Sunday, March 31, 2013

2013 Annual Headphone Shootout Part One: The Over The Ear Models

It's March Madness time again, and that must also mean that it is also time for headphone manufacturers to go at it as well here at in our annual Headphone Shootout. We have all different styles, from over the ear featuring open and closed back, as well as in ear monitors. Some are even more specialty models, one over the ear from Motorhead designed and tuned for the rocker enthusiast. Then there is a truly custom molded in ear model from ACS. Today is part one of two parts, and features the over the ear design, from Motorhead, Audio-Technica, Jabra, Beyerdynamics, Monster, and Velodyne.

When it comes to March Madness, the teams are bracketed, based on the quality and performance of the team. And every year, some lower bracketed teams perform above their bracket, while some higher bracketed teams perform under their bracket. In most games, the higher bracket team wins, but sometimes a lower bracketed team will surprise. There are no brackets for headphones, just prices. And just as with the basketball teams, most models are accurately priced for their performance. But just as is with March Madness, sometimes there are surprises. Each model will be evaluated based on design, features, quality, and performance. And a listening test with several songs from different genres. Let the fun begin!

First up is a pair from Motorhead. Designed for rockers, to play loud, with their Moterizer model. They are a closed back DJ style design.

Features and specs:
-Microphone:     Yes, Controlizer
-Acoustic Design:     Dynamic, closed-back
-Driver:     ΓΈ40 mm, neodymium
-Sensitivity:     102 dB SPL (1mW) at 1KHz
-Frequency Response:     10 – 20,000 Hz
-Max Input Power:     200 mW
-Rated Impedance:      68 O 1KHz
-Earpad:     Velvet
-Headband Pressure:     Approx. 4.5 N
-Cable:     1 m (3.3 ft.) & 2.5 m (8.2 ft.) straight cable, single-sided
-Connector:     3.5mm gold plated stereo mini jack, 3.5 mm/6.3 mm adaptor

They came shipped in a box designed to look like a stage box that holds music gear for bands. They are mostly constructed of plastic with some rubber. They felt very durable. Construction quality and materials used, as well as fit and finish were good. They had cloth ear pads that felt soft. The Moterizer also felt comfortable on my head. I really liked the detachable cable! Included were two cables, one was much longer, and the other had built-in mic and Ipod/Cell phone controls. Also included is a cloth storage bag. MSRP is $129.

Brunson Brothers: Fleace Movae provided fairly crisp and clean trumpets, and good resolution. Bass extension was also good as was it's output. Fresh Aire II: Going To Another Place, percussion and strings were very crisp. Strings had great resolution and piano sounded natural. Bass output also had good authority. Steve Miller Band: Swingtown, yielded good resolution in the percussion and keyboard. Vocals sounded very natural. Guitar also sounded very good. Bass had good extension and output with punch. No Doubt: Hellagood had very good dynamics in the percussion. Bass had very good punch and played with authority. Vocals were smooth and had a lot of energy. The whole track had a lot of energy, and the Moterizer delivered in spades. The resolution was also quite good as well.

The Audio Technica ATH-AD500X is a pair of open back headphones. They are mostly plastic, with an aluminum mesh on the back. They features a wing system that helps them feel light when wearing them.

Features and specs:
•  Newly designed 53 mm drivers with CCAW voice coils reproduce remarkably natural sound, with deep, impactful bass and outstanding vocal projection
•  Open-air headphones produce no sense of pressure on the ears, resulting in a completely natural sensation
•  Lightweight honeycomb aluminum casing
•  Self-adjusting 3D Wing Support Housing provides comfortable support for a more enjoyable listening experience
•  Flexible raised-fabric earpads offer excellent wearing comfort and durability
•  Highly conductive OFC (oxygen-free copper) single-sided cable with elastic TPE sheath to prevent tangles
•  Gold-plated stereo 1/8" (3.5 mm) connector with 1/4" (6.3 mm) adapter
Type:     Open-air Dynamic
Driver Diameter:     53 mm
Frequency Response:     5 – 25,000 Hz
Maximum Input Power:     500 mW
Sensitivity:     100dB/mW
Impedance:     48 ohms
Weight:     235 g
Cable:     3.0 m (9.8')

The Audio-Technica ATH-AD500X came in an attractive box with a large plastic window to see the product. While they are mostly plastic in construction, the quality of components as well as the fit and finish is good. I liked the high quality cloth ear cup covers. Also included was a 1/4" plug adapter. The feel of their wing system is different, yet one that you get used to. And they were comfortable. MSRP is $169.

