mike kobrin

  • The AudioFile: 2.4's a Crowd


    With all the wireless technologies out there, the airwaves are getting about as crowded as a New York City street at rush hour. Most of the traffic is on the 2.4-GHz frequency band, including everything from cordless phones to Bluetooth and WiFi, not to mention leakage from microwave ovens. Worse yet, once wireless speakers become a must-have companion for HDTV setups and people start… Read More

  • The AudioFile: Dear iPod Firmware Engineers…

    When some companies produce a music player, they continually look to add features based on consumer feedback. Consider Cowon and Archos as two prime examples; they are constantly tweaking the firmware, and both have active online communities that actually seem to influence the future of the product. So WTF with Apple? The company has gotten so focused on taking someone’s great idea… Read More

  • M-Audio 02 MIDI Keyboard Hands On

    Need an ultra-slim MIDI controller keyboard for laying down quick tracks while you’re on the go? Or perhaps you’re looking for a small, inexpensive keyboard to complement your full-size home studio rig. Either way, the M-Audio 02–the followup to the company’s successful Oxygen 8 keyboard–isn’t the most advanced 2-octave controller out there, but it’s… Read More

  • The AudioFile: Bad Things Happen To Good Players

    I spend a good amount of time at my officelocal neighborhood pub, Harefield Road, where I’ve gotten a reputation for fixing iPods, among other things. One of the pub’s owners, Peter “C.J.” Egan, has brought his 4th generation iPod to the pub a couple of times with some odd problems, and I’ve managed to have great success in fixing it with unorthodox methods. Read More

  • The AudioFile: The Unpatented Zone

    If you haven’t already noticed, the number of patent trolls and sneaky me-first companies suing over digital audio-related patents is approaching infinity. What happens when it actually gets there? We’d get sucked into an another dimension in which the laws of physics still hold, but patent laws break down. A dimension beyond sight and sound. We have entered… the Unpatented Zone. Read More

  • The AudioFile: Where's That Sound?


    What’s a hard-core gamer or action-movie lover to do about having late-night fragging sessions or Matrix screenings without driving their spouse or neighbors nuts? While there are plenty of consumer 5.1-channel headphones on the market, if you want cans that give you a truly convincing surround-sound listening experience, you’ve got to be a military sonar operator or aircraft pilot. Read More

  • The AudioFile: Windows Vista In Your Ear


    Windows Vista Intimate Edition fits in many orifices. Amid the Windows Vista hooplah this week, I wondered whether it will make a difference to my ears—I mean, besides having to hear Robert Fripp every time I start my Windows box. The new audio capabilities that are included in Microsoft’s latest OS highlight MS’s push even further into your living room, and from what… Read More

  • The AudioFile: Where's the Love In Online Music Services?


    As a journalist covering digital audio, I can’t help feeling like I’m not really contributing to the welfare of the world at large. Sure, music is important to our physical well-being, and hearing it with the utmost clarity and detail is an integral part of the experience for many. But there are bigger issues in the world, like hunger, disease, war, poverty, and the proliferation… Read More

  • The AudioFile: Audio Quality Slip-Slides Away

    Can someone tell me why virtually nothing is happening with MP3 players in regards to actual audio quality? In fact, audio quality seems to be moving ass-backwards, giving way to non-audio features like video and wireless. Headphones have come such a long way in the last 15 years or so, and now we have dual- and triple-driver in-ear models designed specifically for use with portables. The… Read More

  • The AudioFile: Wireless Waves

    . File this under “will the speculation ever end?”: I think Microsoft will ultimately be the big winner, though not with the Zune as we currently know it. Read More