Amazon has today launched a new web app for the iPhone and iPod touch that allows users to purchase more than 22 million tracks directly from the retail giant’s MP3 store. Amazon says the HTML5 app has been optimized to work seamlessly inside Apple’s mobile Safari browser, and any music you purchase will be transferred instantly to your Cloud Player library.
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Amazon has today launched a new music service called AutoRip, which offers customers a free MP3 version of every album they’ve bought on CD from Amazon since 1998. The service currently boasts more than 50,000 digital albums from all the major record labels, and Amazon insists that new titles are added on a regular basis.
These Scosche Realm RH656 ($130) headphones compete in the same league as with headphones like the Beats (formerly Monster) Solo HD, the Incase Reflex and the Fanny Wang 1000 Series. These ‘phones have a lot in common: they have smallish earcups that sit on the ear, instead of over; they all have track and volume controls (remember though that the volume control won’t work on Android devices); and they’ve all had a dash of fashion added.
But there are some key differences too. And as you’re about to find out, the RH656 does pretty well against its competition.
Monster Inspiration Headphones Actually Sound Better Than They Look (And They Look Magnificent) [Review]
I remember saying something to the effect that these Monster Inspiration headphones (passive noise isolation, $300) looked like fluff when I first encountered them at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. Boy was I wrong.
Do you still own a collection of music stored on cassette tapes? Then I have some advice: STOP LIVING IN THE PAST! Those things’ll kill you eventually. If the wow and flutter doesn’t get you, or the ridiculous rewind times don’t drive you crazy, then the magnetic tape will probably spool out at nights and strangle you in your sleep. Probably.
But before you ditch those mix-tapes, you might want to transfer them to your iDevice. And wouldn’t you know it, but Hammacher Schlemmer will sell you a device almost as useless as your own (probbly perfectly-preserved) Walkman to do it.
We bumped into neophyte Australian headphones-maker Audiofly in January, during a press-only event at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, and gave two models in the four-model lineup a whirl. Their mid-level AF45 set sounded great for $50; but the next one I tried — the top-of-the-line AF78 ($200) — left me slack-jawed with disbelief; its sound knocked my socks off, even amid the cacophony of noisy journalists.
What makes the AF78 unusual is its speaker arrangement.
Many mid-to-high-end canalphones are powered by tiny armature speakers, while moving coil drivers are found pretty much everywhere except the very high end. Armatures are generally better at producing clean highs and mids, but can lack deep bass; moving coils, on the other hand, are generally not as good at reproducing the clarity of an armature. But the AF78 is part of an elite group of models — like the Scosche IEM856m I reviewed last year — that employ both a moving coil speaker and a balanced armature in each ear, in an attempt to give the listener the best of both worlds. And it works spectacularly.
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.
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.
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).
Recording artist Neil Young has revealed in an interview Apple had plans to launch a high-definition music format that never came to fruition. Young says he met with Steve Jobs personally to discuss the service prior to his passing, but “not much” happened with it in the end.