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How many drivers make music?

The Shure E500 earphones are the priciest I've used and the best too; they have three drivers in the sleek bronze chunks. Westone has the choice of one driver or two drivers in a nice but not as sleek package with not as high a price. Which sounds better and can two drivers match three? read my Tom's Hardware review for all the details...


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
8th Dec, 2006 17:29 (UTC)
Very interesting!
I may have missed something, but while reading your review I noticed you comparing the prices of various models, but I didn't spot an actual price for anything, so I couldn't tell whether something that was twice as expensive was from £25 to £50, or from £150 to £300 (and that's quite a difference!)

Also in your smartphone article you said "Few if any smartphones have touch screens or styluses" ... well, aside from just about all the UIQ smartphones (such as the P910i and the P990i, or the W950 which is shown on page 6 of the review so I'm assuming it counts as a smartphone!)
8th Dec, 2006 17:48 (UTC)
Re: Very interesting!
for Tom's hardware we don't put prices as it's for both a UK and US audience but there should always be links to online stores for the product. the Shures are about $399; the Westones are $299 for the UM2s, and around half for the UM1s. I'll give a proportion because as the exchange rate changes the proportion stays roughly the same - unless the prices come down and the UM2s used to be $399 with a special offer online that's now the standard price.

Smartphone is commonly used for something the size of a Mars bar and something the size of a KitKat - we had to draw a line somewhere so I picked candybar phones with keypads and things about that size for the first part and QWERTY and PDA size phones for the other. The P900 series I've kept for the second part; the W950 I think is just small enough and phone oriented enough to stay in the first group but it's on the blurred edge - as are the Samsung BlackJack, HTC Excalibur/T-Mobile Dash and Moto Q. The Treo is obviously not the same category as the SPV candy bars, but there are a number of phones in the middle that you could argue to push either way.

I find it's more Sony Ericsson UIQ phones with touch screen than UIQ in general; there's not a Series 40 or 60 phone with a touchscreen I can think of. Touchscreens come out of the PDA heritage or the Asian market (Treo and Windows Mobile Pocket PC Phone Edition or Moto MING); the P800/P900 series have been a deliberate attempt to mix phone and PDA elements and I've found them the usual hybrid - touch of racehorse, touch of camel, touch of brilliance, touch of committee.
8th Dec, 2006 18:20 (UTC)
UIQ vs S60
find it's more Sony Ericsson UIQ phones with touch screen than UIQ in general; there's not a Series 40 or 60 phone with a touchscreen I can think of.

The second part is definitely true. The biggest single difference between S60 and UIQ is that UIQ is designed to be used with a stylus and S60 is designed to be used one handed, so I agree that I can't think of an S60 phone with a stylus/touchscreen (I'm not sure there is one!) ... the biggest surprise for me recently was SonyEricsson producing new UIQ phones that are targetted (like the W950 music phone and the M600i messaging phone) rather than leaving them as "one phone does everything".

UIQ has mostly (so far) been used in SonyEricsson phones, plus a few Motorola, Arima and BenQ phones.

S60 is the most popular of the UIs on Symbian (in units shipped, the UI that's on the most different new phones is actaully MOAP, the UI for the far east/Japan) and does not work with a touch screen (as far as I am aware). The only Nokia phones I know that use a touch screen are the 7710 (uses S90) and a Chinese phone which I believe uses UIQ (and may be rebranded hardware from another Symbian licensee).

But thanks for the update on the earphones, I'm intending to get a better set someday (soon!) but I think I'm still in the £30-£50 price range at the moment rather than the $300 one.
8th Dec, 2006 18:45 (UTC)
Re: UIQ vs S60
SE is being smart - they get to stand out from the hundreds of just a phone/all in one handhelds Nokia sprays out like a garden hose. Will be interesting to see where UIQ goes post purchase. BenQ is gone as I understand it - the German mothership blew up, caught fire and sank.

For budget 'phones - when you're in a buying space not a bill paying space, I'm not encouraging you to go spend too much! - I personally like the Creative Aurvanas a lot. One journo I know hates them and I just don't hear what he hears - I really like them.
8th Dec, 2006 19:44 (UTC)
re: BenQ, yes, that's pretty much my understanding as well.

And yes, very interesting to see what happens to UIQ ... SE are claiming they will be licensing it on good terms (same as today, but then how many UIQ licensees are there today? Maybe the terms need to be better!) ... I think I mentioned this before, but I've heard a rumour that many (perhaps all) of SE's new phones will be UIQ, which would be excellent!

Thanks for the 'phones recommendation, as I've just lost the use of the memory cards for my phone (my standard MP3 player) (my 2Gb Sony MS Duo Pro card is reporting as "disk corrupt" and the 1G card has vanished :-( ) I have no need for headphones right at the moment (well, the upgraded SonyEricsson handsfree phones for the K750i will do for the moment even if I get a new card/find the old one) so I can wait (until I can persuade one of my brothers to buy me an iPod or similar!)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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Mary Branscombe
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