The Status Audio Between 3ANC Earbuds
Earphones that put three speakers in each ear, at a fraction of the cost
You know how it is when you love a dish that is comfort food rather than haute cuisine, so much so that you would choose it for your last meal, Michelin Guide be damned?
So it is with the new Between 3ANC earbuds from Status Audio, a small headphone maker in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. To the extent that audiophiles—who are typically prissy older men in sandals and neat gray beards—know of Status Audio’s existence, they do not much approve of this start-up, founded by James Bertuzzi, a former jazz musician and music producer. Status sells largely through loud, very clever social-media campaigns to younger people who love music but are baffled by the customary technical obsessions of audiophiles.
In that hobbyist world, there’s a suspicion that Status’s products are white-labeled junk picked up in China, where wireless earbuds can be had for $2 a pair.
Well, they’re not a Shenzhen special, as such bargains are known on account of the city from which they hail. Far from it: Status’s Between 3ANC are your columnist’s favorite headphones of the past several years. And they’re an authentic Brooklyn product, even if like almost every other headphone, they are made in China. With an idiosyncratic shape and an unusual three “drivers” (i.e., speakers) in each ear, their sound is huge and grand.
The loudest and most engaging in-ear wireless headphones imaginable, they are simply fantastic. As a music-loving (and audiophile-hating) film-editor friend put it, “Listening to them is like being in a recording studio with big, professional cans on. Also, at $199, they’re a lot cheaper than the competition.”
Both he and your columnist agree that there are technically superior headphones available, but for twice or three times the price. In a coming column, we’ll be discussing a new $300 Sony model which has garnered five-star reviews all around. The Between 3ANC’s have had good reviews, but nothing that quite reflects the sheer joy they induce.
You may not want to use them all the time because their unremittingly rich sound and massive bass (which you can calm down a bit in the companion app) can be wearing. Some may also find them physically uncomfortable after a long session. The sound engineer at a more established rival headphone company whom we persuaded to try them said the sound was “decent,” but he found them a little sibilant. We can’t agree, and love them more with each use.
Status Audio, says 37-year-old Beluzzi, hit $30 million in annual sales this year and is aiming to double that in 2024. They have refurbished their heavily graffitied headquarters with a tasteful façade.
“We’re not going to be able to say ours are the best headphones you’ve never heard of for much longer,” he tells AIR MAIL, almost a little ruefully. As a musician, he appreciates that it can be a little sad when you go from being an indie act to a mainstream success. But we feel strongly that more people should be enjoying Status.
Finally, the most insidious bird species from the least hateful country meets its match
When South Park aired the song “Blame Canada” almost 25 years ago (it was later nominated for an Oscar), it was high irony because at that point Canada was innocent of everything other than mullets and extreme politeness.
Today, though, what with wildfire smoke blowing across the border, plausibly accusing the Indians of murder, and accidentally inviting old Nazis to be honored in the Ottawa Parliament, Canada is in the teeth of a gale of blame. But neither of these egregious wrongs has affected as many people as Canada geese and their penchant for destroying lawns, parks, and golf courses across the U.S. and Europe.
Canada geese are a federally protected species in the U.S. and Canada, but they are quite the pest, and their number is growing steeply. Canada geese can poop 20 or more times a day, and very unpleasant it is, too. They are also uncannily smart, and most attempts to scare them into eating and pooping elsewhere—ranging from cutout shapes of predators like coyotes to wind chimes—make them do whatever the goose equivalent is to laughing out loud.
Not so when they are faced with the Goosinator, a remote-controlled, humane goose scarer that’s handmade in small numbers in Denver, Colorado. AIR MAIL has seen a Goosinator in action on a golf course in England, and no goose we saw had the courage to stand its ground. Flocks of them flew away and did not return.
Randy Claussen invented the Goosinator at the behest of a brother-in-law, who worked on a golf course and spent too much of his time chasing geese away and repairing the damage they cause. He builds 40-60 a year and supplies them to city parks as well as golf clubs.
“My background is in radio-controlled aircraft, so first I built an electric airplane like a hawk, but all the geese did was hunker down,” Claussen tells AIR MAIL. “So it had to be a ground craft, but one that could travel on water, ice, and sand as well as grass.”
Based on research at Cornell University that established the things Canada geese hate the most—coyotes, foxes, bobcats, big eyes, big teeth, swept-back ears, the colors orange and red, and reflective surfaces—he included all of the above in one evil-looking, plastic-bodied, electronics-packed predator.
The remote control, Claussen says, works from 200 yards. But if you let a Goosinator get more than 100 yards away from you, you’re likely to end up crashing it into trees, and you’ll be unable to blame Canada for the damage.
The Panzer Glass Screen Protector
A screen protector that solves problems rather than creating them
Whether you are buying the new iPhone 15 (which we will be reporting on when we’ve had a chance to use it for a while) or are happy with your older phone, you would probably like to protect its screen from expensive damage, and you’ve likely had unfortunate experiences with stick-on screen protectors.
That was certainly the case at Landing Gear, where we grew tired of irritating bubbles and dirt getting underneath plastic protectors, ripped them off, and risked our screens going commando, so to speak.
That is, until we discovered Panzer Glass, a 10-year-old Danish brand that’s new to the U.S. Their screen protectors are made of aluminosilicate glass, which has the properties of glass and plastic and can therefore be bent over 90 degrees and survive sharp drops.
This material is combined with a silicon adhesive that doesn’t bubble and can be taken off and put back on if you don’t like the way you have positioned it. However, each protector comes with an aligner, which makes goofing up the placement harder than getting it right.
If a Panzer Glass protector does break, it stays stuck onto the phone and doesn’t shatter. But we’ve had one on an iPhone 14 through a year’s worth of drops and scrapes, and it never stopped looking good. It also has the best fingerprint-repellent coating we’ve pawed.
Check out Panzer Glass’s other products, too. They have durable, beautiful cases for iPhones, as well as for non-Apple phones and tablets.
The Treegator Original Slow-Release Watering Bag
Tend to your trees without having to devote your whole life to them
On a walk through Kew Gardens—maybe the world’s premier botanical garden—outside London, your columnist recently noticed some new trees that had been planted, each swaddled at its base by a green plastic bag that close examination revealed originates from Treegator, in Youngsville, North Carolina.
As the ancient Greeks said, “A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit.” Despite having never planted a tree or thought of doing so, we nonetheless investigated the tech behind the Treegator Original Slow-Release Watering Bag.
It turns out to be the simplest of biological technologies, but one that’s quite clever. Newly planted trees are like suckling kittens: they need a constant drip-feed of small amounts of nutrient (water in the trees’ case) rather than gallons in one dump.
Once filled, the Treegator drip-feeds 15 gallons of water to the root system for five to nine hours, just as trees like it. The idea, the gentlemen at Treegator tell us, is not necessarily to water as long as possible, but as deep as possible, without wasting any water in the process. “A Treegator delivers water deep below the soil surface with no runoff,” they say.
If it suits Kew Gardens, we say, it’s probably good for anyone inclined to plant a tree in whose shade they may never sit.
Based in London and New York, AIR MAIL’s tech columnist, Jonathan Margolis, spent more than two decades as a technology writer for the Financial Times. He is also the author of A Brief History of Tomorrow, a book on the history of futurology