Michael Berk

Michael Berk  |  Dec 11, 2012  |  0 comments

Over the past several months I've repeatedly had goo poured into my ear canalsFor you, gentle readers - all in the interest of finding out whether custom in-ear monitors make as much sense for serious listeners as they do for musicians and sound engineers.

Michael Berk  |  Nov 30, 2012  |  0 comments

Well, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, and the giving season is almost upon us. And we've got a nice gift for you to give (or, of course, keep for yourself) - a Model S tabletop sound system/iOS dock from our friends at Geneva Labs

Michael Berk  |  Nov 29, 2012  |  0 comments

Vacuum tube electronics may be "obsolete," but like other enduring vintage technologies (think vinyl), those glowing glass cylinders still have a place in many an audiophile heart, and lately there's been something of a rennaissance in small, affordable tube products, with old school technology finding its way into everything from headphone amp kits to do-it-all docks from major CE firms. There's a tube solution, it seems, for almost everybody.

Blue Aura's v30 Blackline system ($549) is a little different, a luxury desktop system meant to evoke the sound, look, and feel of old-school gear, but designed by a young British firm with a focus on wireless and desktop products to serve a computer-audio savvy consumer. While the amp clearly looks back, through a warm glow, to a simpler era of audio componentry, it sports a USB input too, and it's companion speakers are conveniently sized to fit alongside a computer monitor.

Does it belong on your desk?

Michael Berk  |  Nov 16, 2012  |  0 comments

Over the past few months, we've looked at a whole lot of gaming headsets, from affordable, entry-level models to the cream of the crop - and we've found worthwhile candidates for you at all price points. Even better, we've got three headsets to give away this week, from Skullcandy and Astro.

Michael Berk  |  Nov 15, 2012  |  0 comments

Apple's 30-pin connector was the accessory port that launched countless peripherals; it's analog and digital connectors (and long-term stability over years of product cycle) made possible an entire universe of iStuff, not least among them the dependable iOS speaker dock. But with the introduction of the iPhone 5 and the rollout of the digital-only Lightning connector, the dock, already under threat by ever-better wireless approaches, suffered its first serious shock. Sure, adapters would do in a pinch, but they hardly lent themselves to the lean lines promised by the Apple experience.

Have no fear - JBL is here with the first Lightning docks.

Michael Berk  |  Nov 15, 2012  |  0 comments

Danish manufacturer Jamo's been making a splash with the spherical speakers we saw back at the 2012 CES, and this week they've announced a pair of 5.0 setups in the appropriately named 360 Series, based around their unique architecture: the S 25 HCS ($649.99), including five of the company's S 25 speakers, and the S 35 HCS ($999.99), which groups four of the larger S 35 units with a C 35 center channel.

Michael Berk  |  Nov 13, 2012  |  0 comments

Futureproofing. It's a concept that appeals to consumers, but for various reasons most manufacturers have shied away from products that enable people to extend the useful lives of the gear they already own.

The brand-new Griffin Twenty ($99, out today) is a refreshing exception to the rule.

Michael Berk  |  Nov 08, 2012  |  0 comments

The Blue Note label has, over the course of its history, managed to put out some of the most challenging, beloved, and genre-defining records in jazz. Now a new Blue Note app brings that rich heritage to your tablet.

Michael Berk  |  Nov 07, 2012  |  0 comments

Over the past few weeks, we've been looking into some promising new room correction solutions, using both frequency-domain and time-domain approaches. If you've been wondering why nobody's been applying such thinking to headphones, think again - in-ear monitor innovator JH Audio has been on the case.

Michael Berk  |  Nov 06, 2012  |  0 comments

Since Michael Phelps was seen sporting a pair in London this summer, Sol Republic headphones have been everywhere. And there's plenty of curiosity about the company itself, run by industry veterans Scott Hix and Kevin Lee, the son of Noel Lee - the Head Monster of Monster Cable, and the man who pretty much built today's headphone industry as the manufacturing force behind Beats. 

All well and good. But should you buy headphones endorsed by a guy with water in his ears?

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