Brunson Brothers: Fleace Movae yielded good clean trumpets with good resolution. Bass extension was ok as was it's output. Fresh Aire II: Going To Another Place had crisp percussion. The flute had good air and the piano was natural sounding. Resolution of all the instruments was great. Steve Miller Band: Swingtown provided clean percussion with nice and smooth vocals. Bass had good extension and output with some authority. Guitars had nice resolution. No Doubt: Hellagood was very dynamic in the percussion. Bass had good low end extension and played with good output. Vocals were quite natural with a lot of energy.

Next up is the similar Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X. They are nearly identical to the ATH-AD500X in components and materials used in the construction, as well as their quality and the fit and finish, which is still good. The aluminum honeycombed casing on the back is also the same. The drivers used however are better, yielding a wider frequency response and power handling. MSRP is $199.

Features and specs:
•  Newly designed 53 mm drivers reproduce clear treble and midrange
•  Bobbin-wound CCAW voice coils for superior power handling
•  Full open-air type headphones produce no sense of pressure on the ears, resulting in a completely natural sensation
•  Lightweight aluminum honeycomb casing with excellent acoustic properties
•  Self-adjusting 3D Wing Support provides a comfortable listening experience; total ear-fit design minimizes pressure
•  Flexible raised-fabric earpads offer excellent wearing comfort and durability
•  Highly conductive OFC single-sided cord with elastic TPE sheath to prevent tangles
•  Gold-plated stereo 1/8" (3.5 mm) connector with 1/4" (6.3 mm) adapter
Type:     Open-air Dynamic
Driver Diameter:     53 mm
Frequency Response:     5 – 30,000 Hz
Maximum Input Power:     700 mW
Sensitivity:     100dB/mW
Impedance:     38 ohms
Weight:     265 g
Cable:     3.0 m (9.8')

Brunson Brothers: Fleece Movae had nice clean trumpets, nice resolution in the percussion, and bass extension was ok but did not provide much authority. Fresh Aire II: Going To Another Place, strings were extremely crisp with excellent resolution. Piano was natural sounding and the flute had good air. Bass had nice extension. Steve Miller Band: Swingtown, provided crisp and clean percussion with great resolution. The keyboard sounded natural as did the smooth vocals. Bass had ok resolution. No Doubt: Hellagood, had good dynamics in the percussion. Resolution was quite good with all the instruments. Bass had nice extension and punch. Vocals were quite sultry sounding. There was a lot of energy in the track, and it was brought out fairly well.

Next up is the Jabra Revo. It is a standard on the ear model. It does have a detachable cable. They are known for their wireless earpiece for cell phones, and this model is part of Jabras Music line.

Features and specs:
Connectivity: 3.5 mm Jack
• Works with mobile phones
• Connects to a PC and can be used to stream music/sound and for voice calls
• Music Phone
• MP3
• Dolby Digital Plus
Frequency Response: Hifi
Microphone Type: Omni Directional/noise filter
Microphone Sensitivity: Standard (E-STD)
Wearing Style: Headband

The Jabra Revo came in a hard clear plastic case to show off the product. They looked like a premium product, and pulling them out of the box only confirmed that suspicion. They were constructed of metal, rubber and plastic materials of very good quality. The fit and finish was also very good. And they felt well made in hand. The earcups felt like a type of memory foam was used for a comfortable fit. And looking in the earcups was a piece of cloth that on one side said right and the other read left. It's a great touch that makes it easy to know you are putting them on right. And I loved the detachable cable. There is a connection for the cable on both earcups, so you can actually attach the cable to whichever side you prefer. Also included was a cloth storage bag and owners manual. MSRP is $199.

