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Master & Dynamic MW07 Review: Beauty & Performance

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Business owner wearing master and dynamic MW07 while looking out window
True wireless earbud has been the hottest tech wearable trend in 2018 and will likely remain the case heading into 2019. The competitive space is packed with heavy hitters like Sennheiser, Apple, Samsung, Nike, and Jabre each with their unique product claiming their fair share of the market. Enter Master & Dynamic MW07, a true wireless earbud that debut in the later quarter of 2018. With a price tag of $299 and a laundry list of features rivaling every other major player on the market, Masters & Dynamic MW07 is a serious contender in the space.Master & Dynamic is a New York-based company that launched in 2014 and have since made a name for themselves among the creative community. The company is founded on the belief that their products should be beautiful and built to last without compromising sound quality. And every bit of that philosophy can be seen and felt when unboxing the MW07 for the first time.

Unboxing the MW07

Front and back picture of MW07 Wireless earbudsThe box is well designed and looks simple, it has almost an Apple feel to it. Upon unboxing, you're greeted to the usual wires, different silicon ear-wing sizes, manual, and interestingly - a USB-C charger. Not many wireless earbuds come with USB-C charging ports, so it was a surprise to see it on the MW07. They also included an adapter to regular USB for your convenience.And of course, there's the unmistakable shiny box that's housing the earbuds. Its polished steel construction gives both a beautiful yet sturdy feel in your hand. It doesn't feel flimsy or cheaply made, simply because it wasn't.

The polished steel case

The polished steel casing deserves some attention. Given the casing is 50% of the product and something you need to carry around all the time, it needs to be well designed and well thought out. And Master & Dynamic absolutely nails the design of the case. It's easily one of the most beautiful tech gadgets you'll see this year and easily mistaken as a jewelry case.It's polished steel all-around. No complicated buttons, dials, exposed hinges, obnoxious branding, or anything that would distract you. On top, you'll find the Master & Dynamic logo subtly laser engraved. Other than that, you won't find MW07 or any branding on the case. After all, why would they need to? The case is already distinctive and unique compared to anything else on the market. There's no need to shout when your presence is already known.One downside to the case is that it's heavy. And that can be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. It's heavy enough to assure you it was built to protect your $299 earbuds, but the weight can be distracting if you plan to carry it out for a jog.

The Case's Features

The MW07 isn't flashy, and it isn't intended to be. That design philosophy can be seen on how the case indicates battery level of the case and of the left and right earpieces. The power indicator is presented by 3 tiny lights on the front of the case. The left and right lights indicate the left and right earbuds. The center light indicates battery level of the case itself.Opening and closing the case is secured via a solid hinge that doesn't have much wiggle room and feels sturdy. The magnetic clasp for opening and closing is strong and satisfyingly tight. It's strong enough to keep everything secure, but not strong enough to be annoying to open with one hand.On the back is a USB-C port for charging. The MW07 also comes with a regular USB adapter for convenience, a nice touch.

The Earbuds

One thing I appreciate about Master & Dynamic is their subtle branding. The piece feels very personal and the branding is kept to a minimal. The top lid has a minimalistic laser engraving of their logo. Opening the case, you're greeted to the same subtlety. The earbuds don't feature any eccentric edges, sharp corners, or exotic flairs. It's a simple and minimalistic design that's elegant and stays true to the maker's design philosophy.The right earpiece has one button on top. Double click to skip a song and triple click to go back to the previous song. Left earpiece has seesaw buttons for adjusting the sound. There's no touch sensitive feature or gesture controls. At this price point, I was expecting some level of gesture control or more functionality that their competitors offer.

The Fit

Master and dynamic MW07 Ear tipThe ribbed wingtip looks weird at first, but it does provide a secure and comfortable fit even while jogging. The MW07 also comes with several other sizes of tips for you to try on. Our tester was able to get a secure and snug fit with the medium size. During jogging sessions, long walks, and a casual day in the city, the Master & Dynamic MW07 managed to stay secure all day. There were a few occasions where it loosen up a bit but never fell out.

The Looks & Performance

Business owner wearing master and dynamic MW07 while looking out windowAlthough it fits well, it is highly visible and not something that will go unnoticed. But it does have a simplistic and functional look. There aren't protruding buttons, weird angles, or ridiculous air vent designs to make it look futuristic or "advanced". And that choice of design can work for a more sophisticated audience.And when it comes to sound...my goodness. It absolutely performs as promised and more. The bass is deep, rich, and gives you a nice surround experience without being too overwhelming. Voices and instruments are crystal clear. And the MW07 is surprisingly louder than many other wireless earbuds on the market. There's plenty of sound to be had and you'll rarely need to crank the volume to the max just to bypass pedestrian noises on the street.The 4.2 Bluetooth connection was solid. We never once lost connection, although there were some skipping every now and then when we're moving and the phone is inside a jacket.Closeup of MW07 in earSimilar to the Apple Airpods, it auto-detects when you put it on. As soon as you put it on, it auto-connects to your phone (or whichever device you paired it with). That is one thing I personally appreciated about the MW07, was that there was always a seamless connection. I never had to worry about whether it was going to connect. Didn't have to unpaired and repair in my phone settings. The connection always works, and that's a major win for a wireless device.

The Battery Life

Battery life is about 3.5hrs and the case can give you 3x charge before it needs to be recharged. Overall, not the best in class in terms of battery life, but during real life testing, we didn't experience any issues with the battery life.

Final Verdict

The MW07 was made for a very specific audience. It wasn't designed to impress anyone except those who demand artistic design, elegant engineering, and won't compromise either for performance. The Master & Dynamic MW07 is a rare species of wireless earbud that's able to accomplish all 3. From the over-engineered stainless steel case to the beautiful sound it generates, the MW07 is an original and unique animal in it's own right. It's not trying to compete with the Apple Airpods or out-feature Jabra or Sennheiser. It's a beautifully designed, well engineered, reliable, and high performing wireless experience that knows who it's target is, and priced accordingly. At $299, it's certainly not cheap. But it's worth every single penny.Buy it here

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5 Ways To Break A Bad Habit

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We all have bad habits whether it is biting finger nails when nervous, smoking, or gambling. The bad news about bad habits is its ability to impact relationships, happiness, and health. Many people want to kick their bad habits, however not many of them succeed in doing so. In order to successfully overcome bad habits, the first step is to develop insight in their origin. Once you know what is causing these bad habits, it will be easier for you to control these triggers, and you will be one step closer to kicking these bad habits forever.

Decide That You Can

If you have a bad habit like being chronically late you need to acknowledge that you have this bad habit and decide that you can kick it. Being totally committed to changing yourself is the first step to success.

Learn What Is Causing This Bad Habit

Learning what causes a bad habit is one of the ways to kick it and know how to avoid it. Take a good look into what is causing the habit. Take being late for example. Is it because you forget to set the alarm or maybe you stay in bed even if you’re already awake? By figuring out what is causing your bad habit, you can work out how to manipulate the situation so that your behavior is different. Take a look at the "reward" for your bad behavior. Do you like the excitement or attention when you are late? If this is the case, maybe you can figure out ways to get noticed or to become excited over something else.

Set Reasonable Goals

For those who are chronically late, being on time the first time after deciding you want to change can be very hard. It is better to set reasonable goals so that you can slowly work towards achieving bigger goals. If you want to start arriving on time, it would be unrealistic for you to set being on time the first day after setting the goal. For those who are chronically 20-30 minutes late all the time, set a more realistic goal of being "only" 10-15 minutes late for the first few weeks and then gradually lessening the minutes until you get into the habit of being on time.

Measure Progress

One of the ways to keep motivated is by seeing how far you have come to reach your goal. Seeing your progress will keep you inspired and work harder to achieve the ultimate objective. For those who are chronically late you can keep tabs of your lateness by taking note of it in a journal or calendar. You might not experience progress immediately so it is important not to get discouraged but to keep on moving forward.

Additional Support

Lastly, find somebody who will support you and help you kick your bad habit for good. For those who are always tardy perhaps you can get a co-worker to cheer you on or remind you to get going if you're slacking off on a project again. Ask family and friends to help you by telling you it's time to get ready for an appointment right away lest you be late. Support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Weight Watchers are testament to the fact that it can be hard to do it alone and that you don’t have to.Aside from negative impact on relationships and work, bad habits can also shorten your lifespan. Eating junk food and not exercising can cause various diseases that can affect health and longevity. Smoking, drugs and alcohol can cause a myriad of health problems and gambling can jeopardize family land financial security. Some bad habits need professional help to totally eliminate however, following the above stated examples can give you a head start in getting rid of them.
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Lifestyle

