The 404 1,308: Where we sweat it out with Sphere (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Enter Steve's contest: You can be the Audiophiliac for a day!

- I want my MTV, again.

- Poll: If digital audio is so great, why didn't it kill the LP?

- Steve interviewed producer-engineer Young Guru on what good sound sounds like.

- Steve endorses the Orbit Turntable on Kickstarter.

- The founder of the Bose Corporation dies at 83.

- Steve reviews the Sony MDR-7506 headphones, around since 1991 and still way better than most 2013 headphones.

- Follow Steve on Twitter.… Read more

Aiaiai Capital headphones propel Danish design momentum

It's already been a great year for the Danish headphone designers over at Aiaiai, and it's about to get even better.

The company's TMA-1 DJ headphones recently earned a spot in an exhibit at SFMOMA documenting contemporary industrial designs influenced by Dieter Rams, and its latest headphones, the Capital, are already garnering shrieks of schoolgirl glee from audiophiles who appreciate equal parts form and function.

Aiaiai supplied the audio technology for the Capital headphones, but once again leaned on Scandinavian design group Kibisi to design their form. The two made a great first impression last year with the release of the Tracks supra-aural headphones, and Kibisi's simple design ethos is made clear again in the Capital.… Read more

Headphones for the flashy bodyguard look

As one of the most visible parts of a music player, headphones need to look good. AIAIAI has an interesting take with the Swirl 2.0. Below the left earbud is a section of wire with a coiled design that makes the wearer look like an agent protecting the president. The difference is that the Swirl 2.0 comes in quite a number of flashy colors--we're pretty sure tough-guy-type Secret Service agents don't dig that.

AIAIAI hails from Sweden, but you can check here for a list of North American retail partners. We don't know how good … Read more

Stylish earphones that can take a beating

If keyboards and USB drives can be built to survive everything from Mack Trucks to nuclear blasts, why can't earphones get a little reinforcement too? After all, unlike a lot of these other devices, it's actually understandable if they're dropped or otherwise put in harm's way by accident.

Denmark-based Kilo Design understands this well and has come up with a pair of $75 buds designed to withstand a good measure of abuse, with a thick coiled cord that looks like it should be attached to a phone, not your head. Our favorite thing about them, however, … Read more