From the way things are going multichannel home theater speaker systems will be on the endangered species list in a few years. Sound bars epitomize the "good enough" direction the market has taken, and most folks are happy with them, mostly because they sound better than the speakers built into their TVs. That's easy, but how do sound bars fare compared with a bona fide 5.1-channel subwoofer/satellite system? For this shootout I wanted to keep the budget in check, so I used MonoPrice's 8247 sub/sat system, and compared it with a couple of … Read more
I remember the very first Woo Audio headphone amp I heard five years ago; it was the $520 WA-3, and they still make it. The little amp made a strong impression because it so radically improved the sound of Grado headphones. That amp transformed Grados, gave them more soul, more body, and sweetness. I've reviewed a number of Woo products over the years, but the new WA-234 Mono is a very different beast. First, it is as the name implies, a monophonic design, so you need two amps for stereo. The other big difference is that these tube amps … Read more
When manufacturers use the term driver-centric to describe their cars, they will point to minimal interference from driver aids or fewer "toys" in favour of a more pure experience. They try to speak to that part of you that drives for the sake of driving, rather than to get to a destination. In reality that person does have somewhere to go and will, probably, need to be able to ferry passengers. Even the Ariel Atom in all of its track-hungry glory has an extra seat to take someone along for the ride.
The creators of the BAC Mono … Read more
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
If you listen to music on your Mac while at work, you may use earbuds so as not to disturb co-workers; however, this does have a tradeoff. When using both earbuds, you can drown out others who might be trying to get your attention, but if you only wear one earbud, you will miss the parts of stereo recordings on the channel for the bud you left out, which in some cases can make a dramatic difference in the sound you're hearing.
You can avoid this by setting your Mac to use Mono output. This will combine all audio … Read more
I worked as a high-end audio salesman for 16 years and spent another 16 reviewing audio products. Here's what I learned: The very best gear is always expensive. Sure, there are occasional examples of affordable products that are remarkable, but they never get remotely close to what true high-end gear can offer. Beyond price the main thing that separates high-end companies from mass-market brands is high-end designers are all about maximizing performance. Mainstream audio companies rarely try to make the best possible sounding gear. They know that features, wireless connectivity, styling, compact size, cheap pricing, marketing, distribution, etc. -- … Read more
Home audio was strictly a single-speaker pursuit from the dawn of recorded sound through the late 1950s, when stereo changed the way we listen to music. Multichannel home theater's popularity peaked in the late 1990s, but starting with iPods and sound-bar speakers, mono was back in style. More recently sales of battery-powered, mono Bluetooth speakers started to take off. While these lo-fi systems may contain stereo pairs of … Read more
Looking a little bit like the light cycles from Tron, but without the glowy bits, the E-Tracer 7009 placed in the top three of the Progressive Automotive X Prize competition in 2010.
Now the two-wheeled, two-seater has been renamed the MonoTracer MTE-150 and is headed to production, according to Auto Blog Green.
The MonoTracer MTE-150 has a Kevlar cabin and runs on a third-generation 150 kW (200 horsepower) drivetrain from AC Propulsion in California.
While the X Prize competitors were challenged to create a vehicle that could reach 100 mpge (miles per gallon equivalent), the MonoTracer could see about 350 … Read more
The Monoprice 8323 Premium Hi-Fi DJ Style Over-the-Ear Pro Headphones are, hands-down, the best full-size, over-the-ear headphones you can buy on the cheap.
I've written about Monoprice's high-value, low-price cables, and more recently raved about some of its superaffordable speakers and subwoofers, so it seemed like a good time to check out Monoprice's headphones.
Monoprice has quantity pricing for nearly everything it sells, so if you buy two pairs of 8323 headphones it knocks the price down from $21.59 to $21.23. In any case, Monoprice sells the 8323 model with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
I … Read more
Xamarin, a company seeking to extend Microsoft's .Net programming technology beyond Microsoft's operating systems, has released a version of its developer tools that can work with the latest iteration of Google's Android operating system.
The company builds Mono, an open-source version of Microsoft's .Net technology for programming in Microsoft's C# language. With the newest version of Mono for Android, C# programmers can produce software that will run natively on both Android 4.0, aka Ice Cream Sandwich, and on Android tablets including Amazon's Kindle Fire and Samsung's Galaxy Tab, Xamarin said yesterday.
The … Read more