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Lauren Dragan Posted: Feb 20, 2015 0 comments
Brand new to the US market, the Audio Technica ATH-MSR7 are closed-backed, over ear monitors that are designed to be high-resolution headphones for listening on the go. With 45mm True Motion drivers and a claimed frequency response of 5-40,000 Hz, the MSR7 want to pack all the detail and depth of professional headphones into wearable cans that even offer a removable cable with a single-button remote and mic. They sounded pretty good (from what I could tell, anyway) on the CES show floor, but how did they hold up under scrutiny in a decidedly better listening environment?
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Feb 16, 2015 Published: Feb 15, 2015 0 comments
Editor’s Note: This review was first published on 1/31/15, based on what proved to be a defective sample, and revised on 2/15/15.

Speaker company RBH has expanded their headphone lineup with new Bluetooth in-ears, the EP-SB. Lightweight and sweat resistant, RBH want the EP-SB to be your go-to headphones for on-the-go and at the gym. I got my hands on one of the first pairs available (literally!), and put them through their paces. How did they hold up? Lace up your sneaks and meet me after the jump.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Feb 13, 2015 22 comments
So much anger. So much bullying. Over something that’s basically an iPod.

Look, if you don't want to buy it, don't buy it. If you do, do.

But why has this thing lit off such fervor on both sides of the debate?

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Feb 06, 2015 0 comments
When I left for college, my parents gave me a little personal safety alarm: a small black box about the size of a deck of cards with a pull cord that unleashed a squelching 140 dB siren. I tested it out at home. The din was horrifying. But to be honest, walking around by myself at night, I can’t say that knowing a potential attack could be made noisier really made me feel any safer. Plus, it was kinda bulky to have in my hands at the ready at all times. It’s no wonder then, that tech companies have since flooded the market with all sorts of personal, alarms, alerts, and trackers that are tinier and more wearable than ever.
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Jan 24, 2015 0 comments
In-ear headphone fans rejoice: the custom monitor is now available without the goo. This week at the NAMM show in Anaheim, Ultimate Ears showed off its partnership with United Sciences, which has come up with a way to use a laser 3D scanner to take a virtual “impression” of your ear canal. It’s all very sci-fi, and could change the entire face of headphones as we know it. How does it work?

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jan 16, 2015 4 comments
I'm sorry. I'm sorry to you. I'm sorry to your loved ones. I'm sorry to your coworkers and friends.

I'm about to show you something that will steal countless hours from your relationships, work, and free time. What free time. It's all this.

Behold, 2,300 games that will give you all the nostalgia, for free, in your browser.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jan 02, 2015 4 comments
Though released multiple times on disc, Cowboy Bebop gets a new release on Blu-ray, with a new transfer, mix and features.

This show is… something else. Easily in my top 5 TV shows of all time, it’s a magical blend of action, story, characters, setting, and music.

Oh the music. The music is why you should buy this.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Dec 23, 2014 0 comments
It’s been a while since I last talked about Star Citizen, and there have been many, many interesting changes and improvements, not least the Arena Commander, version 1.0.

The addition of several newly flyable ships and variants is cool, but it’s the ongoing changes and tweaks to the flight model that are most impressive.

So here’s a look at SC now, and where it’s headed…

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Dec 19, 2014 0 comments
There is technology to track your activity, track your diet, track your work, track your email, track your sleep, track your social life, and just about anything else you want to quantify. But there aren’t many gadgets that teach you something, and even fewer that teach you how to relax. Last year in my New Year roundup, I mentioned the development of a new meditation headband, Muse, that promised to evaluate your brain activity and coach you into a meditative state. Well, it’s finally available, and I just had to try it. Does Muse help you achieve nirvana?
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Dec 12, 2014 1 comments
Tolkien fans, fantasy nerds, and Jackson completists will be out in droves December 17th to witness the final chapter of the Hobbit series: The Battle of the Five Armies. Closing out Bilbo’s story as well as setting up Frodo’s Lord of the Rings is no easy task, and Peter Jackson manages to capture every moment of the battles described in Tolkien’s tome, and then some.
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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Dec 07, 2014 0 comments
Once upon a time, space sims were huge. Freespace, X-Wing (and it’s offshoots), Wing Commander, and others dominated store shelves and playtime, the genre has shrunk to a tiny fraction of what it was. While there are some popular titles (Star Citizen being notable), there aren’t that many options.

Fewer still are the options for real-time combat with large ships. Independence War is largely forgotten, but most space combat sims these days focus either on fighter-sized craft, or the slow tactical-style combat of Eve.

Fractured Space is sort of a 3rd person shooter, but with huge capital ships. It’s currently on Steam Early Access, so I had a look.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Nov 29, 2014 0 comments
A few weeks ago I wrote about the experience of playing Alien: Isolation on the Oculus Rift. It is, without a doubt, incredible.

However, it is a bit of a hassle, and as awesome as the Rift is, it’s still pre-production and lacks the sort of seamlessness I hope to find in the final product.

So I switched over and started playing Alien on my regular gaming rig: A 102-inch screen and 5.1 surround system. So this is about the game. Because it’s worth talking about.

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Nov 21, 2014 1 comments
I am not a luddite. I love buttons that make things happen. I love touch screens, I love customization, I love the newest thing. So it would only seem natural that I would love the newest addition to the Parrot family, the Zik 2.0 headphones. They are a tinkerer’s headphone. Touchpad earcups, customizable sound, active noise cancellation, Bluetooth… if there’s a headphone feature available, the Zik 2.0 have it. And yet, despite all of these wonderful features, I can’t recommend them. And it breaks my heart.
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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Nov 14, 2014 3 comments

As I wrote about a few weeks ago, I bought one of the Development Kits for the Oculus Rift VR headset. It was a bit of a hassle to get running (and still is), but when you do… damn.

One of the standout games that currently works (more or less) with the Rift, is the new Alien Isolation, a sort of survival/horror/action game set in the Alien universe.

My advice to anyone trying this combo: wear diapers.

Here’s why.

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Nov 07, 2014 0 comments
In-ear custom monitors are generally considered the gold standard for performers and audio professionals. And it makes sense; monitors are one of the only pieces of equipment that are made just for your anatomy and nobody else’s. The process of going from fitting to final product has remained largely unchanged for years: a painstaking, labor-intensive process.

Ultimate Ears is working on streamlining their workflow with the addition of 3D scanning, editing and printing. It’s working: what used to take three weeks, now can be done in one. But monitors at Ultimate Ears  still take a shocking amount of craftsmanship and skill to make, and I got to take a tour of their facility in southern California to see just how it’s all done. Wanna see? Check this out!


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