Speakers? Nope. These are monitors. M-Audio's StudioPro 3 may look like a nice set of powered speakers, but technically, it's a pair of monitors. What's the difference between speakers and monitors? Monitors attempt to reproduce the originally recorded sound as closely and realistically as possible, a necessity in studios. The sound that emanates from these self-powered monitors is squeaky clean: singing highs, emphatic mids, and punchy bass. Turning on the bass boost adds a significant amount of boom, though probably not enough to please bass freaks-but total thump isn't what these monitors are about.
FM, fine - but forget about ball games. The tiny iPod Radio Remote adds FM reception to your iPod nano or video-capable iPod. Bundled with standard earbuds attached to a shorter cable, the remote clips to your shirt, pocket, or whatever. When you plug the remote into your iPod's docking port, a Radio item appears in the 'Pod's main menu; select it, and the FM-tuning screen appears. It's a snap to select stations using the Click Wheel or mark favorite stations and jump to them with the forward and back buttons on either the iPod or the remote (which can also be used to control your iPod). Unfortunately, although reception is excellent when tuned to strong stations, weaker stations drift in and out.
Merge John Horton Conway's Game of Life sim with Reaktor's Newscool Groovebox, and you get a groovy beat box. Reaktor is a guiding light for the do-it-yourself sonic set. The latest version extends the app in crucial ways, with awesome new sounds, a load of fresh building modules, and mounds of examples - expect this monster to keep you busy for the next 10,000 years or so.
Quality earphones are pricey, but they sound oh so good. It's easy to get a snug fit with XtremeMac's FS1 High Definition Earphones, as they come with three different earpieces: cone-shaped silicone sleeves, foam sleeves that feel a lot like foam earplugs, and flanged tips. That tight fit helps block outside noise so you can better enjoy the FS1's great sound quality.
And she was all, like, "Dude! The iM7 is totally tubular!" The inMotion iM7 is one of the best iPod speaker stands we've seen. It's attractive, sounds great, boasts a super set of features - and has only a few minor annoying quirks.
Mom may have taught you that sharing is good, but we know that snooping is even better. Case in point: It's nice to share your iTunes library with your peers over the network at school or work - but it's even better to eavesdrop on those peers and find out what kind of music they're listening to when they think nobody's paying attention.
The vast variety of surround-sound options will keep your music spinning in every direction imaginable. Samplers are the bread and butter of life for digital musicians of any stripe, and Kontakt 2 is quite possibly the most awesome and complete software sampler we've ever seen.
These 'buds provide amazing sound at a great price. Sennheiser's MX500 earbuds have been available for a while, but only in metallic blue. Sennheiser has finally adopted the iPod's signature white color-and while at first glance the new model looks uncannily like the iPod's supplied earbuds, the MX500s sound better.