MP3 Players & Accessories

By September 16, 2016 Read More →

iTrip Clip converts any pair of wired headphones to wireless headphones

gc42924_bluetooth-headphone-adapter_01346889Griffin Technology, creator of award-winning and thoughtfully designed mobile accessories, is launching a simple yet powerful solution to wirelessly connect headphones, car stereos or home audio systems to any smartphone.

With their new iTrip Clip Bluetooth Audio Adapter, users will now be able to connect to any device, even the Moto Z, which was the first major smartphone recently released without a headphone jack.

“iTrip Clip ensures users can continue using their favorite 3.5mm headphones, with no worries about if their new smartphone eliminated the headphone jack,” said Andrew Biddle, Category Manager of Power at Griffin. “Not only can our iTrip Clip make any pair of headphones wireless, it also puts the convenience of a Bluetooth sound system into any car.”

iTrip Clip connects wirelessly to any smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth 4.1. Connecting any headphones, earphones or AUX cables to the compact, self-powered adapter lets users listen to music and video, or make calls, without cables. iTrip Clip offers several features that make controlling your sound easier than ever, such as handy play, volume and track controls, as well as an integrated microphone to receive calls and easily access Siri, Google Now, and other voice recognition apps. iTrip Clip allows users to continue to use their device hands-free and hassle-free.

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In addition to features like a control pad and built-in mic, iTrip Clip also has a set-and-forget configuration which allows it to reconnect to paired devices automatically once it is in wireless range (approx. 30 feet or 10 metres). What’s more, is the adapter has a rechargeable Li-ion battery which boasts 6 hours play/talk time and 180 hours on standby. iTrip Clip also connects to car stereos with an AUX to listen to any smartphone wirelessly if the vehicle does not already offer Bluetooth connectivity.

iTrip Clip works with both iOS and Android and makes it possible to use your favourite headphones, regardless of whether your smartphone has a headphone jack or not.

Griffin’s new iTrip Clip will be available in the UK from late September, priced at £19 from griffintechnology.com.

By September 11, 2016 Read More →

Sennheiser HD650 & Apogee Groove review

sennheiserSennheiser have long been one of my “go to” brands, particularly their CX range of in-ear headphones. They represent a nice balance of sound quality and reasonable pricing. I was excited to try out these “audiophile” level HD650 headphones and more than a little intrigued with the bundled in line amp by Apogee.

Initial impressions were positive, if a little underwhelming. The headphones feel solid and robust, although at this price point I wasn’t expecting quite so much plastic. They feel very functional rather than luxurious, their appearance doesn’t exactly give away their high-end pedigree. I decided to try out the headphones first and figure out the amp later. I’m used to in-ear headphones, so these felt a little odd to me initially. They completely encompass your ears rather than sitting on them and despite a surprisingly firm clamping force, are actually rather comfortable. This is thanks to the velvety soft fabric cover on the foam earpieces. This is much more comfortable than plastic or leather but also likely to get grubby quicker. It would be interesting to see how this soft fabric stands up to wear and tear over time.

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They are fairly light for their size so I didn’t have that feeling that you were wearing saddle bags on your head. I did notice that the open backed design did not offer much noise cancellation. Although muffled, surrounding noise is definitely still audible, so listening to them on the bus or train probably won’t work. There is plenty of adjustment in the size of the headband, even for someone with a melon the size of mine, but I did note that there wasn’t a lot of spring in it. The earpieces themselves pivot a little, but everything is quite rigid.

I plugged them HD650’s into my iPhone since it’s what I listen to music on most often and I was keen to see if the phone (and therefore ipod touch) could deliver enough power to drive these 300Ω beasts. The short answer is yes, very well in fact! Granted you have to crank the volume to levels you wouldn’t dream of with other headphones, but the sound reproduction is jaw dropping. I must pause here to mention one other thing I noticed, or rather my wife did. The open backed design that did little to keep the outside world out also does little to keep the sound in. The music I was enjoying was clearly audible to her, although she apparently wasn’t enjoying the experience quite as much as I was. Again, buses and trains are probably a no-no. Final point to note on the open back design is that it doesn’t heat your ears up to melting point quite so badly, so thumbs way up from me on that particular bugbear.

It’s difficult to convey just how good these headphones sound; they have a nice neutral sound that somehow manages not to sound flat. They excel at the high and mid ranges and acoustic music sounds particularly well reproduced. You are able to pick out incredible detail and the sound separation is outstanding. The bass tones are gloriously unembellished. Unlike many headphones that try to give you concussion by turning the bass line into something akin to a jackhammer, the HD650s have a beautifully round bass, capable of absorbing the deepest rumbles without rattling or buzzing. No matter what track I tried, I could not get them to bottom out and distort. Again the sound reproduction seems incredibly realistic and once you get used to not being assaulted by an over-amplified bass thump, the listening experience is simply wonderful.

