Tuesday, February 9, 2016

GO Groove AudiOHM HDX Review

Headphones come in all different shapes and sizes. Some have some fairly unique designs. At CES I came across GO Groove AudiOHM HDX. When at their booth, they showed me one such pair. Their AudiOHM HDX. So given the opportunity to review it, I jumped on it.

Features and specs

Cable Length:   48 inches
Housing Material:   plastic
Included Accessories:   3 sizes or ear tips, and carry case
Earphone Style:   Angled in-ear
Audio Microphone:   Yes
Speaker Power:   3mW
Driver:   8mm Full-range
Impedence:   16 Ohms
Sensitivity:   93 +/-3db
Frequency Response:   20Hz - 20kHz
Weight:   .70 oz

The AudiOHM HDX came in a standard color printed box with photos of the earbuds and their specs. They were protected by a clear molded plastic holder. Included along with it was a nice semi-hard zippered case, and a couple extra tips. Construction was mostly plastic. The quality of materials used, as well as fit and finish, was good. It was about as to be expected with its $20 MSRP price point. Although the semi-hard case was a pleasant surprise for its price point.

The unique design of the HDX was in the cable. And it actually is a pretty cool idea. It’s to protect the cable from getting a short. The bottom of the ear bud housing has a little plastic loop. The cable feeds through this loop, which is part of the housing. And it is there to keep pressure off of the actual connector at the back. It is a cool design, but how do they actually sound.

Given it’s low $20 MSRP, I wasn’t expecting much in terms of performance. But the HDX actually sounded a bit better than expected for their price point. These are not the typical headphones that we review in our annual Headphone Shootout that costs anywhere from 5-50 times the price.  The highs were tinnie and edgy sounding, but they did provide crisp highs as well.  And I was able to hear some detail in cymbals. The mids had some smoothness and vocals sounded fairly natural. While the bass did not play with a lot of authority, they did have some decent low end extension.  Bottom line, there is a good difference in sound quality between them and a $100 pair of IEM's.  But they did sound better than expected for their ultra low $20 price.  I typically look at a $20 pair of earbuds as throw aways, as they almost always don't last long.  But the AudiOHM HDX actually looks like they would last awhile with their design and materials used. And they come with a 3 year warranty.  For more info, check out their website at www.gogroove.com. 

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Saturday, January 30, 2016


CybertronPC launches its arsenal of fully custom desktops and laptops that are a gamer’s dream and offers aggressive price to performance options.
Wichita, KS, Jan. 29th, 2016 – CybertronPC has announced it is launching a new custom performance luxury PC brand called CLX. The new brand stands for CybertronPC Luxury Experience, and will feature a new line of custom desktop and laptops catered to PC enthusiasts and hardcore gamers, and is only available directly on www.cybertronpc.com/clxupon launch.

Already a strong leader offering products that cater to PC users across the spectrum on retail sites such as Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg, and Fry’s among others for 19 years, CybertronPC is expanding its growth with the introduction of the CLX brand targeted towards PC gamers looking for the ultimate custom PC that offers an aggressive price to performance options.  This marks a significant milestone for CybertronPC, as it’s the first time the company has launched a fully high end custom performance product line with special options from their Foundry customizations that includes features such as overclocking and liquid cooling. The CLX PC line offers impeccable shopping and ownership customer experience.  The new brand is rooted in the heritage of CybertronPC’s owners, inspired by the Egyptian mythos and sci-fi genre, and utilizes modern PC innovation and designs.

The CLX Performance PC line offers a unique PC experience that is distinct from typical custom PC builders. Each PC in the CLX product line delivers clean and bold case designs, opting for a monolithic design instead of over-the-top aesthetics. For prying eyes, the unique Foundry customization features not only offers custom options such as hardline liquid cooling along with overclocking on the CPU and GPU, but also offer color options on both exterior and interior on select systems.

There are three different custom CLX desktops: RAHorus and Scarab. Each family is equipped with certain key features that make them unique and distinct.  All of the CLX desktops offer default CPU liquid cooling, overclocking options, custom paint options and two chassis options for each line.

The Ra desktop line is CybertronPC’s CLX flagship, named after the Egyptian mythos, god of the sun, and is a full tower pillar of performance. It features options in both the X99 and Z170 chipset, the latest Intel Core i7 Skylake processors, support for up to 4 NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 4 GPUs, up to 64GB RAM, and hard-lined  liquid cooling integration for the GPUs and CPU.  The Ra can easily handle any and all gaming needs, is NVIDIA VR-Ready and supports gaming at 4K resolutions and above. Paired with an NVIDIA G-SYNC display, the Ra will deliver smooth stutter free gaming experiences and give gamers reason enough to praise the sun.

