After thoroughly immersing myself in everything Olympics (as most of us do every 2 or 4 years); and just sort of always having it on (regardless of the sport), I sometimes wander off on random tangents. One of these random thoughts came after watching the ever-so-popular swimming events, and the fact that a lot of the swimmers wore headphones out to the pool.
I always thought in the back of my mind that this was kind of cool, and subconsciously a good marketing tool. Michael Phelps was sporting a brand I had never heard of before “Sol Republic”:
Not to mention more than a couple were showing pride for the “Beats”; the well-known brand brought to us by Dr. Dre himself.
As far as athletes that jam out (up to) seconds before an event, it seems as if swimmers are the only ones to do so… On camera no less, for everyone to see. Is this planned? or are these sport stars just enjoying the music?
I realize this is probably a technique to remain focused and in the zone, so as not let the Olympic vibe put the pressure on. Having said that, does it work? The sheer volume of the crowd in a place like a swimming arena is so deafening, that I could not imagine how a set of mid-range headphones plugged into an MP3 player could over power it. I realize that the Beats are significant in that they have the noise cancellation feature in the ‘studio’ style phones. However, my audiophile side says “meh, this probably doesn’t make a difference”, between the distortion from the noise cancellation and the crowd, the sound quality is going to be diminished anyways.
By the ‘official’ admission of Phelps, he was not paid to wear them in front of the cameras or be a spokesperson for the brand. So if there is truly no planned marketing or sponsorship gimmick at play here; I am sort of curious…
Why predominantly swimmers? Because it’s one of the most watched sports?
Why mainly the big teams/names where them? Because that’s where the focus is going to be?
Are they just being awesome and rocking out before their event? Can they actually hear the music?
Like I said, by no means am I trying to nick-pick the issue. I just found it curious, and sort of feel the urge to go pick up a pair of “Sol Republic” headphones to see how they sound.
What are your thoughts? Anyone have any experience with the Sol Republics they would like to share?
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