New Toys

Andrea Electronics' Superbeam SB-805 CANS

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Andrea Electronics Superbeam SB-805 Andrea's SB-805 SuperBeam CANS is the big brother to my set of SB-405's previously reviewed here. The SB-805B is the next step in their line of boom-free USB stereo headphones that use Andrea's patented Adaptive Beam Forming Technology. The two microphones built into the SB-805's left & right drivers provide a super-narrow focus on the wearer's voice so all surrounding background noises that normally interfere with speech intelligibility are virtually eliminated. This is ideal for making VoIP calls (Skype, iChat), using any speech recognition software or having fun--video chatting, and multiplayer gaming.

The new 805's use a circumaural design to further improve isolation from external noise by covering your entire ears with soft cushions that encase, 50-mm speakers that provide a full sound with solid bass.

I use mine when riding the subway to and from school and they are lightweight and go louder than my ear buds with my iPhone 4s--plenty of level. Since the microphones have their own stereo output jack, you can use them to record in stereo--actually binaural stereo--the way us humans hear sound. Playbacks are three-dimensional sounding and stereo recording is possible as the same time as you're listening to music.

The USB adapter plugs in-line with the headphone's cable for plug n' play recording/playback with Macs and PCs. I use Audacity for my Mac and I talk on my cellphone using the Mobile Adapter cable ($9.95). The SuperBeam SB-805B CANS retail for $179.95 check: shop.andreaelectronics.com.



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