AD | How music helped me survive the pandemic
Last year a DJ saved my life: only by “my life” I mean, “my sanity”. And by ”a DJ” I mean, “my Spotify account and a set of pink earbuds”. Oh, and Taylor Swift, obviously, but, if you’re a regular reader, that probably goes without saying.
I’ve always been passionate about music, but, as the years have gone by, and life’s gotten busier, it’s gradually become something I only really listen to when I’m either driving or running – neither of which seem even vaguely possible to me without a soundtrack of some kind. (Seriously, the fact that there are people in the world who can go out for a run in complete silence boggles my mind. Please, make it make sense…)
2020, however, changed that. It changed a lot of things, obviously, and, with so many of the things I’d always enjoyed in life being either forbidden, or just plain impossible, I found myself turning again to music for comfort and escapism.
I didn’t have the time to read books (and probably wouldn’t have been able to concentrate on one even if I had) but I could listen to music while I was cleaning, or doing laundry, say. The brain fog that descended at the height of the pandemic was so intense that I’d watch entire TV shows without being able to remember much about them a few days later: music on the other hand, provided escapism without the need for much effort on my part – and I am ALL about that, trust me. Putting on a favourite song and dancing around the room to it, meanwhile, became a guaranteed way to feel happy again despite everything that was going on in the world – and hey, I guess the exercise didn’t hurt, either.
I’ve listened to a LOT of music this past year, in other words. And here’s what I’ve been listening to it on recently:
These are the JBL Live Pro + TWS wireless earbuds, and they come in four different colours to match your personality and lifestyle. In order to find my perfect fit, I first of all completed this little quiz, which matched me with the “Busy Bee” earbuds:
(Just in case you’re interested, my answers were LIE-IN – INTIMATE GIG – OVER BRUNCH. I’ll wait here while you take the quiz too…)
Now, as you can see from the photos, these earbuds definitely look the part, with their dusky pink charging case and streamlined shape. Somewhat surprisingly for me, though, that’s actually NOT my favourite thing about them. No, my absolute favourite thing about these is the silence they bring to my life, thanks to the Adaptive Noise Cancelling feature.
For me, you see, one of the hardest things about last spring’s lockdown was the noise. Whether it was just the increased volume that came from all of us being at home all the time, or the pounding baselines from various neighbours playing music in their gardens, I frequently found myself wishing there was a volume control button for… well, life, basically. And, well, what do you know: there is! And it comes in a pretty pink case, with a selection of differently sized earpieces, to make sure you really do get the perfect fit:
(It might seem like a small thing, but if you’ve ever worn a set of earbuds for long enough that they start hurting your ears – and I definitely have – then I’m sure you’ll understand how useful this is in terms of making your earbuds as comfortable as they can possibly be.)
As a misophonia sufferer, I really struggle to deal with certain types of noise, and find it impossible to concentrate – and sometimes just to exist – when the sounds around me are too intrusive. Slipping in these earbuds, though, is a bit like hitting the “mute” button on your life: not only does it make the music I play sound crystal clear, when I don’t want to listen to anything, I can use the Smart Ambient nose cancelling feature to block out distractions, while still being able to hear people speaking to me, etc.
Because of my fun tendency to focus in on the sounds that are bothering me (and then become filled with rage over them) this feature is something I’ve been using a lot since these arrived, and I also really like the fact that I can switch between it, music and phone calls (Or, at least, I could if I ever actually called anyone…) just by swiping on the earbuds themselves.
Here are some other things I’ve been liking about these:
* Fast set-up. Once they were fully charged, I had these paired to my phone, and playing music in just a few short minutes. They’ll also pair with other devices too, like tablets or laptops, so you can use them any way you like.
* Speaking of charging, it’s pretty fast, and takes less than two hours to go from empty to fully charged.
* The battery will last for 28 hours maximum, which includes 7 hours of playtime. That’s, like, seven Folklores, people…
* For those of you who DO like to talk on the phone, the 3 mics use noise and wind isolation technology, so the person you’re talking to will hear you loud and clear, and without that annoying “wind rushing past the mic” sound you often get if you try to chat outdoors.
* The My JBL Headphones App allows you to easily personalise your earbuds, including choosing a Voice Assistant: you can use them to talk to your Alexa or Google Assistant, and it’s really easy to set this up via the app, which also allows you to decide which level of noise cancelling you want, check the fit of your ear tips to make sure you’re using the best size, and even find your earbuds during those times when you KNOW they’re in the house somewhere, but you don’t know WHERE. Not that that would ever happen to me, obviously.
* They’re water resistant. Which, OK, might not have helped me that time I forgot I was wearing them and almost got into the shower with them still in my ears, but which will give you some peace of mind if you get caught in a real shower, say.
Did I mention that they’re a really pretty pink colour? (But also come in black, white and beige too, if you prefer…)
Want to try a pair for yourself? You can buy them here: just don’t forget to come back and tell me which colour you went for…