Archive for Accessories

Zune HD ProClip Mount Review

proclip zune hd 16 Zune HD ProClip Mount Review

I have been using this mounting system for well over a year and have been very pleased with it keeping me focused on the road. I did a ProClip review not too long ago with a slightly different configuration but this one focuses on the Zune HD mount. Check out this review in the forums.

Creative ZiiSound D5 Review

creative ziisound d5 main Creative ZiiSound D5 Review

The ZiiSound D5 is Creative’s flag ship compact speaker system and centered around Bluetooth audio. I have tended to shy away from Bluetooth audio devices since most of the devices I have tried came up pretty short in terms of sound quality. In short, the ZiiSound D5 has changed my opinion and showed me that if done right, Bluetooth can rival wired or docked performance.

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Kicker ZKick ZK350 Zune Dock Review

kicker zk350 main Kicker ZKick ZK350 Zune Dock Review

The ZK350 is the third installment of Zune Docks by kicker. I have already reviewed the other two docks: ZK500 & ZK150 if you are interested in checking out those reviews. In short though, the ZK350 hits a sweet spot somewhere in between blending portability with bass. In order to make it even more portable there is an optional battery add-on that will keep your beats playing for a few hours away untethered from the wall.

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iCap MP3 Player for Your Baseball Cap

icap main iCap MP3 Player for Your Baseball Cap

The iCap as the name suggests integrates a baseball cap with a clip on MP3 player with speakers. This 2GB MP3 player comes with a baseball cap or a clip on attachment for the bring-your-own hat scenario. This would certainly be useful for what the site suggests: fishing, yard work, skating, golfing, at the races, or at the ball game.

There are many times when wearing headphones may not be the best case for your activity and I can certainly see this cap as a valuable niche product. However, I certainly do question the $100 price tag for a generic MP3 player with speakers. A sub $60 price tag would certainly be more acceptable. If you are willing to drop a Franklin you can buy it directly from the manufacture.


Headstage Arrow 12HE Headphone Amplifier Review

arrow00main Headstage Arrow 12HE Headphone Amplifier Review

Some arcane audio gadgets aren’t really necessary to have, but they can make listening to music more enjoyable. Portable headphone amplifiers to go with MP3 players definitely fall in that category. The bad thing is that not all of those portable amps are actually good, and with some it’s not clear if they even do anything (depending on the MP3 player or headphones they’re paired with).

Quite a few manufacturers are trying to make a living in that rather specific niche market – yet many actually fail to deliver products that really improve either sound quality or a player’s usability. Be it by fixing flaws that are found in an MP3 player’s amp circuitry, by giving better volume controls than the usual +/- buttons, by bypassing arbitrary volume restrictions which make some players unusable with certain headphones, and so on. Many amps out there of course make sound louder, but that’s about it. Only a few of the amps I’ve tested so far actually make the sound – as well as the overall listening experience – better.

Robert Gehrke, the man behind the German Headstage company (also of Penguin Amp fame), makes good amps. There’s no big advertising-speak around his products and he doesn’t put some mere basic CMOY-style circuitry in an overly fancy enclosure and calls it a day. Well, besides the venerable Penguin Amp, which is clearly labeled as an advanced CMOY – and Altoids tins might be considered fancy by some. That being said, Robert’s current amplifier, the Arrow 12HE, is definitely among the best products to hit the portable amp market so far – read on to find out why.

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Speck PixelSkin Zune HD Case Review

zune hd speck main Speck PixelSkin Zune HD Case Review

If you are looking for something a little more rugged in terms of protecting your Zune HD and in terms of looks the Speck PixelSkin case for the Zune HD might be something on your radar. The best way to describe the PixelSkin is a military grade version of a simple silicon skin. In terms of functionality and fit it’s the same as a silicon skin but much more skin so to speak and who doesn’t like to see a little more skin?

All of the buttons are easily accessed through the skin along with the bottom dock and headphone ports. It will also work with some docking station if you remove the dock insert. I currently use this skin with the Kicker ZK500 just by removing the dock insert.

The Speck PixelSkin can be found on Amazon for roughly $17- a pretty cheap investment to protect your precious Zune HD.

Win this case by posting a photo of your Zune HD. More photos below.

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FiiO E7 Headphone Amplifier/USB DAC Review

e7 01 FiiO E7 Headphone Amplifier/USB DAC Review

Our friends at the FiiO headphone- and mobile player paraphernalia company sent me their newest oeuvre for reviewing – the FiiO E7, a portable headphone amplifier and USB sound adapter (also often incorrectly called pars-pro-toto ‘DAC’, as the cool people like to refer to sound interfaces), successor of the popular E3 and E5. Unlike some other Chinese manufacturers that cater to an ‘audiophile’ demographic, FiiO managed so far to release products that are of quite high build quality and having good performance while still keeping a fair price. To put it bluntly – in my opinion FiiO doesn’t rip their customers off unlike some other manufacturers, and the E7 is yet another case in point. Despite the E7 being the least inexpensive FiiO product so far, the not so high asking price of around $80 gets one a quite nifty and versatile audio toy.

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Noreve Zune HD Case Review

noreve zune hd main Noreve Zune HD Case Review

Looking for a high end case for your Zune HD? Noreve has you covered as always. If you read this site with frequency you see that I review a lot of Noreve cases and I always have good things to say about them. The materials, fit, and function are always top notch for all of their cases I have seen first hand. The case for the Zune HD is no different. Having said that it certainly comes with a price tag to match the quality. Read on below for some more thoughts and photos on this Zune HD case.

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Hand Crafted Point Zero ONE Zune HD Case

zune hd zpo main Hand Crafted Point Zero ONE Zune HD Case

Jaewoo Kim is a designer and student at Art Center College of Design that loves to design cases for MP3 players. A few months ago he sent me a hand made case for the Samsung P3. It was a cool project and like nothing i have ever seen from any of the other case manufactures. However there were some issues that didn’t make the case practical, the shape just didn’t allow the case to be secured properly. But as all students do, they constantly learn from their experiences. Enter Jaewoo’s second round- the Point Zero ONE Zune HD case.

In this round i am truly impressed with what he has crafted out of a sheet of thick plastic. This sheet is cleverly folded much like a complex piece of origami to protect your Zune HD. The tolerances are tight, lining up perfectly with the screen and dimensions of the player. All of the ports and buttons are easily accessible.

These cases sell for $10-12 on Jaewoo’s site. If you want something truely unique and would like to help put a talented design student though school check it out below.

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I-Nique Tuff-Luv Napa Archos 5 IT Leather Case Review

inique a5it napa main I Nique Tuff Luv Napa Archos 5 IT Leather Case Review

Now that the Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android review is up, it’s time to look at some way to protecting it. For the last few months I’ve been using a leather case from I-Nique, the same guys who made other cases we’ve reviewed in the past. Read on for a quick review.

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