The ruler of the sky, patron of war and hunting, Horus is CLX’s mid-tower desktop that embodies its namesake. Offering all components that Ra does, Horus provides support for up to 2 GPUs and up to 16GB of RAM. Overclocking is available on both the CPU and GPU via the Foundry, and ensures the Horus does not bow in defeat.

CLX’s Scarab is the brand’s Mini-ITX line of desktops, delivering goliath performance in a small form factor. As with the other CLX desktops, the Scarab offers all the components of its larger peers, as well support for any single GPU such as NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX TITAN X. With overclocking options available on both the CPU and GPU and defaulted with closed loop CPU liquid cooling, the Scarab proves that even something of small stature can move a mountain.

If a gamer is looking for the power of a desktop in a mobile form, Osiris is designed to be the definition of desktop replacement. As the being that oversees life and death, the computer manifestation can be equipped to handle any such task and much more. Supporting up to Intel Core i7 6700K and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 graphics, the Osiris 17 can have up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM and plenty of room for expandability and customization, while the 17x can include two GeForce GTX GPUs for the ultimate gaming experience. Combined with a 17” 1080p IPS display, custom paint options, and a striking design, the Osiris is both beauty and beast.

The thin and light Anubis is the second offering of CLX laptops, and provides peak performance with high mobility. Both the 15.6” and 17” offerings are under an inch thick and provide incredible performance, with up to Intel’s Core I7 6700HQ and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M GPU. The 17” Anubis pairs its power with a beautiful Anti-Glare 1080p IPS display, while the 15.6” can offer a 4K display.  The Anubis ensures a beautiful and crisp experience, no matter where life takes you.

The CLX luxury performance experience offers a new and unique way to experience shop for a PC online, with a new configurator that is intuitive and helps make it easier to customize a dream machine, and will become a staple of how the industry should have done it all along.

“The launch of the CLX line takes CybertronPC to a whole new level; customization, quality, impeccable performance, designed specifically for each and every user”, said Ahmed Aziz CEO and Founder of CybertronPC. “No longer will an avid gamer or performance user have to settle for a PC that is not exactly how they want it, they can have an aggressive price to performance machine that is customized, personalized, and backed by CybertronPC’s quality and expertise.”

“CybertronPC has been delivering a combination of performance and value to the enthusiast community and Intel has been proud to be part of that journey”, said Laura Crone, Intel Vice President and General Manager, Channel Platforms and Operations. “With the power and performance of the new 6th Generation Intel Core processors at the heart of the new CLX line, CybertronPC is delivering the performance and attention to detail that enthusiast PC buyers demand.”

“CybertronPC’s CLX brand will turn heads and get gamers’ attention,” said Keith Olsen, SR. Director of GEFORCE Sales. “Making CybertronPC’s new line of CLX gaming platforms with NVIDIA’s solutions is a winning combination. The direct order model and complete customization options will be of interest to anyone looking to build an awesome gaming rig.”

 CybertronPC has just unveiled its CLX line, however they have already begun to align the company brand with major partners in the gaming space such as ESL, who handles production needs for the rapidly growing e-sports communities and tournaments driven events from companies such as Intel and Blizzard. CybertronPC will also be looking into the growing game streaming community and will also be partnering with high-profile Twitch streamers, as well as partnering with well-known industry staples such as Corsair and Logitech among others.

CybertronPC’s CLX desktops and laptops are available exclusively atwww.cybertronpc.com/clx. CLX starting price is $999 on the Powerful and small Scarab. Available with up to a 3 year warranty on parts and free lifetime technical support, CybertronPC proudly stands behind its machines, custom built, sold, and supported in the USA.

CybertronPC debuts the new CLX line at Pax South this weekend,
Come see us at booth #15085 and get a first look and hands on experience.

CybertronPC is a custom PC integrator catering to gamers, business, home and server solutions. Owned and operated in the USA since January of 1997, CybertronPC’s consistent quality and highest level of support have earned them the distinction of being one of the largest System Integrators in the USA. Products are offered direct online and through retailer sites such as Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart and more. For more information about CybertronPC, click here www.cybertronpc.com

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Introducing the EVGA GeForce GT 710 Lineup

Introducing the EVGA GeForce GT 710 Lineup

January 26th, 2016 - Make your entire PC experience faster with the EVGA GeForce GT 710 dedicated graphics card. Now, you can enjoy up to 10x better performance* than integrated graphics in all your PC multimedia applications.

