GRACE NOTES

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jan 06, 2016 0 comments
Urbanears is known for edgy, stylish headphones and it's exciting to see cool-looking headphones and earbuds that can handle the toughest workouts while looking good and sounding better.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jan 06, 2016 0 comments
Samson is known in the studio world and educational forums as a supplier of good, solid, reliable headphones. At CES 2016, they’re showing off a new line of headphones that cater to both the artist and the end-user.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jan 05, 2016 0 comments
Most folks know that audio can only be as good as the weakest link in the supply chain; send good audio through a crappy headphone amp and it doesn’t matter how good the headphones are. It’s still going to sound like crap. Phāz Music is releasing new headphones that eliminate that problem.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jan 05, 2016 1 comments
High-end headphone manufacturer Audeze is launching the SINE, a new headphone utilizing planar magnetic technology for a pure, accurate sound.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jan 05, 2016 0 comments
Head Monster Noel Lee knows how to kick off CES with enthusiasm that’s hard to ignore. Monster is attempting to rethink, revamp and reinvent themselves with an almost-overwhelming number of new products.
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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Dec 21, 2015 0 comments
Gone are the days of old, when all it took to prepare for Christmas morning was a warm batch of cinnamon rolls, hot coffee, and a spare pack of batteries. Even though more and more technology exists today to keep us connected, how easy is it to set up all these new gadgets come Christmas morning? Although the stockings are hung by the chimney with care, are you sure you’re really ready for Christmas?

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Dec 07, 2015 1 comments
V-MODA is forcing me back to high school chemistry and I don’t like it one bit. I guess most people probably know that Zn stands for zinc without having to break out a periodic table, and the properties of zinc are great for making acoustic devices. The new Zn in-ear monitors are the first in-ears released by V-MODA in four years, and they’re aiming for the modern audiophile with a blend of features that balance convenience and luxury.

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Nov 16, 2015 0 comments
There’s no doubt that custom earphones are way more comfortable and fit better than off-the-shelf one-size-fits-all earphones—and that snug fit usually means better sound too. The problem is that customs take a long time from fitting to delivery and are usually quite expensive—around $1,000. Revols, a Kickstarter-funded company is changing that with a proprietary technology that turns soft Nano-composite gel earphones into permanently-molded custom fit wonders for much less than traditional customs and the magic happens in just 60 seconds.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Nov 02, 2015 0 comments
Christmas came early in my house. A package just arrived from Kinivo with an assortment of products that I felt I should share—start spreading that holiday joy just days after Halloween. It’s never too early for that, right?

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Oct 19, 2015 0 comments
As you probably know, October is breast cancer awareness month. Hard to avoid the pinking of every product under the sun. While I generally oppose the “pink it and shrink it” mentality when designing products for women, I do appreciate a company that puts their money where their pink is - and donates a significant percentage of their proceeds to a cause. Scosche Industries is partnering with the National Breast Cancer Foundation to create the goPINK for Hope line of audio products and accessories. Scosche is donating 25% of all proceeds from the sale of this product line, and all goPINK products are currently discounted by 25%.

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Oct 05, 2015 2 comments
Pop quiz: What image first comes to your mind when you hear Bluetooth speaker system? Is it a small, portable, single-cabinet pseudo-stereo box with meager amplification? Would it blow your mind to imagine a Bluetooth system that’s actually a 2.1 desktop system, complete with two stand-alone two-way speakers, a separate amplifier/control box and yes, a separate subwoofer? Take a look at the Thonet & Vander Rätsel BT 2.1 Bluetooth system with a 75-watt. Sadly, I’ve gotten so accustomed to tiny little Bluetooth speakers that my mind was suitably blown.

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Sep 21, 2015 3 comments
For most of the country, summer coming to a close signals that it’s time to put away your outdoor gear and head to the gym. In Florida, it signals the best weather to get outside and play. The temps are cooling off, humidity is dropping, and it’s the best time of year for cycling. When two Bluetooth speakers that are water-resistant and shaped to fit in a bicycle waterbottle cage showed up at my house, I decided a speaker shootout was called for. The JBL Charge 2+ and the Scosche boomBottle+ are both next generation products. Let’s see which one is going to become a permanent feature on my bike ride.

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Sep 07, 2015 0 comments
When Optoma, a home-theater projector company, and NuForce, an audio company joined forces, I’ll admit it I was initially confused. NuForce made nice, niche audio products, and Optoma is mainly only doing projectors. What would their combined efforts produce? Light-emitting earbuds? Projectors with built-in speakers? But it actually makes sense; Optoma purchased NuForce to be able to provide both excellent video and audio to consumers, and they’ve kept the high quality that you would expect from NuForce. How do two new pairs of earphones, the NE750M and the NE800M from Optoma NuForce sound? Let’s find out.

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Aug 17, 2015 0 comments
Everything needs to be enhanced these days to stand out from the crowd—everyone needs a schtick. Potato chips need wacky truffle-oil flavoring, cars need a carbon fiber wrap, and well, most celebrities keep their plastic surgeons on speed-dial. Even headphones need a hook to make a splash in the over-saturated market. While the Plantronics BackBeat Sense wireless headphones look like ordinary headphones, they are packed with enhancements, including knowing when they’re on or off.
Leslie Shapiro Posted: Aug 03, 2015 2 comments
Apple has just released the 6th generation version of the iPod touch, with up to 128GB of built-in memory and the same A8 processor as the iPhone 6. It’s a gorgeous device with a 4-inch Retina display, all sleek and shiny and desperately trying to fit in. The question is: in 2015, with nearly 65% of Americans owning a smartphone, who needs it?

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