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.
Archive for Bluetooth
Bluetooth is technically a rather old technology and wireless headphones have really never taken off, yet they’re becoming an increasingly popular topic on our forum. A lot of the reason for that is that it’s becoming integrated into players, with the Samsung P3 and the Cowon S9 among the newest, most popular models to have this capability.
Most Bluetooth headphones are behind-the-neck style for some reason and there aren’t many normal type Bluetooth headphones. The Sony DR-BT22 is an exception, with a form factor and size that really doesn’t look like it’s Bluetooth at first glance. The DR-BT22 are on their way out, which has dropped the price from a MSRP of $99 to a sales price of under $30 on Amazon, which means these are perfect for people who want to go wireless. But are they any good?
With netbooks becoming popular so fast over the last year, laptops are becoming more of an alternative to dedicated media devices for portable use. While they are still bigger than MP3 players, they now have battery life and pricing that makes them good choices. Having a netbook myself and also being a Bluetooth nut, I’ve been struggling to get stereo Bluetooth audio on my Acer Aspire One for months. Normal Bluetooth adapters are normally very unstable and the process is the least user friendly I can think of. The people at callpod knows this, and have released an amazing product called the callpod drone.
The drone is literally plug and play. It plugs into your computer, pairs with a headset, and works. It’s main feature is Bluetooth audio, and so it uses a whole other kind of process to get things going than normal adapters. Read on for the full review.
Due to working in the forest with cable hating trees for a few weeks a few months ago I ended up with a cellphone with a broken headphone jack. This lead me to declare official war on wires and since then I have been all wireless when on the run.
Going all Bluetooth was certainly something I thought twice about before I started doing. The technology doesn’t have that good a reputation and especially sound quality was rumoured to be rather bad. Since then I’ve tried a lot of Bluetooth devices, headphones and receivers – some of which have ended up on ABi as reviews. Read on for a full roundup on how the last few months of wireless life has been like, with all the pros and cons related to Bluetooth technology.
Most Bluetooth headphones have a neckband style design and there are few over the head style Bluetooth headphones out there. Even more rare are Bluetooth earbuds, as the technology simply won’t fit inside such cramped space. JayBird have found a way to circumvent this problem with their JB-200 earbud hybrid.
The JB-200 is a combination of earclip style headphone and earbud with IEM style tips on them. It’s extremely small for a Bluetooth headphone and is barely visible if you have any hair at all. How do these headphones hold up to the big clunky headphones with plenty of room for the tech needed? Read on to find out.
If you have a Bluetooth player you might have considered the option of going wireless at home. Freely moving around the room with your player as a very advanced music remote sure sounds good, but then there’s the issue of sound quality. With Bluetooth receivers becoming more and more popular it’s hard to keep track of what actually sounds good and whether or not to go for a cheap receiver from a no-name brand or more expensive models.
The Sony Ericsson MBR-100 falls into the latter category with a US MSRP of $79.99. Though made by a cell phone manufacturer it will work with any A2DP device and so is an option also for Bluetooth MP3 players. Is it really worth the extra money or will any $25 device do the same job? Read on for the full review.
Bluetooth used to be a thing that only cellphones had and stereo Bluetooth was even more exclusive. Now you get this on basically any phone out there and the technology has begun to be more present in MP3 players as well. Samsung can be said to be the pioneer in this area with by far the most Bluetooth equipped players, but other brands like Insignia, Sony, Cowon and others have started to incorporate this as well.
With my recent work related fallout with wired headphones (don’t ask) and the purchase of a Sony A828 for it’s Bluetooth capabilities, I needed a pair of Bluetooth headphones to go with it. After some research I ended up with the Jabra BT620s. The big question on my mind was how this would hold up to wired headphones both in stability and sound quality. Read on for the full review.
Sony recently started offering pre-orders for the NWZ-A820 in Europe. This player is now confirmed to hit the US in March along with two new models, the S710 and A720 Walkman players.
The NWZ-A720 is essentially the same player as the NWZ-A820, but lacks bluetooth support. It’s also available in 4GB, 8GB and 16GB, while the A820 only comes in 8Gb and 16GB. The A720 is priced at $150 (4GB), $200 (8GB) and $300 (16GB) and comes in black or pink, while the A820 will cost you $270 (8GB) and $320 (16GB) and only comes in black.
The NWZ-S710 is good news for those who commented on the lack of noise cancelling in the NWZ-A820. While this feature was removed from the US and European versions of the A820, it is in place in the smaller S710 series, and Sony claims it will help reduce outside noise by up to 75%. It will however not have the same design as the A720 and A820, and will only have a 1.8″ screen compared to the 2.4″ screen on the A720 and A820. It will be available in a $150 4GB version with 3 different colors, and a $200 8GB version which comes only in black. No 16GB version is announced.
[ Press Release ]
Sony just announced its new Walkman model, the NW-A820 (NWZ-820 in Europe/US). The player features a 2,4″ 320×240 QVGA screen, noise canceling features, Bluetooth functionality, and sizes up to 16GB. The Asian version of the player will still have ATRAC playback and most likely be SonicStage dependent, while the European and US model will continue Sony’s recent trend of MTP based players without ATRAC support, which of course is a good thing.
Sony also announced two accessories for the new player; the SRS-NWT10M external speaker, and the VRC-NW10 cradle. The cradle supports both video out and video in, which means you can record TV directly to the NW-A820 in MPEG-4 format. Whether or not this will work on the NWZ-A820 is not known, but fingers crossed that it will. The player will be available in Asia on March 20, release date for the rest of the world is unknown.
Continue reading for picture frenzy.
Samsung had nothing new to show in terms of MP3 players, but I did find out from a Samsung rep that they will be releasing a 16GB version of the P2 sometime in Q1 of 08.
I did get a chance to check out the S5 which will replace the K5. It sounded just as good but slims down and gets a color screen and Bluetooth. This will actually make an interesting accessory for Bluetooth mobile phones being that it will give you a nice and loud speaker phone conferencing set up. The S5 is available now in the US in 4GB versions and can be picked up for around $180.
The other interesting portable audio accessory was the portable Bluetooth speakers, the BS300. It sounded a bit better than the speakers in the S5 and K5 from what I could tell over all the noise. It will tie into your Bluetooth MP3 player or operate as a speakerphone with its built in mic for your cellphone. It retails for $130.
I snapped a few pics at the booth- a bit blurry but still fun to look at.