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All posts tagged "headphones"

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

V-MODA Vibrato Headphones Reviewed: They're Worth It

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:30 AM

If you've ever shopped for headphones, you've likely come across V-MODA. They make a variety of headphones in different price segments, but I've never reviewed any of them until now. I was offered the chance to review the V-MODA Vibrato headphones ($129.99 USD from Amazon), and since I'd heard good things about V-MODA headphones, I said yes. I'm glad I did, though that conclusion took some time to get to. Confused? Keep reading. Read more...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Engadget Reviews Westone 4 High-End IEMs

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 12:00 PM


"Westone isn't exactly a household name, even in the earphone universe. But what the company lacks in recognition, it more than makes up for in quality. If you'll recall, we had a listen to its ES5 custom in-ear monitors earlier in the year, and while they cost a staggering $950, they also managed to melt our brain and thoroughly spoil us in the process. Thankfully, there's a budget alternative: the Westone 4. Granted, even 50 percent off still lands you right around $449, but many audiophiles would argue that said price is a small one to pay when looking at a quad-driver setup, a three-way crossover network and an insanely robust set of earbud tips. There's no question that these guys are aimed at the professionals in the crowd, and if you're interested in seriously stepping up your mobile listening game, you owe it to yourself to peek our full review."

Engadget's Darren Murph delves into Westone's new $450 IEM headphones and finds a lot to like, with an even range across highs, mids, and even low frequency sounds. These are clearly dedicated headphones, with no in-line media controls, no microphone, and no cable extension but the power and lightness of these phones reportedly can hold its own. Westone has just started shipping the phones, but it's up to you to decide if it's worth $450 for a set of earbuds with few bells. Read onto the source article for the full review.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ultrasone Wants to Save Your Ears

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 09:45 AM


Ever since the advent of the Walkman, researchers have been warning us that we're all about to go deaf. I don't know if those fears have been realized yet since I still don't hear about scores of the Walkman generation showing up for hearing aids. Maybe people have been heeding the warnings!

Whatever the case, the warnings have hardly abated over the years and there's been new warnings and research that has come out recently that shows that hearing loss in teens is on the rise. This really isn't surprising to me since as we've transitioned to digital music its become trivial to have your entire library of music in your pocket.

The challenge is finding a way to play your music at lower levels and still enjoy it the same. There does come a point where you start to lose things in the music if you can't put the volume high enough. Of course, if you make yourself deaf trying to find all the subtle nuances of your heavy metal, it may end up as a moot point eventually.

Ultrasone says that they have the answer with their S-Logic technology. They claim that it can decrease pressure on your inner ear by up to 40% which is definitely a pretty positive thing. Not only that, but Ultrasone says that because it delivers the sound more naturally, that your listening experience will actually be improved.

Safety and quality come at a price, however. Ultrasone only appears to provide over the ear headphones and all start at over $100 and go up into the thousands. If you're an extreme audiophile who demands the best listening experience and and want to ensure your hearing safety, this could be the answer for you. Its a pretty expensive solution for what is, admittedly, a pretty significant issue.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Maximum PC Sub-$100 Headphone Roundup

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune Accessories" @ 04:28 AM


"If you’re at all serious about the sound you feed your head, you’ve already replaced whatever craptastic headphones (aka earbuds, earphones, or in-ear monitors) came in the box with your digital media player of choice. Now you’re ready for another upgrade, and with the economy in turn-around mode, you can afford to splurge just a bit."

Maximum PC has done a review of six pairs of sub-$100 earbuds. I highly recommend reading the review and if you still use the cheapo earbuds that came with your MP3 player of choice, consider upgrading if you care at all about the sound quality of your music. It's the best thing you can do for your musical enjoyment after upgrading to a Zune.

We've done some reviews here of some really nice Shure earphones like the SE530 and SE210 and I still think if you really want to truly experience your music the way it was meant to be heard, you should step up to some high end cans. If you're not convinced yet at least do yourself a favor and get a mid-level set of earphones.

My first 'nice' headphones were in this price range from Sennheiser and opened me up to a whole new musical experience. So go read all the reviews and then think about it!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Shure's SE530 Sound Isolating Earphones With PTH Option.

Posted by Monty Gibson in "Windows Phone Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

Product Category: Hardware
Manufacturer: Shure
Where to Buy: Amazon [affiliate]
Price: SE530 In-Ear Sound Isolating Headphones: $549.00 USD with the PTH option; $499.00 USD without the PTH option.
System Requirements: Windows Phone or other PMP and a good ear for music.


