Definitive Technology W7 Speaker Review

IPM Radio Review: Definitive Technology W7 Speaker

It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for products that deliver bigger bang for the buck. There’s just something about having a device or gadget perform more than what one might expect. And that’s why I decided to do this Definitive Technology W7 speaker review as I think it’s a GREAT bargain for those looking for sweet sound at a sweeter price.

Design & Connectivity

The Definitive Technology W7 speaker is an innocuous looking cube with an aluminum base, making it appear as if the speaker’s special resting place is separate. The audio input, volume, and play/pause buttons that jut out the front help to create this illusion of a completely separate base. But it’s all one piece. I rather like it. The switch button toggles through the inputs, and it’s accompanied by a separate LED that glows from underneath the speaker covering.

The speaker has got some pretty good weight to it! Take care, since the weight isn’t evenly distributed. Don’t drop it or tear the covering.

The top is glossy – fingers off. I almost wish I didn’t remove the plastic film, since the top is very sensitive to edges. There’s a few permanent scratches, the kind that only shows up if you’re looking at the right angle. But, still. Darn it.  The fabric covering the trio of speakers is appropriately taut with no loose edges or frays.

The rear contains the ports for power, Ethernet, optical, and auxiliary. The Wi-Fi Setup button is there too, all that. You know, the boring stuff. Don’t be fooled by the USB port in the back. That’s only for firmware updates.

As for the guts, you have a brace of bass radiators to each side of the W7 speaker, a combo mid/bass driver in the front, and a total of four tweeters to pump out sound. The only side without speaker business is the back, so make sure that it points to some wall. Basically, you’ve got an efficient box of speakers with nothing extra or unnecessary. Gotta respect it.

For not being a ‘portable (i.e. contains an internal rechargeable battery) speaker’, the Definitive Technology W7 is pretty portable! When you need to move it, it carries in one hand relatively well. And your only real limitation is reaching the nearest outlet. You probably could put it in a backpack if you really wanted to. I doubt it would be comfortable for long, but yes it can be done!

Definitive Technology Play-Fi app

If you want to listen to music wirelessly and/or set up multiple Definitive Technology products together, you’ll have to download their app. It provides easy steps for connecting the speakers to your home network. All wireless, no audio loss to worry about.

Adding the W7 speaker via WPS didn’t work for me, which wasn’t a surprise.. I blame my router for that – it’s always been the common denominator for such issues. But the standard set-up worked fine, and I also chose the ‘update software’ option presented to me. The last things to do is choose a name for the speaker, then you’re off to play some music.

Navigating through all your music feels similar to many other apps out there. In some ways the Definitive Technology Play-Fi app is a little vanilla, but it’s effective at letting you find what you want by song, artist, albums, playlist, genres, podcasts. You can even tune into local broadcast radio stations as well as internet radio. Album cover art is shown (when applicable), and music starts up in a couple of seconds from hitting play.

The volume slider in the app is directly tied to the W7 speaker. It’s also completely separate from the levels of your connected device. This means that the only way to change the W7’s volume is by pressing its buttons or using the app. All those other mobile noises – system notifications, games, videos, whatever – emit from the device itself.

When you have more than one Play-Fi compatible speaker, you can group them up together. (The yellow triangle at the bottom right of the app is what to hit.) You get to see each connected speaker and even rename them. Speakers can be assigned to only one (at a time) of the four zones. If you happen to own two speakers, the app lets you pair them in stereo for left and right channels. This is probably my favorite feature right here.

Two words: perfectly synced. The only adjusting you might do is balancing the audio versus the listening distance to each.

Overall, this Definitive Technology Play-Fi app is pretty decent, but there are some elements that need serious improvement. The process of putting speakers into groups and zones is way too involving and clumsy. It should be easier for users to command the audio playing in separate zones from the single device. Adding equalizer controls to the Play-Fi app wouldn’t hurt either.

When smartphone and/or network router hiccup (momentarily disconnects) the Play-Fi app rarely ever lets me resume where was at last. This is annoying to me. Also, the app doesn’t really like when I try to jump the cursor to a certain point in a song. The track sound stops, although it still may be playing, and the cursor moves all the way to the end as if it were done.

Audio Quality

Despite being half the size of a shoebox, the Definitive Technology W7 speaker belts out with some excellent projection. You don’t even need to turn it up all the way in order to completely fill a room – doing so ends up blanketing the adjoining rooms as well.

W7 speaker buttonsYou can turn the W7’s volume all the way past 80 percent of max, and the worst you’re going to hear is a bit of harshness/brightening of vocals and highs.

Maybe some of the mids strain a little bit.  However, standing back by at least 10 feet mellows out some of this effect. But the best volume level also depends on genre and track recording. Overall, I’ve been able to play most everything comfortably all the way up to 80 percent of max volume.

In some instances, I’ve turned it up all the way and everything still sounds great. But the W7 speaker doesn’t develop noise, distortion, or overblown lows, like what can be common with the vast majority of speakers under the $500 price point.

As for volume, the Definitive Technology W7 speaker delivers higher levels of volume when music plays wirelessly (through the app) instead of by an auxiliary cable. Just in case you were wondering. And no, it doesn’t really work well as a TV soundbar.

Once in awhile, when you have the volume over 70 percent (roughly) and a song takes off with a crescendo, you’ll notice a momentary recession in the output. It’s very brief, yet it’s there, especially if you know your music well. With Zach Hemsey’s “Mind Heist” as an example, the track positions of 1:05 and 1:26 are like celestial geysers of intense sound and emotion. It is at those precise points (among others) that the W7’s compressors kick in to pull the speakers back just a touch. This way, the hardware won’t suffer from duress just because you love to listen to your music loud. It’s smart, and I love it.

Although music from the W7 speaker can envelop a room (or two) with audio, there’s not that much sense of lateral imaging. Consider it a mono speaker, more or less. However, thanks to the W7 features and design, music sounds the same no matter where you are in the room. Every spot is a sweet spot with volume that dissipates evenly through distance. Just hook it up to your best streaming media player and rock on!

Despite the lack of distinct sides to the soundstage, you can still hear width and depth of individual instruments. Elements are represented with clear and defined focus. Each note belongs to its respective instrument with minimal blending (if that) with anything else. Trust that this alone should be more than enough to make you forget about the lateral imaging. If not, well, get a second unit and pair them in stereo with the app to get the desired dimension. You’ll find a way to deserve it for yourself *wink*

Definitive Technology W7When it comes to equilibrium, the Definitive Technology W7 speaker is absolutely fantastic. The highs, mids, and lows combine together to present vocals and instruments with wonderful balance. Nothing seems to crowd out anything else as projection and richness are doled out in equal measure.

I, personally, don’t mind forward vocals that reach out to pull you in. But I can’t stand the recessed kind. The W7 hits a sweet spot of smoothness by not over-emphasizing any particular element. And even though the music comes out forward from the speaker, it’s not so aggressive and in-your-face like the ZVOX sound bar I reviewed earlier.

A word of warning – expect your variable bitrate MP3s (e.g. ones from Amazon) to sound like garbage. Expect to hear constant peaks and dips throughout the entire track, all in the same places particular to each individual song. Vocals can sound like the artist is in a hallway, being pushed back and forth by two bullies. And if it happens during a favorite moment of your favorite song, it’s like awaiting relief from a sneeze only to have it go away instead. In and out. That’s right, variable bitrate MP3s are the musical equivalent of bathroom turtle heads.

It has nothing to do with wireless, you’ll hear the same by playing through an audio cable to the W7 speaker. And just to be certain, I compared the variable bitrate MP3s I downloaded from Amazon to the 256kbps MP3s I created from the physical CD that came with the purchase. You don’t even need to be an audiophile to hear the difference – my nine-year-olds were able to point out the difference.

While these variable bitrate MP3s may sound perfectly fine on most speakers under the $400 mark, the Definitive Technology W7 has enough detail and precision to underscore your mistake in buying the digital album only. Should have spring the extra cash for the CD with digital download. And I’ll be the first to admit having done this half a dozen times. Thankfully, the bulk of my music collection is all in FLAC format, created from my CDs. (Don’t blame speakers, it’s about the source files too.)

And, just to be clear, not all of my variable bitrate MP3 albums experienced this. But most did.

The Definitive Technology W7 speaker is truly amazing when you consider how well it maintains quality at such a small size. I keep mentioning the size – can’t get over it! It’s impressive. Even at maximum volume, I can enjoy the powerful swell of voices of the Westminster Cathedral Choir without flinching. Though sharpening at the peaks may be rare, rolled-off highs are practically nonexistent. Many other speakers – few in similar price yet many in similar size range – tend to let the upper register of highs hit a ceiling. As you listen to the smooth crescendo of voices, you can hear how the W7 maintains an open atmosphere.

W7The sounds of cymbals are absolutely delicious. Now, I’m the kind of guy that loves music enough to overlook tinny highs and sizzle on cymbals. Sometimes even suffer through it if I like the speaker enough.

But with the W7, it doesn’t matter if it’s a tap, hit, or brush. Hi-hats and cymbals preserve their metallic timbre and sound as they should. They blend in with the rest of the song and tend to add to the impression of stage depth.

Vocals maintain silky smoothness, even as they arc up into the higher registers. It’s wonderful to pick out characteristic inflections within sung lyrics. The W7 captures such subtle dynamics, presenting the full emotion to the listener for personal enjoyment. Lesser speakers tend to simplify or gloss over all of this. Just remember to keep the volume in check, since some songs tend to bleach the highs when there is too much.

I love how the vocals sound completely separate from the instruments, yet aren’t detached or too forward on the stage. It doesn’t matter if vocals consist of one or more singers. This is really important to me when I listen to metal, since lead guitar (or guitars) can be as big (or bigger) or aggressive (or even more aggressive) than the lead singer. Sometimes you’ll get a speaker that lets some instruments drag down or colorize the vocals. Not here. The W7 speaker takes Kamelot’s song, “Across the Highlands”, off of their Karma album, and sonically paints it with epic majesty.

You get some great guitars out of the W7, too. The tone of strings are spot on, and you can practically close your eyes and imagine the instrument and player just meters in front of you. “I Can Learn” by The White Stripes delivers a thumping mix of bass, drum, and guitar at varying volumes. The individual vibrancy and intensity of each is not lost upon the listener.

It’s not just the clarity and separation of instruments that get you going. There is a lot of energy streaming through the mids, carrying copious amounts of excitement no matter the genre of music. Of course, considerable energy comes from the highs and lows too, but the mids have the plurality. If someone plays Jamoirquai’s “Canned Heat” and you don’t boogie with it, you might be in a full-body cast.

