I had a long fascination with high-end audio before I owned any of the good stuff. I suppose the same allure applies to exotic cars; millions read reviews of cars they never drive, and watch Food Network shows about food they'll never taste. Folks are interested in excellence, but compared to $200,000 cars or celebrity chefs' handiwork high-end audio is more accessible and practical. Two products covered in today's blog -- used high-end Grado headphones and the Oracle Delphi turntable -- sometimes sell for less than $1,000 on eBay. That's still expensive, but more within … Read more
Tivoli Audio's PAL radio has been out for several years and while it's pretty pricey, it remains one our favorite portable speakers.
Over time Tivoli has done little to change the PAL except to offer it in more colors and stick an "i" in front of its name for a white model that includes a cable to hook up your iPod. But now the company has finally added a wireless Bluetooth option to the PAL and its tabletop radio cousin, the Model One. Keeping things simple, the products are called the PAL BT ($299.99) and … Read more
I've written about the Audeze LCD-2 headphones in this blog before, but now I'm going to cover the LCD-3 model, Audeze's best headphones. At first glance the two don't look all that different, but the LCD-3s sport real zebrawood earcups and have thicker and softer real lambskin leather cushions to coddle your ears. This is a fairly heavy (550-gram) set of headphones, but they're comfortable to wear for hours at a time. Details of why the LCD-2s and LCD-3s sound different aren't forthcoming from Audeze, other than the drivers, which use similar technology, are … Read more
Audiophiliac readers have strong opinions about the gear I cover in this blog, so last month I asked for Readers' Choice nominations in a variety of categories, including headphones, speakers, receivers, etc.. I've sorted through all the comments, and here's what I found: there's a wide range of gear you love, but it was in the headphone category where the clearest winners stood out.
The Klipsch Image S4 in-ear headphones were the single most popular product in the survey, you people really love 'em! Grado SR60, SR80, and SR225 full-size headphones also drew raves, and Koss' PortaPro … Read more
Here's another reason not to blow your cash on those Beats by Dr. Dre headphones: the NYPD is reporting that the headphones have become the new top target for thieves based on their $500 resale value. With dozens of Beats heists occurring over the last four months alone, your best bet is to avoid the red "b" altogether and invest in a better pair of cans.… Read more
British audiophile brand Arcam appears to be making a greater effort to go mainstream these days with products such as the Arcam rCube iPhone dock and now, an entry-level USB DAC/headphone amplifier (amp) combo.
Meant as a smaller (and cheaper) alternative to the rDac digital-to-analog converter, this model only has a single USB input, with an asynchronous DAC. Audiophiles tend to prefer asynchronous USB inputs on DACs for the more consistent audio quality they're supposed to provide as the device creates the clock signals and not the (sometimes ancient) USB controller.… Read more
Bowers & Wilkins' first two models of headphones -- the on-ear P5 and in-ear C5 -- have earned strong reviews from CNET. Now the company is extending its headphones line with a more affordable and more lightweight on-ear model, the P3, featuring a fold-up design and a hard-shell carrying case.… Read more
I love the noise-blocking isolation a good set of in-ear headphones provides, but the trick lies in getting the best possible seal. Sure, most headphones come with a selection of three or more silicone, foam, or Comply eartips. I recommend trying on as many tips as you can, and see which set provides the best possible fit. Once you have achieved that, you'll have the maximum isolation from environmental noise, optimum bass response, and the right tip will likely provide the most secure fit, making the earpieces less likely to accidentally fall out. The problem I'm talking about … Read more
Red Wine Audio makes some of my all-time favorite headphone amplifiers, but they're pretty expensive. The Isabellina HPA LFP-V Edition, for example, runs $2,500; it was designed and built in Vinnie Rossi's small factory in Durham, Conn. The Isabellina is more than just a headphone amp, it features a spectacularly good digital-to-analog converter and a hybrid transistor/vacuum tube audio amplifier. While the amp can be run off an AC power outlet, it sounds best powered by its built-in 25.6 volt Lithium Iron Phosphate battery pack. The battery can play for up to 10 hours, and … Read more
Here at CNET Exclusives, we try and take the guess work out of the onslaught of daily deal sites by working hard to bring our users top reviewed products at unbeatable prices.
This week our friends at Outdoor Technology are hooking up the CNET audience with a great deal on the company's top reviewed Tags earbuds. Not a member of CNET Exclusives? What are you waiting for! Join now and start saving on the tech products you crave.
We originally set our sights on these awesome headphones when they turned up in the Best Bluetooth accessories roundup on CNET. … Read more