minidisc player

Bose headphones

If I think back to technology I've used and really cherished, quite often they're audio-related: Minidisc players, Walkmans, MP3 players, headphones. These pieces of technology served as vessels to access music, which of course I often have fond emotional connection to. And so I think the tech has benefited from that, and in some way the fondness or emotional connection to music has somewhat transferred or rubbed-off on the technology to access it.

Put another way, no matter how well engineered it was, how easy it was to use or how well it did the job, I doubt I'd have fond memories, years later, of a toilet brush.

I wonder if the same "bleeding" of fondness applies to brands, too. If so, and if you were a large tech company, it would be worth having some audio gear in your portfolio. I think Sony must have benefited from this. Apple too.

on-ear phones

For listening on-the-go, I really like on-ear headphones, as opposed to over-ear. I have some lovely over-ear phones for listening-at-rest, but they get my head too hot when I'm active. The on-ears are a nice compromise between comfort and quality of over-ear, and portability of in-ear. Most of the ones I've owned have folded up nicely into a coat pocket too.

My current Bose pair are from 2019 and might be towards the end of their life. They replaced some AKG K451s, which were also discontinued. Last time I looked (2019) the Sony offerings in this product category were not great. That might have changed. But I fear that the manufacturers have collectively decided this product category isn't worth investing in.