My advice to speaker shoppers who prioritize sound quality is go for a good set of big speakers. They conjure the sound of music more realistically than tiny ones. I know all too well that most folks settle for something smaller, and usually it's a case of the smaller, the better. That's why designers are always trying to get bigger sounds out of smaller speakers. Enter the Vanatoo Transparent One, a 10-inch-tall powerhouse armed with a 5.25-inch aluminum woofer, a separate rear-mounted 5.25-inch passive radiator, and a 1-inch silk dome tweeter. This little speaker made a … Read more
To me there's nothing sadder than a car that lacks Bluetooth. Well, OK, there are lots of things sadder, but for anyone who drives and owns a smartphone, it's definitely a bummer.
Because without Bluetooth to link the phone to the car stereo, how does one listen to one's playlists? One's podcasts? How does one conduct a hands-free call? One does not! This is how sad that makes me.
Fortunately, you don't have to throw out your car and buy a new one. All you need is an FM transmitter that can act as the … Read more
I was smitten with the Coffman Labs G1-A stereo preamplifier, even before I heard it make a sound. I'd seen pictures of the preamp online and it looked fine, but once I saw it in person I knew it was one of the most beautiful audio components on the market. The feel of the control knobs and the metalwork's fit and finish are state of the art. Granted, the G1-A is priced accordingly, but just as with high-end cars, watches or cameras, with purist audio design build quality is just as important as performance.
Still, I wouldn't … Read more
When it comes to tuning out the world, nothing beats a good pair of headphones and your favorite playlist. Of course, any wired pair necessarily keeps you tethered to your smartphone or tablet, which can be a hassle. If only you could somehow endow them with the magic of Bluetooth.
Presto! For a limited time, you can get the Outdoor Tech Adapt Bluetooth Headphone Adapter for $24.95 shipped. There's no coupon code required; just use that special link to save $15 straight away. This is a Cheapskate exclusive, folks; you won't find this deal anywhere else.
The … Read more
I first encountered the Braven brand a few months ago, when I reviewed the Braven 850 and found it to be one of the best Bluetooth speakers I'd ever used -- though a decidedly pricey one at $299.
I can't say with any certainty that all the company's speakers are that good, especially the lower-end models, but I know they make at least one damn fine product.
Today only, and while supplies last, Tech.Woot has the refurbished Braven 570 portable Bluetooth speaker for $29.99, plus $5 for shipping. Price if purchased new: $99.99.
Any … Read more
Very few nonaudiophiles have hi-fis anymore, but if you would like to listen to music at home over something better than iffy computer speakers without breaking open your piggy bank, Sony's nifty little CMT-MX500i might be worth checking out.
The three-piece system comes with a pair of two-way bookshelf speakers mated to an attractively styled combo CD player/iPod dock/FM tuner/stereo amplifier. The speakers measure a tidy 5.5x9.4x7.9 inches, and the amp is 12x11x5 inches. The wood cabinet's speaker wire is permanently attached, and uses a proprietary plug that goes into the amp. … Read more
In this week's must-see rundown, we offer up an in-depth look at all of the new features in Google's latest mobile OS, Android KitKat. If you're one of the lucky users to already have it, you'll also want to check out our very handy tips for extending your phone's battery on KitKat.
Twitter officially went public earlier this week. In our latest Inside Scoop, CNET's Kara Tsuboi and senior writer Daniel Terdiman discuss the social media giant's initial public offering, what they learned from Facebook, and how they plan to turn a profit. … Read more
WavePad offers one of the more robust, easy-to-use free audio editing tools for the Mac and it does so with the same powerful tools that the developers offer in some of their paid software. The result is a decent app that, while somewhat dated in terms of layout and interface, works as advertised and sometimes a bit better. If you are looking for a more powerful free editor, this may be it.
Installation of WavePad only takes a few seconds because of the small size of the file. It downloads and installs fast and once installed you can start editing … Read more
Human: Real people read the news articles. That not only sounds natural, but it also turns your news articles into bite-sized podcasts, which you can queue to your liking.
Two birds with one stone: Umano's news aggregate works as both a newsreader and a news "reader." Articles can be played at 2x the speed for quicker consumption.
Multitask-friendly: Other news articles are accessible without disrupting your current article, thanks to a gesture-friendly UI.
Great user flow: The app's interface has a clean design, and content is well organized. Car mode brings a rudimentary, distraction-free UI … Read more
The House of Marley Liberate headphones don't look or feel like any other $100 pair. Most are flimsy plastic things, while the Liberate's metal, wood, hemp cloth, and vinyl construction gives it the feel of a more expensive design. The Liberate features 40mm drivers and an unusually flexible cable with an iPhone/iPad-compatible mic and inline controls. The headband isn't hinged and the earcups don't fold flat, but the upside to those design choices is the Liberate will probably withstand rough treatment better than most hinged models. Then again, the Liberate's cable isn't user-replaceable, … Read more