I’m going to do that thing that I do when I explain that I am not really an audiophile. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, this is what I do when I am reviewing headphones, because I often don’t hear a difference between two individual sets of phones. However, I had the opportunity to review Sonarworks True-Fi calibration software for my PC, and I can honestly say that I can definitely hear a difference.
All that is required to go the Sonarworks site and download it. From there, it asks some questions like your age and gender. Uh, why does this ask this, you might ask? Well, this is all about calibration. You can even see in the illustration the adjustable bar for an age bracket, and it has some interesting effects.
Of course, what you really want to do is calibrate your bass with your unique set of headphones. I had a chance to review it with the Marshall Monitor and the Samson SR920, which are two headphones that I have not had the opportunity to try.
From there, I could adjust the bass, and man, it is great to hear some seriously booming sound. You should be able to purchase this software on the Sonarworks site for $79.99.
We review many earbuds and in-ear devices that people use to listen to music on the go, and take phone calls. Today, though, I’m reviewing a unique product that I think might be exciting to outdoor enthusiasts and people on the go. The BONX Grip provides some innovative group talk technology.
photo credit: BONX
What is the BONX Grip?
The BONX Grip is an in-ear piece that is water resistant and shock resistant. It connects to an app that allows you to connect with up to 10 other people who have the device in walkie-talkie fashion. It’s not a walkie-talkie, though, as you need to have cell service in order not to drop your conversation. The great part about this device is that it responds only to your voices and blocks out all other background noises. It has a multi-layered wind noise reduction system so you can communicate with others in the harshest of conditions. It also saves on battery life and data by only using data when the user is speaking. You can also listen to music on the earpiece.
What’s in the BONX Box?
For $139, you have your choice of a black, white, green or pink earpiece. There are 3 different sized earloops, and two earpieces to help you find your customized fit. A small USB charger will give it a charge up to 7 hours. The app can be found in the app store for Apple devices iPhone 5 and later. Android users can get the app in Google Play for Android systems 4.3 or later.
I think this device is great, and would find it useful when biking, hiking, and rockclimbing- as long as there is 3G, 4G or wi-fi connection. It also assumes that other friends in your group would have their own. You could still use it to answer phone calls and listen to music.
In closing, here’s a cool video of how this product has helped a blind mountain biker.
These excellent earbuds, made specifically for iPhones, provides something that other earphones don’t. When these babies are plugged into your iPhone, you can access FM radio signal without WiFi access.
The Soundot app, available in the iTunes store, is user friendly. It allows for easy control of the FM tuner and adjusts Equalizer and Sound Effect settings. You don’t need the app to enjoy music on these earphones, though. They have the ability to save EQ and sound effect settings into the headset. This way you can listen to quality music on other music apps and iOS devices.
As with other earphones, there is a microphone that allows you to take calls, or control Siri. The multi-function controller on the mic has controls to adjust volume and select between songs as well.
The bass is quality with its dual dynamic driver design. The build overall is impressive, and you can experience the premium sound quality advertised on the box for yourself.
Driver size: 15mm and 7mm
Codec: 21-bit audio Codec with 24-bit DSP
Material: Metallic Case
Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
Sensitivity: 11dB/mW at 1kHz
Looks Great! How do I buy the Soundot?
The Soundot is priced at $79.89 on the Blackloud website. Great Christmas present if you know someone who wants quality sound, and would like to listen to FM radio without needing WiFi!
Thanks to Blackloud for sending us this product to review free of charge in exchange for our honest and unbiased analysis. No other compensation has been given.
With all the technology we have to deal with these days, there is an inevitable mess of cables. BlueLounge is a company that creates gadgets to help manage that mess. We have the opportunity to review some of those items today.
photo credit: BlueLounge
This device is a stand to hang your headphones on. With dimensions of 4.25 x 4.25 x 9.6 in, Posto will give you a place to store headphones and reduce clutter on your desk. It comes in black or white, and will accommodate all sizes of headphones.
The headrest is rubberized- made to form to the headphones. The base is a sturdy aluminum. It looks very classy. You can purchase a base of your own for $19.99.
Discouraged by cables everywhere? This product comes in a mini size for little cables like MicroUSB and Apple Lightning connectors. They also come in a regular size for larger cords. The sticky back is perfect for sticking to desks, walls. People even use them in their bathrooms!
