The Smartech Guide to Understanding Earphone specification

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Buying Earphones in most people’s mind is a simple process. We choose based on the following:

  • How aesthetically pleasing are they.
  • The Brand
  • The Price

While these three factors are significant for most on deciding what to purchase, there are many other factors that we must take into consideration. Most consumers overlook the technical specifications marked on the packaging. It would do well for the manufacturers to educate us on the significance of these terms. Knowing what these aspects mean will make you a much more informed purchase. Don’t take this knowledge for granted either; most employees in music retailers themselves do not know what these specifications mean. Knowledge is power and it’s generally better when you’ve researched it yourself. Armed with the right knowledge, you are on a much better path toward buying what you really wanted and you will be able to accurately guess whether the pair you’re considering will deliver the kind of output you have come to respect and love.

  • Frequency: This information comes with every set of Earphones. You’ll see numbers like 16-21,500 Hz. But what does all of this mean? Well the sound is measured in hertz. The lower the hertz, the more bass the speaker will deliver; therefore, a speaker that promises you 15 Hz is going to have  much deeper bass than one that delivers at a starting range of say 60 Hz. The higher the hertz, the more treble. Usually, the kHz (kilohertz) doesn’t matter, because the specifications are thrown so far out of proportion, that there really isn’t any cause for argument. A human ear can only hear up to roughly 20 kHz, and even that number is enough to make someone deaf.  That said, we mustn’t just rate the quality of a pair of Earphones on its frequency alone.
  • Impedance: Your Earphones run on electricity, and they can certainly wear out over time if you don’t have a strong enough pair. That having been said, electricity itself carries a vibrational frequency. Vibrations emit sound. The type of sound electricity emits isn’t the most attractive; it lets out a hiss. In order to eliminate hiss, we need impedance. Impedance is measured in ohms, and my personal rule is: the higher the ohms, the lower the phones. In other words, high impedance means a much clearer sound definition. You want to buy a pair of headphones with the highest Impedance you can afford so that you hear pure sound.
  • Sensitivity:  Sensitivity is measured in decibels and sound pressure levels (dB Sound Pressure Level). Let’s not make this complicated. The lowest audible sound is at 0 decibels. This is as close to as silence as it can get while still giving us the ability to hear things. You don’t want to go higher than 85 decibels, because this can cause hearing loss. When buying a pair of Earphones, you’ll want something that can get loud, but you don’t need anything obnoxiously loud. That having been said, most people love their music loud, and the sounds may certainly exceed 85 decibels. Just make sure you keep exposure to such volumes at a minimum. The rule of thumb is that if somebody has to shout in order for you to hear him or her, your music is too loud. Loudness is fine, but retaining your hearing is even better
  • Nominal Power Handling Capacity: You need to know how much power your Earphones can take before they wear out. Wouldn’t it be nice if the packaging revealed such information? Well generally it does! Maximum power is simply the highest beating your Earphones can take before sounding like they have just exploded.  Operate your Earphones at lower power levels, and they will last much longer. In other words play your Earphones at a comfortable volume.
  • Drivers: Drivers are probably the BIGGEST reason why over-the-ear headphones sound significantly better than In Earphones that are sold for the exact same price. The fact is; over ear headphones are big enough for manufacturers to easily place the best drivers for the best possible sound. In order to get excellent sound in Earphones, we must place powerful drivers in them as well. The issue is,Earphones are so small that building appropriate drivers for them isn’t easy. Nonetheless, the stronger the driver, the better the overall sound. Drivers tend to really boost the bass, and they give an overall richer experience. They really thrust a lot of power into the Earphones. Over-the-ears normally have four drivers. Each driver is meant to target a different audio quality: bass, mid and treble. Some Earphones come with more than two drivers, making the Earphones larger. It also makes them more expensive when you add additional drivers. If you add power to these drivers, the Earphones will certainly go up in price. In hindsight, the £156 Beats headphones by say Dr re have a 40 mm driver set within them. The Ultimate Ear Pro 18’s, in direct comparison, can cost nearly £1350. The main reason they are priced to high is that each Earphones has six drivers.
  • Lows, Midrange, and Highs:Just to give you an example of how all of this information ties in together,


