Friday, April 3, 2009

Pre-blog: 3rd time is not quite the charm for the iPod Shuffle

When I first got the email about the new iPod Shuffle, I was impressed with the design, and the Voice-over function.  But when I finally got to try it extensively, I was very disappointed.

One, it's NOT small.  Well, ok, it's small, but not as small as the pictures depict.  It's slightly (and I mean, SLIGHTLY) smaller than the 2nd generation Shuffle.  But, unlike the previous Shuffle, the new one doesn't have any controls.  Instead, you have this annoyingly retarded button that you click, double click, long click, triple click... and Morse code all day long just to move from song to song.

Which brings me to number two... the crappy earbuds.  Apple has probably THE worst earbuds on the planet... which is usually the first thing to chuck when you buy an iPod... but now, since they moved the controls to the earbuds, the new Shuffle does NOT work without the crappy earbuds.

Granted that most Shuffle owners are not audiophiles (ironic since the Shuffle is the best sounding iPod) it's still annoying since they didn't save any space at all by moving the controls from the iPod to the earbud cable.

But I guess all things have to change.  Apple will probably use this as an interim model before going back to a design similar to the previous Shuffle.

Don't get me wrong, it's a sleek new music player that looks great ... but ergonomics REALLY suck... and it would sound good, if you could use other earbuds, but since you can't, it sounds kinda crappy.  At 2x the price of the previous Shuffle, it isn't really a bargain either.

I'd recommend buying the previous Shuffle instead.


On a more positive note, I finally got to audition the B&W Zeppelin iPod Dock, and I have to say, it is THE BEST iPod dock I've heard to date.  It's like the Bose SoundDock & the Harman Kardon Go + Play combined... it has the clarity of the Harman, and the bass extension of the Bose.  BUT, it also costs as much as both those iPod docks combined... ringing in at P36k.  Plus it doesn't run off batteries so it's not really portable.

But it does sound great, and it looks just as good.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pre-blog: Great balls of sound!

The best sounding speaker under P2000, and under 100g! A bit larger than a ping-pong ball, the X-Mini 2 is a great successor to the original X-Mini, and X-Mini Max.

Decent size, price, sound, and battery life... this is a great accessory to have for anyone who enjoys listening to music. Having tried all the other XMI products, I have to say, that you can't really go wrong with any of them, but my personal choice would be the X-Mini 2 over the original or the Max.

The Original is smaller, and cheaper, so go for that if the size is an absolute priority, or if you don't really care for the additional sound quality of the 2. The Max is stereo, but it's larger and has a lot more wires to consider a portable solution. The Max is nice for laptop users looking for an acceptable solution for presentation work.

Specs state a 100Hz cut-off but realistically, it sounds closer to 130-50Hz, but again, for the price, and size, it's great. I haven't heard anything this small, sound this good...period. It won't replace great earphones, but it sounds way better than a lot of generic desktop computer speakers. And even sounds better than a lot of the entry-level JBL On-Stage products.

To get the best audio quality from this speaker, turn the volume on the X-Mini to the max, then half a turn back. Then set your volume on your music player to about 60-70%. This keeps distortion to a minimum, while maximizing bass response... the X-Mini 2 driver is strong enough that anything louder makes this tiny speaker rattle around your desk whenever bass notes are strong.

Go to: for more info.

I bought mine from Great site, lots of nice accessories, and quick delivery via Air21

Past Tech Gospels

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