PORTABLE MEDIA PLAYER REVIEWS

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Dec 02, 2005 0 comments
Will better sound help a non-iPod product succeed in a iPod-centric world? JVC is betting on it with the Alneo XA-HD500. Now, I'm not saying the iPod sounds bad. The minis and nanos I've heard sound pretty good. But the Alneo has an edge in transparency that becomes immediately obvious with a high-end classical recording like Mozart's Clarinet Concerto (K622), as played by the Michelangelo Chamber Orchestra with soloist Antony Michaelson. Normally I don't expect miracles from MP3 files, even when ripped at 192 kilobits per second, but I was amazed at the fragile beauty of the string sound and the air that surrounded the solo instrument. I was hooked.
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.

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.

Chris Chiarella Posted: Feb 15, 2005 0 comments
Sliced bread, move over.

The exhilaration surrounding established digital audio and video formats tends to plateau over time, until some pseudo-genius somewhere figures out a way to make the technology fit into our pockets, and then pulses quicken anew. The portable MP3 player has become the must-have gadget for the masses. Portable DVD has become even sexier, with larger screens and enhanced feature sets, but a new crop of slimmed-down audio- and video-to-go devices is poised to change everything...again.

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.

Michael Berk Posted: Nov 30, 2012 0 comments

Well, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, and the giving season is almost upon us. And we've got a nice gift for you to give (or, of course, keep for yourself) - a Model S tabletop sound system/iOS dock from our friends at Geneva Labs

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?

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.

Michael Berk Posted: Dec 08, 2011 0 comments

Does the iPad have a role to play for audiophiles, or for the new breed of iDevice-inspired audio enthusiasts? It's hard to beat the touchscreen interface for music listening - it provides a tactile browsing experience that hands-down beats the UIs on most high-zoot audiophile servers. On the desktop there are plenty of audiophile file players that load audio into RAM for supposedly improved fidelity - but the iPad offers all-solid-state audio storage to begin with, freeing your bits from jitter-inducing hard-drive-access. But is iOS - and the circuitry within - up to snuff?

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.

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: 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.

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.

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.

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.

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