They come in many color choices- black, white, bright, and muted. You get six CableDrops in a package. If you purchase the mini version, there are 9 in the package. They both cost $9.95. Their plastic build is firm, but somewhat flexible. The adhesive backing eventually becomes permanent over time, so you should take precautions when trying to remove them.
We’ve reviewed similar management systems for earbuds and their cables. This system is unique in that it has a magnetic center that holds the earbuds. You could also store lightning cables in it. It’s also made of silicon- rather than the hard plastic ones we’ve reviewed in the past. There are different options of colors, too! There are ones in Dark Grey, Light Grey, Lime Green, Black with a Gold magnet and Blue with a Gold magnet. These handy gadgets are only $9.95 and make a great gift!
photo credit: Blue Lounge
The last BlueLounge product we have to review is the CableClip. As you can see, this is another gadget to keep your cords tangle-free. This is great, because if you’ve ever thrown cords into your backpack, you know that they often don’t come out so well. For $9.95, you can buy a package of 2 large, 4 medium, or 6 small clips.
The large ones work great for thick power cords and network cables. Medium ones will work well for USB and data cords, small power cords, audio cords and phone cables. The small ones are ideal for earbuds, small data cables and charger cords.
We’d like to thank BlueLounge for sending us these great products to review at no charge. Our opinion is unbiased and fair, and no other compensation has been paid to influence our reviews.
Kids these days… They love technology- just as much as their grown-ups. That’s why we think the product we’re about to review would make a nice Christmas present for young children. Designed by a company in Belgium called Muuselabs, the Jooki will allow your little ones to listen to their music independently.
photo credit: Jooki
Once adults set up the playlist using the downloadable app(compatible with IOS from 9.0, Android from 4.4, MAC and PC), young ones will be able to choose which playlist they want to listen to by popping a character on to the middle of Jooki. The characters that come with the Jooki right now are a ghost, a dinosaur (I think? I don’t know), a whale, fox, and knight. The characters are… interesting, for sure. It sort of reminds me of Amiibo, but with odd characters. The intended audience will love it, though. It works with Spotify, by the way, so they will love it even more.
Other great features of this product includes it’s durability. It’s built to last in little hands- including being splashproof. Also, with little ones in mind, parents can set the maximum volume it plays, and it has a headphone jack, so great for trips in the car. 8 hours of battery life will let the kids enjoy Jooki on long rides.
Set-up of the device is simple, and there are videos by Jooki on YouTube to help set things up. This company is also known for great customer service- if your device seems to be having issues. You will need an SD card if you have downloaded music you want to use wirelessly.
The last time we reviewed an Anker bluetooth speaker was back in January, when we reviewed the Soundcore Boost. We’ve been given another opportunity to review a bluetooth speaker from the same company. This one has an LED light party and 360 degree sound. We’re reviewing the Soundcore Flare+.
Soundcore Flare+ Specs
Size- 3.9 x 3.9 x 7.2 inches
Weight- 1.88 pounds
Waterproof rating- IPX7(fully waterproof and immersible)
The Flare+ has a playtime of up to 20 hours. This is up from the playtime of the original Flare speakers of 12 hours. That’s some impressive time without having to charge! Also helpful is the ability to charge your phone through the speaker. It also is a bit taller and wider, plus it has two extra tweeters over the original. The sound quality is even more superior than the high-rated original. Another difference is the built in Alexa and the ability to use the speaker as a power bank.
What Comes in the Soundcore Flare+ Package? How is set-up?
The Soundcore Flare+ device and the micro USB Cable are included in the box, as well as the instruction book. The Soundcore app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. Once downloaded, the app is easy to connect and manages the Flare Plus with ease.
There are 5 color themes and 5 adjustable patterns that gives a fun vibe with the beat of your music. This all can be controlled by the app as well. Bluetooth 5.0 makes these super easy to pair with your phone.
Other Features of Soundcore Flare Plus
These speakers are able to pair with other Soundcore Flare speakers, so you can use them in matched playing mode to increase the sound in the room. You can also adjust them as left and right speakers to give a dynamic surround sound as well. The BassUp technology intensifies your experience in the bass end of your music.
Yes, it is time to review another Audio-Tehcnica product! This time, it is an awesome audio product with the ATH-WS990BT Solid Bass Bluetooth headphones!
