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
Microsoft's newest mobile OS -- Windows Phone 8 -- will add some key functionality to Microsoft's smartphones, but is it worth waiting for?
The new software offers a few more bells and whistles in terms of functionality for smartphone subscribers. But the bigger deal is that it will offer the necessary hooks for developers and device makers to build more advanced hardware. Finally, this could mean that Microsoft's live tile interface may finally be installed on some heavily spec'ed devices.
In this edition of Ask Maggie I help one reader figure out if he should wait … Read more
In case you hadn't heard, the sky is falling.
iPad apps as we've known them are about to get super-sized and are now on a collision course with whatever space you thought you had on your iPad--old or new. Early evidence pointing in that direction comes from Apple's own applications, which were all updated last week to coincide with its new tablet, and became considerably larger as a result.
As my colleague Jason Parker detailed earlier this week, Pages--the word processor app in Apple's iOS iWork suite--jumped from 95MB to 269MB, while Numbers--Apple's spreadsheet app--increased … Read more
I've always been a 32GB iPad kind of person. It's done me well the last two generations, although I've come up against my storage limit pretty frequently. So, this time I'm going 64.
Am I mad? Maybe, but I asked the same question when the 64GB iPhone 4S made its debut. In that instance, I wondered whether the 5 megapixel camera and 1080p video recording capabilities would eat up valuable space on the iPhone. I was particularly concerned about videos, since their file sizes can get big fast and because they're not backed up or synced on iCloud, unlike photos.… Read more
The market for quality headphones is still growing by leaps and bounds, so there are lots of new brands getting into the game.
When Hifiman introduced the HE-5 headphone in 2009, I was so impressed I compared it with $1,000+ models from Audio Technica, Denon, Grado, Sennheiser, and Ultrasone, and the upstart company's headphone model more than held its own.
More recently I looked at the Hifiman HE-500 headphones ($699), and compared them with one of the best headphones in the world, the Audeze LCD-2 ($945). That one's low bass felt more solid and had superior impact, but the HE-500's midrange and treble were more detailed and present.
The HE-300 ($249) shares the HE-500's styling, but uses more conventional driver technology. It's lighter in weight (270 grams), has a leather headband and soft velvet earpads, and comes with a user-replaceable 9-foot-long cable terminated with a 3.5mm plug (and there's a 6.3mm adaptor). The long cable is bulky and a little stiff, but since it's user-replaceable, HE-300 owners may find shorter, more flexible alternatives. The headphone comes with a sturdy padded storage case. Comfort over long listening sessions was good, but not up to full-size Sennheiser headphone standards. That company has a real knack for making comfy headphones. … Read more
The Monoprice 8323 Premium Hi-Fi DJ Style Over-the-Ear Pro Headphones are, hands-down, the best full-size, over-the-ear headphones you can buy on the cheap.
I've written about Monoprice's high-value, low-price cables, and more recently raved about some of its superaffordable speakers and subwoofers, so it seemed like a good time to check out Monoprice's headphones.
Monoprice has quantity pricing for nearly everything it sells, so if you buy two pairs of 8323 headphones it knocks the price down from $21.59 to $21.23. In any case, Monoprice sells the 8323 model with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
I … Read more
Sometimes it seems like there are nearly as many audio players as there are people who like to listen to music, but few of them are really anything to get excited about. Winyl, however, is different. Although most of its features are fairly typical, it has an attractive interface that sets it apart from much of the competition.
Using Winyl is easy. We simply navigated to the folder full of songs that we wanted to use as our library, and Winyl displayed them in a tree hierarchy by artist, album, year, and genre. Winyl also gives users access to a … Read more
Shopping for a new shooter? Newly launched Web site Camera Size lets shutterbugs compare two camera models head to head.
After a user makes a selection from dual dropdown menus, the site displays a visual comparison of the cameras, together with information such as width and height, as well as how much larger/smaller one model is.
The portal also lets you configure the way comparisons are displayed. Users can switch sides, stack a camera in front of the other, and alternate between orientations. An graphic showing a AA battery can also be dragged around the page as a size reference. … Read more
Put those two principles together and you get the five TVs below, arranged in order of which ones we like best. None scored lower than a 7 in performance. Screen size also plays a factor in the rankings, so bigger TVs that limbo under that price bar get extra credit.… Read more
In OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Apple introduced an option to control icon sizes by simply using the pinch-zoom gesture on Macs with multi-touch trackpads. If you pulled your fingers together then the icon sizes in the current window would get smaller, and if you spread your fingers then the icons would get larger.
This feature has been removed in OS X Lion, which has frustrated a number of people who have come to rely on its convenience. While the Finder's preferences file may have an option called "EnableZoomPinch" for some users, this option is likely … Read more