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I love the option of being able to replace the cables from the headphones. My biggest gripe with the Sennheiser CX range is that they have very thin and flimsy wires that never seem to last past 6 months use. With the HD650s, you are able to remove the short cable at the earpieces (it’s connected on both sides unlike some other headphones) and replace it with a 3m long cable terminating with a full sized jack. Adding a full to mini jack adapter, I was able to plug these beauties into my record player and sit back and relax. This was an outstanding experience, listening to uncompressed music on a basic, manual record player and high-end headphones. I lost an entire weekend this way.

I’m not much of a gamer, but I did try them on my Xbox and they did not disappoint. The soundscape seems massive and again, the fantastic sound separation really comes out trumps here.

Then it came time to try the amp. I’ve never used one before so I was a little dubious about it. The headphones sound great, do I need an amp? Especially when they cost as much as the headphones themselves!! How do I even use it?  The Apogee Groove amp is a simple, unassuming little device with nothing but volume controls and 3 small LEDs on the exterior. It’s powered via a USB port so it’s designed to listen to music from a computer. This confirms my theory that the best use of these headphones is in a studio type situation where accurate reproduction of the recorded sound is crucial. It’s not how I usually listen to music myself, but I was so far down the rabbit hole with this setup that I just had to know what it would produce. Playing through a Mac is a simple procedure of plugging it in, changing the sound settings and off you go. The PC is a slightly different affair. You must install the appropriate driver – one that you can only get directly from Apogee, and only after you have registered the product. Why this is is anyone’s guess, but it’s quick and painless. Pick your track and off you go.

Disclaimer: you may wish to have a buddy present to help you pick your jaw up off the floor.

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The combination of Groove and HD650 synergises into a listening experience unlike anything I have ever heard. Every aspect is significantly enhanced – the detail, the separation, the clarity, instantly become richer, deeper and wider! I found myself trawling through my music library listening to endless numbers of tracks. Tracks I have heard a thousand times and yet I was able to pick up sounds and layers that I have never heard before. I had my doubts about the necessity of an amp and to be honest, yes, you could no doubt get by quite happily without it. However the sound produced by both devices working in conjunction is just unreal. Closing your eyes, you can almost picture yourself in the recording studio with the band arranged around you. Necessary no, desirable, oh hell yes!

Out of interest, I tried the Groove with my Klipsch R6 in ear headphones and again, this tiny little box transformed what are already excellent sounding headphones. It basically takes the strengths of the any headphones plugged into it and expands on them.

This bundle is exclusive to Sennheiser on their website for a not inconsiderable £490. A bit of research showed that the cost is split roughly 50/50 between the two devices and I did wonder if the increase in sound quality could possibly warrant such a splash out, especially when the combo can only be used when listening to music on a computer. For your average man on the street – probably not. But then this is the audiophile world. If you are happy to spend £250 on headphones (which your average man on the street certainly won’t), forking out an extra £250 for a more perfect sound experience appears a much more reasonable proposition. Certainly for professional use, in a studio environment for example, it’s a no brainer, just buy one.

It’s worth mentioning that if you aren’t concerned about getting the headphones and amp in the one (admittedly rather swish) box, you can save around £40 by sourcing and buying them separately. The HD650s are available through Amazon for around £230.

I don’t know if Apogee developed the Groove specifically for use with the HD650 or it’s just a deal done between the companies, but the two devices complement each other exceptionally and seem to really bring out the best in each other. If you are in the market, I would happily recommend them if you have the pennies. These have now become the bar that all others will be judged against.

You can find further information including the full specs at http://en-uk.sennheiser.com/audiophile-headphones-high-end-hd-650

By August 12, 2016 Read More →

Lava Brightsounds 2 Bluetooth Speaker Unboxing

vlcsnap-00025A very simple idea done right. The Lava Brightsounds 2 Bluetooth speaker is a mixture of three things, a Bluetooth speaker, a LED lantern and a power bank. Design to give you around 36 hours of playback and take a little rain the Brightsound 2 is a 5 watt single stereo speaker that should make any camping trip or festival more enjoyable.

