Sports rich sound, voice commands, easy hookup and jamming battery life, typically up to two days. Comes with a variety of ear pieces for best fit.
handles not just your bluetooth phone but streams your music, and smoothly segues back and forth between the two when you takes calls. Although many FM signal units don't deliver, this one finds the best band for whichever area you're in, tells where to tune, and produces quality FM sound. Honking battery life, goes weeks without recharging, turns off automatically so you don't have to remember.
Twelve South iPad/iPhone Cases
This dandy little shop makes the most stylishly convenient widgets, from its Compass
portable iPad stand to the SurfacePad macbook wrist cushions. The Book Book
line of cases camouflages your iPad/iPhone (and now for Air) as an old-fashioned heirloom. They also make an ingenious BassJump
woofer for the much-needed bottom boost your MacBook needs in hotel rooms.
Otter iPhone/iPod Armour cases
--Waterproof, dustproof, dirtproof, sandproof, and drop-proof
--ClickWheel protected by a thin membrane which remains fully functional through the case
--Included belt clip provides cable management for your headphones (however, even these sturdy clips tend to malfunction, we recommend "through the belt" style holsters)
--External headphone jack usable with any style headphones with a standard mini stereo plug
Headroom Total Airhead
We swear by this amp, carried its uncle around for years, built like a truck
and performs like a mule. (Almost as good as Sean Penn on a dingy.) Try out one
of your favorite tracks at LOW volume for revealing depth and detail. Like
a speaker, if you can hear detail at very low volumes, you've got a groovy
thing. Headroom has recently redesigned the entire unit, but it still is
cheap at $99, and the Headroom
Total Bithead ($149)
features a USB connection for better laptop
sound through external speakers. A steal.
more to come... anybody used these Boostaroos
Within the past two years, earbuds have developed into the preferred listening
device for both "noise
fidelity. They consist of some key parts detailed below: the bud itself, which
sits deep inside the ear canal, the foam or rummber tip, which fits the bud into
the ear canal and blocks out noise, and the "outer
piece" or "anchor," which
rests in the outer ear. You simply can't make the same claims to quality with
those bulky battery headphones.
Shure has the right idea with its new E500s and E530s: the earpiece fits deep
into the canal while a larger anchor rests in the lobe for stability and comfort.
The SE210s are better for smaller canals. The sound is faithful, full-bodied,
even elegant. The problem was actually the different sized tips, because everybody
knows the BIG problem with earbud units are comfort -- specifically seal and
stability. For this, expanding foam works better than rubber "bubble" type,
especially for larger canals. The "bubble" fits are far too leaky
and unstable for most common listening experiences. Turn your head the wrong
way, the fit slips and you have to readjust. Both units come with handy mute
clip and volume adaptor, which should be standard on all these units, but aren't.
super.fi 5 Pro
These units are all acceptable choices for reduced budgets (most under $100),
but suffer from the same design flaws: weird, unstable fits marred by rubber
tips and outer-ear positioning. As a general rule, the further in the earbud
rests in your ear canal, the better the sound isolation, the more focused the
sound. (The clip-on models are simply not for serious listening.) As with
amps, test your earbuds with QUIET music, both to gauge the noise-cancellation
and focus on incidental source noise like hiss. It's tempting to try out isolation
earbuds in a noisy setting to see how much they filter out, but the fit will
tell you this sooner and more convincingly -- a better, more stable fit is
harder to find than superior noise supression. Take yourself to the quietest
space possible and turn down the volume: the more detail you can hear in the
quiet mode, the better earbuds you're wearing.
Apple is pushing super.fis, and they're perfectly respectable if ordinary.
We had trouble getting a good fit: the metallic tubes are larger, presumably
to carry more detail or sound, but cramming it into the ear canal can be painful,
and there's no stability: cough, sneeze, or simply twist your neck and they
jiggle out of place. Perhaps this is a better solution for Cousin Big-Ears.
This unit came with a lot of buzz, and has held the audiophile sector for the
past couple of years, justifiably so. The sound is smooth, broad, detailed
and rich, with plenty of mid- and bass range. My complaint is the fit: these
buds have the longest stem of the batch, so the sound sits very close to your
ear drums, but also extends further out the ear instead of resting in the lobe.
These are not spy units: everybody will know you have earbuds in, you get those "subtle
Martian" looks. But the quality is very rewarding. There is a budget model
which doesn't sacrifice very much in quality, either. However, if you're serious
about spending at least $170, we strongly urge you to consider:
The gold standard for both sound and fit.
This Colorado Springs firm specializes in custom-molded ear monitors for performing
musicians, and this is Westone's consumer model based on years of feedback
from musicians. In the live setting, noise cancellation takes on added urgency:
in order to hear a decent balance, stage noise needs to get filtered way
But the overriding breakthrough in this unit is its comfortable fit: a deep ear
position allows the (clear or black) anchor to rest in the ear lobe, which allows
chewing, talking, and the most natural motions without ever disturbing the sound.
You forget you have these things on, which will do wonders for your marriage,
not to mention your parenting.
The fidelity is a wonder: it was getting hard to believe that earbuds could deliver
the kind of spaciousness and breadth that larger headphones can deliver. These
do: they're exacting without being cold, spacious without ever getting boomy,
and intimate in that ineffable way that puts you in the room, or the audience,
with the music.
Bose QuietComfort 2 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones
First to market, backed by a relentless campaign and now the new model 3s (take
a pass), this is really Bose at its best: whatever they do to the sound between
the source and your ear is negligible compared to how well they block out noise.
This model is getting to the point where an ebay search will turn up plenty of
decent alternatives to the outrageously inflated price (don't even think about
paying $350 retail, or you're a chump). Bose is simply too closeted about both
its specs and methods, and overall too weird a brand. Still: they have inspired
It could partly be our prejudice against Bose, but these are simply irresistible:
the received wisdom is about how you have to sacrifice fidelity for "active
noise cancelation," but these would make great universal headphones. And
the filter beats Bose in any case. Watch them turn their heads in envy and you
bop down the aisle to the restroom.
Reviewed favorably in the the NYTimes... but how can you trust that paper after
both Iraq and fluff like this
Altec Lansing inMotion IM500 Portable Audio System for iPod
We put this in our kitchen after giving up on that $500 Bose CD changer, which takes forever to load and won't even shuffle between 5 discs. Works better as an OVERPRICED alarm clock. But Altec has created a convenient and sturdy-sounding unit that handles both iPod (all models) and an AUX input for our CD player. The remote controls both the base AND the iPod, and the sound is smooth and rewarding, even at higher volumes...
Tivoli Audio iPal
This is still the standard, quick and dirty, easy to lug, makes a great bathroom
radio on snow days, and performs reliably. While battery life could be better,
you can recharge in the car if needed using a cig
, and the radio reception is boffo.
Tivoli recently came out with an Audio
, a trimmer travel version that
doubles as an alarm clock.