TECH2

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Sep 19, 2014 0 comments
Bowers&Wilkins have become known for their innovative takes on aesthetic design. (Remember the Zeppelin?) Sometimes weird, and often wonderful, B&W have a love-it-or-hate-it style that is distinctly their own. No exception is the C5: in-ear headphones with a bullet-like shape and a unique stabilizing loop that have been recently revamped and released this week. The C5 Series 2 have a few deviations from the originals, while still keeping a similar form factor. I sat down to compare version one to Series 2 to get a better sense of what’s new.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Sep 06, 2014 1 comments

Are there repetitive things you do with your phone? Of course there are. Maybe you always turn on Pandora when you get in your car. Maybe you turn off your screen lock password when you’re home. Maybe you turn your phone on vibrate when you get to work.

What if your phone did this, and a whole lot more, automatically? What if it responded to any command you said. What if it read you your incoming texts while you were driving, and auto-replied that you were in the car?

This is the promise of the incredibly powerful app, Tasker.

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Aug 29, 2014 0 comments
Blue may be the last major microphone company to take the plunge into the headphone business, but they’ll tell you this was a conscious choice. Known for solid mic products with funky designs, Blue says they didn’t want to release just standard-issue headphones. One glance at the design of Mo-Fi, and you’ll see that in the quest for individuality they succeeded. Mo-Fi are simultaneously retro and modern looking with a unique hinged headband and adjustable tension knob. They also feature a built-in 240mW amp that the folks at Blue say is specifically matched to the drivers. For folks like me, who just can’t bear the idea of having to carry around one more thing, not needing a separate headphone amp is a welcome addition. Sounds great on paper. But how successful are Mo-Fi in practice?
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Aug 22, 2014 0 comments
Rock stars, producers, and the audio elite have long been the target demographic for the custom in-ear monitor. Personalized, individually crafted, and generally prohibitively expensive, purchasing a set has often been out of reach for most audio hobbyists. But now two companies, Normal and OwnPhones are looking to cater to the custom-curious with affordable 3D printed in-ear headphones. Will the advent of of the printed earbud change in-ear headphones for good?

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Aug 08, 2014 1 comments
A few weeks ago I told you about Star Citizen, and mentioned this, the other huge, open-universe, space sim that was crowd funded and looking to take all of your time and monies.

While both games have some impressive (and ancient) pedigree, and cover similar topics… and genres… and play mechanics…

OK, on paper they’re the same game. But so far they’re shaping up to be rather different. Also, Elite’s current beta form actually has a fair amount of playable game in it, a good year (decade?) before Star Citizen does.

Let’s have a look.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Aug 01, 2014 6 comments
(Don’t worry, no spoilers)

I hate The Prequels. It’s a deep seated loathing, burning hot at my core like my heart was pumping white phosphorus. It’s not that they were a disappointment (they are), or that they tarnish the original movies (to an extent, they do), it’s that they are, simply, indefensibly, crappy movies. Poorly written, directed, acted, shot, they’re an affront not just the legacy of Star Wars, but movie making as a whole.

I was excited when Lucas sold SW to Disney, and despite some questionable news since, Guardians of the Galaxy is a perfect example why I’m not worried, and in fact, enthusiastic, about the upcoming films.

No, really, this makes sense, I swear.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jul 25, 2014 1 comments
If you haven’t heard about Star Citizen, you must have been living under a rock. Or don’t care about video games. Or don’t care about video games and have been living under a rock. Enjoy your rock cave.

From Chris Roberts, the brilliant game designer and lets-not-mention-that-directorial-debut, Star Citizen is what every fan of Privateer, Wing Commander, Space Rogue, and every other space sim have always wanted.

At least, that’s the promise.

Now, I and other backers (damn right I have them my dollars), have had a chance to try out an early alpha snipped of the game: space combat.

