Welcome to MP3 Mailbox Monday, a reoccurring feature where I answer a selection of questions about MP3 players and accessories, such as headphones, speakers, and music services and software. Each week, my in-box is flooded with questions from around the world, and while a handful of them are very particular to the individual asking, most apply more generally to a certain use or scenario to which many people can relate. Check back often to see if the advice presented here might be of some use to you, or send your questions directly to me. (Note: We never include last names, … Read more
You'd think that the design for power strips and surge protectors would be pretty much played out, but Belkin has actually done some pretty interesting things with them in recent years: clamp-on models, ones that hide all of the wall warts, and even the forthcoming Conserve, an eco-friendly model that truly shuts off connected devices at the touch of a wireless remote.
The company is taking that spirit of innovation on the road with its latest power product: the Belkin Mini Surge Protector. The travel-friendly model packs three grounded three-prong power outlets and two powered USB ports into its … Read more
Welcome to MP3 Mailbag Monday, a new feature where I answer a selection of questions about MP3 players and accessories, such as headphones, speakers, and music services and software. Each week, my in-box is flooded with questions from around the world, and while a handful of them are very particular to the individual asking, most apply more generally to a certain use or scenario to which many people can relate. Check back often to see if the advice presented here might be of some use to you, or send your questions directly to me. (Note: We never include last names, … Read more
If you listen to the MP3 Insider podcast (which, of course, I think you should), you know that I'm like a crow: inexplicably drawn to shiny things. So when I grabbed a black case, unzipped it, and pulled out the latest review item to discover the Skullcandy iPhone FMJ headphones in all their chromey glory, I "oohed" and "aahed" with the fervor that I reserve for such things. Even the cable is chrome-colored. To top it off, these 'phones have teeny, tiny skulls etched onto the end of each earbud--and a couple more sketched around … Read more
Sony didn't hold back this morning, announcing a massive lineup of more than 25 new portable audio gadgets and accessories. The release includes a handful of new Walkmans and speakers, but is dominated by a slew of new headphones designed with portability in mind. Perhaps the most interesting of the bunch are the sport-style earphones, all of which are water-resistant and feature unique and varied form factors to ensure a secure fit during activity. For more information, check out our slide show, which offers details on 20 of Sony's new audio accessories. (All of the products are expected … Read more
Those who'd dare to edge their way into the overcrowded iPod accessory market these days will want to find a way to rise above the ever-swelling ranks of functional yet uninspiring offerings.
Not an easy endeavor, to be sure, but an eye-catching and fanciful line of tin iPod cases called Tinbots shows that a little artistry can go a long way toward counteracting the standard pink or black silicone that encases so many of today's MP3 players.
The recently released latest generation of Tinbots (nee Tinpods) feature original designs from trendsetters in contemporary art: vinyl toy designers Mad, … Read more
Swarovski crystals are like fugu, the Japanese blowfish--they can be a delicacy in small doses, but the slightest overdose can cause paralysis and agonizing death. That was our first thought, anyway, upon viewing samples from the iLuv's new i80 series of overdone accessories. It wasn't a fatal experience, but we did consider gouging out an eye or two with a chopstick.
Last year Philips managed to do what we thought was impossible: Make a line of products using Swarovski stones that were actually bearable, undoubtedly thanks to the company's exceptional design sense. iLuv, however, is no Philips, … Read more
There's clearly no shortage of speaker sets for the iPod, but what about its call-happy brother the iPhone? In fact, since it uses the same proprietary 30-pin connector as its phoneless counterparts, the iPhone works with many of the sound systems that were designed with the iPod in mind. However, none of those speakers have integrated technology to prevent electromagnetic interference. That's where the new DLO Portable Speakers for iPod come in. (How's that for creative naming?)
The speakers, which cost a reasonable $49.99, offer an interference-free amplifier. The unit also comes with two orbiting speakers … Read more
For those earbud-phobic users who favor portability over features such as active noise-cancellation, there's the category of headphones that includes over-the-ear speakers and compact designs. Within that, we have JVC's line of Lightweight headphones, which is topped by the aptly-coined "high grade" HA-S900. These $130 'phones offer a good combination of comfort, portability, and pleasing sound. Read the full review.