Functions: Bluetooth, Speaker, Power Bank, Night Light
Radio Frequencies: N/A
Antenna: N/A
Speakers:Single Stereo Speaker (5 W Total output power)
Bluetooth: Yes
3.5mm Aux-in: Yes
USB charging port Yes

Operational voltage: DC 5V
Power consumption: 1 W
Batteries:Lithium -ion Battery
Weight:0.624 Kg
Warranty: 1 Year

By March 11, 2016 Read More →

Dolcer Aluminum Bluetooth Speaker Unboxing

vlcsnap-error991The Powerbank is really becoming the focus of ingenuity for some manufacturers. Adding in other lumps of technology to reduce the need for quite so many objects in your bag is always a great idea. So what if someone added a portable Bluetooth speaker to your powerbank? This is what Dolcer is doing for you.

Tunes on the go and if your phones battery is getting a little low then you can grab a quick burst of juice from the speaker to keep it ticking over. Inside the durable aluminium surround the Dolcer has just that, a 5200mAh battery that promises to keep playing for around 32 hours, alongside two 3W speakers ready to propel your’s phones audio onto the unsuspecting public.

Check out the unboxing and a review will be up in the coming weeks.

  • 32 hours ultra long playtime
  • 5200mAh lithium battery enables
  • Battery status indicator 
  • 2x 3W full range HD speakers 
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 3.5mm audio cable
  • Micro USB charging cable

 

By October 9, 2015 Read More →

Kitsound Boombar 2 Unboxing

KitSound BoomBar 2 UnboxingThe Kitsound Boombar 2 is a gorgeous lump of speaker that comprises of three main pros, is priced nicely, it looks great and it delivers decent sound.

We are seeing an influx of affordable portable speakers that manage to a great sound however none look as impressive as this and whilst it does not carry water resistance a price tag of £70 makes this a device worth looking at.

An upgraded version of our already impressive BoomBar, this portable wireless speaker also features a passive bass radiator but is twice as powerful.

Powerful, Detailed Sound

Despite being just a little bit bigger than our original BoomBar, this wireless speaker, with its passive radiator, is twice as powerful and twice as detailed, especially when positioned on the floor, as its angular design throws sound upwards.

Ultra Portable

We think our BoomBar 2 – with its carry case, built-in rechargeable battery for up to 10 hours of music play time and wireless connectivity – is the perfect modern equivalent of the boombox. You can easily pop the BoomBar 2 in its carry case into your bag for a long weekend away, or a spontaneous trip to the park.

Bluetooth Connectivity

The BoomBar 2’s simple pairing process makes it extremely easy to wirelessly connect to your smartphone, tablet, MP3 player or other Bluetooth device, but there’s also a 3.5 mm aux-in port to let you connect other devices too.

Make and Receive Calls

The perfect all-round wireless speaker, the BoomBar 2 also acts as a speakerphone, with a built-in mic and hands-free function allowing you to easily take calls using the simple control buttons.

The KitSound BoomBar 2

According to hip-hop pioneer Fab 5 Freddy, the genre owes much of its success to boomboxes. Welcome to the natural heir of the boombox: the KitSound BoomBar 2. 

About KitSound

We are craftspeople. We are musicians. We are KitSound™ and we all commit ourselves to achieving one shared goal: Bringing people closer to their music. By understanding music we stay true to its craft. Pure, rich, incredible sound. We settle for nothing less. 

Specifications: 

 S/N: 65 dB
 Bluetooth range: up to 10 m
 Frequency response: 60 Hz – 20 kHz
 Drivers: 2 x 50 mm
 Output RMS: 2 x 5 W @ 2 ohm

By October 5, 2015 Read More →

Olixar Qi-Tone Unboxing

vlcsnap-error358Mobilefun have sent  a Olixar Qi-Tone Alarm Clock Bluetooth Qi Charging Speaker with the dark wood finish.

Technical Specifications

  • Dimensions: 250 x 90 x 75 mm
  • Qi: Yes (WPC 1.1)
  • Bluetooth: V2.1 + EDR
  • Input: 5V, 1.5A
  • Power: 5W
  • Speaker Frequency: 60HZ – 20KHZ
  • Speaker Driver: Stereo, 1.5inch, 4Ohm, 3W

Perhaps in the unboxing I come across as not terribly impressed by the Plixir clock, however over the last week of using it I have actually grown somewhat fond of the retro-esq time piece.

This is a device that requires very little attention yet subliminally you are using it a awful lot. I have never had a desire to know the temperature at any time, living in Northern Ireland we are either “baltic” or just warm enough to be a little uncomfortable. There is no inbetween. However, having it there I have begun to observe just when the temperature changes to Baltic from warm. That’s started to take my interest. I see it sitting at 21℃ and take note. I will look again when it is baltic and we see 19℃, 20℃ is indistinguishable from 21℃.

