Consider yourself warned: The following post is not for the squeamish. It's time to clean the wax out of your earbuds. Yes, it's gross, but if you have the style of earbud that gets inserted into the ear canal, it must be done. Otherwise, wax can build up on the outer speaker and affect sound quality, and it may actually seep in and damage the inner workings of the earpieces. It's also not a bad idea to disinfect the sleeves from time to time. Find out how to do both below. Also this week: Your iPod isn'… Read more
If you're a performance-minded audiophile who thinks aesthetics are of little or no importance to equipment, consider AKG's newest high-end headphones. The Austrian company has just announced the successor to its highly rated K 701 model--which Crave UK photographed in excruciating detail just last week--but the main differences in the new version seem largely cosmetic.
The K 702, which Steve Guttenberg said will be released in August, will come in a "Stage Blue" as opposed to its predecessor's white finish, according to Audio Junkies. The company says the reason behind the change is more than … Read more
There seems to be a headphone for every purpose nowadays. You have headphones for the gym, headphones for the plane, and even earbuds that work underwater. There are also headphones made especially for the little ones in your life, although the choices are limited. Given the concerns over audio volume and hearing damage, it's not terribly surprising that headphone sets for children are few and far between. Luckily, more and more headphone manufacturers are taking advantage of volume-limiting technology to offer child-friendly models. One such company is Ultimate Ears, which has released the Loud Enough Earphones, a $40 pair … Read more
Anyone familiar with Sennheiser's flagship headphones, the HD 650s, will know they're a truly stunning pair of open-back cans for reference and home listening. And we love them with the flaming passion of a thousand burning nymphomaniacs.
But the vixen of the open-back headphone world has some competition in the Crave house: AKG's K 701--a pair of similarly priced open-back reference-class headphones. With both priced at roughly 180 pounds (about $358), some informed decisions will need to be made. (See Steve Guttenberg's take on the rivalry.)
After about 100 hours of burn-in time we're … Read more
As we all know high-end speakers are really expensive, some cost as much as a nice car. But high-end headphones, even the very best ones are within reach of anybody who loves great sound.
A while back I tested three of the top contenders for Home Entertainment magazine: AKG's K 701, Grado's RS-1, and Sennheiser's HD 650. Each is, in its own way, remarkable. You can read the complete review here.
The AKG K 701 is a very large over-the ear headphone. Its remarkably open sound will be hugely appealing for those of you who use headphones while watching DVDs. I find the K 701 produces a less in your head, more speaker-like sound than the Grado or Sennheiser. As big as they are, the K 701's creamy soft ear pads are so darn comfy it is easy to forget I'm wearing headphones. No wonder some headphone addicts lauded the K 701 as the best there is. The K 701 will continue, but the K 702 will debut in August.… Read more
Is it just me, or do tech gadgets break down way too quickly and easily? I swear every cell phone I've ever owned starts petering out about the 372 day mark with sharply declining call quality. Then, there's the screen and processor problems with MP3 players after about two years. One reader said that even some expensive headphones are calling it quits way too early. I may as well start driving a Fiat (again) and get it over with. Also: I may not be the FCC's biggest fan, but I'm not one to encourage illegal activity … Read more
Placing the 'phones over the old Uncle Ned, we felt a similar level of comfort to the ATH-W1000s, which got a excellent rating in our review last week. They're snug without too much tightness.
Inside are decent specifications: a 53-millimeter neodymium-backed driver responding to frequencies between 5Hz-40kHz, an impedance of 40ohms, sensitivity of 101dB and an excellent maximum power input of 2,000mW. Click here … Read more
There are a few things I look at when considering a music gadget for personal use--OK, who am I kidding? I look at everything. But some key points top my list. One of them is design; I prefer devices that are stylish or unique in some way without sacrificing usability. Other necessary features include solid sound quality, a customizable interface, and handy features.
The 32GB Creative Zen scores high in most categories. It's a high-capacity device with a slim, compact design, a large screen, and a customizable interface; it sounds fantastic; and it's a breeze to operate. It … Read more
Just as the mobile phone and media player continue to evolve into one device, so too are their respective accessories. Many electronics makers, for example, are trying to find the right formula for Bluetooth headsets that will work equally well for phone calls and music.
Sony is launching its latest effort in this category with a new pair of Bluetooth 2.0 headphones for the Japanese market. The DR-BT140Q has a built-in microphone, comes in various colors, and claims 12 hours of playing time with its lithium battery, according to Newlaunches. We're a little curious about those cords hanging … Read more
Although there are plenty of fabulous MP3 players out there, no one device is perfect. For years, I've kept a list of dream features, many of which remain unchecked. One of these is support for every single audio codec, from Apple Lossless all the way down to WMA Lossless. A tall order, but one that would not be unappreciated by others, such as one reader who would like a non-iPod MP3 player that supports Apple Lossless. Also this week: do lanyard-style headphones for the later-generation iPod Shuffle exist?
Q: I'm looking for a new MP3 player. I use … Read more