I'm always on the lookout for great cheap headphones, so when CNET's Matthew Moskovciak suggested I try Sony's MDR-ZX100 I jumped at the chance. We were both knocked out by Sony's MDR-V6 and MDR-7506 headphones, so I bought a pair of MDR-ZX100s on Amazon for $15. I had no expectations it would threaten those two amazing Sonys, but at less than 20 percent of those headphones' current prices I was curious to see how much of the magic trickled down to the MDR-ZX100. The MDR-V6 and MDR-7506 were both designed more than twenty years ago, when … Read more
The Velodyne vPulse is one of the best pair of $99 headphones I've ever listened to on the NYC subway, but it's not one I use at home or in any quiet space. Why's that?
The vPulse's overly generous bass turns me off at home, but it sounds perfectly balanced on trains, buses, cars, or planes. What those modes of transportation all have in common is lots of low-frequency rumble, and the vPulse's pumped up bass masks some of that noise. Headphones with more accurate bass response sound fine at home, but woefully bass shy on the go.
Worse yet, the very low frequency rumble on trains, buses, and so on can't be nullified by noise-canceling or noise-isolating headphones because those noises are felt through your entire body, not just heard through your ears. Bassy headphones may not be the perfect solution to the problem, but they can be surprisingly effective. … Read more
Major parts of Apple's developer site flipped back online Friday afternoon after more than a week of downtime.
The developer sites for iOS, Mac, and Safari development once again became available, alongside downloads for upcoming versions of Apple's desktop and mobile software. Apple also brought back tools that let developers set up new devices to test their software, a crucial development tool.
Apple took down its developer site and more than a dozen connected services last week following the discovery of a security intrusion that may have resulted in unauthorized access to some developer information.
Apple reported a big figure for iPhone sales in its third quarter and earnings that were just above what Wall Street was expecting.
The company saw $35.6 billion in sales, which is slightly up from its earnings in the same period last year. Not all the figures met expectations though. Sales for iPads and Macs were down from the previous year, and Apple didn't even bother to report iPod sales. (Apple sold 6.8 million iPods in the third quarter of 2012.)
Here's a look at some of the 2013 Q3 numbers that Apple did want to … Read more
Apple is set to release an updated version of its Apple Store app for the iPhone and iPod Touch on Tuesday that will promote content from the App Store, the iTunes Store, and the iBookstore, with some of it free for a limited time, a report says.
Blog 9to5 Mac cites an unnamed source in reporting that the new app has been tweaked to be more in keeping with the interfaces of the iOS 6 versions of the three aforementioned content apps and to promote those apps. It's also, of course, meant to juice direct-from-Apple sales of the iPhone and other hardware.… Read more
Apple's iOS-based devices and maybe even Macs could eventually come with support for a fingerprint sensor directly on the display.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Thursday published a patent application that Apple filed with its offices on January 17. The patent describes a technology in which a sensor is used to trace a person's finger and fingerprint and determine, based on that, if they have proper credentials. Apple's patent application doesn't go as far as including the security features that might come with it on the software side, but it's clear … Read more
The Audiophiliac blog is almost six years old. I've written about everything from Spotify to dynamic range compression; from atrocious sounding music to the 30-year-old iPod; from the man with 230 turntables to 3D printing LPs and even a guy who makes boom boxes out of old suitcases, (not to mention the craziest high-end gear), but it's always about sound and music.
I always love to hear from Audiophiliac readers, but this time I'd like to give one of you a chance to spout a bit of audiophile wisdom. Write a great "think piece" about … Read more
There's something about Apple products that seems to attract luxurious accessories. Even Apple can't deny a certain connection to the finer things in life, as evidenced by former Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve coming onboard recently.
Apple may be considering a lower-cost iPhone, but that won't put a damper on luxury-accessory manufacturers. It seems there's a market out there for gold iPhone cases and excessive speaker systems that's free of the shackles of budgets (or sometimes good taste).… Read more
One great thing about Bluetooth speakers is you can use them to learn about how room size and acoustics affect a given speaker's sound quality. Experiment with placement and you'll quickly learn that where you put a speaker in a room can make a big difference in the sound, for better or worse. That's true for all speakers, but since BT speakers tend to be small and light, they're easier to move around.
Start by putting the speaker on the floor in the middle of the room, and you'll hear that it makes more bass … Read more
The continuing popularity of Bluetooth speakers mystifies me. The under $50 ones sound pretty weak, but they have a good excuse: they're cheap! Sadly, the $100 models aren't much better: they sound undernourished next to my $52 Dayton Audio B652 stereo speakers, powered by my $25 Lepai LP-2020A+ stereo amplifier. Before we go any further let's put aside for a second the question of how BT sounds; the biggest problem with BT speakers is that it's just one speaker, and can't fill a room as well as two speakers, spread five or more feet apart. … Read more