PORTABLE MEDIA PLAYER REVIEWS

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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.

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.

Ken C. Pohlmann 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.

Michael Berk Posted: Feb 28, 2012 0 comments

When Sound+Vision looked at Klipsch's LightSpeakers in the summer of 2010, we'd hardly have guessed such devices were more than novelties. Looks like we were wrong.

Kim Wilson Posted: Jan 19, 2011 1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $399

At A Glance: Single-box solution • Easy setup and operation • Perfect for smaller rooms, garage, and outdoors • Integrates with existing Sonos systems • Product now called Play:5

Sonos, a leader in low-cost, wholehouse audio, has made it possible to inexpensively stream audio from a computer to multiple A/V systems using one or more of its ZonePlayers. The $399 Sonos S5, the newest ZonePlayer, is completely self-contained. It incorporates its own power supply, amplification, and internal speakers, which allows audio streaming from a wide variety of sources without a dedicated sound system. It can serve as your main (or only) ZonePlayer or as an extension of an existing Sonos system.

Chris Chiarella Posted: Jul 20, 2005 0 comments
It's two-fisted entertainment!

Over the past quarter-century, consumers have been bombarded by portable electronics. From the Walkman, to the PDA, to video players and handheld games of every description, the allure of technology-to-go has proven irresistible. But what constitutes a truly great portable? Ask anyone who has juggled three or more disparate devices, and he'll tell you that a convergence of different technologies is key to pushing the entertainment experience forward, in the same way that camera and PDA phones have enhanced productivity, as well as the coolness factor. Quality is at issue, too, as is a supply of worthwhile content.

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jan 06, 2014 0 comments
The Pocket Kick is a “honey-I-shrunk-the-kids” version of Soundfreaq’s already popular Sound Kick. However, unlike Soundfreaq’s usual sharp, straight lines and edges, the Pocket Kick has rounded edges. Much more pocket-friendly, don’t you think? The Pocket Kick is just about the same size as an iPhone 5 but slightly thicker to accommodate the speakers. (Dimensions are 5.9” x 2.5” x 1.2”.) The Pocket Kick has a slight stereo sound with two speakers powered by a 5-watt amplifier. It’s a rugged little thing, with steel grills on the front and back. The “kick” is provided by a passive bass radiator on the back of the device.

Chris Chiarella Posted: Jan 20, 2006 0 comments
You've got the iPod. Now find some friends for it.

The Apple iPod was still selling out at stores this past holiday season, with an ever-expanding lineup that now includes the wafer-thin flash-memory-based nano and the fifth generation of the classic iPod, which now offers video playback in addition to music and still photos.

Adrienne Maxwell Posted: Oct 28, 2005 Published: Jul 28, 2005 0 comments
At home, in the car, or on the go, there's a satellite radio product for you.

I learned two important things at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. One, you can slap an LED into just about anything and market it as a consumer electronics product. Two, satellite radio has hit full stride. Both XM and Sirius reported huge increases in the number of subscribers during 2004: XM added 1.8 million subscribers last year, for a total of 3.2 million—with more than 50,000 people signing up on Christmas Day alone. Sirius, meanwhile, grew from around 300,000 to 1.14 million subscribers. If you're starting to feel like you might be missing something, guess what. You are. If you're ready to do something about it, read on.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jul 31, 2001 Published: Aug 01, 2001 0 comments
When it comes to home theater, sometimes you can take it with you.

It happens to the best of us. You've just plunked down your hard-earned money to buy a dream home theater system, and you have to leave it. Maybe it's the vacation that, after months of planning, you suddenly want to cancel. Maybe it's the business trip you knew was coming and couldn't pawn off on a junior partner. Even worse, maybe your half-uncle, third removed, has passed on and left you his venomous-bee collection, which the terms of the will require you to pick up in person. Whatever the case may be, you're leaving, and your home theater is staying behind. Well, maybe not.

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