Frequent fliers have a special challenge when it comes time to pick out headphones. Finding 'phones with a travel-friendly design, but that are also comfortable and provide great sound with some capability to block out ambient noise can be tough. Now add in a budget of $100 and you can forget about getting all those features in one package...or maybe not. Audio-Technica's ATH-ANC1 QuietPoint headphones may have an MSRP of $130, but they can be found online for $100, and they solidly address all of the above considerations.
The way people consume media has been constantly evolving, especially over the past five years. In 2005, it would be practically unthinkable for any consistent TV viewers to cancel their cable subscriptions and watch only online video. Now, many more people are depending on the Internet for their video content, made abundantly clear by the fact that advertising on sites like Hulu sometimes go for higher rates than that on network television.
In such an atmosphere, it's more important than ever for digital media players and converters to stay in front of the curve. More than two years ago, Real Networks took its media player, which was mostly popular as an embedded app for online audio and video playback, and added a one-step video-downloading feature. Today, the company is updating RealPlayer SP for Mac with the addition of a built-in video converter that also offers one-click transcoding for portable devices. The program lets Mac users download practically any unprotected streaming and then transfer it directly to an iPhone, iPod, BlackBerry, or other device. RealPlayer SP handles the transcoding in the background, which makes the front-end experience very simple.
Compared side by side with RealPlayer SP for Windows, I have to say that the Mac version isn't as seamless.… Read more
It's nothing new, but the habit of headphone manufacturers to crop up with the latest "fashion-forward" model has enjoyed a sharp uptick as of late. Newcomer Urbanears provides several examples, with three lines of portable headphones designed to catch eyes and turn heads. One is the Plattan, an on-ear model that comes in a choice of 14 colors. Unfortunately, these earphones don't offer the clearest audio quality, but they do pump out plenty of bass and cost a relatively affordable $60 a pop.
Portable electronics aren't particularly known for being environmentally friendly, mainly because of how difficult they are to dispose of and the materials that go into making them. Headphones certainly don't seem low-impact, with their long plastic cords and metal, plastic, and silicone components. However, Thinksound is aiming to change all that with two new lines of earphones designed with the smallest eco-footprint possible. One of the models is the Thunder 10mm earphones, an $80 set that sells for closer to $55 online.
Late last week, Rhapsody finally pushed out a beta of its new app for Android devices. The service was aiming to launch the new feature before the holidays, but finalizing the software for public consumption took a bit longer than expected.
The Android version is noticeably different than the one for the iPhone--for a few reasons. Most notably, due to the parameters of each OS, the Android app will run in the background while you use other functions of your device (the iPhone does not allow such activity at this time). Also, Rhapsody for Android has a noticeably darker look … Read more
Anyone who has listened to me on the MP3 Insider podcast, followed me on Twitter (WeirdEaredJas), or even taken the time to peruse the bio below knows I am cursed with absurdly tiny ears. Heck, you can even see for yourself in the multitude of in-ear photos plastered across the headphone reviews on CNET. Happily for me, I am not alone in my deformity (yes, misery does indeed love company).
In fact, many purveyors of portable audio find standard earbuds uncomfortable and can't get many in-ear headphones to fit properly into the ear. It is for my fellow small-eared … Read more
If you're wondering just how long you can expect Klipsch's Image S4 earphones to last with normal wear and tear, the answer is 7 months, 27 days, 4 hours, 13 minutes, and 9 seconds (OK, maybe I am making up the minutes and seconds). Here's how it went down: I was power walking to pick up lunch when a rogue arm (my right one, to be exact) flew into the cable, yanking the right earpiece out of my ear. When I stuck it back in, nada. The 'bud was dead and wouldn't produce a sound.
Upon … Read more
While I write this, I am enjoying a custom-built station on Slacker Radio, and as of last night, Canadians can do this as well. The news is a big win for both Canada and Internet radio, and is thanks in no small part to BlackBerry, which has a huge presence in the country and a growing relationship with Slacker.
No doubt, many Canadians will be thrilled with this announcement, as I've had no small number of them e-mail me about various music recommendation and streaming services. However, Slacker won't be exactly the same in Canada. Residents will only … Read more
Walking into the North Hall at CES this year might make you wonder if someone had picked up MacWorld and deposited it into the Las Vegas desert. The space was packed end to end with various iPod accessories, complete with iLounge Pavilion. As you might imagine, headphones made up no small part of the audio offerings on display. Among the many companies on display was Etymotic, which was demonstrating its new mc-series headphones.
The sleek new earphones come in a variety of shimmery colors, including a forest green version not shown here. They also include Etymotic's excellent noise-isolating capabilities … Read more