W7 on shelfThose who want overemphasized lows won’t find them here. The W7 maintains a balance throughout, choosing to focus on quality instead of big booty. I always appreciate this, since it’s not difficult to use an equalizer to enhance my music. There is a lot of musicality that goes on in the lows, and this speaker lets you hear all of it. Mid- and sub-bass texture? That’s all here too.

Do you like purring bass? I like purring bass. And the W7 purrs. Listen to the song “Long Nights” by Eddie Vedder, off the Into the Wild soundtrack. You can practically feel the string vibrations. While the overall sense of stage may not be wide, you certainly get the depth of it all with the low-end action. But the best part is that you can still hear and focus on the mids and highs. The lows shine but don’t steal the spotlight.

Although the W7 speaker may be small, it’s mighty. Referring back to the “Mind Heist” song by Zach Hemsey – it delivers some seriously sudden power in the lows. Sure, it may not be able to carry the vibrations that a hefty floor subwoofer can. But the W7 maintains technical agility with punchy, expressive drums and bass. You are not going to get bloated tones here, which is preferable to anyone who wants to hear each bit of note.

I’m sure that some listeners might comment about a lack of bass force (at some point or another). I’m preemptively (and politely) disagreeing with such statements. The low-end power that comes from the W7 is very impressive, completely betraying the compact speaker size. I think it’s plenty big enough, and anyone wanting more can simply pair another Definitive Technology product to enhance. Besides, quality beats quantity in my cookie jars, and the W7 has hands in both.

If I had to pick what stands out to me the most about the W7’s lows, it would be the exceptional decay. The attack of drum hits (for example) are fantastic, but it’s the decay that really gets me going. The beats come defined and detailed, as opposed to sounding a little bloated on the back half. I’m talking clean, but without any sacrifice to the muscularity of what you get up front.

Verdict

It’s quite possible that the Definitive Technology W7 speaker is in a league of its own. The music that comes out of it is incredibly vibrant and energetic. The energy isn’t just in the mids. It’s all across the board. And I absolutely love the balance, knowing full and well I can always fire up an equalizer to tweak things however I like. But right out of the box, the W7 speaker does justice to all of your favorite music and artists.

The weakest part about listening to the Definitive Technology W7 speaker is using the Play-Fi app. It’s only ‘ok’ when you have a single speaker, though there are a few things that need to be tweaked. But if you are using more than one Definitive Technology device at a time, especially in separate zones, the app forces too many screens and choices. The average consumer likely doesn’t have the level of patience and disregard that I do.

Anyone who wants stereo sound from Definitive Technology need only buy a second speaker. Tall order? Maybe. But once you hear one W7, it’s going to be hard to not want another. Totally serious. Besides, linking a brace of speakers is easily done with the Play-Fi app.

Now, it’s not just the audio quality that makes the W7 so awesome. Take the size and price into consideration; this is definitely a serious contender. Those who live in smaller spaces can appreciate portability without having to sacrifice sound quality. The W7’s volume can handle larger spaces across multiple areas, too. Either way, this speaker is gonna grab your attention and hold it. I’m a fan.

Sunfire Subwoofer Review

Sunfire Subwoofer Review

Our Sunfire SDS 10 Subwoofer Review

Consider the subwoofer: so simple in purpose, relatively simple in design, yet the source of more contention than just about any other element of home theater design. How many subs do you really need? Where should you put them? Are big subwoofers too flabby? Are small ones loud enough?

These days, it seems like my secondary theater is a veritable revolving door of subwoofers — some simple cubes, some trapezoidal, some shaped like Christmas ornaments — and I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that placement and setup has far more influence on satisfying bass delivery than the subwoofers themselves. That isn’t to say they all sound the same, given similar volume (which, oddly enough, doesn’t always correlate with power ratings), but the differences between them have been, for the most part, subtle.

Which makes a standalone review of a subwoofer like Sunfire’s SDS-10 no easy task. Let’s face it: subtlety rarely makes for exciting reading. And exploring the subtleties of a product designed to rattle the rafters and rumble your naughty bits is perhaps a little ironic (don’t ya think?).

But indulge me my nuances, if you will, because if you’ve got a small-to-medium-sized room and you’re in the market for a very good, versatile subwoofer, the little things that set the SDS-10 apart may well make it exactly the right sub for your system.

Out of the box, it’s unassuming enough: a typical looking cube, noteworthy perhaps only for the fact that its wood-grained finish breaks from the trend of glossy, piano-black or matte-finished cabinets.

Sunfire SDS 10 SubwooferOn the back, it sports fairly typical subwoofer controls and inputs: line level ins (including a dedicated LFE input), a signal sensing/always on switch, phase and crossover controls, and a volume knob. (No speaker-level connections, but most people will never use those, anyway). There’s nothing on the back to indicate the SDS-10’s wireless capabilities, but it works flawlessly with Sunfire’s Subwoofer Wireless Kit nonetheless.

It isn’t until you flip the SDS-10 over that you notice anything even slightly out of the ordinary: a 10-inch down-firing passive radiator that matches its front-firing active woofer in appearance, though not in function. (Passive radiators aren’t powered; they’re driving by the air pressure within the cabinet alone).

Perhaps as a result of that down-firing passive radiator, the SDS-10 is most similar to GoldenEar Technology’s ForceField of all the subwoofers I’ve got kicking around the casa at the moment (despite obvious differences in cabinet design), so comparing and contrasting those two specifically make sense.

First, the similarities: both the SDS-10 and the ForceField impress me with their ability to fill a room fairly evenly with bass. Both deliver more punch than their size might indicate. And both sound pretty much equally wonderful with movies and music. Contrary to nominal power ratings, though (the ForceField being rated much higher on paper), the SDS-10 strikes me as packing more punch, and is better suited to handling higher volumes, whereas the ForceField delivers deeper response. Those characteristics come into play most noticeably with the climactic battle from The Incredible Hulk. The SDS-10, as a result of its rapidly attenuated output below 30 Hz, lacks some of the ForceField’s ultra-low-end rumble, but delivers the crashing, booming, and bamming just a few hertz up the scale with a little more authority.

Which is preferable in that regard? I honestly can’t say. Based on my experience with both subs, I think I would prefer two ForceFields to two SDS-10s (after all, a pair of ForceFields could team up to deliver more SPLs with less effort, but no matter how many SDS-10s you add to a room, they’re all going to roll off pretty quickly below 30 Hz). But aside from enthusiasts, how many people run more than one sub? Not many. So if you only have room (or the budget) for a single sub, ask yourself whether you’re looking for deeper bass or stronger, more effortless bass. There’s no one right answer to that question, but if the latter is more your speed, the SDS-10 should most certainly be on your short list of subs to audition.

That’s with movies, of course. With music, I found it harder to really quantify the differences between the ForceField and SDS-10 in meaningful, objective ways, so let’s just focus on the Sunfire and what it does well. Which is a lot.

AIX Records’ Ernest Ranglin: Order of Distinction was still in my DVD-Audio player from my recent review of NHT’s SuperZero 2.0 monitors, so I queued it up first, not out of laziness (okay, a little bit out of laziness), but mostly because its mix delivers a rich, nuanced bottom end that really puts a subwoofer to test not in terms of stress, but subtlety (there’s that word again!) With the loping bass lines of “Satta Massagana,” the SDS-10 positively oozes bass into the room, spreading it around like a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese on a hot slice of sourdough. Just as impressive is its even-keeled performance with the frolicking, playful, bouncy-up-and-downy bottom end of “My Boy Lollipop,” each note of which rings through with equally authoritative volume and distortion-free clarity.

In digging through my DVD-A and musical Blu-ray collection, I didn’t come across anything with bass low enough to reveal the SDS-10’s lack of super-ultra-low-frequency response, but plenty that revealed its superb performance in the ~100-120 Hz range, at which point the sub gives way to the NHT mini monitors still set up in the room. The transition from the sub to the NHTs is seamless with pretty much any material I throw at the system (including movies and other streaming media). And more out of curiosity than anything else, I replaced the SuperZero 2.0s with a set of MartinLogan Motion 12s and set the crossover to 80 Hz. Also seamless.

So unless you hold its lack of significant bass extension below 30 Hz against it (which wouldn’t really be fair, given its size), there’s nothing negative to report about the SDS-10. It wouldn’t be my first choice for a room any larger than my secondary theater (roughly 13-by-15 feet), but for reasonably sized rooms, it delivers a helluva lot of very versatile performance for an incredibly reasonable price.

SOL Republic Headphones Review

SOL Republic Headphones Review

Provides: Audio reproduction and iDevice control
Developer: SOL Republic
Minimum Requirements: Audio device with 1/8” stereo minijack
Price: $99.99
Availability: Now

At IPMRadio, we’ve suggested numerous times that you upgrade beyond the horrible headphones that came with your iDevice. Trouble is, we’re often recommending headphones that cost $200 and up. That’s not always a viable option, so I was happy to discover you can get the audio improvement you need out of SOL Republic’s $100 Tracks headphones without sacrificing the functionality of iDevice control.

The first thing you’ll notice about the Tracks is that they look more like a hair band fashion accessory than a set headphones, especially considering they’re available in black, red and white.

SOL Republic Wireless HeadphonesGuys, don’t let these put you off…there’s nothing “girlie” about the sound, or even about the band itself. It’s exceptionally durable, making a good option if you’re always shoving them into a book bag or suitcase. That’s important, because if you’re replacing earbuds with them, you’re going to need to account for the extra storage space that over-the-ear headphones requires.

The Tracks are also notable for the fact that the cans can be removed from the band itself, so you can actually swap out the band to match your outfit, or whatever. In addition, the cable that connects to the cans is removable. If something should go wrong the cable, you can just get a new one instead of buying a new set of headphones. Most users will never take advantage of this, but it’s good to know the option is there. The only drawback to it is that you’ll have wires hanging from both ears, which isn’t usually needed with over-the-ear headphones.

Or if you want to get rid of the cords entirely, there’s always the SOL REPUBLIC 1430-00 Tracks Air Wireless On-Ear Headphones that connect to your devises wirelessly using Bluetooth. The Tracks Air Bluetooth headphones are just as well built and practically the same exact pair, they just don’t have wires.

You can grab additional color headbands. Also, The Sound Engines are interchangeable (hence, the detachable cord). Both the HD Sound Engines and the colored headbands are available in retail outlets.

Apple and Android users will get additional functionality out of the speaker cable controls, with iOS users able to control volume and track selection. The center button for taking calls and pausing music rises well above the volume/track buttons, allowing for easy control without seeking it out. A microphone is also included, but because of the positioning, I found I had to hold it close to my mouth to get good voice reproduction.

