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3 Cost Effective Ways to Solve Metro Manila's Traffic Problem

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The Facebook page of ANC 24/7 is asking for its reader's suggestion on how to solve Metro Manila's traffic problem.


This got me thinking, "what is the best way to solve Metro Manila's traffic problem?" It's easy to make suggestions, what's hard is the implementation and the cost of implementation. So what is the the best way to solve Metro Manila's traffic problem and the most cost effective solution?

Punitive Fines
First of all, any implementation will definitely cost money, a lot of money. The cause of the traffic mess is the people themselves so it's only right that those causing the traffic problem should be fined and the fine should hurt. That way, the fines will pay for the cost of enforcing the law.
The fines should start at P500 and goes up every week if you don't pay it within 15 days. To enforce this and prevent people from ignoring the fine. It will be tied to their driver's license or car registration. They cannot renew their d…

Sennheiser MM 50i Review

I listen a lot to my iPod when I take the train and a few weeks ago I lost my Panasonic earphones. I was considering buying the new Bose IE2 In-Ear headphones when it was on sale, but the store I went to was sold out.

And since I couldn't find another store selling them, I put off buying a new headphone and just used my 20 year old Sony earphones.

After the New Year, instead of staying in the house, we decided to go to the mall and hang out. So we went to the Apple store and played around with their stuff. I noticed on the iPhone table a new set of headphones that I've never seen before. Turns out they were the new Bowers and Wilkins P5 headphones.

I tried it out and the sound literally blew me away! But at $299.99, the price was just out of my current budget and I don't like to carry a big headphone while riding the train.

As I got home though, I kept reliving the sound I heard through those B&W headphones which got me itching to get a new headphone. I did some research and I narrowed the choice down to two choices. I did have a few requirements though, they have to be in-ear headphones, they have to be able to block some noise but I wanted noise isolation and not active noise cancellation. The difference is that one just completely covers your ear canal to block out noise, the other actually emits a inverse phased sound to the outside noise to cancel it out. The third requirement is that they be compatible with the iPhone so they have to have a mic.

I narrowed my choice down to the Ultimate Ears SuperFi 5Vi

the MetroFi 220vi

or the Sennheiser MM 50i.

Problem is, I've never tested any samples of these headphones. But based on my research, I had my heart set on getting the Ultimate Ears SuperFi 5Vi based on all the positive reviews and specs I found on the Ultimate Ears website. I like how a lot of professional musicians use their headphones although I know that their consumer use headphones doesn't necessarily mean they would have the same quality as their professional series headphones.

In any case, I went to the store and I found no Ultimate Ears at all. Zilch, nada, zip. All they had was the Sennheiser MM 50i and it was on sale. So I had a choice, do I wait and go to another store or do I just buy these Sennheisers on sale? Well, I'm cheap, so it was no contest and bought the Sennheisers.

I wasn't expecting much for these headphones since I really have no previous experience with this brand. All I know from reading the reviews was that don't expect a lot of bass like you hear from Beats by Dr. Dre headphones.

So I tested them out. The Sennheiser comes with 3 sizes of ear pieces to suit your ear.

When I initially put them on, I wasn't immediately impressed. I thought it was weak compared to the samples I heard from Bose and the B&W P5. I also noticed that I have a hard time keeping them in my ear as the buds were too short and not angled to keep in my ear as the wires hanging down keep hitting the gap in my ear that prevents it from getting deeper. So I was losing a lot of sounds.

I finally figured that it works better if I have the wires pointed up so I can put the ear piece deeper in my ear canal. The difference was night and day! Suddenly, the bass was deeper and the sound was clearer. Not to mention, noise isolation was actually working this time as I don't hear as much noise outside.

The drawback to this of course is that it looks a bit silly and I'm not sure whether this is the right way to wear this earphones. I tried looking online but even Sennheiser's website doesn't have a user manual for MM 50i.

Sound

The sound quality I would say is better than my previous Panasonic headphones. It doesn't have as deep a bass as the Bose headphones or the B&W P5. But the main difference I heard was I hear the mid-range and highs better with the Sennheisers. The music I mainly listen to is Rock and Roll with a lot of Beatles songs. The songs I listened to at the Apple Store with the B&W P5 were song from the Beatles so I'm comparing my Sennheisers by listening to The Beatles on my iPod. I have the equalizer set to "off" and I also set the equalizer on the iPhones at the Apple Store to "off" for a fair comparison.

The B&W P5 has a lot richer sound and the bass is strong but soft, with no hard edge unlike the Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. The Sennheiser's bass is not as strong but it's not too soft either. The main problem with the MM50 is that if you have it in wrong, you lose the bass sound. When worn properly, the bass is strong, but not loud or hard. It's almost like the B&W P5 bass but a tad less.

The strong point of the MM50 is that the mid-range and highs are very very clear with no distortion. It's very distinct and I've heard instruments from The Beatles songs that I never heard before which totally amazes me.

Before using these MM 50ip, I heard a lot of the low bass and drums but hardly the tingle of bells or the high notes of George Harrison's lead guitar. Now I hear them clearly and cleanly. I have my music ripped at 256K VBR and I am considering ripping them again at Apple Lossless to see if I can hear at even better quality.

Construction

The Sennheiser MM 50i construction is more like the older style headphones of the 1980s where there are two wires stuck together. Unlike the newer models where the two wires are wrapped around a single tube which makes them thicker and hopefully stronger.

I don't exercise with headphones so I'm not too concerned about these headphones being beaten up. But it does look a bit flimsy.

The wires going to your ears are asymmetrical where the right wire is longer than the left. This is built so that it goes behind your neck so you don't accidentally pull them. I found this out from the salesperson as he had the same headphones. But I wouldn't have known them since Sennheiser doesn't have any instructions on how to use these headphones.

This is a very important point since if you didn't know and kept the wires in front of you, it would be really annoying to use.

The stereo plug to your iPod/iPhone is also quite small and short, which may cause you to break the wiring inside if handled improperly. There is a danger that if you're in a hurry, you'll pull the wire instead of the rubber holders and pull of the wire.

The mic is ok, design wise, it's like an old cellphone mic, but you are able to control your iPod by double or triple clicking the button.

There is no volume control on the headphones.

Overall, I'm happy and very satisfied with the sound quality of the Sennheiser MM 50i. Out of 5 stars, I would give it a 4 if you are not a big bass fan huge bass sounds. If you like bass a lot, these are not the headphones for you. I'm not blown away with the construction as I'm always afraid I might damage it whenever I unplug it. But it does have a 2 year warranty. So I'll give it 3 out of 5 stars for construction.

In usability, I would give it 3 out of 5 stars. Mainly because they don't fit properly downwards which I assume is how you use these type of design headphones but only works when I have them angled up which is silly. Comfort wise, they are very comfortable and my ears don't hurt after long use which is great.

Noise isolation is good and works best if you take public transportation a lot. You don't want to completely isolate sound so you can hear traffic, but at the same time, it blocks out enough noise so you can hear your music clearly.

They normally sell for $99.95 but I got them on sale for $39.99. For that price, I have not much to complain about and I'm happy with the purchase, but it would not be worth it for $99.95.

Update September 2011

My Sennheiser MM 50i died on me. For some reason, while listening to some music, I got a phone call on my phone and then suddenly, I lost all the bass on my earphones. The left earphone lost all sounds as well.

Pretty pissed off at this. Can't even find my receipt to get it replaced.

Anyway, I have since bought Ultimate Ears 350vi as a replacement and you can read my review here.

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