It appears that the whole colorful earbud thing is gaining a little momentum, and we're not unhappy to see it. There's nothing wrong with a little style in your ear. Griffin is jumping into the game with the TuneBuds Color, some very inexpensive ($19.99) sound-isolating earphones that come in six colors tinted to match the iPod Nanos and Shuffles. The 'buds offer bumping bass for the price, but audio purists will be turned off by the sometimes jarring highs. Read the review.
Oakley has announced their latest redesign of their popular Thump series of MP3 player sunglasses. The new design, called the Split Thump, will be out for the holidays in both black and white, offered at 512MB ($249), 1GB ($299), and 2GB ($399) capacities. Aside from a new, more understated look, the Split Thumps now allow you to remove the included earpieces for those times when you just want to wear a normal looking pair of sunglasses.
Of course, I can already tell that the new detachable design will be the Split Thump's biggest drawback as well, since it makes … Read more
This morning, Shure announced another addition to its SE line of sound-isolating earphones, the SE110. The new model continues the Shure tradition of top-notch sound quality but brings a significantly lower starting price point to potential customers--the SE110 will set you back just $99. (Comparatively, the next model up the line--the SE210--is attached to a $179.99 price tag.) That's not exactly inexpensive in the scheme of earbuds, but then the SE110s aren't cheap in any regard. These earphones employ a balance armature driver in each 'bud, rather than cheaper and more common dynamic speaker drivers found … Read more
One of the little-mentioned aspects of the iPhone is its recessed headphone plug, liable to render some earphones incompatible. If you've invested in a sweet pair of high-end headphones or earphones for your iPod, and you're feeling a little iffy about the iPhone sending you back to the stock Apple "mug me" earbuds, then Shure's new Music Phone Adapter might be just the thing. It's a cable adapter with a built-in microphone and a control button, allowing your existing set of earphones to be adapted for the iPhone. The product, to retail for $39.… Read more
It's rare to get the opportunity to review custom-molded earphones. Custom ear products are usually just too expensive to be relevant to most people, and the ear-impression process can be an inconvenience. But when John Diles from LiveWires offered to come by CNET and take the ear impressions onsite, it was a tough proposition to pass up. (Click here to view a slide show of my custom earphone fitting, but be warned! These photos are not for the squeamish.)
I've had the earphones for over a week now, and they sound fantastic. At $249, they're less than … Read more
There's certainly no shortage of communications products that promise to muffle ambient noise, but a new earbud microphone from Japan is taking an interesting approach: It picks up speech from the ear, not from the mouth. We're not kidding.
That's the explanation given by Nikkei Net Interactive about the "InCore" microphone from start-up Nap Enterprise. The company claims that the technology allows mobile phone conversations "in even very noisy settings like concert halls and construction sites," according to Textually.org, reducing external noise by 30 decibels.
It's just another example of the … Read more
Throw away those lousy, hanging-off-your-ear buds that come with most MP3-playing cordless phones. The Plantronics Pulsar 260 gives you soft in-ear buds that jack into a stereo Bluetooth dongle with an in-line mic that clips to your shirt or lapel. The advantage of Bluetooth stereo earphones is that you don't have to swap headphones when a call comes in. But unlike bulky stereo Bluetooth headphones, you can pull one earbud out so that you're not listening to your significant other, friend or co-worker in stereo. The disadvantage is that the Pulsar dongle jack is 2.5mm, so you … Read more
Shure dropped some new sound-isolating earphones, dubbed the SE line, onto the masses. The company redesigned its popular E series and gave the models spiffy new looks as well as new, more confusing names. The SE210 ($149.99), the SE310 ($249.99), the SE420 ($349.99), and the SE530 ($449.99) all offer far better sound than those garbage earbuds that came with your MP3 player.
The SE210 and SE310 are both single-driver models and come with deluxe fit kits that include sets of replaceable tips, so you get that all-important ear canal seal (and so you don't gross … Read more
For quite some time, if you wanted to have headphones that looked like the characteristic white iPod earbuds but were somewhat unique, you had to rely on finding a pair that were maybe a slightly different color, or had some rhinestone "bling" adorning them. But now, earbuds appear to have finally caught up with their iPod-skin siblings: a variety of companies are now manufacturing nutty earbuds and add-ons so that you can junk up your listening apparatus just as much as your MP3 player itself.
We've been accused of paranoia more than a few times, but we really do believe that there's a conspiracy afoot when it comes to earphones. We submit that earbuds and the like never fit anyone (especially us), but people are too embarrassed to admit it. They instead just constantly fidget and adjust them, pretending that it's "normal."
This is why we appreciate Bluetrek's new "ST1" Bluetooth earphones, which have a novel wraparound design that's actually meant to keep the buds in your ears. Mobile Magazine says they also have built-in controls … Read more