Have you noticed how many of the big mobile phone brands, no longer bundle a free pair of earphones with the handset? They make you buy this key accessory separately.
Samsung, while offering ear bud-type phones with most of its handsets, still sells a range of earphones with added-value features. They have a basic in-ear Rectangle Design Headphone with three buttons — Volume up, Volume down, Play/Pause — and a 10 mm-8 mm woofer-tweeter combo for Rs 1,899.
For a more active lifestyle, they offer a wireless Bluetooth model, the Level Active, which is good for jogging and suchlike, because it comes with a hook that clips behind your ear and ensures it doesn't fall off. The earphones can be synced to Samsung's health app to keep track of workouts and the 100mAh battery is good for about 5-6 hours of talk. The in-ear tips sit snuggly and the whole thing is reasonably water proof. It costs Rs 4,999.
Like good cholesterol and bad cholesterol, we now have good sound and bad sound. Good sound is what you like to hear —like music. Bad sound is the ambient noise of your surroundings creeping in. Active noise cancelling or ANC cuts this unwanted sound by creating an equal and opposite sound (mathematically) to neutralize it. Samsung's Level In ANC earphones do this rather well, cutting off almost 90% of the outside noise. You can, however, allow a little of this to trickle in — it can be useful in traffic. And three sizes of ear tips means at least one will fit snugly. Good value at Rs 3799, keeping in mind this is a wired model. As Simon and Garfunkel sang, "Don't disturb the Sound of Silence"!