I was a child of cassette tapes, then CDs – although I don’t recall ever having a CD player. My father said “I love you” with music. As a first-generation American child, the US summer holiday meant new mixtapes from my dad to keep me company as I flew from New York (eventually Washington DC) to OR Tambo International. Back then, the technology behind headphones, earphones, and the like, was rudimentary; paling in comparison to what Taotronics delivers to audio lovers with products like the Soundsurge 90 over-ear headphones.
During my first week working as a full-time writer, Reason infamously recorded my fingers gliding across the keyboard. Why? Because I write about music the way pianists play it; albeit my only caveat is that I be able to hear only the music. Having an ear for music is both a gift from the universe and a skill you can develop. Where “what sounds hot” is concerned, that’s a conversation to have with the universe. Where “what sounds correct” is concerned, we interrogate the technicality of the performance and production.
Back when “outside” was legally opened, a good friend and I jokingly noted that we were often the people in the crowd holding a proverbial clipboard, whispering our thoughts on each performance from backstage or the photography pit. In essence, invigilating.
When listening to music at work or home, in order to get the depth of the music, every vocal must be scrutinized. Each separate beat must be listened to. Finally, the mixing and mastering must be considered, across different devices at that.
It isn’t helpful if a song sounds magnificent on a laptop, but is like white noise in headphones. This reminds me of the few times I listened to the music selection on a flight to OR Tambo, which was surprisingly good at the time. I won’t share the story of the time I listened to one particular artist’s song back-to-back because I was nursing a fresh heartbreak.
Back to the story at hand, the headphones I used to listen with were decent at best, but I know my teenage self would have much preferred the technology behind TaoTronics over and in-ear headphones. Their noise cancellation, bass amplification, battery life, and overall sleek design would have made for the perfect listening experience without being bothered by a sleeping passenger’s snoring, interruptions from overhead announcements (fear not, they’re all available to read on the monitor), or the giggling from air hostesses depending on where your seat is.
To the point of travel, of course, my passport misses the stamp and attitude from US customs officials and the scrutinizing welcome of South African customs officials (depending on the time of the day). But the next time I fly for 18 hours, I expect the only thing I’ll be listening to is the sound of well-produced music playing over a TaoTronics device.