Plantronics BackBeat Go Bluetooth Earphones: Light As a Butterfly, and Just As Quiet [Review]

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A long time ago, before this site was born, we reviewed the Altec Lansing BackBeat 906 Bluetooth headphones, and liked ’em. Plantronics had their own identical version of the 906, as they had owned Plantronics since 2005 (the two companies parted ways about the time the 906 was released).

The Plantronics BackBeat Go ($100) is an evolution of the 906. Same principle — wireless (meaning there’s no wire conecting the player with the headset) music and calls in a compact form via the magic of Bluetooth — but in an even smaller and more svelte form factor. Should be even more fantstic, right? Let’s take a look.

Klipsch Image One Headphones: The Best Little Big Headphones Around [Review]

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While other manufacturers might tart up their headphones with loud colors, obnoxious logos and frills, the Klipsch Image One ($150) drops all extraneous nonsense in favor of making you happy through its three impressive strengths: perfomance, comfort and portability — a triple threat that makes these headphones a contender for best traveling companion.

Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10 Earphones: Pinch Me, I’m Dreaming! [Review]

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So far it’s been pretty consistent: Each time we review a set of Ultimate Ears ‘phones, the bar leaps up a few notches as our expectations regarding the outfit’s offerings rise. After reviewing the 350, 700, and especially the 600vi — which garnered a best-in-class verdict — we were expecting the TripleFi 10 ($400) to slay vampires and cure cancer.

Of Ultimate Ears’ more serious offerings — and by serious, I’m referring to UE’s armature-equipped models, which start at $100 — the TripleFi 10 is by far the most serious, with three drivers and a crossover in each ear, pro-level detachable leads, the thickest cable we’ve ever seen on an IEM, Comply foam tips (the best tips, period) and a sound signature that’ll have you madly running through your entire music catalog with a big, gleeful smile plastered all over your face.

Monster’s Turbine Earphones: I Find Your Lack of Clarity Disturbing [Review]

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What!? Neither Cult publication has ever reviewed Monster’s famed Turbine earphones, even though the IEMs have been hanging on Best Buy end caps for the last several years? Well, that’s an injustice we won’t let stand another day — after all, these are among the best recognized, and most iconic IEMs on the market.

The Turbine is the base model in Monster’s Turbine lineup; though with an MSRP of $180, “base model” seems like a relative term (the two higher models, the Pro Gold and the Pro Copper, are $300 and $400 respectively and are apparently better at reproducing a wider range than the plain-wrapper Turbines reviewed here).

Monster’s N-ERGY Headphones: All Style, No Substance [Review]

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Monster collaborated with rapper/actor Nick Cannon to make the N-ERGY “high performance in-ear headphones.” I put the last part in quotes because the N-ERGY headphones ($70) are neither “high performance” nor “in-ear.”

I’m not an audiophile, but I appreciate and know good sound when I hear it. It took a total of 15 minutes for me to realize that the “NCredible” (yes, that phrase is used to market the product) N-ERGY headphones are awful. They look great, but they’re about as painful to listen to as Nick Cannon’s comedy.

MEElectronics A151 Earphones: Where’d The Sound Go? [Review]

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I distinctly recall a bit of maneuvering when Joe Daileda, head of sales and marketing at MEElectronics, contacted us about reviewing some of their earphones. Joe seemed particularly keen on getting a pair of their ceramic CC51Ps in our hands, but I wanted none of it — being the armature junkie I am, I was fixated on their armature-powered A151s ($75). Joe eventually ended up sending us three models (impressions of the unique, modular SP51 coming soon to a review near you).

Joe’s favoritism may have been entirely in my head — I get like that sometimes; but true enough, the CC51Ps turned out to be a stunning revelation. The A151s? Not so much.

Monster’s Not Even Pretending Anymore: It Finally Becomes a Fashion Company [CES 2012]

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The Diamond Tears in black (they'll also be available in white)

LAS VEGAS, CES 2012 – Or maybe it’s that they’re pretending even less. The amount of bling at the Monster “booth” — it was actually more of a compound, complete with a super-secret inner sanctum — would make Snooki (who was at the show) blush. Their three newly released headphones seemed far more focused on fashion than sound; even Monster founder Nole Lee’s Segway (was it a Segway?) rolled around on gold-rimmed wheels. Then there were the booth fashion shows…

Battle of The Armatures: Upstart Audiofly, Sony Introduce Their First-Ever Armature-Powered IEMs [CES 2012]

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LAS VEGAS, CES 2012 – Amazing to think Sony has never offered an armature-driven earphone before; now that they are, they’re diving in huge time with eleven models. Aussie new kid on the block Audiofly just have one in their new lineup, but it’s a doozy, and it sounded absolutely stunning; we fully expect these to be a huge hit.