Browsing Archive May, 2012

SQ vs SPL

Whether you’re trying to overfill your car with bass or create the perfect sound, there is a set up that’s right for you . You may have heard of the terms “SQ” or “SPL” before.  Understanding these terms will assist you with what kind of sound you are seeking.

SPL

VIBE Audio SPACEV12T-V1

SPL stands for sound pressure level which basically means how loud the subwoofer or speaker is producing sound.  In regards to subwoofers,  ported enclosures are usually favorable for SPL set ups.  This is due mainly to the ports being able to push more air and create more pressure. Bigger subwoofers such as 15 or 18″ or multiple subwoofers are more common in these set ups as the more cone area you have the more air pressure you’re going to be able to produce.  SPL is measured in decibels which means you will be able to tell just how loud your system is with an SPL meter.    SPL systems are going to be higher powered and geared towards pushing your system to it’s maximum limits. Musical genres like rap and hip hop are ideal for this purpose  Speakers can also play a role in an SPL system.  Metal tweeters are ideal for obtaining louder highs which you will need to prevent the bass from draining out the high frequencies.  If your goal is to make sure the whole neighborhood can hear you, then go SPL.

SQ

JL Audio CS110-WXv2

JL Audio CS110-WXv2

If SPL had an estranged brother, then it would be SQ.  There are many differences to an SQ system.  SQ is for sound quality which means there are no overbearing frequencies, excellent sound staging and superb tonal accuracy. Sealed enclosures are ideal for subwoofers in this application to give you a tighter and more accurate bass response.  Genres of music with double bass pedals, such as rock, require subwoofers that are more responsive. For this reason, 10 and 12 inch subwoofers are more commonly used for this type of application.  Sound quality can not really be measured.  However, a good subwoofer should be able to produce +/- 3 dB. It is mostly about personal preference for sound quality.  Go SQ if you are looking for a sound that will make you feel like your right in front of the artist.

Keep in mind that one is not necessarily better than the other.  It all comes down to what you’re into.  Its even possible to create an SQL system that can take the best of both worlds.  Theres always going to be haters on both sides of the fence but only you can decide what is right for you!

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Best Sport Earbuds: In-Ear Headphones for Athletes

Anyone at the gym can tell you the difference that music makes in their ability to push through their personal strength thresholds. Working out to the beat of uptempo music has been scientifically proven to increase performance in athletes helping them to push their limits beyond their ordinary levels. Yet, not all headphones are designed to withstand the particular demands of the working human body at athletic levels. Many in-ear headphones sacrifice sound quality for comfort or vice-versa. In this review, I will introduce our best in-ear headphones that offer a balance of comfort and sound quality. The models highlighted include the Monster iSport Immersion, the AKG 326, and the Sony MDR-AS40EX.

iSport Immersion SportClips

Most impressive in our line-up is the iSport Immersion Seriesby Monster. These headphones are specifically designed with an athlete’s unique needs. Each feature of the iSport series is engineered to provide superb comfort to users as well as precise and accurate music reproduction. The iSport Immersion have so many great features for athletes that it is difficult to chose a place to begin. Nonetheless, one of the most distinguishing features of the iSport Immersion is the patented SportClip design. The exclusive SportClip design comfortably fits the inter curvature of the ear to provide stability to the earbud and limit the

earbud’s movement within the ear canal. Unlike most earbuds, even those intended for athletic use, the iSport Immersion are extremely unlike to fall out of a wearer’s ear during exercise activities. But comfort is not the only concern for athletes. The interaction between a sweaty body and headphones does always result in a pleasant experience, particularly for those concerned about cleanliness.

To solve the problem of gross and sweaty earbuds, Monster designed the iSport to be completely washable. The iSport can be washed–with water–without being damaged either by the moisture of sweat or a stream of water. Moreover, for individuals who wish to listento music while practicing a water sport, the iSport can be used in swimming pools, while surfing, jet skiing and other relatively “surface” water sports. It is this water submersion feature that really distinguishes the Monster iSport Immersion from other in-ear headphones. But if water submersion ability isn’t enough, the iSport Immersion even features an in-line microphone and volume controls for complete power over the tracks and phone compatibility.

Sony MDR-AS40EX

MDR-AS40EX

Not far behind the iSport Immersion in features, the Sony MDR-AS40EX offers lightweight comfort and exceptional sound quality. Generally priced at about a quarter of the price of the iSport Immersion, the Sony MDR-AS40EX is a great low-budget alternative. While lacking the in-line control and microphone for phone compatibility, the MDR-ASS40EX is moisture resistant and will not be damaged by the moisture produced when working out. Although the Sony MDR-AS40EX are probably not the very best choice if you are into intense water sports, they can reliably be used for intense workouts because they allow moisture to pass through the chamber without the threat of destroying the electrical components.

Like more conventional in-ear headphones, the Sony MDR-AS40EX are better suited for land use. They include pleasantly comfortable and stable ear hangers in three sizes. The hangers are removable, in case you prefer the earbud to sit in the ear without support. When used with the hangers, the MDR-AS40EX are securely held in place and are not jostled when jogging or running. Overall, the sound quality is respectable and they limit ambient noise for a focused and clear reproduction.

AKG 326

Finally, the AKG 326 boasts superior sound quality and functionally. As usual, the AKG brand provokes a sense of admiration among those familiar with the name. And, satisfying those expectations, the AKG 326 delivers stunningly accurate sound for headphones in our athletic category. If sound quality is your main priority from your workout audio gear, the AKG 326 are a great choice without caveat. Although far more of a traditional design approach, the AKG 326 do feature an in-line volume control and microphone for integration with a phone.

The construction of the AKG 326 is simple yet sturdy and reliable. When jogging the

AKG 326, Sound Quality for Athletes

comfortable earhooks hold the driver unit fast within the ear and do not allow the driver to be jostled by a users movement. The comfort and stability of the AKG 326 is further enhanced by the rubberized ear pads which also function to limit interference from ambient noise.

Overall, the AKG 326 are a straight forward answer for to-the-point athletes who demand quality sound reproduction.

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