GRACE NOTES

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Leslie Shapiro  |  Jan 07, 2016  |  0 comments
Australian manufacturer Audiofly is showing off their latest audiophile-grade in-ear monitors at CES.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Jan 08, 2016  |  0 comments
While everyone likes to think they have perfect hearing, the reality is that most folks don’t.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Feb 11, 2013  |  0 comments

The 2013 Grammy Awards have safely come and gone (is anyone else amazed that no one was electrocuted during the onstage rain shower?) and all anyone is talking about after the show is how Auto-Tune is destroying the music biz.  Put performers on a live stage without technologic backup, and many of them will fall apart, in ear-shattering glory. Fun. had some issues with pitch that were hard to ignore, and Frank Ocean’s performance was a little shaky without the benefit of pitch-correcting software. People are up in arms that without Auto-Tune, many current artists would be crooning on a cruise ship in the Baltic Sea. But have things really changed?

Leslie Shapiro  |  Jul 09, 2012  |  0 comments

Although the rumors have been flying for months, it's now official: last week Beats bought the music streaming service MOG, paying somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Jun 23, 2014  |  0 comments
On the heels of Apple’s buyout of Beats, it’s unfair to expect Beats to suddenly stop production of anything that isn’t Apple white. The newly designed Beats by Dr. Dre Solo2 headphone actually comes in a rainbow of colors, including, umm, white. This is a revision of the original Solo headphone. While I was unboxing, I wondered, did Beats dial back the pounding bass that plagued the first generation of their headphone lineup?

Leslie Shapiro  |  Aug 25, 2014  |  0 comments
Look around you - wires are so passé. If you’re in the gym and your earphones are connected to your phone or iPod, you might as well trade in your Crossfit membership for a circa-1989 Step aerobics class. How can you complete your WOD with a tangle of wires getting in the way? The new Powerbeats2 in-ear earphone from Beats By Dr. Dre is Bluetooth 4.0 compatible, and other than the snag-free wire connecting the left and right side, it’s completely wireless. You couldn’t connect it to your iPhone with a wire even if you wanted to - plus and negatives to that situation to follow.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Mar 06, 2017  |  0 comments
When Apple chose to remove the headphone jack from their latest iPhones, many people (myself included) freaked out. Would I forever be forced into listening to a downgraded Bluetooth signal? Luckily, BEEM United came quickly to the rescue with the BeMe D200 wired headphone with a Lightning jack.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Aug 11, 2014  |  0 comments
Just when I thought the wireless Bluetooth speaker market had finally run out of new ideas, bēm wireless announces the Speaker Mojo, a 2.5” speaker cube with a nifty charging base. Sure, there are tons of other portable speakers, but the Speaker Mojo features a wireless conductive charging base that houses a 1800-mAh power bank to charge not only the speaker, but also whatever else might need a boost via its USB power port. Neato. Gotta love a device that can multi-task.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Jan 25, 2016  |  1 comments
Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, the giant behind the Fender Stratocaster, has just announced a new product line: in-ear monitors from the legendary guitar manufacturer. There will be five models when the products hit the shelves in March. However, it’s the history of these products that is the most interesting.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Sep 21, 2015  |  3 comments
For most of the country, summer coming to a close signals that it’s time to put away your outdoor gear and head to the gym. In Florida, it signals the best weather to get outside and play. The temps are cooling off, humidity is dropping, and it’s the best time of year for cycling. When two Bluetooth speakers that are water-resistant and shaped to fit in a bicycle waterbottle cage showed up at my house, I decided a speaker shootout was called for. The JBL Charge 2+ and the Scosche boomBottle+ are both next generation products. Let’s see which one is going to become a permanent feature on my bike ride.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Nov 25, 2013  |  0 comments
48 years after its release in 1965, Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” finally has an official music video. Well, actually, it has an infinite number of videos. The digital media company Interlude Studios has created a totally unique interactive video for Dylan’s classic that turns channel-surfing into a mind-blowing experience.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Jul 28, 2014  |  2 comments
Bose, the pioneer of noise-cancelling headphones, has filed suit against Apple’s latest and largest acquisition, Beats Electronics. Bose alleges that the Beats Studio and Studio Wireless headphones use noise-cancelling technology that infringes on five patents held by Bose. They have also filed with the International Trade Commission requesting a cease-and-desist on sales and imports of Beats in the US. They are requesting an undisclosed amount of compensation for damages. Considering how long the Studio line has been available, did Bose wait until it could go after the deeper pockets of Apple?

Leslie Shapiro  |  Aug 23, 2011  |  0 comments

Sometimes you go into a movie not knowing how it's going to end. Sometimes, you know exactly how it's going to end. Conan the Barbarian definitely falls into the latter category, but getting there is still worth the ride.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Nov 01, 2011  |  0 comments

It's really hard to feel sorry for any of the major cable providers. Shout out if you absolutely love your cable company. Anyone? So, when Time Warner Cable announced a significant drop in subscribers and a corresponding decline in their earnings last quarter, you didn't see a lot of crocodile tears. In fact, anyone who's spent an hour or five dealing with cable customer service will likely feel at least a bit of glee to hear about TWC's corporate woes. But what does this say about how we're all watching TV?

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jul 23, 2012  |  0 comments

Above all, we admire mastery. A painter, sculptor, athlete, musician, actor, scientist — whatever the profession, there is nothing quite like witnessing someone working at the top of their game. The expression of professional confidence, ease, and poise is a joy to behold. You sit back and let it wash over you, and think to yourself — this is really good.

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