I have been an engineer since 1998 (wow, has it been that long? ??) and during that time I have used a lot of productivity products over that time. This page is a collection of the items that are currently in my backpack when I travel. I use these items religiously when I am out of the office working and they haven’t failed me.
USB Headset – The Jabra Evolve 40 Stereo UC – Professional Unified Communications Headset
I am on a lot of conference calls, i mean A LOT. I used to use my iPhone with air buds when I was on the road for conference calls but they would hurt my ears after awhile (I still have this problem at time with my AirPods). Also, a lot of my conference calls have been video conferences over the years so I need a good USB headset as I use my MacBook Pro for these calls.
The Jabra Evolve 40 Stereo UC – Professional Unified Communications Headset is the best headset I have ever had by a long shot. First, it’s built for audio and video calls. It is a UC (Unified Communications headset) and is optimized for these calls. It supports passive noise cancellation which helps when I am taking a call from a hotel room with a noisy cooling system. It supports both 3.5 mm and USB (I use the USB connection) and is compatible with most of the major conferencing solutions out there including:
- Skype for Business
- Cisco WebEx
- Adobe Connect
- Onstream Meetings
- Google Hangouts
The Jabra Evolve 40 Stereo headset also supports wideband audio. Wideband audio provides superior audio quality to traditional audio codecs (sometimes referred to as narrowband codecs) by using a wider frequency range than narrowband codecs and is ideal for conference calls. I highly recommend this headset.
Listening to Music While Out and About – Apple AirPods 2
If you spend anytime traveling, you will spend a lot of time walking from place to place. Music can make a difference in how good you feel while doing it. I am an iPhone user and picked up the AirPod 2 ear pods a couple of months back. The sound quality is actually really solid. They pair very fast to my iPhone (Setup is a cinch if you are an iOS user).
One of the coolest features of the AirPods is that the music pauses if you remove one of the AirPods from your ear and resumes when you put it back in. The AirPod case doubles as a battery that can recharge your AirPods. The AirPods can go up to 5 hours of listening time or 3 hours of talk time and Apple states that if you charge your AirPods in the case for 15 minutes, you can get up to 3 hours of listening time or 2 hours of talk time. Really good if they are low on charge and you want to listen to music to know a 15 minute charge will put a good amount of charge back into the AirPods.
The AirPods also now allow you to activate Siri via speech vs the double-tap you had to do with the first generation.