Take on modern games with advanced and reliable dedicated graphics. 80% faster performance than integrated graphics means a rich and smooth gaming experience. Plus, get the power to drive up to three HD displays with a single card.

GeForce GT means speed, stability, and industry-leading NVIDIA drivers. Tap into GeForce Experience™ to automatically get the latest drivers and optimize game settings with a single click.

*Compared to Intel HD graphics

The EVGA GeForce GT 710 lineup features a variety of different memory sizes and configurations, as below:

2GB Memory:
·       02G-P3-2717-KR = EVGA GeForce GT 710 2GB (Single Slot, Dual DVI)
·       02G-P3-2713-KR = EVGA GeForce GT 710 2GB (Single Slot, Low Profile)
·       02G-P3-2712-KR = EVGA GeForce GT 710 2GB (Dual Slot, Low Profile, Passive)

1GB Memory:
·       01G-P3-2716-KR = EVGA GeForce GT 710 1GB (Single Slot, Dual DVI)
·       01G-P3-2711-KR = EVGA GeForce GT 710 1GB (Single Slot, Low Profile)
·       01G-P3-2710-KR = EVGA GeForce GT 710 1GB (Dual Slot, Low Profile, Passive)

About EVGA  
EVGA is the #1 NVIDIA authorized partner in channel sales throughout North America and Latin America and a leading Power Supply Manufacturer. Based on the philosophy of intelligent innovation, market knowledge, and the real time operation, EVGA continues to identify the need in the market place and providing the solution to that need. By offering product differentiation, 24/7 tech support, a 90 day Step-Up program, and other customer focused programs, EVGA is a clear leader in all categories: etail, retail, distribution, and system integration. With headquarters in Brea, CA, EVGA’s global coverage includes EVGA GmbH in Munich, EVGA LATAM in Miami, and EVGA Hong Kong. For further information online about EVGA, visit: www.evga.com

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

James Loudspeaker™ Unveils W-Series Architectural Speakers for 3D Audio

James Loudspeaker™ Unveils W-Series Architectural Speakers for 3D Audio
Versatile loudspeakers ideally suited for residential and commercial applications offer wide bandwidth, outstanding detail, superior build quality and available custom finishes

See James Loudspeaker at ISE Booth 7-Q190

Napa, CA, January 21st, 2016 – James Loudspeaker (www.jamesloudspeaker.com), designers and manufacturers of the highest quality décor-friendly entertainment products for both residential and commercial applications, has announced the introduction of the W-Series loudspeakers designed for specialized boundary applications, such as integration into a 90-degree corner where walls and ceilings converge. The visually unobtrusive wedge-shaped form factor is ideal for the latest immersive 3D audio technologies (Atmos, Auro3D and DTS:X) as well as other applications and can be used in both indoor and outdoor environments.
The initial launch of the W-Series includes two models; the 52QW (single 5.25-inch woofer/quad tweeter) and the 53QW (dual 5.25-inch woofers/quad tweeter). Each speaker features proprietary high-excursion woofers matched to the ultra-high-performance quad-array aluminum dome tweeter that has become a signature of the James Loudspeaker brand. These compact and efficient speaker solutions offer a silky smooth response across a broad range of frequencies, providing residential and commercial integrators with a premium loudspeaker solution engineered specifically for ceiling and wall junctions that deliver superb sound yet minimal visible intrusion into any space. 

The 52QW and 53QW are constructed entirely of aircraft-grade aluminum for strength, sonic performance and durability, featuring an aluminum perforated grille to provide years of trouble free use. A unique mounting system makes W-Series speakers easy to install using an innovative corner bracket that suspends the speaker securely via setscrews. Standard colors are Gloss White and Satin Black, however custom colors are available to suit any décor. Specially equipped versions of each model are available for outdoor/marine applications. James Loudspeaker W-Series loudspeakers are available now only through authorized integrators. The 52QW MSRP is $1000 (each) and 53QW MSRP is $1300 (each).

James Loudspeaker architectural loudspeakers are engineered and manufactured in Napa, CA USA. 

