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Lauren Dragan Posted: Sep 22, 2014 0 comments
In the center of an all-white video screen, stands a young David Bowie. He is miming the story of a man who finds a mask that generates him enormous success and yet ultimately causes his suffocation. And so it’s fitting, perhaps, that the Bowie retrospective at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art (September 23 through January 4, 2015), titled “David Bowie Is,” contains little detail concerning the life of David Jones, the man who would become Bowie.
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Aug 19, 2016 3 comments
With VR flooding 360 degrees of our fields of vision, the clock is ticking on 3D audio to match. Lately there seem to be a plethora of kickstarters for headphones that will track head movement. But what if you love the headphones you already have? A company called 3D Sound Labs has created a module that they say will allow any headphones to be 3D sound ready. Of course I had to get one in and try it myself. Could this really work?
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Lauren Dragan Posted: May 06, 2016 1 comments
Sunday is Mother’s Day, and everybody is making lists of gift ideas for moms. The thing is, a lot of these lists assume Mom is:

1.) Old and out of touch.

2.) Someone who wants flowers or leopard print on everything. (We’re going to save my rant on this for another day.)

I am a mom and am neither of these things. None of my mom friends are either. Neither, for that matter, are most of friends’ moms. So, with that in mind, here are some tech-related gift ideas for a mom that aren’t on the lists I’ve seen, and that I can recommend personally. And, bonus, they’re not crazy expensive, and can be shipped anywhere within a few days. So read on! You still have time!

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Oct 17, 2014 0 comments
At the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles, the west coast edition of the Luxury Tech Show was filled with gold phones, automated homes, and personal drones. Here’s a roundup of some of the more unusual offerings on display.
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Jan 07, 2014 0 comments
Just when you thought you had found every way possible to connect your audio devices to portable speakers, Korus introduces their premium wireless speaker system. But wait! They’re not Bluetooth! Bucking the Bluetooth trend, Korus connects your device via the proprietary SKAA protocol which actually sends a signal from a plug-and-play dongle at a claimed near-zero-latency (40ms). The dongles come in every (30 pin/USB/lightning) configuration you could need and can broadcast to up to 4 separate speakers. Inside, those speakers can be up to 35 feet apart, outside up to 65 feet apart. The distance itself is rather impressive as most Bluetooth gets a few yards at best before beginning to crackle and sputter.

Also potentially handy is the fact that the dongle is literally plug in and press play easy to use. So no pairing with devices or entering passwords. What comes out of the device to which the dongle is attached is what you hear in the speakers. And because of the low latency, the Korus can also be used in conjunction with a TV specific dongle (they call it a Baton) to create a temporary TV speaker setup for a meeting, or as a permanent/ modular solution for TVs that have small speakers.

Available in two sizes, the V400 is 4.4 lbs with a low range of 125Hz and retails for $299 each, and the V600 is 11 lbs with a low range of 80Hz for $399 each.
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Oct 24, 2013 5 comments
Dear Manufacturers of Headphones,
As a headphone tech reviewer and avid consumer for several years now, I’ve gotten a chance to witness great triumph and tragedy in headphone design and functionality. We’ve come such a long way from the giant forever-alone-in-my-room over-ears of the ‘70s or the foam-and-plastic-electro-shock-hazards from the walkman fueled ‘80s. But there is always room for improvement. I know it, my readers sure know it, and they let me know about it. So I wanted you, dear Headphone Companies, to know it too. Here are some features that seem really obvious, but are sorely lacking in the marketplace. If you could see it in your hearts to add them to products that also sound really great, well, we’ll all just throw our money at you. Promise.
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Feb 10, 2017 0 comments
Let’s face it; the vast majority of open-backed planar-magnetic headphones are far from portable. They’re huge, (most vaguely resemble Princess Leia’s hairdo) weigh so much that you can’t comfortably keep them in place while walking at a brisk pace, and usually require an amp. But what if you like going outside, and don’t have a Sherpa to assist you with a ton of audio gear? Audeze says they have the answer with the iSine10. They are … wait for it… in-ear open planar magnetic headphones. I know. I was skeptical too.

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Mar 19, 2016 Published: Mar 18, 2016 3 comments
Over the last few years, Audeze, known for their acclaimed LCD series headphones, have expanded their lineups of entry level enthusiast-grade headphones. In 2015, they released the EL-8, a line of portable planar-magnetic over-ear headphones. This year at CES, Audeze announced the launch of not only their most affordable, but most wearable offering yet: the Sine; lightweight, closed-backed, on-ear, planar magnetic headphones. Additionally, the Sine are available with Cipher: a lightning cable with remote, mic, and, oh yeah... an integrated amp, DSP and DAC. Needless to say, I needed to get these on my noggin as soon as possible.
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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: Jan 06, 2014 0 comments
Interested in capturing the expanded need for on-the-go headphones, Audio Technica has announced the new line of "Sonic Fuel" in-ear headphones. The range will include 5 separate models ranging from $45 to $100, all that feature 360 degree rotating tips, which Audio Technica say will make for a more comfortable listening experience on the move.

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