 

But all of this so far is just bonus material. What matters with headphones are comfort and sound quality, and SOL Republic delivers more in both aspects than you’d expect from $100 headphones. The cushions sit directly on your ears, and are fairly comfortable while muffling external noises. A pad at the top of the band rests comfortably on your head, as well. The cushions aren’t as soft you’d expect by looking at them, but the Tracks are still comfortable to wear for prolonged listening sessions.

The audio reproduction is solid, if not spectacular. The Tracks do a good job of picking up the detail you’re losing with Apple’s earbuds, and the mix is fairly well balanced. But at times, the music can sound a bit harsh; clinical, perhaps. They’re fine for rock music, games and movies, but I didn’t like them for classical music, where they gave the feel of a performance in a hall not tuned for symphonic sound. There was also some distortion when the volume is cranked up, but that was well past the level of hearing safety, anyway. You should have no need to turn these up that loudly.

The SOL Republic Tracks, at $100, are a great option for iDevice and Mac audio. You won’t be exercising in these, of course, but they work well for long commutes, flights, or working at your desk. If you want to spend $30 more, you can upgrade to the Tracks HD, which offer the V10 High-Definition Sound Engine vs. the Tracks’ V8 Sound Engine. But there’s something satisfying about keep the price down to two digits, and the sound is good enough here to keep you happy beyond your next iDevice upgrade.

AfterShokz Review

AfterShokz Review

AfterShokz Sportz Bone Conduction Headphones

What if I were to tell you that some of my favorite headphones in recent memory sound okay at best, and offer nary an ounce of noise cancellation or isolation? And that you should definitely buy them nonetheless, especially if you exercise outdoors? I don’t have to be a mind reader to sense you reaching for the X at the top right of the page, but stick with me for a minute. Because with AfterShokz Bone Conduction Headphones, pure audiophile-caliber sound quality isn’t the point, and sound isolation — one of the factors integral to so many headphone designs — is completely contrary to the point.

Relying on a much improved version of the same bone conduction sound transmission technology designed for military special ops communication (where clear communication is crucial, but environmental sound is also helpful when, you know, avoiding bullets and such), AfterShokz transmit sound into your noggin without going in, over, or around your ears. (And also without requiring any telepathy at all).

Since the Aftershokz rest on your jawbone in front of your ears, your eardrums are mostly removed from the listening equation. (I say “mostly,” because while virtually all of the bass and midrange bypass your normal auditory chain of command, some high frequency sounds do take the short path through the air from your jaw to your ear, but not as much as you’d think at first listen.)

 

What’s that sound like? Not as weird as you’d think. And not as bad as my introductory hook may have indicated. Sitting in my quiet office at home, granted, they don’t sound anything like my favorite Paradigm Shift e3m or HiFiMan HE-400s. Throw in something like Björk’s “Army of Me” or the Black Keys’ “Howling for You,” and the sound that reaches your brain is probably best described as a significant step up from AM radio, but a step down from FM. And any appreciable amount of bass quite frankly tickles until you get used to it.

Need to find the best wireless earbuds instead?

Honestly, though? None of that really matters. It isn’t until you strap on the AfterShokz (AfterShokzes?) and go for a jog or a brisk walk that you really start to appreciate their performance. Not that the sound magically transforms or anything, but suddenly you’re listening to really solidly decent sound, while still hearing the world around you unimpeded. Who knew birds actually lived in my neighborhood? And you know that swish-swish-swish sound you usually get while exercising while wearing headphones? There’s none of that. None of it at all.

For that matter, there’s no fussing with placement. In the month or so that I’ve been seriously working out while wearing the AfterShokz, I haven’t found myself repositioning them once. Because even if they slip a little, as long as they’re touching your jaw, the sound is conducted with crystal clarity. And as much as bass-heavy tunes sort of draw attention to the unique frequency response of the AfterShokz, I’ve found that podcasts — even ones that rely really heavily on stereophony and inventive sound design, like RadioLab — sound surprisingly good.

Again, though, judging the AfterShokz for their sound quality — even when it’s really good — kind of feels like critiquing the engine growl of a Tesla Roadster. In fact, the one time I’ve forgotten to charge the AfterShokz before a jog (yes, you do have to charge them via USB; that old idiom about “getting through your thick skull” has never been used to indicate an effortless task), I found myself less enthused about the superior fidelity of the earbuds I brought along and more annoyed by the constant fiddling with them and the swish-swish-swish I had forgotten about and the loss of natural environmental sounds I had gotten used to.

AfterShokz

I can’t say that AfterShokz have saved my life or anything (given that I tend to look both ways before crossing the street, and, at least in my suburban Alabama neighborhood, trucks tend to mostly stay off the sidewalk), but if you live in more bustling areas, that’s something to consider, too. And even if they’re not protecting your tuckus, they’re protecting your eardrums, no matter how hard you crank them. There’s a lot to be said for that, even if you’re not the sporty type.

They’re also incredibly comfortable. I’ve never liked behind-the-noggin, neckband-style headphones. Never in the history of ever. But these are incredibly comfortable, and despite initial concerns, they fit my Wookiee-sized head just as well as they do the smaller cranium of my sidekick.

The one sole, single, solitary complaint I have about the AfterShokz is that the cord is a little too short for my Wookiee stature. But hey, that’s what 3.5mm extension cables are for, right? The cord is pretty much the perfect length for regular human-sized humans. The next time I’ll opt for the Bluetooth cordless set. They only cost a bit more, but are totally worth it. They come with Bluetooth v4.1 connectivity and since they’re bone conducting they’re a kind of bluetooth hearing protection headphones.

And honestly, it’s a very minor quibble. It’s heartening to see at least one manufacturer offering a truly unique headphone in a market flooded by me-too products, most of which are sourced from the same handful of OEMs. At this price point, they’re a no-brainer. (Oh, yeah, did I mention how ridiculously inexpensive they are? Less than sixty clams! Or ten bucks more for an upgrade model with an in-line mic.)

No doubt, we’ll see a number of AfterShokz me-toos down the road, given how well these work and the void in the marketplace they fill. If you’re looking for a solid listening experience without all of the downsides and discomfort that come with putting a headphone in, on, or around your ear — or, heck, if you have a disability or eardrum damage that makes wearing regular headphones impractical, impossible, or ineffective — there isn’t much else on the market quite like them, especially at anything approaching this level of value. If you want to try out a pair now, Amazon has the Sport model for $59, and the Mobile model for $69. The AfterShokz website should also be stocking them again sometime in March, if you’d prefer to buy direct.

Beats Pro Review

Beats Pro Review

Beats by Dr. Dre from Monster Beats Pro Review

Provides: Studio grade headphones
Developer: Monster
Minimum Requirements: audio source
Price: $399.95
Availability: Now

How do you improve an amazing set of headphones like the Beats by Dr. Dre from Monster Beats Studios? It’s a tough job, but Monster has outdone themselves in all the ways I hoped they would with a new model. The Beats by Dr. Dre from Monster Beats Pros are reference headphones that drop the noise cancellation of the Beats Studios and replace it with top notch noise isolation. They’re built like a pair of $400 headphones should be: to last. With an almost entirely metal construction, these aren’t headphones you’ll be replacing. In fact, you’re going to have a hard time ever taking them off once you first give them a listen.

Before we get to the Siren like qualities of the Beats by Dr. Dre from Monster Beats Pros, let’s talk about some of the preliminary details.  These are over the ear, DJ style headphones.  The ear cups are huge and very comfortable.  The included cable is detachable (and therefore replaceable), is approximately 1.8 meters (thanks to a short coil), has a 1/4” to 1/8” converter to support both common audio connections and a special tip to ensure proper coupling with the connector.  Just insert the tip into either can and twist.  The short coil on one side of the cable is helpful when you start to get a little too far away from whatever is providing your audio.

There are no playback controls on the cable, but honestly, that’s not that surprising.  I do wish Monster had more cable options for this model like the Studios though.  Instead, you do get an extra feature, relating to the cable.  You can daisy chain numerous Beats Pros since there’s an input/output connection on each can.  If you’re in a studio environment, this could be helpful to amplify your normal hearing, or even if you just want to listen to the same audio source with friends.  This also gives you the option of which side of your head you’d like to have the cable on.

Beats by Dr. Dre from Monster Beats StudiosThe Beats Pros come in any color, just as long as that color is either black or white.  Inside the box, you’ll find some standard reading materials, a cleaning cloth and bag for transportation.  This is an interesting choice, since the Beats Studios come with a hard shell case that’s clearly more protective than the bag included here.  That said, the Beats Studios are made of plastic, not metal, like the Pros.  So maybe they don’t need to be protected as much.

The Beats Pros were designed to reproduce audio as it was intended to be heard, like studio monitors covering your ears.  Put simply, they nailed it.  It doesn’t matter what style of music you like, the Pros sound as good as your source material.  Unlike the Beats Studios, the Beats Pros do not have noise cancellation. Why? To more accurately reproduce source material.

Despite this being a logical reduction in features, it’s actually one of the best improvements of the Beats Pro.  Instead of noise cancellation, which oftentimes introduces a background hiss, the Pros isolate you from the outside sound.  They do it incredibly well thanks to washable high density foam ear cups.  Even without any audio playing, Beats Pros reduce ambient noise to a minimum.  You’ll still be able to hear tapping and louder noises, but only just.  It’s like turning the volume knob on the world down from 10 to 2.  Audio at even modest levels is enough to almost drown out the outside world completely.  This allows you to listen to your music at appropriate and safe levels since the headphones aren’t competing with much of anything other than your thoughts.  And since there’s no noise cancellation, you won’t have to worry about batteries whatsoever.  They may, however, make you want to re-encode all of your music at a higher quality.  They may make you go from zero to audiophile in five seconds flat.

The Beats Pro are quickly becoming the standard for sound studios, and it’s easy to hear why.  The detail that you’ll be able to discern through the Pros is remarkable and you most certainly don’t need to be an audiophile to notice it.  One of my favorite albums to test headphones out with is Love by The Beatles because of its dynamics, varying styles, excellent use of stereo and much more.  This album hits nearly every target available, so it’s a perfect first test.  It’s hard to exactly put into words just how well the Beats Pro handle this album, and honestly everything I’ve been able to pump through them.

I’ve said the following about Beats Studio, but it’s even more true about Beats Pro.  If you close your eyes, it’s easy to imagine that you’re listening to an artist in the studio as they lay down the track for the first time.  You’ll be able to pick out sounds, instruments and details that you never noticed before, even on songs you’ve heard hundreds of times.  These headphones provide an amazing experience, which is exactly what they should do every time you listen to your favorite songs. It’s like watching a movie on Blu Ray after watching it on DVD several times. Yes, you’re experiencing the same thing, but there’s so much more to appreciate.

