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All posts tagged "accessories"

Friday, October 2, 2009

Vaja Release Zune HD Case

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 08:30 AM


Vaja is well known for the luxurious leather cases for pretty much any personal electronic device that you can think of. Therefore it should come as no surprise that they’ve released a leather case for the Zune HD. The price is actually very reasonable for a Vaja case, starting at only $50 and I’m sure the leather quality is top notch. However, I do have a couple of concerns.

The first is a minor quibble but, all the same, I am not very impressed by their leather color selection. The colors they have are rather dull and the number of options is tiny compared to what I’m used to seeing with Vaja.

The other issue that is more troubling comes from my experience with the case I have for my Zune 80. This is a common issue with cases I’ve seen in general but the Zune 80 case has a clear plastic shield to protect the screen. Unfortunately over the course of the past year, the protector has become so scratched that it renders the case difficult to use since it also serves as a stand to watch video. Not to mention it looks horrible.

And this isn’t scratching from harsh objects. It’s just putting it in and out of my pocket. I assure you that my Zune’s screen would not be the least bit scratched from that if I chose not to use the case (which I have done now.)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Shure SE210 Earphones: Pure Audio Delight

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune Accessories" @ 09:00 AM

Product Category: Earphones Manufacturer: Shure
Where to Buy: Amazon [Affiliate]
Price: $97.78
System Requirements: Any MP3 player with a 3.5mm headphone jack
Specifications: Headphones have a frequency range of 25Hz - 18.5kHz with a 26 ohm impedance. They come in black or white and have an 18 inch cable with a 36 inch extension. The headphones pack up easily in a small travel case and come with a deluxe fit kit of 7 different tips to easily fit almost any ear size.


  • Amazing sound, it blew me away;
  • Lots of fit options, ensuring a comfortable, tight seal;
  • High quality construction that should stand up to long term use.


  • Somewhat expensive;
  • In-ear design takes getting used to.

Summary: No matter what you use as an MP3 player there is a universal law that applies to your device of choice. The included ear buds suck. Sure, there’s different levels of suck, but in the end they’re all pretty horrible. There was a brief period of time when the Zune came with the premium sound isolating earphones and those were certainly a step up from the usual throwaways you get. Still, to really appreciate your Zune or "other" MP3 player you only have two avenues to really get the most out of your music. Read more...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Three Zune HD Cases Reviewed

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Accessories" @ 11:00 AM

In this video, I take a look at three Zune HD cases. One from Incipio, The Underground (price unknown right now), and two from DLO: the Jam Jacket Cordsaver ($19.99) and the Action Jacket ($29.99).

Jason Dunn owns and operates Thoughts Media Inc., a company dedicated to creating the best in online communities. He enjoys photography, mobile devices, blogging, digital media content creation/editing, and pretty much all technology. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his lovely wife, and his sometimes obedient dog. He wonders if the Zune is ever going to exist outside the USA.

Do you enjoy using new hardware, software and accessories, then sharing your experience with others? Then join us on the Thoughts Media Review Team! We're looking for individuals who find it fun to test new gear and give their honest opinions about the experience. It's a volunteer role with some great perks. Interested? Then click here for more information.

Monday, September 14, 2009

DLO Pumps Out Two New Cases for Zune HD

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Accessories" @ 10:30 PM


In what is hopefully a sign of more accessory makers signing on, DLO has released two new cases for the forthcoming Zune HD player. The Jam Jacket (above, left) is a silicone case with cutouts for the connector ports and home and sleep buttons, and a reinforced rubber back piece for wrapping a headphone cord when it isn't in use. The Action Jacket, on the other hand, is designed to be used while exercising. It is a padded, neoprene case with an adjustable bicep strap and removable belt clip, depending on your preference. It's got a plastic window for using with the touch screen, which in my expericence has never been the best for capacitive screens. You can pick the Jam Jacket up for $19.99 while the Action Jacket sells for $29.99.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Kicker ZK500: Thumping, Great-Quality Sound

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

Product Category: Speaker dock
Manufacturer: Kicker
Where to Buy: Zune.net Store or Amazon.com [Affiliate]
Price: $114.99 USD (Zune.net sale price) or $176.99 (Amazon)
System Requirements: Compatible with Zune 30, Zune 4/8/16, Zune 80/120, and technically the Zune HD.
Specifications: Kicker has them all.


