HeadRoom Traveler Bag Page 2
Flummoxing the editor
When I told JA that I intended to review this bag, he hastily admonished me not to consider it the equal to, say, a Class A amplifier in terms of the attention I lavished on it. I see his point: it's a bag, dammit—you put stuff in it. That's it. But for the one specialized task of consolidating everything you need for portable high-quality listening, this bag is incredibly well-thought-out. I've had experience with some awfully fine high-end products that have not been as well-designed for their intended functions. Which, I hasten to add, is not an indictment of their designers, but rather is praise for the HeadRoom crew for the way they took (seemingly) every parameter into consideration.
If you never leave your reference system, you'll never need a HeadBag. If you travel a lot, you can guess by now as to whether the Traveler Bag—and its associated products—could be a boon. But there are two other classes of people who don't, as a rule, get to have the sort of high-quality music listening that I believe everybody deserves: college students in dorms and people in the armed forces.
College dorms, at least when I inhabited them, tended to be the sites of music battles as neighbors—or in one memorable case, roommates—tried to establish musical hegemony. What a great place for a really good personal stereo—especially when combined with headphones like the Etymotics, which will cancel out the din of those battles. (I recently used the 4Ses for exactly that, when my neighbor decided to broadcast the new Pink Floyd at 130dB—I didn't plug 'em in, I just stuck 'em in my ear.)
My nephew recently graduated from high school and is heading off to Choir College to major in Music. My wife and I were trying to think of a graduation present commensurate with our "cool uncle and aunt" status, when my eyes fell upon my Traveler Bag. We ordered the full stack: bag, Supreme, CD player, Grado SR80 headphones, battery pack, and Disc Wallet. "You must be a pretty groovy uncle," Veronica said as she took my order. "Well, I'd like to be modest, but you found me out," I replied.
I recounted this to Tyll Hertsens, HeadRoom's HeadCase, and he mentioned how bored he used to get while on sea duty in the Navy. "A lot of people forget that if you're in a barracks or on shipboard, you've got a lot of time on your hands—and it's worth the bucks if you can find a worthwhile way to pass it. I'd have bought this system in a flash, if anything remotely like it had been available," he said.
What could be better than that?
So ask me, or that gob out at sea, or my nephew if it's worth the money to provide sound this good where there would otherwise be boredom—or worse. You know what the answer would be for me. We could guess about the others. I leave it for you to answer for yourself.
But for my money—literally twice, in this case—the Traveler Bag is a gotta-have-it product. It has simplified my travels—and helped make them imponderably more enjoyable, to boot. That's better than an upgrade to first class.
Footnote 1: Here's the simple way to attach Velcro to your CD player, so that it perfectly aligns with that in the bag: put the two sets of strips (the ones in the compartment and the ones you intend to affix to your portable) face to face, so they're doing the hook-and-loop thing. Peel off the tape covering the adhesive backing and press your player into place on it. Let set. If you need to cut the tape, for access to a battery compartment, you can use a utility knife. Simple, no? Effective, too—you'll never lose your CD player if you forget to zip up the compartment before standing.