The Beats Pros were designed to reproduce your source audio as accurately as possible, but that doesn’t mean you can’t feel the noise.  You don’t just hear the music, you feel it.  Bass reproduction is incredible for a set of headphones that aren’t enhancing the experience with anything other than extremely high quality parts.  Bass can easily be felt, again, even at modest volume levels.  This just goes to show you that you don’t need enhanced bass, you need headphones or speakers that can handle audio the way it really is.  I tend to trust audio engineers since they should know what they’re doing with an artist’s source audio better than I.  So I don’t like to apply equalizer settings to music ever.  It’s very satisfying to listen to music as intended without less than stellar headphones diluting the experience.  So, so very satisfying.

The only way I can imagine these headphones getting any better is by possibly making them lighter, if that’s even possible.  The Beats Pros are built like shiny futuristic tanks.  Nearly everything is metal or other durable materials.  Instead of hinges that fold, Monster chose to make the ear cups rotate.  I imagine this will last longer than a regular hinge.  It serves two purpose: you can flip up one ear cup to hear what’s going on outside (useful if you’re a DJ or the like) and to conserve space for more easy transport in the included bag (like hinges).  Everything that actually touches your head is made out of a relatively soft material, inside of which is washable foam.  This stuff not only sits on your ears comfortably, it’s the reason you can’t hear anything outside of the headphones.  Like I said, they’re made to last, so they need to be cleanable.  Monster definitely has all the bases covered here.

For now, it doesn’t get any better than this.  The Beats by Dr. Dre from Monster Beats Pros are hands down the best headphones that I’ve ever had the pleasure of testing yet.  They reproduce audio as accurately as is possible, which I believe to be extremely important.  It’s hard to say that a pair of headphones is actually worth $450, until you’ve heard these at least. But even if they are worth $450, which I think they are, that doesn’t mean you care enough to spend that kind of cash. And that’s fair. That’s the reason Monster doesn’t make just one model of headphones. Everyone has different needs.

If you want to listen to audio the way artists intended for it to be heard, this is how you can do it.  That’s something you can’t always say about a live concert.  For the price of five or so concerts, you could have a studio-like experience any time you want.  You’ll find yourself making time to listen to the Beats Pros.  Go ahead, schedule a meeting.  They’re that good.

Choosing the BEST Wall Ceiling Speaker Mounts

The Best Wall Ceiling Speaker Mounts & Stereo Mounting Brackets

The new trend in home theater and whole house audio systems is the installation of either in wall or in ceiling speakers and so we’ve decided to find the best speaker mounts so you can relax and enjoy amazing sound quality throughout your home.

These can be flush to the wall or swivel arm bracket mounted.

They are more hidden and provide a listener the benefit of an added dimension through a listening experience, when keeping individual satellite speakers out of sight unlike a TV soundbar or bulky floor speakers.

The attraction of installing speakers which are mounted flush in walls is especially attractive in modern homes where a clean decor style is wanted.

A homeowner can install a whole house audio system which is discreetly blends with a decorating scheme and does not protrude into the room while creating a multi zone, distributing audio system to all the rooms in a home.

While a standard speaker is commonly mounted inside a cabinet, in-wall or in-ceiling speakers differ in the respect that they are mounted inside of a frame which is designed to be set inside a wall, flush with the wall or ceiling.

Sometimes when installing a whole house audio system with this style of speaker creates some additional bass out of the wall itself which would be absent out of a cabinet speaker of equal size.

There is no difference between an in wall speaker or an in ceiling unit except the obvious – an in ceiling speaker is placed above the listener in a ceiling while an in wall speaker is set into a wall or on a bracket arm mount.

In ceiling speakers are typically circular shapes while in wall speakers more frequently rectangular shaped.

Installation

installing Ceiling Speaker MountsIf you intend to install flush wall speakers, the most important element is the rigidness as well as size of the actual speaker cavities.

It is crucial to have this task done correctly or the frequency response of the total stereo system may be negatively impacted.

Speaker technology must be carefully thought about as well, however aside from selecting the speaker set itself a decent size, wall or ceiling mount speaker systems are equated in precisely the equivalent manner as any other styles of speakers.

Issues which should be weighed would be: efficiency, power handling, frequency response along with desired characteristics.

Credibly the most important element once putting in a ceiling speaker would be the placement since that could directly effect sound quality.

Although that could be true with almost all speaker styles, this holds true more with ceiling sound delivery installation since it’s hard to alter the location of a speaker after they have been mounted.

To allow for for location shifts, a number of mounting brackets have acquired a pivotal tweeter and bass unit.

When a standard in ceiling mounting bracket can simply direct audio sound in a downwardly manner the option to swivel speaker arms enables a homeowner to concentrate audio sound to accommodate individual preferences as well as the placement in a room.

Whatever speaker mount system a homeowner ends up deciding upon, the rewards with a surround sound audio system that features wall and ceiling mount speakers is apparent, allowing everyone to enjoy high quality audio sound output utilizing a contemporary decor design merging easily in the interior decorating theme.

What can be seen is a speaker cover grill which looks extremely discrete but is hardly detectable.

Wall and ceiling mounted speakers have grown to be a piece of several offices as well as houses because of the options regarding decor space they allow for.

The reward with speakers mounted on brackets more than a standard speaker mount style can be the small capacity along with that there’s not a need to take up extra floor space.

Wall mounted speakers offer less distortions since the cone does not move as much.

Wall and in ceiling mounted speakers don’t require filters since there can be less components through a signal route. Such speakers create improved stereo surround sound over a conventional speaker system.

Prior to deciding upon a wall or ceiling mount or swivel bracket speaker, a buyer should be certain that a speaker’s electric resistance as well as power meets that of the amplifier.

A speaker’s OHM rating needs to likewise correspond with an amplifier. Check out our Power Acoustik AMP Review here.

A speaker’s energy rating needs to be determined according to the output power coming out of an amplifier. A user needs to think about your living area while picking out the proportion of speakers.

There’s no relation between quality of a speaker and it’s size.

A few wall and ceiling mounted speakers have diminutive satellite speakers which manage high along with midrange frequencies as well as a subwoofer to handle added bass. After standard speakers are put together as well as secure, it’s an effort to move them.

That is one reason that wall and flush ceiling mount speakers have been popular over conventional models.

A ball and socket design in wall speaker brackets enable simple motility during the placement of the shaft.

An option of a wall-mounted speaker to be able to tilt the mounting bar in whatever direction can be an added convenience.

Because of this, location speakers in several awkward areas, like high upon a ceiling, located in a tight a corner or placed in an angled wall, has grown to be simple.

These days, many manufacturers of wall and ceiling mounted speaker brackets furnish the applicable points in their specs.

Are you using wall or ceiling speaker mounts in your home? Leave a comment on IPM Radio below and let us know your experience.

bose wireless headphones

Best Wireless Earbuds 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

The BEST Wireless Earbuds From as Low as $50

Life is fast and constant entertainment is the need of the hour to keep us tuned and ready to face the fast pace of life. One of the most significant things that we need today is portable music and, with that, best wireless earbuds.

Gone are the days when we would spend hours untangling the dangling cords of Bluetooth earbuds and plugging them into the nearest device to listen to music. As the world advances, progress brings us the magical Bluetooth connectivity that gives us quality music from our playlists without any wires ruining the fun.

Some earphones are suitable for particular devices, while others are compatible with each and every device including smartphones, tablets, and CD players.

Depending on the earphones that you choose, you are at liberty to enjoy music or sound from any audio or streaming device from anywhere to  everywhere. It is often easy to get duped with the many earphones that are available on the market. Often we end up regretting an investment that we made but which yielded a poor sound quality or is not durable enough to survive an active user.

Wireless Earbuds

When purchasing anything, you should read reviews of the product beforehand to be sure you’re not about to waste your bucks. Even though there are lots of options when it comes to headphones, you can’t be sure which ones would suit your requirements best.

To make things easy for you, this article gives a detailed look into the top 15 best wireless earbuds. These give exceptional results for the dollars spent on them, so you can be sure that you will not be disappointed.

All these Bluetooth earbuds are most durable earbuds and suit an active workout lifestyle. You can also carry them to trips and for trekking. The majority of these wireless earbuds have a secure, comfortable fit so that you can wear them for hours and still have fatigue-free ears.

The long battery life also supports hours of binge watching.

Check best wireless earbuds below:


1. Bose QuietControl 30

Made of human-made materials, these headphones are excellent when it comes to sound quality and are our number one pick as the best headphones that we have reviewed.

The feature that makes them so amazing is the noise cancellation that they allow. You can listen to music and not be bothered by the surrounding sounds.

Also, when on call, these headphones cancel out the sound of the wind and other disturbances, providing a clear voice quality. Bose Quietcontrol earbuds

They are also hassle-free as they enable one to connect to other devices via Bluetooth.

Apart from the headphone, the package includes an extra pair of earbud covers and a USB cable.

There is an instruction guide that comes with it as well.

Also, they aren’t bulky, so while the neck piece sits on the neck, it won’t bother you at all. You can enjoy long hours of music wearing these earphones as they are not only a comfy fit, but they also give premium sound quality.

The noise cancellation feature is an innovative tech that makes these headphones the boss they are.

A tiny green light turns on when in use so you know its powered up.

These are water resistant as well, so no matter how hot the day is, sweat is no worry.

With noteworthy features like noise cancellation and Bluetooth, this product is worth all the bucks that you spend on it.

Pros

  • These Bluetooth earbuds give you control over noise cancellation levels.
  • They have the Bluetooth pairing function that enables you to connect to your devices wirelessly.
  • They sport a noise-rejection, dual-microphone system which gives a clearer voice on calls even in noisy and windy surroundings.
  • The neck band is lightweight, so you don’t get tired wearing it for hours on end.
  • They allow you to listen to music for up to 10 hours nonstop as they feature lithium-ion battery.
  • They are comfortable and fit in the ears snugly.
  • The app uses animation to indicate the degree of noise cancellation. This is a unique and useful feature.
  • They offer clear, smooth and detailed sound for an excellent experience.
  • They are easy to use. The controls are the same as in other headphones.
  • Water and sweat resistant.

Cons

  • The battery dies after 4 to 5 hours of continuous playback.
  • The design is not as great as it looks, which can be a bit annoying.
  • The wires get tangled and snag at things. This makes them less lasting as they break easily.
  • The microphone has some minor issues.

