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WHAT YOU WILL GET IN THE FUNPACK
More colours, more passion
This year's NDP Funpacks will feature bold and vibrant designs
While Funpacksin the National Day Parade (NDP) have mostly been in the colours of our flag, youths have chosen brighter colours for this year's packs.
Designed by group of 15 product design students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central's School of Design and Media, the Funpacks now come in six vibrant colour combinations - green-orange, blue-red, and yellow-pink.
Made from water-resistant polyester and able to carry more than 6kg,the Funpacks contain 30 items, including button badges featuring artwork from the public, visor hats and light sticks.
Close to 300 student volunteers from NorthLight School and ITE joined Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) personnel in packing the 220,000 Funpacks.
The planning process for the packs took almost a month as the students bounced ideas off one other.
One of the student leaders, Miss Audrey Lim, 19, said that it was a lesson on design processes since the packs had to be unique.
The ITE graduate, who is pursuing a Diploma in Industrial Design at Nanyang Polytechnic, said: "It is an experience that will be very useful for my portfolio in the future."
Mr Mohamed Shaik Mohideen Samsuddeen, 18, one of the ITE students in the design team, said: "We had to go back to school daily for a month and spent six hours a day just sketching possible designs for the Funpacks."
With more than 100 ideas for the design of the Funpack and its items, the team spent 2½ monthsto come up with the final product.
Chairman of the NDP logistics and finance committee, Military Expert 6 Tan Boon Hong, said: "The bold design of the Funpack and the engaging items show the passion of Singaporeans, and celebrates our vibrancy."
So what are the more unusual items in the pack this year?
A light-emitting diode (LED) bracelet that lights up to the tempo of music, a clap banner that shows this year's NDP theme, "Our People, Our Home", and the Singapore Scarf, which makes its comeback from the 2012 NDP.
The bold design of the Funpack and the engaging items show the passion of Singaporeans, and celebrates our vibrancy.
- Chairman of the NDP logistics and finance committee Tan Boon Hong
Big gifts, Monster sound
These Monster NCredible headphones and earphones are yours if you subscribe to The New Paper by July 27. CLEMENT YAP (firstname.lastname@example.org) takes them for a spin
Monster NCredible N-Tune
I'm not much of a headphone person.
Personally, I've always thought of them as cumbersome and heavy, barely worth the improvement in sound quality over a pair of earphones.
But the NCredible N-Tune On-Ear Headphones by Monster may have finally won me over.
The bass is especially potent - enough to make me forget that I'm at my desk and not next to the speakers at a concert.
The heavy bass makes listening to dubstep, house and trance music an absolute joy, emphasising the notes at the appropriate moment.
However, smoother, calmer music doesn't benefit much from the heavy bass, so jazz fans may wish to invest in simple earphones instead.
Another outstanding feature is the amount of noise isolation.
Putting on the N-Tune is akin to stepping into a quiet, soundproof room. Without music, all I can hear is the ringing in my own ears.
The ear cups are unusually comfortable for headphones and you can listen to music for hours on end without any aching.
The N-Tune also has almost no sound leakage. I was able to play Dutch DJ Hardwell close to my computer's maximum volume without my cubicle neighbour hearing a peep.
For all its outstanding features, Monster dropped the ball a little when it came to practicality.
The headphones cannot be folded or disassembled for easier storage. Furthermore, the N-Tune does not come with any sort of carrying case, merely a fabric pouch, which is superfluous.
Unless you intend to wear the N-Tune around your neck when not in use, or you frequently tote a large backpack, the N-Tune is not suitable for use on the go.
For $249, Monster has created an absolute beast of a headphone whose sound quality far outweighs its minor design flaws. A must have for all audiophiles.
Monster NCredible N-Ergy
The NCredible N-Ergy In-Ear Headphones by Monster offers a good balance of sound quality, style, and cost.
You really get the most bang for your buck, so to speak.
For a pair of earphones, the N-Ergy has a strong bass. It won't be reverberating your chest, but it lends a pleasant kick to fast-paced songs.
The sound quality is crisp and clear and the noise isolation is decent.
I would especially commend Monster for the combination of anti-tangle cords and magnetic ear buds that allow you to magnetically "clamp" your ear buds behind your neck. One of the annoyances of modern life is having to wrestle with your earphones when you wish to use them, but this was hardly an issue with the N-Ergy.
It may be a minor feature, but it's the little things that helps Monster stand out from the crowd.
The N-Ergy, like its bigger cousin the N-Tune, is made for marathon music sessions.
The lightweight ear buds are soft and comfortable.
I forgot I was wearing earphones after a few hours of continuous use.
It can even be used at the gym or on the track as the ear buds are very snug.
The N-Ergy manages to blend style with simplicity. The result: a subdued, yet eye-catching design.
My only complaint, if it can even be called that, is the steep price of $129. I try never to exceed $50 for earphones, but the N-Ergy is well worth the cost.
SUBSCRIBE AND WIN
All you have to do to own one of these amazing headphones is to subscribe to The New Paper.
Those who sign up will also be rewarded with attractive prizes in our biggest-ever Grand Draw.
The top prize: A Harley-Davidson Sportster worth $27,900.
Subscribers to the one-year plan will get to take home a gift of their choice: Monster NCredible N-Ergy In-Ear Headphones worth $129, or a Lomo Konstruktor DIY kit worth $58.
Those who sign up for two years will get to choose between the Sony Smartwatch 2 worth $288, and a pair of Monster NCredible N-Tune On-Ear Headphones worth $249.
To subscribe, simply visit www.tnpsub.com or call 6388-3838.