrained ears at least, wonderful, exuding a warmth and definition I haven’t seen elsewhere yet. There may certainly be better headphones out there, but certainly not many with Bluetooth, and perhaps not even many with cables attached.
After all, the P5 Wireless is “the first Bluetooth headphone I’ve found that’s good enough to be here”.
Here being the list of critical headphone comparator Marco Arment.
So, Bowers & Wilkins. If your listening to music isn’t “all about that bass”, and you dig excellent design and materials, certainly worth a closer look and listen. They are more expensive than many offerings (and less than many others, hello B&O), but their quality and effect on ears and eyes should make sure you can enjoy them for a very long time.
Now, about that white sheep in the photo? In recent months, I have taken up running, mostly because I like to weigh less while still liking to eat.
For that, nothing beats (see what I did there?) Bluetooth earphones. There are basically two main contenders in the space of highly portable, sweat-resistant (eww!) earphones which won’t fall off while running, and they are the Jaybird X2 (just replacing the previous BlueBuds X), and the Powerbeats Wireless 2.
Why Beats? According to most reviews, the Jaybirds offer better audio quality, but the Powerbeats allow in more sound from outside, which is important to me while running around an area where there are other people, cyclists, cars etc.
That said, audio quality with the Powerbeats is certainly not perfect. But for the single purpose of wearing while doing a run, workout, or similar, I would always recommend them.