Crave giveaway: V-Moda Crossfade M-100 headphones

Congrats to Brenda S. of Dunn, N.C., for winning two Powerocks Magicstick portable batteries in last week's giveaway, and to Jon T. of Red Bank, N.J., for winning a wireless LG sound bar from Sam's Club the week before that. This week, we have another prize your ears will like.

We're giving away a pair of V-Moda Crossfade M-100 headphones. CNET reviewers bestowed these feature-rich 'phones with an Editors' Choice award last year, calling them beautifully built with a warm and detailed bass-rich sound. They're durable, include an inline remote and microphone, and can fold into a compact bundle. … Read more

Can a $15 in-ear headphone sound better than good enough?

This blog is all about finding great-sounding audio products, in every price range. In June I reported on the best-sounding headphone I've ever heard, the Abyss AB-1266, but not long after that I was knocked out by Sony's MDR-V6, and now I'm auditioning these surprisingly decent $15 Audio Technica ATH-CLR100 in-ear headphones.

Introduced earlier this year, this all-plastic design is incredibly light, just 3.4 grams. It has 8.5mm drivers, sports small, medium, and large silicone eartips, and the headphone comes with a round plastic case. Amazon sells it for around $12, and even with that … Read more

ADL X1: This gizmo will pump up the sound of your iPhone

Over the past year or so we've seen a new product category emerge: the portable digital converter/headphone amplifier. Of course, no one "needs" such a device -- phones and iPods already have converters and amps built-in -- and sound perfectly fine with average headphones. The sound is good enough, but your phone's converter and amp share space and battery power with the phone's electronics. A separate converter and amp, about the size of a phone, has only one mission: improved sound quality. So if you upgraded to a high-end in-ear headphone, like the $399 … Read more

V-Moda's outrageously sweet portable DAC and headphone amp

I've reviewed a number of portable headphone amps over the years, but they just took the analog output of a phone or MP3 player and made it sound better. Ideally, you want to totally bypass the player's digital converters, but up until recently that was a very expensive proposition. The V-Moda Vamp Verza cuts the price to less than half, and works with iPhones, iPads, and iPods, as well as Androids and computers. I'm really impressed with the little Vamp Verza's sound.

The look and concept were designed by V-Moda's Val Kolton in Milan, Italy, … Read more

How do you like your headphone sound: Accurate or bassy?

Most of the headphones I've tested over the years weren't designed to have a neutral balance of bass, midrange, and treble frequencies. Manufacturers are well aware that most people like bass, and that buyers tend to favor one headphone over another based on how much bass it produces. I think that's obvious, but a recent study cited in Brent Butterworth's blog countered that assumption. "The Relationship between Perception and Measurement of Headphone Sound Quality," a paper by Sean Olive and Todd Welti presented at last October's Audio Engineering Society convention found that a … Read more

The 404 1,222: Where we bust myths and eardrums (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Makerbong? 3D printing is getting stoned.

- Bloomberg's next ban may be loud headphones.

- A petition to change the national anthem to R. Kelly's 2003 hit "Ignition (Remix)."

- 404 Archive News: 404 Redditor fanbanlo posted a link to download 1,217 archived episodes of the show. Canoy took care of a search for all 404 episodes on CNET.… Read more

Valentine's Day deal: V-Moda Remix Remote earphones

The funny thing about headphones and earphones is that sometimes the same product costs much less depending on its color. That's the case for the V-Moda Remix Remote earphones, which carry a list price of $79.99, but the pink version goes for $38 on Amazon (the standard Remix model without an inline remote and microphone is only $30).

We've generally given positive reviews to V-Moda headphones, and like some of the full-size models, the Remix Remote features a sleek design and big bass.

I've been listening to a black version for a few weeks and the … Read more

What's up with the Meze 88 Classics headphones?

Lucky me -- I get to play with lots of headphones, but I sometimes wonder if they're all made in the same factory, and their mostly plastic construction, similar features, and designs feel interchangeable. So when CNET's David Carnoy put the Meze 88 Classics in my hands I was intrigued. The beautifully finished, hand-carved ebony wood ear cups gave a high-end sheen to the design, and a quick audition proved the 88 Classics' beauty was more than skin deep.

Build quality is a step up from what you get with Beats by Dr. Dre 'phones, and I liked … Read more

The 404 1,171: Where cyber has a new meaning (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- The confetti at Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade was made of confidential police documents.

- NEC is designing a suitcase-size DNA analyzer.

- A pill that calls home once you've taken it.

- CNET Exclusives: 35 percent off Outdoor Technology Bluetooth headphones and wireless gear!

- Cyber Monday CNET Holiday Gift Guide.… Read more

Amazon takes up to 75% off headphones for Cyber Monday

Amazon's Gold Box feature is a catch-all page for the retailer's daily deals, and Cyber Monday gives music lovers the opportunity to grab a pair of the site's best-selling headphones at a seriously generous discount:

The Klipsh Image X10 are an older model, but still well worth the $84.99 price tag (76% off retail). CNET reviewed this one as well as its updated sibling that includes an in-line remote and microphone for calls, but their exceptionally clear and balanced audio response with passive sound isolation and superslim earpieces make a great sidekick to your music player. … Read more