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Tag Archives: headphones

Razer’s Tiamat Headset Packs 10 Drivers

By David Ponce

We’ve talked about Razer a bunch of times over the years. They make gaming accessories that are generally well received. Now they’re coming out with an alleged “world’s first” 10-driver circumaural 7.1 gaming headset (5 drivers per ear). They’re not going the usual route of virtual surround but rather true surround with precise control over each audio channel. There’s a separate controller through which you can customize levels to your liking and a precise, unidirectional noise-cancelling microphone.

Of course when it comes to audio equipment the proof is in the pudding and the Tiamat won’t hit shelves until Q4 of this year for $180. At that price, it better be some really good pudding.

[ Razer's Tiamat ] VIA [ Techcrunch Gadgets ]

Custom Birch Plywood Headphones

Custom Birch Plywood Headphones (Image courtesy Etsy)
By Andrew Liszewski

I find the stuff being sold on Etsy to be pretty hit and miss. But the few times I come across a ‘hit’ it makes me wish I spent more time perusing what was available for sale there. These beautiful custom birch plywood headphones, created by Nico Monterosso, not only manage to make plywood look sexy, but they also make my black plastic over-the-ear cans look downright cheap.

They’re custom made so you actually have your choice of fabric finish on the outside of the earcups, and since they’re not adjustable you can even specify your head size if the standard 45cm from ear lobe to ear lobe measurement won’t accommodate you. Unfortunately there’s no pricing info since they appear to already be sold, which makes me kick myself again for not paying closer attention to Etsy in the past. But given they’re custom made and all, maybe not knowing the price is a good thing.

[ Etsy - Custom Birch Plywood Headphones ] VIA [ Fancy ]

AKG K3003

AKG K3003 (Images courtesy AKG)
By Andrew Liszewski

Walk into the booth at pretty much any recording studio on the planet and you’ll find a pair of AKG over-the-ear headphones sitting on the script stand. While not the most expensive headphones you can buy, they’re extremely well respected in the music industry, and the company has now decided that they want a piece of the consumer market as well. Except that they’re maybe not going about it the right way.

While you can find more high-end and expensive earbuds from the likes of Monster for ~$200, the AKG K3003′s will set you back close to $1,200. (€1000) In their defense I have no doubts the earbuds sound great, and from what I can tell they use a triple driver system to provide a frequency range of 10Hz to 30kHz. They also feature a brushed stainless steel housing for added durability, a matching inline remote and microphone and a reinforced steel ‘Y’ connector where the cable splits apart for each ear. But I suspect they’ll be attracting the deep-pocketed audiophile market before the general consumer, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

[ AKG K3003 ] VIA [ Headphiles ]

HoodieBuddie Now Does T-Shirts, Despite Their Name

HoodieBuddie T-Shirts (Images courtesy HoodieBuddie)
By Andrew Liszewski

The last time we checked in with HoodieBuddie they were staying true to their name with a line of hoodies that featured headphones built into the drawstrings. It certainly helped deal with the often annoying headphone cable that’s become the bane of a lot of our existences, except when the temperatures outside get too warm to wear a hoodie. For those times the company now sells a line of t-shirts featuring a pair of earbuds sticking out of the collar.

Like with the HoodieBuddie, the HBTees include a handy pocket, on the side this time, where you can connect and stash your MP3 player. And the shirts are just as machine washable as the company’s hoodies, headphones included. You’ll just need to hang dry them since the extremely hot temperatures of a dryer will presumably melt those electronicy bits. And at $20 a pop, available in 8 different styles and colors, they’re not terribly expensive either.

[ HoodieBuddie T-Shirts ] VIA [ Cool Material ]

Piano Forte X-VII Series Headphones

Piano Forte X-VII Series Headphones (Image courtesy Final Audio Design)
By Andrew Liszewski

If you’re looking to upgrade the less than amazing white earbuds that came with your iPhone or iPod with something that costs in the neighborhood of 10X the price of your device, a Japanese company called Final Audio Design will happily take your money. In exchange for ~$2,700 (on the high end) you’ll have your pick of one of the four different earbud types in their Piano Forte X-VII series. Besides a massive 16mm driver which is going to produce an impressive amount of sound, the Piano Forte earbuds are actually made from milled metals, designed to mimic the performance and sound of a horn shaped loudspeaker.

