Monday, December 26, 2011

2011 Stereowise Plus Editor's Choice Awards

2011 has been a good year for some great products. We have seen a lot of different products come in for review. Some are not award worthy. Many are. And many have received our Value, Recommended, or Highly Recommended Awards. But only the best earn our Editor's Choice Award, and make it to the list. Great job, and I hope to see many of you on the same list for 2012! The recipients are:
Alpine Type-X SPX-13PRO Component Speaker System
Asus Xonar Essence STX Sound Card
Asus BW-12B1LT 12x Blu-ray Burner
Asus EAH5850 DirectCU TOP Video Card
Asus Sabretooth P67 Motherboard
AudioControl DQXS 6-Channel Digital Crossover and EQ
Audio-Technica ATH-A900 Audiophile Closed-Back Dynamic Headphones
Beyerdynamic DT 990 Premium Stereo Headphones
Bryston 9b SST2 5-Channel Home Theater Amplifier
Diamond Audio D6 12" DVC Subwoofer
German Maestro GMP 8.35D Monitor Headphones
Intel i5-2500K Quad-Core Processor
ION Drum Rocker Premium Drum Set
Kenwood Excelon DNX9980HD 2-DIN AV Navigation System
Kicker iKick iK501 iPod Dock
Kicker KMT60 Marine Long-Range Speaker System
Otterbox Defender Series Cases
RBH Signature SX 5.1 Surround System Review
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Tablet
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Keyboard Dock
Sigma BC2209 Targa STS Bicycle Computer
Vibe Audio BlackDeath Bass 1 Class GH Subwoofer Amplifier
Westone 4 In-Ear Monitors
ZVOX Z-BASE 580 Soundbar
2011 has been a year of great products. Kudos to all of you. We look forward to discovering what wonderful products are in store for 2012. From the staff at Stereowise Plus, many thanks, and a Happy Holidays!
Jeff Roy
Head Wiz and Editor

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Kicker KMT60 Long-Range Tower System Marine Speakers Review

Up for review today is a pair of marine speakers from Kicker, their KMT60 Long-Range Tower System. We like to be able to listen to music wherever we go. Out on the lake is no different. While it is a lot of fun on the lake, it is even more fun with our tunes.
The marine environment is a bit different. Boats tend to be loud, and also open. So designing a speaker for the marine environment, it should be able to play loud as well. Typically, you can design speakers to do that a couple of different ways. First, you can design a speaker to be extremely energy efficient. That means it can play louder with less power. So for example, a common speaker efficiency rating is 85db. A speaker that is rated at 88db will be able to play just as loud with half the power. The next way is to design the speaker to handle high power. The more power you give it, the louder the speaker can play. The Kicker KMT60 Tower System is actually designed with both in mind, thanks to the MTM design (midwoofer-tweeter-midwoofer). They are extremely efficient, and can handle a lot of power. So whether you are drifting, or tearing down the lake at 50 miles an hour, your tunes will be heard.
Their features and specs include:
Let's you "live loud" 50 ft. from your boat
Can also be used as patio speakers
Stainless steel hardware
5 way binding posts
Fits seven different diameter wake board tower pipes
Removable grilles
Removable front baffle for flexible mounting
Type: 2-Way
Woofer (in., cm): 6-1/2, 16.5
Tweeter (in., cm): 3/4, 2.0
Tweeter Horn (in., cm):2x6-1/2, 5.1x16.5
Max Rec Amplifier Power (watts PEAK/RMS)*: 300/150
Sensitivity (dB 1w/1m): 93
Frequency Response (Hz): 50-21k
Standard Dimensions (in.): 19-1/16W x 9H x 11D
Metric Dimensions (cm): 48.4W x 22.9H x 28D
The Kicker KMT60 Tower System came well packaged and double boxed, so they were well protected. Opening their box revealed your typical molded styrofoam to the shape of the speakers. They are designed to mount on the wakeboard of a boat. Accessories included are the metal mounts that wrap around the wakeboard and attach to the speakers. And then there are several inserts that go between the mounts and the bar. Many of these wakeboard bars have a chrome finish, so the inserts protect the finish of the bar.
Build quality was also very good, with excellent fit and finish. The box was a black plastic that felt solid. The front showed off its dual 6" midbass drivers, and a horn tweeter in the middle of the two midbass drivers. The midbass drivers also had a plastic grill mounted over each one, to keep them protected. The binding posts on the rear at the enclosure was also of high quality, and twisted down to hold the wire in place.
I also like the design of the Kicker KMT60. The tweeter in the middle of the two midbass drivers is a great sounding design. Horn tweeters can be loud, and also gets extra protection with the actual driver being deep in the horn. There was also a small cloth filter for further protection from the elements. The sleek enclosure is pleasant looking, and sealed for further protection from the elements.
I thought I would start out with some great vocals with the Eagles: Take It Easy. The vocals had great timbre and harmonics without any coloration....very smooth sounding. The cymbals and percussion were nice and crisp without being too harsh. The imaging was excellent!
Next up was Metallica: Nothing Else Matters. I love this track for testing out a tweeter with the strings of the acoustic guitar in the beginning of the song. The horn tweeter did a phenomenal job! The guitar came thru really crisp and clean. And when all the other instruments kicked in, the KMT60's really showed off their dynamics and midbass punch.
Since it is the Christmas season, I thought I would finish the listening test with some Mannheim Steamroller: God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman. Since my Kenwood Exceleon DNX9980HD reference receiver can handle DVD's, I used a DVD for it's higher resolution. WOW! The resolution and detail was phenomenal! The soundstage was excellent and imaging was spot on. The horns were smooth yet not brassy. And the midbass from the drums had great extension, pitch definition, and played with authority.

