Noise-cancelling headphones are suddenly all the rage. It certainly seems as if every big player in the audio game has at least one model that features active noise-canceling, usually accompanied by other luxury features — and with a corresponding luxury pricetag. Even manufacturers who’ve only recently begun making cans, like Logitech UE and Klipsch, prominently feature active noise-canceling in their model lineups.
It may even seem as if the technology has been added to some models simply because it’s become the feature du jour — an impression strengthened by the fact that not all noise canceling is the same. Not even remotely.
I have a plan for trouble. When it rears its ugly head again, I’m grabbing my all-hell-has-broken-loose list, dumping the items on the list into my trusty backpack and hauling ass. I figure there’s still the zombie apocalypse and the Mayan whatsit (which may well be the same thing) to worry about, so I might as well be prepared.
I’ve populated the list with things I would need in a disaster scenario: things like a sleeping bag, first-aid kit and rum. Of course, my iPad is also on the list. Oh, I’ll be taking my phone for sure — but the iPad’s large screen will be invaluable in any disaster situation as a navigation tool, for work (yes, even in a zombie apocalypse, blogs must be updated) or just keeping up with current news; mine’s a wifi+cellular, so I suppose wifi-only versions would be somewhat less useful in that last role.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “A disaster zone, Eli, is no place for an iPad.” That’s true only if you don’t have the right gear to accompany it. The following list will show you how to turn your iPad from a liability into an asset when things go very wrong.
You’re an American, and you’ve just watched your athletes come away with a barrel full of gold medals in London. Maybe you’re feeling a little patriotic; maybe a little like you want to go out and train for Rio de Janiero. If so, then Monster has created the perfect earphones for you: A special edition “USA” version of their impressive, washable, iSport IEMs.
The earbuds that came with your $600 iPhone are junk, and if you bought an iPad, Apple didn’t even include a pair in the box. It’s time to upgrade.
Trouble is, there are all kinds of cans out there. How do you know what set is right for you? Some people (like me) seem to have a pair for every situation. For everyone else, here’s our guide to the best.
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).
Let’s say you like music. And parties. In fact, let’s say you like partying and music so much, you flit around from house to house, grooving away each night, mesmerising your friends with your iPhone’s fabulous playlists. Sound like you? Then you’ll probably go nuts over Monster’s dock-equipped, super-portable, no-fuss Clarity HD Model One speakers.
Monster really zeroed in on designing this set as a portable party. Each cabinet has a top carrying handle, and the right speaker sports a recessed 30-pin iPod/iPhone dock with a power button and volume knob nestled nearby. If you forget your iDevice at home, there are three other input options to choose from.
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.
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…
For years we’ve heard a lot of hype about SSDs and how they’re going to change computing, but their progress has been slow, and the masses have been getting impatient. Well CES 2012 will be the start of SSDs officially entering into mainstream use thanks to Apple Inc. The best purchase I made in 2011 was when I replaced my MacBook Pro with the new 11’ MacBook Air. Not only is the MacBook Air lighter than any laptop I’ve owned, it’s also powerful enough to do some really awesome things I’d never thought possible on a miniature computer (like playing graphic intensive games like Star Wars the Old Republic). Most of these technological marvels are all thanks to Apple’s inclusion on SSDs in the MacBook Air lineup. Of course, Apple didn’t invent the SSD, nor were they the first company to use them, but they’re responsible for bringing SSDs to the masses at an affordable price.