The LP was invented in 1948, and judging by the sales surge over the past few years, LPs won't be going away anytime soon. Amanda Ghassaei's "3D Printed Record" project demonstrated vinyl's continuing relevance in the 21st century. Years ago when I saw an early demonstration of 3D printing, I knew the technology would eventually lead to printing LPs, but now it's a little closer to becoming a reality. First, however, there are major sound-quality issues to overcome with 3D printed LPs (though they can play tunes with fidelity that's far below MP3 … Read more
Great audio can be expensive, but Ben Carter's ambitious Kickstarter project aims to make a serious dent in the price of quality turntables. A $150 pledge secures an Orbit belt-drive turntable, fitted with an Ortofon phono cartridge. As I write this blog, and just a few days after the Kickstarter project was launched, Carter has already passed the halfway mark to reaching his $60,000 goal!
I spoke with Carter on Thursday; he has a background in marketing and consulting, and Bob Hertig is handling the engineering for the project. Orbits will be manufactured by U-Turn Audio in the … Read more
A great-sounding recording will sound its best only when it's properly mastered to LP, SACD, DVD-Audio, or a high-resolution file. Those formats will reveal the full glory of the music in ways that lower-resolution formats like MP3 or analog cassette always miss. But if you didn't have access to the high-resolution file to compare it with, a great recording will still sound pretty terrific as an AAC, M4A, or 320kbps MP3 file, because the recording's innate quality would shine through. On the other hand, a heavily compressed, processed and crude recording will always sound heavily compressed, processed … Read more
iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches get all the attention, but let us not forget the humble iPod Shuffle, the tiny clip-on MP3 player that's hard to beat for hiking, biking, running, and the gym.
Apple sells the Shuffle for $49, but for a limited time, Walmart has the fourth-generation iPod Shuffle 2GB and accessory kit for $39, plus sales tax where applicable. Shipping adds about $3, but you can avoid that charge by choosing store pickup or padding your cart to at least $45.
I should note that three of the seven available color choices are already out of … Read more
While audiophile gear can be quite expensive, picking out a selection of terrific gift ideas that won't break the bank is still doable. Here you'll find books, music, gear, and even a free download that will put a smile on any audiophile's, or music lover's, face. The Audiophiliac had a self-imposed price limit of $100 max and easily met that goal. Seven of the 10 gift ideas are under $50!
Lucky me -- I get to play with lots of headphones, but I sometimes wonder if they're all made in the same factory, and their mostly plastic construction, similar features, and designs feel interchangeable. So when CNET's David Carnoy put the Meze 88 Classics in my hands I was intrigued. The beautifully finished, hand-carved ebony wood ear cups gave a high-end sheen to the design, and a quick audition proved the 88 Classics' beauty was more than skin deep.
Build quality is a step up from what you get with Beats by Dr. Dre 'phones, and I liked … Read more
This is an update of a deal I wrote about nearly a year ago.
I'm a big fan of Bluetooth speakers. Plunk one down just about anywhere and you can wirelessly stream tunes from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. I have one of those Jawbone Jamboxes, and it's proven a great little accessory.
But pricey: they sell for around $120 and up. Here's a much more affordable alternative: for a limited time, and while supplies last, Meritline has the refurbished Logitech 980-000589 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker for $49.99 shipped. Though a discontinued product, it sells elsewhere for … Read more
Forget wires. Outdoor Tech brings CNET three can't-miss offers! Exclusively for Cyber Monday, our good friends at Outdoor Technology are back and hooking up the CNET audience with great deals on three of the company's best Bluetooth products.
If you are a follower of CNET Exclusives or this blog, you'll know I love Bluetooth technology. If you are new to this, welcome, let me fill you in on why Bluetooth is my favorite. Bluetooth speakers mean I don't have to monopolize my iPhone in order to listen to music because docking is no longer necessary. And … Read more
The Beatles albums, recorded between 1963 and 1970, were made in the analog era. People all over the world enjoyed the Fab Four's music in a 100 percent all-analog state until 1986, when the entire catalog was digitally remastered. That was four years after the CD was introduced, and those not very good-sounding CDs sold in vast numbers in the 1980s, 1990s, and right up through 2009 when the catalog was remastered again in high-resolution 24-bit/192-kHz audio. Great, but the high-resolution versions of the albums remain safely in the vaults. The down-converted versions that were used to master … Read more