Then again there is the the large, friendly time placement, basic alarm function and uncomplicated, old fashioned interface. This is genuinely refreshing to just set things manually and not have to rely on sporadic bluetooth connections, fiddling with NFC or internet radio. I now realise I am just pointing niceties that clock radios have had for the last 40 years and it’s welcome here. A device not trying to be more than it needs to be.

The addition of Qi wireless charging is the modern age being injected in just the right amount. A practical use of Qi charging combined with the old. The charge rate does not matter and it’s entirely unobtrusive implementation. The same with Bluetooth, it just works and doesn’t try to be clever with it.

Speaker quality is perfectly acceptable for what this is. You are not going to be hosting parties with it, in saying that it might actually surprise you, yet it will easily handle calls and a little background music as you get ready for said party.

Two USBs on the back assist in the charging of peripherals without Qi, a smartwatch and tablet. You won’t have to dig down the back of the night stand for charge cables anymore. I was not able to playback an MP3 off a memory stick however that sort of method is probably long dead. Just to cover other bits and pieces that stream there is a 3.5mm AUX thrown in for the completest.

From afar the clock looks quite elegant however up close the finish does look like the vinyl wrap is stuck on, which it is and takes away from the over all appeal. I will also say that the price does seem a little steep at £100.00 and that is the a major downfall of the Qi-Tone.

If this is your thing then drop over to Mobilefun from more information

 

By October 1, 2015 Read More →

KitSound trio look stunning in Rose Gold

It is no secret that the gorgeous metal rose gold is taking the world by storm at the moment, especially in the fashion and audio world. We’ve seen it on the catwalks, Apple have chosen it as one of their limited edition colours, and people all around the world are choosing the precious metal for their wedding rings.

The rose gold trend has even extended to audio accessories, which means that you will be able to bring in hints of rose gold both into your outfits and into your home without going too overboard. There is no quicker way to kill a trend than to use it too much, and we love rose gold specifically because it doesn’t overpower everything else that you are wearing.

Here are the three top rose gold audio products that we are totally in love with right now:

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This is the KitSound Boombar 2 in rose gold, an incredible speaker that has 10 Watts of power and up to ten hours of play time. You can either connect your device with the 3.5 mm cable or Bluetooth, and you can even use it as your hands free if you receive a call. This speaker looks fantastic in your home, and we love it.

RRP: £80.00

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Sometimes less is more, and that is definitely proved by the KitSound Manhattan Headphones in rose gold. The delicate inclusion of the metal means that the headphones are never going to scream at anyone – instead, they are all about class and elegance. They are also packed with fabulous audio technology, with eighteen hours of play time and Bluetooth connectivity so you are not all tangled up with wires.

RRP: £34.99

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Last but by no means least we have the KitSound Pocket Hive in rose gold. This speaker will be appearing in a winter issue of GQ, and it is easy to see why so many people are loving this. This speaker is only a couple of inches high, and comes with a hard shell carry case so it is incredibly portable. The passive bass radiator has been configured to maximise the depth and richness of sound, and the rose gold grill brings a twist to what is a well loved design.

RRP: £40.00

By October 1, 2015 Read More →

One slight problem with the Chromecast Audio

CQFeXYQWgAQggBt-350x200Google launched its colourful new update to the Chromecast yesterday, not one but two different devices. One of the new additions a lot of folks were getting excited about was that music streaming giant Spotify is finally supporting Chromecast. However, after explaining a more about the service today, Spotify say owners users the new Chromecast will be able to ‘cast music directly’ from a phone or tablet right away. The cloud this silver lining is wrapped around is only Spotify Premium subscribers will be able to send content to Chromecast Audio. I’m sure this will only effect a smaller percentage of Spotify users, and perhaps will help Google keep their Play Music as via option of Chromecast users in the future. However there are a fair few out there that will be a little glum about this stipulation.

First-gen Chromecast will need to wait for a firmware update enabling Spotify support first from Google. This is expected in the coming weeks.

By August 5, 2015 Read More →

Creative launch pro gaming audio gear

LS_BlasterX_H5_Mood ShotCreative Technology Ltd today announced at Gamescom 2015 the Sound BlasterX Gaming Series, a new line of gaming audio peripherals designed for today’s generation of discerning gamers.

Gaming content in this day and age encompasses immensely compelling graphics, expansive environments and incredibly detailed audio, akin to a full cinematic experience, delivered on multiple platforms, from mobile, to consoles and PCs. Famous for pioneering gaming audio on PCs and launching the multimedia revolution with the Sound Blaster line of sound cards, Creative continues to innovate and improve the gaming audio experience for today’s gamers. The Sound BlasterX line is committed to upgrading a user from “good enough” audio to the full cinematic experience that discerning gamers of today are looking for, wherever they are playing. The series is comprised of circumaural (over-the-ear) and in-ear headsets, and an external USB sound card with a built-in amplifier to provide gamers with a durable, complete, high-performance, high-definition gaming audio solution that is built to last.

