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It was a tough decision, but after a ton of looking around, I decided to lay down my hard earned money on a pair of Audio Technica ATH-A700‘s. I have used them every day for a few years now, so I want to share with you everything I know about them. So here is Audio + Visual’s in depth Audio Technica ATH-A700 review.

Why the Audio Technica ATH-A700 Headphones?

Well a few reasons..

1. They don’t need an amp to sound great. I have plugged them into the back of a computer, with or without a dedicated sound card, into my Ipod touch 2nd Gen and they have always packed a punch and sound great.

2. The price. A pair of ATH-900 headphones (the model up) a few years ago was well over $300. Nowadays, a pair of ATH-A700’s can be bought for around $120 through Amazon in the U.S. I bought the ATH-A700 because they were a little bit cheaper at the time, even though I wanted to, I could not splash out for a pair of ATH-A900’s.

3. I used them mostly in an office setting, so I needed closed back headphones that would not leak any sound to any others near me.

4. I would use them for 8+ hours a day, so I wanted some comfortable headphones. I really liked the fact that these cans were Circum-aural (the headphone pads sits around the outside of your ear, not on your ear. This to me is a lot more comfortable than Supra-aural headphones (ones that sit on top of your ear).

5. I liked the awesome fit-all winged design of the headphone ‘strap’. More on this later in this review.

Sound Quality

The A700’s come with an extremely wide sound-stage. The instruments were well separated and sounded really clear. I expected a lot of heavy bass, but instead was surprised to find the bass was strong, but clean. The headphones were really well balanced for all kinds of music, especially Indie Rock and some thumpier Drum and Bass tracks.

Instruments such as guitars were crisp and were well separated. So overall a well rounded even sound stage from these cans. If you are looking for something where the bass dominates, I would not recommend these. If you are looking for strong, yet clean and well balanced bass that really is mixed well with the rest of the music, then I would highly recommend these cans.

Comfort & Usability

These headphones come with an awesome “Self-adjusting 3D Wing Support Housing” which according to Audio Technica, “provides comfortable support for a more enjoyable listening experience”. This was a huge part of why I wanted to get these headphones.

The winged design automatically adjusts to any head shape without having to adjust and straps or bands. This is similar to the self adjusting bands found on AKG’s, but even better and a lot more comfortable. The down side to this is that you can’t really bust out any head banging, as the headphones would just fly off your head. That’s not to say you can;t move your head normally.

The cord is super long and is wrapped in a nice material and the woven fabric sheath does not transmit sound when knocked.

The only down side is how big these cans are. They aren’t really all too portable, because they will probably slide a bit while walking on the street. In fact, these would just be too big and unusable if you were running. but then again, you wouldn’t buy a pair of these cans and run a marathon.

Sitting with these for over 8 hours a day, my head was fine. The 3D wing support on the Audio Technica ath series really does wonders and makes the headphones feel super light on your head. I did notice that my ears did get hot after about 2-3 hours of non-stop usage, so I hat to give them a quick break for a few minutes before continuing.

Because these are closed back, they are great for containing sound, and they do it well. Sometimes too well. If you do need to hear anyone else in the next room, then it could be a little hard. I did try the one ear cup off to the side, but this can be a little annoying as the cups are so large.

Overall, amazing comfort for short and long stints of time and great if you are sitting still all day and don’t want any sound leakage. These cans can be plugged into anything with or without an amp and provide awesome sound with a really, really good sound stage.

The Cons

There is a slight creaking sound that transmits through the headband system into the ear cups sometimes. This is fine if you are still, but when you move your head, you hear this sometimes. this is nothing too annoying, but it is there.

The material of the ear cups is nothing special, just ‘pleather’. They did last a while though and didn’t start to fray until after about 2 years of usage, which is to be expected.

The Audio Technica A700s can get a little hot on the ears after a few hours of non-stop usage. This is to be expected with circum-aural headphones I guess.

