Watching Movies On The Move – Aural Pleasure or Audio Hell?





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Imagine you’re on a business trip – You’re travelling by car/coach/bus/train – You’re on holiday – You’re using the computer. You haven’t access to your 50″ LCD television or your 5.1 home theatre surround sound. All you have is your smartphone, laptop, tablet or portable DVD player. What happens when you want to watch a movie with true sound, not some tiny flat audio from the in-built speaker that you can hardly hear?

That’s been my problem for quite some years now and I’ve learned to put up with it, but why should I? There’s plenty of products on the market that are here to save the day but do they really make a difference?

I decided to find out whether these pieces of after-market audio equipment really do change the way you watch films on the move…

ksdjheadphones

The KitSound DJ Headphones are a super comfortable and high quality pair of headphones, with a top end, gold plated 3.5mm jack insert to use with portable DVD players, computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones and mp3/mp4 players. With a soft, padded, adjustable headband and padded, spring-loaded swivel ear cups, the sound does not escape and encloses you into a wall of audio. I used the headphones to watch The Dark Knight Rises via my laptop port, something which I often do to not disturb others in the house. I was blown away by the experience that the KitSound DJ headphones provided. The sound is layered, with the booming voice of Bane striking into my heart and Hans Zimmer’s score hauntingly rooting itself into my brain. The depth of sound conveyed by these headphones is vast and brings an authentic cinematic feel to watching films on the computer or on the go.

My main reason for going to see a movie at the cinema is not for seeing the film on the biggest screen I could dream of, but instead experiencing the most thrilling sound possible. Of course, the quality all depends on how well the sound has been produced by the filmmakers but the surround sound which a cinema provides is next to none. I can safely say that KitSound’s DJ headphones bring that cinematic feel to a movie, with deep bass and crisp sounds, and take the average way in which you usually watch a movie and thrust you into the world of the film itself. I literally sat back in pure amazement at the sound quality and will be using these particular headphones, in the future, to watch my late-night flicks.

One of the major issues with headphones can be the fit but the KitSound DJ pair are comfortable to wear for a period of two hours and their adjustable headband meant I could alter them for the perfect fit. The 2.2 metres long cable comes in handy, giving you enough room to manoevre, especially if you are sat a considerable distance away from the headphone socket. The headphones themselves look simple yet stylish, and with headphones currently in vogue to use casually over earphones, these are definitely a headset to acquire.

As a bonus, these KitSound headphones come with a gold plated 6.3mm (3/4 inch) adapter so you can use the headphones when playing the guitar with your amplifier and when using other stereo/mixing equipment, especially DJ’ing, which these headphones were particularly made for with their swivel ear cup technology. I even use them whilst playing videogames and although they don’t have an embedded microphone to chat to other players, they still enhance your gaming experience and make you feel a much bigger part of the ensuing gameplay.

 

boombar

The KitSound Boom Bar is an incredible cool and useful speaker, especially the fact that it be connected wirelessly to devices by Bluetooth. For playing music via your computer or mobile phone, the Boom Bar is absolutely perfect. Watching a movie by using the Bluetooth connection is great too but in some circumstances, such as using a Bluetooth dongle with the PC, you may experience a delay in which the bluetooth sends signals to the speaker. As luck would have it, the BoomBar comes with a 3.5mm jack cable to enable you to connect your device to the speaker and experience the visual with in-sync sound, if Bluetooth is an issue. “Why not watch a movie with the phone or tablet’s speaker?”, I hear you cry. Trust me, you’ll never want to watch another movie on the move again without using this bad boy. It’s loud and proud, with a great full sound and strong bass. I watched and listened to a video using the BoomBar, then re-watched it with just my HTC Desire S smartphone’s speaker and the difference is jaw-dropping. Like the KitSound headphones, the BoomBar speaker produces different levels of sound, that which you’d expect from a television set with surround sound. The smartphone just sounded flat without the BoomBar and made continuing listening with solely the smartphone’s inbuilt speaker unbarable. This is understandable, as even though you can surf the web, listen to music and watch videos on a smartphone, it’s still a mobile phone meant for texting and talking.

