Archive for the ‘audio gadgets’ Category

Boomstick by Boomcloud 360

BoomstickIn case you are wondering, I am really having a hard time not saying: “All right, you primitive screw-heads, this is my Boomstick”. In addition to the reference to Ash from Army of Darkness, this is quite a good product from Boomcloud 360.

So let’s go with my second intro: in my review of the Monster Clarity HD earbuds, I talk about how the company declared war against the crappy earbud, like the ones that come with the iPhone. The Boomstick is designed to correct the problem and give you some good sound.

Now, I have seen products like this in the past, where it says that it improves it, but I don’t really hear the difference. Fortunately, you do hear it. In fact, after the Boomstick is completely charged, there is a button so you can turn its functions on and off.

In other words, Boomstick really wants you to hear the difference, and it is there. I was given this product to test out at CES 2016, and I am so glad that I did. I happen to use a pair of crappy earbuds on my smartphone and laptop, and they integrated quite well.

Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to obtain this item right now, but it is available for pre-order here for $99.00.

Posted by on January 27th, 2016 No Comments

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC33iS QuietPoint Noise Cancelling In-Ear Headphones

ath_anc33is_1_sqIn addition to the turntable that I got a chance to try out this week, I also had a chance to try out the ATH-ANC33iS QuietPoint Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones from Audio-Technica. I have tried out a lot of Audio-Technica products before, and this one is as good as the others that I have reviewed.

The ATH-ANC33iS can reduce distracting background noise by up to 90 percent, and then there is a QuietPoint control module that creates a noise-cancelling wave that is 180 degrees out of phase with the ambient noise. Seriously, with these earbuds, you should be able to pretty much block out the rest of the world.

Also on these earbuds is an inline microphone and controller for controlling music as well as answering calls. It is made to support all kinds of mobile devices like iPads, iPhones, iPods, and smartphones. The microphone has an omnidirectional pickup pattern made so you don’t have to speak directly into the microphone. Oh, by the way, there is a clothing clip, but don’t most microphones come with this?

Other features include Comply Foam Tips for comfortably fitting in the ear canal, and they have audio functions that work without the included AAA battery.

All in all, it is pretty terrific, and you can get the ATH-ANC33iS on the Audio-Technica site for about $79.95.

Posted by on August 13th, 2015 No Comments

Audio-Technica AT-LP60-USB LP-to-Digital Recording System

audio Technica LP turntableI’ll be honest when I say that the Audio-Technica AT-LP60-USB LP-to-digital recording system is definitely for a niche crowd. I think it is just plain odd that I got into cassettes back in the early eighties, and then when the nineties happened, I was doing CDs. I think that the rest of the world was with me on this, so those who still have vinyl albums will love the AT-LP60-USB.

I think it is strange that vinyl is still a working format, when I will have to scrounge to find a new album on cassette or 8-track. Fortunately, the AT-LP60-USB allows for a direct connection to the computer with a USB output. From there, you can put your tracks on an MP3, and the AT-LP60-USB also has a built-in switchable phono/line preamp that allows connection to a stereo system equipped with either a phono or line-level input.

To help out getting the your tracks as digital files on your computer, there is some Mac and PC compatible Audacity software. I’m not certain what more can be said about the AT-LP60-USB other than vinyl enthusiasts will love it. In fact, there are reviews of it on the Audio-Technica site that are positive, and I like it to. If you are a vinyl enthusiast yourself, you can get for about $149.95.

Posted by on August 12th, 2015 No Comments

iRig Mic Field from IK Multimedia

iRig Mic FieldI’ve reviewed products form IK Multimedia products before, and they usually have something to do with sound on mobile devices. This particular iRig Mic Field, which is a pocket-sized stereo microphone for Apple products, provided it comes with that Lightning port.

I’ve actually seen something like this before with Blue Microphones called the Mikey. It plugs right in the bottom and it backs a 24-bit audiophile-grade A/D converter, 44.1/48 kHz sampling rate, 115 dB maximum SPL rating and a low-noise/high-definition pre-amp. Okay, here are the sepcs, so let’s talk about some other features.

First of all, it has a companion application for free, appropriately called the iRig Recorder Free app. Not only is it a good way to record, but it is possible to edit and process stereo audio in the field. It is also compatible with all Core iOS Audio and Video apps including the Voice Memo and Camera, not to mention GarageBand and iMovie.

As for the device itself, it has a lightweight design and has this cool ability to rotate ninety degrees for “optimal audio/video positioning and locks in place with comfortable to use controls”. That control is a “thumbwheel” gain control.

About the only information here that I couldn’t find is how much it drains the battery. You should be able to get it on the IK Multimedia site for about $79.99.

Posted by on August 8th, 2015 No Comments

IK Multimedia iRig Mic Studio

iRig Mic StudioI have reviewed a lot of microphones in the past, like the Nessie from Blue Microphones, and I have reviewed a lot of IK Multimedia products, and they just announced an iRig Mic Studio.

The iRig Mic is a portable large-diaphragm digital condenser microphone that is good for anyone who sings or like doing anything on their computer like Internet radio or video or something. It has a large one-inch diameter back electret condenser capsule, which has a 24-bit audiophile-grade A/D converter, which means that it is good for the best sound quality possible or any sound situation.

The release of the iRig Mic Studio comes with a new Mic Room microphone-modeling application for the iPhone and iPad. It is compatible with eery popular mobile and desktop platform. It has a lot of other great apps that work with it like VocaLive App, EZ Voice App, and iRig Recorder App.

