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Review: Crossfade Wireless headphones offer quality wired or wireless listening

After a good deal of pre-release positivity from audio community reviewers and industry pundits, V-Moda's flagship Crossfade M-100 headphones were finally made available to buy at the end of 2012. Though many market competitors have since embraced the music-buying public's increasing desire for wireless freedom and added Bluetooth models to their ranges, V-Moda has stubbornly resisted the call to ditch the cable. That all changed in September, however, with the launch of the Crossfade Wireless headphones – the company's Val Kolton calling them the "best sounding and most versatile" Bluetooth headphones he'd ever tried. Gizmag has spent the last few weeks finding out if mobile convenience can be as sonically fulfilling as cumbersome cables.
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Wet and dry cleaner buffs up vinyl in a few spins

Vinyl records are growing in popularity, with Nielsen reporting a 260 percent growth in US sales since 2009. So now might be a good time to cable up your old turntable again and bring down the once treasured collection from the attic. When the cartridge coughs up a fur ball big enough to rival the household cat, though, it may be time to consider a vinyl cleaning machine. The VC-S from Austrian audio house Pro-Ject is claimed capable of washing and drying a 12-inch disc up to three times faster than the competition.Read More

Pavilion wireless speaker mixes concrete with a copper twist

Unwelcome color, nasty distortion and unnatural reproduction. Those are the kind of annoying qualities that loudspeaker housing made from cheap materials can add to the listening experience. This has led some audio designers to look for a high density and weighty solution to the cabinet vibration problem. Concrete. Though that does perhaps produce images in the mind of boring and ugly monoliths dropping through the living room floor to the basement below, Germany's Concrete Audio and Italy's Digital Habit(s) would beg to differ. Now Los Angeles-based Hult Design is hoping to join the concrete party with a crowdfunding effort aimed at bringing its Pavilion speakers to market.Read More

Sennheiser improves on audiophile classic

At CES 2009, Sennheiser launched what was to become an audioholic favorite – the HD 800 open-back headphones. We got the opportunity to go ears-on at IFA a few months later and were duly impressed. This month, the German audio house is releasing an improved model, the HD 800 S, with the promise of bringing listeners "one step closer to the perfect sound."Read More

Best set-top boxes and streamers of 2015: Buying guide

From Netflix to iTunes and everything in between, there's now a plethora of services for delivering video over the web. Those TV shows and movies don't look their best on your 13-inch laptop though, which is why we've also seen a rise in the number of boxes, dongles and streamers built to get content from the internet up on the big screen in your living room. Join us as we break down the best streaming boxes and other streaming devices of 2015.Read More

Stunning Ikarus boutique amp nears completion

Australian-born artist and designer, electrical engineer and recording engineer Kostas Metaxas started making and selling high-end audio systems in 1981. He considers art and design to be "visual music" and has combined haute horology watchmaking techniques, electrical and mechanical engineering and fine art for his latest eye-popping project – the Ikarus integrated amplifier. First revealed earlier this year in a series of computer-generated images, the Ikarus is now being readied for release.Read More

Blue's Lola headphones promise Mo-Fi-like quality in a lighter, cheaper package

We were mighty impressed by the Mo-Fi headphones from Blue Microphones when we reviewed them last year, but they were a little weighty and quite expensive. Today the company has revealed the Lola headphones, which feature the same 50 mm custom drivers, "ear-shaped" pads and multi-jointed headband as the Mo-Fi, but are lighter and cheaper. They are lacking in one important area though.Read More

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