When it comes to marine speakers, they don't get much better than the Kicker KMT60 Tower System. The fact that they come in their own enclosure, you know they will sound good in your install. And while they are categorized as marine speakers, they can be used in any recreational vehicle, such as an ATV, or just out on the patio. Based on their features, design, and performance, the Kicker KMT60 has earned our Editor's Choice award. Their MSRP of $600 may seem a little high to some, but you do get what you pay for. And they do sound great! For more info and complete specs, check out their website at Reference gear included Kenwood Excelon DNX9980HD receiver, Vibe Audio Black Death Bass 1 sub amp, Vibe Audio Litebox Stereo 4 amp, and dual Diamond Audio D6 12"subwoofers.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Coby MP957 HD Video & MP3 Player Review

When it comes to MP4 & MP3 players there are a lot of options out there. In our economy, it is easy to look for value with a lot of features. The Coby MP957 is one such device. It is a MP4 & MP3 player at heart, but it does more, such as an e-reader.
It's features and specs include:
Memory Included: 4GB
Memory Type: Flash Memory
Max Built-in: 4GB or 8GB (optional microSDHC)
Display Size: 5.0 Inch
Display Type: Color TFT LCD
Display Resolution: 800x480
Audio Input: 3.5mm Headphone Terminal
Audio Output: Integrated Stereo Speakers
Video Output: Mini HDMI - Type C (max 1080p) 3.5mm
Component Video (max 1080p)
USB Port 2,0 Hi-Speed
Audio Format Support: MP3, WMA
Video Format Support: MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG-4, H.264, H.263, WMV
Photo Format Support: JPG, GIF, BMP, PNG
OSD Menu Languages: English, Spanish, French, German
Certifications: CE, FCC
AC Adapter and Charger: (DC 5V)
Battery Type: Integrated Rechargeable Lithium Polymer
Battery Capacity: 1600mAH
Unit Dimension: (WHD) 3.33" x 5.04" x 0.54"
Package Dimension: (WHD) 7.24" x 5.63" x 2"
The Coby MP957 came well packaged with all the accessories needed, such as power cable, manual, and earbuds, carry case, USB cable, HDMI cable, and remote control. The fit and finish was nice. Quality appeared good. It had a good heft to it, and felt solid. The screen was not a touch screen, but it had good saturation and resolution, and overall looked pleasant.
The layout of the device was also well thought out. Inputs and outputs were on both sides. The right side had the headphone jack, video out, micro SD card slot, and volume up and down buttons. The left side had the HDMI out and USB. The top of the device had the power/play/pause button, esc., forward, backward, and menu buttons. On the back were the pair of built-in speakers. On the bottom was the IR sensor for the remote control.
The Coby MP957 was easy to use and performed well. The movie settings allowed you to watch movies on your device in DVD quality. The photo mode was what you would search though the photos shared on the device, and you can even set it to do a slide show. The same was true for modes for radio and e-reader, which is where you would go to listen to the radio and read documents. You could manage your music by genre, artist, album, or rating, and also save your favorite radio channels. The Coby MP957 even allows you to play music while watching a slide show of your photos.
Performance of the Coby MP957 was good. Video and photos looked good. And with the video out, you can watch up to 1080p on your big screen. Using the e-reader worked ok. You could zoom in to make the text bigger, but it would not save from page to page. It worked for pdf files, but not for full e-books and us not compatible with Kindle or Nook. Music sounded pretty good stored on the Coby MP957. The Coby MP957 did not have a built in fm or am antenna, like most mp3 players. Instead, it uses the earbud/headphone cable as the antenna. It's radio tuner was not overly impressive, but did work as well as expected for a small device. I also did like the fact that the Coby MP957 also has a built-in calendar.
The Coby MP957 proved to be a great little device that provided a lot of bang for your buck. And with an MSRP of $109.99, this player is and excellent value. Based on it's design, features and performance, it has earned our Value Award. For more info and complete specks, check out their website at

