Some gadget makers just won't listen to reason. As much as Crave has ranted about the dubious value of handlebar speakers, they insist on coming out with more of them.
The latest example comes in the form of this bike stereo speaker from a distributor in Italy, of all places. We can't even imagine what it would be like to try to hear them over the cacophony of horns and obscenities in Roman traffic jams.
For some, the passive sound isolation provided by many sets of in-ear headphones just doesn't cut it. But active noise cancellation is a bit difficult to find in an ultracompact package, such as that offered by earbuds. In fact, I can only think of two sets off the top of my head: the JVC HA-NCX77 and the Sony MDR-NC22. Now, I can add one more to my memory bank, Audio-Technica's new ATH-ANC3 QuietPoint earbuds. Unlike many noise-canceling headphones that only succeed in blocking out low frequency sound, the ATH-ANC3 uses a patented technology that matches environmental noise with … Read more
NoiseFree VoIP has just launched a fresh all-software solution to those often noisy VoIP calls. Skype, Yahoo Messenger with Voice, and Google Talk are great ways to save money on long distance, but if you're calling anywhere near civilization, you're bound to get interference. A noisy line can undo the advantage of free Internet calls.
Until December 31, 2007, NoiseFree VoIP is offering a free beta of its noise-canceling software to registered users. I gave it a go at CTIA (coverage), and was impressed with the demo. There was noticeable improvement in call quality when I toggled the … Read more
Forget the mousetrap--some inventors are apparently obsessed with building a better sleep machine instead. Or, in this case, a "travel sleep sound generator" called "Sound Oasis."
The latest example of white-noise machines, as we used to call them, tries to raise the bar yet again with all manner of sleep-inducing sounds (18 altogether). This one's product literature includes such marketing gibberish as "a patent-pending sound designed to combat jet lag using non-linear music and slowed nature sounds that encourage relaxation and can reset the body's internal clock." Our translation: They've added … Read more
There aren't many, but one of the downsides of the digital revolution is noise pollution. The proliferation of gadgetry in our society has given rise to a constant cacophony of beeps, rings, buzzes and Beyonce ringtones. On any given day, the sound of our own phones is enough to push us over the brink, which is why we usually keep them on vibrate. But even a vibrating phone can sound like a buzz saw when it's bouncing around on a wooden desktop.
Here's one possible solution that could work equally well in a deafening office where a … Read more
Every few weeks it seems someone's announcing a new pair of noise-canceling headphones that are designed to take on Bose's ultrapopular--and ultraexpensive--QuietComfort line of headphones. This week's entry is the JVC HA-NC250, the company's new top-end noise-canceling headphone.
The formula's pretty simple for creating--or at least attempting to create--a pair of Bose-killers. Make them sound good, look luxurious and comfortable, and then price them $100 less than the Bose QuietComfort 2 headphones, which sell for $300 (the smaller QuietComfort 3's go for $350).
This is what JVC has to say about the HA-NC250:
"… Read more
Sony's NW-S705F Noise Canceling MP3 player is now on sale in the U.S. for about $199 for 2GB version and $169 for 1GB. You may remember when Crave reported on Sony's announcement of this player back in October. The big hullabaloo is that the NW-S705F has active noise-cancellation integrated into the player. Before you get too excited, the active noise-cancellation system will still require you to use Sony's proprietary earbuds. Even though the noise-canceling circuitry is in the player, microphones located on the outside of the earbuds are necessary for the function to work properly. The … Read more