These cans can be a little expensive for the casual user, but for people that are power users or listen their music all day sitting still, I would recommend these cans in an instant. For the new, cheaper price of $120 on Amazon U.S. this is a bargain.

The Conclusion

All in all, these are a great set of cans that can be played out of almost anything. Unfortunately due to their size they aren’t really for anyone that wants portability. The design also suits people who are sitting still. In saying this, these ATH-A700 headphones offer a quality sound-stage, comfort and good looks that would be great for any office worker who needs a pair of closed back headphones that will last for a very long time.

For you guys who love numbers:

Sound Quality: 9/10 
Comfort: 10/10 
Portability: 2/10

You can check out a pair of ATH-A700’s right here.

Comments? Feel free to add your opinion on these headphones too.

 

Surround sound is everywhere. The only thing that’s annoying about it is that it’s a bit of a pain to set up. That’s why you should get a wireless surround sound system. Don’t be misled by the term wireless here. Wireless just means that the rear speakers will definitely be wireless. The subwoofer might be wireless (but will need a power source) and the front speakers can be wireless depending on the system. Some “wireless surround sound systems” only have the rear speakers wireless, so watch out for that.

First, you need to choose how many speakers you want. The simplest one is the 5.1 wireless surround sound system. Any setup with less speakers is not considered surround sound. There are several ways you can go about choosing a wireless surround sound system.

The first way is to narrow down your search by only looking at certain brands. Depending on how knowledgeable you are in this area, you should have some favourite audio brands. Some good brands include Sony, Logitech, Creative Labs, Samsung, Panasonic, Vizio, Philips, LG, Creative, and any other brands you can think of.

Whether or not you’ve narrowed down your search to specific brands, you’ll still want to be at the stage where you will look at specific features. All surround sound systems should have Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II and DTS Digital Surround technologies. The better ones will also have Dolby TrueHD. Dolby Digital and DTS are the basic surround sound technologies, whereas Pro Logic is for converting stereo sound into surround sound.

TrueHD is for lossless HD audio. Besides the technologies, you can look at remote control settings, multiple inputs, easy connections, big speakers, or vertical speakers. When I say vertical speakers, I mean the ones that look like mini skyscrapers. Those speakers are the best if you’re going for amazing quality. Otherwise, you can buy speakers that are smaller.

If you’re not satisfied with just a 5.1 system, you can get a 6.1 or 7.1 wireless surround sound system. This would only really be necessary for a large room. Even if you have quite a large room, you can still go for a high quality 5.1 channel one.

The best wireless surround sound system for you could be any system if you’re not an overly technological person. If the whole process scares you a bit, just go for a mid-range 5.1 surround sound system by a reputable brand. You really can’t go wrong, unless you want something more powerful. All surround sound systems deliver excellent quality. But some deliver mind-blowingly amazing quality. It’s your choice.

Check out some of our favorite wireless surround sound systems:

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If you want to go swimming, showering, bathing, or whatever water-based activity, you may still want to listen to some music, even though MP3 players have a tendency to break forever if they go into water. That’s why there is the underwater MP3 player. Unfortunately, these things cost a lot of money; don’t have a lot of features and you only get like 1 or 2 GB of memory. But hey, at least you can listen to music whilst in water.

First, you may just want to get a case for your current MP3 player that will be both waterproof and makes it possible to use the controls. The most popular brands have these cases, e.g. iPods. You’ll also have to invest in some underwater earphones or headphones in that case.

Anyway, you’re more than likely not looking just for a case, so we’ll look at some waterproof MP3 players. The first one, and the most popular one, would be the 4th generation iPod shuffle. Swimman and H2OFriendly make this possible, so don’t just buy the regular one and instantly use it underwater because it won’t work. It costs a small bit of money to water protect your Shuffle but it’s worth it if you already have an iPod shuffle.

