Showdown! Noise-Cancelling Headphones: Klipsch Mode M40, Logitech UE 6000, Monster Inspiration ANC [Review]

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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.

None of the headphones in our showdown — the Klipsch Mode M40 ($350), the Logitech UE 6000 ($200) or the Monster Inspiration ANC ($300), the noise-canceling version of the regular, passive Inspiration model we reviewed last year — exhibits the powerful noise-canceling ability that can almost completely drown out noise, like that of the Bose QuietComfort 15. Nor do they sit on the next level down, with NC performance similar to, say, Audio Technica’s ATH-ANC7b (although one here comes close).

New iPad’s A5X Beats The Pants Off Tegra 3 Graphics [Video]

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Apple’s not exactly the kind of company that boasts lightly. That’s not to say they don’t boast a lot — they’re probably the most bragging of all the companies in tech, and for damn good reason — but every boast is weighted against genuine success, not numbers fudging.

So when Apple debuted the new iPad a couple weeks ago and claimed that their tablet — powered by a dual-core CPU and quad-core graphics — outperformed the quad-core CPU and 12-core graphics of the NVIDIA Tegra 3 SoC, a lot of people arched their eyebrows. NVIDIA raised a stink, saying it couldn’t possibly be true. But we quietly suspected that Apple would be proven right.

So guess which is faster in independent benchmarks?

Scawler Brawler: iPad Capacitive Stylus Showdown [Review, Showdown]

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From left to right: Griffin Stylus, Targus Stylus, Adonit Jot, Adonit Jot Pro, Wacom Bamboo Stylus, RadTech Styloid Plus+

The iPad’s screen apparently wasn’t designed to be sullied with anything other than human fingers. there’s an oft-refferred to quote  from Steve Jobs saying as much: “If you see a stylus, they blew it,” referring to other touch-screen designs that rely on the stylus.

But we don’t always use Apple’s gadgets the way Apple intends. Most of the time, sure, we stick to the script, because the damn things are so well designed that any deviance ends up as a fool’s adventure. Using an iPad with a stylus, however, isn’t foolish. Whether or not you use one — to scrawl notes, draw, paint, as a way of circumventing long fingernails or just ’cause you like it that way — styli (or styluses, depending on your preference) are here to stay. Here’s a by-no-means-exhaustive showdown between a few picked off from the herd. All these styli are, of course, capacitive, which means they conduct bio-electricity from your hand, down the shaft and onto the screen.