Plantronics Backbeat Pro Stereo Bluetooth Earbuds Deliver Freedom

 Headphones  Comments Off on Plantronics Backbeat Pro Stereo Bluetooth Earbuds Deliver Freedom
Feb 062013
 

Even for someone like me there are times I have to set aside my over-ear headphones and go to earbuds or in ear monitors. If I have to be connected to my media via a cable then why not just use full size cans. Well, ok, so there are times when earbuds are more acceptable, like the beach, working out, or a non-disco themed funeral.

backbeatI don’t listen to buds often so I don’t want to pay a lot and am willing to give up some of the sound quality I get from full sized headphones. If I am not going full size how about going cable free? I am asking a lot and aside from some very odd options from Motorola, which I passed down last year, I could only find one pair of actual cordless earbuds. The Plantronics Backbeat Go is a Bluetooth headset. Now it does have a cable that connects the two earpieces but can you imagine how quickly you would lose one or both earpieces without it?

Charging and control of the headset, microphone, and other phone controls are on a small set of buttons near the right ear piece. This includes volume, mute, pick up, on-off, and more. Pairing to my Galaxy Epic was the fastest I have ever paired anything to, well, anything else.

I really don’t care about the phone capabilities but I found no fault with them at all. The earbuds fit well and stay in place thanks to a little wing on each ear piece. This holds it in your ear. I have read complaints about getting the ear pieces to stay in but I found the originally attached pieces to fit my ear and hold very well.

The sound quality is better than I expected, thanks in part to the fact that they fit me well. The sound is fairly neutral and never gets irritating; it just never really gets you jazzed. For $69 at Amazon these are a great deal and you will not regret your purchase, well I suppose if you have some mutant head or ears you could have a problem. As for me, I am strolling down the street, unencumbered by a cable and the weight of a mobile DAC and amp.

If you are looking for a way to leave the cable behind or the situation dictates you leave your good rig at home, you will be happy with the Plantronics Backbeat Go. Pick up a pair now and experience the freedom of going cordless!

Have you ever tried a stereo Bluetooth headset?

2012 Head-Fi Holiday Gift Exchange

 Amplifiers, Headphones, Music  Comments Off on 2012 Head-Fi Holiday Gift Exchange
Nov 282012
 

The Head-Fi gift exchange is once again upon us. For those who are new to this fun it is pretty simple. You are paired with a like minded individual with whom you will exchange gifts. Usually this consists of CD’s or LP’s but can be anything the two of you can agree on.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/637099/2012-head-fi-holiday-gift-exchange

Nov 092012
 

I spend a lot of time talking about accuracy and neutrality. It is important to me and it should be to you but every now and then you have to have some fun. When I need a bit of a lift I reach for my Audio-Technica (AT) ATH W1000x Grandioso headphones.  Not only do they look great with their shiny wood cups and unusual headband, they sound great and will put a spring in your step.

The W1000x isn’t the most accurate or neutral headphone, in fact the bass is a bit fat and the highs can touch on edgy with the wrong amp. None of this distracts from the fact that these attributes are what make them so fun. They are great with jazz, rock, and pretty much anything else you can think of.  They breathe life into everything and some days this is just what the doctor ordered.

Now that I have the adoration out of the way we can get serious. The unusual headband design, a kind of 3D flying wing, takes some getting used to. Most phones clamp down on your head, some remain comfortable while others can be torture to wear. The W1000x’s float on your head, supported by the wing thingies. This does two things of note; the first is the unusual pattern it leaves in your hair after even a short session which may be a problem for some users. Secondly, they do not stay in place well. While listening to these cans will make you want to dance it is inadvisable to do so. The headphones will either slide off or fly across the room. You tap your feet with these unfortunately. They are however the most comfortable cans I have ever tried; it is like wearing a cloud. This floating design doesn’t do a very good job of isolation considering it is a close back design.

The W1000x have a warm sound that floats slightly, much like the headband. Under normal circumstances I would hate this but there are times when I toss caution to the wind and for this I can’t think of a better headphone.

The bass is strong but doesn’t go much below 90hz, which isn’t bad and the bass above 90hz is controlled but not perfect. The mids are pretty much perfect, no coloration and acoustic instruments sound dead on.

The only true negative I found was the treble, which when matched with an already bright amp can drill into your head and shock your brain. The W1000x requires a neutral to warm amp to sound its best.

If you are looking for the most smiles to mile cans the W1000x may just be your best option.

Do you use headphones attached to anything that isn’t a mobile device?

Colotube Goes Stereo

 Tube Amps  Comments Off on Colotube Goes Stereo
Oct 172012
 

Colotube goes stereo – Gino Colombo’s Swiss 300B monos have just spawned a stereo version [CHF 17.700] which still runs the same Czech Emission Labs output bottles and EML 5U4G rectifier but changes the drivers to JJ ECC99. Power output is 6wpc, volume control is purely manual and warranty (tubes excluded) is 5 years.