Update – Altec Lansing Soundblade

So today I was listening to my Soundblade (review) today, and the batteries finally cut out while listening to Jimi Hendrix – All Along The Watchtower. So a 3 month period without switching batteries. Not bad for the no-name batteries, but I had it plugged in for extended periods of time. I really like these speakers and think you will too!

June 3, 2009 at 8:14 pm Leave a comment

Review – Cresyn CS-HP500 Headphones

Cresyn CS-HP500 2So after looking for a new set of cans as my old ones were slowly murdering my ears, I was about to pull the trigger on some Sennheisers.  But at a recent trip to, of all other places, Wal-Mart, I decided to look at some headphones.  There were a lot of Sony, Koss and no-name headphones but after searching I saw a black box with the Cresyn CS-HP500’s inside.  Other than looking cool, I thought that these would be just like all of the others.  I thought they would be average.  But for $30 CDN and one of the most lenient return policies, I thought what the hell.

Specs:
Driver size: 38 mm
Impedance: 35 Ω
Sensitivity: 100 dB/mW
Max input power: 1000 mW
Frequency response: 20 ~ 20000 Hz
Weight: 124 g (without cord)

So what first caught my attention was the 38 mm driver.  I new that they weren’t using the same 30 mm driver as most cheap headphones, like my Sony MDR-V150’s.  The fact that they fold up was a bonus, and the clear outer wall looked really good.  To reaffirm the portable status, a carrying pouch is included in the box.

On to the sound.  I’m a little bit of a bass head but I do like the mids to be noticeable and the highs pronounced.  After putting them on for the first time I new that I would like these headphones.  These are the first headphones to actually shake my ears.  They go low.  Real low.  Not muddy low either.  But you can still make out cymbals and hi-hats in up-beat rock songs while the keeping the mids great.  I’m not sure if its just for looks, but there is a cone shape in between the driver and the clear outer wall that moves air to no end.  It feels like there is a nice sound system in front of me with a powerful sub thrown in for good measure.   I’ve had them for about a week, so there will be an update if anything changes (otherwise known as “burn in”).

Cresyn CS-HP500

Like most headphones that sit on top of your ears, these headphones are noticable when you are wearing them.  But because of the pleather on the ear pads and the headband these headphones are great for 3-4 hours of use.

If you are on the fence about what headphones to get, and want to try something cheap, with great sound to boot before you spend $150+, try these.  Your wallet will thank you.

Bottom line: For Bass heads who want high quality sound

4 out of 5

All of my music is encoded at 320 kbit/s .mp3 files and I am using a FiiO E5 with the bass boost set to on.  My EQ is set to 2 out of 4 bass boost on my Samsung P2 with the rest left untouched. For larger versions of the photos, check my Flickr stream (the link is on the right)

May 19, 2009 at 5:00 pm Leave a comment

Review – FiiO E5 Headphone Amp

FiiO E5 Headphone AmpIf you are not happy with your headphones performance, and want a cheap upgrade, welcome to the FiiO E5 portable headphone amplifier.  It sits between your music source (Samsung P2) and turns up the volume.  But it doesn’t just make your music louder, it has a base boost option for bass heads like me.  It has an internal battery charged by mini USB and is rated for about 8 hours.  As you can see, it resembles the iPod shuffle in design.

To say that the E5 makes your music louder would be accurate, but not the full story.  Along with the bass boost it rounds out music and makes it sound warmer and more full.  Listening to Beast – Microcyte sounds much more enjoyable on my Sony MDR-150 with more bass.  All types of music seems to benefit from the E5.  At $20 this is a steal. 

Bottom Line: Better sound at rock bottom prices

4 out of 5

April 23, 2009 at 1:01 pm Leave a comment

Review – Magic DVD Ripper

What’s this? A program to rip DVD’s?  If you have a P2 and want high quality movies on it, with as few steps as possible, this is your program.  Magic DVD Ripper is a $34.97 (USD) program that allows for one touch DVD ripping.

mDVDrJust plop in your DVD, if you want to use the same settings as last time, just hit the large start button and the program goes to work.  Now here is where it gets good for P2 owners.  It has profiles for iPod and other media formats, but there is one specifically for the P2.  It is a 480 X 272 .wmv format that WILL drag and drop right on to your P2.  Thats it.  Hit start, once it is done, copy and paste to you P2.  Done.  You are watching high quality movies on your P2. Your only decision is if it worth 35 bones.

Bottom line: For movie lovers that own a P2, but is a little pricey.

3.5 out of 5

April 19, 2009 at 10:13 pm Leave a comment

Yay?

So the SD210 dock arrived today.  Good news right?  Partially.  After opening the package and setting everything up, I found that my dock doesn’t connect to the computer.  It came with the same cable as the P2, and fits properly in the back of the dock, but will not charge the P2 or connect it to the computer.  The odd thing is the dock knows that the P2 is on it, and the speakers still work when playing music (which go pretty loud, but sound very tinny and not really that good).

Samsung Canada had no idea what I’m talking about, willing to give me the number for their Korean hot line, but was unsure if they spoke English.

So it might be back to eBay.  I’ll keep you posted.

April 9, 2009 at 9:55 am Leave a comment

Review: Altec Lansing inMotion Soundblade

Soundblade2Well, it finally arrived! The Soundblade (MRSP is $129.95, but I found it for $69.99/free shipping) is a 2.0 speaker system with integrated bluetooth (A2DP) and a microphone with play/pause and next/previous track controls.  It also has independent volume controls, separate from the device.  It is only an inch thick (hence the blade name), and uses six(!) AA batteries.  It has a convenient flip out stand that houses a 9V power input (adapter included) and a 3.5mm AUX in (patch cable also included).

Soundblade1On to the sound.  There is very little bass.  The mids are well controlled and the highs are well rounded.  At all volumes the Soundblade still reproduced all of the notes of Beethoven’s 7th symphony, while handling SOAD’s Chop Suey! with competence. It is also great for podcasts, voices sound clear and crisp.  But if you turn the volume up to high, the speakers can’t handle it and the music is clipped.  It’s on a song to song basis though, as some songs are able to go louder (around 24/30) while some songs max out at 17 before clipping (Soundblade is turned all the way up).  Tested with my Samsung P2.

Bottom Line: Pricy, but worth it for quality wire free listening.

4 out of 5

March 31, 2009 at 4:29 pm 1 comment

Status Update

Still waiting for everything to arrive (FiiO E5, Soundblade, SD210 dock) from various on-line retailers.  Should be arriving soon [except the E5 (on back-order)], and reviews will be coming. I’m so impatient! Thanks for visiting SAR’s!

March 31, 2009 at 12:29 am Leave a comment

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