About James Loudspeaker: James Loudspeaker™ designs and manufactures high-performance speakers for residential and commercial applications. James offers a vast array of architectural speakers along with built-to-suit solutions that minimize visual presence while delivering the finest sound quality for indoor, outdoor and marine audio systems. Engineered and manufactured in Napa, CA since 1999, James Loudspeaker products are sold and installed through the finest custom integration specialists worldwide. www.jamesloudspeaker.com 

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Swann Enhances Its DIY Home Security Line, Revealing New 4K Ultra HD Security System

Swann Enhances Its DIY Home Security Line, Revealing New 4K Ultra HD Security System
Main Image
Swann’s 4K Ultra HD Security System has four times more pixels than 1080p, enabling the experience of amazing video in Ultra HD
Santa Fe Springs, Calif. – (January 13, 2016) – Swann, a global leader in DIY security monitoring, launches its new 4K Ultra HD Security System with larger storage and crystal clear resolution. The do-it-yourself home or business owner will never miss a moment with its ability to record 40% more surveillance footage.
Designed to offer peace of mind, the system includes four 4K, 8 megapixel HD cameras with IR cut filters to capture more detailed items at night up to 100 feet. An IP66 rating makes the 4K Ultra HD Security System more water resister, ideal for outdoor and indoor uses. Easily locate incident video then transfer it to an external storage through the accessible USB port or their network.
Second Image

Live viewing, alerts and playback are available on smartphones and tablets via the free SwannView Plus app for iOS and Android, as well as on an HDTV and LCD screen or monitor through an HDMI or VGA connection or VGA port. Users may also connect in minutes using the SwannLink ‘Peer-to-Peer’ easy network connection software.
The system can record continuously for longer on a large hard drive and even longer with motion triggered recording. The H.264 plus video compression allows for optimized, fast, efficient recording and playback so users can record more for longer. For full eight channel monitoring, users have the option to add four more Swann HD cameras.
The DIY-friendly system boasts an easy installation and includes an Ethernet cable, HDMI cable, power adapter and splitter, mouse, TVI cables, mounting screws and plugs, theft deterrent stickers and a quick start guide.
Swann’s 4K Ultra HD Security System will be available at a retailer near you in the next coming months. The price is yet to be determined. For more information on Swann, visit www.swann.com.
About Swann
Swann is a global leader in do-it-yourself video surveillance, consumer electronics and security-centric solutions for homes and businesses of today and tomorrow.
Swann has always been a leader. From humble beginnings in the basement of David Swann’s family home in Melbourne in 1987, Australia the business now has offices in the USA, Canada, Australia, UK, Italy, Hong Kong and China and a presence in over 50 countries on 6 continents. Swann pioneered the category of Do-it-Yourself security and is proud of the work it has done to make local communities safer. Today Swann is part of the Infinova Group, providing the business with enhanced manufacturing capabilities, cutting-edge research and development of security and networking solutions.
Swann is the world’s largest manufacturer of Do-it-Yourself Video Surveillance Equipment*. The business remains at the forefront of innovation with recent new product developments including state-of-the-art professional-quality super HD (such as 3, 4 and 5 Megapixels), ultra HD 4K recording systems and cameras, and security-centric smart home solutions. The Swann range is designed with a goal to make the latest security technology accessible, affordable and easy to use with do-it-yourself installation. All Swann products are backed by the brand promise of Lifetime Support with free 24/7 customer service. The company’s products are available through some of the largest ‘bricks and mortar’ and online retailers in the world including Best Buy, Fry’s Electronics, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Costco Wholesale, Lowes, Amazon.com, Lowes, Canadian Tire, Maplin Electronics, Dixons, Screwfix, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and many more.
As a specialist in security for nearly 30 years, Swann is committed to developing a new generation of solutions, products and services that deliver peace of mind and exemplify security made smarter.
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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Magellan to Showcase eXplorist TRX7 Off-Road Navigation Solution at CES 2016

Magellan to Showcase eXplorist TRX7 Off-Road Navigation Solution at CES 2016

Ruggedized Cloud-Connected Device Provides Most Comprehensive Outdoor Trail Maps Available For Off-Road Enthusiasts

Las Vegas, NV - January 5, 2016 - Magellan will be showcasing its new off-road vehicle navigation solution, the eXplorist TRX7, for the 4x4 and Powersports vehicle consumer market at CES 2016. Designed specifically for the off-roading enthusiast, this OHV navigation solution delivers detailed 3D maps, over 44,000 vehicle trails and community generated trails, improved driver safety and a superior user experience, all at an exceptional value right out of the box. 

The TRX7 will be displayed at CES 2016 in the Magellan Booth, LVCC South Hall MP25441.

“Magellan’s new eXplorist TRX7 is the only complete off-road navigator for adventuring,” commented Stig Pedersen, associate vice president of product management for Magellan. “Pre-loaded trail maps and crowd-sourced trails provide a constantly updating platform, allowing users to plan adventures, navigate, and add pictures and comments to trails. Finally off-roaders have an all-in-one solution that will safely guide them through some of the most fun and exciting trails in the U.S. and Canada.”