  • Excellent sound - crisp highs, solid bass response;
  • Has auxiliary audio input so can act as computer speakers;
  • Works with all Zune models, including the Zune HD (the remote doesn't work with it however).


  • Remote control is a bit strange, and there's no place to store it;
  • No battery-powered option, which is important for some people;
  • Darth Vader-inspired design may not be for everyone.

Summary: I've had a Kicker ZK-500 for quite a while now, but never quite got around to reviewing it - it's a character flaw of mine that I'll sometimes start working on a review but not finish it - but seeing as Microsoft is selling the Kicker ZK-500 from their online store right now for a mere $114.99 USD, I knew that I had to share my thoughts quickly before the sale ends. This is one great-sounding speaker dock! Read more...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

50% Off Select Zune Accessories

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 11:14 AM

Its time for another Zune accessory sale! There some good deals to be had. Nothing really special in this sale but your options are:

Anyone not planning to jump on the Zune HD wagon quite yet might want to grab one of these deals!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July Zune Accessory Sale

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 06:31 AM


"Throughout the month of July, the Zune Originals store, an offshoot of Zune.net, is offering many of its Zune accessories at 50% off, and quite a few more at smaller discounts. If you own a Zune, there is no better time to pick up those accessories you’ve been wanting."

This is a pretty good time to buy! The challenge is figuring out what is on sale. If you go to the Zune Originals store then you'll find that the prices have been adjusted on their info page. The only way to know for sure is to compare the prices to those at Zune.net since those have not been adjusted. A quick check revealed that the sync cable and the premium headphones mentioned in the article at htmlcenter are both on sale. Unfortunately it appears that the speakers are not. I'd have loved an iHome for $50! (How about that, iHome? I'll send you a check for $50 and you send me a speaker? Let's make this happen.)

Friday, June 12, 2009

The iZel: A Digital Device Holder

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:30 AM

The iZel is a small, portable digital device holder (stand) that allows you to easily watch video content in comfort while on a plane, train etc. All you need is a surface to put the iZel on. In the video I test it out with a variety of devices: Zunes, smartphones, an iPod Touch, etc. When I travel, I like to load up my Zune with a movie or two, but I end up holding it in my hand to watch it - not very ideal. The iZel offers a solution to that problem, although depending on the screen size of your device, and how good your eyesight is, watching a video at tray-table height might be difficult. The iZel is made of very durable materials, so it should last a very long time, making it worth the price tag in my opinion (though not everyone agrees). I'll likely be travelling by plane in September, so I'll get a chance to use it in a real-world situation. In the meantime, I'm going to use it as a holder for my cellphone-du-jour, the Samsung Jack. The iZel can be purchased for $24.95 from Amazon.com. [Affiliate]

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bumblebee Prefers The Zune

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 01:06 PM


"One of our staff visited a Chevy dealership to confirm that the new Camaro’s MP3 connectivity kit worked great with production Zunes. The test was very successful - and this culminates a considerable amount of work with both GM in Detroit and their supplier in Korea to ensure a great user experience."

Brian Seitz tweeted this earlier today and it is really exciting news. I'm pretty surprised actually that any car would come standard with connectivity for the Zune. Let's face it, the iPod is so ubiquitous that it makes sense to have standard support for it. But I won't complain! It seems some 28 GM models will be supporting this which isn't surprising since many GM cars share audio components.

