Creative Sound Blaster E1 – Portable Headphone Amplifier

Bought the Sound Blaster E1 which is a portable headphone amplifier for SGD$29 (usual price: SGD$69) from the online Creative Store. They are having a sale online to coincide with the PC Show 2014.

Shipping is additional SGD$6 but if your orders are above SGD$60, it ships for free within Singapore.

As mentioned many many times, I am not really an audiophile. I bought the Sound Blaster E1 just to give it a try and because it is selling at SGD$29, it is a steal! After trying it, I am pretty impressed by it.

Using the Sound Blaster E1 out of the box (without doing any configurations), it will give you Creative’s SBX Pro Studio technology which includes:

  • SBX Surround: With SBX Surround, an improved surround algorithm increases and expands the virtual surround spaciousness, allowing you to enjoy cinema-quality sound in the comfort of your home. Immerse yourself right in the middle of all the action.
  • SBX Crystalizer: Hear sound so vibrant and so dynamic, being surprised is an understatement. SBX Crystalizer enhances the dynamic range of your compressed audio source to give you a more realistic experience.
  • SBX Bass: Feel the rumble of a spaceship taking off, or dance to the pounding music from your favorite playlist. SBX Bass fills extends the low frequency tones and gives the extra impact for a dramatically improved sound experience.
  • SBX Dialog Plus: Ever watched scenes where you had to strain just to hear what the actor was whispering? SBX Dialog Plus enhances the voices in movies for clearer dialog, allowing the listener to hear the dialog over the rest of the soundtrack and over ambient noise in the listening environment.
  • SBX Smart Volume: SBX Smart Volume addresses the problem of abrupt volume level changes during playback and between songs by automatically and continuously measuring volume, and intelligently applying gain and attenuation to compensate for those changes.

In addition to SBX Pro Studio technology, you will get CrystalVoice (for calls) and Scout Mode (for gaming) technology as well:

  • CrystalVoice: CrystalVoice features innovative technologies that are specially designed to deliver the best vocal fidelity, so that you express yourself to others and be heard crystal clear in video conferencing, multiplayer games and online chats.
  • Scout Mode: It is a proprietary technology that allows you to hear your enemies from further away, giving you a distinct tactical advantage in combat.

I notice that the singer’s voice in songs is clearer (I am amazed that I can hear the difference) and the bass is slightly toned down when using my Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Headphones.

A full charge on the Sound Blaster E1 can last you for 25 hours. It is extremely lightweight, weighing only at 25g.

The Sound Blaster E1 also comes with a built-in microphone which allows you to use your normal headphones for conversations over the phone. Note that if your headphones come with a remote to control the volume and music playback of Android or iPhone, it will not work with the Sound Blaster E1.

I love the included line-in and micro usb cables, it looks beautiful and well made.

Specifications

  • Output: Stereo
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR): 106dB
  • Connectivity Options (Main):
    • microUSB
    • Headphone Out: 1 x 3.5mm jack
    • Headphone Out / Mic In: 1 x 3.5mm jack
    • Line In: 1 x 3.5mm jack (4-pole)
  • Headphone Amp: Up to 600 Ohms
  • Max Channel Output: Stereo
  • Audio Technologies: SBX Pro Studio, CrystalVoice, Scout Mode

Sound Blaster E1 - Box Front
Sound Blaster E1 – Box Front

Sound Blaster E1 - Box Back
Sound Blaster E1 – Box Back

Sound Blaster E1 - Box
Sound Blaster E1 – Box

Sound Blaster E1 - Box Contents
Sound Blaster E1 – Box Contents

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Snugg iPhone 5s Ultra Thin Clear Case

I have been using the Power Support – Air Jacket Set (Clear) for iPhone 5/5s for quite sometime and I was skeptical about finding another clear iPhone 5s case that is just as good.

I was surprised that the Snugg iPhone 5s Ultra Thin Clear Case was pretty well built considering it is only retailing for USD$14.99 (excluding shipping).

When you hold just the Snugg’s clear case in your hand, it felt sturdy, slightly more sturdy than the Air Jacket. It might be due to the way Snugg’s clear case is being designed which exposes the whole top and bottom part of the phone alongside with the mute/volume switch. Whereas for the Air Jacket, all the ports and holes are carefully cut out from the case which makes the plastic around those area a little flimsy.

There are pros and cons for each designs. For the Air Jacket, it makes sure that your iPhone 5s is well protected and even when you drop the phone, it will not scratch the sides. But because of it being well protected, you might have difficult accessing the mute switch and using a wider base lightning cable (like the 30-pin to lightning connector).

