I was all ready to write a sarcastic post about the Splitter, a little box that allows independent volume control of the two pairs of headphones you jack into it. After all, sharing a music track is something spontaneous – adding a specialist piece of hardware into the mix seems a little like quickly clipping your FitBit to your pubes before making love.
Surprise: These cans aren’t quite the flashy, youthful boombasts their outward appearance suggest (yes, that’s a good thing). And, surprise: There’s much more here than simply a nod at the term “active noise cancellation.”
SMS, which is helmed by Rapper 50 Cent, jumped into the headphone game just shy of three years ago. At that time the lion’s share of attention was directed toward their wireless Sync cans, which stream music via the somewhat uncommon Kleer technology. But that doesn’t mean the rest of SMS’s broad, diverse lineup should be ignored, and that assertion is well-supported by the performance — and, yes, dash of flash – of the wired, active noise-canceling Street by 50 ANC headphones.
Apple EarPods are sleek and gorgeous. For most people like me though, they fallout all the time. Moshi has released its new Mythro earbuds that promise to stay in-place while still sounding good at an affordable price, so we’ve decided to put them through the ringer to see if they’re a suitable cheap earbud alternative. While we’re at it, we also take a look at Moshi’s first ever iPad charger, the IonBank 10k. It’s light, white, and sleek all over, but does it have enough juice to make it worth carrying around? Check out our findings below:
The Audio-Technica ATH-CKX7iS, which comes in, oh, about a bazillion colors. It’s a SKU horror show!
Audio-Technica has far, far too many models of in-ear earphones to count. I mean, literally — I tried counting them and gave up due to exhaustion and severe dehydration (I stopped at about 20, which makes me a wimp and means I should probably drink more water).
So why are they adding six more models (which the company is calling their “SonicFuel” series) to the mix? And why do they bear an uncanny resemblance to Monster’s iSport earphones, right down to the swiveling ports and massive flange? Whatever the answers to these questions might be, the new sets, at $50-$100, are in just about the right price-range for holiday gifts; and if the fit really is identical to what we experienced with the iSPorts, they’re probably really comfy.
Every time I think I’ve found my favorite pair of gaming headphones, Steelseries sends me another one to try out.
H Wireless Gaming Headset by Steelseries Category: Headphones Works With: Mac, iOS, Android, PC, Gaming Consoles Price: $299
This time, it’s the H Wireless series, a fantastic, well-designed headset that connects via optical or analog inputs to provide stunningly good Dolby sound without wires. You can, of course, connect an iPhone or iPad to the box, as well, getting a quality sound to walk around the house with.
I’ve had a chance to test a number of headphones throughout the past year, and have grown more fond of the more traditional “over-ear” headphones during that time. As a regular podcaster – and as the person who edits those podcasts – having little to no bleed from outside sources has become increasingly important.
That said, I don’t want to spend a fortune on headphones, either. I want decent sound quality, the ability to wear them for a couple of hours comfortably, and compact portability. The Atlas Carbon Headphones by MEElectronics offer all three, which is rare. I was provided with a set to put through the paces, and was very happy with the results. (And Cult of Mac Deals just so happens to have the Atlas Carbon Headphones for 35% off the regular price – just $65 – during a very limited time offer. This promotion, however, is available only to continental USA customers.)
If Cult of Mac ever created an award for “Most Prolific i-Gadget Maker,” there’s little doubt it would eventually end up in a cabinet at iHome’s headquarters (or possibly more accurately in a cabinet at their parent company, SDI technologies, which also owns New Balance and Timex).
There aren’t many in-ear monitors made of steel. Aluminum? Yes. Plastic? Wads. But steel-bodied IEMs — now that’s a rare find. There’s good reason for this: Though the material is solid, hard-wearing and, according to some, produces a cleaner sound, it’s heavy — which can make steel-housed IEMs often uncomfortable and annoyingly ill-fitting.
But forget all that. Scottish-based RHA have managed to make the stainless steel-bodied MA750i supremely comfortable and well-fitted, even under heavy action. In fact, RHA absolutely nailed it perfectly with these ‘phones in every single category that matters, with only two or three minor trade-offs.
It almost doesn’t matter what the Urbanears Humlan headphones sound like, because however bad they are, they’ll still sound better than the pair of headphones you put through the wash cycle and killed. Why? Because the Humlans are washing-machine friendly, just like my old iPod Nano.