But let's not overlook the best part of this. Its the Camaro. I currently own a red 2002 Camaro and I've always been a big fan of the American muscle car. I'm very seriously considering getting a 2011 Camaro next year and this is just icing on the cake. And hey, if Bumblebee prefers the Zune, everyone should!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

iHarmonix Platinum Earbuds: Easy Listening on the Go

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

Most of us have a media player of one sort or another. Whether it is an iPhone, Archos or Zune, PMPs typically come with stock earbuds. While great for space and portability, they usually lack decent sound reproduction. iHarmonix manufactures several lines of earbuds to improve upon what comes packed in a tiny bag of cellophane. I had the opportunity to put one of their Platinum ev-Series Earphones through its paces and I was fairly pleased with what I heard. Perhaps as an indication of thoughtfulness, the earbuds thankfully do not come in a cut-my-arteries-blister-pack, but one with a cardboard backing which is much easier to open. Inside, the earbuds came with three sets of ear gels in different sizes, a soft velvety pouch to and a slip of paper to serve as instructions. Read more...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

iHome Clock Radio Dock 20% Off

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune Accessories" @ 02:26 PM


"Meet the new ZN9B, the world's first clock radio for Zune. The ZN9B features several innovative solutions, including wake and sleep to your Zune music or digital AM/FM radio, a 7-5-2 feature for separate weekday and weekend alarm times, and an extra large, backlit LCD display with dimmer."

With the rash of Zune rumors hitting this week here's some news that's a little more tangible! I just got my April newsletter and right now Zunet.net is selling the iHome ZN9B Clock Radio and Audio System for 20% off which brings the price down to $79 before shipping. This is a pretty good price for the only radio alarm dock for the Zune. I've wanted this for a while and I may pick it up now.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Grab a Zune Gear Bag for $4.94

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Accessories" @ 12:30 PM


"The rugged, durable exterior of the zune gear bag is designed to specifically protect your Zune and related accessories in style. The exterior of the gear bag is engineered to stand up to the wear-and-tear of traveling and features a woven, scuff-resistant material that will help keep your investment looking new despite heavy usage. The gear bag features specifically molded space for a Zune, a pair of premium headphones, an AC adapter, and a sync cable. In addition to carrying these essentials, the gear bag features soft, flexible netting to accommodate a wide range of other travel necessities."

Marked down from $29.99 to $4.94, the Zune gear bag is officially the best deal I've seen in a while - it's not meant for the smaller Flash-based Zunes though, it's for the Zune 30, Zune 80, or Zune 120. [Affiliate]

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Incipio Zune Accessory Sale

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune Accessories" @ 04:32 PM


If you’re an owner of one of the flash Zune models, then this may interest you. Incipio, maker of many cases and other accessories, is selling a large number of cases for the flash Zune at half price! If you need a case then now might be a good time to head over and see what they have since there is also no shipping in the United States. And I would imagine that covers about 90% of their potential customers. (Sorry Jason!)

If you don’t have a flash Zune there are a few accessories that are more universal such as screen wipes and a variety of chargers. Nothing amazing really but if you need a charger then you could pick one up here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Zune FM Transmitter Over 60% Off

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Accessories" @ 11:48 AM


Pretty self-explantory: the regular price is $69.99 USD, and at the moment Amazon.com has the Zune FM Transmitter on sale for $29.95 USD in our affiliate store. Now's a good time to get one!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Steal of a Deal - Tekkeon TekCharge MP1800

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:00 PM


"Tired of running out of juice when you're on the run? The Tekkeon TekCharge MP1800 is a rechargeable portable battery pack that supplies power to phones, MP3 players, Bluetooth headsets, and other mobile devices. The charger comes with seven adapter tips for use with most kinds of mobile phones, but you can also use the USB cable that came with your iPod, Zune, or other device. In other words, it's almost universally compatible, provided that your gizmo can be charged via USB."

I think I'm going to order one of these as is should cover my iPod, Zune, and phone. The normal price is $44.95, but right now Amazon has them for $28.99 $39.27 (they hiked the price!). [Affiliate] Unfortunately there is a couple of week backlog on their supply, so it will be a bit before I can share my thoughts. Anyone out there already have one of these?

