PORTABLE MEDIA PLAYER REVIEWS

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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.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 19, 2016 1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $899

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Three gain settings
Heavy build and discrete components
Clickwheel nostalgia
Minus
No touchscreen or apps
No input for DAC use
No Bluetooth

THE VERDICT
Although short on some bells and whistles, the Questyle QP1R is a dedicated music player that offers four-figure sound and build quality at a three-figure price.

If you had chucked me into a time machine a decade ago, freed me today, then handed me the Questyle QP1R, naturally I’d mistake it for an iPod on steroids. With that clickwheel, it’s got to be an iPod, right? You’d have to explain to me that what Questyle calls the steering wheel isn’t identical to Apple’s clickwheel; here, the functions are divided differently among the wheel, its big central button, and the four vibrating touch-sensitive buttons around it.

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Apr 28, 2014 0 comments
It’s possible that you’ve never heard of Bayan Audio. The company is better known in the UK, where it has built a solid reputation. Now, Bayan is bringing two new products to North America. The Soundbook and Soundbook X3 are portable Bluetooth speakers packed with some very cool features in very impressive packages. Can they make the jump over the pond and land with a big enough splash in an already crowded speaker market?

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!

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Oct 13, 2014 0 comments
They say you can’t judge a book by its cover. True that. However, you usually can assume quite a bit by that cover. When I first saw the Harman Kardon Esquire Mini portable Bluetooth speaker ($150), I knew it was something special. Very few speakers can compete with the looks of this one; and on an executive’s desk, looks do matter.

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: Jul 20, 2015 2 comments
Face it: life can be hard for our favorite gadgets. I love my gear, but admittedly, I’m not as gentle with it as I should be. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Active was made for people exactly like me. I lead an active life, and my electronics need to be up for the challenge. I ride my bike almost daily, kayak, and hike as often as I can – either along a mountain creek or along the beach. I need my phone (which these days is my camera, music player, and laptop too) to stand up to the rigors of dirt, water, rugged terrain, and less glamorously, sweat. I took the Galaxy S6 Active along this summer to see if it was as active as I needed it to be.

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.

Posted: Apr 03, 2013 0 comments

Dainty. Elegant. Classy. Understated. These terms apply to a great majority of iPod docks and speakers. None of them apply to the GX-M10. This boombox is a real bruiser. It weighs a beefy 16.8 pounds (20.2 pounds with batteries), and is 30.5 inches long. Roughly cylindrical in shape, it looks like something you'd use to knock out a Panzer tank. Except instead of being ordinance gray, it is exuberantly orange. If someone laughs at you for carrying around something so outrageous, you can express your displeasure by crushing them with it.

Daniel Kumin Posted: Oct 12, 2010 0 comments

Like some 40 million other people, I love my iPhone. It’s always with me, serving as everything from trail-finder to stock ticker to guitar tuner to, occasionally, mobile phone. While fumbling in the dark with the minimum three or four remote controls that my ever-shifting A/V system requires just to watch a movie, I’ve often wondered if there was “an app for that.”

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Dec 30, 2006 Published: Dec 03, 2006 0 comments
The company that made Steve sweat.

SanDisk has been building on their position as a Flash memory-card manufacturer to offer music players. Search Amazon.com, and you'll find that the company's solid-state players come up as often as their highly rated SD cards, putting them at the forefront of iPod competition. The Sansa e280's main attraction—a compelling one—is 8 gigabytes of storage, making it one of the most capacious memory-based players out there.

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