When I was a kid in the 1960s I was obsessed with the future. The space program was in all its glory, the moon landing was within our grasp, and that, combined with rock music being at its creative peak, what more could a teenage boy ask for? The future looked bright, science would soon feed the starving, cure all disease, and technology would bring prosperity to the entire world. Once those humdrum needs were satisfied we could get to the fun stuff and develop personal flying gear, teleportation machines, and start colonizing other worlds. For kids, at least nerdy … Read more
We spend a lot of time on Crave complaining about all the cool gear that gets released in Japan but never makes it to the U.S. Sometimes, however, we see things from Japan that are so out there, we suspect the Japanese kept quiet out of sheer mercy, preventing our fat American heads from exploding. The Sony PFR-V1 personal field speakers (ie. headphones) are just such an item, and they're coming to America.
Available in April for around $500, the Sony PFR-V1 are a bizarre-looking solution to an age-old audiophile headphone dilemma: How do you recreate the superior sound stage characteristics of listening to full-size speakers, in a portable product that fits on your head? The problem with typical headphones is that they unnaturally point sound towards the center of your skull and don't take advantage of the sound-collecting properties of your outer ear. Most people can live with the sonic compromise offered by headphones, but if you're not one of them, then Sony has a new solution.… Read more
Sony didn't hold back this morning, announcing a massive lineup of more than 25 new portable audio gadgets and accessories. The release includes a handful of new Walkmans and speakers, but is dominated by a slew of new headphones designed with portability in mind. Perhaps the most interesting of the bunch are the sport-style earphones, all of which are water-resistant and feature unique and varied form factors to ensure a secure fit during activity. For more information, check out our slide show, which offers details on 20 of Sony's new audio accessories. (All of the products are expected … Read more
New headphones are my No. 1 recommendation to anyone who wants to get the most out of their new MP3 player. (Except, of course, for those who decided to go with the Sony NWZ-A810 series or the Zune 80.) Straight up: Those janky, plastic buds that came with your player aren't doing you any favors. First off, they're not terribly comfortable, and they don't fit most users securely--for me, there are few things more annoying than having to constantly shove a hard piece of plastic into my ear. Then of course there's the sound-quality issue...hollow, … Read more
Zumreed is a Japanese brand with a design sense that's as strange as its name. It popped up on Crave last year with its colorful droplet-shaped speakers, but it's probably best known for its fashion-conscious headphones. Its latest creation, however, is just plain bizarre. The "Sfit Jewelry Edition" has the unfortunate distinction of bearing "286 high-quality colorful studs" on its ear cans, for what purpose we have absolutely no idea. They're described as "smart, slim, style" headphones, but they look a lot more like pot scrubbers or perhaps some kind of … Read more
Maybe this is what Oakley had in mind before its sudden lapse in creating the "Medusa Hat."
Von Zipper's "Feenom Goggles" and headphone earmuffs may not score fashion points, but at least they don't look post-apocalyptic. They're also more functional than the Medusa ensemble, especially if you're on the ski slopes.
The whole Feenom set is geared toward active types, according to Book of Joe, with an "articulated helmet hinge" on the goggles and "large fluffy earmuff headphones" meant to stay put in mid-shred. We have no idea … Read more
For those earbud-phobic users who favor portability over features such as active noise-cancellation, there's the category of headphones that includes over-the-ear speakers and compact designs. Within that, we have JVC's line of Lightweight headphones, which is topped by the aptly-coined "high grade" HA-S900. These $130 'phones offer a good combination of comfort, portability, and pleasing sound. Read the full review.
There are two kinds of people in the world: people who use the cheap, nasty, uncomfortable, crappy-sounding earbuds supplied with their phone or MP3 player, and people who upgrade. If you fall into the first group, stop reading now and go back to your musical purgatory. For people in the second group, the Jays BlueStreamer 2 is a widget weighing less than half an ounce that lets you use your favorite headphones with your Bluetooth phone.
Charge the BlueStreamer via USB, pair it with your phone, plug in the 3.5-millimeter jack of your favorite headphones and start tappin' those … Read more
It's hard to figure out which pair of earphones will best match your taste in music. Even after carefully considering all the hundreds of options, trolling audiophile forums, and finding the best price, the fact of the matter is that everybody's ears are different. What's right for the metalhead may not be right for the jazz fan.
A startup company named Sleek Audio is making a bold attempt to address listeners' fickle listening preferences by allowing them to customize bass and treble performance with an interchangeable set of high-frequency filters and bass ports. Sound complicated? Well, it … Read more
Meet Jack. Jack hates tangled earphone wires. He's a bit of a neat freak, actually, but that's good news for you. Jack would just love to help you keep your cords free from tricky twists and gnarled knots, if only you would give him a chance. Just throw your earbuds over Jack's shoulders, twist the cable around his neck and feet, stick the plug in his hand, and Jack's a happy camper. Chances are you will be, too, because instead of spending time detangling cords, you can get right to listening to your music. Jack will … Read more