Sunday, October 30, 2016

Creative T50 Signature Series Wireless Speaker System Review

Creative Labs has been long for quality products. The first that comes to mind is the sound cards. Then their computer speakers. And their speaker systems have come a long way. Now they do a lot more than just provide sound to your computer system. Enter the Creative T50 wireless speaker system, which is part of Creative's Signature Series.

Features and specs:

o    System Configuration2.0 system

o    Dimensions (H x W x D)Left Satellite: 316 x 91 x 186 mm (12.4 x 3.6 x 7.3 inches), Right Satellite: 316 x 91 x 196 mm (12.4 x 3.6 x 7.7 inches), Left Satellite Cord Length: Approx 1.5m, Power Adaptor (Combined length): 3.3m, RCA to 3.5mm Adaptor: 12.0 x 25.0 x 45.0 mm (0.47 x 0.98 x 1.77 inches)

o    WeightLeft Satellite: 1.5kg (3.3lbs), Right Satellite: 1.6kg (3.6lbs)

o    Bluetooth® VersionBluetooth 3.0

o    Bluetooth ProfileA2DP (Wireless Stereo Bluetooth)

o    Supported CodecsaptX, SBC

The Creative T50 came in a really nice looking printed box with photos of the product as well as its specs and features. The speakers were well protected wrapped in bubble wrap. In between the two speakers was a box which held the power cord, cables, and manual. Unwrapping the speakers revealed a gloss black elegant looking speakers. I liked the MTM speaker array design. Materials used in the construction was mostly plastic. The quality of materials used was very good. The quality of materials used was very good. The quality of construction, as well as the fit and finish was also very good. The end result was a nice looking speaker that looked of high quality.

But let’s see how well they sound. With it being the holiday season, I thought I’d turn to some Christmas songs. Manheim Steamroller; Carol of the Bells: the bells were really clean sounding with nice resolution. The bass beats had very good depth and impact. The horns were smooth and just a tad brassy.  Manheim Steamroller: God rest Ye Merry Gentleman, percussion was crisp and clean. Horns were again smooth and just a tad brassy at the loudest setting. Drums had very good dynamics, impact and depth. Piano sounded fairly natural.  Manheim Steamroller: Pat a Pan, the wood knocker sounded very woody. The flute was smooth with lets of air. The violin revealed nice texture of the strings and pleasant harmonics. The percussion was dynamic with good impact, with deep kick drums that played with good authority.

The Creative T50 wireless speaker system also performed well with Bluetooth. Getting it to connect to my HTC M9 Smartphone was simple. With NFC built into the Creative T50 it was just a matter of swiping the HTC M9 across the top of the speaker. They were also able to hold a connection fairly well too. I went 30 feet before any drops in the signal. And that was also with multiple walls between me and the speakers.

The performance of the Creative T50 wireless speaker system is what I have come to expect from Creative. They provide crisp clean highs and only at its highest volume did they sound just a bit bright. Vocals were also smooth with good texture and bass also had good depth. Based on their design, features, quality and performance, they have earned our Highly Recommended Award. With a MSRP of $199, they are a good value. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at

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Beyerdynamic Byron BT IEM Review

Beyerdynamic provides a wide array of headphones from under $100 to over $1,000. The Beyerdynamic Byron BT Wireless is their entry level wireless in ear monitor. At an MSRP of $100, it is very economical. Yet coming from Beyerdynamic, you know you are getting a quality product.

Features and specs:

Transducer Type
Operating Principle
Frequency response
10 - 23,000 Hz
Nominal SPL
90 dB
Sound coupling to the ear
Length and type of cable
0.56 m / double-sided
Bluetooth Standard 4.1
Wireless radius
Up to 10 m
Bluetooth profile
Qualcomm aptX®
Battery life
Up to 7.5 h
Battery charging
About 2 h
13 g
3 pairs of eartips
1 pair of ear hooks
Micro-USB charging
Soft bag

The Beyerdynamic Byron BT came in a standard printed box with photos of the product, and its specs. Opening the box revealed a clear plastic molded box holding the IEM securely in place. Also included were the owner’s manual, additional ear tips in different sizes, and a small soft carrying case, and a charging cable. The cable is made of soft plastic, and the IEM's appear to be made of aluminum. Quality of materials used is good as is the fit and finish. They appear to be a well made product.  Now let's see how they sound.

