El Kaiser and J.D. are back with a new episode and the opportunity to praise the work of Nichelle Nichols, the trailblazing actress who portrayed Lt. Uhura on the original Star Trek as she retires from public life. Also in the mix: a discussion of recent headlines, including Big Tech’s increasingly warm seat in front of government regulators, and El Kaiser takes a listen to a new pair of Bowers & Wilkins Bluetooth headphones. All this and more on PTJ Episode 360 !
As we approached the century mark in episodes J.D. and I considered all the cool things we could do to mark the occasion. Sky divers, bouncy castles, and a Blade Runner marathon were all discussed but in the end we decided to offer up what all of you have come to expect from us: tech news, helpful hints, product reviews and shenanigans. Thank you for sticking with us for these past 100 episodes and we look forward to serving up many, many more!
This week El Kaiser takes a listen to Bowers & Wilkins flagship P7 headphones and J.D. makes using your set top boxes a whole lot easier.
In the news, Facebook experiments with its users; the NSA takes a particularly strong interest in Linux users; protocols for the Internet of Things popping up like weeds; Python is more popular than Java in schools; and The Beatles film “A Hard Days Night” gets the remastering treatment.
This week I took a critical listen to two relatively high-end in ear monitors from Utah-based RBH Sound and England’s Bowers & Wilkins, both well known residential and commercial speaker manufacturers.
RBH Sound claims the EP1 earphones deliver “a wide sound stage free from outside noise and interruptions”. While I found the passive noise cancellation especially good once the earphones were properly inserted, the soundstage was far from expansive. The EP1s sport aluminum housings, a gold connector jack, and a not so tangle-free cloth cord. A sturdy protective carrying pouch with a cord clip, a set of Comply foam tips, and silicone cushions complete the package. The $149 dollar EP1s don’t feature a microphone or function controls but RBH Sound’s EP2 will offer those options — for $30 dollars more.
Just like their over-the-ear headphone cousins P3, P5 and P7, the C5 earphones from Bowers & Wilkins are sleek and stylish with a unique and modern design. They feature a proprietary cushioned loop that is designed to rest securely in the inner ridge of your ear instead of wrapping around the ear but I could never get a proper fit.
The C5s feature a tungsten design and a Micro Porous Filter, essentially hundreds of microscopic steel balls that act as a sonic diffuser to open up the sound and improve the listening experience. I found the tiny ball bearings did neither. The sound stage remained fairly closed but more open than that of the EP1s. The Bowers & Wilkins $179 dollar earphones have a microphone with basic function controls for music and calls, replacement silicone tips in various sizes (no foam cushions) and a small padded carrying case.
While both the RBH EP1 and the Bowers & Wilkins C5 earphones are well constructed, you can easily find better sounding (and cheaper) offerings from ThinkSound and Logitech UE.
Be sure to listen to episode 76 of Pop Tech Jam (‘The Desolation of El Kaiser’) for my full review.
This week J.D. helps us deal with holiday travel by sharing tips on making the experience a little easier and Pedro helps us stuff our stockings — and our ears — with a review of two new earphones from RBH Sound and Bowers & Wilkins. In the news Twitter changes its blocking policy but has an immediate change of heart; Facebook rolls out auto-play video ads; Samsung gets set to release its own Android gamepad; Apple announces its iTunes year-end Top Ten; The Museum of Science Fiction is set to open in 2017; and Flash Gordon could be headed for a serious big-screen remake.
This week we go big on Pop Tech Jam! Technology expert and author Phil Simon talks to J.D. about his new book, Too Big to Ignore: The Business Case for Big Data and Pedro reviews two new headphones in his never-ending quest for the perfect subway headphones. In the news, Amazon’s Cloud Drive service takes on Dropbox; Microsoft’s Windows Phone making inroads against Apple and Android’s dominance; Google’s new privacy czar; and mobile ads that talk back.
In his eternal quest for the Perfect Pair of Headphones that sound great and keep the background noise out of the mix, Pedro Rafael Rosado takes a listen to two new models:
The Bowers & Wilkins P3 headphones ($199.99)
The NuForce NE 700M titanium-coated in-ear headphones ($75)
How did the gear hold up against the cacophony of the New York City subway system?
El Kaiser tells all in Episode 41.