The best underwater MP3 player for you is going to be whichever one looks the most appealing to you personally. A lot of the underwater MP3 player designs can be a bit weird and you probably won’t like most of them. Speedo does offer relatively good looking ones though.

Speedo offers two underwater MP3 player models at 1GB and 2GB. The Speedo underwater MP3 player is intensely insulated and is safe to use in 3 metres (10 feet) of water. You can attach the device to your swimwear, goggles, or other things, and the buttons are ergonomically designed for ease. The device is USB 2.0. So, your two Speedo options are the Speedo Aquabeat 1GB or the Speedo Aquabeat LZR 2GB. They will go well with some waterproof earphones. The battery life is roughly 9 hours.

FINIS offers the SwiMP3 FINIS underwater MP3 player. You can get the SwiMP3.1G which has 1GB of storage or you can get smaller capacities (512MB, 256MB, and 128MB). Just like the Speedo players, they have hydrodynamic clips which can clip onto goggles or other things you may have on you.

The advantage of getting an entirely different MP3 player for underwater is that there is no risk of damage of your more expensive MP3 player, such as an iPod. These devices are expensive for their features and capacity, but they are definitely cheaper than iPods, Zunes and Zens. Me, personally? I’d get the Speedo 1GB MP3 player.

Check out our favorite underwater MP3 players for further info:

So, you’re looking for a LG Bluetooth headset. It’s a solid and decent choice, because LG makes relatively good products and their reputation and quality is generally pretty high up. When you’re looking at buying one, it’s pretty much just like looking for any Bluetooth headset, except you won’t be looking at high end or low end headsets, just above mid-range headsets. I’ve got a great formula for looking for the perfect LG Bluetooth headset for you. It’s may seem a bit obvious, but it works; go with it.

1. Style– Make sure it suits you. Not any random person but you. Look for colour, headband design, size, and overall look. You can choose from the single eared LG Bluetooth headsets or a LG stereo Bluetooth headset. It’s entirely up to you.

2. Features– Look for impressive sounding technology, but also features that you will want. Maybe you want noise/echo cancellation. Maybe you’re annoyed with connection problems, and need auto reconnect. Maybe you need a dual microphone.

3. Price– Even if you’re looking for the best LG Bluetooth headset HBM (such as HBM-520), you’re still going to want to watch the price. Don’t get ripped off, and it’s probably not a good idea to buy straight from the LG website, because they’ll probably have the most expensive price. See below for a cheap bluetooth headset.

The HBM series is single ear only, and it is ideal for simplicity and quality. It’s not exactly idea for comfort though. Also, it’s not the best if you want to have the mouthpiece a bit closer to your mouth, and if you want stereo sound rather than just mono. If you’re looking for a LG Bluetooth stereo headset, instead of any of the HBM series, I would recommend one from the HBS series. They are generally reasonably small, comfortable and sometimes even gym-friendly.

There are also some unusual HBS series for a LG Bluetooth headset. Some look like they plug into things, but they actually plug into your ear. Some are like having two of the HBM series connected to each other. Again, it’s up to you to decide and choose your style, features and price. You may want the headband, or no headband, or behind the neck, or the benefits of having just one, with no need for any connection. No wires or bands.

So, as you can see, LG offers some pretty decent Bluetooth headsets. But, if you’re unconvinced, look at some other brands such as Sony or Creative. Or maybe you want a regular wireless headset, or a wired headset for that matter. In any case, you just need to follow the same steps in order to get the headset you need.

Our Top LG Bluetooth Headsets:

The best home theatre setup has a quality, but not excessively expensive, surround sound system. Samsung surround sound systems are ideal in this area. We’ll find out what kind of regular features you may want, and also look at the specific sound technologies behind surround sound systems. You should definitely be familiar with terms such as “Dolby Digital”, which tells you what kind of surround sound technology is behind the system. We’ll also look at some specific Samsung models.

