Just as with speakers, size matters with subwoofers. Pint-size subs can make bass, and the best mini subs can deliver fairly deep bass, but the volume capability, bass quality, and definition of baby subs can never match what you can get out of something like the $449 Hsu Research VTF-1 MK2 sub I reviewed on this blog last year. That bruiser measures 18x14x17 inches, and has a down-firing 10-inch woofer and a 200-watt amplifier. It's the best under-$500 home theater and music sub I've heard, but I was curious about Hsu's $699 VTF-3 MK4 monster, to … 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
I recently wrote about a Hsu Research subwoofer, "Shaken & stirred: The Hsu VTF-1 MK2," but today I'll cover a complete Hsu 5.1 channel sub/satellite system. There are four HB-1 MK2 sats, one HC-1 MK2 center channel speaker, and the VTF-1 MK2 sub. The six pieces sell for $1,159, and the sound is truly astonishing for the money. A Denon AVR-1912 receiver and an Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player completed the test system.
The Hsu system has extraordinary power and dynamic oomph. It also sounds sweet at late-night listening levels, but it can rock with … Read more
The Hsu Research VTF-1 MK2 is, hands down, the best-sounding affordable subwoofer I've heard to date.
It was designed by Poh Hsu and I have fond memories of the first time I met him, at a Consumer Electronics Show in the late 1990s. He had a room filled with subs and a single pair of tiny speakers hooked up to an inexpensive receiver. He played a short series of music pieces with thundering bass drums, mighty organs, and hard-hitting rock bands, and those baby speakers sounded like heavyweight towers. It was a great 2-minute demo, and when it was … Read more
The Beetle may be an older nameplate, but for many drivers the world over the Volkswagen Golf (and its performance variant, the GTI) is the quintessential VW model. The Golf's combination of style, performance, and flexibility have helped the hatchback to remain a constant favorite. So, it's no surprise that the seventh-generation Golf -- which makes its debut later this month at the 2012 Paris Motor Show -- doesn't deviate too far from the established formula of its six predecessors.
The photos and details released by Volkswagen today detail what will be the European-spec 2013 Golf, but … 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
Enthusiasts of embedded computing seem to be spoiled for choices nowadays.
A Chinese-made computer that's slightly larger than a typical thumbdrive can now be purchased online for just $74.
The MK802 is similar to the Cotton Candy computer-on-a-stick. Both are powered by ARM processors and support Android or other ARM-compatible Linux operating systems. It comes with a Mali 400 GPU that enables it to output 1080p video through HDMI.
Despite its small size (it weighs just about 7 ounces), the MK802 has a microSD card slot to add to its built-in 4GB flash storage, together with a full-size USB port and a micro-USB version. Wi-Fi is also supported. … Read more
It has rolling treads, three fingers, and opposable thumbs. The MK2 robot arm and torso system looks like a cybernetic cowboy in the making.
With two fingers and a thumb, its dextrous hands (as seen in this vid) can use a variety of tools. Or users can swap them out for end effectors such as scoops for digging.
The remote-operated system can be configured to have up to 27 degrees of freedom, or axes of movement, with two arms. It could be used to lift a 110-pound 155-mm projectile, extract a detonator, or unzip a suspicious backpack that someone has left behind. … Read more
When you don't have time to be impatient, consider pressing the Fingers Mk II into service to express your displeasure at having to wait around.
The mechanical hand consists of resin fingers attached to steel plates. A motor moves the fingers in a rhythmic pattern familiar to anyone who is either bored or an Addams Family fan.
The tapping oddity runs on two AA batteries and will be limited to an edition of 25. It could lend a strange new meaning to giving someone a hand.… Read more
The 3DS certainly seems to be on a bit of a hot streak lately with Super Mario 3D Land and now Mario Kart 7. While the franchise has been a Nintendo staple for almost two decades, we were curious to see if MK7 had enough fuel in the tank to impress us all over again.
We've taken our laps with the game and rounded up our final thoughts:
Jeff: Other than the brilliant use of 3D in Super Mario 3D Land, I'm not sure there's a better genre to show off the illusion than racing games. In Mario Kart 7 the effect is fantastic, but perhaps not as vital to the experience like it is in other games. Regardless, MK7 is the next game to buy behind 3D Land, successfully delivering the one-two combo punch the Nintendo 3DS has been so desperately seeking.… Read more