Brunson Brothers: Fleece Movae, there was nice resolution in the trumpets and percussion. Trumpets were nice and clean. Bass extension was very good, with the same output although a bit muddy. They also provided a good amount of energy. Fresh Aire II: Going To Another Place, provided very good resolution in the strings and percussion. Piano sounded natural. There was very good extension in the bass, which actually delivered some punch. Overall sound was just a tad warm. Steve Miller Band: Swingtown, had good resolution in the percussion and guitar. The keyboard sounded natural. Bass had nice extension with lots of authority. Vocals were also natural sounding. No Doubt: Hellagood, was extremely dynamic in the percussion. Bass had very good extension and played with serious authority. Vocals had great timbre and sounded natural. There was a lot of energy, and it all came out well!

The Beyerdynamics Custom One Pro is a DJ style over the ear headphones design. Unlike most over the ear headphones, these can be customized, in look and sound. The ends of the earcups allow for custom plates. There is also a 3 position slider on each earcup, to customize the bass output.

Features and specs:
•  Closed headphone
•  Variable bass reflex system
•  Versatile design with replaceable accessories
•  High efficiency due to 16-Ohm drivers
•  Rugged headband made of spring steel
•  Single-sided, plug-in type connecting cable
•  Soft, replaceable ear and headband pads
•  Gold-plated mini stereo jack plug (3.5 mm) & 1/4" adapter (6.35 mm)

The Beyerdynamics Custom Pro came in a attractive box with a clear plastic window so you can see the customizable earcups. They were mostly constructed of a high quality hard plastic, with some metal. The fit and finish was good as well. Also included was a soft storage case and owners manual.

Brunson Brothers: Fleece Movae, yielded good resolution and soundstage, with clean trumpets. Extension and output of the bass was quite nice, and also very clean. Fresh Aire II: Going To Another Place, the strings were crisp and clean and the flute had good air. Piano also sounded natural. The bass had impact, but not with a lot of authority. Steve Miller Band: Swingtown, had nice resolution in the percussion. Keyboard sounded natural as did the vocals, and had a nice sized soundstage. The bass sounded a tad subdued, but had a good low end extension and had some punch. No Doubt: Hellagood, had very good dynamics in the percussion. Bass extension was great and had lots of authority. Vocals were quite sexy. The sound was clean with a lot of energy. The Custom One Pro also had a customizable bass output settings on the side of each earcup, to custom tailor the bass output to your liking. Not only did it actually work, but it worked well!

Those of you who have Monster cable products know of their quality. For Monster, it is not just the product itself, it is also about the presentation. In those regards, the Monster Headphones Diamond Tear delivers in spades. They have an amazing design, look and feel.

Features and specs:
•  High-performance music headphone lets you feel like you are in the studio with the recording artists
•  Includes ControlTalk Universal Cable and Apple ControlTalk Cable, for calls through your headphones
•  Low profile, right-angle connector for a snag-free, secure fit
•  No-hassle, tangle-free cables lets you move freely
•  Monster Cleaning Cloth with advanced Aegis Microbe Shield

The Diamond Tears came in a gorgeous black box, with images and specs of the headphones. There was a small fabric tab at the bottom, and pulling up on the tab opened the box. Opening the box at the same time also raised at an angle the headphones! It was really something I had never seen before in packaging, and quite cool. The Diamond tears were of the very high quality materials as well. heir fit and finish was also extremely good. The materials used were mostly plastic, rubber and some metal. I loved the rainbow effect the sides have. They felt well put together in hand. While they are on the car design, they were still very comfortable to wear. Also included were detachable cloth cables, one of them with a built in mic and controls, a cloth case, and manual. There is actually a connector for the cord on both earpads, so you can have the cord on whichever side you prefer. MSRP is $329.

