Review: Superior Sound from within Via the Trekz Air Bone Conduction Headphones

If you find earbuds uncomfortable but don’t want big bulky headphones, the Trekz Air ($ 179.97) from AfterShokz are a great solution. The company takes an innovative approach to transmitting sound. Instead of earbuds sitting in your ears or ear cups covering them, the AfterShokz use bone conduction technology to send audio through your temples leaving your ears open to hear ambient sounds. This is great for joggers and bicyclists.

Related: Editor’s Choice: Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones of 2017

I’ve used older AfterShokz models but I’m even more impressed by the latest models that use titanium to be almost weightless. They also feature voice prompts to help with pairing and control. Despite the lightweight design, the Trekz Air still achieves six hours of continuous music and calls. It’s not cheap, but these should last for years, and they come with a two year warranty to back it up.


  • Remarkably lightweight titanium design
  • Amazing bone conduction technology
  • Open ear for hearing ambient sounds
  • Voice prompts for pairing and control
  • Six hours of continuous music and calls


  • Expensive

Final Verdict

If you are looking for a headphone for working out, indoors and outdoors without blocking ambient sound, the Trekz Air from AfterShokz should meet your needs. 


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Turning big data into sound

A collaboration between two professors – one of music and one of engineering – at Virginia Tech resulted in the creation of a new platform for data analysis that makes it possible to understand data better by turning it into sound. This is a pioneering approach to studying spatially distributed data which instead of placing information into a visual context to show patterns or correlations – meaning, data visualization – uses  an aural environment to leverage the natural affordances of the space and the user’s location within the sound field. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the work combines elements…

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The Grand Xboy Bluetooth Speaker Looks like a Toy but Delivers Grown-Up Sound

I saw the Grand Xboy 8-inch Bluetooth Speaker ($ 179) from Xoopar at CES and was able to try it for a while. It looks like a kid’s toy but the sound is quite suitable for adults, thanks to 2×10 watt speakers plus a 3 watt subwoofer. It also operates for ten hours before needing recharging. The 360-degree coverage means you can place the Xboy in the center of the room and it can be the life of the party.

The speaker looks like a robot, and with the cartoonish stance, it’s also reminiscent of the Sphero Interactive Spider-Man, which I’ve also reviewed. It comes in a variety of colors, and there are smaller versions in case you want to save a little cash.


The Xboy connects to just about any device using Bluetooth or the included 3.5mm audio jack and cable. I really like it, but these days, many speakers in this price range come with Alexa integration, so I would have liked to see that. 


  • Bluetooth and 3.5mm audio jack
  • 2x10W peak power plus 3W subwoofer for bass
  • 10-hour battery life
  • Cute design
  • Assorted colors


  • Pricey
  • No Alexa integration

Final Verdict

The Grand Xboy Bluetooth Speaker from Xoopar makes serious sound while looking cute and cuddly. 


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This nostalgic speaker combines retro looks with modern sound

There’s a reason why audiophiles tend to love vintage gear: it’s just cooler than anything you can find today when it comes to style. Unfortunately for the audiophile community, however, speaker systems and audio quality have improved dramatically since the 1950s—rendering most vintage audio systems sonically obsolete.

The Lofree Poison flawlessly bridges the gap between vintage style and modern sonics, and it’s on sale for just $ 79.99…. Read the rest of this post here

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Echobox Explorer Review: Intoxicating sound (with a heckuva hangover)

You’ve got to love the weird world of Android. I mean, where else can you shell out half a grand for a portable Hi-Fi player that looks like the product of a drunken evening between an expensive hip flask and a budget mid-2011 smartphone?

Fortunately, the distinctively shaped Echobox Explorer isn’t just an excuse to make halfhearted booze jokes; it’s a portable audio player that kicks out genuinely great sound thanks to a potent combination of powerful DAC and a capable headphone amp. Unfortunately, where Echobox splurged on the sound it skimped on the basics: a poor Wi-Fi radio makes it slow to stream; bad shielding on that radio makes for prominent earphone interference; and an ancient Android version with no Play Store makes for a subpar user experience.

If you’re enough of an audiophile to consider a Digital Audio Player in 2018, the Echobox Explorer is probably already on your radar — so should you take a hit off this faux flask? The answer’s right up above, in the MrMobile Echobox Explorer review!

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