Music fans and guitar players have been raving about Marshall amplifiers for decades, but the British company only recently entered the broader consumer electronics market with a line of stylized headphones and Bluetooth speakers. It looks like they've got higher ambitions: Marshall just announced its first smartphone, the London, set to release in Sweden (at least) in August. The price will be 4995 Krona, a bit under $600, and at the moment there's no word on a wider release. I'd be amazed if a more expansive rollout for Europe wasn't in the cards - Marshall's website already lists Three, TeliaSonera, and Tele2 as carrier partners. Read More
Statistically speaking, if you're using a pair of earbuds, they probably suck. And not just because you've been using the same dingy pair that you got with your iPod Nano back in 2006: even premium earbuds come with the same circular silicone pads (or maybe three or four sets if the manufacturer is feeling generous), none of which are likely to fit you perfectly. There are custom-made options, but most of them require you to visit an audiologist to make impressions, which drives up the cost of hardware that's already expensive.
Normal hopes to streamline and mass-produce that process (or something like it) by combining some really cool emerging technologies. Read More
HTC's marketing of Beats Audio on its One Series handsets has rapidly become a joke among critics and internet commentators alike. And that's probably putting it nicely. The fact that the entirety of the Beats "enhancements" found on aforementioned phones has been zipped up and packaged to flash on any Android 2.3+ handset has, at least in the collective minds of the internet, exposed the Beats partnership for what it is: equalization software and a fancy logo.
I've used all of HTC's One Series products aside from the One V; that is to say, the One X, XL (AT&T One X), and S. Read More
There comes a time in every multinational electronics conglomerate's life when it tries to get into personal audio. Samsung isn't a particular stranger to the home theater side of sound, and some of its soundbar products actually review pretty decently. But a high-end headphone manufacturer, Samsung ain't. Search "samsung headphones" on Amazon, and you'll struggle to find anything costing more than $20.
The EHS71 is Samsung's first attempt to break into the premium earbud market. And, well, let's just cut to the chase: it's a wash. While marketing buzzwords like "lightweight aircraft aluminum," "high-performance balanced armature drivers," and "ultra micro design" may be able to sell the EHS71's on paper, the sad reality is that these premium buds are all show, no go in the audio department. Read More