Audiofly’s AF78 Earphones Hold Their Own in the Fight for Top Sonic Honors [Review]

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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.

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).

Fun Hack: The Digital Music Record Player

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Here’s a fun little hack. It combines the convenience of digital music with the tactile pleasure of browsing through someone’s music collection and having something physical to pick up and look at. Flickr fella bertrandom put it together in his spare time.

Each plastic disk represents an album or a playlist. Inside each one there’s a RFID tag. To play it, put the disk on the cardboard box turntable, in which there’s an RFID reader connected to a computer. The music starts immediately.

Of course, you might argue that if you’re going to have a shelfload of plastic disks, you may as well just have a shelfload of CDs, which is perfectly retro enough for some people. But where would the fun be in that?

‘OPlayer’ for iOS Supports Impressive List Of Media Formats

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