The Device
Off-roading is a harsh environment for consumer electronics; water, dust, constant vibration, high and low temperature extremes, and sunlight, are all part of a standard day off-roading. 

Built to withstand the harsh demands of off-roading, the Magellan eXplorist TRX7 features:
·      Weatherproof 7” LCD touchscreen display
·      IP67 ruggedized casing for water and dust proof
·      Powerful Dual Core Cortex-A9 processor running Android™ 4.2 OS, to ensure a fast and smooth
       off-road navigation experience
·      Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
·      1G Mobile DDR2 memory
·      16GB onboard memory and a 64GB MicroSD card expansion slot
·      Three different mounting options depending on activity bundle purchased: Windshield Suction
       Cup Mount, Genuine Ram® Handlebar Rail Mount or Genuine Ram® Windshield Suction Cup

The Maps
The device comes preloaded with over 44,000 trails, making it the most comprehensive outdoor trail maps available for off-road enthusiasts. The Magellan off-road vehicle platform’s trail maps are cloud based, dynamic, and will continue to grow and be improved by both Magellan and through crowd-sourced additions from the Magellan OHV user community. The detailed off-road maps feature: high-resolution 3D and 2D terrain and contour elevation lines; food, gas, lodging, and general service POIs; 3rd Party trail guides; and more.

Share the Ultimate Off-Road Experience
Outdoor enthusiasts have incredible stories to tell. The Magellan TRX7 gives off-roaders, campers, and anyone enjoying the outdoors on a vehicle the tools to plan, track and save trail rides. Magellan’s OHV web portal lets users add pictures and comments to their trail rides, and share them with friends, family, or the larger off-road and outdoor communities.  Members of Magellan’s dedicated off-road vehicle online community earn achievement badges for posting and sharing “dirt miles” traveled and total number of trails posted.  And with integration to social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, users are able to post their greatest trail adventures. 

Improved Off-Road Safety
Users can confidently plan safe and fun trail rides by filtering trails on multiple criteria including: Difficulty, Length (Dirt Miles), Duration, Terrain, Technical Obstacles, and Awesomeness. Additionally, save important waypoints to trail rides, such as campsites, aid stations, and water, so users can easily navigate to those locations. TRX7 users know they will never be lost with Magellan’s Backtrack feature. The TRX7 automatically marks the location of the beginning of a trail ride, and with one touch safely navigates back to the starting point.

Availability and Pricing
The Magellan eXplorist TRX7 will be available Q1 with an MSRP of $649.99. Additional information about Magellan’s off-road navigation products is also available at www.magellangps.com.

About Magellan
Headquartered in Santa Clara, CA, MiTAC Digital Corporation, manufacturer of the Magellan (www.magellangps.com) brand of portable GPS navigation devices, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MiTAC International Corporation. Magellan, the industry leader for innovative GPS navigation devices since 1986, globally markets award-winning products in multiple categories including auto, RV, commercial, outdoor, fitness and mobile. Continuing its spirit of innovation, Magellan is developing new cloud-based technologies, wearables, OEM and B-to-B solutions to meet the changing needs of today’s consumers.

Follow Magellan on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


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Monday, January 4, 2016

ARCHOS Unveils Cobalt and Power Smartphones at CES 2016

ARCHOS Unveils Cobalt and Power Smartphones at CES 2016

Selection of colorful and extended battery smartphones on display at Westgate Las Vegas Resort, Suite 1910 from January 6th to 9th

Las Vegas – January 4, 2016 – ARCHOS unveils two new smartphone ranges at CES Las Vegas 2016, the colorful Cobalt and long lasting Power.  ARCHOS’ newest selection of smartphones will be on display during CES Las Vegas 2016 at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort, Suite 1910 from January 6th to 9th.

“Our Cobalt and Power range of smartphones address two issues in the smartphone industry, the lack of customization and the absence of long-life smartphones,” says Loic Poirer, CEO of ARCHOS.  “Our Cobalt and Power lineup combines smooth performance, superior components and impressive affordability.”
Superior battery life
ARCHOS - Power
Equipped with enough battery power to last up to two days under regular usage conditions, ARCHOS’ Power smartphones feature quad-core processors and are available in two sizes, the 4-inch ARCHOS 40 Power and the 5-inch ARCHOS 50 Power.