No Doubt: Hella Good, the kickdrum had really good impact that was tight and had good authority. The cymbals were crisp, clean and very dynamic. Vocals were very natural with good texture. There was a lot of energy in the track, and it came out very well.  Foreigner: Jukebox Hero, had kickdrum beats that played deep with good impact and authority. Vocals were smooth and very natural with good timbre. The guitar sounded nice and raw.  Kansas: Carry On Wayward Son, vocals were really natural and smooth sounding, with much better than expected texture and resolution. I could hear their breathing technique, as well as room acoustics. Kickdrum had very good impact and depth. Drums and cymbals were very crisp and dynamic. They also threw a wide soundstage with better than expected imaging for their price point.

The Beyerdynamic Byron BT wireless IEM have a low MSRP of only $100. Yet they still proved to be a great performer. If you are looking for a gift on a fairly low budget, these could be for you. Based on their design, features, quality, and performance, the Beyerdynamic Byron BT has earned our Value Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Beyerdynamic DT1990 Pro Headphone Review

I don’t know of anyone who does not like music. One of the most popular ways to enjoy your music is through a pair of headphones. But not all headphones are created equal. If your music is important to you, and you like quality sound, than Beryerdynamics could be brand you look into. And if you really appreciate a premium product that provides stellar sound, the Beyerdynamic  DT 1990 Pro could be for you.

Features and specs:
  • Open-back studio reference headphones for mixing and mastering
  • Handcrafted in Germany
  • 250 ohms, 45-mm dynamic Tesla neodymium driver
  • Single-sided, detachable cable with mini-XLR connector
  • Soft, replaceable ear pads and headband for long, drawn-out studio sessions
  • Included accessories: two pairs of velour ear pads with different sound characteristics (analytical and balanced), two pairs of cables (3 m straight and coiled cable), premium hard case

  • Transmission type Wired
    Headphone design (operating principle) Open
    Headphone impedance 250 ohms
    Headphone frequency response 5-40,000 Hz
    Nominal sound pressure level 102 dBSPL (1mW/500Hz)
    Remote Without Remote
    Construction Circumaural (around the ear)

    The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro came in a nice looking box, with photos of the headphones with it’s features and specs on the box. It looked standard so far, but that’s where standard stops. Opening the box I found a semi-hard case, that used a zipper to open and close the case. Opening the case, revealed an extremely well made pair of headphones. Surprisingly, materials used in the headphones were mostly metal, or more metal than most headphones. There was also some soft plastic, soft leather, and plush velvet earpads. Also included are a second pair of earpads, and two sets of detachable cables. The quality of materials used, as well as fit and finish, were excellent! The Bererdynamic DT 1990 Pro are a premium pair of headphones, one of their upper line. They are actually handmade in Germany, and the quality and attention to detail shows!

    I’m still taken back by the quality. Starting with the semi hard zippered case, you get a feel for what you are in for with the product. It had a premium feel to it. Opening up the case revealed a custom molded case to hold the different pieces. The headphones were held well securely in place. But it also had a slot that held an extra pair of soft velvet earpads.   Built in at the top of the case was a soft zippered pouch.

    In the pouch were two sets of cables, one of which was a coiled cable. So whichever style of cable you prefer, you’re covered. Many headphones will come with a ¼” adapter so your headphones can be used with a home stereo system. Here, Beyerdynamic included not just one, but two of them. And the cables came shipped with them already screwed into each cable, secured in place. It was a nice touch. The cables were also a very premium set, being a soft plastic with a premium feel, and thick for good quality. The 3.5 mm tip is gold plated. The other end is a mini XLR cable. It is an excellent connection, with a built-in latch that holds the cable securely in place in the headphones ear cup. And you can feel it click into place. I absolutely LOVE IT!

