Unboxing the M-Audio Bass Traveler Portable DAC/amp

We now have another long delayed unboxing post. This was a review sample of the portable M-Audio Bass Traveler DAC/amp combo. It takes one 3.5mm input and has two 3.5mm outputs, a Bass Boost selector, and a volume control knob. Perhaps its main differentiation from other budget portable DAC/amps is the two outputs, essentially a powered splitter.

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Unboxing the B&O Play Form 2i On-Ears

This, the B&O Play Form 2i Lightweight On-Ears, was a review sample that I had forgotten I took “unboxing pictures” of 🙂 So here it is, a useful unassuming text and pictures unboxing (no audio, no video) that is customary of our unboxing posts here 🙂

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List of Smartphones Without a 3.5mm Headphone Jack

LATEST UPDATE: September 16 in 2017 ~ added the new iPhones… added the Xiaomi Mi 6 [it wasn’t included previously]… Motorola’s new Z2 FORCE, just like the first generation of the Z flagship line, does NOT have a headphone jack 🙁

Even the best of futurists sometimes have a hard time beating a coin toss with their predictions, so I have no way of knowing where the headphone jack will be in five or ten or twenty or thirty years from now. At the moment however, it reigns supreme in smartphones, despite some high profile defectors to the Lightning cable (Apple) and USB-C (a few Android models).

Given the situation today, it is a lot easier to keep track of the smartphones that do not have a 3.5mm headphone jack, rather than keep track of all the ones that do (the vast majority of them). There is only a handful of defectors so far. 2016 created a mini panic, but as of mid 2017, the existential crisis that was predicted did not materialize.

Samsung’s Galaxy 8 co-flagships along with the LG G6 and Sony XZ*, Huawei P10 flagships continued to embrace the headphone jack. Heck, even the brand new iPad Pro 10.5″ has a headphone jack 🙂 But the year is not over yet, we are still waiting for the new Note 8, LG V30, Pixel 2, iPhone 8, Moto Z flagships.

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Smartphones with Bluetooth 5

LATEST UPDATE: September 12, 2017 – it looks like all three new iPhones of today will support Bluetooth 5.0…

Bluetooth is a tug of war between convenience and compression. Some vow never to use it on the grounds of the additional compression step. Others will under certain circumstances. Certainly, after one ruins enough headphones and earphones during specific tasks and activities, one may be more inclined to give bluetooth a chance, at least during those activities.

Which brings us to Bluetooth 5, a point of hope and hype that you can listen over bluetooth without noticeably sacrificing audio quality. It is too early to tell as of June 2017, as we only have a couple of smartphones and no headphones supporting Bluetooth 5. But IFA is just around the corner, and so is CES 2018, so we should expect more action on this front in the next few months.

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