LTB Q-Bean Unismozcar - September 3, 2007
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Testing for the Q-Bean will consist of seven categories: Music, Gaming, Media Playback, VoIP, Comfort, Range and Battery Life. For the majority of the tests, I will be comparing the Q-Bean to a pair of Sennheiser RS140 wireless headphones. For the VoIP test, I will be comparing it to the Plantronics X30 connected to an XBOX360 controller. In each of these tests, the devices will run through the same set of songs, video files, and gaming sequences. At the end of each test, I will graphically represent what I thought each had scored in the specific task. It is on a scale of 1-100, with 1 being the lowest, taking into account all the factors involved with each test and then giving a final rating.
- Intel Core 2 Duo E6300
- EVGA 680i SLi A1
- 2GB OCZ DDR2 800 Platinum
- XFX 8600GTS
- Antec Smartpower2.0 500w PSU
- Hitachi Deskstar 80GB SataII x 4(RAID 0)
- Samsung SH-S183L DVD-RW
- Windows Vista x64
Bechmarks & Apps:
- Call of Duty 2(Gaming)
- PowerDVD7(Media Playback)
- Team Speak(Voice Application)
- Comfort(After 2 hours)
- Range(Distance & Clarity)
- Battery Life(Hours)
It's hard to imagine that you can enjoy your music with the same quality coming from a set of earphones or headphones. As has been seen in the past, most lack the dynamic range that regular desktop speakers are capable of. I chose a selection of songs from different music genres and listened to the tracks in succession with both devices. I had hoped to detect subtle differences in the to audio clarity between the two. Let me say that the differences were not subtle. The Q-Bean packs a tremendous amount of sound into a tiny package. While the Sennheiser's performance was good, the Q-Bean's earphones hit the whole dynamic range spectrum. The deep rich bass tones are not overpowering. They didn't cloud or distort the song, but further enhanced the entire track as a good bass line should. The treble was crisp and never, throughout the duration of the test, caused me to cringe or scramble to reduce the volume.
The best innovation the Q-Bean possesses is its ability to control iTunes remotely. Having the capability to pause and play comes in handy when your phone rings or you need to answer the door. Just press the Play/Pause button and don't miss a second of your favorite song. Then press it again and get back to rocking out. With my Sennheisers, leaving the room meant that I was stuck listening to whatever was next in my library. This means that you run risk of eventually getting stuck listening to a track on an album that you'd rather not. Q-Bean to the rescue. When those tracks come on or you just can't wait to hear the next track, simply hold the Forward/Vol+ button for three seconds and instantly you are rewarded with a new track. This feature proves invaluable in times of need.
Call Of Duty 2:
After running through the an entire level (Moscow 1941) on COD2, the subtle differences again begin to pop right out. When wearing the Sennheisers, I felt as though I was part of an enormous firefight with Nazi forces. But on my second run through with the Q-bean, I felt like I was a Russian soldier fighting to survive the Nazi defenses. The dynamic range of the earphones in the game were phenomenal. The conversation between characters was clear and changed accurately with each shift in position (relative to the character). When firing my weapon, I felt as though I was actually holding it in front of me. No explosion ever distorted the sound, which happened frequently with the Sennheisers, and the shrill cry of my enemies dying rang joyously through my ears.
Power DVD 7:
Having watched countless hours of TV and movies with my Sennheisers, I have a pretty good idea of its capabilites. I often stay up late, and as a courtesy to my roomates, I use them so nobody is disturbed. After watching hours of my favorite shows and movies, I did notice a slight hiss in the backround from both devices. But it was only noticable when the sound got quiet or there was a change of scene. The same thing occured with the Q-Bean, although it was a little more pronounced. It could possibly have to do with the way the sound is processed in PowerDVD, but it definitely didn't ruin the experience. The Q-Bean got a leg up from its unexpected and undocumented ability to use its remote functions in the program. Thus, I never needed to grab for the mouse to pause for a bathroom break or to skip to the next chapter or video. The dynamic range was good for both headphones and the dialog was clear and crisp. But the noise-cancelling earphones of the Q-Bean really helped imerse me in the moment without drawing my attention to distractions.