A pocket mobile powerhouse, the ARCHOS 40 Power is ideal for on-the-go light users with 8 GB of internal storage and 1,900mAh of battery.  The ARCHOS 50 Power is 4G/LTE compatible, has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory, and highlights an ultra-large 4,000mAh battery with an IPS HD display and 13MP camera.

The ARCHOS 40 Power and ARCHOS 50 Power will be available in May for $49 and $119 respectively. 

Colors for every taste
ARCHOS - Cobalt
ARCHOS’ Cobalt smartphones comes in a variety of colors to add a splash of originality.  The Cobalt lineup comes with IPS HD display, are 4G/LTE compatible, are powered by quad-core processors, and are available in two sizes, the 5-inch ARCHOS 50 Cobalt and the 5.5-inch ARCHOS 55 Plus Cobalt.

The ARCHOS 50 Cobalt comes with 1GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage, and an 8MP front camera, while the ARCHOS 55 Plus Cobalt is powered by 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and a 13MP camera. 

Both Cobalt smartphones comes with an expandable internal MicroSB card storage and will be available in April for $99 and $139 respectively. 

For more information about ARCHOS’ entire selection of Connected Devices, Smartphones and Tablets, visit us at www.archos.com or contact us through Facebook or Twitter.

Product Specification:
ARCHOS - Power + Cobalt Specs
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About ARCHOSARCHOS, a pioneer in the portable audio and video player market, and now specializing in Android Tablets and Smartphones, has repeatedly revolutionized the market for consumer electronics since 1988. Today, ARCHOS offers its own line of Android Tablets and Smartphones, as well as a full line of OEM devices. In 2000, ARCHOS launched the Jukebox 6000, the first MP3 player combined with a hard disk. In 2008, ARCHOS launched the first generation Internet Tablets, and then the first ever Android powered tablets in 2009. In 2013, ARCHOS launched its first generation of Smartphones with the ARCHOS Platinum series. ARCHOS has offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. ARCHOS is quoted on Compartment C of Eurolist, Euronext Paris, ISIN CodeFR0000182479.  Website: www.archos.com

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 Editor's Choice Awards

We have had a great year of some great products having come in for review.  Some are good, and some are better than others.  We review based on design, features, quality, and performance.  We have multiple levels of awards that can be earned based on those criteria.  And the best of those products that come across my desk earn our Editor's Choice Award.  Every year, at the end of the year, we publish our annual Editor's Choice Awards.  Here is this year's recipients, with links to the reviews of their outstanding product.

Blue Headphones

Creative Labs E5 Headphone Amp

Creative Labs SoundBlaster Roar 2

Creative Labs SoundBlaster X7 High Resolution Audio Device

HTC One M9 Smartphone

Magellan Cyclo 505HC Bicycle Computer with GPS

Massive Audio D1600.4 Full Range Four Channel Digital Car Amplifier

Monster DNA Pro 2.0 Over The Ear Headphones

Otterbox Defender Series Smartphone Case & Alpha Glass Screen Protector

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless Active Noise Cancelling Over The Ear Headphones

Westone W60 Signature Series In Ear Monitors

Kudos to those manufacturers that have such great products!  I continue to be amazed at what can be accomplished in terms of amazing products.  There have been some awesome ideas and spectacular products.  I can't wait to see what 2016 has in-store!  To that, I bid to all a Happy Holidays and Happy New Years from us at Stereowiseplus.com!  And stay tuned for what we have coming in 2016.

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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Massive Audio Four Channel Full Range Digital Car Amp

When it comes to electronics, you tend to get what you pay for. With car stereo amps, you want clean sound and good power. And when you want massive power, one of the best out there is Massive Audio. They provide clean sound, and a lot of power to play loud. Up for review today it their Massive Audio D1600.4 four channel full range digital car amp.

Features and specs:
  • Extreme power in a small footprint
  • MCU Power Management
  • High / Low Level Input Switch
  • Auto Turn-on/off Functions
  • Low distortion full band width for sound quality tuning
  • Advanced Full Range Digital design
  • Illuminated Logo on Heavy duty Aluminum Heat-Sink
  • Full Mosfet with high grade switching devices
  • Designed and Engineered in U.S.A.
  • Mil Spec double sided PCB with SMD parts
  • Built-in noise reduction circuitry
  • World Wide standard compliant (RoHS, E-mark, CEA-2006, CE)
  • Advanced 5 way protection
RMS @ 4 Ohm300w x 4
RMS @ 2 Ohms400w x 4
RMS @ 4 Ohm Bridged800w x 2
Min Impedance2 Ohm
THD at 4Ohm Load 30% Rated Power<.15%
S/N Ratio>70 dB*
Freq. Response20Hz - 20KHz
Dimensions2.1" x 6.5" x 12.1"

The Massive Audio D1600.4 came in a nice looking black box, that seemed to open on a hinge. Opening the box showed a well protected amp. Also included was the manual, mounting screws, and allan wrenches. Materials used in the construction was mostly aluminum, and the quality of the material used was excellent. The build quality as well as the fit and finish was also excellent. The Massive Audio D1600.4 is a solid and well built amp.

