Most of the headphones I've tested over the years weren't designed to have a neutral balance of bass, midrange, and treble frequencies. Manufacturers are well aware that most people like bass, and that buyers tend to favor one headphone over another based on how much bass it produces. I think that's obvious, but a recent study cited in Brent Butterworth's blog countered that assumption. "The Relationship between Perception and Measurement of Headphone Sound Quality," a paper by Sean Olive and Todd Welti presented at last October's Audio Engineering Society convention found that a … Read more
Pop a properly manufactured CD into a CD player, and you'll hear music in a second or two. In more than 30 years of playing CDs I've never once encountered scanning, searching, or error messages; after I press "Play," the music starts. Stick a properly manufactured DVD or Blu-ray in a working player, and you always have to wait a while to start watching the movie -- or it might not play at all. You might have to do a firmware update to play the disc. With DVDs and Blu-rays, there's no such thing as … Read more
A great-sounding recording will sound its best only when it's properly mastered to LP, SACD, DVD-Audio, or a high-resolution file. Those formats will reveal the full glory of the music in ways that lower-resolution formats like MP3 or analog cassette always miss. But if you didn't have access to the high-resolution file to compare it with, a great recording will still sound pretty terrific as an AAC, M4A, or 320kbps MP3 file, because the recording's innate quality would shine through. On the other hand, a heavily compressed, processed and crude recording will always sound heavily compressed, processed … Read more
Leaked from today's 404 episode:
- The confetti at Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade was made of confidential police documents.
- NEC is designing a suitcase-size DNA analyzer.
- A pill that calls home once you've taken it.
- CNET Exclusives: 35 percent off Outdoor Technology Bluetooth headphones and wireless gear!
My favorite model in Lamborghini's lineup has for many years been the Gallardo, but the flagship Aventador is unquestionably the most powerful. With today's unveiling of a Roadster version, the Aventador also gets an injection of style.
Rather than a power-retractable roof, the Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster features a two-panel carbon-fiber roof that is manually removed and stored under the hood when not in use. Presumably, this configuration is partially to keep weight down and partially because the Aventador's V-12 engine sits where your average convertible top would be stowed.
Where the coupe displays its 700-horsepower engine … Read more
Enter our week-long Threadless contest for a chance to win one of three Threadless T-shirts -- one lucky winner will receive a $30 gift certificate to the Threadless Web Store. Just follow us on Twitter and @reply us a photo of your favorite T-shirt along with the hash tag #404Threadless. We'll select the winners next Monday. Good luck!… Read more
I can that imagine someone at Lamborghini thinks that the Aventador's 700-horsepower split between all four wheels is probably enough power for one car. (And no, I don't agree with that person.) I assume this because rather than getting a nominal power bump for this model year's update, the 2013 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 gets a mile per gallon bump thanks to the addition of cylinder deactivation and idle stop-start technologies that allow the V-12 engine to instantaneously and momentarily make less power in the pursuit of using less fuel.
The Cylinder Deactivation System (CDS) works like this: … Read more
Did you leave your heart in San Francisco? What about your headphones? Well, here's your chance to get them back. This week, in honor of the city where CNET is headquartered, we're giving away a pair of V-Moda Crossfade LP Custom over-ear headphones with a San Fran theme.
Those with their ears to the world of audio accessories know V-Moda to be a reputable maker of stylish, low-profile earbuds that's branched out into headphones and, more recently, a headphone amp that's also an iPhone case.
The company's Crossfade LP Custom headphones let you choose from a wide range of plate color options, as well as stock engraving graphics (numbered jersey, crown, skull snake) or your very own custom logo. In this case, the headphones are already designed for you with swappable decorative plates featuring the Golden Gate Bridge and a cable car.
Normally, these San Francisco-centric earphones would cost you $199, but you have the chance to get them for free. How? Well, there are a few rules (including not calling San Francisco Frisco), so please listen up.… Read more
Today's episode of The 404 is a valuable resource for anyone obsessed with headphones -- classic audiophiles, young audiophiliacs, musicians, producers, and casual listeners will all benefit from Steve Guttenberg's knowledge, and he brought a friend! Tyll Hertsens is largely credited for creating the first portable headphone amp and currently the editor-in-chief of InnerFidelity.
With Tyll's help, we'll run through the differences between on-ear and in-ear headphones, give credit to two companies responsible for introducing high-quality headphones to the next generation of audiophiles, and we'll even spend a little time dissecting the criteria for what makes a headphone "sound good."… Read more
My quest for the best-sounding/lowest-cost desktop system is finally over.
First, the caveats: I'm assuming that you, like me, will already have an audio source -- an iPod, smartphone, or CD player -- so I'm not including that expense. And you may need to invest in some speaker wire, which could run you another $10 or so. I also name a handful of optional accessories below that … Read more