For the Snugg’s clear case, leaving most of the top and bottom part exposed means that if you drop your iPhone 5s and if either the top or bottom touches the floor first, you will get scratches on the respective side. But on the flip side, you are able to use any lightning cable with the case.

Interestingly, both the Air Jacket and Snugg’s clear case has the same weight of 12g.

Snugg iPhone 5s Ultra Thin Clear Case - Packaging Front
Snugg iPhone 5s Ultra Thin Clear Case – Packaging Front

Snugg iPhone 5s Ultra Thin Clear Case - Packaging Back
Snugg iPhone 5s Ultra Thin Clear Case – Packaging Back

Snugg iPhone 5s Ultra Thin Clear Case - Back
Snugg iPhone 5s Ultra Thin Clear Case – Back

Snugg iPhone 5s Ultra Thin Clear Case - With iPhone 5s (Back)
Snugg iPhone 5s Ultra Thin Clear Case – With iPhone 5s (Back)

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Nokia XL Available In Singapore From 13th June 2014

· · · Mobile Phone

One of the first Nokia Android phones, the Nokia XL will be available in Singapore from this Friday, 13th June 2014 at 12pm sharp.

You can’t get it from the physical stores yet because it will be available exclusively online at handphoneshop.com/NokiaXL till 27th June 2014.

It will be available nation-wide and at all Nokia stores and Nokia solution partners from 28th June 2014.

The recommended retail price for the Nokia XL is SGD$239.

There are a total of six colours for Nokia XL but only four will be available in Singapore at launch. There are the bright green, orange, black and white.

I had the privilege to be at Mobile World Congress 2014 thanks to Nokia Connects (now known as just Connects), where Nokia announces their first Android phones: Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL.

Nokia XL - Front
Nokia XL – Front

Nokia XL - Back
Nokia XL – Back

Nokia XL - Side
Nokia XL – Side

Nokia XL - Top
Nokia XL – Top

Specifications

  • OS: Nokia X Software Platform
  • Processor: 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Dual Core processor
  • RAM: 768MB
  • Storage: 4GB (Expandable up to 32GB using MicroSD card). Free 7GB Microsoft OneDrive
  • Screen: 5″ IPS WVGA (800 x 480) (187 ppi) (multi-point touch)
  • Camera (Rear): 5MP (2592 x 1944)
  • Camera (Front): 1.3MP (1600 x 1200)
  • Flash: LED Flash
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 + HS
  • Sensors: GPS+AGPS, Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor
  • SIM: Dual SIM, using Micro SIM
  • Dimension (mm): 141.4 x 77.7 x 10.9 (Height x Width x Thickness)
  • Weight: 190g
  • Battery capacity: 2,000 mAh
  • Standby Time: 41 days (2G), 26 days (3G)

Xbox One Available In Singapore From 23rd September 2014

· · · Gaming

The much anticipated Xbox One will finally be available in Singapore from Tuesday, 23rd September 2014 after it was launched more than 6 months ago on 22nd November 2014, 2013 in North America.

The Xbox One itself will retail for SGD$639 and Xbox One with Kinect will retail for SGD$739.

Every Xbox One system will include the Xbox One console, which comes with a 500GB hard drive, Blu-ray player and built-in Wi-Fi. You will get one Xbox One Wireless Controller and a free 14-day trial of Xbox Live Gold for new members as well.

Xbox One With Kinect
Xbox One With Kinect

The following Xbox One games will be available at launch:

  • Dead Rising 3
  • Ryse: Son of Rome
  • Forza Motorsport 5
  • Zoo Tycoon
  • Kinect Sports Rivals
  • Project Spark
  • Minecraft
  • Crimson Dragon
  • Fighter Within
  • Killer Instinct
  • Powerstar Golf
  • Xbox Fitness

Source: E3 2014: Xbox One Singapore Launch & Pricing Details

Newegg Is Coming To Singapore

· · · Shop

Newegg is coming to Singapore alongside to other countries like India, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand and Poland by end of June 2014. Currently it is only in four countries (US, Canada, UK and Australia).

Newegg
Newegg

For the unaware, Newegg is one of the largest online retailer of computer hardware and software that is based in California, United States.

Because it is pretty strict about it’s buying and shipping policy from the US, I only managed to get one item from Newegg, which is the Kingston HyperX SSD 120GB. At that time I paid about SGD$220 for it including shipping and the exact same SSD in Singapore is selling for SGD$321.

If Newegg manages to keep its prices so low even when in Singapore, we can pretty much say good bye to Sim Lim Square (Sim Lim Square is the place to get computer hardware in Singapore).

Source: Online retailer Newegg to expand to six more countries by end of June

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