Extreme bottom below 32 Hz
Low bass, bottom octave 20 to 40 Hz
Mid bass 40 to 80 Hz
Upper bass 80 to 160 Hz
Lower midrange 160 to 320 Hz
Midrange 320 to 2,560 Hz
Upper midrange 2,560 to 5,120 Hz
Highs, lower highs 5,120 to 10,240 Hz
Extreme highs, top octave
10,240 to 20,000 Hz


As we mentioned earlier, 20 khz is way too high for our ears, so you do not have to really shop around for Earphones that indicate a high level of kilohertz. Ideally, you want a pair of Earphones that has a very low bass (Hz) and a very high treble (also in Hz; but towards the higher end of the spectrum you may see kilohertz instead). The greater the range, the more dynamic the Earphones will be. It is good to have all of the information as part of the bigger picture; however, your eyes should be focused more on the drivers themselves. If the drivers are excellent, then great Hz-kHz ratings will boost the end result. If the drivers are poor, then no amount of hertz or kilohertz will give you a good pair of Earphones

As we mentioned earlier 20khz is way too high for our ears, so you do not have to really shop around for Earphones that indicate a high level of kilohertz. Ideally, you want a pair of Earphones that has a very low bass (Hz) and a very high treble (also in Hz; but towards the higher end of the spectrum you may see kilohertz instead). The greater the range, the more dynamic the Earphones will be. It is good to have all of the information as part of the bigger picture; however, your eyes should be focused more on the drivers themselves. If the drivers are excellent, then great Hz-kHz ratings will boost the end result. If the drivers are poor, then no amount of hertz or kilohertz will give you a good pair of Earphones.

In conclusion, when shopping for Earphones, the most important thing to look for is the number of drivers a set has. After that, look at the decibel rating, because a high decibel rating guarantees greater sound levels. It is pleasing to look at the number of hertz, but realize that its only part of what makes a good sound. One of our low priced recommendations the Plex37M.

For the active sporty types who would prefer the wires were out of the way take a look at our Wire free offering here 

We at Smartechnologies  hope you found this guide useful. If you did please like our Facebook HERE









The Smartech guide to buying and using a dash cam in your car.

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Dash cams are a good way to make sure that you always have a witness in a collision situation.

This brief guide is intended to help you decide which type of dash cam suits your needs.

Dash Cams; Your Smartech help guide

Dash cams “in-car cameras” are quickly becoming popular and for good reason. These handy little gadgets will record your car journey, providing some much-needed peace of mind on the road and they are ideal in case of a car accident, recording what actually happens as well as protecting you against insurance fraud. Dash Cams can also mean cheaper car insurance, always a plus!

How Do They Work?

Dash Cams sit on your windscreen behind or below your rear-view mirror, and record the road whilst you’re driving. They work by filming in stages. When the memory card’s full, the oldest segment is recorded over, so footage is looped and you never run out of memory. This is known as ‘loop recording’. If there’s something you want to keep, you’re able to save a segment at the push of a button, meaning it isn’t overwritten. Some are also capable of taking still photos. Once you have some footage or photos you require, you can simply download it to your computer or appropriate App.

Why GPS and G-sensors

G-sensors are available on many good Dash Cameras. When these sensors detect an impact they automatically save the footage, so you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself. Some more expensive cameras also include GPS which records location and speed to go along with your video, providing even more information in case you need to use this as evidence.

Video Quality and Night Vision

If you want to be able to identify cars in your footage, it’s really important that the video quality is high enough to be able to make out number plates. A high definition Dash Cam is a minimum and means you’ll have the best chance of getting clear footage. While some will say that six element lenses give a better quality picture we are not convinced this is entirely necessary. Good quality night vision however should be considered.

Parking Mode

If your cars parked out on the road, a camera with a parking mode can be a good idea. They turn on and record footage if there’s an impact whilst your car’s parked so you’ll never miss anything. Is it necessary? Your choice.

How do dash cams work?  

Most dash cams use Micro SD cards, and a card that is class 6 or better means that video quality doesn’t suffer, even on those at the top end. There’s no point buying an HD camera and then using a memory card that is substandard for the purpose.

Cards with more memory will of course hold more video, so it’s up to you to decide how much you want to spend. A 32GB card should be enough for most people, but a smaller one’s fine if you make sure that you wipe it clean regularly.

