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Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS USB DAC/Headphone Amp review

on Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Whenever I try to explain what a digital audio converter (DAC) does and why it’s a cool thing to have, I almost always get that “deer in headlights” look. Then – if they’re still listening – I tell them the cost of this cool DAC. That’s when the look changes to “are you nuts?” Sheesh,Read More…


Audioengine W3 Premium Wireless Audio Adapter review

on Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

I will admit upfront that this review is way overdue. The main reason is because the Audioengine W3 Premium Wireless Audio Adapter is a product that is not easy to categorize. It performs some unique functions and duplicates some that are built into existing products. It’s taken me a while to sort it all outRead More…


Audioengine moves their A2 speaker into the plus category

on Friday, November 8th, 2013

Audioengine doesn’t know when to leave well-enough alone. Case-in-point: Their A2 speakers were just about the perfect size and rating for desktop use, and consumers obviously agreed because they have sold quite well. Even so, Audioengine figured they could do better, so they’ve introduced the new A2+ powered desktop speakers. These mini-powerhouses have been substantiallyRead More…


The tiny DacMagic XS brings bigger sound to your laptop

on Monday, November 4th, 2013

Laptops are great.  You can take them anywhere; you can work or play, even read or listen to music with them.  Unfortunately, the sound quality is where most laptops suffer.  The built-in speakers are often the size of an almond, so you won’t get high-quality, room-filling sound from them.  The headphone jacks aren’t usually theRead More…


Audioengine shows that big things can come in small packages

on Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Computers and headphones are replacing the home stereo as the primary source for listening to music. Wireless speakers, Bluetooth, AirPlay, and a host of other technologies have developed and matured as a result. The external digital audio converter (DAC) also belongs in this group as a solution to the problem of lousy audio from desktopRead More…


Audioquest DragonFly USB Digital Audio Converter and Headphone Amp Review

on Sunday, May 26th, 2013

In the portable world of digital music, it seems that most people are happy with whatever setup they have – whether it’s a laptop, iPod or smart phone. Ironically, the most expensive device from this list also has the worst audio output: your computer. That laptop or desktop (iMAC, for instance) computer has about theRead More…


NuForce Cube Speaker review

on Friday, December 28th, 2012

With the growing popularity of wireless speakers – both Bluetooth and AirPlay – many speaker companies have begun to release products that are redefining how we listen to music. Suddenly, there are very small speakers that can produce quality audio with decent bass. Until recently, this was almost unheard of. Jambox, Soundmatters, Braven, Scosche, Jabra,Read More…


V-MODA introduces VAMP, an Audio Multitasker for the iPhone 4/4S

on Saturday, June 16th, 2012

V-MODA, maker of the Crossfade M-80 and Crossfade LP headphones, have introduced the VAMP, a headphone amplifier with a dedicated 150mW x 2 amplifier, DAC (Digital-to-Analog convertor), optical audio output and a 2200mAh battery – all integrated into a metal case for the iPhone 4/4S. It’s based on the GO-DAP 4.0 by VentureCraft, but tweakedRead More…


This Cube Is Hip To Be Square

on Thursday, May 31st, 2012

NuForce has added a cute and affordable speaker to the ever expanding portable audio market. Unlike the rectangular shaped Jambox or Soundmatters FoxL, the NuForce Cube is exactly that, a cube-shaped speaker small enough to carry with you.  (Click to enlarge the photos.) NuForce has added even more to this little wonder that makes itRead More…

Hi­Fi­Man Ex­press_HM-101_DAC_1

HiFiMAN Express HM-101 Portable USB Soundcard Review

on Saturday, March 24th, 2012

As music storage becomes more computer-based, listening to music – whether it’s from a desktop or laptop model – requires compromises. One of those tradeoffs is sound quality. It’s a badly kept secret that computer sound cards are not that good. Heck, some of them are just awful. It doesn’t matter how much money youRead More…

NuForce uDAC-2_4

NuForce Icon uDAC-2 Headphone Amp/DAC Review

on Thursday, March 24th, 2011

I have mentioned in the last few reviews that I am now reviewing headphones using the NuForce uDAC-2 USB amp/DAC plugged into my new iMac, when I am not using my iPod. There’s a really good reason for this. The iMac audio output sounds like … well, let’s just say it sounds bad. Really, reallyRead More…