I didn't know the price of the M-Audio M3-8 when I first started listening, I just assumed it was $900 to $1,000 for the pair of speakers. No, the street price is closer to $600 for a pair, around the same price as for one of the reigning wireless champions, such as the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air or Bose SoundDock 10. And the M3-8s deliver so much more of the sound of your music than those two wireless models, it's not even close. For one thing a pair of M3-8s produce stereo, and the sort of … Read more
Some would say I'm easily impressed, because I still get a thrill every time I stream music from my smartphone or tablet to a Bluetooth speaker.
I mean, sure, an FM radio also produces music straight out of thin air, but somehow this is way cooler.
Of course, there are lots of great home stereos, boom boxes, speaker docks, and the like that lack Bluetooth capabilities, meaning you're stuck with (horrors!) wires if you want to play music from your mobile device.
The Rocky Mountain Audio Fest is held every October in Denver, and every year it's packed with the latest and greatest high-end audio goodies. High-end doesn't necessarily mean outrageously expensive, though; Schiit Audio was previewing its upcoming $119 Vali tube headphone amplifier, and I quickly auditioned Audioengine's soon-to-be-released $249/pair A2+ desktop speakers. I hope to get one of the first pairs in for review. Hifiman was showing prototypes of a sleek portable music player that comes with a set of the company's excellent in-ear headphones; the complete system price was $249.
Oppo, best known for … Read more
The Gigaom Web site reported on December 20 that Pono announced it won't be showing at the CES show in Las Vegas in January.
I first heard about Neil Young's Pono music system more than a couple of years ago, and it was supposed to roll out a few months later. Rumors continued to circulate about an imminent debut, then fade away. Young showed a Pono music player prototype on the David Letterman show in September 2012, and it seemed like the launch was within reach.
Like everybody else I'm still unsure about how the Pono music … Read more
Bass-emphasized headphones are now the norm, so much so that when I get to listen to more accurate headphones they really stand out. Not that I have anything against bass, readers of this blog who crave feel-it-in-your-bones bass had their turn with the JBL Synchros S700 headphones, so now it's time to go for a higher-resolution/clarity model with the new Phiaton Fusion MS 430 M-Series headphones ($179).
The earcups' carbon fiber inserts are a sleek styling touch, but the ear cushion's comfort levels are good, not great. While the headband padding may be a little lean for … Read more
I never thought I'd see the day when a Sonos product made the pages of The Cheapskate. Though I've long been a fan of the company's speaker systems, I'd never consider buying one. They're crazy-overpriced.
That said, you have to admire Sonos for sticking to its guns as a higher-end home-audio maker. Obviously there are lots of buyers willing to pay a premium for their gear, as evidenced by the fact that they're still around after all these years.
I still think Sonos stuff is overpriced. But a deal's a deal, and this … Read more
It looks like Sonos plans to announce a new wireless speaker. And, thanks to at least one Target store, that might happen sooner rather then later.
The Sonos Play:1 is on store shelves in at least one Target store, a leaked image published on The Verge Wednesday has revealed. The person who snapped the photo showed that both a white and black version are available for $199.99. The speaker comes with a single speaker, unlike the Play:3 and Play:5, which have three speakers and five speakers, respectively.
Sonos made a name for itself in the home … Read more
What's better than two-deal Tuesday? Three-deal Wednesday, of course! Let's get right to it, because at least one of them is likely to sell out soon.TiVo bundle
If you've been lusting after one of those higher-end new TiVo Roamio DVRs with the built-in TiVo Stream capabilities, here's your chance to get the poor-man's equivalent.
While supplies last, Tech.Woot has the TiVo Premiere 4 and TiVo Stream for $99.99, plus $5 for shipping. Alternately, on the same page, you can opt for a refurbished but much higher-capacity TiVo Premiere XL4 and TiVo Stream … Read more
Earbuds have long had a way of tying us down, whether through tangled cords, behind-the-head connectors, or Bluetooth requirements. The Split earbuds on Kickstarter are looking to do away with all that fuss.
Split from Greenwing Audio works by acting as a stand-alone audio player, kind of like miniaturizing and shoving an iPod Nano in your ears. A tiny crystal clock in each earbud synchronizes the music without the need for a wired or wireless connection.… Read more
I remember the very first Woo Audio headphone amp I heard five years ago; it was the $520 WA-3, and they still make it. The little amp made a strong impression because it so radically improved the sound of Grado headphones. That amp transformed Grados, gave them more soul, more body, and sweetness. I've reviewed a number of Woo products over the years, but the new WA-234 Mono is a very different beast. First, it is as the name implies, a monophonic design, so you need two amps for stereo. The other big difference is that these tube amps … Read more