Where to Place Your Dash Cam:

For most vehicles we recommend positioning for your Dash Camera is just behind or below the rear-view mirror on your windscreen. This is the best location to capture a clear view of the road ahead along with ensuring that the driver’s view isn’t obscured.

Wi-Fi Capability:

Inbuilt Wi-Fi is available on some of the more expensive models. It’s debatable whether this is a necessary requirement as simply removing the SD card and copying the content to a computer is more than sufficient for most. Why purchase what you don’t need!

So what next?

There are many good Dash Cams in the market with prices that range into the hundreds. The choice is your’s. We hope you found this guide useful. If you did please like us on our face book page here.








Smartech’s guide to comparing mobile phone tariffs

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Our Guide to helping you compare mobile phone tariffs

Trying to work out what is the best mobile phone tariff for yourself can be a challenge. That’s why our Smartech guide is here to help.

According to a recent Ofcom-accredited survey, seventy five percent of Britons on pay monthly deals are spending too much on their mobile phone contract. With the total overspend standing at a massive 3 billion plus each year.

More alarming is the fact this is happening despite a massive range of contracts to choose from and comparison sites that help you track down the best deals.

So we will try to answer your question: “what’s contract is best for me?” and help you avoid paying over the top for something you don’t really need.

Finding the right mobile phone tariff

If you’re getting a new mobile phone then there are two major things you need to consider: the handset and the tariff itself.

If you don’t know what mobile phone you’re after, we’re in a great position to help you. Take a look at some recent  mobile phone reviews . Here you’ll be able to filter deals by length of contract and cost. You’ll also be able to sort them by data, calls or texts allowance, so that picking a deal is easy no matter what your priority is. But before you even start to look here, you need to know what you are truly using in terms of Data, minutes and texts. Why? Because most people use far more or less than they actually need, resulting in the wrong contract being purchased. So to help, we are introducing you to a clever little site called bill monitor.  It determines your usage so that you do not buy what you don’t need.

Pay monthly or pay as you go, it’s your choice. Choose wisely.

Monthly contract mobile phone tariffs allow you to make monthly payments and usually include a set amount of minute’s data and texts. Exceed those minutes, data or texts and you could end up with a nasty shock and a large additional bill.

Pay as you go tariffs allow you to top-up your phone with credit in advance and then use your phone until that pre-paid credit runs out. People who like to have complete control over what they are spending prefer to use pay as you go.

What can be included in a phone tariff?

There are many elements to a mobile phone tariff, from inclusive calls and texts to emailing and data applications.

Inclusive minutes

Every mobile phone tariff should offer a deal on inclusive minutes, the amount is usually dependent on how much you pay each month.

Compare mobile phone and free calls deals through a comparison website. There’s many to choose from.

Inclusive texts

Much like inclusive minutes, most mobile phone tariffs will offer a set number of inclusive texts. This often includes a number of free texts that can be bumped up with an add-on bundle.

Data refers to content or information that you can access over the internet from your mobile, such web pages, music or video calls.

If you are someone who likes to make the most of the advanced technology available on your phone, you should make sure your mobile phone tariff includes a data bundle. But remember if you have broadband in your house it is usually far cheaper to have your mobile automatically switch to this if your there. This can be a huge saving.


Calls from mobiles when you’re abroad can be very expensive. However, if you plan to use your mobile abroad a lot, you can sign-up to a mobile phone tariff that gives you a good rate on international roaming. For example 3 has a Tariff that allows you to use your contract like you were in your home country. See here

Contract lengths

Phone contract lengths vary considerably. If you’re the kind of person who upgrades your phone regularly, it might be a good idea to choose a 12-month contract. But there are other options. Purchase you own handset Sim free. Then buy a Sim card from the network of your choice. Many bundles start as low as £5 per calendar month. You do the Maths.

The main advantage of longer term contracts is that the length of the contract can sometimes mean you’ll pay a lower monthly premium.

You are also likely to pay a reduced sum for the handset itself or even pay nothing. But remember there is no such thing as Free. The price will have the purchase of the phone factored into the bundle.

We hope you found this useful. If you did, please like us on Facebook Thank you!


Coming shortly SIM Free Phones to give you the edge.