I love the noise-blocking isolation a good set of in-ear headphones provides, but the trick lies in getting the best possible seal. Sure, most headphones come with a selection of three or more silicone, foam, or Comply eartips. I recommend trying on as many tips as you can, and see which set provides the best possible fit. Once you have achieved that, you'll have the maximum isolation from environmental noise, optimum bass response, and the right tip will likely provide the most secure fit, making the earpieces less likely to accidentally fall out. The problem I'm talking about … Read more
Flowers are all well and good this Mother's Day, but let's face it: they're ephemeral. And cliche. And not terribly practical. That's probably why a recent survey showed that moms covet tech gear nearly as much as they do spa trips and jewelry.
If you want to get Mom something that's useful, entertaining, and long-lasting, look no further than the tech department. I've rounded up five gadgets, all priced below $100, that should make Mom a happy camper this year -- and on into next.
ChicBuds Most earbuds are basic black or Apple white … Read more
I heard about the Wadia 151PowerDAC from my friends at Magnepan, who make some of my favorite flat-panel speakers. They loved the way the 151 brought their fourteen-inch tall Mini Maggie speakers to life. That's great news, because when I auditioned the Minis at the factory last year (before they tried the 151) the speakers were hooked up to a massive Threshold stereo power amp. The Threshold/Maggie system was, by a large margin, the best-sounding desktop system I ever heard. Using a monster amp like that wasn't a practical solution for most buyers, but now with the … Read more
Red Wine Audio makes some of my all-time favorite headphone amplifiers, but they're pretty expensive. The Isabellina HPA LFP-V Edition, for example, runs $2,500; it was designed and built in Vinnie Rossi's small factory in Durham, Conn. 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 amplifier. While the amp can be run off an AC power outlet, it sounds best powered by its built-in 25.6 volt Lithium Iron Phosphate battery pack. The battery can play for up to 10 hours, and … Read more
Here at CNET Exclusives, we try and take the guess work out of the onslaught of daily deal sites by working hard to bring our users top reviewed products at unbeatable prices.
This week our friends at Outdoor Technology are hooking up the CNET audience with a great deal on the company's top reviewed Tags earbuds. Not a member of CNET Exclusives? What are you waiting for! Join now and start saving on the tech products you crave.
We originally set our sights on these awesome headphones when they turned up in the Best Bluetooth accessories roundup on CNET. … Read more
iTunes is a convenient way to rip CDs into compressed audio files in Windows, but it certainly isn't the only way. LAME is an open-source encoder and is considered one of the best, if not the best, MP3 encoders available. It can be used with a free CD-ripping program called Exact Audio Copy (EAC) to create high-quality MP3s. Here's how:Installation
Step 1: Download the Windows executable of LAME to a folder on your PC and unzip it.
The New York Audio & AV Show at the legendary Waldorf-Astoria Hotel is hosting the biggest collection of high-end audio products the city has seen in many years. Audiophiles and curious New Yorkers are crowding the halls and rooms, eager to see and hear some of the world's best audio products.
The New York Audio & AV Show starts today at 3 p.m. and runs through Sunday at the legendary Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in midtown Manhattan.
Sony isn't a company I normally associate with high-end audio, but it will be at the show demonstrating its award-winning SS-AR1 speaker. VPI turntables will be giving away a Scout turntable worth $1,800, with a handmade Soundsmith phono cartridge. Local dealers Audio Doctor, Sound by Singer, and Innovative Audio/Video will be on hand and they are promising lots of new gear presentations.
There will also be a full slate of seminars, including &… Read more
I've frequently raved about Woo Audio's all-tube headphone amplifiers in this blog, so I was surprised to see that the company's new WDS-1 digital-to-analog converter (DAC) is a solid-state design. Woo still offers the full line of made-in-New-York-City headphone amplifiers, with prices starting at $495.
There's also a new matching WPT-1 CD transport. Build quality is superb; these components have the sort of detailing you see on high-end gear that sells for two or three times the price of Woo's products. Each unit is 9 inches wide and 13 inches deep so they can be … Read more
Figure (99 cents) lets you create a song with three tracks -- drums, bass, and synth lead -- through a series of taps on a beautifully designed touch interface. The easiest way to get started familiarizing yourself with Figure is simply by touching record, then holding drum sounds to lay down your first beat.
Once you're satisfied with your beat, touch the red Bass tab at the top to add a bass track. You'll see three circles at the top with Rhythm on the left (number of bass notes per eight bars) and Range in the middle (this adjusts what part of the scale your notes will come from). On the right side of the interface you'll see a circle divided up into pie pieces illustrating the steps of the scale -- the actual notes you are playing. Figure automatically makes sure you're in tune, only using notes from the same key. Once you've filled out the loop, let go and listen to your drum and bass lines.… Read more