2. Bose SoundSport Pulse

Bose SoundSport PulseWith a horde of commendable features, this earbud by Bose is top notch in every way. It offers StayHear tech that dials up the notch of audio quality. Its fantastic wireless design helps one listen to music without hassle. The Bluetooth and NFC connectivity are also wireless, and that is another great addition.

The inline mic and remote make things even better, allowing you to easily forward songs, turn the volume up, and pick up calls quickly. Everything goes in favor of this product as it is one that has given attention even to the smallest details.

It is comfortable in the ears, despite the large buds. You can pack it up in its carrying case that comes with it and not worry about the wires intermixing.

It is also sweat and water resistant, which means no worry about a hot day ruining your headphones.

The battery life doesn’t disappoint either.

Overall, it is an outstanding product that doesn’t compromise when it comes to quality and is worth a purchase.

It is one of the best wireless earbuds available.

Pros

  • Offers balanced sound at all volumes. This means that if you raise the volume, the quality of sound will not go down.
  • The newly redesigned StayHear tips provide more sound stability and better audio quality.
  • It is a wireless earphone, so listening to music is more fun and easier. You can attend calls without having to move a muscle to do so.
  • Sweat and weather resistant, so there’s no worry of the wires getting wet in the summers.
  • Allows wireless pairing via Bluetooth and NFC. This is another great feature that comes in handy.
  • USB charging cable makes charging easy.
  • Has a battery life of 6 hours, so one doesn’t have to fret about charging every few hours.
  • Comes with a carry case that makes carrying these earbuds easy without the wires dangling.
  • Made of soft silicon material that makes it a comfy wear.
  • Sports inline mic and remote, which makes handling the device even smoother.
  • The headphones give top-notch sound.
  • The noise cancellation feature enables you to listen to music and attend calls without the background noise interrupting and disrupting the fun.
  • Fifteen minutes of charging fills up the battery to run for an hour, enabling you to continue your commute.

Cons

  • Unpleasant design, which is a drawback in the eyes of all those for whom design is a big concern.
  • The remote has very big buttons that don’t properly click.

3. Klipsch X12 Bluetooth Neckband

Klipsch X12 Bluetooth NeckbandThis pair of headphones by Klipsch has a bundle of impressive features. It doesn’t just offer amazing audio performance, but it also looks chic. With pure leather and copper accents, the design is worth all the praise.

The silicon fitted buds are comfy, and the headphones go easy on your ears by preventing ear fatigue. This way, you can keep listening to music without tiring your ears. This enables you to enjoy music for hours on end.

Another great feature is the vibration to alert you of incoming calls. You can walk around with your headphones plugged in and your phone in your pocket and don’t worry about missing important calls.

This product offers continuous 18 hours of battery life, which means no stopping the music. It cancels out the noise and multiplies the sound clarity. There’s a carrying case as well that comes along with it, making it easy to haul it along wherever you head.

It looks big but it’s lightweight. Lush sound quality with balanced audio makes the experience fun and memorable. It is innovative not only when it comes to design but also when it comes to high-end features. It is long-lasting and resistant to splashes. The Klipsch X12 Bluetooth Neckband is classy in every way and worth every penny invested.

Pros

  • High degree of clarity when it comes to Bluetooth streaming.
  • IPX4 splash-proof design makes sure the headphones are durable.
  • Features an integrated mic with cVc that makes it even more amazing.
  • Carrying case comes along with it, making it easy to store easily without fretting over the wires dangling.
  • 18 hours of battery life ensures that you can enjoy musical commutes without interruptions.
  • Unparalleled tech makes it a premium choice.
  • Chic design with copper accents made of handpicked materials that make it stand out.
  • Sports in-ear monitors, call alert vibrations, and acoustic tech that leave all others behind.
  • The leather in the neck band is pure and carefully selected and crafted so that it doesn’t fail in the looks department either.
  • Twin Comply Comfort Ts-100 Tips come along with it.
  • The electroplated steel exoskeleton protects the headphones from damage.
  • Lightweight and comfortable making them perfect for sleep earplugs.
  • Decreased noise and increased clarity make for another outstanding quality.
  • It fits in a comfy manner and prevents ear fatigue.

Cons

  • These headphones are bulky, and that is a drawback to portability. Their size is rather large, which makes it awkward to take them along everywhere.

4. Jaybird X2 Sport

Jaybird X2 SportThis model by Jaybird is jam-packed with many admirable qualities. Jaybird is a well-known brand for its classy earphones. The Jaybird X2 Sport is another excellent pair and is a continuation of the Jaybird Freedom F5. See our complete Jaybird Freedom F5 review here.

It is specially designed for the sports maniacs as it is sweat-proof and has noise isolation tech. This means that you can run on the track with music pounding in your ears without having to spare a thought to how much you are sweating.

The long-lasting battery life is another bonus enabling you to listen to music for continuous 8 hours. It is powered by lithium-ion batteries. Along with top-end sound quality, the wireless headphones have much more.

It is durable and can withstand all sorts of wear and tear. It comes with a carrying case, a charging cable, silicone ear tips, and cord management clips. This ensures that the wires of the headphones don’t mingle and mess up.

Additionally, the ear tips are made of high-quality foam that means extra comfort, snug fit, and no noise. The SignalPlus tech installed in this pair lets you listen to music without having to stop, and the Bluetooth gives a boost to the overall audio. It can easily and quickly connect to all your devices without any trouble. All in all, it is a great buy as it combines everything: comfort, style, and sound quality.

Pros

  • Features Bluetooth audio which enables one to listen to music continuously without taking breaks.
  • Gives 8 hours’ battery life for receiving and making calls and listening to songs with complete remote controls.
  • The over/under fit options the headphones provide make them a secure and comfy fit.
  • This pair of headphones doesn’t damage with sweat as it is sweat-proof with a lifetime warranty backing this feature.
  • The enhanced tech and design of earbuds offer noise isolation.
  • Ideally designed for sports lovers as the noise is canceled enough to let you concentrate on the music but not too much as to make one unaware of their surroundings.
  • Solid with excellent sound quality and innovative tech that doesn’t disappoint.
  • Long-lasting earbuds that don’t get damaged that easily.

Cons

  • Poorly designed carrying case. It is enormous and doesn’t open or close properly.
  • Sound quality isn’t as great when compared to other leading brands.
  • Many people have complained that the ear tips do not fit snugly in the ears and keep getting out of place.

5. Jaybird X3 Sport

Jaybird X3 SportThe Jaybird X3 is a commendable pair. Its build is outstanding, and the audio quality is mind blowing.

It offers a snug fit as it is smaller than the usual headphones. The small size makes it a better earbud, particularly for those who wear caps or helmets or those who wear it while playing a sport.

The MySound app that these headphones sport is another noteworthy feature that enables you to customize your sound and save it so that you can listen to that song later.

The battery life is also worth praise, offering 8 hours of consecutive music. If the battery dies after that, you can charge it for just 15 minutes, and that will give you another hour of music.

The multipoint feature allows one to connect the headphones to two different devices.

This one is a definite improvement over the previous model as it has better features at a more reasonable price.

The inline remote of this pair is small and lightweight, so it doesn’t bother at all.

It is sweat resistant as well, so no matter how much you perspire or how sunny the day is, the headphones won’t be affected.

Pros

  • The mini earbuds are small enough that they are comfortable without compromising on sound quality.
  • This pair easily and cozily fits in one’s ears.
  • Being sweat proof makes it easy to wear and enjoy music no matter what the weather is and whether you are working out.
  • The earphones have a sleek yet rough design, so it wins in the looks department as well.
  • The battery won’t drain out in the middle of a commute as the headphones have 8 hours’ of battery life.
  • 15 minutes of charging time powers the pair for one whole hour, enabling you to quickly get back to your songs.
  • MySound app lets you customize your music and save it to listen later on.
  • Excellent construction with a sleek design that is paired with durability.
  • Comply Foam ear tips that fit in your ears snugly and isolate noise using its power amp.

Cons

  • Difficult to charge as one has to haul along their charging adapter everywhere as it doesn’t sport a microUSB connector. Therefore, if you lose the charger, there’s no other way to charge the headphones.
  • Sound interruptions that can be a bit annoying.

6. Plantronics BackBeat Fit

Plantronics BackBeat FitThese amazing headphones are foldable and easy to carry along. They have many fantastic features in their arsenal. They are sweat and water proof with nano-coated tech, giving you continuous music without any worries. The battery life goes on for 8 hours.

The armband enables you to tuck in your phone safely. This pair is designed in a way that you can hear your surroundings but not to a disturbing level. It mutes out the quieter noise while letting loud sounds filter in so that you remain aware.

Bluetooth tech enables you to quickly attend calls and listen to great audio quality. It is lightweight and stays in its place as there’s no tangling of wires.

It is flexible and makes for a fantastic workout buddy. It comes in bright and reflective colors to ensure safety during nighttime jogs. The package includes an instructions’ manual and USB charging cable along with the headphones and cellphone armband.

Pros

  • Flexible construction makes the earbuds stay in your ear during workouts or while playing sports.
  • This product is waterproof and sweat-proof, which means that no matter how much you sweat while running or playing, it will not get damaged. The invisible nano-coated tech makes sure of that.
  • The battery life is long lasting. You can enjoy music along while working out without having to worry about the battery going down.
  • The safety-oriented design allows some noise from your surroundings to reach your ears so that you are aware of the noise outside rather than being completely submerged in the music.
  • The on-ear controls are easy to reach and allow one to attend calls and manage music while being engaged in other activities as well.
  • Reversible armband makes it easy for you to keep your phone secure. You can put the headphones by folding them up in the armband once you are done listening to music.
  • Incredible sound quality that doesn’t cancel out noise so that you know what’s going on around you.
  • Saves power for up to six months in hibernation mode.
  • Provides 14 days of standby time.
  • Features a free app that keeps headphones updated to the latest firmware.
  • The Battery Meter app displays the battery percentage and provides on-screen alerts.

Cons

  • Many reviewers complain that it is not long lasting.
  • Takes getting used to the controls.
  • The charging doesn’t hold. You need to charge it every other day.

7. Skybuds

Skybuds Truly Wireless EarbudsWith a unique design and reliable Bluetooth connectivity, the Skybuds deserves all the praise it gets. It provides outstanding sound quality combined with a long battery life. The bass and range are all dynamic and do not disappoint.

It is resistant to water and sweat so that you can run comfortably and peacefully knowing that the headphones won’t be bothered by the perspiration. The storage case and Skydock charging provide almost a whole day of charging, whereas each earbud provides 4 hours of on-the-go music.

The headphones fit so perfectly that they don’t fall out of the ears even if you run or bounce. They are specially designed for runners and travelers. The sleek design is everything headphones should be like.

