Equipment Suggestions

Equipment Suggestions to help you Learn the Japanese Language

If you want to learn the Japanese language, I suggest that you download our free Japanese audio lessons. Next you should think about getting the right equipment.  You will need to be able to pause the lessons whenever you need time to think, and to restart them when you are ready to start listening again.  Apple and other manufacturers make earphone units with built-in wired controls (“clickers”), but they are not very convenient when you are using audio lessons that need to be paused and restarted frequently, since the buttons that control the portable device are located high on the cord near a person’s neck.

If you want to use an iPhone to listen to these audio lessons as you learn the Japanese language, I suggest the Satechi BT MediaRemote.  This device does a good job controlling my iPhone 4S and iPhone 6.  The Bluetooth connection has the advantage of not requiring a line-of-sight to the iPhone, so that the phone can stay concealed in one’s pocket.  Unfortunately, this clicker requires modification with strips of metal and duct tape, to prevent the user from accidentally jumping to the previous lesson or the following lesson.

It was fairly simple to cut small strips of metal from a thin piece of aluminum sheet metal using tin snips, place them over the three offending buttons, and cover them with duct tape.  The photos below show the three strips of metal that I used to cover the Volume Up button (which sometimes also skips lessons), the Skip Back button and the Skip Forward button. (The strip of metal covering the Volume Up button is covered by black duct tape and may be hard to see in the photos.)

When applying the duct tape, I had to be careful not to cover the small light at the top of the front panel and also not to cover the on-off switch at the top left of the clicker.  After the metal strips were applied, I could no longer control the volume using the remote control (I had to do that using the buttons on the iPhone itself), but I no longer needed to worry about accidentally skipping from one lesson to another.

Next, Try the First Lesson