Upcoming IEM Reviews: Sleek, Sennheiser, Monster and Ultimate Ears

news-headphone-2009-04-08-collageWe have a busy few months ahead of us in order to finish reviews for the fabulous products from the above companies. Without going into too many details, look forward to our first Custom Inner Ear Monitor review from Sleek Audio, high end products from Sennheiser and the popular Monster Beats Tour as well as a new Metro Fi from Ultimate Ears.

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High-End Earphones: Westone UM3X to Debut 30 April

um3xFor those of you who are not satisfied with the likes of Monster Turbine or Audeo PFE and want to strap on the big wallet, look for a new product from Westone called the UM3X aimed at musicians and priced at 379$ USD. Some will call the sum paltry but to most, 379$ is too much rent to spend on a music hobby or for your on-the-go listening pleasure. For those who have to have the priciest and best in universal inner earphone technology, the Westone units compete with products from: Ultimate Ears, Sennheiser, Audio Technica, Etymotic and Shure among others.

Westone are held in highest regard in the personal monitor industry and have over 50 years of expertise to dedicate to their monitors. If the Westone 3’s hype is anything to go by, the UM3X will be a force to be reckoned with for personal stage monitors.

Our review is out of course and here: Westone’s Top-of-the-Line Stage Monitoring Universal IEM: UM3x in Review

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Phonak Audeo 121 and 112 iPhone compatible Inner Earphones in Review: Phantastic!

headphone-review-phonak-dsc_7809Phonak – Swiss Precision

Who are Phonak?
“Headquartered in Stäfa, Switzerland, Phonak has been developing, producing and selling technologically advanced hearing and radio systems for more than 50 years. At Phonak, we use our extensive knowledge of hearing technology and acoustics to improve the hearing capacity, speech recognition and quality of life for the hearing-impaired. This know-how has now been used to develop Audéo Perfect Fit Earphones (PFE).”

PFE models have been stirring up the portable headphone forum at headfi which is usually stopped up by the big names: Sennheiser, Shure, Westone, Ultimate Ears and Etymotic. Since we have tried three newcomers to inner ear earphones in our previous reviews, we felt that Phonak’s offering would fit right in! In this review, we look at the PFE 112 and 121 which are our first reviewed balanced armature earphones and promise not to be our last! Feel free to discuss this review of the Phonak Audeo 121 and 112 in our forums.

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Interview with the Monster: David Leung, Project Engineer of Monster

The Monster has Emerged!

Interview with the Monster

David Leung, Project Engineer for Monster was kind enough to lend his ears and thoughts to TouchMyApps as we asked many questions  regarding Monster and the Turbine. If you are an earphone aficionado, then this article may be a great introduction to the exciting team at Monster who are creating market-leading products in the audio-world. For Monster’s Fanfare thread at Headfi.org, click here.

TMA: According to the Head Monster, ‘Life is too short to listen to bad headphones’. How many bad headphones did the monster team go through before deciding that enough was enough?

DL: The Monster team sampled almost everything on the market, starting with the Apple ear-buds, moving to in-ear dynamic, balanced armature types, etc. and found that all were deficient in at least one area, whether it was lack of bass, coloration, poor sensitivity, output limitations, etc. By the time we were done, we tried in excess of 30 headphones.

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Zagg Z-buds in Review: Swagg or Dragg?

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Zagg: Enter the Earphone!
More popularly known for their invisibleSHIELD line of screen protector, Zagg are now entering a new and vastly different market: inner earphones. A welcome entry, the Z-buds arrive in four attractive colours and a handful of innovation.

Z-Buds Packaging – Dragg
Alas, I tore open the package so quickly that I cannot put it back together for photographs but Zagg have made every effort to show off a product that they feel is special. The box is a pyramid of sorts with all the goodies stuffed deep inside the cardboard, behind razor-sharp plastic. You will need scissors and gloves to be sure that your hands are safe from jagged edges. In all honesty, for the price of 79$, I would have expected a safer packaging system but it is what is inside that counts is it not? Feel free to discuss this Zagg Z-buds review in our forums.

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Big Hype, Big Sound: Monster Turbine Earphones in Review

The Monster has Emerged!

The Monster has Emerged!

Monster make Earphones!
Known the world over for car audio cables, Monster are now gunning for the growing portaphile audience who demand their mobile audio to be pristine.  The Turbine, is Monster’s first high-quality earphone and is a fabulous entry into the crowded inner earphone sub-genre.  Monster’s competition are the stalwart sellers: Shure, Westone, Etymotic, Sennheiser,  Futuresonics, Bose, Apple, Phonak, Klipsch, Sleek and many more. For Monster’s Fanfare thread at Headfi.org, click here. Feel free to Monster Turbine Earphones in Review – Big Hype, Big Sound.

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iPhone/iPod Touch Firmware 2.2.1 point release

ipod-22

Is it the release we are all hoping for or not?  Browser geeks are looking for Safari tweaks and upgrades and mail buffs are looking for many fixes including mail and pictures compatibility.  Hopefully those issues have been resolved as Apple have mentioned in the update log:

This update contains bug fixes and improvements, including the following:
– Improved general stability of Safari
– Fixed issue where some images saved from Mail do not display correctly in the Camera Roll

Products compatible with this software update:
– iPhone
– iPhone 3G

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Better than bleach: SoundClip brings out the brights

soundclip-iphone-passive-amp-end

Ten One Design, creator of pogo stylus and pogo sketch stylus for the iPod Touch and iPhone have brought out SoundClip, a new device that passively brightens the sound of the iPhone’s built in speaker.  According to them, it is no magic trick, just a bit of good science:

The way SoundClip works isn’t all that hard to understand. The iPhone emits a fair amount of acoustic energy through the speaker. Unfortunately, many of these sound waves are directed down and away from the user. SoundClip reflects them toward you so you can hear them better.

But how does it actually amplify? The dimensions and shape of the conical chamber create a resonance chamber facilitating the attenuation of some frequencies, and the amplification of others. The next part is the trickiest. We tuned the resonance chamber to actually improve the sound from your iPhone, resulting in a frequency response that is flatter, and more natural sounding.

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