The Fosgate Signature Headphone Amplifier is one of the very best-sounding amps I've ever used. It was designed by one of the greats, Jim Fosgate, a man who earned 18 audio related patents, founded a number of successful electronics companies -- oh, and he pioneered high-power car audio systems. He was also a big supporter of the very first home surround format -- quadraphonic -- in the early 1970s, and so committed to the format that even as quad was winding down, he designed the Fosgate Tate 101, arguably the finest quad processor of the era. Fosgate also created … Read more
Released just yesterday, iOS 6.1 can be jailbroken via the program Redsn0w, but only in tethered mode and only for older iDevices.
As detailed by the Microsoft-focused tech site Redmond Pie, Redsn0w version 0.9.15b3 can jailbreak Apple's latest OS. The jailbreak requires that your device be tethered, meaning you'll have to connect it to your computer each time you restart it.
Further, the latest version of Redsn0w supports only older iDevices with an A4 chip or earlier. That means it'll work on devices like the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and 4th-gen iPod Touch but … Read more
With retro designs the in thing these days, rumor has it Samsung has decided to milk the trend by launching an NX200 RS interchangeable lens camera (ILC) this weekend.
Although it does appear uniquely different, we hardly think it looks retro. Aside from aesthetics, we feel shutterbugs are also looking for more usability in the form of dedicated buttons, common in older film cameras, that simply the whole photo-taking process. … Read more
ZURICH, Switzerland--There's something about a German sports car that makes even the hairiest road seem like something you want to keep driving.
A few days ago, that feeling was reinforced as I (carefully) wound my way up and over some of the most amazing passes in the Swiss Alps. With barely enough room for one car, let alone two abreast, with drops of thousands of feet just off the side of the cliffs, and guardrails pretty much an afterthought, I knew that I was being tested. But I was driving Audi's terrific RS 5, and I wasn't … Read more
Pandora is leaving no car behind, but will the expansion of Spotify derail the momentum? Audi brings its RS line back to the U.S., in small form, while BMW expands use of carbon fiber. And we take a ride in an espresso cup.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 224 SHOW NOTES
I've been a fan of Musical Fidelity from its beginnings in the early 1980s. The British company's original 30-watt-per-channel stereo A1 integrated amplifier was a hit with budget-minded audiophiles back in the day, and it also offered seriously expensive gear.
Musical Fidelity started making headphone amplifiers long before the current headphones craze started. The model we're looking at today is Musical Fidelity's pure Class A M1 HPA headphone amp ($799).
The HPA has very low output impedance (below 1 ohm), so Musical Fidelity claims it can "drive" any headphones with ease. The circuit is a fully discrete Class A design, with no op-amps in the audio path, so it's built like a small high-end power amp. The HPA has two inputs--line and USB--and there's a variable output, so the HPA can be used as a stereo preamplifier in a hi-fi system. It has two 6.3mm headphone jacks on the front panel.
Some previous generations of Musical Fidelity's styling were a little over the top for my taste, but the M1 HPA is understated and very classy. … Read more
To power its upcoming test fleet of electric vehicles, BMW announced AeroVironment as the preferred supplier and installer for the ActiveE's 240-volt home charging dock.
Based on the 1-Series, the BMW ActiveE has a 32-kWh lithium ion battery pack that provides a 100-mile range. The AeroVironment EVSE-RS charging station uses the industry standard SAE J1772 connector to deliver approximately 25 miles of driving range per hour of charging time. Using the EVSE-RS charger, a completely drained battery can be fully recharged in 4 to 5 hours.
BMWs aren't the only electric cars the EVSE-RS can charge--AeroVironment's weather-proof … Read more
I've reviewed and auditioned a lot of headphone amplifiers over the years, but Red Wine Audio's Isabellina HPA LFP-V Edition stood out from the pack. The amp improved the sound of almost every headphone I used with it.
Priced at $2,500 the Isabellina is very much a high-end audio product. Designed and built in Vinnie Rossi's small factory in Durham, Conn., the headphone amp's elegant functionality belies its technical sophistication. Rossi started Red Wine Audio in 2005, and before that he worked on high-speed laser transmitters for Bell Labs.
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 section. While the Isabellina can be run off an AC power outlet, it sounds best powered by high-current lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries. Rossi claims "The batteries use organic, phosphate-based material, providing an ideal combination of performance, safety, reliability and environmental friendliness...in fact, more so than any other rechargeable battery technology."
The amp's digital connectivity options include USB, Coax, and Toslink/optical inputs; there are no analog inputs. The Isabellina has analog outputs, so it can be used as a stereo preamplifier, with a separate power amp to drive speakers, or a digital-to-analog converter in a hi-fi system.
The Isabellina features old tech 16-bit, non-oversampling digital-to-analog converters. Rossi acknowledges the latest chips' specifications look more impressive on paper, but he thinks most of them (even some really expensive ones) sound "quite sterile and artificial" in comparison. The Isabellina will work with digital sample rates up to 192kHz, but it will only playback with 16-bit resolution. … Read more
Porsche yesterday announced it has sold out of the 911 GT2 RS; the German auto-makers fastest sports car to date.
The limited-edition 911 GT2 RS, which has a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter flat-six and delivers 620-horsepower, has sold out in just two months. Since its introduction at the Moscow Auto Show, Porsche secured 500 preorders. The units are scheduled to be delivered to owners in February, 2011, Porsche said in a press release.
Pentax would like you to play dress up with your digital camera. The Optio RS1000 is nice-looking out of the box, but its removable faceplate lets you quickly change its appearance as often as you want with whatever color or design you choose.
The camera ships with 11 standard skins, but you'll also get a SkinIt gift card to design and order a free, precut vinyl skin as well as a stencil to create a skin from printed photos, colored or wrapping papers, and drawings. You'll also be able to download an Adobe Air-based Pentax Personal Skin Designer … Read more