Lauren Dragan

Lauren Dragan  |  Mar 18, 2017  |  0 comments
Toward the end of last year, Ultimate Ears updated their flagship monitor to include their proprietary True Tone drivers. The result, the UE 18+ Pro, is now available for anyone who wants to get the best of what Ultimate Ears has to offer in custom monitors. But is going custom worth it for an audio fan who isn’t a touring musician? I took a pair of the 18+ Pro for a spin to find out.
Lauren Dragan  |  Feb 17, 2017  |  0 comments

By now, you’ve probably heard all the hype surrounding “True Wireless” headphones. If you’re not familiar with the term, you’re likely familiar with the category’s poster child: the Apple AirPods. You know, the cordless in-ear headphones that some have described as looking akin to “soggy cigarettes sticking out of your ear.” Weird looking or not, the category is booming: at CES 2017, dozens of companies were scrambling to tout their own version of the format. From Monster to Motorola, more True Wireless are on the way. So… are they worth a look?

Lauren Dragan  |  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.

Lauren Dragan  |  Jan 22, 2017  |  0 comments
Yes, it’s been a few weeks since CES, but it’s taken me that long to not only process everything that happened, but also to recover from the annual resulting cold (no amount of hand washing could prevent what my colleagues and I came to refer to as “The Pepcom Plague”). So, if you’re sick of the same old CES coverage (ooh look! More drones!) then read on to find the top 5 things I learned at CES 2017.
Lauren Dragan  |  Jan 19, 2017  |  2 comments
Build Quality
PRICE $399

Excellent noise cancellation
Clever environmental awareness modes
Sony’s LDAC streams hi-res audio over Bluetooth with compatible source
Sound lacks sparkle in the highs and presence in low mids
Muddy sound in passive mode
Heavy build can get fatiguing over long periods

With some fancy new technology, the Sony MDR-100X are pretty fantastic at noise-cancelling, but the overall sound quality is disappointing.

For several years, Bose has reigned supreme in the world of active noise cancellation. Sony is hoping to change that with the MDR1000X, their most advanced active noise cancelling (ANC) headphones to date. If the quality of noise cancelling is all that matters to you, I’ll save you time skimming: The ANC on these is rather impressive. Looking to cancel frequencies above the low rumble of an airplane, say, office voices and traffic noise? The 1000X are one of your best bets. However, if you’re also concerned with audio performance and features that extend beyond the ability to block out the world around you, read on.

Lauren Dragan  |  Nov 04, 2016  |  0 comments
Fledgling company Echobox recently released their first headphone, the Finder X1. Pitched to me as in-ear monitors that are delicate in size but durable, I was curious to hear what the X1, recently into production after a crowdfunding campaign, had to offer.
Lauren Dragan  |  Oct 28, 2016  |  0 comments
Halloween is seriously the best. It’s socially acceptable to play dress up like when we were kids, eat candy, and face our fears together. Of course, a big part of October tradition is scary movies. Everyone will be dusting off or downloading their copies of The Shining and Friday the 13th, but if you’re looking for a little variety in your spooky screening this all hallows eve, I’ve put together a little list of forgotten or underrated gems worth peering at from under a blanket. Get your popcorn and pumpkin juice ready!
Lauren Dragan  |  Oct 21, 2016  |  0 comments
I’ll come clean: when I heard that HBO was making a series version of Westworld, I more or less shrugged. I never saw the 70s film, but had heard it was campy sci-fi fun, which generally isn’t my speed. And perhaps because my father raised me on the romantic west of Roy Rogers and The Lone Ranger, I view all new westerns with a somewhat disappointed eye. As a result, I only watched Westworld because my husband seemed enthusiastic. Had he not persuaded me, I definitely would have passed it by. Don’t be like me. There are so many great reasons to watch, even if you’re not into sci-fi or westerns.
Lauren Dragan  |  Sep 30, 2016  |  0 comments
The city of Los Angeles is no stranger to opulence, so an event such as the Luxury Tech Show feels as natural here as spotting Lady Gaga at Chateau Marmont. The annual event has showcased upcoming trends like smartwatches, 3D printers, and the now infamous hoverboard. So what will we call crazy today and want tomorrow? I braved the 405 traffic to the Petersen Museum just so I could tell you all about it.
Lauren Dragan  |  Sep 24, 2016  |  0 comments
If you have a child, or friends with kids in your life, you probably saw the recent New York Post article somewhere in your social media feed, complete with its click-bait-ish title: “It’s ‘digital heroin’: How screens turn kids into psychotic junkies.” Fear-mongering headline aside, the question raised is a good one, especially for those of us who are A/V fans. When it comes to developing brains, how much media is too much?