I empathize with the folks who are peeved that the remote control and microphone included on these headphones won't work on older iPods. I also get the frustration about the in-line volume rocker switch not working with the first two generations of iPhones (the iPhone 3GS is fully supported). That said, these are still a great set of headphones, and anyone who owns a new iPod should grab these without hesitation. If you own a first- or second-generation … Read more
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That has to be one of our favorite expressions here at CNET, and the hearing professionals who head up Westone clearly abide by it. In 2006, we got our hands on the company's only two pairs of consumer earphones--the UM1 and the UM2--both of which received high marks for their good looks, comfortable fit, and excellent sound quality. Rather than toy with two winning products, the company has added a third headphone to the lineup, the ultrahigh-end Westone 3 True Fit Earphones ($399). These super sweet-sounding headphones are pricey … Read more
I've only been listening for a few minutes, but so far, it looks like Apple has delivered a worthwhile pair of headphones. They don't quite have the crisp, high frequency detail of the Etymotic HF2 headphones I had at my desk, but they blow away Apple's stock earbuds (not too difficult a feat) with a buttery low end and pleasant mids and highs.
We're happy to see … Read more
The Magneat headphone organizer provides a solution to the most annoying accessory attached to your music player: the headphone cord.
The industry is a few years away from offering high-quality, inexpensive Bluetooth earbuds, so for the time being we're left untangling and tripping over long wires. As a matter of fact, just today I was walking into the bathroom (keep reading, it's OK) and my headphones got caught in the door handle. My headphones nearly pulled me to the floor and strangled me to death. Granted, Kimmy Gibler and I share a similar center of gravity, but my … Read more
Apple's new in-ear headphones are out, and Donald and Jasmine can't help but poke a little fun with the help of a recent Simpsons episode.
Also this week, the MP3 Insiders discuss Donald's favorite gadgets from 2008, as well as which portable audio gadgets make good gifts (and which don't).
Plus, things get a little heated when copyrights and the RIAA enter a conversation on digitizing audio.
If there's a lesson to be learned from this week's MP3 Mailbox Monday, it's that flattery will get you everywhere. And that it's hip to be square. Oh, also, there's something about digitizing music and recycling CDs in here, too, though I like to delude myself into thinking you stop by for my self-indulgent-yet-somehow-still-witty intro chatter. What do you mean witty, you say? Ha! Good one. Read on for the skinny.
Q: I just joined CNET--great site, just love it! Here's the thing: I'm old, I'm out of it, and I need help. I only started downloading music a year ago, and now I'm hooked. Love having digital music and want to get rid of my physical CDs. I work non-stop and don't have time to do this myself. I've looked into ripping services and wonder if anyone can recommend one service over another? They all seem pretty much the same as far as cost so I'm looking for actual positive experience with a specific service. I'm in the New York City area but it's fine to ship to a distant location if it's a good service.
Also, what format should I convert to--MP3 or AAC? I have an iPhone, a Mac laptop, and external back up (a time machine). And what do people do with their old CDs? Are there places to donate, recycle, etc.? Thanks a ton!--Clare, via e-mail
A: We haven't done a comparison of CD-ripping services at CNET, but I found one over at Digital Trends that is nicely laid out and includes a wide variety of options. (As usual, I also invite other CNET users to leave feedback below.)
Now, the question of format is a good one, and I'm afraid the answer isn't entirely straightforward. What format to use depends on your purposes. If you're looking for archive-quality audio, lossless is the way to go. The most common lossless format is WAV, but in your case, I'd recommend Apple Lossless, which offers some compression while still preserving the data of the file. (This means the Apple Lossless file will be smaller than the WAV, but will arguably sound just as good.) Apple Lossless is supported by iTunes and most iPods, including the iPhone.… Read more
Portable headphones come in two main styles: in-ear and on-ear. The former comprise the ultratiny earbuds and canalbuds that you place at least somewhat inside your ears, while the latter often feature a headband and circular earpads that rest over the ears. iPod accessories maker iFrogz offers several models in both varieties, including the in-ear Ear Pollution Plugz headphones featured here. Unfortunately, this $15 set rather lives up to its name, offering audio quality about on par with the stock 'buds included with most MP3 players. On the plus side, the earphones offer a hint of style, an ultracompact design, … Read more
As a music technology nerd who makes a living criticizing gadgets, I'm not an easy guy to shop for. You do this work long enough and you get pretty jaded about the tech in your personal life. Still, there's always a handful of gadgets each year that pierce the armor and nuzzle their way into my audio geek heart.
A lot of mediocre products spent some time on my desk this year, but some of the gizmos I got to play with really raised the bar on my expectations. In fact, some products (like the Yamaha Tenori-On pictured … Read more
Portable headphones come in two main styles: in-ear and on-ear. The former comprises the ultratiny earbuds and canalbuds that you place at least somewhat inside your ears, while the latter often features a headband and circular earpads that rest over the ears.
iPod accessory maker iFrogz offers several models in both varieties, but the on-ear Ear Pollution Toxix headphones are the subject here. Thankfully, the $20 set doesn't totally live up to its name, but neither does it sound particularly good. The earphones offer a hint of style and a lightweight design, so they could work in a pinch … Read more
Able Planet, known for developing headphones for those with mild to severe hearing loss, recently unveiled a new high-fidelity multimedia headset for PC gamers--the PS500MM.
Able Planet's chairman and CEO, Kevin Semcken, said:
"We designed this innovative new headset specifically with PC gamers in mind. Gamers tend to spend significant periods of time playing online games and such extended play of rich multimedia sounds puts a cumulative strain on the ears this can cause hearing loss and fatigue. Our technology minimizes this risk so that users no longer have to turn up the volume just to be able … Read more