Friday, February 13, 2009

How Do You Carry All Your Tech Gear?

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Thoughts Media Off Topic" @ 10:00 AM

Laptops, phones, MP3 players, cameras, gaming systems, etc. The dirty little secret of having a bunch of portable electronics is that even with some convergence, a lot of us still have too many items to just carry around in our pockets, necessitating even the manliest of us to carry some sort of bag. Since the ladies already carry purses for the most part, it is a challenge as a guy to find the right bag to carry all of our stuff. So I'm curious, how much stuff do you carry around on a daily basis and how do you carry it? I'll start off. Read more...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Make Your Own Device-Holder Leather Pouch

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Accessories" @ 09:00 PM


"The pouch that came with my Zune started to wear off. So I decided to make a pouch myself. I also never liked, that there aren't icons on the regular pouch which would allow for easy operation of the player without taking it out."

Well that's just cool. "Mike73" has posted a complete walkthrough on the steps needed to make your very own leather Zune pouch, which not only looks cool but is also functional—the buttons can be operated from outside of the pouch. I love how it looks both rugged and homemade, and if I had any artistic talents whatsoever I would definitely show this off. My favorite part is definitely step 8, where he brands the Zune logo on the outside of the pouch; it looks really cool, and it's neat that he started with a hexagon (I've never really thought about the logo in geometric terms). This tutorial is by no means limited to Zune, so if you've got a device that needs a new pouch, definitely hit up the read link for more.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

iFlyz: The Portable Media Holding Solution

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:30 PM


"Inspired by you, the consumer, iFlyz was born after spending tireless hours traveling and watching as passengers tired to master a way to watch their media. Either you hold it, share the holding responsibilities with someone or rig it up a cup of some sort. Every option leaves you annoyed and with a slight kink in your neck, just reassuring you that flying is sheer joy. iFlyz introduces hands-free viewing while traveling, allowing you to relax and enjoy your downloadable movie or TV show while flying."

It's hard to get a handle on how compact this is, but it's a brilliant idea for anyone that travels a great deal and wants a better way to hold their media playback device. I know I could have used this product many times in the past! It would work equally well on a Zune, a Windows Mobile smartphone, or any other number of devices. The product is available for pre-order ($29.95 USD within the USA, $34.95 to Canada, and $36.95 elsewhere in the world, shipping included) and they'll be shipping them out come February.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Make Extended Listening Enjoyable with Comply Foam Tips

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:00 AM

When I think of what matters to me in a pair of headphones, comfort isn't usually at the top of the list - not because I don't want them to be comfortable, but because sound quality is always the thing that I care about the most. Take the Ultimate Ears super.fi 5 EB's for example: they are fantastic-sounding headphones, but after an hour or so or having them in my ears, my ears tend to hurt a little. And my right ear never seems to seal up air-tight with them in. Despite that, I adore the super.fi 5 EB's, and put up with the discomfort - partially because it's rare that I listen to more than an hour or two of music in a single sitting. But do I wish the super.fi 5 EB's were perfectly comfortable after extended periods of use? You bet! And that's exactly why the Comply Foam Tips caught my attention - they claimed to improve the comfort experience for a variety of headphones, so I contacted the company to ask for a few samples. Read more...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Inspiretech Zune 3 in 1 Charger Kit

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Accessories" @ 08:49 AM


I've never heard of InspireTech, but they have some Zune products that you might be interested in; first, they have the 3 in 1 Charger Kit pictured above - but it's clearly three different products in three different boxes, so it doesn't fit my definition of "3 in 1". Regardless, the whole thing is only $15.99, so it's an affordable day to get your Zune charged at home or in your car. It doesn't look like the prongs in the wall charger fold down for easier transport though, so that's something to be aware of. Inspiretech has an assortment of Zune 4/8/16 accessories, and all those accessories will also work with the Zune 80, Zune 120, and the Zune 30. I'm pleased that Microsoft has kept the connector the same throughout all the models - it sure makes things easier!

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