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Coby Snapp HD Cam5002 HD Camcorder Review

There are a few things that you can always count on: death, taxes, and prices on electronics going down. Up for review today is the Coby Snapp HD Cam5002, which is an example of that last fact. I remember when an HD camcorder cost over $500. While the Coby Snapp HD Cam5002 does not have many of the fancy feature of a full sized camcorder, it still does HD video. And it does it at a retail price of around $49.99.
The features and specs of the Coby Snapp HD Cam5002 include:
Memory Type: Flash Memory Max 32MB
Flash Hard Drive Type: SD card/SDHC-compatible, max 32GB
Display Size 2.0
Display Type: Color TFT LCD
Connections:Audio Output Integrated Speaker
Video Output: HDMI / 3.5mm composite video
USB Port: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed (integrated plug)
Video Sensor: CMOS Media/Format Support
Video Format Support: AVI (Motion JPEG), HD (1280x720) @ 30 fps, VGA (640x480) @ 30 fps
Photo Format Support: 5.0 MP (2592 x 1944)
Additional Functions: LED Light Certifications CE, FCC
Battery Type: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (removable)
Unit Dimension: (WHD) 2.2" x 4 4" x 0.7"
Package Dimension: (WHD) 6.7" x 9.65" x 1.75"
Packaging was a typical cheap plastic box that also showed off the camcorder, so shoppers can see it. Included accessories comprised of a cloth case, hand strap, manual, charging cable/video cable, software CD, and a rechargeable battery. I was a little surprised with the lack of a dedicated charging cable, but it was not necessary. Included is a USB cable to upload video to your computer, and it doubles as your charger.
Fit and finish was sufficient. The plastic body was as expected at it's price point. It seemed put together well. On the back is the color LCD display, navigation buttons, mode and trash buttons. On the bottom is the threading so the Coby Snapp HD CAM5002 can be attached to a tripod. On one side is the power button as well as connections for HDMI and audio/video cable. On the other side is the SD memory card slot and the button for the USB connection. I thought the design of the USB charger connection was pretty cool. It is hidden in a small compartment at the top of the camcorder which is spring loaded. So when you push the button down, out flips the USB charger connector from the top of the device. The front of the device houses the rechargeable lithium-ion battery compartment, the microphone, speaker, and lens.
I liked the small size of the devise. It is small enough to carry in your purse of pocket. It also included 32MB of on board memory. That really isn't enough to record video on the included memory. You can only record around 20 seconds worth of 720p or double that for recording in VGA. But 32MB is big enough to be able to take several pictures. It can save 17 at 5MP, 28 at 3MP, and 69 at 1MP. Pressing the trash button will also take you into the settings menu.
Performance of the Coby Snapp HD Cam5002 was about as expected at its price point. The battery is only 800MAH, so using it record a 2 hour long concert won't work. But using it to record your shorter precious moments works great. The colors came out ok. And while the video was a tad jittery, the video was still very usable. The bonus is the included muvee video editing software that lets you edit your movies, and upload them to sites like You Tube. My kids loved using it to record home movies of themselves, and then watch themselves on the big screen.
Overall, the Coby Snapp Cam5002 performed well. At it's given price point, being able to record in HD will make for happy customers and also make for a great Christmas gift. Based on it's quality, price and performance, it has earned our Value Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sigma BC2209 Targa STS Bicycle Computer Review

When it comes to bicycle computers, there are a lot of options. There are many products from many companies. Up for review is a premium quality product from Sigma, the Sigma BC2209 STS Targa. It is a more expensive product when it comes to bicycle computers, so you won't find it in your local Walmart. But as is the case with a lot of electronics, you tend to get what you pay for.
It's features and specs include:
General Functions:
Auto start/stop
Auto conversion between MPH & KMH
Large display with easy to read icons
7 available languages
Integrated storage chip for data backup
Low battery indicator (computer head & transmitters)
2 adjustable wheel sizes
Automatic recognition of bike 2
Current temperature
Compatible with wired speed harness (sold separately)
PC compatible
Bike Functions:
Current speed
Average speed
Maximum speed
Trip distance
Current/Average speed comparison
Total distance bike 1, bike 2 & bike 1+2 (not shown while riding)
Current and average cadence (cadence transmitter optional)
Programmable trip section counter; up & back
Time Functions
Ride time
Clock (12/24 hr)
Countdown timer
Total ride time bike 1, bike 2 & bike 1+2 (not shown while riding)
Heart Rate Functions
Current heart rate
Average heart rate
Maximum heart rate
Calorie counter
Altitude Functions
Current altitude
Day's climb/descent (programmable)
Day's maximum altitude
Total altitude uphill bike 1, bike 2 & bike 1+2 (not shown while riding)
Hiking Functions:
Hiking Time
Target Time (countdown timer)
Clock (12/24 hr)
Current temperature
Current heart rate
Average heart rate
Maximum heart rate
Calorie counter
Current altitude
Day's climb/descent (programmable)
Day's maximum altitude
Total day's climb
Total hiking time
I was very impressed with the product. It came well packaged, and was well protected in the packaging. It's quality and fit and finish was very good. And the included installation instructions were easy to follow.
As you can see from the features and specs, the Sigma BC2209 Targa STS is not limited when it comes to accessories. It is loaded with features and comes with the accessories for these features. Your typical bicycle computer will come with the computer and the needed mounts. But the Sigma BC2209 will also work for hiking and personal training. So naturally, there are accessories for these features. Included in the box was a wristband with a mount built-in, so you can wear it when you go hiking or running. There is a sensor that you wear around your chest to read your heart rate. With this you can check your heart rate and calories burned. And an optional accessory for the Sigma BC2209 is the cadence sensor. With the cadence sensor, you can slow or increase the speed and track your cadence for personal training. Sigma even has a software program that will allow you to track your performance!
Installation of the Sigma BC2209 Targa STS was easy to follow with the included instructions. And as the Sigma BC2209 can track use on multiple bikes, it also includes the accessories to do so. You can use the plastic ties to permanently mount it, or you can use the rubber bands to mount is. This mounting option allows you to easily move the sigma from bike to bike.
Using the Sigma BC2209 was simple, and it performed very well. The display is large and sufficiently bright. The backlight is sufficiently bright at night. I also liked the 2 different modes, depending on functionality you want displayed. Setting up the device and going into the settings was easy to do. And the altimeter really did work! Taking it off road onto the trail caused no problems for the Sigma BC2209. I also loved the cadence accessory when doing my workouts and training.
I was very pleased with the quality and performance of the Sigma BC2209 STS. If you have a mountain bike, and actually use it on the trail as it was designed, I would definitely suggest the Sigma BC2209 Targa. And for training, the cadence accessory is a worthwhile purchase. And being able to see your performance on your PC is just awesome! Based on it's design, features, and performance, the Sigma BC2209 has earned our Editor's Choice Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sansa Zip Clip MP3 Player Review