The simplest, cheap Samsung surround sound systems actually still have high quality sound and connection. These may lack remote control settings, multiple inputs, easy connection or long cords for your speakers, depending on the sound system you’re buying.

Better Samsung surround sound systems 5.1, or even 7.1 channels, should have all of these features though. But, if you can manage having simple features with a cheap price, go for the simple 5.1 channel surround sound system with small speakers. A perfect example of this is the Samsung HT-Z310T 5.1-Channel Home Theater Surround Sound System.

The cheaper sound systems will have simple Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II and DTS Digital Surround technologies, whereas the more expensive ones will have higher sound quality with technologies such as Dolby TrueHD. To be honest, a surround sound system is a surround system. Although you shouldn’t compromise on quality, there isn’t much you can compromise on unless you have a large room. If you have a large room, you will want larger speakers, and more speakers.

A 7.1 channel surround sound system will be more appropriate than a 5.1 channel one, in that case. But be wary that you can’t just upgrade a 5.1 system to a 7.1 system with the same subwoofer, because the subwoofer will only have plugs for the system it was designed for. Some systems come with vertical speakers and are ideal for the richest experience, such as the Samsung 7.1 Channel Blu-ray 3D Home Theater System.

The last option you can look at is going wireless. Samsung wireless surround sound home theater systems are great if you want to have speakers that are not tethered by wires. It’s pretty hard to hide cords in a clean space, especially with the rear speakers, so you’ll probably want to consider going for a rear wireless system. It’ll allow your rear speakers to be wireless, but not the rest of the speakers.

If you’re still undecided, check below to browse some Samsung surround sound systems:

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For many, music is essential to their lives. For another many, so are swimming and any other water activities. If you’re in both of those groups, you may want to invest in a waterproof MP3 player to use underwater. Although I won’t be covering them, you need to remember to get some underwater earphones or headphones as well. Most waterproof MP3 players come with them.

I don’t really recommend getting a waterproof case for your current MP3 player because the only ones that really work are for the mainstream ones, such as iPods, but those are too valuable to be taking underwater. But, if you want, there is the option for making the iPod shuffle 4th generation waterproof.

So, if you haven’t already made up your mind to get a case or a waterproof upgrade to a currently owned MP3 player, you can choose from a few brands, including Oregon, Speedo and FINIS. Oregon offers the cheaper option, with 256-512 MB of storage and 1 metre/30 minutes endurance. It’s also the only one out of the three with a FM tuner. The SwiMP3 FINIS MP3 player will be able to clip onto your swim gear and has 128-512 MB capacities. The Speedo Aquabeat 1-2 GB MP3 players are more water and shock resistant, in 3 metres of water. It can float in water and also attach to swim gear. Additionally, the design is more ergonomic than the others for an underwater mp3 player.

The best waterproof MP3 player can be the Oregon Scientific Waterproof MP3 player, the Speedo waterproof MP3 player, your regular MP3 player in a case, or the protected 4th gen iPod shuffle. But, there is another option here that will probably be the most appealing.

Atlantis offers 4-8 GB Deluxe Waterproof MP3 players. This waterproof MP3 player selection is actually cheaper than the Speedo one, with different ergonomics, a 10 metre water resistance depth, and lasts 20+ hours, whereas the Speedo one only lasts 9 hours. The design is less bulky, which can be better or worse depending on your preference of an underwater MP3 player.

I’ll give you another option, in case you haven’t made up your mind yet. Century’s Dolphin waterproof MP3 player is wrapped in silicone tube with secure cable-ties. The waterproof depth is 1 metre; the capacity is 1 GB; and the battery is 8 hours. The price is cheaper than the Speedo option, but again, the ergonomics of this MP3 player aren’t as impressive. The Atlantis one should appeal the most, as it has a larger resistance to water; the longest battery life; the largest memory capacity; and also not pricey.