Brunson Brothers: Fleece Movae, there was very good resolution in the trumpets, which also sounded smooth. Percussion was crisp, and bass output and extension was great with plenty of authority. Fresh Aire II: Going To Another Place, provided crisp strings with very good resolution. Flute had good air and the piano was very natural. The drums had nice bass and the resolution was quite good. The bass also had nice extension and impact with authority. Steve Miller Band: Swingtown, the resolution was nice in the percussion, and the keyboard sounded natural. Vocals were smooth with good timbre. Resolution was actually quite good with all the instruments. Impact was good in the drums and had nice bass extension with authority. No Doubt: Hellagood, provided very dynamic in the percussion. Bass extension was very good and had good punch and played with authority. Vocals were sexy smooth and natural. All of the energy of the track came out in spades.

Second to last is the Velodyne vTrue. These are large premium headphones that feature an over the ear design. Velodyne first entered into the headphone market last year with the in ear vPulse. This year they continue with the introduction of even more models. The vTrue is their top of the line model. MSRP is $399.

Features and specs:
• Uncompromising studio sound quality for the most discerning audiophiles
• 50 mm drivers tuned to Velodyne's exacting standards
• Braided cloth tangle-resistant cables
• Dual 3.5 mm gold plated cable connectors
• Available in stylish Forged Aluminum & Brown Leather
• 4 foot, 3.5 mm (1/8") Y-cable connector
• 4 foot, 3.5 mm (1/8") Y-cable with control module
• 3.5 mm (1/8") to 6.35 mm (1/4") stereo adapter
• Carrying pouch
Driver size: 50 mm
Frequency response: 10 Hz – 20 kHz
Sensitivity: 96 dB/1 kHz/1 mW
Impedance: 24O
Power handling: 100 mW
Transducer type: Dynamic
Weight: 10.6 oz., without cable

The Velodyne vTrue came in a great looking hard box with a large picture on the front of the vTrue, as well as some specs. Opening the box revealed a great looking pair of large headphones. They were well protected in a custom foam cut-out, that they tightly slid into. The vTrue were constructed of plastic, metal and leather. The materials were of excellent quality as well as the fit and finish. They felt very solid and well put together in hand, worthy of the Velodyne name and tradition. I really liked the use of leather and the brushed aluminum on the ends covering the earcups, and the detachable cable. There were two high quality cloth covered cables, one with built-in mic and phone controls, as well as a cloth storage case.

Brunson Brothers: Fleece Movae, had very good resolution in the percussion. The trumpets were clean and very smooth and threw a nice soundstage. Bass was clean with plenty of extension with nice authority without being overly so. Fresh Aire II: Going To Another Place, had excellent resolution in the strings. The flute had good air. The piano was natural sounding, and they threw a nice soundstage. Bass had good extension, impact, and was natural sounding without having too much output. Steve Miller Band: Swingtown, gave very nice resolution in the percussion and keyboards. bass had good extension and impact. Vocals had great timbre and sounded natural. No Doubt: Hellagood, was very dynamic in the percussion. Bass had good extension and played with authority. Vocals were nice and smooth with great timbre. All of the energy came out very well.

Last but not least is the Beyerdynamics MMX300. They are an over the ear design, but also unique in that they are also designed for gaming. They feature an attached mic. So not only do they work well for music, but they also work well for gaming.

Features and specs:
•  Premium headset with carbon fibre look
•  Cockpit-tested audio components with impressive Hi-Fi quality reproduction
•  Closed-back design headphones
•  Excellent ambient noise attenuation (18 dBA)
•  Ergonomically-designed for superior comfort
•  Professional, noise-compensating condenser microphone for clear and precise voice quality
•  Robust steel headband construction with soft, replaceable ear and head cushions
•  Supplied with carrying case
•  "Made in Germany" with 5 years manufacturers warranty

The Beyerdynamic MMX300, like the Custom One Pro, came in an attractive looking box with a cut out to see the headphones. They are mostly made of plastic, with some metal and cloth. The quality of the materials used was very good. While the fit and finish is good, it just did not seem as solid or well built as they could have been. That is not to say they felt cheap. I was just expecting a tad more at their price point. And while it has built in mic, I would have expected a detachable one. MSRP is $415.