Bellabeat Time Review

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Bellabeat Time box and someone wearing it on their wrist
Setting healthy habits is a primary focus for many of us for the New Year. From working out to practicing meditation to drinking more water throughout the day (because we all need to drink more water), many look for accessible tools and resources to help us stay on track and reach our goals. With the surge of wearable devices on the market, how does one choose which to spend our hard earned money on and watch one are simply gimmicks?
The category of wearable technology, more specifically smart devices, has grown drastically in the past five years. The industry shifted to help us better staying connected, on trend, and collect helpful data. Whether it’s call/text notifications, heartbeat monitoring or counting your steps to hatch eggs on Pokemon Go, both large brands and new startups are doubling down on wearer’s interest to new technology.With a market saturated with heavy hitters, like Apple, Fitbit, and Fossil, and weekly product launches on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, all competing for buyers’ attention, it’s important to know what kind of features and functionality your lifestyle needs to choose the right product for you. Even for independent brands, expectations are extremely high for product design and technological advances to compete with the Watches, Bands, and Qs of the world. Startups, like Bellabeats, a piece of smart jewelry, and wellness startup, must build an exceptional product, in addition, to carefully target the right demographic and build a community thriving community just to stay in business.Bellabeat aims to improve the lifestyle of their customers: smart women with an inspiring healthy and on-the-go lifestyle. Their products promote healthy living through your wellness tracker, collecting data on activity, meditation, water consumption, sleep patterns, and even where the wearer is in her reproductive cycle, all to determine their stress sensitivity.Bellabea TimeTheir latest product release, Time, a smart-wear with a luxury and minimal design, fits into the customer’s smart chic lifestyle and compliments their other products, Leaf Urban Tracker, which is shaped like a left, Left Switch, includes a centerpiece of rose quartz or onyx crystal, and a smart water bottle, called Spring. With Time, wearers can track her habits throughout the day, including a number of steps, types of activities, how much water she drank, and even her quality of sleep. In addition to these features, users can use their beautifully designed and colorful app to access guided meditation and track her period.The device is optimal for wearers who are interested in tracking these habits for personal acknowledge as there are inaccuracies to Bellabeats data tracking. When used, in comparison to other tracking apps, such as Apple’s Health and Sleep Cycle, Bellabeats falls behind data tracking and usability. Competed to Health, Bellabeats’s Time (which is worn on reviewer’s wrist throughout the day) collects 100-1,000 steps less, even with phoneless trips to the bathroom and grabbing prints from the printers.Time also calculates time spent laying down while watching late night Youtube videos as sleep hours, while Sleep Cycle can determine when users have fall asleep and catch more late night bathroom breaks than Time (which again, is worn on the wrist and goes with the user to the bathroom compared to staying plug and on the bed). Another downside to Bellabeats Time is the user experience. From difficulties and delays to stepping up the device upon arrival to non-intuitive design and usage, Time does not build confidence in users who believe they’re buying convenience for $179 USD.Bellabeat wearing front endIt is undeniable the beauty and luxurious watch design and packaging. What is less luxurious is the delay in usage upon receiving Time. Forwarning, you will need someone else to help insert the watch batteries and may struggle to adjust the wrist size (which is still too big for my tiny wrist). Furthermore, their colorful and minimal app could use more instructions and features to improve wearer’s experience with their technology, such as reminder notifications to sync their device (so users do not lose their data if they forget at the end of the day), better data tracking to reduce inaccuracies, and possibly, integration capabilities to sync with other apps, in case users prefer other apps, to improve their data collection.Bellabeat side viewBoth with the design and technology, the team at Bellabeats offers both benefits and setbacks when it comes to their products. They have done an amazing job building their social and online community and promotion healthy and smart living. Their goal for supporting healthy habits is highly appreciated and we look forward to seeing where the company grows to (and how they can improve their tech, no shade).
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Turning Stress Into Productivity

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There isn’t a person in the planet that can hide from stress. Stress happens whether we like it or not, and it can have a huge impact on your work, relationships, and feelings. Being stressed at work is normal. However, when it begins to impact your productivity or co-workers, stress can become an even bigger problem. The good news is that there are studies that show when stress is managed correctly, it can have a positive impact on productivity and performance. Here are some ways to turn stress into productivity.

Recognize Stress

Stress is unavoidable and worrying about the cause of your stress will do nothing to alleviate it. When a person is stressed, he or she feels anxious. There is tension in the body and the heart is racing. This means that stress is a feeling. Being stressed could be an indication of how you feel towards a project. How much stress you feel is directly co-related to the importance of the job or task. Once a person recognizes that he or she is worrying about a project they can respond to it in a rational way.

Reframe It

Rather than worrying about your project and being stressed about it, don't see it as a threat but a challenge you need to conquer. Once you reset your brain from the negative to the positive, your body responds in a more favorable way. When our brain is stressed, it triggers a flight or fight response. To avoid this, you need to think of stress, not as something negative, but as something challenging you need to overcome. This way your brain will be conditioned to become active rather than paralyzed.

Control

What is the use of stressing over something you cannot control it? Too many people spend too much time feeling bad towards things they cannot change or control. When faced with worry or anxiety, positive psychology expert Shawn Achor suggests the Island Experiment. On a piece of paper, write down all your stresses and draw two circles. In one circle, put all things you can control and on the other things you can't. Ignore the second island and focus on taking action on the things you can control.

Don’t Get Overwhelmed

One of the reasons why we get stressed at work is the fear of letting our co-workers down when we make mistakes or miss deadlines. One of the reasons for this is being overwhelmed with tasks. You don’t have to go at it by yourself. One of the best ways to handle stress positively and turn it into productivity is by asking help from others. You might have a co-worker that is an expert on the job you have been assigned or an officemate that is already finished with his tasks. Asking for help when you need it will help you stay on track at work while being productive and keeping stress at bay.

Stay Organized

You might not realize it, but you might not be stressing over the right things. If you are unorganized at work or have too many jobs at once, you might be worried because you don’t know how to prioritize your assignments. To keep yourself from becoming stressed due to lack of workflow, organize tasks from important to can-wait. This will help you focus on which jobs are the most urgent to the least important. Once you have tackled the important jobs, the smaller jobs can be handled easily and prevent you from becoming stressed while at your desk.Stress can ruin your life, but only if you allow it to. Since stress is inevitable, the best way to tackle it is to keep a positive attitude and keeping things in perspective. If you continue to tackle things you can control and stay organized you can beat stress so that you remain positive and productive at work.
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