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PORTABLE MEDIA PLAYER REVIEWS

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Aug 17, 2006 0 comments
It's a cell phone—and so much more.

As I was packing for a recent trip, I was amazed at the number of electronic gadgets I've amassed over the past couple of years—and how many I need to bring along to keep me both accessible and entertained for the long hours away from home and office. I once joked with Sony that adding calling features to their PlayStation Portable would make it a perfect device. But, in the meantime, I do appreciate any cell phone that allows me to do more than check voice mail, and, as such, the LG V phone is a small wonder.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 21, 2008 0 comments
Plant a seed, grow an iPod docking system.

My first impression of the mStation was that it had grown out of the ground. Having just uncrated it, I knew it hadn’t really sprung out of the carpet, of course. Yet somehow it seemed more like a young stand of trees than a floorstanding iPod docking system. If I waited long enough, would this self-contained trio of cylinders erupt in branches and leaves? No, and yet there was something organic about it. The pair of metal speaker tubes seemed to rise up from the base, while the subwoofer drum suspended between them seemed to levitate in midair. In addition to having a whiff of the arboreal, it also resembled a headless robot.

Michael Berk Posted: Sep 20, 2012 0 comments

While we are big fans of the small companies who've stepped up in recent years to build ever-better headphone amps for use on the go, there are times we would prefer to carry a single device.

Does HTC have us covered?

Michael Berk Posted: Nov 15, 2012 0 comments

Apple's 30-pin connector was the accessory port that launched countless peripherals; it's analog and digital connectors (and long-term stability over years of product cycle) made possible an entire universe of iStuff, not least among them the dependable iOS speaker dock. But with the introduction of the iPhone 5 and the rollout of the digital-only Lightning connector, the dock, already under threat by ever-better wireless approaches, suffered its first serious shock. Sure, adapters would do in a pinch, but they hardly lent themselves to the lean lines promised by the Apple experience.

Have no fear - JBL is here with the first Lightning docks.

Karl Tennant Posted: Nov 07, 2011 0 comments

Look out, Amazon: Barnes & Noble went right at Jeff Bezos and co. today in a product unveiling meant to take the spotlight away from its Kindle Fire tablet this holiday season. The new Nook Tablet, an improved version of the current Nook Color (whose price drops to $199), competes directly with Amazon's color tablet. Both are set to debut next week.

Chris Chiarella Posted: Aug 30, 2006 0 comments
Liten Up Baby, I'm in Love with You

Music, movies, and other multimedia applications aside, no one can touch Nintendo in the world of portable gaming. From the first Game Boy in 1989, the intuitive user interface, the addictive gameplay, and the cutting-edge hardware design ensured that seemingly every man, woman, and child on the planet would essentially buy at least six of each new handheld model, based on Nintendo's most recent sales figures.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Dec 05, 2011 0 comments

PORTABLE ENTERTAINMENT. It started with the Walkman and was revolutionized by the iPod. Now with tablets, audio, video, and more merge into one uber-device of computing awesomeness.

We have a narrow set of criteria for tablets here at Sound+Vision. That it surfs the web, does email, can video chat, and so on is cool, but we're not Office+Meetings magazine. We - like most people, it turns out - want tablet-as-entertainment.

And surprisingly, that makes the choice easier than you'd think.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Mar 08, 2011 0 comments

DVD, say your prayers. Blu-ray Disc, better get your affairs in order. Judging from the new A/V receivers Pioneer introduced on Monday at the W Hotel in San Francisco, one could easily conclude that the old "hard" media formats have pretty much played out.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Dec 10, 2012 0 comments

It's weird for a 50-year-old audio writer to be reviewing a product that's targeted at people half his age or less. Guys my age like products labeled "audiophile-grade" or "reference," not "Nuke" or "Boom." Meaningless as such marketing terms are, though, you gotta figure Behringer did something to make the iNuke Boom Junior iPod/iPhone dock earn its badass moniker.

Michael Berk Posted: Jun 14, 2012 0 comments

Bang & Olufsen's take on personal tech has never been ordinary, and the company's first iPad-specific dock is right in character. The BeoPlay A3 is a luxurious, minimal appliance, suitable for use "in the summerhouse, on the boat, or in the bedroom" - and maybe, just maybe, for the rest of us.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Sep 02, 2012 0 comments

"Wow, it actually floats." This is something I said. Out loud. Without question it's the first time I've ever uttered that sentence in the course of a product review.

The Eco Terra boombox from Grace Digital is one of those products that's amusing - and cool - just because it works at all. It's a waterproof iPod dock, so you can listen to your tunes above and below the water.

Aquatic testing: commence!

Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Apr 11, 2013 0 comments

The JBL name is among the most revered in the audio marketplace. Since its founding in 1946 by James Bullough (love that middle name) Lansing, the brand consistently stood for excellence in the pro market. The company has been part of the Harman constellation for 40 years, and expanded into the consumer market, but its reputation has held fast. Now, JBL is pressing hard in the portable speaker and dock markets. Does the red square still stand for quality?

Brent Butterworth Posted: Apr 11, 2012 0 comments

Here's a product that had three strikes with me before I ever heard it. First there's the name, which seems more appropriate for a Frito-Lay product. Then there's the lineage: JBL's smaller, less-expensive docks never impressed me. Last, Maroon 5 appears in the ads. What, I ask rhetorically, would the creators of "Moves Like Jagger" know about sound quality?

Brent Butterworth Posted: Sep 26, 2012 0 comments

When I first saw the Soundmatters FoxL portable audio system, I knew I'd found something cool, but I didn't realize it would start a movement. The FoxL proved that a tiny, briefcase-toteable sound system could deliver satisfying sound. Since then, we've seen lots of products inspired by the FoxL, including the Jawbone Jambox, the Braven 650, and now the Monster ClarityHD Micro.

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Apr 12, 2012 0 comments

We can bemoan the demise of audio quality all we want, but the truth is that good quality audio has always been at our fingertips. If our digital files have sounded bad, it's because we (and we're talking consumers and manufacturers) have been too stingy with our storage capacities. Wanting to cram as much music onto our devices as possible, regardless of how badly the signal had to be degraded to get it all in there, we ended up accepting things like 128 kbps MP3 files as passable. But our beloved iPods and iPhones have had the ability to store lossless and high bit-rate audio from the very beginning, as purists have known all along. You just need a way to get your high-quality files out of those little boxes.

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