Damaged Gears

Evolve your Gears

Splash Damage: Zune 2.5, MDR-ED12

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Things are not the way it seems.  For instance, take the new Zune update.

Sure, things have changed here and there, for the better.  For instance, you can actually edit your metadata.  Figure that one out.  And then, you get yourself a gapless playback.  Finally, the Zune social gets a leg up on this update as well, being able to carry your friend’s cards (and their recent playbacks and faves) along with their music library (space permitting) if you have the said songs in your collection or Zune subscription pass.  This then opens up your library and your listening habits.  That is not bad at all.

However, the software still remains lackluster.  Windows Media Team had the right idea, with the breadcrumb interface well thought out, easy way to edit your data, and generally better thought out in terms of organization.  It’s less of a spreadsheet paradigm that iTunes and other media library manages insist that you use (though it is still one of them Excel sheet at heart).  Zune software, however, still remains quite disorganized and is still a headache to deal with time to time.  A Great deal of tasks are automated and this does help with not having to deal with the mess.  But when it comes down to it, the Zune Software still needs work.

The player, on the other hand, still a joy to use, and sounds terrific.  Go figure, they’ve got the Walkman Curse, right down to the t. 

Quick Hit-Sony MDR-ED12:  For those of us not quite ready to shove stuff down our ear canals.  Cheap as dirt (when they are on sale for $10 at Circuit City or the like), and sounds like it.  The driver housing (16mm) is too large to be worn comfortably for a long period of time.  Either that, or I have very small ears.  Whatever.  Too much bass that’s either bloaty, muddy, or both coupled with middling vocals and shrilly highs makes this unwise for most.  To make matters worse, the SQ changes dramatically with the seal (how flush can you get the driver to the canal holes). 

Not recommended for the price of $25, but if you got one, make your life slightly better by removing the rubber gasket and snipping off the nozzle and housing.  Once the drivers are exposed, cover them with a foamie from Radio Shack and use the gasket to give your ED12 a seal.  Then you have a serviceable pair of earbuds.  This does help to widen the sound stage a bit and seems to give it a better balance.  This still suffers from weak vocals (very recessed in terms of volume and staging, or position), especially for female vocals. 

If nothing else, you get a pair of Earbuds that looks a bit like EX85s.  And I guess that’s something to be thankful for.

I guess.

Final Grade: C- (As is), C (Modded)


Written by Damage

05/19/08 at 9:57 pm

Posted in DAP, Et Cetera, Soapbox

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