If you want to get on the IK Multimedia train, head on over to the iRig Mic Studio site and pay $179.99 for it.

Posted by on June 24th, 2015 No Comments

Life n Soul Mini Water Resistant Speaker

th This little gadget makes a big sound! If you want a portable bluetooth speaker to listen to your device’s music on the go, I think this would be a good investment! The bonus is that it is water resistant against splashing water from any angle! You can listen to your music while riding your bike in the rain!

Mark was introduced to Life n Soul before with other products like the MT 101 Bluetooth earbuds. They make other products, too, like other Bluetooth speakers, and headphones. I’ll be reviewing another product by them that will locate lost objects in a later post. I’ve enjoyed testing out this Bluetooth speaker they sent us to review.

The speaker is easy to set-up. There is a USB cable to charge it. Once charged, it paired up with my phone quickly and painlessly. There are no apps you have to download to get it to work. Once paired, my phone automatically brought up my music, and I was amazed at the sound quality that came out of it! It took me a minute to figure out after the volume controls on the speaker weren’t going any louder, that I just needed to adjust the volume on my phone. The bass is impressive for this tiny thing, and I like that that it glows and flashes when it is on. The BM101 comes in black, blue, pink, purple, or white. There’s a stretchable strap so you can attach it to your backpack, bike handles, or wear it on your wrist.

Life n Soul sells this product for $24.99 on their website, and can also be found on Amazon, or in stores like Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Staples- to name a few.

Posted by on February 25th, 2015 No Comments

The Loop- Earbud Anti-tangling Device

lime-loop-with-buds-300x300Have you ever thrown your earbuds into your backpack, only to pull them out later and find them a tangled mess? Would you like a fun, colorful solution to that problem?

The Loop is a little gadget that you simply insert the jack of your headphones in, and wind the cord in the direction of the blades. They will then place nicely into the blades when fully wound. Pretty simple and basic, but you can find a video of how it works on Youtube:

The Loop retails for $16.99 for a pack of 3, $48.99 for a pack of 10, and $350 if you need 100 of them(they can be stamped with your business logo for swag freebies!). Designed in the U.S., made in China, but they are good for the environment- as they are made from recycled content, and they are recyclable.


Visit to find out more and purchase your own! They can also be found on Amazon.

Posted by on February 2nd, 2015 No Comments

iKlip Xpand Mini from IKMultimedia

iKlip Xpand Mini 2I have reviewed a lot of IK Multimedia products before, and the last one was the iRig Voice, a microphone that is essentially made for a smartphone or tablet. This iKlip Xpand Mini is made for those who want to use their smartphone as a microphone.

The iKlip Xpand Mini is made for putting your smartphone on a pole. Yes, as long as you have a pole that is smaller than a half-inch, you can screw on your smartphone holder to it. The purpose is to hold your smartphone on a mic stand so you can presumably use it as a microphone or some other type of application. For example, if you have an IK Multimedia product like the iRig.

iKlip Xpand Mini 1You will notice that I have included two pictures with this article, instead of my usual one. Okay, I had 60 in my picture of PAXPrime 2014, but can you blame me? This is because I wanted to show you how it can be used vertically or horizontally, thanks to the ball joint. I also want to show you how it can mount it on this weird “Gorilla Grip”, so it can free up the ports.

You can see that it has an interesting aesthetic. This is because it was designed and made in Italy, and it has that aesthetic. If you want this, you can get it on the IK Multimedia site for about $39.99.

Posted by on September 3rd, 2014 No Comments

The VIZIO 2.1 Sound Stand

VIZIO Inc Sound StandVIZIO has certainly made a name for itself in the television business, and they are at home in whatever entertainment center they are in. They have recently announced the 2.1 Sound Stand, which will allow a virtual sound experience with some good bass.

I’m not certain how good the sound is, but it is made for places without too much space. It measures only 3 inches in height, and can support the weight of about 60 pounds or 55 inch TVs.

All the cables are included, so you can hook it up to an HDTV quite easily. It also has Bluetooth for wireless streaming, so you can have the cool sound from your tablet or smartphone.

It sounds like something that would fit in any home, and it is available for about $249.99 MSRP.


Posted by on August 5th, 2014 No Comments

iRig Voice from IK Multimedia

iRig VoiceI have reviewed plenty of IK Multimedia products before, like the iRig PRO and the iRig HD Guitar Interface. I will have to say that I wasn’t the audience for these products, but the iRig Voice is a microphone for a smartphone or tablet.

Who wouldn’t want an actual microphone for an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or other Android device? I believe that the iRig Voice is targeted to those who love to use their mobile device as some sort of portable vocal studio, or anyone who just likes to do karaoke. The microphone plugs into the regular 3mm jack, and you can even plug in another headphone into that.

So how good is the mic? Well, it is optimized for vocal frequency range reproduction, and utilizes a compact cardiod parttern for close voice pickup which minimizes feedback when use diwht speaker systems. Yes, I did pick that up from the company website, because I’m not a true audiophile and just know “sound sounds good”.

If you want to get the iRig Voice, it is available in 5 colors of Green, Blue, Yellow, Pink or White for a price of $39.99 on the IK Multimedia site. The EZ Voice compatible app is free, but the professional effects will cost extra.

Posted by on August 1st, 2014 No Comments