The sound quality is clear and rich. The carrying case has a spectacular design and is a very innovative idea. When in the case, the earbuds charge at a magnificent speed so that you can return to your music sooner. Listening to music for long hours becomes a happy and pleasant experience with the Skybuds headphones.

The Bluetooth connection is secure and reliable. These wireless earbuds are easy to manage and have a passive noise cancellation feature. The silver wireless headphones actually shine and look very cool in the ears. They literally outshine other headphone pairs. Overall, these headphones are satisfactory in almost every way.

Pros

  • Outstanding sound quality with excellent functionality.
  • Classy design that beats all others along with being a comfy fit.
  • It is a wireless pair, making the listening experience even better.
  • Featuring digital microphone for calls, so you don’t have to halt what you are doing to receive a call.
  • Ergonomic and comfortable fit ensures that the earbuds don’t pop out of the ears.
  • Sweat- and water-proof, so you can run wearing this product and it will not get damaged.
  • 24 hours of battery life by Skydock and case charging, enabling you to listen to music nonstop without the headphones draining the battery quickly.
  • The charging case is stylish and does its work very well.
  • The range, base, and every detail are impressive.
  • Reliable Bluetooth connection with good strength.
  • Features passive noise cancellation.

Cons

  • The battery drainage is not balanced in the left and right ear buds.
  • Many reviewers have complained that it is not compatible with Android phones.

8. Samsung Level U Pro

Samsung Level U ProThe name of the big fish company is enough to speak volumes of the earphones’ design, functionality, comfort, and flexibility. The Samsung Level U Pro Wireless In-Ear Headphones have a lightweight, around-the-neck design that guarantees excellent sound quality.

With this product’s echo cancellation and external sound suppression features, not only is the music quality good, but the call quality is also great.

Samsung’s Level U Pro is built to last longer with its durability enhanced by splash and sweat resistance. The durability in combination with the flexibility of design and secure fit makes it suitable for active users.

With these earphones, you can go for long hours of workouts with quality music in your ears, and you can also take calls with remarkable ease. The complete packaging includes three sets of small, medium, and large-sized ear gels, quick start guide, and a microUSB charging cable along with Level U Pro earphones.

Pros

  • Splash and water resistance.
  • Battery life of 9 hours with 300 hours of standby time.
  • Flexible urethane joints.
  • Smart magnets in the earbuds help control calls and music by playing or pausing music and answering, ending or rejecting calls when the magnets are connected or disconnected.
  • Playlist sharing option with Sound Share that allows music sharing with another Level U Pro Wireless earphone set, Level On Wireless headset or Level On Wireless PRO.
  • Features two-way speakers, one 13 mm dynamic and another 13 mm piezo that deliver high-quality, clear sound.
  • Excellent sound quality with echo cancellation.
  • Ultra High-Quality Audio (UHQA) technology gives digital audio experience that parallels standard CD quality.
  • No external sound interference, meaning exceptional sound quality.
  • Connects with the Samsung Level app that provides extra features such as sound effects and volume regulation.
  • Ultra-soft ear gels.

Cons

  • Sound in podcasts could be slightly distorted.
  • Some features rely on the model of the phone you have, so they might not be available for you.
  • The Bluetooth range can be a little annoying as it could transmit and hold smooth connectivity even with a wall or two in between. However, with the device in the pocket, connection could be severed for just a split second.
  • Ear buds don’t feel very amazing and looks cheap.
  • Harsh treble.

9. Phaiser BHS-730

Phaiser BHS-730The Phaiser BHS-730 is a stunning pair when it comes to design. It doesn’t only look eye-catching, but it has many premium features as well.

With 4.1 Bluetooth combined with 8 mm speakers, the audio performance is top-notch with HD sound. The sounds are balanced, and the bass is deep. The ear tips are made of high-end materials that cancel out sound from your environment to give you an excellent music experience.

It is sweat-proof so that you do not have to fret about your sweat ruining your headphones. It is not made for swimming but can easily survive an accidental drop in a water body. There’s a lifetime guarantee that backs this sweat-proof feature.

The technology installed is exemplary, and it allows you to know the battery life of the headphones by connecting with your iOS or Android device. It is lightweight and a strong pair that doesn’t break or snag at things. The flat design makes sure the wires don’t tangle, and the carrying case is roomy and stylish.

Overall, the headphones are easy to control and give flawless sound quality.

Pros

  • Features 4.1 Bluetooth with 8 mm speakers that give amazing sound quality with a dynamic bass.
  • Gives HD sound that is loud and clear with unparalleled quality.
  • Features noise isolation with Comply T-400 M memory foam earbuds that are shaped liked bullets. This makes sure you aren’t disturbed by the constant noise outside and can focus on your music or calls.
  • Liquipel nano coating protects it from sweat damage. It is 100% sweat-proof, and that is how you can be sure that a sweaty day won’t go hard on your headphones.
  • It can withstand an accidental drop in water.
  • Phone calls are clearer with this device with no choppy connections.
  • It is built of aviation grade aluminum-magnesium-alloy that makes the headphones tough and resistant and doesn’t add to the weight. Thus, it is also lightweight.
  • Its latest tech can connect with the Apple and Android interfaces to let you know about its battery.
  • Magnetic earbuds that make for a secure fit.
  • The wires do not get tangled as they are flatter than the ordinary ones.
  • Top-notch microphone.
  • Inline audio controls that are easy and smooth to handle.
  • Trouble-free pairing with other devices.
  • Its carrying case is spacious and an excellent addition.
  • Easy to operate.

Cons

  • Interrupted Bluetooth pairing.
  • The magnet of one bud falls off after some time of use, so it isn’t very durable.

10. TaoTronics Bluetooth Magnetic Earbuds

TaoTronics Bluetooth Magnetic EarbudsWith its latest Bluetooth technology, this earphone smartly and smoothly pairs with all sorts of devices including tablets, phones, and music players. It would not fall off your ears as well with its snug fit. An exclusive feature is a built-in magnet in each earphone so that each set from the pair can be attached when not in use or can be hung around the neck when you are not listening to music.

With a long battery life, you can enjoy high-quality music that is free from any external sounds that will ruin your experience. It is among the best wireless earbuds that can accompany you to all workouts, bike rides, and runs.

It comes with three ear hooks and tips with different sizes that can be interchanged, allowing you to achieve your perfect fit along with ensuring maximum comfort. Its built-in magnets let you safely keep the earphones when not in use so that you won’t have to worry about losing your earphones or placing them in your pocket temporarily.

The best part is that all the excellent features come at a budget-friendly price. Moreover, the TaoTronics Bluetooth Wireless Stereo Earphones provide lots of good features such as excellent connectivity, latest Bluetooth technology, easy controls, sweat- and splash-resistance, and incredible sound quality. All this and more in a price that is lower than its competitors.

Pros

  • With its multiple compatibilities, the TaoTronics Bluetooth Magnetic Earbuds can connect to all devices, be it Apple gadgets or Android tablets and phones.
  • The cherry on top is that if you have an iOS device, it shows a separate icon on the screen, denoting the remaining battery life of the earphones.
  • Has a good battery life of 5 hours with 175 hours of standby battery.
  • Snug fit so that it fits securely and comfortably in your ears.
  • With the help of the built-in magnets, you can tie the earphones around your neck like a necklace.
  • Latest 4.1 Bluetooth technology.
  • Easy and fast pairing with devices.
  • The aptX codec gives excellent CD-like quality of sound.
  • cVc noise isolation technology.
  • In-line controls provide multi-buttons for purposes such as volume control, pause and play, and much more.

Cons

  • Sound quality and function considerably hindered if there are any accidental obstacles between the earphones and the parent device.
  • Battery life not reliable enough for long workout sessions or trips.

 


11. Bose SoundSport

Bose SoundSportDesigned with a sleek look, these earphones offer high-quality music. The Bose SoundSport in-ear headphones also hook comfortably around the ear for a firm hold, so you won’t have to worry about your earbuds falling off during workouts.

There is an inline microphone for swiftly switching between calls and music as well. This device is durable with sweat- and weather-resistance so that you can take your earbuds here, there, and everywhere and are ready to face whatever the weather has in store for you with your music blasting in your ears.

The Bose SoundSport in-ear headphone tops in the field of design and comfort. It is suitable for people who do not appreciate jamming the ear buds into their ear canals. The comfort of the Bose earphones gives a great experience along with a beautiful design in your sporty shade. The colors include neon blue, power red, energy green, frost, and charcoal.

The open design, however, cannot control the surrounding sounds, so this might not be the best pick for people who are particular about having a quality, isolated music time minus the background noise.

The earphones come with an additional case for storage and protection. Make sure you are not an Android user before purchasing the Bose SoundSport in-ear headphone as it works best with Apple devices. Its durability is excellent as it is fully resistant to all activities in the gym and any wear and tear during hikes and trips whether in the summers or winters, regardless of the humidity and heat.

Pros

  • Secure fit with the StayHear tips that adhere to the shape of the ears, sticking with them and giving a comfortable fit.
  • Available in a variety of colors to choose from.
  • Inline mic allows you to switch between calls and music quickly.
  • The inline mic also serves as a remote to control volume and music without having to reach out to the parent device.
  • Excellent sound quality with the TriPort technology yielding clear sound and superb bass.
  • Long lasting with sweat- and weather-resistance.
  • Comes with a lightweight and durable carrying case.

Cons

  • The external sounds sweep in through the earphones, so there is constant background noise cutting in your music hours.
  • Best suitable for Apple users as the Bose SoundSport in-ear headphones are designed to work optimally with all Apple devices including iPhone, iPad, and iPod.

12. SENSO Bluetooth Headphones

SENSO Bluetooth HeadphonesWith an incredible sound quality and amazing Bluetooth connectivity, even from a distance, the SENSO Bluetooth Headphones are here to win your heart and ears. They feature a secure fit to remain intact for hours on end, leaving ears fatigue-free and fresh.

Top it all with a very long battery life that requires only 1.5 hours of charging time. There is a warranty that comes along with the wireless earphones to make sure you never have to face any problems. In case there is something unsatisfactory with the set, you can get your money back with the refund policy, so there are no strings attached.

Designed for active users, the Senso ActiveBuds drain out external sounds to give you unhindered hours of music. There is also a built-in mic that lets you take calls so that you never have to worry about missing any important calls. Additional treats include a USB charger with a dual port and charging cable that is 3 feet long for Apple users and a mini USB connector for Android devices.

With its exceptionally long life and incredible sound quality, you can enjoy music on long hikes, trips, and hours of continuous workout and even binge-watch movies.

