Archive for December, 2010

Asus Xonar DX PCI-E Audio Card

December 26th, 2010 No comments

5 Stars- techdadAsus Xonar DX

My computer hasn’t been upgraded much since I built it a few years ago. When I built it, I decided to go with integrated network adapters and audio. My aBit motherboard’s onboard audio was a reasonably good Realtek HD audio chip so I was content to stick with it rather than buying a discrete audio card, like I’d done in all of my previous builds. I decided the convenience of having integrated components was worth the small sacrifice in quality.

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Monster Turbine High Performance In-Ear Speakers

December 19th, 2010 No comments

5 Stars- techdad

Monster Turbine High-Performance In-Ear Speakers

Monster Cable makes headphones? Yes they do, and quite well I might add. The company that created the high-end cable market has branched out to consumer electronics. They have taken the headphone market by storm and have co-branding deals with Dr. Dre, Lady Gaga, and the late Miles Davis. The Monster Turbine High Performance In-Ear Speakers are their entry-level offering and have won over some serious audio peeps. I decided to join in on the fun and take them for a spin too.

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Headroom Total BitHead USB DAC/Headphone Amplifier

December 15th, 2010 No comments

4 Stars- techdad
Headroom TotalBitHead

When I began amassing a headphone collection, I had no intention of becoming a headphone amp guy. I listen to nearly all my music and all my movies from my desktop computer. I rarely bother with portable players because well, I’m practically always around a computer or stereo. When I’m out with my kids, it’d probably be considered irresponsible to plug in noise-isolation earphones. In my quest to improve the overall sound quality, I got rid of my Logitech Z-2300 THX-Certified 2.1 Speakers and decided to focus on improving the sound via headphones. My first thought was to upgrade my on-board sound card to a discrete card, such as an Asus Xonar card. After a couple of weeks of research, I decided a USB DAC would be preferable for my purposes and decided on the only USB DAC I knew of– the Headroom Total BitHead.

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Amazon Mom

December 14th, 2010 No comments

5 Stars- techdad

Amazon Mom

It’s no secret that is the world’s largest e-tailer and they are constantly introducing innovative ideas to enhance the customer experience. A few years ago, they introduced Amazon Prime, a shipping subscription in which you pay $79/year to get 2-Day shipping on a large number of products sold by Amazon. Then came Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program which provided a 15% discount on items on the S&S list if you subscribed to send them on a regular interval (1, 2, 3, and 6 months). I began using the S&S program for our toothpaste and diapers for the savings and convenience, rather than making the dreaded monthly trek to Costco. A few months ago, I was invited to join the new Amazon Mom program which combined the Amazon Prime and Subscribe & Save programs.

The Amazon Mom program starts members out with a free 3-month subscription to Prime. It also adds an additional 15% off of Subscribe & Save items in Amazon’s Baby Store giving members a whopping 30% off. Diapers suddenly became significantly cheaper for us. In addition, for every order of $25 or more worth of items from Amazon’s Baby Store, Amazon adds another month to your Prime membership. Mind you, this is all available for FREE.

Here are some other notes on the memberships mentioned above:

Amazon Prime – If you need a package sooner than 2 days, you can pay just $3.99 for 1-Day shipping. When you join Prime, it is set to automatically renew. If you prefer, you can turn of auto renewal in your Prime settings. Also, if you have other Amazon shoppers in your household, you may add up to 4 additional people to share the Prime membership with.
Subscribe & Save – The number of products qualifying for S&S is growing but is still pretty selective at the moment. You can cancel a subscription at any time. I’ve had to cancel certain diaper subscriptions as my toddler grew and required bigger sizes.
Amazon Mom – Perhaps a bit sexist in naming, you can designate in your profile that you are a Dad and list your children’s profiles should you wish. I elected not to.

There is no reason not to try out the Amazon Mom program. For basic necessities like diapers and wipes, it is extremely convenient and a great value. I probably won’t be able to extend my free Prime membership as I don’t regularly buy $25 in baby products anymore since my children are now older. But when they were infants, I would have certainly qualified for extensions. Regardless, this is a great service that Amazon is offering and I recommend it to all parents.

Go to to sign up or for more information.

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Illustrate’s dBpoweramp Music Converter/CD Ripper

December 13th, 2010 1 comment

5 Stars- techdad


How do you get your CDs to your iPod, Zune, or other portable music player? iTunes? Windows Media Player? Probably, right? Well, if you want more control over the music you rip, you should consider an alternative. dBpoweramp Music Converter is just such an alternative, though not for the squeamish.

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Erasure’s A Little Respect (HMI Redux) To Benefit The Hetrick-Martin Institute

December 11th, 2010 No comments

A Little Respect (HMI Redux)

Erasure has redone their popular single from the 80s, A Little Respect, to benefit the Hetrick-Martin Institute. If you are a fan or just enjoy the song, please consider making the $0.99 purchase to support HMI.

Purchase from iTunes

For more info on the Hetrick-Martin Institute, please visit them here.
For more info on Erasure, please visit them here.

Proceeds from the track will be donated to The Hetrick-Martin Institute, the home of the Harvey Milk High School, in New York, and the True Colors Fund. The Hetrick-Martin Institute, the nation’s oldest and largest LGBTQ youth service organization, provides a safe and supportive environment to all young people – regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity so that they can achieve their full potential.

In the wake of all the gay bullying and related suicides that have been reported in the US over the past several months, Erasure wanted to do something special to spread a message of tolerance and to raise money for an organisation that engages in the fight on a daily basis and, because it has become something of a gay rights anthem over the years, it seemed only fitting to release a brand new version of A Little Respect.

The HMI Redux features a youth chorus from the Hetrick-Martin Institute who also appear in the music video, directed by filmmaker Jason Stein.

The original version of A Little Respect, released in 1988, featured on The Innocents, the first Erasure album to hit the UK #1 spot (first on 30th April 1988 and again in January 1989), a chart-topping position they revisited with each of their next four album releases.

In over two decades together, Andy Bell and Vince Clarke (a founding member of Depeche Mode and Yazoo) have sold more than 20 million albums around the globe, proving themselves masters of every kind of song from disco symphonies to unplugged ballads. To download this amazing redux of A little Respect, click here.

Categories: Misc Tags: ,

Etymotic Research HF5 Portable In-Ear Earphones

December 7th, 2010 No comments

5 Stars- techdad

Etymotic Research is synonymous with IEM’s because well, they invented them.  The hf5 is Ety’s more “affordable” hi-fi earphone and sits just below the legendary ER4.  Etymotic’s claim is that the hf5’s are the most accurate earphones under $200.  A pretty bold claim, but not one without merit.  Thanks to Etymotic, I had the opportunity to listen to the hf5 for the past couple of weeks and I came away extremely impressed.
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