  • The ear phones themselves have superb acoustics with quality construction for the most discerning audiophiles;
  • Excellent array of ear buds for many different tastes and comfort for any ear and fit;
  • Extremely comfortable; even for long periods of time of wear;
  • Fits flush within the ear making them very discrete.
  • Wicked expensive; depending on your taste for quality sound;
  • The PTH (Push-to-hear) option is not a push but rather a slider; i.e., instead of a true click push button;
  • Superfluous amount of cabling just to disable outside ambient noise;
  • The PTH cabling and the ear buds themselves do not fit completely inside the carrying case.
If you listen to music or watch any type of multimedia, these headphones will surely delight you; that is, if you have properly ripped your music and converted your DVDs to a bitrate that is worthy of these ear buds. I personally have a set of Shure's SE530's (yes, I paid for them); but, I use my Windows Phone extensively for music and multimedia. I was excited when the good people at Shure allowed me to test their PTH option. Music is one of the necessities of my life and in my quest I have had many headsets, ear buds, etc. in the past. Aside from having a personal mold made of my ear and sending it to have it fit "perfectly," I have never found a more perfect pair of noise reduction, in-ear set of headphones that make you look like a normal human being instead of a techno DJ with cans on your head. Custom molds can cost in upwards of $1,000 USD or more and although I've always considered it, (stay with me for another review) I've never seen, nor heard, such aural nirvana before as with the SE530s from Shure. In this review it's only fitting to compare the two separate as they can come either together as a kit, or separate, it would not be fair to couple them together. Keep reading to see why.


Monday, January 11, 2010

22 New Earphones From Sennheiser

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 04:43 PM


"With its expansive new range of earphones, Sennheiser is taking music on the move to another level. Altogether the 22 new models, designed specifically for use with portable players, offer a first-class audio experience and the Sennheiser quality you have come to expect. Each set of headphones features fashion-forward designs to complement any taste."

There is no doubt that the most important accessory that you can buy for your Zune or any PMP is a better set of headphones. And if you were having a hard time deciding which of your options were best before now, well, wait until you check out Sennheiser's new line of headphones! Read more...

Monday, December 14, 2009

The SHURE Headphones Contest Closes Tomorrow

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Events" @ 05:00 PM

This is a quick reminder that our giveaway of three pairs of SHURE SE210 headphones ends on the 15th of this month, so if you haven't already entered, you'd better do so quickly!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Win 1 of 3 Pairs of SHURE SE210 Earphones

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Events" @ 11:00 AM


We've got another great contest for you, and this time because it's an accessory that works with so many different products, it's a network-wide contest. The prizes? I'm giving away three pairs of SHURE SE210 Earphones (MSRP $179.99 USD), courtesy of the generous folks at Shure. Our very own David Tucker reviewed this earphones back in September, and he loved them - so I'm sure the three winners will as well. The SE210's feature a noise-isolating sleeves that block 90 percent of the ambient noise, and the more noise you can block out, the more you can enjoy your tunes.

What do you have to do to win? Simply post a message in this discussion thread telling me which type of device (or devices) you'd use the headphones with. A Windows Mobile smartphone? A Zune? An iPod? An iPhone? A netbook or laptop? That's it - one post per person, and the contest closes on Tuesday the 15th of December at 12pm GMT -7. This contest is world-wide; I'll be shipping you the prizes myself.

Remember that all first posts in our system are held in moderation, so if this contest entry is your first post, please wait up to 48 hours before getting concerned if your post hasn't shown up yet - it will. Winners will be contacted via private forum message, so ensure that you have email notifications turned on. Winners will have 72 hours to claim their prize.

Let's see those entries!

UPDATE:The contest is now closed, and the three winners are GqSkrub, webguy248, and deenoo. Thanks to everyone for entering - it was great to see so many entries! And big thanks to SHURE for donating the prizes!

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...

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...

Monday, February 9, 2009

The MyVu Solo Plus: Great for Certain Travellers

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Accessories" @ 07:00 AM


Product Category: Media player video accessory
Manufacturer: MyVu
Where to Buy: Amazon.com [Affiliate]
Price: $110 USD
Specifications: Glasses with 3:4 320x240 (QVGA) screen, 4 hour battery life, Ultimate Ears in-ear monitors with three different sized buds.


  • Good for long, relaxed trips;
  • Ultimate Ears earbuds sound great;
  • Comes with cables for many different portable media players.