I love the design of the Massive Audio D1600.4. It has an industrial tough as nails look, and appropriately so. This is a seriously powerful and tough amp. The brushed aluminum cover helps give it this great look. The blue illuminated Massive Audio logo in the middle of the faceplate also adds a cool look. The right side houses the terminals for ground, power, and speaker wires. The left side houses the terminals for the RCA cables, and switches for gain, crossovers, and bridging the amp.

The Massive Audio D1600.4 was easy to set up. From wiring the power, ground and speaker wires, to the RCA's and setting up the gains and crossovers. Everything was well labeled and layed out, making set-up simple. The crossover used adds a lot of versatility as well, being able to use high pass, band pass, or low pass. So whether you want to power coaxials, tweeters, mids, midbass or subs, the Massive Audio D1600.4 can do it all.

The massive Audio D1600.4 is one seriously massive amp in regards to power output. It's a 4 channel amp, rated at 300 watts per channel at 4 ohms or 400 watts per channel at 2 ohms. That's 1200-1600 watts out of a footprint of only 12 x 6.5 inches for a  4 channel amp. WOW!! As impressive as it is, the D1600.4 isn't for everyone. The primary audience is the professional audio and sound competition users. After all, the Massive Audio D1600.4 can easily power 16 speakers. Now that's what we call Loud! And from an amp this small!!

While the Massive Audio D1600.4 is a clear contender for the pro audio crowd, it's also an amazing amp for the audiophile or car audio enthusiast as a whole system amp. While a 5 channel amp is preferred by many for powering a whole system, what do they provide? They typically max out at 75 watts per channel in the 4 channel section, and then usually only 300 watts for the sub. Maybe 500 watts for the sub, at 1 or 2 ohm, if you're lucky. That's not enough power for the enthusiasts. In 3 channel mode, the D1600.4 puts out 300 watts in 4 ohm for the front two channels, and 800 watts at 4 ohms to the subwoofer. That is exciting!

On paper, the Massive Audio D1600.4 is extremely impressive. So naturally I couldn't wait to see how it performed. I threw a wide range of music genre at it, for some critical listening. And I was pleased to see the magic on paper continued in it's actual aural performance.

Not only did the D1600.4 play loud, showing just how much power it had, it was really clean doing so. And it had plenty of reserves. The sound was not strained at all. Add to that the fact that the D1600.4 was also very transparent as well. So all of the small nuances I am used to hearing in my resolution rich tracks came out very well. The highs were clean, percussion was crisp, and flute had a lot of air. Midrange was also smooth with natural sounding vocals with good texture. Midbass had nice impact and depth. And the D1600.4 provided all the other sonic characteristics I like to hear, providing excellent dynamics, imaging, and a large soundstage.

As stated before, this amp is not for everyone. For the average listener with just coaxials in the front and rear, and either no subwoofer or a small one...it's not for you. This amp would be too much power. But for the audiophile or enthusiasts with multiple component systems or high power components, and multiple subs it's perfect.

I don't know of anyone who doesn't like music.  And there are a lot of companies out there making car audio products.  But for those that need it....Massive....well, that's where Massive Audio comes in.  And the Massive Audio D1600.4 4 channel full range digital amp delivers that concept in spades.  It's a well made product that flat out performs extremely well.  Based on it's design, features, quality, and performance, the D1600.4 has earned our Editor's Choice Award.  Kudos to Massive Audio for such a great product.  For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.massiveaudio.com.

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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Kingston Mobilelite Wireless G2 Drive Review

It has become so easy to take your entertainment with you. I remember when a 32 GB hard drive on the desktop computer was a large hard drive. Now you can get that much on your smartphone. But being so easy to take your music, photo, and video collection with you, your smartphones or tablets capacity may not be enough. And some devices don't have memory card slots for more storage. Enter the Kingston Mobilelite Wireless G2. It provides extra storage capacity that you can tap into wirelessly. Kingston also included a 64 GB micro SD card to test.