The full package includes Bluetooth headphones, charging cable, a clip to manage the cable, a carrying case, user manual, and 3 sets of small, medium and large ear tips to meet your requirements.

Overall, with its excellent functionality and fit, the SENSO Bluetooth Headphones pay off well for all the dollars that make their way out of the wallet to buy it.

Pros

  • Latest Bluetooth 4.2 CSR technology.
  • IPX-7 waterproof and sweat-resistance.
  • Flexible ear hook for a secure fit.
  • Earbuds with gel flex silicone for a comfortable wear.
  • Lithium polymer battery that gives back-to-back music for approximately 8 hours with 240 hours of standby time.
  • Quick charge in 1.5 hours.
  • Connection with Bluetooth devices that are up to 30 feet away.
  • Compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled devices regardless of the operating system.
  • Can maintain Bluetooth connection with two devices at a time.
  • Superb, high-definition sound quality with powerful bass and clear treble.
  • Noise suppression technology masks passive noise in the background.
  • Hassle-free return within 30 days with its no-questions-asked return policy.
  • Easy control buttons for volume, skip, pause and play.

Cons

  • Designed with a bulky touch.

 


13. Jabra Elite Sport

Jabra Elite SportWith waterproof earbuds that have a sweat warranty of 3 years and superior sound quality of music and calls, the Jabra Elite Sport True Wireless Earbuds are an excellent choice for all. They keep track of heart rate while entertaining with 3 hours of music.

This pair of headphones is best for people who are comfortable with using one earpiece at times. You can plug in one or both earbuds at a time. Additionally, these earbuds are compatible with both the iOS and Android operating systems.

Completely wireless earbuds are an innovation that is free from the tangled cords so much so that there are no wires connecting even the earbuds together. This innovation is, therefore, bound to be on the heavier side of the price spectrum.

Also, these fully wireless and cordless earbuds have a maximum battery life of 5 hours. However, in this regard, the battery life of the Jabra Elite Sport True Wireless Earbuds is not that bad, but it is still inferior as compared to other earbuds on this list.

The earbuds have a system of advanced Bluetooth connectivity suitable for all operating systems. The Jabra Sport Life App is an efficient record keeper of your fitness progress and gives fitness coaching as well. Heart rate monitoring can sometimes be a victim of improper estimations, though.

Overall, this set of earbuds is for the people who love to have a hold of all the latest innovation in their hands and for people who cannot stand the tangled, messed-up cords.

Pros

  • Features a waterproof design.
  • These wireless earbuds are suitable for all sorts of Bluetooth-enabled devices including Windows, iOS, and Android phones.
  • Three years’ warranty of sweat protection via the Jabra Sport Life App.
  • The Jabra Sport life App tracks your workout progress, analyzes your fitness, and provides personalized audio coaching.
  • The Jabra Sport Life App is compatible with both Android and iOS operating systems.
  • 3 hours of call/music time with battery life enhanced to additional six hours with the portable charging case.
  • Cord-free earbuds.
  • Option to wear one or both the earbuds at a time.
  • Secure fitting earphones with several gels and wings.
  • Superior sound quality with enriched bass.
  • Dual microphone technology, separate for each bud.
  • In-ear precision monitors heart rate.

Cons

  • Poor battery life.

 


14. LG Tone Active+

LG Tone Active+Make workout sessions fun with the LG Tone Active+ Stereo Bluetooth Headset that provides high-end quality music and keeps track of your daily performance and activity. It can also connect with LG fitness apps on both iOS and Android to keep a record of your fitness.

Providing great bass with least distortion and increasing frequency, the LG Bluetooth Headset offers a good fit. One of the best wireless earbuds, this set also features great quality of voice calls and excellent resistance to heavy sweat and water.

The LG Wireless Headset is one of the most comfortable headsets with a flexible neckband. It features capability to make and reject calls along with last number redial, auto-reconnect, and call waiting support. The LG Tone Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headset also enables you to connect to two devices simultaneously with the multipoint support.

Appropriate for strenuous workouts, this LG headset has clear controls that are slightly raised from the surface and are easy to use. It also charges with the aid of a microUSB charging jack.

Getting started is easy by pressing the power button and smoothly and immediately pairing with the nearest device. The battery life is also good with 9.5 hours of constant music on a full charge. Other features include interchangeable stabilizer tips and powerful bass.

On the whole, the LG Tone Active+ Stereo Bluetooth Headset is a good headset that pays off well with all the useful features and an excellent sound quality for the dollars invested in it.

The headset can hold up to your active lifestyle with its record-keeping habit of your fitness plans, smooth Bluetooth connectivity and transaction, and powerful defense against sweat and water during your heavy workouts.

Pros

  • Supports Qualcomm aptX HD for hi-fi sound quality.
  • IPX4 rated sweat- and water-resistance.
  • Audio calls excel with the Advanced Quad-Layer Speaker Technology and dual MEMS microphones.
  • Comfortable fit.
  • Personalized surround sound with the external stereo speakers.
  • Built-in fitness monitoring features that measure calories and track steps and distance. This headset also keeps a record of your workout history.
  • Easy synchronization with LG apps such as LG Tone & Health designed for iOS and LG Heath for Android systems.
  • Several ear gel sizes and retractable ear buds.
  • Good battery life.

Cons

  • Cannot support music streaming and calls at the same time.
  • Call quality goes down in noisier atmospheres.

 


15. Beats Powerbeats3

Beats Powerbeats3The Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless In-Ear Headphone is among the best earphones that take these gadgets to a whole new level of durability, sound quality, and non-stop music. With its long battery life, you can enjoy hours of endless music. If you are in a rush, a five-minute charge can give another hour of music playback.

With the Powerbeats3 Wireless In-Ear Headphone, you can enjoy long sessions of workouts and walks or travel long distances with music in the background. There is no need to worry about sweat and water splashes, as it is resistant to both.

The ear tips have options for four sizes to meet individual needs. In addition to the earbuds that jam in the ear canal, the Powerbeats3 Wireless In-Ear Headphone has big adjustable hooks on both the sides that wrap around the ears for a secure and stable fit. The earbuds connect very easily with Apple products and work fairly well with Android devices as well.

The Powerbeats3 wireless earbuds do not completely drain all the external noise, so it is not the choice for people who want to be completely cut off from the world. The set is resistant to water and sweat, but don’t expect to use it in full-scale rains.

The entire box includes ear tips, USB charging cable, a carrying case, quick start guide, and warranty card along with the Powerbeats3 wireless earphones. Overall, the earphones are a good pick with a good battery life and powerful, quick charging.

Pros

  • 12 hours of battery life.
  • Fast charge of five minutes gives another hour of playback.
  • Maximum comfort and stability with the secure-fit ear hooks so that you won’t have to worry about one of the pieces falling out of your ear during your workouts.
  • Sweat and water resistant.
  • Great durability.
  • Dynamic sound quality with the dual-driver acoustics.
  • Best wireless earbuds with the Class 1 Bluetooth connection.
  • Smooth Bluetooth functionality.

Cons

  • Not much of an upgrade from the Powerbeats2 headphones.
  • Good competitors in the same price range.
  • Pairing with the device takes time. After holding the earphones close to whatever device you’re connecting it to and pressing the button on the earphones, there is a long wait until things proceed.
  • Not suitable for strenuous exercise; only appropriate for light workouts.
  • Play/pause button is mushy.
  • There have been a few complaints of the sound going to the max suddenly and just as unexpectedly falling to zero.

 


Conclusion

When selecting the best wireless earbuds that suit you best, there are a lot of features that you need to take into account. Not only does the sound quality count, but there is a whole slew of other factors that also matter.

One one of these is the features that the headphones offer. This is the 21st century and the age of wireless headphones powered via Bluetooth. Hence, one thing that you need to consider is how well the Bluetooth functions and whether or not its strength is reliable. A choppy connection is something that will completely ruin your experience.

Secondly, you need to see whether or not the Bluetooth earbuds are durable. When you invest money in a product, you need to be sure that it is long lasting. With a pair of headphones that break or stop performing well within a short while of purchasing the product, your money goes down the drain. Hence, you need a pair that functions excellently and keeps performing.

A feature that is topping the charts for the best headphones when it comes to headphones is noise cancellation. Decide whether you need this feature completely or just a subtle isolation from environmental noise. If you are athletic or wear headphones while driving, you need to be aware of the surrounding sounds. In such a case, you require headphones that do not completely block out noise. On the flip side, some people prefer noise cancellation to a level that no surrounding sound interrupts their musical commute.

You also need to be sure that the headphones can keep up with your active life. If you are a runner, you require a pair that is sweat resistant. Almost every other headphone pair has this quality these days. Also, you need a pair that won’t fall from your ears when you are on the run.

Next up, you need to be sure that it offers premium battery life. It’s a bummer when the battery dies while you are enjoying music. Be sure you select earphones that you do not have to charge every few hours a day. Most pairs today allow you to charge the headphones for 15 minutes, which powers the device enough to serve you for another hour.

Jaybird – Freedom F5

Jaybird – Freedom F5 Review

Our Jaybird Freedom F5 Review – How Good Are They REALLY?

Listening to music has been a habit of many people. But earphones with wires are a nuisance as the wires keep getting tangled. Sweat eventually wrecks them, and the investment is no longer worth anything. Thankfully with the Jaybird’s there is a better alternative.

You should go for high-end quality wireless earphones like the Freedom F5 In-Ear Wireless Headphones by Jaybird. These have several excellent features. These headphones are wireless and convenient to use. And I mean really convenient, like you can wear them in the rain, running, whatever and wherever.

Comfortable fit along with premium audio quality

These earphones are a very secure fit. Once they settle inside the ears, they do not pop out unless you take them off. These silicon fitting earbuds look sleek and are constructed with great precision.

The metal parts and overall design are ideal, and they are meant to stay in its place. The sound quality is top-notch with a deep base which is always one of the ways I rate a pair of headphones.

The surrounding noises are canceled so that you have a fun musical commute. The ultra-modern design gives a rugged yet elegant look.

Sweat-proof

One of the best things about these earphones is that they are water-resistant. This is an outstanding quality because in summers when one sweats a lot, many gadgets are prone to damage. With this feature no matter how much you sweat, your earphones will not get affected.

Specifications

  • Comfortable metal buds
  • Crystal clear sound quality
  • Secure silicon fit
  • Water-resistant
  • Featuring MySound app
  • 8 hours of battery life
  • Easy charging
  • Can connect to two Bluetooth devices at once
  • Allows call receiving
  • Clip charger that charges the earphones on the go
  • Can pair with the smartwatch as well

Pros

These Jaybird Freedom earphones have many fantastic features. The best feature is that the MySound app allows you to customize your songs as per your wishes for any music downloads. You can also save these changes for listening to later. Additionally, it can connect to two Bluetooth devices at once and that too with stable connectivity.

