You can buy a set of great full-size headphones for $100 from Grado or Sennheiser, but if you want to pick up one of the world's best headphones, be prepared to spend more than $1,000. Granted, no one needs a $1,000 headphone to listen to music or a $140,000 Porsche Panamera Turbo sedan to drive to work, but they're nice things to have. That's why we cover them on CNET.
Audio-Technica, Sennheiser, Grado, and Ultrasone's latest attempts to advance the state-of-the-art are really expensive, but before the introduction of the T1, Beyerdynamic's top models all carried an MSRP of less than $400. With the Tesla T1, Beyerdynamic joined the $1,000-and-greater club; it sells for $1,295.
Steep prices haven't stopped the high-end headphone market from booming, and Beyerdynamic can't keep up with the demand for the T1. It's hand-built and tested in the company's headquarters in Heilbronn, Germany.
Its padded leather headband and soft earpads provide high comfort levels, and while we were testing the T1 over some rather hot and humid late spring days, the headphone remained comfy for hours on end. The T1 comes packed in a very impressive aluminum storage case.
According to Beyerdynamic, the T1's transducer is the first to produce more than one Tesla of magnetic flux density (hence the T1 designation). A more powerful magnet better controls the diaphragm's movement, which should produce lower distortion.
Most of the T1's outer earcup is covered with a finely woven wire mesh, which allows the user to hear outside sounds. Actually, the T1 is classified as a "semi-open" design, so it partially limits how much sound the wearer would hear, compared with open Sennheiser and Grado designs. The T1's thick cable is just shy of 10 feet long (118 inches) and it's fitted with a 6.3mm connector. Beyerdynamic doesn't include a 3.5mm adapter for use with iPods or other portable devices.
I listened to the T1 with three different amplifiers: an Onkyo TX-SR805 receiver, Woo Audio WA6-SE vacuum tube amp, and Burson Audio HA-160 solid-state headphone amp ($699). Beyerdynamic's headphone amp, the A1 ($849), would likely be a serious contender, but I didn't have a chance to try it. … Read more
Ed Roberts, whose early Altair 8800 computer helped inspire Bill Gates and Paul Allen to start Microsoft, died Thursday. He was 68.
Though Roberts' name is less well known than some other computing pioneers, the Altair is widely credited as the first personal computer and for helping inspire the modern computer industry. Roberts established Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), which introduced the Altair in 1975. An article on the Altair in the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics caught the eye of a young Allen, who showed the story to Gates.
Gates and Allen quickly reached out to Roberts, … Read more
The stock Palm Pre has an adequate but ho-hum 500MHz processor inside with 256MB or RAM. And even the Palm Pre Plus simply doubles the RAM. So how would the Pre run with a much faster processor? Now we know.
One modder overclocked his Pre (22.214.171.124 software) from 500MHz to 800MHz. He lost a good deal of battery life. And the phone persistently ran warm. Chances are the phone may one day get so hot it melts his Hanes to his hip.
But hey, marginally faster performance. You can't beat that. If you're interested, download … Read more
To kick off its partnership with HP on a new line of cable and power conditioning products, Monster is offering up the HP Monster Digital PowerCenter 800G w/ Green Power in our Crave Giveaway of the week.
Like Belkin's Conserve surge protector, instead of having your electronics sit there in standby mode and each sip a little bit of power, the Digital PowerCenter 800G lets you completely shut down components so power drain is cut to zero (you plug your computer or other electronic device into the "GreenPower Control" outlets). At the same time, it leaves certain … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--If you've ever doubted that Motorola has a global presence, then you need only to visit Mobile World Congress. Moto spoke to the United States and Europe with its Cliq XT/Quench announcement, showed the quirky A45 Eco for Latin America, and it threw a few bones to Asia with the Google Android-powered MotoRoi, XT800 Zihshang, and MT710.
The square, slider A45 Eco has a dual personality.: not only does the youth-oriented handset focus on messaging, but it's also made from recycled materials and is certified as carbon neutral. It sports a quirky orange skin.
British speaker manufacturer Bowers & Wilkins doesn't revise its top-of-the-line 800 Series models often. It must have been a good five years ago when the company first introduced diamond tweeter equipped models.
The 800 Series speakers are not only highly regarded by serious audiophiles, but also they can be found in the best recording studios and mastering houses in the world including Abbey Road Studios in London, George Lucas' Skywalker Sound in California, and here in New York City at Sterling Sound. I've heard the 800 at Sterling, so I know it really deserves to be a benchmark design for audiophiles and professionals. Also, the 800 series is also drop-dead gorgeous.
The just announced diamond tweeter models are the sixth-generation 800 Series, but only the second with diamond tweeters. The new 800 line is also the first to feature diamond tweeters in every speaker in the seven-model range.
Why diamond? The vast majority of dome tweeters used in other speakers, including very high-end models, use either cloth or metal dome designs, but thanks to diamond's superior strength, the 800 Series tweeter produces less distortion and greater high frequency extension and resolution. The new diamond tweeter uses a quad-magnet design that offers superior efficiency, and greater dynamic range than the previous models' tweeters. Therefore, when the drummer whacks a cymbal or the trumpet player really wails, you'll hear it.
LAS VEGAS--Last year we reviewed a few new portable DTV units from no-name manufacturers that did OK in our tests, but fell short in terms of battery life and resolution. That's why we're intrigued with Philips' upcoming PET749, which combines a portable DVD player and DTV in a $179.99 (list) unit with a higher resolution 800x480 display.
While that's not HDTV resolution, it is a notch up from the 480x234-pixel resolution you see on many of the generic portable DTVs cropping up on Amazon and other sites (we reviewed the Envizen Digital Duo Box Pro ED8850A). … Read more