Check out all the above mentioned mp3 players here:

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Ear muffs are great for lawnmowing and extremely cold winters. Ear muffs for women are especially warm and keep your ears fully covered. There are two kinds of ear muffs; acoustic and thermal ear muffs. If you’re looking for “ear muffs for women”, you’re probably not looking for acoustic ear muffs, or you would’ve just searched for “ear muffs”. So, let’s find some warm ear muffs for you.

There are a large variety of ear muffs that come in all sorts of different materials and colours. Just go to a winter clothing store and they should have a good range of winter ear muffs for women. An obvious material that should come to mind with everyone is wool. Other ear muff materials include cotton, fur, polyester, polar fleece, microfiber and plush. These will be meaningless to you until you actually go and try them on at a store.

You will want to personalise your ear muffs further than the material. Maybe you want some fur ear muffs for women, but you still need to decide what color, style, design, weight, cost, size and quality you want for the ear muffs.

I wouldn’t buy them from the internet unless I was absolutely certain that it’s what I want, and I’ve tried an identical or similar pair of ear muffs at a store. Make sure it’s both comfortable and warm and is neither too heavy nor too light, although you may need it slightly on the heavy side. Make sure that you can afford them and that the price is logical. Logical just means that it has to match what you’re buying. If it’s too cheap to be true, you’re probably not buying high quality ones.

If you’re looking for ear muffs that can also act as ear muffs for men, you can easily just choose from the range of ear muffs that don’t have any frizzy material on the outside. The bonus to this is lightness and the disadvantage is that it may not be as warm or comfortable. This doesn’t mean that the warm material can’t be on the outside, it just won’t be frizzy.

A final area you could look at is bandless ear muffs for women. They are great if you want the comfort of not having a band over your head, Either way, however you want to protect your ears from the searing cold, you should know that there are suitable ear muffs out there for you.

Our Favorite Ear Muffs for Women:

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When looking for a cheap Bluetooth headset, you have to dismiss good quality brands such as Sony, Creative, Sennheiser, Microsoft, or anyone else you can think of. You don’t, however, have to compromise completely on brand. Both Motorola and Samsung offer cheap Bluetooth headset deals.

If you really want a really cheap Bluetooth headset, there are “designer’s” headsets which are even cheaper than some regular earphones or headphones.

There are a lot of compromises that you will have to make when buying a good cheap Bluetooth headset. The main ones are comfort and quality. You won’t have to compromise on everything though. All headsets come with the standard warranty and work pretty much the same as any other Bluetooth headset. The reason why you would get a cheap Bluetooth headset is because regular ones cost quite a bit.

Compatibility is very good when you find the best cheap Bluetooth headset for you. Only if you go for really dodgy brands could you maybe stumble across a Bluetooth headset that doesn’t work with your Bluetooth-compliant device. Anyway, it’s pretty unlikely. You will be able to find devices that work with your PS3, laptop, some desktops, and whatever other kind of Bluetooth device you need.

You can go for the absolute cheapest, or only slightly less cheap. We can begin with the cheapest, with the least amount of features, comfort and notoriety. So, depending on how much you’re willing to spend, you can actually just spend a little bit more than the cheapest Bluetooth headset to get the right headset for you.

There’s no point in spending a tiny amount and getting a terrible product, so think about spending a bit more than the lowest price. Look for features you may want, and look for headsets that look relatively comfortable and that won’t break as easy.

It really all depends on your definition of “cheap”. In my opinion, if you go for the cheapest Bluetooth headset of reputable brands such as Sony and Creative, it’s still nice and cheap, but you have the additional benefits of reliability, comfort and features. The microphone is in a more comfortable place and the headband can be more suited for your ears and your head. Additionally, you could even buy some with hi-fi sound, if you’re lucky.

So, in short, depending on how much money you have, pay a bit more money than the cheaper option, in order to ensure a more personalised and appropriate purchase.

