Consider yourself warned: The following post is not for the squeamish. It's time to clean the wax out of your earbuds. Yes, it's gross, but if you have the style of earbud that gets inserted into the ear canal, it must be done. Otherwise, wax can build up on the outer speaker and affect sound quality, and it may actually seep in and damage the inner workings of the earpieces. It's also not a bad idea to disinfect the sleeves from time to time. Find out how to do both below. Also this week: Your iPod isn'… Read more
There seems to be a headphone for every purpose nowadays. You have headphones for the gym, headphones for the plane, and even earbuds that work underwater. There are also headphones made especially for the little ones in your life, although the choices are limited. Given the concerns over audio volume and hearing damage, it's not terribly surprising that headphone sets for children are few and far between. Luckily, more and more headphone manufacturers are taking advantage of volume-limiting technology to offer child-friendly models. One such company is Ultimate Ears, which has released the Loud Enough Earphones, a $40 pair … Read more
Is it just me, or do tech gadgets break down way too quickly and easily? I swear every cell phone I've ever owned starts petering out about the 372 day mark with sharply declining call quality. Then, there's the screen and processor problems with MP3 players after about two years. One reader said that even some expensive headphones are calling it quits way too early. I may as well start driving a Fiat (again) and get it over with. Also: I may not be the FCC's biggest fan, but I'm not one to encourage illegal activity … Read more
If there's one piece of advice that we dish out regularly, it's to always ditch the stock earbuds that come with your MP3 player and get a better pair. Featuring this product may seem counter to that because there's very little likelihood it will sound much better than the earphones that come with your portable player. But truth be told, the novelty factor of these Buta Earphones from Japanese site Green House is too much to resist.
Available in three colors (pink, black, and white), one earbud has the front half of the pig, while the other … Read more
The only thing good we can think of saying about these earphones is that they're not caked with Swarovski crystals. After all, if you're going to shell out $6,400 for a pair of buds, the least they can do is give you the real thing.
These "iDiamond luxury earphones from designer Thomas Heyerdahl are made of white gold and 204 diamonds, according to Luxurylaunches. Only a thousand of them will be produced, which may still be several hundred more than needed to meet the demand. But if you're one of those who are intent on … Read more
The sound-isolating Klipsch Images were the last pair of earphones we reviewed from the company, and they were probably the most comfortable earphones we've ever worn. When we received news of the Klipsch Custom-3 earphones in January, we couldn't wait to get our ears on a pair.
But we've got the Custom-3s in-house now and are lodging them deeply into our King Lears to form some opinions. These are $300 'phones, driven by twin drivers in each ear. In that respect, they're on par with Shure's SE420s and the teeny tiny Jays' q-Jays, reviewed last … Read more
There are a few things I look at when considering a music gadget for personal use--OK, who am I kidding? I look at everything. But some key points top my list. One of them is design; I prefer devices that are stylish or unique in some way without sacrificing usability. Other necessary features include solid sound quality, a customizable interface, and handy features.
The 32GB Creative Zen scores high in most categories. It's a high-capacity device with a slim, compact design, a large screen, and a customizable interface; it sounds fantastic; and it's a breeze to operate. It … Read more
Although there are plenty of fabulous MP3 players out there, no one device is perfect. For years, I've kept a list of dream features, many of which remain unchecked. One of these is support for every single audio codec, from Apple Lossless all the way down to WMA Lossless. A tall order, but one that would not be unappreciated by others, such as one reader who would like a non-iPod MP3 player that supports Apple Lossless. Also this week: do lanyard-style headphones for the later-generation iPod Shuffle exist?
Q: I'm looking for a new MP3 player. I use … Read more
Colorful earbuds have become increasingly popular with headphone manufacturers, possibly because of consumer demand for something a bit more stylish than plain white or black. It's no wonder: earphones are basically accessories that serve to pipe music to your ears, so they might as well be fashionable. Radius, a new Tennessee-based company pushing out Japanese-designed earbuds, is the latest entry into the burgeoning market of fashion-forward electronics. The company has three product lines, one of which is the $40 Atomic Bass earphones. As the name suggests, these in-ear 'buds offer expansive low-end response: bass-addicts only need apply. Read the review.… Read more
There's not a lot of talking on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. Yelling, yes. Talking, no. It's so noisy, everyone wears military-grade hearing protection.
If you work in a similar acoustic environment--maybe on a factory floor, at construction sites, or in the stands at rock concerts--you might want to check out the Sensear SP1, which protects your hearing by blocking out damaging noise while allowing speech through.
The rig consists of noise-blocking earpieces with embedded microphones for picking up outside sound.
The SP1 doesn't actively cancel sound. In fact it is designed to make sure … Read more