Features and Specs:
Inputs for Storage:
USB and SD – reads SD, SDHC, SDXC and microSD/microSDHC/microSDXC (with included adapter)
Supported File Systems: FAT, FAT32, NTFS, exFAT
Dimensions: 129.14mm x 79.09mm x 19.28mm
Weight: 171g
Wireless Network Interface:
Wi-Fi 802.11g/n with wireless security (WPA2)
WLAN Ethernet Port:
to function as a mobile router
Rechargeable Battery: up to 13 hours of continuous use; built-in Li-ion 4640 mAh 3.8v battery
Local Storage5: wirelessly transfer files to and from the MobileLite Wireless app and the MobileLite Wireless hardware
Camera Roll support5: allows users to move photos from their mobile device to MobileLite Wireless in order to free up space
USB to micro USB cable included
Operating Temperature: 0–40°C
Storage Temperature: -10–45°C
Guaranteed: two-year warranty, free technical support
Customizable Device Name:
(SSID) User selectable Wi-Fi priority list when there are multiple APN/Key available
File Support6:
MobileLite Wireless can store any file type. Playback and viewing are based on the files supported by the mobile device
General file format support6:
  • Audio: MP3, WAV
  • Video2: m4V, mp4 (H. 264 video codec)
  • Image: jpg, tif
  • Document: pdf
Compatible with:
Windows® 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7 (SP1), Windows Vista® (SP2), Mac OS X v.10.6.x+, Linux v.2.6.x+
Compatible Mobile Devices:
iPad2, iPad (3rd Gen), iPad (4th Gen), iPad mini, iPad Air3, iPhone 4/4S/53, iPod touch3, Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, Android (4.0+)

The Kingston Mobilelite G2 came in a great looking colored box with photos of the device and specs. Construction was comprised mostly of plastic, but was of very good quality. Fit and finish was also very good, and it felt well made. I liked the two-tone look with black on the top and bottom, with white around the edge. Also included was the manual, USB charging cable and a micro SD to SD adapter.

The Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 is only a little larger than the size of a cellphone, yet it packs a lot of functionality. As stated before, it provides extra storage for your smartphone or tablet, that you access wirelessly. It also does media streaming that you can access your on a laptop. And it does even more, being able to be used as a portable battery charger, card reader, and wifi access point. With a selling price of less than $50, that is a HUGE bang for your buck!

I was really excited to test the Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 drive. And as is normal for Kingston products, performance was excellent! The MobileLite G2 works great as a battery pack to charge your smartphone, as well as being a card reader and wi-fi access point. I absolutely loved and was blown away with it's performance with it's extended storage and streaming, being able to access the music and multimedia on the micro SD card inserted into the MobileLite Wireless G2.

I loaded the card up with content such as music, and having the drive in the middle of my large house on the first floor, I proceeded to test out it's wireless performance. I was utterly blown away! I started up some music on my smartphone from the drive, and began walking around downstairs. It didn't matter where I was, and how many walls were between me and the MobileLite Wireless G2. I never had a single hiccup. So I then went upstairs, and wandered room to room. Still, not a single hiccup. The music kept playing without a single drop. Now it had me very curious. With it still in the middle at my house, I went out my front door and into my front yard...still no drop. So I proceeded to walk to the end of my cul de sac. I reached the end of my cul de sac witch was around 450 feet away from the drive and multiple walls in between, and still not a single drop! So now I turned the corner and kept walking. It wasn't until the corner house got between me and my house at the end of the cul-de-sac, that I lost signal. The only glitch is it didn't reconnect until I got back inside. But the range it has was mind boggling!

The Kingston MobileLite G2 was very simple to set up. First you have to download the Kingston MobileLite app onto your smartphone or tablet. Once installed, it was simple to sync up the drive to my HTC One M9 smartphone. The small LED's on the side made it easy to see the drive's status. The Kingston SDCA 64Gb microSD card is a U3 high speed card rated for use with devices up to 4K2K resolution and is rated at up to 90 MB/s read and 80 MB/s write. It also performed well with the various tests. While doing content transfers onto the card I could tell it's a speedster. And with reading it never went under 90 MB/s, averaging close to 93 MB/s.

As you can see, the usability of the Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 is huge! Many people use their smartphone for everything including photos, music, and video. If you are one of those users, and happen to also have a smartphone or tablet that has no memory card expansion slot, such as the iPhone or iPad, getting a MobileLite G2 is a no brainier, this is especially true for women, where it's easy to keep it in your purse. And you get the added benefit of having a mobile charger with you! Based on it's design, features, quality, and performance, the Kingston Wireless MobileLite G2 earns our Value Award, as it delivers such a huge bang for your buck. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.kingston.com.

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