Brunson Brothers: Fleece Movae, had very good resolution. Trumpets were clean and crisp as was the percussion. All of the instruments had very good resolution. Bass extension was great with ok authority. Overall they were a tad bright sounding. Fresh Aire II: Going To Another Place, had crisp and clean strings. The flute had ok air, and the piano sounded natural. Bass extension was good, but with a bit subdued output. Steve Miller Band: Swingtown, provided very good resolution in the percussion and instruments. Vocals were natural with very good timbre. Bass had good extension without a lot of output. But the punch was there. They also threw a nice soundstage with good dynamics. No Doubt: Hellagood, had very good dynamics in the percussion, bass had very good extension and played with authority. Vocals came out smooth and sultry. All of the instruments came out with nice resolution and a lot of energy.

Since the MMX300 is a gaming headphone, we also tried them out with gaming. They were very comfortable to wear for long term gaming sessions. They sounded quite good for gaming as well. Sound effects all around me sounded real, and explosions had good depth. Sound quality of the built-in mic was also very good. While it would have been nice if the mic was detachable, it at least rotates up out of the way when not in use.

With this years over the ear participants, the performance of the models were pretty much as expected. The Motorhead Motorizer however did perform better than expected for their price point. The did not quite perform better than either of the Audio Technica's, but it was close. What the Audio-Technica's lacked it bass output, they made up in resolution, and vicea versa for the Jabra's. Monster delivered a home run in presentation, design, and performance in their Diamond Tears.  Another slight surprise was the Velodyne's. The bass was clean and deep, but for a company with an emphasis on hi-end subwoofers, I was expecting them to be tuned for more bass output. Not that they did not sound good, I was just expecting a little more low-end output. Although I am a bit of a basshead, and love a lot of bass.  Based on their design, features, and performance, the Motorhead Motorizer has earned our Value Award, the Audio-Technica ATH-AD500X and ATH-AD700X have both earned our Recommended Award. The Jabra Revo and Beyerdynamics Custom One Pro, and Beyerdynamics MMX 300 have earned out Highly Recommended Award. The Monster Diamond Tears and Velodyne vTrue have earned our Editor's Choice Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their websites at,,,,,

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Free Audiofly AF33 In-Ear Monitor Giveaway

March Madness is in full swing, and that means that we are also in full swing working on our annual Headphone Shootout.  We are almost done with part 1 of the shootout.  And in spirit of our annual shootout, Audiofly has sponsored a giveaway of a few pairs of AF33 In-Ear Monitors.  To enter our giveaway, just Like us on our Stereowise Plus Facebook page:!/pages/Stereowise-Plus/184623701571544

Likes must be done by midnight PST April 15th 2013 to be entered into the drawing.  Winners will be notified shortly after thru Facebook. One entry per person.  For more info on the Audiofly AF33, check out their website at:  Good Luck!

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Adata XPG SX300 SATA3 256GB mSATA drive and Kingston HyperX 16GB DDR3 RAM Kit Review

The Holiday season is over, and many have used holiday sales to get a laptop. And for many of you, the upgrade bug is starting to bite. For some, it was the thought of being happy with a cheaper model, or buying a model that you knew you would upgrade later. There are not a lot of components you can upgrade in a laptop. But what you can upgrade rather easily is RAM and hard drives.

A faster hard drive will make your laptop boot up faster. Applications will also load and run faster. Upgrading your RAM to a higher quality and quality will also speed up your performance. Whether you are a avid gamer multimedia enthusiast, or multitasking game, the more RAM will give you more headroom to do what you want to do.