I have thoughts.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jul 20, 2014 0 comments

From songwriting to touring and recording to shows, we sit down with Just Off Turner, an LA-based indie rock band, to talk about making music in today’s world of Spotify and iTunes.

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Jul 16, 2014 0 comments
Last week we talked about The Distortion of Sound, the new documentary concerning the gradual decline in audio quality that plagues the music current music industry. If you haven’t watched it yet (it’s free, incidentally) you really owe it to yourself to take the half an hour, and to share with a less-tech-savvy friend. For those of you who can’t stream a video right now, the gist is this: music fans are getting deprived of the ability to hear the full quality of the music they’re downloading, streaming, and YouTube-ing. Initially, the desire for convenience of carrying a small device necessitated the severe compression of music files, but as tech has advanced beyond that point, the quality of the music we’re hearing hasn’t. In fact, since the CD, the clarity and authenticity or recordings has largely decreased. Buy the best headphones, speakers, you name it, and they’re all worthless if the audio you’re playing isn’t high quality. Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park is a vocalist, songwriter, guitarist and keyboardist, as well as producer, and was one of the many members of the music and recording industry who participated in The Distortion of Sound. I sat down with him before the documentary premiere to talk about the state of the music industry, how he listens to music, and what it was like to record an album analog.
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Jul 11, 2014 6 comments
We live in an amazing time, music-wise. For the first time in history, we can hear virtually any artist, living or deceased, perform for us on a whim, within seconds.

For perspective: if you lived in 1580, to even hear a professional musician you’d need to be a member of a royal court, or a very wealthy household like the Medici family. Fast forward two hundred years, and in 1780 you’d still need to travel great distances at great expense to hear Mozart play. In another two hundred years, 1980, hearing your favorite music meant a trip to the store, purchasing an album (if it was in stock!) and then carrying that album around when you wanted to listen. For four hundred years, access to music took money, effort, and determination.

Yet here we are now, a few clicks away from the stuff of riches and royalty. While on our couch, no less! One would think, at this pinnacle of technological accomplishment, that the recordings we enjoy would be of increasing quality. The better the technology gets, the better the sound, right? Nope.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jun 27, 2014 1 comments
Instead of paying for a movie based on its resolution or picture quality, how would you like to pay based on your screen size?

This is what Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg wants you to do.

Of all the bone headed…

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jun 21, 2014 0 comments
Like Star Trek: The Next Generation? Got a few minutes to spare? PixelTrek is a web-based “game” that lets you explore areas of good old NCC-1701-D, in adorable 8-bit form.

You control Commander Data as he wanders around the Enterprise, exploring strange new rooms, seeking out new closets, and new bathrooms. Bolding going where no pixelized android has gone before.

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Jun 13, 2014 0 comments
Master and Dynamic are relatively new in the headphone community, but they sure know how to leave a memorable first impression. Due out later this month, the MH40 are retro-modern without trying too hard; that effortless kind of organic cool that you know probably took countless hours to design, but look as easy and sexy as bed head on a rock star. The chassis is crafted of durable goods: forged aluminum with stainless steel accents, and the headband and earcups have calfskin leather on the outside, lambskin on the inside. (Sorry, fellow vegans… maybe one day they’ll make a protein leather version just for us.) So, after a good lovesick sigh over the design came the moment of truth: was the beauty skin deep?

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Jun 05, 2014 0 comments
This week, I’m going to take a little break from obsessing/drooling over the latest tech in order to discuss something serious with you, and tell you what you can do to help. (It’s as easy as checking your electronics junk drawer, I promise!) I hope you’ll stay with me, but if do-goodery isn’t your thing, stop back next week, and I’m sure to have something new and electrical that makes un noises.
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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: May 16, 2014 8 comments
Monster has launched a new line of sports headphones. The lead image on their site (shown above in case they change it) is… confusing, at best.

What, exactly, are they selling here?

Is this just a poor choice of marketing imagery, or something else?

Lauren and Geoff decide to ponder the finer points of Monster’s new headphone marketing.

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