You have your choice of copper with gold or ion plating (the X-G & X-CC models) stainless steel with a polished finish (the IX) or brass with gold plating (the VIII) with each producing slightly different sound characteristics based on your personal acoustical tastes. While I’m not sure how comfortable it would be to stick metal buds in my ears on a cold Winter’s day, according to the Final Audio Design website it’s a better alternative to soft silicon pads which can “introduce tiny vibrations that distort sound.” I have no doubt these earbuds sound great, but I’m finding it hard to believe they could ever sound amazing enough to justify their asking price.

[ Piano Forte X-VII Series Headphones ] VIA [ Fancy ]

Elecom’s New Otokurage Earbuds Apparently Inspired By Jellyfish (Because That’s Exactly What I Want To Stick In My Ears)

Elecom Otokurage Earbuds (Images courtesy designboom)
By Andrew Liszewski

Designed by Japanese studio nendo, Elecom’s new upcoming line of Otokurage earbuds were apparently inspired by the translucent, blobby appearance of jellyfish. In fact, Otokurage is a combination of the words ‘oto’ which means sound, and ‘kurage’ which, not surprisingly, means jellyfish. The silicon ear caps, which are available in a variety of colors, were enlarged to completely envelope the earbuds, so that all you see is the headphone cord sticking out. And to further the image of a jellyfish lazily floating through the water, the Otokurage earbuds are packaged in miniature plastic water bottles, sans the water. Available by the end of this month, presumably only in Japan though.

[ Elecom Otokurage Earbuds ] VIA [ designboom ]

Lightning McQueen Retractable Earbuds

Lightning McQueen Retractable Earbuds (Images courtesy Toys "R" Us)
By Andrew Liszewski

Disney, start your marketing machines! I know they probably sound like crap, and the original movie really didn’t warrant a sequel, but damned if this isn’t a cleverly adorable design for a pair of earbuds. Shaped like a tiny version of Cars 2′s Lightning McQueen, the retracting front wheels are the actual earbuds while a gas pump headphone jack extends from its rear. As clever movie tie-in products go I have to give credit where credit is due, though like I said, with a price tag of just $11.99 you can probably expect the awesomeness to stop at its cute design.

[ Lightning McQueen Retractable Earbuds ] VIA [ 7Gadgets ]

OhGizmo! Review – Sony Ericsson MW600 Hi-Fi Wireless Headset

Sony Ericsson MW600 Hi-Fi Wireless Headset (Image property OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

I like the idea of a wireless pair of headphones and finally being able to cut that cord that seems to have a knack for getting tangled in subway turnstiles. But while there are certainly plenty of wireless options already on the market, I’m particularly picky when it comes to the type of headphones and earbuds I use. So for me, the next best thing is a wireless adapter that lets me just plug in my own pair. And thankfully with the flood of multimedia-capable and Bluetooth-equipped smartphones on the market, these have become far more prevalent as of late. I recently had the opportunity to take Sony’s MW600 Hi-Fi Wireless Headset for a spin, and you can find my full review of it after the jump.

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Maxell Vibrabone HP-VBC40 Earbuds Boost The Bass With Bone Conduction

Maxell Vibrabone HP-VBC40 Earbuds (Image courtesy Maxell)
By Andrew Liszewski

There’s nothing like a good old pair of over-the-ear headphones if you’re looking to really hear the bass from your music. But contrary to popular belief, wearing them outside of a home or studio setting makes you look like an idiot. (Those ‘Beats’ you’re wearing on the subway aren’t fooling anyone into thinking you’re an audiophile.) A subtle pair of earbuds are the way to go, and Maxell believes they’ve found another way to boost their bass performance.

Their new Vibrabone HP-VBC40 earbuds are a hybrid of standard speaker drivers and vibration-based bone conduction drivers which serve to give your tunes a bit of an extra kick. They’re also a bit safer for your ear drums since the standard technique for boosting bass performance is to simply increase the size of the driver which puts more stress on your inner ear bits. Available in black, blue and white the Vibrabone earbuds also feature a dual inline volume control for adjusting both the overall sound and the bass vibration, and will hit stores on April 25 for a yet to be disclosed price.

[ PR - Maxell Vibrabone HP-VBC40 Earbuds ] VIA [ Akihabara News ]