Lauren Dragan

Lauren Dragan  |  Jun 13, 2014  |  1 comments
Master and Dynamic are relatively new in the headphone community, but they sure know how to leave a memorable first impression. Due out later this month, the MH40 are retro-modern without trying too hard; that effortless kind of organic cool that you know probably took countless hours to design, but look as easy and sexy as bed head on a rock star. The chassis is crafted of durable goods: forged aluminum with stainless steel accents, and the headband and earcups have calfskin leather on the outside, lambskin on the inside. (Sorry, fellow vegans… maybe one day they’ll make a protein leather version just for us.) So, after a good lovesick sigh over the design came the moment of truth: was the beauty skin deep?

Lauren Dragan  |  Jun 05, 2014  |  0 comments
This week, I’m going to take a little break from obsessing/drooling over the latest tech in order to discuss something serious with you, and tell you what you can do to help. (It’s as easy as checking your electronics junk drawer, I promise!) I hope you’ll stay with me, but if do-goodery isn’t your thing, stop back next week, and I’m sure to have something new and electrical that makes un noises.
Geoffrey Morrison, Lauren Dragan  |  May 16, 2014  |  8 comments
Monster has launched a new line of sports headphones. The lead image on their site (shown above in case they change it) is… confusing, at best.

What, exactly, are they selling here?

Is this just a poor choice of marketing imagery, or something else?

Lauren and Geoff decide to ponder the finer points of Monster’s new headphone marketing.

Lauren Dragan  |  May 02, 2014  |  Published: May 01, 2014  |  0 comments
On-Ear headphones are making a comeback. Once banished to the 80s with the foamy-coated walkman-style ‘phones, the audiophile set are once again embracing the power of the tiny cans. I’ll admit, at first blush I didn’t get it. Over-ears, in-ears? They made sense to me. Over ears with their full, lush soundstage for home and studio, and in-ears for portability… those were my two needs fulfilled. So where do on-ears fit into the picture? Answer: In Goldilocks territory. For those who hate that stuffed in-ear feeling, but don’t want to be stuck sporting full-sized and possibly heavy over-ear headphones while out and about, on-ears can be a really great option. And the market has caught up, with some great higher end options. I’ve written already about the V-Moda XS, and now Beyerdynamic have a brand new offering out this week, the T 51 i. Are these baby Beyers a good fit?

Lauren Dragan  |  Apr 24, 2014  |  0 comments
If you’re like me, you can’t get any kind of workout done without music. A driving beat helps to regulate breathing, encourages you to keep up the pace, and energizes you when you’re ready to call it quits. But sometimes the toughest part of working out isn’t my burning muscles, it’s getting the right pair of headphones that sound good, stay put, and deliver my tunes. There’s a lot out of offerings there these days, and Jabra is entering the fray with their first Bluetooth sport headphone, the Rox. But do they have the fortitude to go the distance?
Lauren Dragan  |  Apr 10, 2014  |  0 comments
The latest release from V-MODA, the XS are designed to be on-the-go headphones for the person who dislikes in-ears. They’re ultra-compact on-ears, and V-MODA have streamlined the shape of the earcups and headband to lay as close to the skull as possible. You have to give V-MODA credit: they are impressively small. The included case is barely taller than an iPhone. The XS are hinged and collapse down to about 4.5”x 5”x 2.5”. But are they more than just teeny tiny?
Lauren Dragan  |  Mar 13, 2014  |  0 comments
Ah, Bluetooth. The desire to cut the cord has led to a market flooded with a dozen new wireless headphone options in the last few months. The latest to enter the fray is JBL, with their Synchros S400BT: a touch sensor controlling, LED glowing, aptX encoding, Bluetooth 3.0 stereo over-ear headphone. With all those bells and whistles, I just had to give them a try. How would they measure up?
Lauren Dragan  |  Mar 07, 2014  |  0 comments
Some people are naturally motivated to exercise. They push themselves to the limit with nothing but the sound of their own breathing to guide them, entering a zen-like workout induced euphoria. I kinda hate these people. Don’t get me wrong. I love being in shape, but personally, I dislike “working out”. It’s hard. In fact, the reason that I run is because it’s not something that comes easily to me: I like the sense of accomplishment. But to get through it, I need a little something to distract me from all that muscle-and-lung-burning stuff. I know I’m not alone. Whenever I head out for a longer jog, one of my friends inevitably jokes that the only way that they would run is if they’re being chased. Well, friends, that can be arranged. How’d you like to escape a virtual zombie horde? Motivated yet?
Lauren Dragan  |  Feb 28, 2014  |  1 comments
There’s a million Bluetooth speakers on the market these days, so it takes something special to cut through the clutter. I’ve seen super tiny Bluetooth speakers,disco light show Bluetooth speakers, and inexplicably inane handbag shaped Bluetooth Speakers. And hey, there’s nothing wrong with being a little flashy to get a second glance (within reason, of course.) But sometimes it’s refreshing to get your hands on a product that’s simply well built, refined, and classic. Maybe this explains why I was so glad to get my hands on the Grain Audio PWS for testing. But would the sound back up the natural beauty?
Lauren Dragan  |  Feb 21, 2014  |  0 comments
There’s been a lot of talk lately about premium streaming music services, especially now that Dr. Dre, (creator of Beats headphones) has thrown his hat into the ring. It’s a compelling proposition Dre makes, especially considering that he single handedly re-invented and reinvigorated the headphone industry. But as an observer, I find myself exceptionally torn about the idea of a streaming service both as a consumer and creator of media.

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