Mp3 Players come in many different sizes. Up for review today is the Sansa Clip Zip, which employs a small and simple design. It is simple enough for use by all ages. And even though it is very simple to use, they managed to get a lot of features into a very small drive.
It's features and specs includes:
Easy clip on
Easy Go1.1" full color screen with new graphical user interface and album art display
Voice recording with built-in microphone
Play FM radio stations
AAC Compatible (DRM-free iTunes)
Expanded memory slot
User-friendly interface
Versatility meets affordability
AAC Compatible (DRM-free iTunes), MP3, WMA, secure WMA, Ogg Vorbis, and FLAC. Rhapsody Music trial offer*** (CD & insert)
The Sansa Zip Clip came well packaged and protected. It was placed in a molded plastic enclosure with a clear plastic cover. That way you can see the device through the box. Included items were the player, a small charging cable, earbuds, user manual, and installation software.
The quality of the player seemed good. There was a spring loaded belt clip that appeared sturdy enough. The buttons felt good, and I liked the color LCD display. Fit and finish also appeared good. While a pair of earbuds were provided which is expected, they are also cheap in quality, again as expected. So you would probably want to use them just until you can replace them with a better fitting and sounding pair of earbuds.
Using the device was simple, with different modes for music, audio books, radio, and recordings. Music is for just that. And you are able to look up your music based on album, artist, and genre. It also has a handy mix feature which will do a random shuffle and play songs on your device. You can also do a continuous loop and keep repeating a particular song. Audio books lets you save audio books on your device that you can listen to. The radio section allows you to scroll through the various radio channels in your area, and uses the cable in your earbuds as the antenna. You can also store your favorite stations in memory. It's recording feature allows you to record memos to yourself using the built-in microphone. It also gives you the ability to search through your recordings.
Another really cool feature that I liked, unlike an iPod, is the available memory in the device. Thanks to the build-in card reader, the Sansa Clip Zip has unlimited storage. All you need is additional memory cards. The card reader also includes Sansa's Slot Radio functionality. This makes it compatible with Sansa's prerecorded music cards. These cards come preloaded with over a thousand songs from various genres. There are many different genres, such as 80's & 90's, Classical, Country, Rock, R&B, Oldies, etc. To test this functionality, Sansa also included a VH1 Classic card. This featured Billboard's top hits from the 70's, 80's, and 90's. I loved the 80's and One Hit Wonder categories on the card.
Using the device proved to be very simple. It was easy to navigate trough the menus. I also liked the set-up feature that included an equalizer, so you can better customize the sound towards your liking. Sound quality from the device was also good. The built-in microphone performed as good as expected. It wasn't great, but it was usable. The sound quality was also good for the music section. It was not audiophile quality, but it was sufficiently good. Performance of the tuner was also as good to be expected from a small device. Local stations were pulled in ok. And downloading music was as simple as dragging music to your player thru Windows Media Player.
I enjoyed using the Sansa Clip Zip. It was so simple to use, it really is designed for use by all ages. My eight year old was able to figure it out. And if this is a gift to help get grandma in the digital age, I'm sure she could figure it out as well. And at an MSRP of $49.99, it is a great value. Based on it's quality, features, and performance, it has earned our Value Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website of

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Kicker iK501 iPhone/iPod Dock Review

Music is everywhere, and we like to take it everywhere with us. Portable MP3 players let us do that. And with the large storage sized of many of these players, it is easy to throw ALL of our music collection on them. So naturally, it is convenient to want to plug it into a device that will let us listen to our tunes at home, or at work.
Enter the iPod dock. These small portable systems that are great for the bedroom, kitchen, or the office for example. They come in various sizes and levels in quality and price. The Kicker iK501 iPhone/iPod Dock is one such device.
It's features and specs include:
Speaker Design: 2-Way
Woofer (in., cm): 5, 12.7
Tweeter (in., cm): 3/4, 2.0
Tweeter Design: Silk Dome
Passive Radiator (in., cm): 6x6, 15x15
RMS Power (watts): 2x20
Effective Frequency Range (Hz): 50-20k
Power Supply (volts, ampere): 22, 2.7
Height (in., cm): 8.5, 21.6
Width (in., cm): 19.2, 48.8
Depth (in., cm): 8.4, 21.4
Weight (lb., kg): 9.2, 4.2
MSRP: 279.95
The Kicker iK501 iPhone/iPod Dock arrived double boxed, and it's box had attractive printed packaging. Opening the box was more protective styrofoam, as well as some accessories. Included were the user's manual, remote control, power cord, multiple sized iPod adapters, and an axillary cable for hooking up an MP3 player or other external device.
Upon inspecting the iK501, I saw the quality of product I have come to expect from Kicker. It was well put together with a good quality fit and finish. I used the auxiliary input for external devices for more flexibility. It even has an audio and video output. So if you have video on your iPod, you can export it to a TV. It looked to have some great features, about the only thing I was slightly disappointed in is the lack of radio tuner. I was really excited at the speaker design which showed great promise! The Kicker iK501 has separate 3/4" tweeters, 5" midrange drives and a 6" square passive radiator subwoofer for additional low end extension. I had high hopes for the sound it would provide.
Controlling the device was very simple. There was a blue LCD display that showed the volume, and switching between iPod and auxiliary input. A simple rotary knob is all that is needed to control the device. I also liked the ability to adjust the treble and bass. A build-in handle also made it easy to carry. I also can't forget the included remote control. Navigating thru albums and songs using the touch pad on my iPod Classic can be a pain when it is docked. But the remote makes it easy to do all the necessary navigating. No need to even touch the iPod while it is docked!
I was not disappointed when it came to the sound and performance of the device. I first started with the axillary in, and connected a portable CD player. WOW! It sounded great, and worked great. I pulled out my iPod and connected it. I immediately saw that it had started to charge my iPod.
Now that it is time to really rest the sound, I thought I would first start with some Steve Miller Band: Swingtown. It had nice tight kick drum beats, and the bass guitar had good extension. Vocals were natural and quite smooth sounding. The cymbals were also sufficiently crisp.
Next I wanted to test some real bass with the passive radiator subwoofer. Justin Timberlake: Sexyback did just that. And WOW! The guys at Kicker did a great job designing the iK501! They must have gotten the airspace inside just right, because the passive radiator sure did not sound passive. Bass beats were clean, with a lot of authority. I could actually feel the vibration in my desk and in the floor under my feet! This thing rocks!!
And just incase you aren't really into rockin' out, I then turned to Mannheim Steamroller's Fresh Aire V: Earthrise/Return. I liked the smooth strings, crisp percussion, and overall nice harmonics. There was good resolution in all the instruments. And what surprised me was the soundstage! The iK501 actually provided a nice deep soundstage with good imaging as well.
I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised with the performance of the Kicker iK501. With so many choices of iPod docks, you never know how the device will perform or how good it will sound. With a brand like Kicker, you know they put out products that meet the expectations of their brand. The Kicker iK501 iPhone/Ipod Dock performed well and sounded amazing for an iPod dock. It doesn't get much better then the iK501. Infact, with how good it sounded, I know a few people who would be happy to use it as their primary stereo system! It really did sound good. At an MSRP of $269.95, there are cheaper options out there, but you do get what you pay for. And it performed well for its price point. Based on it's design, features and performance, it has earned our Editor's choice Award, even without the radio tuner. For more info and specs, check out their website at

