Ultimate Ears has been making in-ear monitors for professional
musicians for nearly 15 years. The company was founded by Alex Van
Halen and Jerry Harvey, a sound engineer for the band--a couple of dudes
who know what they’re talking about when it comes to audio. Musicians
rely on UE’s monitors during performances, and now you can bring that
pro-level tech home in the form of earbuds. Even if you’re just
listening to “Panama” while you’re walking the dog, rather than
pounding it out on the skins in a packed arena, Ultimate Ears can make
your iPod rock that much harder.
iPods are great, and we’re rarely without one. But sometimes a pair of
earbuds just isn’t enough--especially when you want some tunes for a
backyard BBQ or basement dance party, or perhaps your favorite
Lemonheads record just doesn’t sound right unless you crank it up.
Either way, Ion Audio’s Tailgater can help you rock with friends,
indoors or out.
The wide open road. The windows down on a warm spring day. The wind
whips through your car and tosses your hair about. The lo-fi tunes
strain to be heard from your car speakers because you’re using a
tape-deck adapter to listen to your iPhone or iPod. If you’re looking
to upgrade your system from its roots in the 1990s, Sony’s CDX-GT730UI
Xplod GT Series CD Receiver (longest name ever) is a low-cost solution
for getting your car to play nice with your iPod or iPhone.
We’re all about convergence, but sometimes gadget makers are prone to
slapping iPod docks on products that don’t really need them, like
armchairs and toilet paper holders. iHome’s iP71 isn’t one of those
head-scratchers. It’s a set of stereo desktop speakers featuring an
iPod dock, so you can play music from your iPod, your Mac, or another
audio device, plus keep your iPod charged at the same time.
If an entire iTunes library was purchased from the iTunes Store, all
the tracks came with complete metadata. Those lucky (and wealthy) users
can scroll through iTunes without seeing any jarring blank spots in the
Artist, Album, and Genre columns, or songs named Track 01 and Track 02.
The rest of us? Our multi-gig libraries were patchworked together from
ripped CDs, mixes from friends, tracks digitized from analog sources,
and, um, “found” audio files that could’ve come from anywhere.
The biggest complaint we hear about headphones is the lack of bass. And
it makes sense. Asking tiny speakers that go in your ears to recreate
the boom of 12-inch woofers is a tall order. Now that Apple’s iPhone
comes in a 32GB version, more users can forgo the iPod/cell phone combo
in favor of a single device that can make calls, run apps, and hold a
sizable chunk of your music collection. And bass-heads take note: The
Atomic Bass Earphones are as apt a name as we can think of, although
there are some drawbacks.
Earphones are a personal thing. Everyone has different criteria for
what makes a good set. Some might be looking for bass, others might be
more interested in noise reduction. Certain people might only be
interested in ’phones that come in standard-issue “iPod white,” while
someone else is looking for something a bit more interesting,
Apple’s iPod has spawned an entire industry of accessories, speakers in
particular. Here at Mac|Life HQ, we’re constantly testing a stream of
iPod speakers, ranging from tiny battery-powered portable models and
alarm clocks, all the way up to models meant to pair with full-sized
home stereo components. But rarely does something catch our eye like
these speakers from Kanto.