Having three kids under the age of 13 means our house has an abundance of toys.
As I’m sure many other parents will attest to, one of the great pleasures of having your own children is the opportunity to play with toys and games again – without fear of any disparaging comments or raised eyebrows from other adults who don’t approve of “grown ups” playing in such a way otherwise.
In reality, even if we don’t have access to typical children’s toys, most adults have toys of some kind. Things we can play with, get immersed in using, and be creative and imaginative with.
It might be power tools or bikes or stereos or train sets, or, in the most probable case of yourself, cameras. Or any number of these.
For me, despite continuing to minimise my camera collection, I still have enough that I can pick up a different one like a child picks up a toy they previously played with daily, but haven’t explored in a while.
I’ve just purchased a new WiFi and Bluetooth speaker for our bedroom.
My justification is that since I’ve been working from home at least two days a week for close to a year, and enjoy having music on when I do, I’d appreciate an upgrade in sound from the existing pair of Ultimate Ears Wonderbooms I bought four years ago.
I really like the Wonderbooms, and they can be used individually or synced so both play together which, whilst not true stereo, gives a more expansive sound than one alone.
Sitting either side of my monitor stand, with my phone streaming Spotify, they provide a simple and small set up, with decent enough sound.
I bought these speakers originally because of the promise of them being very robust, portable and waterproof.
I had visions of us taking them on picnics, and trips to the beach and such like. But that’s not really happened, and they rarely leave our bedroom/office, let alone get used outside.
So I wanted something still small and standalone (rather than a traditional full stereo plus speakers set up – Spotify via my phone is fine for my musical needs these days), but a step up in quality from the Wonderbooms, and without the same portability, necessarily.
The unit I’ve opted for – an Audio Pro Addon C5 – is significantly larger, mains powered (the Wonderbooms have internal batteries charged via USB plug) and a very noticeable improvement in sound over the already pretty good Ultimate Ears.
But a part of me knows I didn’t really need a new speaker, and the Wonderbooms still last a working day without needing recharging.
I just wanted a new audio toy to play with.
In the way that a new camera (or returning to a camera I haven’t picked up in a while) gives me a fresh outlook and motivation to make photographs, the little C5 speaker is giving my current favourite music (much of which I’ve only ever heard through the Wonderbooms) a new depth, a new richness, new subtleties to explore and enjoy. (Enya sounds sumptuous.)
And is there anything wrong with wanting to play with a new (old) toy now and again?
How about you? Do you like new toys – whether cameras, hifi, or perhaps actual toys (I still adore Lego and its incredible combination of simplicity versus possibility)?
Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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