September 23, 2013

MEElectronics M-Duo IEM Review

IMG 7758 MEElectronics M Duo IEM Review

Over the last several years I have tested and used a few of MEElectronics IEMs and they have stood up to the test of time. So when they reached out to ask my opinion of their new dual driver IEM I accepted the challenge. While not all their IEMs are as perfect as a picky person like myself would like, they certainly deliver a great sound in relation to your investment. Of all the ones reviewed I still use the A151s, the A161Ps and have now added the M-Duo’s to my list.

I received the M-Duo’s mid summer just before I headed off on vacation so I now have almost 2 months testing them, which makes me feel more than prepared to discuss them. Dynamic drivers typically provide a fuller bodied sound signature with less detail, precision and speed than balanced armatures deliver. Nevertheless throw in a dedicated tweeter and woofer and they can deliver a very fun sound signature.

With that thought in mind, read on if you would like to take a closer look at the M-Duo.

Continue reading…

March 15, 2013

Cowon iAudio 9+ Spotted – Cowon “Updates” Another DAP

i9+ABI 560x322 Cowon iAudio 9+ Spotted   Cowon Updates Another DAP

Our sharp eyed friends at our sister site iAudiophile have spotted an update to the Cowon iAudio 9. A “+” has been added to the name but there doesn’t seem to be much else that’s been changed.

The main attraction seems to be the maximum capacity has been increased from 16 to 32 GB. There’s also a larger external speaker and the JetEffects have been updated to 5.0. After that it doesn’t seem most current owners would notice a difference.

Continue reading…

March 11, 2013

Cowon D20: back to 2006…

D20 b 560x560 Cowon D20: back to 2006...

We were used to Cowon not innovating for almost 2 years now but now we’ll have to deal with Cowon re-releasing old players. Indeed, after the D2 in 2006 and the D2+ in 2009, here is the D20 in 2013! Is this the D2+ Plus?

The recipe is easy: take a D2+, keep exactly the same outdated design, just upgrade the CPU and improve battery life. Don’t forget to update it with the terrible C2 UI and there you have it, a fresh new product for almost no cost!

This is really disappointing in 2013. Not to mention the outdated 2.5″ LCD 320×240 touchscreen, most likely still using the resistive technology. Nothing much exciting except the very good battery life (up to 90hrs in audio and 13hrs in video) and the powerful output (29 mW/ch).

Continue reading…

November 19, 2012

The Bass Egg Project on Kickstarter wants to create a good reverberation speaker

Reverberation speakers can be found everywhere these days. Instead of producing audio themselves, they transmit vibrations onto a large surface that acts as the actual speaker. The models you find tend to be cheap, novelty gadgets made more for the geek factor of having a device that turns surfaces into speakers than to actually produce good sound, and the Bass Egg project is all about changing that.

The project creators claim to want to build a reverberation speaker that is the “(…) “best in class” reverberation speaker, our goal was to develop a product with the following attributes: Small and Portable, Sleek, Wireless and Easy to Use, and Durable.” Whether or not they succeed remains to be seen, but they might just be onto something here. I have a reverberation speaker on my desk right now, the Mighty Boom Ball, and while it’s fun to play around it, it can’t match the sound quality of my mm28 portable speaker (which, for the record, is much much bigger). For a speaker that’s dependent on a surface to be a success, it has to provide better a better sound/size ratio that traditional portable speakers.

Kickstarter is a site where you can pledge a project to help fund it, meaning you’re not legally guaranteed the resulting product if the project fails. However, the Bass Egg is apparently ready for production, and might ship as early as January. With a Kickstarter price of $95 and a retail price of $120 though, it better be worth it.



November 17, 2012

digiZoid ZO 2 on sale until the 18th for $85

zo2 sale 560x215 digiZoid ZO 2 on sale until the 18th for $85

digiZoid is having a fall sale right now on their ZO 2 personal subwoofer. The ZO 2 was released almost a year ago, and is the successor to the original ZO that Martin reviewed last summer. The ZO 2 is a “portable subwoofer,” essentially a headphone amp that focuses heavily on boosting bass, without completely destroying the sound in the process.

I have a ZO 2, and I’d describe it as a hardware version of the Mach3bass (BBE) technology licensed by Cowon. They’re not actually related, but I can count on one hand the number of bass boosting technologies I’ve tried and actually like, and on that one hand I only really need two fingers: One for the ZO 2 and one for Mach3bass. It’s a great little device, and the only portable headphone amp I actually still have and use.

