Monthly Archives: November 2016

Some Gadgets to Help Sitting

Cushions

The standard Harley Proform Range by Spinal Products Ltd gives you maximum comfort for minimum outlay.

Manufactured from high-grade nodular foam that allows air to circulate freely, they come in three types: Standard for all-round comfort; Coccyx to relieve pressure at the base of the spine and Combi, that relieves pressure on the bony bits.

The wedge

The Harley Designer Wedge range helps to correct lower back pain caused by poor posture. It tilts the pelvis so the hips are higher than the knees, taking the strain away from the lower back.

Each wedge can be supplied with the coccyx relief cut out for comfort if you need to isolate sensitive areas.

Choose an 8-degree tilt to maintain the natural “S” shape of the spine or an 11-degree tilt that keeps the pelvis in the optimum position for the spine. There’s also a slim-line version that’s ideal for the car as it levels the seat.

Back supports

There are many different types and sizes. The circular rolls are ideal for padded seats and the “D”- shaped ones are better for a flat-backed seat; both help to give you the correct posture when sitting.

The Harley Designer Back Support has shaped sides that offer lateral support and hold the lumbar spine in the correct position. The massage back support is battery-powered and can give you a soothing massage in the car or at home.

Mattress overlays

These are designed to be used on top of your mattress. Proper support is essential and there must be no pressure points or distortions.

The Harley Ripple Mattress Topper has hundreds of rounded foam contours, which evenly spread body pressure and allow air to circulate, keeping you cool.

Memory foam toppers come in different thicknesses, but if you have an unyielding bed, a 1 inch (5cm) version should transform your sleep as it relieves pressure on bony areas. The wool bed fleece has the ability to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter as well as giving you a degree of pressure relief. Unlike polyester fleeces, wool can absorb 33% of its own moisture in weight without feeling damp. The 1 inch pile naturally disperses the pressure.

Know More About Headphone Features

When it comes to choosing a pair of headphones, you’re typically faced with an overwhelming choice of models with different features and specifications. Take time to select the right pair of headphones for you and the result will be the perfect combination of sound quality, comfort and style.

Headphone features to consider

Headphone type

The four main types of headphones are earbuds, in-ear, on-ear and over-ear. Small and cheap, earbuds are commonly included as a freebie with smartphones and portable music players.

In-ear models extend into the ear canal and some come with clips to help them fit more securely on the ears – handy when listening to music while exercising. Although lightweight and portable, neither earbuds or in-ear headphones offer the sound quality of large headphones.

On-ear headphones sit on the ear, while over-ear models completely cover the ear to avoid noise interference from the outside world.

Noise cancelling

Noise-cancelling headphones use tiny microphones and battery-powered electronics to virtually eliminate background noise so you can listen to your audio with annoying interruptions.

These headphones aren’t cheap but they’re ideal for anyone who travels in noisy environments or enjoys being fully immersed in their music, game or film.

Noise isolating

Unlike noise-cancelling headphones’ active approach, noise-isolating headphones passively block ambient room noise by creating seals around the ear or in the ear canal.

With over-ear headphones, this takes the form of soft, thick foam on the ear pad to keep noise out, while in-ear headphones effectively form a seal within the ear canal, blocking external sounds.

Noise isolating offers safer listening, as users don’t have to whack up the volume to drown out external noise.

Closed back

Also known as sealed headphones, the back of these over-ear or on-ear headphones are fully closed, which helps blocks ambient noise and at the same time avoid sound leakage.

Noise-cancelling and noise-isolating headphones typically use closed designs.

Open back

With these over-ear or on-ear headphones, the back of the ear cups is open or vented, typically showing the internal circuity behind a mesh.

Although this allows people nearby to hear your music, the increased air flow delivers realistic sound with natural bass reproduction.

Wireless

Wireless headphones remove the need to be connected to an audio source. They let you enjoy your music anywhere without trailing or tangled cables, so they’re perfect for sports and outdoor listening.

Two main types of wireless technologies are used to transmit the sound wirelessly over short distances from the audio source: infrared or Bluetooth. Most wireless headphones use Bluetooth as it’s easy to use and reliable. Bluetooth functionality is standard on many smartphones, laptops and other mobile devices which makes syncing with a Bluetooth-enabled headphones quick and easy.

In-line volume control

Usually found towards the top of a headphone cable, this lets you change volume, skip tracks and stop your music playing. Many have microphones that allow you to talk on the phone, make voice recordings, dictate and speak commands to Siri, and other voice-control software.

Behind-the-neck

A headphone design where the headband hangs around the nape of your neck.

Folding design

Many on-ear and over-ear headphones have headbands that folds in on themselves so that they can be easily stored when travelling.

Tips to Choose The Best Headphones

When it comes to shopping for headphones, the choice of models can be overwhelming. From small earbuds for listening on the go to large models that let you enjoy your music at home, there are lots of models from brands such as Sony, Bose, Philips and Dr Dre.

To add to the choice, headphones have a range of features – from onboard controls and mobile phone functionality to noise cancellation and wireless operation – which can make choosing the right headphones for you a challenge.

Brands Well-known brands such as Beats by Dr Dre, Bose, Sony and Seinnheiser dominate the market, but you’ll find good quality headphones at all price points from a wide range of companies.

Sound quality Look for headphones that deliver rich, well-balanced sound across treble, midrange and bass frequencies. Many cheaper headphone struggle with deep bass sounds.

Price You can pick up a set of headphones for less than £10, and it’s possible to spend more than £300 on a premium pair. It’s worth investing in the best headphones you can afford, but you don’t have to pay top whack for a great audio performance. There are plenty of headphones under £50 that produce impressive sound. Comfort is an issue too, and premium models usually offer better build quality and ergonomic features that make them easier to use.

Best headphone types to consider

There are four main types of headphones: earbuds, in-ear, on-ear and over-ear.

Earbuds Cheap and portable, these tiny earpieces are often bundled with smartphones and music players. They sit just inside the ear without sealing the ear canal, which makes them prone to sound leakage and the sound they emit is poor compared with other headphone types. Comfort and fit varies across models with many prone to falling out of the ear, so they’re not suitable if you’re exercising.

In-ear headphones These are the most popular headphones and often come bundled with smartphones. They sit deep in the ear canal and produce good quality sound though they can struggle at the bass end. Some models offer noise cancellation, making them suitable for travelling. However, some users find them uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.

On-ear headphones consist of foam or leatherette pads that sit flat on the ear covering just the ear canal. Many are lightweight and foldable, which makes them more portable than over-ear models. However, as they don’t form a proper seal, they allow ambient noise to leak inside and their audio performance isn’t a match for over-ear models, particularly with bass frequencies.

Over-ear headphones have large cushioned cups that cover the entire ear, making them comfortable to wear for long periods. Available with either closed or open backs, they deliver excellent sound quality. With increased airflow, open-backed headphones offer phenomenal sound with exceptional bass, while a closed design eliminates outside noise completely providing excellent noise isolation. Over-ear headphones are heavier and bulkier than other models so they’re best kept for use at home.