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HiFiMan's advanced headphone tech at CES 2014 improves sound quality

HiFiMan is premiering two new models of audiophile headphones at CES 2014. At first glance the new models resemble HiFiMan's HE-400 and HE-500 full-size planar magnetic headphones, but closer inspection reveals an entirely new headband design, and these two models are considerably lighter and more comfortable than the headphones they replace.

Catch CNET's complete coverage of CES 2014

I was treated to an advance preview in NYC and auditioned the headphones at home. The sound is more open and clearer than ever before. Some experienced audiophiles may think these two new HiFiMans' sound is close to what you … Read more

Google opens Glass purchase to All Access music users

Google is letting Google Music All Access users purchase a Google Glass Explorers device now.

The company is notifying users of its All Access music streaming service through e-mail, Gizmodo reported Tuesday. Google Glass Explorers is Google's test program for its wearable computing device.

It's been an exclusive group so far, with Google only allowing certain developers, contest winners and VIP users to purchase the device for $1,500. The company quietly put up a waiting list for the general public a couple months ago.

But, All Access users can buy Glass now. Google added the All Access integrationRead more

Get a pair of Sennheiser HD 439 headphones for $39.99

My New Year's resolution for 2014 is the same as it was for 2013, and for every year before that: Don't make any New Year's resolutions. And I'm batting a thousand!

That said, next year I plan to continue my quest to reduce stress, and I find that listening to music for 15 to 20 minutes (while doing absolutely nothing else) is a great way to relax.

Of course, music is best enjoyed through a good pair of headphones. Like these: Today only, and while supplies last, Woot has the Sennheiser HD 439 over-the-ear headphones for $39.99, … Read more

Will streaming music services ever make money? 2014 may tell

You'd be forgiven if you thought streaming music was the hottest business to be in right now.

At every turn in 2013, tech companies big and small were pouring into online music services. Longtime players like Spotify and Slacker launched new features or shook things up with updates. Giants like Apple and Google shoved their way to the front of the race with new services like iTunes Radio and All Access, ventures they believe will help sell phones and other products. Google can't seem to get enough, and is said to be rolling out another subscription service through YouTubeRead more

Sony drops music streaming service Gracenote

Sony has sold its ownership of Gracenote, a service that matches and streams music across multiple devices, the electronics company announced Monday.

The company sold all of its shares to the Tribune Co. for $170 million. The sale should close before March 31, according to a press release. The purchase could help the Tribune Co. strength its stance against digital entertainment rival Rovi.

The sale comes shortly after Xbox Music announced it was using Gracenote to compliment its service. Xbox Music subscribers can listen to their music across multiple platforms and edit metadata for albums via Gracenote. Gracenote also has … Read more

Winamp look lives on in Spotify's Spotiamp tribute app

The Winamp media player is facing extinction -- or maybe not -- but the software's style lives on at least for now in a tribute app from Spotify called Spotiamp

Version 0.1 of the software brings what is now a retro look to Spotify's music-streaming service, at least for Windows users who have a premium Spotify account. According to the company:

Spotiamp is a Windows program that lets you login to your Spotify account and play your playlists. You can also search for tracks to play, and there's a radio feature. Spotiamp borrows the design of … Read more

Winamp may live to play another day

Don't play taps for Winamp just yet. The program may yet get another lease on life.

Last month, Winamp maker Nullsoft announced that parent AOL was going to pull the plug on the software come Friday, December 20, after which point it would no longer be available for download. But blog site TechCrunch, which is also owned by AOL, said that a suitor may swoop in to save the program.

Citing information from "a source with knowledge of the discussions," TechCrunch said on Thursday that AOL has been chatting with a potential buyer about purchasing Winamp and … Read more

Spotify's mobile users skyrocket since free streaming launch

It's been one week since Spotify announced it would allow anyone on an iOS or Android tablet or smartphone to use its music streaming app free of charge. And, it appears this was a good move for the company as far as growing its listener base.

The streaming music service said Thursday that downloads of the app have increased by four times in the last week; this means four times as many people are downloading the app today compared with a week ago. While Spotify would not release specific numbers, it's likely a hefty amount of people are … Read more

Target hack hits 40M accounts

CNET Update follows the bouncing ball:

In this episode of CNET Update:

- Watch your credit and bank statements if you shopped at a Target store recently. Hackers stole detailed credit card info for 40 million customers.

- Don't worry too much about the annoyance of in-flight phone chatter. Some airlines are dismissing the idea.

- Windows Phone users can stream between devices with new Xbox video and music apps.

- Google's Search app helps you go caroling. If you're not the sing-along type, there's plenty of free holiday music to stream.

CNET Update delivers the … Read more

Get a GoGroove BlueGate Bluetooth receiver for $24.99 shipped

A long time ago, I decried Bluetooth as a useless technology. Short-range wireless? What good could that possibly be? Turns out Bluetooth proved its awesomeness once smartphones and tablets arrived on the scene, as it allowed for audio to stream wirelessly from those devices to compatible speakers.

Ah, but what if you have a speaker dock, home stereo, or car radio that lacks built-in Bluetooth? No awesomeness for you. [Cue audience: "Awwwwww."]

Thankfully, you can add Bluetooth to nearly any audio device; all you need is a receiver. Like this one: For the next few days, and while … Read more