Review: Edirol UA-25 24-bit 96kHz 2in 2out USB soundcard

I’ve become quite a fan of this sound device since I got it about a year ago.

For its price, the sound quality is excellent. It’s fairly packed with features, has a good range of options for input and output connectivity, plus MIDI. And it works flawlessly, out of the box, with Linux — no special setup or drivers required, ALSA knows what it is and how to deal with it in any mode.

The same is true of Mac OS, but only in the basic mode which restricts you to 16-bit 44.1kHz I/O – a driver is required for Advance mode to get up to 24-bit 96kHz support (either in, or out – we’ll come to this under Limitations). This driver can be downloaded free from the Edirol website, and seems to work fine on my new unibody Macbook Pro with OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard, though I haven’t used it extensively on there yet.

I guess it probably works in Windows too, but I wouldn’t know anything about that 🙂

The sound quality (for what I’ve used it for anyway) is very good. It’s stacked with features, and quite versatile… within certain limits.

First we’ll take a quick look at the features packed into this gadget, which is information you could probably find elsewhere but I include for ease of reference, and after that we’ll get to discussing those limitations in more detail.

Continue reading Review: Edirol UA-25 24-bit 96kHz 2in 2out USB soundcard

M-Audio Xponent review

M-Audio Xponent

Update: After you’ve read this article, before you rush out and buy one of these, you should read this update (don’t worry, I’ll link to it at the bottom of the page too.

It’s rare for me to suffer from “gear lust” but the M-Audio Xponent set my pulse racing when I discovered it on the web. I’ve now had it for a few days so here’s my review. I won’t be reviewing the Torq software: I haven’t used it, as I only have Linux at the moment.
There’s a separate article about my experience getting the Xponent working with Linux and mixxx.

Review follows:
Continue reading M-Audio Xponent review

Review: Body Glove Scuba Cellsuit for K750i

A good mobile phone deserves a good case — ideally one that it never has to be removed from, so that it’s always protected from dirt and droppage. So I invested in a Body Glove “Scuba Cellsuit” for my K750i (got it on eBay). Here follows a review with some pictures.

For me the important things about a case are, in order:

  1. Doesn’t impede usage of the phone while in the case.
  2. Provides some protection if dropped.
  3. Doesn’t make the phone twice as big.
  4. Provides extra grip, making droppage less likely.

You’ll notice the absence of any requirement for it to look good. In fact, I’m quite happy for a case to look rubbish if it fulfills all the above criteria. Not least because it makes it look less worth stealing.

The Body Glove however manages to succeed at all the above and looks alright too. Not as good as the phone looks without it, obviously, but that’s fine by me. Continue reading Review: Body Glove Scuba Cellsuit for K750i