Browsing Archive April, 2012

Why Everyone Should Own A Subwoofer

Who Needs Bass?

Focal BUS 25

Focal BUS 25 10" Powered Subwoofer Enclosure

Picture this: You’re driving along listening to your music.  You pull up next to a 16 year old kid at a red light who has his subwoofers blaring so loud that your ears start to bleed.  You think to yourself, “How does that make music enjoyable?” Fact of the matter is that some people want bass so loud that you have to replace your windshield after every listening session.  At the same time, some people just want bass that will compliment their music in order to achieve the full spectrum of musical frequencies. No matter what your preference, there is a subwoofer for everyone.  Without a subwoofer, you could be missing out on listening to your music how it was intended to be heard.

Kicker PECVR12

Kicker PECVR12 Single 12" Amplified, Loaded Enclosure

Not everyone needs two 18″ subwoofers that will rattle your brain into next Tuesday.  While this application is great for genres of music such as hip-hop or dubstep, there are many other genres of music that do not require as much bass.  Easy-listening, jazz, classic rock, or blues just to name a few.  One could argue that bass is even more essential in these genres.  These soft musical genres have low-end bass frequencies that can be unheard without the utilization of a subwoofer.   Even if you have a vehicle with limited space, you can find a subwoofer solution that is right for you.  Amplified, loaded subwoofer enclosures are an all-in-one way of adding bass to any vehicle.  They include integrated amplifiers so installation is minimal.  These are ideal for leased or rented vehicles which you hesitate to tamper with.  If you own a truck, there are plenty of shallow-mount subwoofers and pre-loaded enclosures that can conveniently fit under the back seats.  All of these different options make it hard to argue against a bass filled system.

Whether you’re looking to put yourself in a bass coma or trying to recreate studio quality sound, there is always a way to get bass in your vehicle.  Being able to properly reproduce low frequencies will give your music a 3d-like tone.  Chances are you spend a good amount of time in your car.  So why not invest in some comfort food for your ears?  You don’t have to be a punk kid like me to appreciate large quantities of bass either!  We have a huge selection to choose from. Check it out!

 

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AKG Quincy Jones Series Headphones

Q460 Green
Legendary music producer Quincy Jones has teamed up with the folks at Harman AKG to release a Signature Line of headphones. Quincy Jones views music as his livelihood and has focused this passion on releasing a quality product that can demonstrate his pride. The AKG Quincy Jones Signature Line of headphones certainly does live up to these expectations. When you listen to this spectacular lineup of In-Ear and On-Ear headphones, painstakingly approved by Quincy Jones you’ll definitely know – It’s personal.

With all of the portable MP3 devices and smart phones around today, In-Ear headphones, or ear buds are very popular to consider. The drivers in the AKG Q350 In-Ear headphones are designed for durability and high output. They feature precise, unfiltered acoustics that have made AKG headphones the studio standard for more than 60 years. They also feature an In-line Mic and Remote Control for better use with smart phones and MP3 players.  The weight of the drivers without the cable is 3 grams, perfect for jamming to your music without feeling restricted, or hurting your ears. These ear buds are perfect for the gym, air travel, or a run due to their light weight and stylish design. You can find the AKG Q350 ear buds in three different colors, Green, White, and Black.

Q460 Black

The Q460 On-Ear Headphones feature a detachable cord and collapsible cups for increased storage and portability

The AKG Q460 is a great alternative for those looking for an On-Ear headphone option. These Signature Edition mini headphones are designed for long hours of comfortable use, and also fold flat for increased portability and feature a detachable cable. Quincy Jones demanding career has him traveling all over the world and he has stated that “These are the headphones I want with me” during those travels. You can also find these headphones in Green, White, and Black.

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XS Power Wire Now Available At Sonic Electronix!

XS Power XS Series

When it comes to wiring up a car audio system, the wire you choose is extremely important. Whether you are running a moderately powered system that requires 4 gauge primary wire, or a high wattage system that requires 1/0 Gauge, the quality of wire makes a huge difference.  Having a solid power and ground connection could mean the difference between a clear sounding audio system, or one filled with interference.

XS Power 4 Gauge

XS Power 4 Gauge Primary Wire comes in red, blue, black, as well as clear!

When it comes to manufacturing quality primary wire, XS Power doesn’t cut any corners, or cut out any wire strands. With XS Power XP Series 1/0 gauge wiring, you get a full 5,250 strand count. The cables are also extremely flexible, designed to be pulled around every corner and tight nook of your vehicle. If you’re interested in longevity of cable life, and making your cables last as long as possible, you may want to consider their XS Series, which is designed with 100% Oxygen free copper. This means the cables will be lasting you years without having any issues with corrosion.

XS Power designs their primary wire kits in 1/0 gauge, as well as 4 gauge to work with a variety of audio systems. They come in large spools of 50, or 100 feet, and are available in many different colors. Stock up on your wiring with affordable, reliable product, designed by XS Power!

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FiiO E5 vs. FiiO E6: No Wrong Answers

The FiiO E5 and E6 are twins but this does not mean they are identical. Although they share particular similarities, it would be a mistake to consider them interchangeable or to overlook the distinct characteristics of each. Each amp offers particular qualities that make them unique and better suited for different tastes and demands. In the following, the E5 and E6 will be compared and contrasted on various points including construction, user interface, and most importantly, sound.

Construction

FiiO E5

At first glance, the E6 shares one obvious quality with its younger predecessor: portability. Like the E5, the E6 is remarkably compact and easy to take anywhere. Both units are designed to seamlessly integrate with portable music devices for powerful headphone amplification in virtually any setting.

