The Woo Audio WA7 Fireflies is one of the most beautiful audio products I've ever used. For my money it approaches a level of design grace comparable to that of Apple products. The 5-inch cube headphone amplifier has two vacuum tubes protected by a thick glass cover. The WA7 also has a built-in 32-bit/192kHz USB digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and lots of custom-made parts, including dedicated nickel alloy output transformers. There's a 6.3mm jack for home-style headphones, and a 3.5mm jack for portable ones. That's noteworthy, as few headphone amps have both jack sizes. The … Read more
I've been listening to Jerry Harvey's custom-molded in-ear headphones for years. The very first one, the UE10, was a game changer; in 2006 it was the best sounding in-ear headphone I'd heard. Now with his new Freqphase JH13 and JH16 in-ears, Harvey's done it again. The performance gains in clarity, detail, resolution, and stereo imaging are huge -- the adrenaline-pumping sound of the music you love over a set of Harvey's headphones can't be matched by any other in-ear 'phones.
Years before he made headphones, Harvey mixed stage monitor sound for Kiss, Van Halen, … Read more
We come at you live from CES 2013, where we saw so many TVs our eyes started bleeding. Kind of.
The week was a blur, but through the rubble we recall images of giant televisions, curved screens, a fork that vibrates, an awesome gaming tablet that Karyne wishes she owned 100 of, and blackjack tables. So many blackjack tables.
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Heard a tech rumor you think we should cover? Leave a comment below; ; send us a tweet (@EmilyDreyfuss, @karynelevy, and @CNETRumorShow); or call and leave us a voice mail at 1-800-750-CNET. … Read more
Schiit Audio's very first product, the Asgard headphone amplifier, left me shaken and stirred back in 2010. It sold for $249, looked and sounded amazing, and to top things off, it was made in the U.S. -- not just assembled here. Most of the Asgard's parts are sourced from U.S. companies.
The Asgard is still in company's product line, and it's still $249. But Schiit has grown since then, and now offers a full line of more expensive headphone amps and USB digital-to-analog converters (DACs) -- which is great. But the company's most recent offerings sell for just $99 each! The Magni headphone amp and the Modi DAC are also made in America, and they sound spectacular. … Read more
LAS VEGAS--The last time we caught up with Valencell, the company was hoping its PerformTek fitness-monitoring sensor technology would be available to consumers last fall. It's taken a little longer than expected, but the tech has been licensed to Iriver and will be available in March in the form of the $199 Iriver On earbuds.
As we've seen at CES this year, everybody and their grandmother has developed some sort of wearable fitness technology. What sets the Iriver On apart is that it's integrated with a device you already wear while exercising: earbuds. There's no bracelet to wear or dongle to clip on; you just monitor your heart rate, distance, cadence, speed, and calories burned while you rock out.… Read more
I spent a little time with the two on-ear pairs, the ES-FC300 ($149) and ES-HF300 ($179). The difference between the two is the cord -- the FC300 has a tangle-resistant flat cable while the more expensive HF300 features an "audiophile-grade" 6N copper cable.
I liked the understated look of the headphones and found them pretty comfortable to wear. They're fairly lightweight but don't … Read more
LAS VEGAS--You can't really call AfterShokz products earphones, because they don't go into your ears. The term "headphones" works, though. Last year at CES, the company unveiled its original design, corded headphones that send the music into your mind via your bone structure. The new Bluetooth Bluez takes the same approach, but it's all done in wireless style.
The controls and battery are integrated into the part of the headphones that wraps around the back of your head. A rubbery strip helps customize the fit and keep them in place for active users.
The big selling point is how AfterShokz keeps your hearing available for more important issues than music, like your boss yelling at you, or a car coming up from behind while you're jogging. The $100 Bluez is a couple of steps up from the originals, ditching the hassle of cords and other dangly bits that can get in the way while you're exercising.… Read more
LAS VEGAS--Plantronics has long had Bluetooth-compatible headsets and speakers, but people with PCs have largely been left out of the party.
Until now. At CES this week, Plantronics is showing a wide array of its headphones and speakers, many of which focus exclusively on Bluetooth compatibility. But with the Voyager Legend UC and the Calisto 620, PC users wanting to listen to their favorite music on their mobile devices or wanting to make VoIP calls from their PCs can play along.
With its Voyager Legend UC headphones, Plantronics is now offering the ability to listen in on audio from mobile … Read more
The star of the show, unsurprisingly, was Panasonic's 2013 line of Viera TVs. But the consumer electronics giant also showed off a range of other new products, from midrange LCD TVs, to new Blu-ray players, to Bluetooth speakers, to a range of micro home stereos, and finally a set of bone-conducting headphones.
It may not have been the shortest press conference of the day (Lexus called it quits at 13 minutes), but before … Read more