Anyways, the sale puts the ZO2 at $85, which is $35 off the retail price. I caught wind of the sale a bit late, and it actually ends on Sunday, November 18th, so there aren’t many days left to take advantage of this deal. I love my ZO 2, so I can whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone who think their music could use a bit more “oomph.”


November 16, 2012

How to fix a missing battery on a Sansa Clip+

clip plus battery1 How to fix a missing battery on a Sansa Clip+

Last week, Ian showed how to fix a missing clip on a SanDisk Sansa Clip Plus. I removed the clip from mine on purpose, and used it like that for years, but then I suddenly had a bigger problem: a missing battery.

Continue reading…

November 16, 2012

Deal alert: Sansa Clip Zip on sale in Europe for £27

mymemory zip Deal alert: Sansa Clip Zip on sale in Europe for £27

MyMemory, a UK-based website that ships worldwide, currently has the 4GB Sansa Clip Zip in both black and red for £26.96. Those are British pounds, which means that Americans will still find a better deal on, but Europeans might want to check it out. The two other colors the site stocks, blue and purple, are currently priced closer to the £55 MSRP, but might come down as well. I wouldn’t wait too long though, as MeMemory is infamous for changing prices almost daily.

I’m tempted to get one myself, as my Clip Plus is kinda…under the weather. I showed how to make a small DAP like that slave to a smartphone/tablet a while back, and part of me wants to get a Zip working that way, why the other part doesn’t want to get into the dedicated DAP game again. Either way it’s an awesome price, and definitely worth taking advantage of for those that have been eyeing the Zip.

[MyMemory: Black | Red ]

November 8, 2012

From the forums: €999 Samsung YP-W3 retro review

ypw3 560x420 From the forums: €999 Samsung YP W3 retro review

Sometimes, electronics companies release limited edition devices aimed at people who have a lot of money. That happened back in 2005, when Samsung released the YP-W3 pocket watch style DAP. One of the versions of the DAP came with all the bells and whistles, including platinum plating, eight diamonds, a wooden box, the best earphones Samsung had at the time, and more. The cost? €999, or about $1300 with today’s exchange rate.

The combination of a high cost and few units made caused this DAP to be somewhat of an impossible dream for many DAP collectors, including our forum moderator, lebellium. Thanks to the miracle of eBay, however, he managed to get his hands on a used one 7 years later, for the much nicer price of €70. It might be 7 years old and technically outdated by now, but the YP-W3 is a very special piece of DAP history. Lebellium now has a review of the player in our forums, so if you want to read about the DAP that cost more than a nice set of high-end tablets today, check out the review by hitting the link below.

[ABi Forums]

November 8, 2012

How to repair a broken clip on a Sandisk Sansa Clip+

Sansa Clip Replacement1 118x175 How to repair a broken clip on a Sandisk Sansa Clip+As I was digging through the ABI forums, I ran across a good guide by zPoKE to replacing a broken clip on a Sansa Clip+ MP3 player. It’s nice to find a viable and cost effective solution to a very common problem like the clip breaking off of the Sansa Clip/Clip+, so I thought I would bring this easy tutorial back to the forefront to help anyone who has experienced this problem.

zP0KE recommends using ACCO KLIX Classic Metal paper fasteners as a replacement to the stock clip (you can use other types of clips as well provided they can withstand the strain). If you reside within the US, you can pick these up at a local Staples office supply store, or you can order them from Amazon directly. Continue reading…

November 2, 2012

How to clean a headphone jack

Audio Jack 2 How to clean a headphone jack

If you’re anything like me, you like to have the best sound quality possible, whenever possible. This means doing simple things like tweaking the equalizer and getting better headphones to major undertakings like re-ripping your entire music library to Lossless encoding.

An often overlooked area in the pursuit for better sound quality is making sure all your player’s contacts and connectors are clean, especially since a pocket is sanctuary for dust, moisture, and other harmful debris. I have been asked why cleaning a headphone jack is important and I always give this example:  if you have distortion (static, etc.) while playing music and have to either disconnect and then reconnect the headphones or turn the headphone jack to make it go away, then cleaning your headphone jack might help with this problem.

Luckily, cleaning a headphone jack is quick and easy. With a few simple steps you can be on your way to musical bliss. Continue reading…