FiiO E6

Where the E6 begins to differ from the E5 is in its construction materials and design. Unlike the E5 which featured an aluminum housing with matte black finish and a fixed clip of the same material, the E6 is constructed entirely out of plastic and finished with a glossy black coat. While the plastic construction of the E6 is may initially taken to be a shortcoming of the E6, it is sturdy and can reliably withstand the regular jostling that portable devices must be able to endure. Unfortunately, the glossy finish of the E6 is prone to unsightly scratches and smudging in a way that is absent from the E5. Moreover, the fixed clip of the E5 has been replaced by a removable plastic clip on the E6. A removable clip offers users the advantage of opting out of using a clip, but has effectively sacrificed the structural integrity of the clip. The E6 plastic clip is not as sturdy as the E5’s fixed clip. Perhaps in an effort to address the strength of the clip, FiiO includes two clips with the E6.

Features and Interface

Beyond their appearance, the user interface of the E6 has been completely redesigned from that of the E5 and includes new features not found on the E5. A single sliding switch allows

FiiO E6, Sliding Switch

users to toggle between three EQ setting and holding the switch in position for 3 seconds turns the E6 off. EQ settings and charging status are indicated by a color changing LED that reflects through a plastic edge on the cut-away corner of the E6 for a sleek and attractive look. Unlike the E5 which featured a flat or  bass boost selection, the E6 features more options in the way of EQ settings. Users have the option to select from flat, EQ1, and EQ2 bass boost settings each applying a noticeable change in sound character. Unfortunately, more does not mean better.

In this case, the bass boost settings of the E6 are notably overwhelming. In particular, the EQ1 setting might be exactly what bass-heads are looking for but poses a noticeable problem for individuals seeking a complex and detailed bass response.  The EQ2 setting delivers a palatable alternative to the gushing bass, but does not offer the type of clear and balanced bass of the E5’s single bass boost setting.

FiiO E5 Controls

Nonetheless, one aspect in which the E6 does carry a clear advantage is in volume adjustment. While the volume adjustment button has remained the same, the E6 offers a 64 step volume gradient compared to the E5’s 32 step volume gradient. The expanded volume gradient allows users to personally define the volume level. On the other hand, the E6 and E5 are both silent in their adjustment, allowing users to change the volume levels without interfering with the quality of the reproduction–a reproduction which is impressively clean and neutral.

Sound Quality

Like any good amp, the signal should not be tainted by the amp’s circuitry. On this count, the E6 delivers surprisingly well. Unlike the E5 which is slightly colored by hiss, the E6 features reduced hiss and does not have perceptible coloration on its default flat setting. Even at high volume levels, the hiss remains low. Moreover, the E6 does not produce a loud pop when turned on and prevents damage to the drivers from the sudden spike in voltage. The absence of a loud pop is also a quality that the E5 proudly shares with many FiiO amps including the E6.

Conclusion

Both the E6 and E5 are excellent portable amps. Both headphone amps deliver a neutral response with low distortion levels across the frequency response. Each have the ability to drive high impedance headphones with reliably powerful output. Whether you choose to the E5 or E6, neither will be a sacrifice in quality. It is really a matter of what preference. I personally own the E5 and it suits my purposes especially well– nothing is quite as thrilling as listening to Richard Wagner’s “Der Fliegende Hollander” with a bass response that really makes the instruments breathe. Either way you go, FiiO E6 or E5 will both deliver high quality.

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Our Best Budget Headphones: Quality and Affordability

As the cost of basic necessities continue to rise, many conveniences once taken for granted are easily done away with. Fortunately, the sound quality of your headphones does  not need to be among the list of cutbacks. There are plenty of notably inexpensive headphones that deliver high fidelity sound without breaking the bank. The following list highlights some of the most noteworthy models that offer great sound at low costs.

Grado SR60i 

The highly revered Grado SR60i

No list of budget headphones would be complete, or even worth considering, if it failed to feature the legendary Grado SR60i from the notable Prestige series. Carefully crafted in Brooklyn, New York, the Grado SR60i perform marvelously in nearly every category. Featuring an open-back design and a unique vented diaphragm design, the SR60i have a broad sound stage that offers three-dimensional sound. The open-back design helps imaging by allowing the sound waves to develop naturally in space, each voice and tone to be distinctly placed and detailed. Each housing of the Grado SR60i is is designed to reduce unwanted vibration distortion. Moreover, each driver is matched within .1 dB to maintain consistent imaging.

The tonal character of the SR60i is balanced and smooth throughout the frequency range. The bass is not “boxy” and blends well with higher frequencies without muddling the clarity and ringing richness of the treble. The resulting overall reproduction is the distinguished and famed Grado warmth with a transparent and present midrange.

Sennheiser HD 280 Pro 

Sennheiser HD 280 Pro, balanced and neutral

The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro feature a closed-back design and are known for their exceptional versatility in reproducing various musical genres and for their superior sound isolation.

The versatility of the HD 280 Pro is often attributed to their neutral response. The reproduction is not artificially fabricated to unnaturally emphasize particular frequencies, this allows the HD 280 Pro to deliver the recording as it is originally engineered. For the critical listener or studio engineer who appreciates  exploring every layer of the recording, the accuracy of the HD 280 Pro is simply indispensable. With proper equalization, these headphones can perform just as well as other units in a much higher price range and deliver complexity and detail in the bass and treble frequencies.

Sony MDR-V6 

The legendary, MDR-V6

Lastly, the Sony MDR-V6. Initially introduced in the 1980s, the MDR-V6 has remained a popular model among studio engineers and avid listeners for over two decades. They are durably constructed and are reputed for their long lifetime. Aside from their construction and physical reliability, the Sony MDR-V6 are famed for their neutral reproduction and focused accuracy throughout their expansive frequency range.

While the tonal character of the MDR-V6 can tend to be slightly emphasized in the bass frequencies, they do not muddle the upper frequencies which are produced with clarity and fidelity.

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