Up for review today is some high performance RAM in the form of Kingston HyperX 16GB DDR3-1600 kit, and Adata XPG SX300 SATA3 256GB mSATA drive. Most computers come with 4GB or 8GB or RAM with 2 available slots. So 2 sticks of 8GB RAM for 16GB total will max out your RAM for speedy performance. Most laptops come with a 5400 RPM or 7200 RPM hard drive. And most new laptops also come with an available PCI express expansion slot. That means you can get a small mSATA drive as your primary drive. You would install windows, and all your other programs on your mSATA drive, and all of your multimedia such as photos, music, and video can be stored on your standard hard drive where the speed will not matter as much.

Their features and specs are:
Adata XPG SX300 SATA 256GB mSATA drive:
Form FactorFull-size mSATA
InterfaceSATA 6Gb/sec
NAND FlashMulti-Level Cell (MLC) NAND Flash Memory
ControllerLSI SandForce SF-2281
Dimensions50.95 x 30 x 4mm(L × W × T)
Read: 550 MB/sec.
Write: 505 MB/sec.
IOPS: Read 25,000/Write 85,000 (Maximum 4K Random Write)
Operating Temperature0 °C - 70 °C
Storage Temperature-40 °C - 85 °C
Shock Resistance1500G/0.5ms
MTBF1,200,000 Hours
ECC Recovery
Up to 55 bits correctable per 512-byte sector (BCH)
CertificationRoHS, CE, FCC
Warranty3 Years

Kingston HyperX 16GB DDR3-1600:
-JDEEC standard 1.5V (1.425 ~ 1.575V) Power Supply
-VDDQ = 1.5V (1.425 ~ 1.575V)
-800MHZ fCK for 1600Mb/sec/pin-8 independent internal bank-Programmable CAS Latency: 9-Posted CAS-Programmable Additive Latency: 0, CL - 2, or CL - 1 clock-Programmable CAS Write Latency (CWL) = 8 (DDR3-1600)-8-bit pre-fetch-Burst Length: 8 (Interleave without any limit, sequential with starting adress "000 only), 4 with  tCCD = 4 which does not allow seamless read or write [either on the fly using A12 or MRS]-Bi-directional Differential Data Strobe-Internal(self) calibration : Internal self calibration through ZQ pin (RZQ : 240 ohm 1%.-On Die Termination using ODT pin-Average Refresh Period 7.8us at lower than TCASE 85 degree C <=95 degree C.-Asynchronous Reset-PCB : Height 1.180" (30.00mm), double sided component

Installation was rather easy for both components. Just pull gently away from the memory stick already installed in your laptop on the metal clip. The memory stick will spring up and just pull it out. Do the same to the second memory stick if there is one. The new memory just gets installed in reverse order. For the Adata mSATA drive, the installation is also easy. Just locate your mini PCI Express slot. The card just slides into place, and is secured by a tiny screw. If you are upgrading from a small mSATA cache drive, just unscrew and slide it out. Install the Adata mSATA drive in reverse order.

Performance for both components was top notch. You can see the graph below, which pretty much speaks for itself. Those numbers may not mean a whole lot to some of you. And to give you a better idea, my Lenovo Z580 laptop came with 2 sticks of 4GB RAM at 1600 MHz, and a 32GB Samsung mSATA cache drive. From pushing the power button to windows login was 43 seconds. After typing in my password, windows was done loading in 14 seconds. After installing the memory and mSATA drive, my times dropped to 16 and 8 seconds. Now that's fast! My windows experience was 7.7 for memory and 5.9 for hard drive (with 7.9 being the maximum score.) After the upgrades, I went to 7.8 for memory and 7.9 for hard drive. Yes, both of those components are that good!!  It was a bit of a tighter competition with the memory, with the Kingston narrowly winning in most but the copy category, and then it really wasnt that far behind.  Kingston also won in Aggregate Memory Performance, and latency.  The stock memory was rated at 19.68GB/s while the Kingston hit 20.37GB/s.  With latency it was 50.2ns stock to 47.0ns on the Kingston HyperX.