  • Not very practical for day-to-day use;
  • Harder to watch during day flights;
  • Looks like something Geordi La Forge would wear.

Summary: The MyVu Solo Plus is hard to love. It's easy to like the idea of a portable, personal video screen, or the lure of a neck strain-reducing visor that handles all the typical problems associated with watching video on a tiny device. But in reality, the idea just isn't that well executed. Holding a Zune (or iPod, or Cowon, or any of the plethora of other players the glasses work with) at arm's-length has never been a particularly enjoyable experience, especially over an extended period of time, but this is where the MyVu glasses shine. They're light, portable, and good for long, relaxed trips where you would otherwise be sleeping or holding your player the whole time. Read more...

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...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Showdown: Ultimate Ears Metro.fi 2 Earphones vs. Zune Premium Headphones

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

What do you get for headphones for under $65? Let's compare two options, one of them twice as expensive as the other. Is that a fair comparison? $65 is affordable for most people who purchase something capable of digital audio playback, so I think it's fair game. I was using my set of Ultimate Ears' Metro.fi 2 earphones ($62.99 from Amazon.com) this morning, and I decided to throw the Zune Premium Headphones into the mix - you know, the ones that come with the Zune 80, but not the Zune 120 - and I was quite disappointed with how poor the Zune headphones sounded. I normally wouldn't criticize free headphones that come with a player, because it's always my advice to toss them and buy a good pair of headphones, but in this case the premium headphones are a product normally sold separately for $39.99 MSRP (retailing for $30 from Amazon) so I think they're fair game for comparison - especially now that there's no modern Zune that includes them. Read more...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Klipsch Releases Smallest and Lightest Full-Range Headphones...in Korea

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:00 PM


"Klipsch claims to have introduced the smallest and lightest full-range in-ear headphones in Korea, dubbed the Image. What you get is a personalized fit with a precision-tuned acoustic experience without having a couple of large mushrooms sticking out from your ears, courtesy of its patent-pending Contour Ear Gels that were anatomically designed to accurately fit inside the human ear canal."

Personally, I think spending anything above $200 on headphones is bordering on lunacy, but if you really dig your tunes and want to hear them at their best, these $430 headphones from Klipsch might do the trick. I'm a bit dubious myself - although I'm a big fan of Klipsch and the sound quality of their speakers, bass response is usually a matter of physics. These itty-bitty headphones don't look like they'd be capable of generating much in the way of bass. I guess we'll wait and see...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Ultimate Ears super.fi Headphones Review

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Accessories" @ 06:32 PM


"Headphones are one of the most important parts of any music listening experience – together with the audio player itself and the quality of the encoded music – but most digital audio players come with extremely cheap headphones. Perhaps it's because the manufacturers know the first thing many people do is discard included headphones, and thus they don't want to invest any significant money in the bundled headphones. Or, perhaps it's because quality headphones cost money (which would raise the cost of the overall product), and a good portion of the public doesn't know how good music can really sound with great headphones. Regardless of the reason why bundled headphones are usually of poor quality, if you're still using the standard headphones that came with your Windows Mobile Pocket PC or Smartphone, your music isn't sounding as good as it should."

Our own Jason Dunn has put together a great review of the Ultimate Ears super.fi headphones over at The Two Inch View. As an audio junkie, I strongly believe that a good set of in-ears or cans is important for enhancing the music listening experience. These Ultimate Ears products seem to do just that.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Wrap Up Your Cables With Cordgo

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Accessories" @ 07:18 AM

"Cordgo is a one hand operated cord adjustment and storage accessory. Cordgo's durable, lightweight design fits in the palm of your hand to deliver cord control. Adjust your cord to the perfect length every time. It's fast, easy storage saves you from ever having to deal with tangled cords again. Cordgo was designed to perform as an integral component between cord and digital device. Cordgo is ideal for anyone who enjoys listening to music while jogging, biking, lifting weights... or just walking about town. Cordgo not only eliminates the tangling and physical interference of a cord, it also provides the luxury of quick and easy storage. Clip it to your belt, arm band, key chain, car visor, bag strap.... or just slip it in your pocket."

Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest ones. I've seen variations of this product before, but this one seems particularly well thought out and optimized for certain scenarios. My wife saw it, and was immediately excited because her headphone cable often get tangled when she works out at the gym. Needless to say, I ordered a few of them. ;-) They have a "buy one, get one free" special on right now as well. None of us have Zunes yet, of course, but when you get one you'll have headphone cords, so...

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