Sennhesier Noise-Canceling Headphones for $93

DealNews is a website which reports on good deals found online (their tongue-in-cheek slogan is “How to go broke saving money”). And in today's update, they mentioned that SelectRebate offers Sennheiser’s PXC-250 noise-canceling headphones for $93. A press release on Sennheiser’s website gives this description:

With excellent sound reproduction and the active noise compensation system NoiseGard, which can be switched on whenever it is needed, the dynamic closed PXC 250 tops the range of Sennheiser mini-headphones. Soft ring ear pads ensure a high level of comfort without unpleasant pressure. The extremely thin, ultra-lightweight voice coil is a guarantee for high efficiency and generous volume, both for low-impedance portable players and for high-impedance inflight entertainment systems. A special adapter is included for use on planes. […]

Considering that I have some airline trips coming up (for Thanksgiving and Christmas), the built-in noise-canceling appealed to me. And, $93 was also a good price — the lowest on PriceGrabber is $130. So, I ordered a pair :). Interestingly enough, the DealNews entry mentioned free shipping through a coupon code, but that must have already expired since it didn’t work for me. Even so, ground shipping was only $5.

MAD Winamp Plugin for Improved Audio

Josh passed this one along and I was going to e-mail Josh about it but I thought I’d post about it instead (don’t worry, they’re different Joshes).

At any rate, the MAD Plugin purports to offer improved audio decoding over Winamp’s default decoder. It works with Winamp 2.x at the moment, and they add that it doesn’t work with Winamp 3 yet. Their method is described like this:

Internally, MAD represents the decoded audio signal with high precision. Combined with a form of dither, this allows output samples to be calculated with less objectionable quantization noise and more audible dynamic range than most decoders produce today. The result is unusually high-quality output that is a more faithful reconstruction of the signal encoded in MPEG audio than you may have realized possible. […]

Hmm, that sounds a bit like upsampling to me (though I’m not really sure). Still, I don’t use Winamp when I need MP3/Ogg playback — I prefer Quintessential Player instead (its interface doesn’t become super-tiny at 1600x1200).

Sennheiser HD-600: $188 After Coupon

As mentioned on Dealnews, you may be able to get a pair of Sennheiser HD 600 headphones for $188 (after coupon) or $198 (without coupon).

Sennheiser HD-600 headphones for $188 offers the Sennheiser HD-600 hi-fi/professional headphones on clearance for $197.95. It's already the lowest price we've seen on Sennheiser's top-of-the-line headphones, which list for $450. Apply’s $10 off $150 coupon for a $187.95 price. (A $15 off $200 coupon is also available.) Shipping adds about $17. Stock is limited.

These are some phenomenal headphones (Sennheiser’s top-of-the-line) with a list price of $450. Brick-and-mortar audio shops typically sell them for about $350. The coupon (to get to $188) expires March 21st, but even $198 is not a bad price. As recently as a couple years ago, even a used pair near the $200-mark was considered a good buy.

And, for what it’s worth, the HD-600s even better through a headphone amplifier such as a HeadRoom Max (receivers and especially PCs often have weak headphone outputs). And, yes, I have one of each ;).

Sirius Radio

Over the past two weekends, I’ve had my car audio reworked, including Sirius Radio. In all:

Though I’ve only had it for a day and a half, I’m very pleased with it so far. Of all the features, I’ve been most excited about Sirius Radio. For those not aware, Sirius Radio offers 100 radio channels, delivered by satellite, including 60 commercial-free music channels.

There’re all kinds of genres including classic rock, electronica, jazz, and decade-based channels such as 70s and 80s. In particular interest to me, there’s also a Metal channel. Initially, I didn’t have my hopes up, as their description made it seem a bit lame (Korn? bleh.).

However, in the past day-and-a-half I’ve already heard Hammerfall, Dark Tranquillity, and Meshuggah (!). All right, so Meshuggah is listed in the channel’s description, but Hammerfall and Dark Tranquillity are two bands that I thought I’d never hear other than on CD.

Sirius Radio’s tagline says “You’ll never want to leave your car”, and it’s true. I’m actually contemplating whether there might more longer and more scenic routes I could take to work (HHOS).

Techno Internet Radio

I haven’t brought my CD player in to work yet (when you have to leave for work at 7:30am, mornings always seem to be a rush), so I was jonesing for some music this afternoon.

Figuring that I wouldn’t mind hearing some non-mainstream, a quick Google search turned up Digitally Imported, which has all kinds of techno — trance, hard trance, hard house, eurodance, and so on. I listened to eurodance for a while, and I’m listening to hard house at the moment — but they’re both very good.

If it weren’t for the poor audio quality of streaming MP3s (compared with Redbook CD audio), I would be half-tempted to leave my CD changer at home and just try streaming Internet radio for a while ;).

PS If you have any techno or melodic death metal streaming-radio stations to recommend, please post them in the comments :).