    Pulling out the headphones themselves, I was extremely impressed! The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro are an open back design, and looking at the earcups you can tell. The earcups are an extremely high quality metal design, that also has a type of mesh for that open design. I was extremely impressed, but it didn’t stop there. I also loved the soft velvet ear pads that also employed memory foam. The head band was a soft black leather. They can also be considered investment quality, as they are built very well, to give years of service. I couldn’t wait to actually try them out and hear how they sound.

    With as impressive as they looked and felt in hand, I couldn’t wait to try them out. They were very simple to adjust the headband, to get the right height for me. The ear cups also swivel, so you get a good fit around your ears. And the soft velvet ear pads are so soft! The only downside is on long listening sessions they got warm and sweaty. They’re really comfortable for those long sessions, they just got me a little sweaty is all.

    Now it’s time for the good part; the listening test. At first, I went to my trusty tracks that I like to go to for reviews. I soon found myself going all throughout my music collection, listening to different songs. I ended up just getting lost in the music, because they are that good sounding. I would say that to me, their overall sound signature was very natural, and neutral. They were neither overly bright nor warm. They played the music the way it was meant to be heard.

    The sound that they delivered was nothing short of outstanding. I have spent over 40 years around pianos. The harmonics and resolution that you can hear when you stand next to a piano being played is very hard to reproduce. Recording a piano is easy. But getting it to sound completely natural is extremely difficult! While not perfect, they were one of the best I have heard for piano. Everything else sounded excellent as well. Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue, the clarinet sounded really crisp and woody in the reed, being able to hear excellent resolution such as the breathing technique. Piano had nice dynamics and low level harmonics with no detectable coloration. Bassoon had nice texture and clear tonguing. The soundstage was huge, and the imaging was precise. Horns were smooth and not overly brassy. Steve Miller Band: Swingtown, had crisp percussion, and vocals that were silky smooth with nice timbre. I felt like I was right next to them in the recording studio. Michael Jackson: Don’t Stop Till you Get Enough, again threw a big soundstage. This track has so many instruments and a ton of energy, and it all came through in spades. This is a very well recorded track. And when you can hear room acoustics come thru, then you know you are looking at a stellar pair of headphones. Through them you will hear details you have never heard before in your music. Metallica: Sad but True, had nice datail in the percussion and cymbals. Kick drum had nice depth and impact.  To really test the bass output, I turned to my old school Techmaster PEB: Activate, and Time to Jam. Wow! The bass was clean, deep, extending below the audible limits, and played with authority that surprised me.

    This has been a very pleasant, yet difficult review, all at the same time. The sound quality of the Beyerdynmamic DT 1990 Pro has to be heard to be appreciated. And that was the problem for me. I kept getting lost in the music. I kept finding myself listening for enjoyment, and not subjectivity. So I had to keep reminding myself to stay on track. I guess that’s probably the best compliment that can be given. With the excellent build quality, comfort to wear, and amazing sound quality, it’s a perfect sample of synergy. At an MSRP of $599, it’s not for everyone. I think Ferris Bueller said it best. “It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.” It is choice. And it’s now my new reference model for my own personal listening. Based on its design, features, quality and performance, the Beryerdynamic DT 1990 Pro has earned our Editor’s Choice Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at


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    Wednesday, October 19, 2016

    2016 Annual Holiday Gadget Gift Guide

    You know fall is upon us when you see everyone gearing up for Halloween. And when Fall is here, you also know it’s time for our Holiday Gadget Gift Guide. This year we have some excellent products in our gift guide, from a good range of different product types. As we always do with our gift guide, below are descriptions, photos, and the review schedule for our gift guide. We always do full product reviews for each product in our gift guide. Hopefully, our gift guide will give you some great ideas for manufactures and their products. And if any in particular perk your interest, check back for it’s full review.

    If you are looking for some wireless in-ear monitors, the Byron BT Wireless could be for you. They are small in-ear headphones and will connect up to your smartphone with Bluetooth. Some of their key features are Bluetooth 4.1, aptX for hi-fi sound, and 7.5 hr play time. And they came from a company Beyerdynamic, who knows headphones.  MSRP is $100.  Review is scheduled for week ending 10/30/16.