At 8.6″ long by 3″ wide, the Boombar is a trendy, minimalistic speaker that’s not just ideal for using on the move, but would look great in the home too. However, when you are taking it with you on journeys, the BoomBar can be safely stored away in its zipped, hard-shell protective carry case, which has a little mesh pocket to pop your charger and aux input cable in. To charge the Boombar, you just simply connect it with the supplied cable to a USB port on your computer. It takes 3 hours for a full charge, but you can expect 8 hours playback and the speaker will work within a wireless distance of 10 metres from the media device. British brand KitSound do go the extra mile with their products and the BoomBar is one of them. Should you be using your smartphone or iPhone with the speaker, it has a built in microphone meaning you can use the BoomBar as a speaker phone, for a hands-free experience! Score!

As with both of the other products mentioned, whilst they provide fantastic sound when watching films on the go, be it in the car or on holiday, they’re also ideal to play music through. Admittedly though, if you’re short on space, you may be looking for something a bit smaller that will still pack one hell of a punch in the audio department. That product is the X-Mini Rave.

xminirave

The X-Mini Rave is a capsule speaker and is everything you could ever ask for from a speaker and more! For when you’re on the move, the X Mini Rave speaker can be condensed into a small, 2.5 inches circumference macaroon shape to easily fit into your pocket. When you’re ready to unleash some pure audio with your speaker, simply twist the X-Mini Rave and watch its accordion-like contents expand. They say good things come in small packages and this could never be truer with this awesome piece of kit. At not even double it’s original height (was 1.6 inches, expands to 2.5 inches), the speaker looks cool and slick, but you may be thinking, “will this speaker produce enough volume?”. With the Bass Xpansion System, this little speaker pumps out unbelievably full, loud, quality sound, living up to their slogan “Sound Beyond Size”. As a matter of fact, I reckon the X-Mini Rave is the loudest speaker out of that and the BoomBar!

X-Mini are devoted to keeping their product trendy, neat and compact, by having their 3.5mm jack audio connector cable stored in the base of the speaker, meaning you don’t have to carry a loose cable around in order to play it. Like the KitSound BoomBar, the X Mini Rave charges via a usb cable which comes supplied. Using its built-in lithium ion battery, the X Mini Rave can produce up to 6 hours playback with a 3 hour charge, so you can watch a couple of movies and listen to music without worrying about a dead battery. The USB cable also has a 3.5mm audio jack, so if you need that bit of extra space between your smartphone, tablet or portable dvd player, then you can use the cable instead of the concealed jack.

If for some insane reason the sound produced from the X-Mini Rave is not enough (?!), then you can create a daisy-chain of X-Mini capsule speakers using their BuddyJack technology, either using the X-Mini Rave speaker or any of the X-Mini speaker range. What stands the Rave apart from the rest of the X-Mini capsule range is its built-in radio. Using the plus and minus buttons, you can tune the radio into your favourite FM station as shown on the mini lcd screen. It will also remember the last station you tuned it into, after switching the speaker off, making listening easier.

Watching films properly has never been easier, especially with the X-Mini Rave. It’s adjustable volume, with extremely loud top-end sounds, and rich audio turn the inadequate media device into a full-on, theatrical experience.

I never realised how much a separate speaker or pair of headphones could enhance the sound emitted from a media device, such as a smartphone or tablet. These products are also ideal for using with a portable gaming system, such as a Nintendo DS or PS Vita, or simply for music using an MP3 player or iPod. The difference between a cheap pair of headphones from the local pound shop and the KitSound DJ Headphones is vast. Likewise, a portable speaker for £5 is not going to match up to the full, rich sounds of the BoomBar or the X-Mini Rave. These items have been purposely created for those who wish to enhance their media experience on the move and they have the produced the technology to do so efficiently with the very best quality.

So the next time you’re going away, on a business trip or for pleasure, and fancy escaping into the world of film or other media, it may be worth investing in a pair of headphones or portable speakers, such as the ones mentioned above. These technologies are the difference between watching a movie and experiencing a movie, and after experiencing life with these, I will never listen in the same way again.

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About Bat 4431 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Yakuza Zero and Mafia III.

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