These earphones get quickly charged as well. Only a 20-minute charging gives an hour of nonstop music. Although I don’t really like the clip charging system they choose to use. It may be a personal feeling, but it’s one of the things I am not impressed with.

Cons

The only drawback mentioned regarding these earphones is that the clip charging is not convenient. The battery is so small that if it falls somewhere, it is sure to get lost. Once this mode of charging of the earphones is gone, there is no other way to recharge the earphones.

Customers’ Reviews and Conclusion

The majority of the reviewers have all praises for these Jaybird earphones. They have mentioned how extraordinarily excellent the audio quality is. The earphones are small in size, and once you get around knowing how to wear them, they are a very secure fit.

The clip charging has been mentioned as a demerit by some people. However, if proper care is taken, that would not be a problem at all. So, overall the pros outweigh the cons, and these earphones are worth a buy as they have a horde of high-end features.

Best Streaming Media Player

Best Streaming Media Player Reviews and Buying Guide

More and more people are cutting cords with cable companies as they realize that there are more convenient ways of streaming videos on TV via their computers, tablets, and smartphone. In today’s stream player world, there numerous options of streaming videos and TVs programs ranging from simple set-top boxes, compact streaming sticks to powerful game consoles.

With the help of streaming players and subscription or pay-per-view services available in Amazon, Hulu and Netflix you can easily access newly released, and classic videos and TV shows that you normally get through TV cable subscription. You can also use the streaming players to access photo apps as well as social media sites on your, TV. Hook it all up to a sweet soundbar and you’ll be loving watching any movie available.

However, how do you know which stream player is right for you? To assist you to find the best player, we have reviewed three top stream players available in the market.

  • Roku Ultra Streaming Media Player

This Roku features advanced processing power that ensures smooth streaming and high resolution as well as advanced features such as lost remote finder. With over 2,500 streaming channels you have a wide selection of entertainment options ranging from sports, music, TV shows, kids programs, international programs among others.

Roku  features captivating clarity, which can achieve high-quality pictures of up to 4K Ultra HD TVs, with as the full HD resolutions. With next generation streaming technologies, you can upscale for 72op for HD TVs, 1080p for HD streams and brilliant 4K Ultra HD for 4K TVs.

 

Roku 4 also include voice search functionalities that allow you speak what you need through enhanced remote and get comprehensive search results by title, director and actors. It also sends regular feeds that ensure that you are updated. With this device, you only need to know your favorite entertainment and know when it is time to stream.

The stream player works with virtually any TV with an HDMI connection. You can easily plug the Roku Ultra cable directly into your TV or plug it into the receiver depending on your preference. To be able to view 4K content, you need to have a compatible 4K UHD television. You can also easily hook up your favorite headphones or wireless earbuds.

  • MINIX NEO U9-H 

MINIX NEO U9-H is a great stream player designed to offer ultimate home theater experience. It supports a wide variety of file formats ensuring that you can access a wide range of media from various sources including TVs channels.

MINIX NEO U9-H delivers high-quality pictures of up to 4K Ultra High Definition with up to 60 frames per second. With these capabilities, this streaming player delivers smooth and crystal-clears videos and is highly responsive.

You just have to connect to 4K TV and enjoy seamless high definition TV programs. With high definition range, MINIX NEO U9-H achieves a new height in picture performance with full HDR10 support.

The High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology allows a wider color spectrum and can easily achieve brighter white and deeper blacks, resulting in a more clear contrast and vibrant viewing experience.

MINIX NEO U9-H adopt cutting-edge technologies and is equipped with a powerful processor and Dolby Digital Audio NEO U9-H, which produce rich cinematic sound in your living room. This audio device delivers unsurpassed, vibrant sound that brings video/TVs show entertainment to life. With fast and smooth movies as well as an authentic sound you are sure to enjoy your videos and TVs shows.

  • NETGEAR NeoTV Streaming Player (NTV300):

NETGEAR NeoTV Streaming Player turns your TV into a Smart TV and allows you to access the internet and stream videos and TVs shows without having to use your computer. With this device, you can watch thousands of movies and listen to music.

This streaming player is designed to access thousands of streaming movies, and TVs shows from various service providers such as Netflix, VUDU, Hulu among others.

It features a built-in WIFI, which allows you to connect to high-speed WiFi and achieve 1080P streaming performance. It comes with a remote control app for Android and iOS devices. This remote control makes it easy to search and play your favorite movies and even share your favorite channels on Facebook.

Best Streaming Media Player Buying Guide of 2019:

Given the advantages and disadvantages of each of the best Streaming Devices, choosing the right device that matches your specification can be hectic. Before you selecting a particular media stream players you have to make some considerations, which include the following:

  • Smart TVs: 

With a smart TV, you probably don’t need a separate streaming device. Smart TVs can run various streaming applications include that from Amazon Video, Netflix, and Hulu. Acquiring a separate streaming device when you have a smart TV is therefore not necessary. Smart TVs support the 4K resolution and support most 4K apps as well. Modern high-end Smart TVs comes with a built-in support for Netflix, Youtube, and Amazon videos as well as a host of other high performance options like receivers and high grade sound equipment.

  • Set-Top Boxes: 

Set-top boxes are small video streaming gadgets that look like small video game consoles. To use a Set-top box, your TV should have an HDMI port as you will have to connect the set-top box to the TV using HDMI port. Some of the popular set-top boxes include Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Nexus Player, and Nvidia Shield TV, among others. Each of these devices has different capabilities, but all are designed to allow access dozens of videos, TVs channels and movie channels from Hulu, Amazon video, Pandora, and Spotify.

  • Stream Sticks:

Stream stick features everything available from the tiny set-top boxes but cannot function without the assistance of mobile devices and computers. Stream stick is plug directly to your TV’s HDMI port without the need for a separate HMDI cable. Some of the common models include Amazon Fire TV Stick, Google Chromecast, and Roku Streaming Stick. They don’t have their interfaces and remote but relies on the streaming content compatible apps running on their phones, tablets, and computers.

  • Game consoles:

You can also use a video game console to stream video services and TVs channels. Most modern game consoles can access and stream videos from Hulu, Video, and Netflix. However, game consoles with video streaming capabilities are normally available at high prices.

Conclusion:

Stream Player offers greatest ways of streaming movies from videos services providers such as Hulu, Amazon, and Youtube. Thousands of search streaming media are available online and choosing the best streaming Media Player is not easy. Consider between Smart TVs, Set-Top Boxes, stream sticks and game consoles before acquiring one. Or if you really are sticking to cable, then check out my buddies cable services reviews at https://thetechreviewer.com/service/dish-network-reviews/

Posted in TV
POWER ACOUSTIK EG1-10000D

Power Acoustik EG1-10000D Review

The Power Acoustik EG1-10000D is a marine amplifier that will definitely give you more bounce to the ounce than its competition. The 10000 in 10000D stands for 10,000 watts of peak power.

Don’t worry, though, that peak number isn’t just a fabricated theoretical number that this amp could possibly hit like most manufacturers would have you believe. This amp has a full 5,000 watts of RMS that will absolutely knock you out of your seat or tear a hole in your subwoofer if you push it to 11.

The 1-ohm impedance along with a full 12db bass boost delivers enough super clean bass to make your hair shake.

1-ohm Stable Monoblock Operation for MAX Power

As you probably already know, low resistance is better. You can’t do a whole heck of a lot better than 1 ohm. This low resistance means that not only is your amp energy efficient, it also delivers clean juice to pump up the bass.

Link 2 Monoblocks Together for Double Power!

This is probably the coolest feature of all. 5,000 watts RMS not enough for you? (You animal!) Link two of these bad boys together and make enough bass to blow out a porthole. Run two of these amps in series and connect them to a whole string of subwoofers running in series and what you end up with is neat, clean wiring with enough power to knock your socks off. Sound good to you?

1 CH X 5000 Watts RMS @ 1 Ohm

This shows the true value of this marine amplifier. Anyone can claim their amp can push 10,000 watts peak, but how many manufacturers can claim 5,000 watts of RMS power? Keep in mind that this is a single channel amplifier. If you’re running a 2-ohm rig you can expect about 3,300 watts of RMS power. 4 ohms? About 1,600 watts. It pays to go 1 ohm!

12dB Bass Boost Increases Low Octave Harmonics

Do you like low octave harmonics? I know I do! The 12db of bass boost will send low octave harmonics into overdrive. Low octave harmonics are where you get that penetrating, bone shaking bass that everyone loves. You can blow your eardrums out with higher octave bass, but the low end is what shakes you to the core.

1800 Phase Shift Improves Low Octave Dynamics

The electronics of this amplifier are engineered to be extremely low octave friendly. It’s important to pick out subs that are able to handle low-end octaves properly. If you don’t get a high-quality sub to go along with this amplifier you might not get to experience the full range of sound.

Dash Mount Remote Bass Control Knob Included

Coast guard on your ass? Need to shut down the jams quick? No problem! This amplifier comes with a remote bass control knob you can mount right to your dashboard. See some fly honeys in the boat next to you and want to shake their tops off? No problem, just turn that sucker up to 11.

Features and Specifications

  • 1-ohm Stable Monoblock Operation for MAX Power
    Link 2 Monoblocks Together for Double Power!
  • 1 CH X 5000 Watts RMS @ 1 Ohm, 12dB Bass Boost Increases Low Octave Harmonics
    1800 Phase Shift Improves Low Octave Dynamics
  • Dash Mount Remote Bass Control Knob Included
  • Dimensions: 9″ X 20.5″ x 2.25″
  • 200mV-6V Low Level RCA Input
    4g Power Wire & 8g Speaker Wire Outputs
    Variable 12dB High & Low Pass Crossovers

Item model number EG1-10000D
Product Dimensions 24 x 4.2 x 11.2 inches
Item Weight 16.8 pounds

Customer Reviews

The Power Acoustik EG1-10000D is a new product and is seriously lacking on customer reviews. As of writing this article it had received only a single customer review on Amazon, although that customer review was a 4 out of 5-star rating by a professional audio engineer. Take a look at the link below to see what he had to say about this powerful amplifier.

Conclusion

This amp looks great, it delivers A LOT of low end bass and it even comes with a remote control knob you can put on your dash. You can string these amps together and make even more noise. For the price, you really can’t do much better. Sure, other manufacturers may claim the same RMS or peak watts for the money, but they don’t have the specialized circuitry to deliver the super low-end bass everyone loves.

For the money, this is my pick for the best marine amplifier of 2018.