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

ION Drum Rocker Premium Drum Set Review

Thanks to Rock Band, there are many more self-proclaimed rock stars around the world. But when it comes to playing rock band, you also need to have the right tools. This includes the microphone, guitars, and drums. Up for review today is the ION Drum Rocker Premium Drum Set.
Have you ever seen a drummer on stage performing? I'm sure most of us have. They abuse those drums. And of course, being rock stars, we would have to do the same. But to the dismay of kids, parents, and rockers around the world, not all drum sets are created equal. My kids enjoyed a drum set purchased from a local Best Buy store. But sadly, it could not handle being played like a rock star.
Enter the Ion Premium Drum Set. It's features and specs include:
Officially licensed Premium Drum Set for Rock Band 2 video game for PlayStation 2 and 3
Low-noise, velocity sensitive pads
Fully-adjustable setup
Extremely durable
Expandable with third cymbal or second bass pedal
Can be used as a standalone drum kit when used with optional Alesis DM5 module
Can be connected to a PC to trigger sounds using the optional Alesis TriggeriO
IncludesComplete drumset for Rock Band 2 on PlayStation 2 and 3
Four gum rubber drum pads with mounts
Two gum rubber cymbal pads with mounting arms
Drum pedal
PlayStation game controller
Pro-quality drum rack for mounting all pads and controller
All necessary cables
One pair drumsticks
$249.99 MSRP
The box was packaged well, with a nice picture of the drum set on the box. Unpacking and putting the drum set together, I was pleased with the apparent quality. It is not professional musician stage gear quality, but it is solidly built. The main pole pieces are aluminum, and the screw down connectors are thick plastic that appeared very durable. The included instructions showed step-by-step how to put it all together and was easy to follow. And once it was all put together, it looked like a drum set that could take a lot of abuse from my rock stars. The pads, cymbals, and controllers are also all well built. Even the cables that go from the controller to the drum pads and cymbals are nice thick cables unlike the thin 24-gauge wire of my old set.

It's performance did not disappoint. Playing the set was easy. And with the build quality I was not worried about hitting them too hard and breaking them. The drum pads and cymbals were sensitive while not being overly sensitive and the cymbals performed just as well. And the drum pedal felt like a real drum pedal.
When it comes to designing a durable, well performing, perfect drum set for Rock Band, ION nailed it with their Premium Drum Set. This is the drum set every young budding rock star needs. And to make things even better, if you think you have a drummer in the making, ION has you covered there too. The Premium Drum Set is usable with their optional module, which turns the drum set into a stand alone drum set.
The ION Drum Rocker Premium Drum Set really was a delight to use. And the quality was great! Based on it's design, quality, and performance, it has earned our Editor's Choice Award. If you want your rock star to be really happy this Christmas, I'm sure the ION Drum Rocker Premium Drum Set will help. For more info and specks, check out their website at

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