The Dayton Audio DTA-120 stereo integrated amp isn't very big, but for anyone searching for a decent amp that won't break the bank it's a real contender. First, let's look at the numbers: It's rated at 50 watts per channel for 8 ohm speakers; 60 watts per channel for 4 ohm speakers; the rear panel has stereo RCA inputs and speaker cable binding posts. The front panel has a 3.5 mm stereo minijack input, a 6.3 mm headphone jack, and a volume control. The DTA-120's extruded metal chassis feels solid, it's … Read more
Earlier this month, astronomer Mark Showalter and the SETI Institute asked the Internet to help name two Plutonian moons. The results are in after 450,324 votes from around the world on the Web site Pluto Rocks.
Pending authorization from the International Astronomical Union, the new names for Pluto's smallest moons -- currently called P4 and P5 -- could end up changing to Cerberus and Vulcan.… Read more
LAS VEGAS--iHome is showing off several new products at this year's CES, including the retrolicious boombox, the iP4, which gives new meaning to the phrase "pretty in pink."
iHome says the iP4 is a "re-imagining of the classic stereo boombox" and offers "intriguing updates for your iPhone and iPod." These include SRS TruBass digital signal processing technology, a 5 band EQ coupled with 4-inch carbon composite woofers and 1-inch ferro fluid cooled tweeters, and and FM radio and aux line-in jack.
Like boomboxes of yesteryear, the iP4 operate on 6 D batteries or … Read more
Break out the parachute pants and that red leather Michael Jackson zipper jacket you have stashed in the back of the closet. iHome's iP4 portable boom box for iPhone is going retro with a vengeance.
Just looking at the ghetto blaster design of the iP4 iPhone and iPod stereo dock makes me want to get a perm, rock some Cyndi Lauper, and see what Geraldo is up to these days.
The iP4 has more in common with a traditional boom box than just looks. It also runs on six D batteries so you can heft it up on your shoulder and strut down the street blasting the "Footloose" theme song. The original, not the remake.
Nostalgia doesn't always come cheap. The iP4 costs $199.99. At least the technology has come a long way. The 7.5-pound boom box features a five-band graphic equalizer with an LCD display, FM radio, and backlit buttons.
The speakers are composed of 4-inch carbon composite woofers and 1-inch ferrofluid-cooled tweeters.
Now all you need is one of those brick-size '80s cell phones to complete the tech look. Totally tubular!… Read more
The nice folks at Parts Express sent over an amazing-sounding little amplifier, the $129 Topping TP30. It's a tiny desktop Class T amp design, with one analog RCA stereo input and one USB connection (the TP30 has a built-in digital-to-analog converter). The amp delivers 15 watts per channel to 4 ohm-rated speakers (10 watts into 8 ohms), and has a 3.5 mm headphone jack on the front panel.
With its extruded aluminum chassis, 8mm thick, CNC-machined front panel, and solid-metal volume control knob the TP30 wouldn't look out of place in a high-end system. It even feels expensive, but I have just one nitpick: the illuminated blue LED ring surrounding the volume control knob is too bright. I wish there was a way to dim it or turn it off. The amp measures a tidy 4.13 inches by 1.77 inches by 8.07 inches.
The USB interface utilizes standard Windows audio class 1 drivers (it worked fine with my Mac mini). Internal parts quality is superb; the TP30 boasts Elna capacitors, Dale resistors, and an ALPS volume control. The Burr-Brown USB digital-to analog converter chip accepts up to 48 kHz sampling rates with 16-bit resolution.
I compared the sound of the TP30 with my Audioengine N22 amp ($199), and they're both pretty good. The N22 has a fuller, warmer tonal balance, but the TP30 has a more immediate, detailed sound with more tightly controlled bass. I used my Audioengine P4 speakers for all of my speaker-based listening tests. It's interesting, the TP30 is a digital amp and takes digital signals "straight-in" via its USB port; the N22 is analog-only and is a more traditional Class A/B amplifier design. It sounded softer, and a wee bit less defined than the TP30.… Read more
Audioengine's spectacularly good A2 has been my powered speaker reference for years. I recently enthused about Audioengine's slightly larger passive P4 speaker ($249/pair) that need to be powered by a separate amp. I was surprised that Audioengine didn't introduce an amp when they brought out the P4, but now with the N22 ($199), the time has come.
It's an unobtrusive, vertically oriented design--7 inches high, 2.75 inches wide, and 5.5 inches deep--and it weighs 3.5 pounds. The clean front panel has just a volume control and a 3.5mm headphone jack; the … Read more
Fastest P2P promises to be the fastest peer-to-peer file-sharing program available. Although we can't vouch for that, we can say that it seems to be an adequate--if not particularly impressive--piece of software.
The program's interface looks very much like an earlier version of LimeWire and is fairly intuitive. Users will want to pay attention during the installation process; the "typical installation" installs a toolbar, sets Fastestp2p as the default search engine, and makes Fastp2p.com the default home page. Using the program was very much like using other Gnutella P2P programs; it searched, it found, and … Read more
The Audioengine P4 is a cheap speaker.
Correction, it's an audiophile speaker that sells for $249 a pair. But that hasn't stopped it from getting raves from audiophiles who live with speakers that sell for a whole lot more.
I use Audioengine A2 self-powered speakers ($199 a pair) with my computer, so I thought I had a handle on what to expect from the P4.
I did not; it's a whole new ball game. First, the P4 is a "passive" speaker, so you need to hook it up to an amplifier or receiver. The A2 is an "active" self-powered design that can be connected to a computer or MP3 player via a headphone jack.
I started listening to the P4 with my computer, with the speakers hooked up to an old Jolida hybrid tube/solid-state amplifier. The A2 is a sweet sounding little speaker, but the P4 was dramatically clearer, cleaner, and more vibrant. The P4 blows the A2 away--it's not even close.
At 9 inches tall by 5.5 inches wide by 6.5 inches deep, the P4 looks like a larger A2 (the A2 is 6 inches high by 4 inches wide by 5.25 inches deep). The P4 comes in satin-finished black or gloss white paint for $249 a pair, or in bamboo for $325 a pair. The wood isn't merely a veneer over medium-density fiberboard; no, the P4's cabinet is made out of solid bamboo, it's gorgeous!
Audioengine offers a nifty tabletop stand, the DS1 ($29 a pair), that cants the speaker back at an angle to project sounds up. The rubbery stands also isolate the speaker and prevent it from transmitting bass into your desk. Want to wall mount it? No problem, use the threaded inserts on the speaker's rear-end.
The P4's three-quarter inch silk dome tweeter and 4-inch Kevlar woofer appear to be of very high quality. Both drivers are made by Audioengine. … Read more
Hey, here's a thought: a free, open-source video codec that could be universally portable and playable. I'd vote for that, wouldn't you? In other news of the day, Dash stops making hardware to focus on software, Apple brings in an IBM guy to run the iPod division (other than Steve Jobs), and BlackBerry sneaks the Bold into stores today. Yeah, today. There's got to be something wrong with that thing.
Listen now: Download today's podcastEPISODE 845
Apple’s iPod chief to step down http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-10082065-37.html
Dash Navigation pulls the plug … Read more