Q: I would like to get headphones to use with my tablet. I will mostly use them for watching videos and listening to music in bed. Bluetooth wireless would be nice. What do you recommend under $100?
A: Bluetooth is great for lots of reasons, but watching video isn't one of them. You might experience audio synchronization issues. So, if you get Bluetooth headphones, make sure they have a wired connection as a backup.
Starting with Bluetooth models, for under $30 the Vomercy VC-60 Bluetooth headphones feel a bit flimsy but sound decent. Vomercy does not have a website but you can find them online.
The Modern Portable Super 66 (modernportable.com) is still a winner and hard to beat for $66, with clear sound and excellent comfort.
The $80 Avantree Audition headphones (avantree.com) have tons of fans and are worth checking out. They have very long battery life and I had pretty good luck with video sound synchronization.
For wired models, Audio-Technica's ATH-M30x (audio-technica.com) headphones sell for $59 and are far superior to "fashionable" ones you see in a big-box store selling for the same price. They are comfortable, fold for easy portability, have a 9-foot cord and come with a soft pouch.
Grado's $79 SR60e and $99 SR80e (gradolabs.com) have fantastic sound, but their open-back design lets sound both in and out, so there is very little isolation from the outside world. If that is OK with you, you will be sure to love them.
Here is a trick you can use to get a pair of superb $149 Koss Pro 4S headphones for a lot less. Go to koss.com and sign up for their mailing list. They regularly send out 30-percent off promotions, bringing the price under $105. They come with a case, have a lifetime warranty and rank with the Grados as the best-sounding headphones on this list.
I have always loved Olympus Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras because they are supremely good picture takers, creating beautiful pictures effortlessly in most any situation. I often show travel pictures on my iPad, and people ask, "What kind of camera did you use? Amazing pictures!" I use a lot of cameras, but when I get this comment it is usually my Olympus pictures they are praising.
The OM-D EM-10 and EM-10 Mark II are Olympus' least expensive mirrorless cameras with an electronic viewfinder. They look like smaller versions of the ubiquitous and inferior SLRs you see littering the shelves in big-box stores. Unless you are photographing sports, mirrorless is better than SLR in most every way. I feel very strongly about this, and have come to see a lot of photographers and writers joining me in this opinion.
The EM-10 with 14-42mm lens sells on Amazon for $449 and has no equal at the price. The updated $699 EM-10 Mark II gets you a better electronic viewfinder and image stabilization, as well as a host of other updates. If it's in your price range, it is worth the extra investment.
You can add the excellent Olympus 40-150mm telephoto zoom lens for only $99. Together, the two lenses provide great range that will cover most of the needs of the average photographer. It all fits nicely in a small bag for an outfit that is both powerful and lightweight. Learn more at tinyurl.com/olympusem10 (direct product link) or getolympus.com.
Send questions to Don Lindich at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get recommendations and read past columns at soundadvicenews.com.