Tag Archives: audio

Antec Rockus 2.1 Speakers Pros, Cons

20 Apr

Short version: Not bad, but the “3D” effect isn’t very compelling, and the lack of extra features makes the $200 price unpalatable.

Features:

150 watts (25/satellite, 100 in sub)
3.5mm, RCA, Optical inputs
“3Dsst” virtual surround sound
MSRP: $200

Pros:

Very clear sound
Plenty loud
Unique look

Cons:

Missing out on the midrange
Relatively small “sweet spot”
Virtual surround you can take or leave
No headphone output, aux/mic input on puck

Conclusion

Unfortunately, with great speakers like the Logitech Z623s electronic gadgets or classics like Klipsch’s Promedia 2.1s going for $50 less, I just can’t recommend these Antecs electronic gadgets. Looks like the longtime hardware maker still has a lot to learn about making a compelling speaker set.

Sony Music Unlimited service arriving on PSP

12 Apr

PSP owners who love listening to music will be in for a treat in a few days. Sony has announced that Music Unlimited, its music streaming app will be available on Sony’s handheld console – the PSP tech gadgets. Starting April 14, Music Unlimited will allow PSP users to stream music from their computers onto the console with the basic plan ($3.99 a month) while the premium plan ($9.99 a month) will give users access to additional premium channels and unlimited playback for the 7 million available songs. This means there’s going to be no more need to fill up that memory stick with music as long as you have an internet connection. PSP tech gadgets users will need to be running firmware version 6.37 to make use of Music Unlimited.

Source from ubergizmo

Razer Chimaera wireless Xbox 360 headset review

2 Apr

When a product takes well over a full year to go from introduction to release, it’s natural for consumer expectations to amp themselves up a notch or two tech gadgets. Such is the case with Razer’s Chimaera, an Xbox 360-centric wireless gaming headset that was initially teased at CES 2010, and just started shipping to end users early this year. The company’s been in the gaming headset business for some time now — if you’ll recall, we thoroughly enjoyed our time with the (wired) Carcharias headset right around two years back. This 2.1 system promises to give Xbox Live yappers exactly what they’ve been waiting for, but is it really worth the $129.99 entry fee? Head on past the break for our take.

For all intents and purposes, the Chimaera is a pretty simple product. There’s a wireless base station with a 3.5mm audio input jack, a 3.5mm microphone output port, a sync button (not unlike the Wiimote situation you deal with on a daily basis) and a standby button. Upon unboxing ’em, you’ll probably spend the first ten minutes trying to figure out where a pair of rechargeable AAA batteries (included, phew!) are to be inserted. Here’s a tip: rip the panel from the earcup that lacks a microphone. You’ll thank us.

The sync process is a lot easier, and while the charging stand is hardly childproof (a simple bump will have your headset tumbling), it serves the purpose without being too unsightly. The headset itself, unfortunately, is both heavy and intimidating. And by that, we mean large. Having ample padding around the top edge and on the ear cups is certainly appreciated, but unless you have a rather sizable noggin, you’ll most likely wonder how on Earth to adjust the band down. We’ve never had any issues with the sizing on any prior headset tech gadgets, but the Chimaera essentially swallowed our head, and with no way to extend the band tighter (there’s only ten notches of extension — you know, for Goliath’s intense gaming sessions), we were left in an uncomfortable pinch.

In all seriousness, we’d recommend stopping by a retail shop and trying these on before buying — it’s hard to imagine them not being too large for a huge swath of people. In an attempt to make the most of it, we kept ’em loosely draped around our skull for a bit of gaming, and while the wireless performance was stellar, we found the 3.5mm headphone input to be (also) a bit on the large side. We tried three different cables, and all of them just felt a wee bit loose. No connection troubles were noticed, but it still managed to get under our skin. Audio quality was above-average for wireless gaming headsets, but these tech gadgets certainly won’t be your go-to cans when it comes time to sink back into a sofa and enjoy an album. The lows were definitely accentuated, likely to enhance explosions often felt in first-person shooters, and we’re guessing that everything’s equalized to best suit movies and games, not music.

The fold-down boom mic was perfectly positioned, and our chats soared through loud and clear; we couldn’t help but long for a USB connection option in order to use this as a Skype headset in a pinch, but alas, no such luck. All told, the Chimaera feels like a solid product that wasn’t exactly executed to perfection — the large, bulky design turned us off right away, and the shoddy 3.5mm input didn’t do much to rebuild that lost confidence. At $129.99, you’ve simply too many other options from the likes of Turtle Beach and SteelSeries (just to name a couple), and unless your cranium is larger than most, you’ll probably have no choice but to pass this one by.

Source from Engadget

Apogee rolls out Duet 2 pro audio interface for Macs

1 Apr

Recently drop $500 on an Apogee Duet audio interface for your Mac electronic gadgets after pondering one for all these years? Then we’re afraid we’ve got a bit of bad news for you, as the company has now finally rolled out a successor to the highly-desirable device. Apparently redesigned from the ground up, the new Duet 2 expectedly ditches FireWire in favor of USB, and packs some “completely redesigned” mic preamps and converters, along with two inputs and four outputs, a pair of configurable touch pads, and even an all new OLED display that replaces the basic LED meters on the original. Of course, the one thing that stays the same is the professional-level price — look for this one to set you back $595 when it’s available next month.

Pioneer’s SE-NC31C-K noise-cancelling earbuds are cheap, but are they effective?

30 Mar

Active noise cancellation’s the secret sauce that keeps us counting sheep even when surrounded by the cacophony of crying babies and the dull roar of jet engines — though we often find the bulky form factor of those serenity-inducing cans unwieldy.

Luckily for us, Pioneer has released its SE-NC31C-K noise-cancellation earbuds that promise to remove 90 percent of ambient noise at the flip of a switch on its AAA battery-powered in-line module — all for around a hundred bucks, which is a far more palatable price than its sound-suppressing brethren from Sennheiser ($320) and Sony ($415) electronic gadgets. Should you run out of juice, fear not, for you can bypass the noise cancellation features to listen to your tunage as you would with a garden variety set of buds.

Given its (relatively) bargain-basement price, we aren’t sure how well Pioneer’s latest nullifies ambient noise, but there’s only one way to find out if they can give the best headset ever made a run for its money. Should you not share our skepticism, hit the source link and grab a pair for yourself.

Source from Engadget