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Cool Little Boxes

January 28th, 2009 by admin

ASM’s designer Garth picked up some new speakers today. After living with the typical crappy PC sub/sat system for a while, he finally saw the light and bought a proper set of speakers. AudioEngine2′s are a very popular speaker at the moment, for good reason. They are tiny, perform well, and are well priced. The size is their biggest appeal, they do sound much bigger and better than they look.

Once unboxed every component is individually wrapped in soft drawstring bags, making the system quite portable.

There are both 3.5mm and RCA connections for you to use, and cables are provided.

Available in either white or black, Garth chose the white for one reason alone, they were available. The black model has a 3 month wait. Still, I like the contrasting look, the carbon fibre driver stand out, and the black models would need dusting on a daily basis.

For best performance they needed to be raised a little to have the tweeters at near ear level, however they still sounded great right on the desk. Overall I was quite impressed, I think you can get slightly better sound for similar money, but that would mean a much larger speaker system and most likely a dedicated amp. For a complete solution that takes up very little room on a desk, the AudioEngine2′s are great.


October 26th, 2008 by admin

With the destruction of my Ultimate Ears canal phones, I had to pick something up to get me by on the few flights I have left this year. So at some airport on a recent trip, I checked out what was on offer at the newsagency.

These Skullcandy Smokin Buds were the impulse buy for that trip. They were $40, had a range of silicon tips for various sized ear canals and some funky packaging. I’ll be honest, after what I spent on the UEs and Etymotics previously, I wasn’t expecting much performance at that price. Especially after reading the spec sheet on the box. They proved me wrong. They sound surprisingly good! After a few tweaks to the EQ on my media player, they were 90% as good as the UEs, at 10% of the price. The bass performance was particularly huge, something ear phones usually struggle with.

Old Favourites

September 26th, 2008 by admin

Grado SR60

I have had, at a guess, about 10 pairs of headphones in my time. This pair of Grado SR60′s have been with me the longest. Back in the day I remember my Dad purchasing a pair of Sennheiser’s for a Christmas or birthday present, but they disintegrated after about 10 years. I have had the Grado’s for over 10 years now, and although I don’t use them that often these days (they aren’t good for travelling) they still impress me with their clean and open sound. I’ve heard ‘phones more expensive, newer, and in some ways better, but I wouldn’t give up the Grado’s. About 8 years ago I replaced the original foam pads with Yellow Sennheiser pads, which are more comfortable and slightly better sounding. Their retro look (they remind me of old B&W photos with WWII or 1950′s Radio operators) is part of their appeal. If I could afford it, I would love a pair of high-end wooden Grado’s to compliment the SR60s. Honestly, I can’t say too much about these headphones, sure if you want something to block noise they are next to useless, but for the price, they are impossible to beat.