    Looking for some really high end headphones? The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro could be just the ticket. They are high end handmade in Germany quality. The ear pads are ultra soft velvet for those long listening sessions. Construction quality is top notch, as is their sound. And there is no need to worry about getting a short in the cable. They are detachable, so they can be replaced.  MSRP is $600.  Review is scheduled for week ending 10/23/16.
    If you want to tap into your creative side, creating your own music is one way to do it. And the Creative Soundblaster R3 lets you record these personal recording sessions on your PC or laptop. It’s as simple as plugging in the Soundblaster R3 to your computer, and plugging in one of the two included mics to the device. It’s a musicians dream.  MSRP is $100.  Review Is scheduled for week ending 11/13/16.

    Computer speakers have come a long way. And so has Creative with their Creative T50 Wireless. They look like computer speakers, and they also have the needed connections for your computer. But thanks to their built-in Bluetooth, the computer is not needed. They could be used in your office, bedroom, or kitchen, to wirelessly listen to your music.  MSRP is $200.  Review is scheduled for week ending 10/30/16.

    Worried about what happens if crap hits the fan? More and more people are getting the same concerns. Enerplex has you covered with their energy solutions. Their Kicker IV and Jumpr Stack 9 are a portable power solution. Now thanks to solar power, if you choose to bail out of the city and get off grid, you can still have communications with your cellphone.  No need to worry about your cell battery dying.  The Kicker IV solar charger would charge the Jumpr Stack 9 power bank, which can be used to charge your cellphone when the sun is down.  MSRP is $100 for Kickr IV and $80 for the Jumpr Stack 9.  Review is scheduled for week ending 11/13/16.

    Harman Kardon has for many years been a reliable brand for quality sound. With their Omni 20 wireless speaker system, not only can you listen to your music through wireless Bluetooth, it will also play the high resolution music. But if that wasn’t enough, you can link multiple Omni 20 speakers together, to give you a whole house music system, that way you can have the same music playing all throughout your house.  MSRP is $300.  Review is scheduled for week ending 12/4/16.

    Kenwood for many years, has provided one of the biggest and best bang for the buck in car audio. They perform well, and give a lot of features. And if you are an Audiophile and want the best sound as well as all the best features, they have you covered there too. Enter the Kenwood Exelon DNX893S. It’s a double din car stereo receiver with DVD player, Navigation, Bluetooth, HD Radio, High-Resolution Audio, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, so yes, it’s loaded! MSRP is $1,300.  Review is scheduled for week ending 12/11/16.
    Kenwood has also gotten into other car electronic products. Enter the Kenwood DVR-410. It is a high resolution dashcam. It automatically records all of your travel, so now you can go back and watch all of your scenic travels. But it also has built-in sensors, like motion detection as well as GPS, so if you were ever to get into a car accident, the footage is locked down so it can be used as evidence.  It even has a parking mode, for protection while you are away from your car.  MSRP is $200.  Review is scheduled for the week ending 11/6/16.

    Magellan has long been known for their great car GPS products. Now they are also doing dash cams. But their Magellan MiVue 420 is not your typical dashcam. It is Super HD, recording in 1296 P. It also has features like lane departure. MSRP is $180.  Review is scheduled for week ending 11/20/16.

    Do you do biking? Sigma Sport has you covered. Bike riding at night can be fun, but to do so, a light is a must. But for mountain biking, it needs to be bright. At 2000 lumens, the Buster 2000 can light up any on or off road path.  The included power bank gives you plenty of burn time.  And it even comes with a helmet adapter, and wireless remote to change brightness settings no matter how you have it mounted.  MSRP is $250.  Review is scheduled for week ending 11/27/16.

    The holiday season can always be a difficult time.  After all, not everyone is easy to shop for.  Whether or not you have a loved one who is difficult to shop for, hopefully we have given some good ideas for some holiday gifts.  All of these products in this years gift guide are excellent products, and would make for a great gift.

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