Hark! These Herald Headphones Sing
Editor's Note: Gary Krakow is an award-winning journalist whose columns help feed his personal passion for playing with gadgets of all types, shapes and sizes. Today we bring you part two of Gary's high-end holiday buying guide. Stay tuned to this space for more and
There are many ways to make your portable music listening experience more enjoyable.
The first step is larger music files. You wouldn't settle for low-definition television -- why not high-definition audio too? The best sound comes from large WAV files (true CD quality). The problem with these uncompressed files is that you can't fit nearly as many tunes on your portable device.
The stuff you usually buy via the online music services is a compromise between near-CD sound quality and small file size. The smaller the files, the worse it sounds, but the more songs you can fit on your portable device.Some services give you a choice of small files or slightly larger ones with better-quality sound. It's still a compromise, but make sure you opt for those larger files whenever you can. The other way to get more from your music is to replace those "free" headphones that come with your player and buy a good pair. My favorite "portables" are actually among the least portable headphones on the market. The Stax SRM-001 Mk 2 has a long name and high price: $325. These portables reside at the bottom of Stax's headphone line -- the company also makes non-portable headphones that sell for as much as $3,900! The 001s come with a separate battery/AC-operated driver unit that supplies the proper voltages for the electrostatic elements inside (no woofers or tweeters). That means there's a separate small box to carry around in addition to your portable player and the earphones. Not the most portable solution around. On the other hand, the 001s are capable of providing some of the best-sounding portable music on the planet. Great bass, smooth midrange and extended highs. If you own a hard drive-based portable music player, you should try to audition the Stax to hear what your music really sounds like.
|Photo: Audioengine USA|
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV