What can I say? I'm a big fan of gadgets that play into my inherent laziness. You may have figured this out while reading my various accounts of Slacker's Internet radio service and MP3 player. Now, SanDisk is following Slacker's line of thinking, albeit with a much more basic premise that involves simplicity and a low-cost device, rather than fancy wireless technology and the capability to tailor music to your liking. Instead, SanDisk's new MP3 player, dubbed slotRadio, uses preloaded microSD cards filled with 1,000 handpicked songs arranged into playlists. The device is clearly not … Read more
Shure unveiled its new SE115 line of in-ear headphones today at Macworld 2009. Aside from being colorful (offered in red, blue, or pink), the SE115 share the same design as the SE110 headphones we reviewed last year, with the exception of the audio-driver technology, which has changed from a balanced armature driver to a dynamic driver.
Shure was nice enough to let me try on a pair, and the sound was undeniably beefier than I recall hearing on the SE110 but a bit lacking in the crispness associated with the balanced armature driver found in its predecessor. I only listened … Read more
iLuv has a new 9-inch wide-screen portable DVD player, the i1166, that integrates a dock for iPods with video capabilities. The device also has an SD-card slot and USB port (for connecting storage devices) and it supports playback of DivX video files and JPEG images.
iLuv says the i1166 Portable Multimedia Player for iPod and DVDs will arrive in March, but its price hasn't been determined yet. By comparison, the company's 8.4-inch i1155 carries a list price price of $269.99 but sells online for just over $200.
Here's a rundown of the i1166's specs: … Read more
Altec Lansing has introduced "its first wearable stereo Bluetooth products," the BackBeat 906 and 903 Stereo Bluetooth headphones. The higher-end model, the 906 ($129.95), comes with a stereo Bluetooth 2.0 adapter for iPhones, iPods, and other MP3 devices, while the BackBeat 903 ($99.95) is just the headphones. Both offer wireless stereo-music listening and a built-in mic for making and receiving calls on your Bluetooth-equipped cell phone. They're due to hit the market in late February.
Altec, which is owned by Plantronics, is counting on the expertise of the two companies to bring together a … Read more
The new version of the Pacemaker announced today doesn't replace last year's model, but instead offers amateur DJs a light version of the full-blown product, loaded with a smaller hard drive (60GB instead of 120GB), a simpler user interface, and automatic tempo matching.
Physically, the new, consumer-focused version looks exactly the same as the $800 professional model. You get the same 1.75-inch color LCD, multigesture … Read more
Update (4/19/2009): CNET now has a full review of the Zoom H4n.
I know it's a little out of my realm of expertise, but I have a bit of a fixation with high-end portable audio recorders. Maybe it's a leftover from my glory days playing in garage bands, but the elusive dream of having one pocket-size gadget for making awesome live recordings still gets my blood racing.
My current mobile recording faves, the Edirol R-09HR and Sony PCM-D50, do an outstanding job capturing pristine, high-resolution audio--but they're not cheap, and there are some things they … Read more
Taking a page from the boombox trend of the 1980s, iPod-docking alarm clocks are taking on an absurd amount of features in an effort to stand out from the herd. Case in point: the iLuv iMM183, a dual-dock alarm clock capable of charging two iPhones or iPods. This little bedside beauty comes with a remote control, FM radio, EQ control, aux input, and last but not least--an NOAA emergency alert system with localized weather warnings.
There's little doubt that as we inch closer to the technological singularity, video-enabled glasses will play a part. Unfortunately, manufacturers have yet to produce a pair that don't make you look like a complete idiot, and bionic eye camera implants still seem a ways off.
Luckily, the folks at Vuzix must have grown tired of all the Geordi La Forge jokes, as their latest pair of video glasses look astonishingly normal. While there's no guarantee that the Vuzix Wrap 920AV won't induce muffled laughter from everyone around you, they do promise to combine virtual reality capabilities … Read more
America's annual Consumer Electronics Show typically isn't a launching pad for new MP3 players. With the iPod's continued domination over the world of portable audio, most MP3 player manufacturers save their big announcements until later in the year--after Macworld shakes out and before a new crop of iPods arrive in September. That said, CES is a great place to spot new iPod accessories, such as speaker docks, video goggles, headphones, and boom boxes. One thing I can say for certain: CES 2009 will be littered with products proclaiming their iPhone 3G compatibility.
Companies such as Iriver are … Read more
Every year, we CNET Editors approach CES with a mixture of excitement and some underlying, stress-induced dread. The show is always a lot of work--and spending five days in the dry Vegas climate when accustomed to San Francisco's damp (cigarette smoke-free) air almost guarantees coming back with a cold--but at least we have some shiny new gadgets to look forward to seeing. And yet CES 2008 just didn't quite deliver in the MP3 and PVP category...or several others, apparently.
Don't get me wrong: Senior Editor Donald Bell and I saw plenty of cool gear. However, most … Read more