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.
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The recipe is easy: take a D2+, keep exactly the same outdated design, just upgrade the CPU and improve battery life.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 Not to mention the outdated 2.5″ LCD 320×240 touchscreen, most likely still using the resistive technology.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).
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.
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.”
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.
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 Amazon.com, 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 ]
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.
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…
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…
Sure, the quality is awful and all that, but who here doesn’t ever go to YouTube to find music? I find myself doing it quite a bit, sometimes just to listen to some old pop songs for the laughs, but most often to listen to artists you don’t find anywhere else. Be it true cover songs or someone playing the Game of Thrones theme on a violin, YouTube is full of music you don’t get elsewhere, and I frankly prefer a lot of it to what comes out of the studios these days. Justin Bieber may have been discovered on YouTube, but I won’t hold that against it.
A very neat app for these situations is PVSTAR+ for Android. It allows you to create playlists of YouTube videos, and then play them using many of the same controls you get in a normal media player. It even supports background play, so you don’t have to keep the screen on. Using the app fully requires an internet connection, however there is a caching system in place for offline use. It’s not all there, unfortunately, as you have to play the videos for them to be cached, and even then I’ve had mixed results. The app also has a few quirks, like some videos simply failing to play without a good explanation, and the need to “catch up” when just switching back into the app from using background play/the screen being off (due to it switching video back on – there should be a delay on this in my opinion).
Despite a few issues, it does what it claims, and it does it pretty well. I’ve found myself using it more and more simply because of the convenience factor, as it’s much easier than downloading videos using video downloaders (which isn’t complicated, but takes time). The app is available in both a free ad-supported version and a $4.40 ad-free version.
Download: Google Play