So, what does this have? Let’s not bury the lead as it has 53 mm drivers, and not just any drivers, but Deep Motion Drivers. They have large, high-flux magnetic circuitry, made for low and high frequencies.
So yes, the sound is good. However, if you are worried about having too much sound and drowning out the world, you don’t have to. Yes, it has noise-cancelling as well as hear-through functionality, which means you can chose the level of blocking out reality. I have to admit, this was the first time I have seen this option on headphones, and it is worth bragging about.
As far as the rest of the features are concerned, let’s talk about the controls and microphone located conveniently on the left earcup. Other features are the 30 hours of continuous wireless use, which is good for 1,000 hours of standby.
It is available on the Audio-Technica website in any color, provided it’s black. Yeah, I think it was Henry Ford who said that about his automobile, but check this one out for about $249.00 if you want some very decent sound for your money.
I have reviewed a lot of IK Multimedia products in the past before, and for some reason, I remember them for their microphones, particularly the iRig. In the past, I have reviewed the iRig Mic Sutdio, the iRig Mic Field, and the iRig Acoustic. But enough cross-references, let’s talk about the latest is iRig Mic HD 2.
Yes, apparently the iRig is an important brand from IK Multimedia, and they have created a great tool for audio content creation in the form of a mic. It is for the iPhone, iPad, Mc, and PC, and it has high definition audio quality up to 24-bit/96 kHz and a low noise preamp.
As you can see, the iRig Mic HD 2 has the handheld form factor of a microphone, and it has all the cables and accessories, even the tripod seen here. I am told that it is “iPhone ready”, which is made Apple certified MFi hardware for iDevices, plugging right into the Lightning port.
By the way, the iRig Mic HD 2 comes with over $170 of software and apps, and that includes Ableton Live Lite, a Digital Audio Workstation app, T-RackS Classic collection of audio processing plug-ins, as well as Mic Room, virtual models of the most desirable microphones of all time.
You can find out more about the iRig Mic HD 2 on the IK Multimedia site, and it costs about $129.99. Get it now for the holiday season, and I hope to review another IK Multimedia product here soon.
Beyerdynamic is a German manufacturer of some great headphones and headsets of all kinds. We’ve done reviews of their products several times in the past. The headphones we are going to review today are specifically made for those who are into mixing and mastering music.
These headphones are top of the line and very well designed. They are pretty spendy, at $599, but from the pros reviews- they are worth the many pennies.
Here is what you get- the headphones come in a nice, semi-hard carrying case. It really has a rich, professional look. You have two sets of ear pads. Both have a soft, velour material to provide comfort. There are balanced pads for the bass. The analytical pads are softer and have a neutral sound, and I found them to be a bit more comfortable. The thing with these headphones is that they are heavy- although, well padded, so I suppose they are comfortable for what they are, but I couldn’t imagine wearing them for hours at a time.
They also come with 2 lockable connecting cables. One is a straight cable, and one has coils. The straight cable is 3 m long. The coiled cable is 5 m long if stretched out. Each cable connects to the headphones via a 3-pin mini XLR cable connector that clicks into place. I found it challenging to disconnect the cord, by the way. You are supposed to push the button and pull to release. I had to pull pretty hard to disconnect. Maybe they get easier to connect and disconnect with much use.
These headphones are open back, so they are not for use when other people are around who don’t want to hear what you are listening to. Despite it being open back, the bass is clear and the sound is wonderful. If you are in the market for some high quality headphones, and can afford the $600 price tag, these could be the ones you are looking for. You can buy them here on the Beyerdynamic site.
We have another pair of wireless headphones to review. These are the HA-ET50BT Sports Wireless Bluetooth® Headphones from JVC. These are a great accessory for those who want to complete their workout without being attached to their devices.
These headphones do have a wire that runs from one earbud to the other. It’s not like the wireless earbuds that we reviewed a couple of weeks ago, but these also are relatively less money, so if you don’t mind a wire touching your neck, then you should be good with these.
When you open your cool magnetic package, you will find an included charging cable(micro USB), an open type ear piece in 3 sizes that allows for ambient sound to filter in for safety, and also 3 sizes of regular ear pieces if you don’t need to hear your surroundings.
The headphones are water resistant, which is good if you are running in all kinds of weather. There is a cute advertising video for how well they stay in when everything is thrown after the jump: