Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

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Altec Lansing Backbeat Pro Review

March 12, 2010

Introduction

Altec Lansing has a long history of making a wide range of audio equipment and has built something of a reputation for themselves as a manufacturer. In the audiophile community, particularly with the IEM subsection, they’re relatively unknown and unnoticed. Their “upgrader” line of IEMs seek to change that, offering people a number of options when looking to upgrade from the cheap stock earbuds that shipped with whatever MP3 player they may be carrying.

The Backbeat Pros are among their top-tier offerings, offering single balanced armature speakers as opposed to the traditional dynamic drivers and pledging to offer “reference quality” sonic reproduction of your favorite music. Do the Altec Lansing Backbeat Pros live up to that highly ambitious claim or do they come up short? Read on to find out.

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V-Moda Vibe Review

March 6, 2010

Introduction

Shortly after I received my RE0s, I happened to be browsing eBay for a new pair of Bass-Freq earbuds because as much as I liked my RE0s, I wanted to replace my outgoing Bass-Freq earbuds because I liked their bass response when listening to certain music. During that time, I came across an auction for a pair of V-Moda Vibe IEMs for $30 (open-box) and I jokingly asked my father if he’d like to split the price with me. To my surprise, he said yes and I went ahead and ordered them. Having prior experience with V-Moda’s products, I was curious to see how the big brothers to the inexpensive Bass-Freq earbuds sounded in comparison.

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JDS Labs Bass Boost CMoy v2.02 Impressions

March 4, 2010

Headphone amps are pretty much standard equipment in the setups of audiophiles everywhere. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of research on headphone amps and come across a number of different amps in all shapes and sizes but the one type of amp that piqued my interest was the “CMoy” amp. This type of amp, designed years ago by Chu Moy is an unconventional but powerful amp design that can be made by anyone with the right parts and a soldering iron. Well, I don’t consider myself one of the handiest of guys with a soldering iron at the moment so, instead of taking a chance and trying to build one myself, I decided to buy one that had been pre-made from a company called JDS Labs. After a few hours of listening, I’m impressed.

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Altec Lansing Backbeat Pro First Impressions

February 28, 2010

Since I got my RE0s and I started going to Head-Fi, I’ve been…experimenting with a number of different headphones/earphones and listening to the various sound signatures these devices create. In the short time since I received my RE0s, I’ve heard (of course) the RE0s the V-Moda Vibes, MEElectronics M9Ps, Koss KSC75s (with some light modifications) and one of the only things I haven’t yet heard is an IEM with a balanced armature speaker. Well, a few nights ago, I happened to be browsing eBay for some reason and in that time, I came across the Altec Lansing Backbeat Pro IEMs.

The auction I happened upon was open-box and on sale for about $16. I did some research on them and saw that the MSRP was about $100 but they were retailing at most online retailers I saw for about $30. Apparently, Altec Lansing has a number of IEMs on the market and many of them are simply rebranded versions of IEMs from Ultimate Ears with the Backbeat Pros being Altec Lansing’s version of the Super.fi 4 IEMs from Ultimate Ears. After doing a little more research into the sound quality, I said “what the heck” and ordered them. Shipping was strangely fast for USPS and I received them early Saturday and went about putting them through their paces after watching a movie (The Hurt Locker, great film by the way).

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MEElectronics M9P Review

February 26, 2010

Introduction

The M9P IEMs hail from a small California-based company by the name of MEElectronics. They produce a wide range of IEMs that cater to different users with various sound signatures. The M9 and M9P IEMs are among the most inexpensive products available and are currently selling for $20 and $23 respectively. I decided to buy the M9P IEMs because they not only function as earphones but will also have use as a headset for my cell phone and iPod Touch. After breaking them in and listening to them with a variety of music in my collection, these are my favorite IEMs in the sub $30 price range. So without further delay, read on for my thoughts on the MEElectronics M9P IEMs.

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MEElectronics M9P First Impressions

February 23, 2010

Early last week as I was browsing the forums at Head-Fi, I was alerted to a discount special by MEElectronics, a small California-based manufacturer of various gadgets such as DAPs and IEMs. Having read a few reviews on their more popular IEMs, the $40 M6 and the M9, which apparently uses the same dynamic driver and retails for about $20, I looked over their product lineup and settled on the slightly more expensive M9P, which comes with a built-in inline microphone which I figured I could use for making Skype calls with my iPod Touch. Yesterday (after a few shipping gaffes by USPS), I received my M9Ps and immediately gave them a listen straight out of the box.

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Sennheiser HD280 Pro Blu-Tack Mod

February 18, 2010

When I received my Sennheiser HD280 Pro headphones back in June of 2008 and started to listen to them, I was immediately impressed with the overall sound signature. These were my first “good” headphones and easily blew everything else I’d ever owned out of the water.

But…something was missing. Something I deem very important to my listening experience. That something was bass. Considering I listen to a great deal of Hip-Hop music, this was admittedly a very glaring omission from the Sennheiser HD280 Pros. Everything else about these headphones was great to my ears but without a well pronounced low end, the sound signature was lacking. I was able to boost the bass artificially by using a number of bass boosting EQ settings in many of my music playing devices. While this technique worked in the short term, I began turning to other sources to get my bass fix, such as my Bass-Freq earbuds, which, as I’ve already reported, were lacking in other areas and couldn’t compare to the overall sound quality of the Sennheisers.

Recently, while doing some research, I came across the Blu-Tack mod which was apparently an easy way to add some body to the HD280 Pro’s bass. I found a couple of tutorials on how to do it which involves opening the ear cups of the headphones and spreading the tack about liberally. Since I already have experience opening the headphones to replace a broken cable (don’t ask), opening them up again was a pretty easy task. So, I bought some Blu-Tack from Amazon and got to work when it arrived.

The mod itself is incredibly simple to perform and is easily reversed if the end result is a bit too heavy on the bass for your liking and I’m going to show you how it’s done below.

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