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Each product in the Sound BlasterX series is designed to deliver pristine aural performance and maximum comfort while levelling up a gamer’s overall experience by producing sound on par with today’s advanced graphics and game storytelling.

“Think about when you go to the movies – you go for the big screen, sometimes the 3D element, and cinematic sound. Movies wouldn’t be the same without perfectly timed sound effects, and that’s what many of today’s gamers are missing out on with their overall experience – the nuances that will determine win or lose – and they might not even realize it by settling for basic audio solutions. The graphics and storylines of today’s games are the best they have ever been and for audio details to match that requires something much more than basic motherboard audio or run-of-the-mill gaming headsets. With Sound BlasterX, we have a renewed focus on building gaming audio products that last and are designed to elevate gaming audio to complement the astounding graphics found in today’s games. We’re taking gaming from a desktop experience, to a cinematic experience. Once you hear the difference a BlasterX product makes in your games, there’s no going back to mediocre basic audio,” said Low Long Chye, General Manager of Audio at Creative.

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The Sound BlasterX Gaming Series comprises of:

  • Sound BlasterX H7 – the ultimate HD 7.1 Surround USB circumaural gaming headset
  • Sound BlasterX H5 – the professional-grade analog circumaural gaming headset
  • Sound BlasterX P5 –  a miniature yet powerful high-performance in-ear gaming headset  
  • Sound BlasterX G5 – a 7.1 HD audio external sound card with built-in headphone amplifier

With this line of peripherals, Sound BlasterX offers a range of high-performance cross-platform gaming audio solutions for gamers – whether on PCs, mobile devices or consoles.

“As gamers, we’re extremely excited about the all new the Sound BlasterX Pro-Gaming Series,” said Jason Bass, COO of compLexity Gaming. “When we tested the products, we were amazed by the performance, build quality, how comfortable they were, and most of all, their signature sound. In fact, the team felt that the headsets resembled studio monitors. The headsets delivered amazingly accurate audio and were so comfortable that we felt as if we were wearing nothing at all.”

 The gaming headsets are tuned to enhance the listening experience and not to overwhelm. The entire Sound BlasterX range allows gamers to experience an amazing level of detail while being immersed in the gaming experience for extended hours without listening fatigue. The Sound BlasterX series of products offer a best in class audio solution for gamers with different usage preferences. Audio quality and clarity, comfort and durability are important no matter what level gamers are gaming at and the Sound BlasterX series cater to both the pro and casual gamers.

Product_BlasterX_P5

The Sound BlasterX Gaming Series also comes with the BlasterX Acoustic Engine software for PC that allows gamers to customize their audio profile to the game genres that they are playing. It is designed to intelligently decrease distractions and enhance essential audio details in games, giving gamers an added advantage.

The recently launched Sound Blaster X7 with its companion E-MU XM7 professional speakers, offers an ultra high-end gaming audio solution that completes the Sound BlasterX Gaming Series. This biggest, baddest, boldest Sound Blaster delivers an astounding 24-bit/192kHz high resolution audiophile experience for the ultimate gamer.

More details of the Sound BlasterX H7 and Sound BlasterX H5, the Sound BlasterX P5, and the Sound BlasterX G5 will be announced in separate press releases.

Pricing and Availability

The Sound BlasterX gaming series is priced as follows:

  • Sound BlasterX H7 – GBP129.99
  • Sound BlasterX H5 – GBP99.99
  • Sound BlasterX P5 – GBP59.99
  • Sound BlasterX G5 – GBP119.99
By June 3, 2015 Read More →

Olixar Power Up Kit 4 in 1 Charging Pack with Travel Case

vlcsnap-2015-06-01-17h58m40s766Ideal for the holiday season, this pack contains almost everything you need for a family holiday to keep your families phones and tablets working all packaged inside an attractive, padded case.

Introducing the perfect travel companion. This 4-in-1 charging accessory kit with case is perfect for ensuring your devices are fully charged wherever you may go featuring a mains USB travel adapter, power bank and two non-tangle retractable cables.

  • 4-in-1 charging accessory pack
  • Mains travel adapter with 4 USB ports and 4 travel adapters
  • Portable power bank for charging on the go
  • Two retractable Lightning / Micro USB charge & sync cables
  • Travel case for portability

You can pick one up from Mobilefun here.