3D Music Player Pro gives you some interesting options for enriching the sound of your music, and it does a pretty good job with only a few flaws. Upon launch, use the plus-sign button in the upper left to add a couple of songs from your music library and test the various effects. Once they're queued up, you can play a song and then touch the 3D Sound button to hear the basic audio enhancements in the app. We noticed a difference immediately in our testing, with the app adding a much fuller and warmer sound to our music.… Read more
Anyone who owns an HDTV has no doubt discovered an almost universal truth: built-in speakers stink. Unfortunately, as I noted the other day, you can't just plug in a set of external speakers; usually you need a receiver to act as the go-between, and that gets expensive.
Note that I said "usually." Another option is a sound bar, a speaker/receiver combo that sits above or below the screen and does the work of two or more standalone speakers. Of course, these can be pricey, too.
Not today: TigerDirect has the refurbished Vizio VBS200 HD Sound Bar for $69.99 shipped. … Read more
I've read almost all your reviews about the gaming headsets that give you wireless surround sound, but there's a problem for us gamers who own more than one console. How do I hook up both my Xbox 360 and PS3 to one wireless gaming headset? Is it even possible?
Thanks, Paul, Chicago
Thanks for writing. Accomplishing this isn't impossible, but it's certainly an issue we think gaming headset manufacturers need to become more aware of. We've received dozens of similar questions with gamers anxious about having to finagle a way to get more than one source into a wireless gaming headset transmitter.
We'd love to see a device that allows for more than one digital input, though we are fans of Logitech's F540 system, which accepts up to three analog sources. However, if you're using something like the Turtle Beach X41s, Astro A40s, or Tritton AX 720s, you'll have to manually swap out the digital audio cables each time you want to switch consoles. Not only is this an arduous process, but if you're like me, most of these ports and wires are not conveniently accessible without some serious furniture moving.… Read more
Moving is always a time-consuming, life-upending experience, but it can also be an opportunity to rework, rewire, or completely redesign your multimedia setup. Having just moved 60-odd boxes, plus furniture, from one end of SoHo to the other (well, the movers moved, but I packed), that's the situation I currently find myself in.
As a native Manhattanite, I know going into any new apartment situation requires savvy use of minimal space. And in fact, while my new place is a larger than my old one (with an extra bedroom for the summertime arrival of Ackerman Jr. and a private … Read more
Multichannel movie sound dates back to Disney's "Fantasia." When the film was first released in 1940, the number of speakers used was scaled to the size of the individual theater; 30 to 80 speakers were installed behind the screen and around the perimeter of the ceiling.
Home theater multichannel sound arrived many decades later, and quickly settled on a 5.1 channel system, which is just a scaled-down version of the current movie theater system. The home system uses three front speakers--left, center, right--and two surround speakers placed on the sides of the room. The subwoofer supplies … Read more
Turtle Beach is at CES 2011 to show off the company's spotlight product, the PX5. A successor to the X41 headset, the PX5 improves on the original design in many ways, most notably being the first headset to bring wireless surround sound and chat to the PS3. Two on-board wireless radios (Bluetooth and 2.4Ghz) allow for the headset to play nicely with both Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles, and the Bluetooth capability can even be utilized as a cell phone headset or wireless speakers for AD2P music playback.
But perhaps the most impressive feature of the PX5 is … Read more
Though Microsoft curbed OEM's abilities to customize Windows Phone 7, HTC is still finding ways to add its own, useful touches to the software.
Most recently, the handset manufacturer updated its HTC Hub to include weather information on its live tile. This means that you'll be able to glance at the Start screen and see weather information (current and forecast) for a user-defined location without having to launch the HTC Hub first.
The update is available now from the HTC channel in the Windows Phone Marketplace. The two HTC Windows Phone 7 devices currently available in the U.… Read more
We're on to the second week of our special two-week giveaway, with Microsoft sponsoring the giveaway and offering up a second Windows Phone 7 smartphone to one lucky winner. Once again, that phone is the just-released HTC Surround, which features built-in Yamaha "surround sound" speakers and a kickstand (sorry, no service is included). So, if you didn't win last week, try again!
The HTC Surround has a 1GHz processor, full wireless options, and a 5-megapixel camera. And as CNET editor Bonnie Cha said in her review, "Windows Phone 7 brings a fresh and friendly user … Read more
For the next two weeks, we have a special version of the Crave giveaway going on, with Microsoft sponsoring the giveaway and offering up a new phone each week to one lucky winner. And which Windows Phone smartphone are we giving away? Well, it's the just-released HTC Surround, which features built-in Yamaha "surround-sound" speakers and a kickstand (sorry, no service is included).
The smartphone has a 1GHz processor, full wireless options, and a 5-megapixel camera. And as editor Bonnie Cha said in her review, "Windows Phone 7 brings a fresh and friendly user interface, great multimedia … Read more
The Internet's own Bonnie Cha stops by to discuss Windows Phone 7. You're probably asking, "Why would the classy and graceful Bonnie Cha agree to discuss anything with you?" I asked the same question, which is why I was forced to dip into my bag of dark secrets about Bonnie I've collected over the years and use it as what turned out to be very effective leverage.
Tune in to find out why the Windows 7 Phone interface intrigues me so, how Xbox Live fits into this, and why Bonnie affectionately refers to me as &… Read more