If you've laid down serious cash for a great pair of headphones but they're plugged into your phone or computer, you're missing out on a lot of the sound quality you paid for. Don't get me wrong, phones and tablets can sound acceptable, but their designers didn't focus on sound quality -- that's the last thing they worry about. The cure for so-so sound is straightforward: invest in a high-performance digital converter/headphone amp, like the Cypher Labs Theorem 720. It can be used with iPhones, Android phones, or computers via USB connection with … Read more
Since in-ear headphones sit in or near the ear canal, they don't interact with the pinna, the bends and curves of the outer ear that direct sound to the ear canal. The pinna also serves as an acoustic filter, enhancing the frequency range of human speech, and it also supplies directional cues, so we can localize where sound is coming from. That's how our ears and brains process sound in real life, but in-ear headphones don't interact with the pinna, so they can't sound as realistic as full-size headphones or speakers. In-ears can still sound great, … Read more
I've reviewed my share of portable headphone amplifiers, but ALO's new Rx-MK3B just might be the best on a number of counts. First, the amp is compact, just about the same size as an iPhone, but twice as thick. ALO invested two years of engineering and development time in the Rx-3B, and makes it in the U.S.
The Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo is a portable digital-to-analog converter designed only for use with iPhones, iPads, and iPods, but it won't work with computers (it's not a USB DAC). There are precious few portable DACs that can … Read more
It took us too long to get our bearings with the unintuitive interface this free encryption program presents. ProCypher 32 worked, but it didn't seem to merit the time spent learning how to operate it.
ProCypher 32 opened with an overwhelmingly cluttered interface. At the top of the window are the command buttons for encrypting and decrypting files, along with buttons for clearing specific fields. There's no flow to the interface element, and the User Guide was too vague to be of any help. After some experimentation, we found the button for opening a specific file is at … Read more
This bare-bones file encryption program does what it sets out to do, but it doesn't offer much in terms of options and design.
Despite its overly basic interface, Cypher does support drag-and-drop functionality, and because it's an executable, you won't have to install it. You can choose to either browse for the file or drag and drop it to the search field. A small window appears, asking if you want to encrypt or decrypt the file, and to enter a password. That's it as far as options go. There's only one algorithm option (AES), and … Read more