The Ultimate Ears 700 Noise-Isolating Earphones are the latest upscale earbuds to hit the market for your listening pleasure. What sets the new headset apart from previous Ultimate Ears models is that each bud includes two separate channels--one for high and midrange frequencies, the other for lows. (By comparison, the almost twice as expensive and considerably larger Shure SE530s cram three drivers into each earbud.) Other niceties included are five extra pairs of ear tips, so you can customize the fit to the size of your ear canal (small, medium, or large), as well as an airline attenuator (to tap … Read more
BumpTop replaces your desktop with a visual environment unlike any you've used. It's a bit like a futuristic gesture-based interface, but it's tied to your mouse. Were it capable of simultaneous Web browsing, its utility would be much more apparent.
BumpTop makes the items on your computer's desktop more like their real-world counterparts. Icons and folders are assigned a virtual weight based on the amount of memory they take up and their importance to you. You can move them by click-and-drag, or fling them across the BumpTop space. The program determines their importance based on how … Read more
A new kind of Natali Del Conte joins The 404. She references "Octopussy" and makes us play Marry/Boff/Kill. We can already tell that HR is going to be on us any second. She brings some big news to the show by announcing CBS will be streaming live online via Ustream.tv "The Early Show" on Saturday morning. It's their first attempt at an interactive, live show. We anticipate a rowdy chat room with Natali on.
On today's show, we chat about the worst kind of fanboys--forgetting the fact that almost all of … Read more
The Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10vi Noise Isolating Earphones are a slight variation on the UE Triple.fi 10 Pro. The 10vi headphones offer the same spectacular sound quality and gigantic earbuds found across the Triple.fi line, but come with the added bonus of an inline mic and call-answer button for use with your iPhone or other music-friendly cell phone.
Other handy features include a nice, hard-sided metal carrying case; several varieties of eartips, including the super-comfy foam variety; an extender cable; a quarter-inch adapter; and an airplane adapter cable. Be forewarned, though: the ear pieces are truly huge … Read more
Of all the major high-end speaker-manufacturing countries in the world--the United States, England, France, Germany, Italy--Denmark is, in some ways, my favorite.
The Danes balance art and engineering better than anybody. I recently reviewed Dynaudio's latest series, Excite, for Ultimate AV magazine. You can read the complete review, but here are some excerpts:
The Excite system featured a pair of X32 towers (together costing $2,800), an X22 center channel speaker ($850), a pair of X12 bookshelf speakers (together costing $1,200) for use as surrounds, and a SUB 250 subwoofer ($1,000). None of them are very large or imposing; my nonaudiophile friends barely noticed the speakers' presence in my living room. That's probably a plus for folks looking for a 5.1-channel system that blends in with its surroundings.
All of the Excite models feature Magnesium Silicate Polymer cone woofers with die-cast aluminum frame baskets and aluminum voice coils. Dynaudio's specially coated soft-dome tweeters, with newly designed magnet structures, grace all the speakers.
The Excite speakers are available in real-wood maple, cherry, rosewood, and black ash veneers; my review samples came in the deep 'n' dark rosewood, which was truly stunning. … Read more
Despite the constant nag screen each time a command is selected, this utility comes packed with options for keeping your system in check. If offers users a file and registry cleaner, along with tools for tweaking your user interface and network.
Users will appreciate WinTools.net Ultimate Edition's easy to navigate interface. With straightforward command buttons running along the left side of the window, you'll be off and running in no time. The Scan Files and Scan Reg buttons quickly pulled up questionable files, and thanks to the full-use trial, we were able to just as quickly remove … Read more
In what can only be considered a wise move in the current economic climate, Ultimate Ears is expanding its line of noise-isolating earphones to include a $49.99 pair, the MetroFi 170, and a $79.99 pair, the MetroFi 220. The new earbuds will replace the MetroFi 2, which were previously UE's cheapest set at $80. The company is also offering smartphone-compatible models with microphones built into the cables. These versions, the MetroFi 170vi and the MetroFi220vi, will sell for $59.99 and $89.99, respectively. I'd say that 10-buck increase for call-answering capability is as easy to … Read more
It's always nice to have the right tool for the job. Anybody who has ever tried mashing potatoes with a spoon or mincing garlic with a fork can certainly attest to that. While it might be obvious that a peeler is a necessary tool for the kitchen, sometimes it's the little things we overlook.
The Kai Ultimate Wide Peeler available for $19.95 at Williams-Sonoma is an oversized utensil designed for specific tasks. Capable of producing buge slices of cheese, chocolate, or vegetables, this peeler is more versatile than the average standard-sized variety. Additionally, the extra-wide 4.25-inch … Read more
I've reviewed hundreds of speakers, and back when I was selling high-end audio, I auditioned many hundreds more. Summing up those experiences here's what I've learned: they all sound different, but some sound more "right" than others.
"Right" connotes an even-tempered balance that doesn't call attention to itself and is likely to wear well over the years. The Aperion Intimus 5T-DB Hybrid HD should do just that. You can read my full review for Ultimate AV here.
The Intimus 5T-DB Hybrid HD ($2,829) is a six-piece system featuring a pair of 5T towers, the 5C center speaker, a pair of 5DB dipole/bipole surround speakers and a remote-controlled subwoofer, the Bravus 10D. True, the speakers don't look all that different than previous generations of Aperions, but as they say, the devil is in the details.
Aperion sells direct from its Web site with a 30 day money back return policy. UPS Ground shipping is free in both directions, and Aperion doesn't collect sales tax in the continental US. Feel free to try the Intimus 5T-DB Hybrid HD as I reviewed it -- and then if you decide, heck, I want the larger Bravus 12D sub that'll be no problemo. Aperion will pay for the Bravus 10D's return shipping and you'll just pay the difference in price between the two subs.