Here are our top picks:

When buying a wireless headset for your Xbox 360, you can consider several RF headsets. An Xbox wireless headset is pretty easy to find a purchase for. There are several official and unofficial headsets that you can buy. It has to suit your personal gaming needs, but also maybe be usable on your computer as a gaming, or just a regular chatting headset.

First up are the official headsets. The Xbox 360 wireless headset and the official wired headset are solid, decent and just above mid-range when it comes to features, quality and price. There is the black Xbox 360 wireless headset, which may be more appropriate for people with Elite black consoles, or just people who love technology in black (I know I do).

Buying a new Xbox 360 wireless headset is a good idea, because it means that wear and tear and hygiene won’t be an issue. But, if you’re looking for something unofficial, there are a lot of options you can go for. Starting with brands, you can choose from Sony, Skullcandy, Sennheiser, Turtle Beach, Logitech, Creative, LG or any other reputable brand you can think of. With an Xbox wireless headset, you generally don’t need to look at specific features. But, you can do that.

So, looking at specific features, you can think about performance, features, and accessories. I wouldn’t worry too much about accessories. Performance just means that the higher frequency you buy, the lower the performance. So, when you look at features, think about what kind of weight you want, how far range you need, whether you want a stereo headset, whether you want surround sound in the stereo headset, and what kind of design you want.

The design is very important because it makes the Xbox wireless headset more about you. You may just want a unique colour, or you may want to think about whether you want stereo or mono for gaming headphones. If you go for stereo, you have to choose whether the headband goes above your head, is adjustable, goes behind your head, or there is no headband.

There are also some extra features you may want to consider in an Xbox wireless headset. Firstly, you have to choose between standard RF and wireless USB. Then there are features such as the style of the speakers, extra earpads, noise-cancellation and isolation, a control pad on the speakers, a folding design, LED indicator and anything else that may interest you. Just make sure that you can afford it, and the price is reasonable.

Click below for more information on the reviewed headsets:



Logitech is a well-known and trustworthy brand, especially for audio devices. Therefore, choosing to buy a Logitech USB headset is a safe and generally quality option. The only problem with Logitech is occasional incompatibility with Mac, Linux and game consoles; but it’s not very often, especially if they are headsets, as they will be specifically designed for multi-platform gaming.

You have to choose what you want in terms of features. Logitech offers a number of both simple and advanced audio features. In terms of simple, you can look at plush earpads; adjustable headband; wireless; on-ear audio control and a padded headband. Slightly more advanced features include noise cancelling sound; noise cancelling microphone; surround sound; behind-the-head design; folding design and super wideband audio.

The Logitech USB headset that you want can be used for gaming, video chatting, or any other tasks that require a headset. The good thing about headsets is that they can be used as headphones as well as a microphone. And the good thing about USB headsets is that they only need to plug into one socket and are multi-platform, whereas 3.5mm connections use up two plugs and are mainly only compatible with Windows. With some, the Logitech USB headset can come with both types of connectors so that you can choose.

The Logitech USB gaming headset is ideal for gaming because the sound is loud, clear and crisp. The comfort is also maximised compared to other Logitech headsets, because they are specifically designed for long periods of gaming. The Logitech USB headset for gaming is especially good for noise cancelling in terms of sound.

If you’re looking for something a bit simpler, you can go for the Logitech USB headset H330 with simple plug and play capability; a noise-cancelling microphone; a rotating, adjustable boom for the microphone; adjustable headband and stereo sound. If that sounds like you, go for it. But, if you’re looking for something a bit more advanced, you can browse around for other headsets.

A simple Logitech USB headset with microphone may be all you need. However, the only distinct feature you would get is a noise-cancelling microphone. The good thing about a simple headset is that they are very cheap and can suit pretty much any basic needs. Generally, these will have the headband around the back of your head and may or may not be able to fold onto itself. So make sure that you choose a range of headsets that you may need first then choose what you want from that selection.

Check out the headphones talked about above: