Is it just me, or do tech gadgets break down way too quickly and easily? I swear every cell phone I've ever owned starts petering out about the 372 day mark with sharply declining call quality. Then, there's the screen and processor problems with MP3 players after about two years. One reader said that even some expensive headphones are calling it quits way too early. I may as well start driving a Fiat (again) and get it over with. Also: I may not be the FCC's biggest fan, but I'm not one to encourage illegal activity … Read more
Placing the 'phones over the old Uncle Ned, we felt a similar level of comfort to the ATH-W1000s, which got a excellent rating in our review last week. They're snug without too much tightness.
Inside are decent specifications: a 53-millimeter neodymium-backed driver responding to frequencies between 5Hz-40kHz, an impedance of 40ohms, sensitivity of 101dB and an excellent maximum power input of 2,000mW. Click here … Read more
There are a few things I look at when considering a music gadget for personal use--OK, who am I kidding? I look at everything. But some key points top my list. One of them is design; I prefer devices that are stylish or unique in some way without sacrificing usability. Other necessary features include solid sound quality, a customizable interface, and handy features.
The 32GB Creative Zen scores high in most categories. It's a high-capacity device with a slim, compact design, a large screen, and a customizable interface; it sounds fantastic; and it's a breeze to operate. It … Read more
Just as the mobile phone and media player continue to evolve into one device, so too are their respective accessories. Many electronics makers, for example, are trying to find the right formula for Bluetooth headsets that will work equally well for phone calls and music.
Sony is launching its latest effort in this category with a new pair of Bluetooth 2.0 headphones for the Japanese market. The DR-BT140Q has a built-in microphone, comes in various colors, and claims 12 hours of playing time with its lithium battery, according to Newlaunches. We're a little curious about those cords hanging … Read more
Although there are plenty of fabulous MP3 players out there, no one device is perfect. For years, I've kept a list of dream features, many of which remain unchecked. One of these is support for every single audio codec, from Apple Lossless all the way down to WMA Lossless. A tall order, but one that would not be unappreciated by others, such as one reader who would like a non-iPod MP3 player that supports Apple Lossless. Also this week: do lanyard-style headphones for the later-generation iPod Shuffle exist?
Q: I'm looking for a new MP3 player. I use … Read more
Colorful earbuds have become increasingly popular with headphone manufacturers, possibly because of consumer demand for something a bit more stylish than plain white or black. It's no wonder: earphones are basically accessories that serve to pipe music to your ears, so they might as well be fashionable. Radius, a new Tennessee-based company pushing out Japanese-designed earbuds, is the latest entry into the burgeoning market of fashion-forward electronics. The company has three product lines, one of which is the $40 Atomic Bass earphones. As the name suggests, these in-ear 'buds offer expansive low-end response: bass-addicts only need apply. Read the review.… Read more
This happens at least once a day...I'm at my desk, typing up a review or blog post on my computer, when all of a sudden someone sneaks up behind me and unintentionally make me jump 10 feet in the air with a simple tap on the back. How do I allow this to happen? Am I deaf? Well, not right now, but it's quite possible that I might be if I continue to constantly blast music out of my Princess Leia headphones.
Although the headphone market continues to burgeon with new models, it can be surprisingly tough to find a decent, fitness-friendly pair. A few companies, such as Sennheiser, have stepped up to the plate with sport-branded earphones that feature design attributes meant to keep them secured on the head during activity. Now, we can add Sony to the list. The company has released an impressive array of Active Headphones, the $20 MDR-AS20J among them. These interestingly designed earphones are suitable for the gym, although not all users will be able to get a good fit, so runners should take heed. Also, … Read more
Yes, the name of this column is changing once again, but don't hate me because I'm fickle! Because, well...I'm not. In fact, CNET's all-encompassing Ask the Editors feature is moving to Crave, meaning we're standardizing the naming and format across categories. But don't worry: it's still MP3 Mailbox in my head. That means you can still expect to see this column every Monday (that I am in the office), and it will continue to be packed full of digital music tidbits. Also, the "MP3 Mailbox Monday" keyword linking at the … Read more
Rob Walker, the author of the just-released "Buying in," is a marketing connoisseur, an expert in reading the cultural underpinnings of commerce. In his Consumed column for the New York Times Magazine, he examines how technology shapes consumer culture and vice versa. In tomorrow's piece he elaborates on the history of headphones, and how their role evolved in modern society, from the first Bose set to the Sony Walkman to the iPod earbuds.
With the miniaturization of devices, the public exposure of personal space increased. I remember that when I was 14, I came home from school, … Read more