I could not have been happier with the performance of both components. Kingston makes some of the best memory available, and Adata's XPG SX300 256GB mSATA drive is also one of the best in the industry when you look at their performance ratings. The Adata SX300 just screams! The street prices of the Kingston HyperX 16GB DDR3-1600 is around $150 and the Adata XPG SX300 SATA3 256GB mSATA for $250, they are fairly priced for their performance. With a bit of additional investment, you can turn your laptop into the speed demon you want, and be happy for a long time. Based on their design, quality and performance, they are the best in their categories, and have both earned our Editor's Choice Award. For more info and complete specs, checkout their websites at and

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

STM Jet Roller Wheeled Laptop Bag Review

If you love to travel, you also know the importance of a good bag to travel with. Being a light traveler, a good bag will also allow me to get all my stuff into one bag, so I won’t have to check-in a bag and pay the rising bag fees with airlines. I also want my hard earned money to go towards a high quality product that will last for years. Up for review is the STM Jet Roller Wheeled Laptop bag, which satisfies all my requirements.
Features and specs:
*Comfortable grip trolley handle with smooth rolling wheel system
*Two soft, easy grab handles for a fast overhead storage or removal
*Quick access front pocket for passport, travel docs, keys, pens, etc.
*Front organisational panel with soft lined tablet pocket and room for documents, accessories, drives, etc.
*Clear mesh internal pocket for smaller items or charging cords
*High density padded laptop compartment will protect most 17" laptops
*Large main clothing compartment perfect for 1-3 days of traveling
*Back slip pocket for paperwork or a file or two
main material(s): 300D water resistant micro ripstop polyester
lining: soft brushed nylex, 210D water resistant polyester
device space: 15.7 x 11.2 x 1.1 in / 40 x 28.5 x 3 cm
outer dimensions: 22 x 12.6 x 13.4 in / 56 x 32 x 34 cm
weight: 6.8 lbs / 3.10 kg

The bag came shipped in a standard brown box, and was wrapped in a plastic bag. Lifting the plastic bag off the STM Jet Roller revealed a very high quality bag. The cloth material is a very high quality, as well as the zippers and stitching. The materials, construction, and fit and finish were all excellent. It was obvious this was not your typical Walmart quality bag. I also really liked the zippers used, that had a cloth surround that covered them for a really clean look. The aluminum extension arm worked very well and had a solid feel to it. The wheels at the bottom were smooth rolling. As previously stated, this is a serious quality premium bag.

When it came to testing the performance of the product, I look for synergy. How good is the design and features and what kind of quality does it have. And then, does it have synergy, meaning that it performs better than the sum of the parts. The STM Jet Roller had great design and features as well as excellent quality materials in its construction and build quality. But the end result was even better!

I may sound like a bit of a fan boy, but this is my first experience with STM, and the Jet Roller WAS that good. And they thought of everything. The material was very durable, and zippers were smooth. It had not only a key holder, zipper pocket for loose items, pen holders and other small pockets, but it even had a tablet pocket as well as a laptop compartment. And in the main compartment there was an elastic snap together garment holder.  The overall size was just small enough to fit in an airline overhead compartment and be used as a carry-on. The wheels had bearings and rolled extremely smooth and were quite solid in build quality. I also liked the built-in handle at the very bottom, so you could carry it upside down if you so choose.  The alluminum handle extended from the top of the bag, and it's push button mechanism was smooth, sturdy, and locked solidly in place.  When I got to my destination to visit my family, they could not help but notice how nice the bag was. Then when I started to unpack, that’s when their jaws dropped. They immediately were in awe that I got so much into the Jet Roller.

The STM Jet Roller is an ideal travel bag for anyone, especially a techie! And it has pockets for all of your gadgets, whether they be an mp3 player, headphones, cell phone, tablet, or laptop. The laptop compartment was nicely padded, and the soft cloth lining in the tablet pocket was a nice touch! With an MSRP of $180, it might seem a bit pricey, but having used it, the STM Jet Roller is well worth it! Based on the design, features, quality, and performance, the STM Jet Roller has earned our Editor’s Choice Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at

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