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The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more.

Headphones and Speakers for a Great Musical Experience

To say that music has been a driving force behind the digital revolution would be an understatement. Perhaps no other entertainment category – not books, nor movies, nor TV shows – have been so utterly transformed by the arrival of digital formatting.

It seems like only yesterday that we were still spinning 45s and LPs on record players that weren’t too far removed from granddad’s old gramophone. They were quickly replaced in rapid succession by tape decks, cassette players, CD players, and MP3 players, which signaled the start of the transition to digital. Now, music is played on a myriad of digital devices, including laptops, iPods, smartphones and tablets.

But however music is played, the quality of the end result still depends on the headphones or speakers used by the listener. No matter how pure the recording, a poor pair of headphones or a poor speaker system will inevitably dilute the musical experience.

Fortunately, today’s headphones and speakers have largely kept pace with the dramatic improvements in recording capability and musical hardware. A vast array of earbuds, headphones, speaker docks and Bluetooth devices are making sure that we listen to music the way it was meant to be heard. Here are a few of our favorites:

Jawbone BIG JAMBOX Bluetooth Speaker

Designed to fill even the largest space, the BIG JAMBOX is a completely wireless speaker that goes anywhere and lasts up to 15 hours on a single charge. The built-in microphone allows you to switch between music and phone calls, and the MyTALK feature gives you access to content, software updates and additional apps. Compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices.

Price: $299.99

Beats by Dr. Dre Wireless Headphones

One of the most popular wireless headphones on the market today, Beats by Dr. Dre combines a powerful sound with comfort and convenience. Built-in buttons allow you to adjust the volume, skip tracks and answer calls without the need to pick up your mobile device. The Beats headphones last 10 hours on a single charge and are compatible with most mobile devices.

Price: $279.99

Nokia JBL Power Up Speaker

A great-looking home speaker that combines a clear sound with some state-of-the-art wireless features. The JBL Power Up can pair with virtually any mobile device via Bluetooth or you can just tap-to-pair using NFC (Near Field Communication). You can also charge Qi-compatible devices just by placing them on top of the speaker.

Price: $249.99

House of Marley – Smile Jamaica In-Ear Headphones

A great pair of earbud headphones with a great name! The Smile Jamaica headphones are made from recycled plastic and natural materials and deliver a surprisingly full sound. The ear tips come in 3 sizes for a snug fit and the extended tangle-free cord allows you to use the headphones virtually anywhere.

Price: $39.99

Logitech UE Mobile Boombox

An affordable portable speaker that allows you to stream music from any Bluetooth-enabled mobile device. The rechargeable battery will last around 8 – 10 hours and there is a built-in microphone for answering phone calls. The high quality sound of the compact Mobile Boombox is perfect for the kitchen, bedroom or living room.

Price: $79.99 (special offer)

All these accessories and more can be purchased online through the Verizon Wireless web site or at your local Verizon store.

The Online Mom LLC receives a fee for participating in certain promotional campaigns for Verizon Wireless. All opinions are my own.

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