R. Matthew WardTechHive

R. Matthew Ward lives in St. Louis. He writes (occasionally) about audio, Apple, and other cool stuff on his personal blog.

automatic app on phone cropped aug 2014

Automatic app review: For $99, the truth about your car and your driving

Plug the Automatic Link dongle into your car, fire up the iOS/Android app, and get the goods on how your driving affects your fuel efficiency; how your car's feeling today; and more.

sygic gps navigation hud exterior shot jan 2014

Stop looking at your phone, start using this head-up display with Sygic GPS app

No more excuses: Sygic’s GPS Navigation app adds a head-up display option. Just keep your phone plugged in, because it sucks battery life big-time.

audioquest dragonfly dac

USB DAC review: Six compact components for upgrading your computer’s audio

The speakers and headphones you've spent hard-earned money on don't sound as good as they could, because your computer's audio hardware is likely mediocre. These compact accessories are easy audio upgrades.

Review: Four full-size headphones for affordable audiophile luxury

Your ears deserve better than the cheap cans you've been using all these years. Luckily, $300 or so can buy world-class quality.

Review: Three amps for building your own desktop audio system

If you've got a set of traditional bookshelf speakers gathering dust, it's time to pull them out of the closet. We take a look at three compact amplifiers for creating your own desktop audio system.

Review: Apple EarPods

Apple's new headphones, called EarPods, ship with the iPhone 5 and the latest iPod models, but they're also available for purchase separately. Are they worth your money? Here's our full review.

Hands on: Apple's new EarPods headphones

Apple's new headphones, called EarPods, ship with the iPhone 5 and the latest iPod models, but they're also available for purchase separately. Are they worth your money? Here's our first look.

Review: Velodyne vPulse headphones offer big bass without offending

The vPulse is the first headphone offering from subwoofer specialist Velodyne, and as you'd expect, it offers big bass. But as with its subwoofer siblings, the vPulse's bass is high quality and doesn't get in the way of the rest of the music. Combine that low end with a lovely midrange and a functional design and you get a headphone that's easy to recommend in the $100 price range.

Logitech Ultimate Ears 350vi Noise-Isolating Headset run heavy on bass

The Ultimate Ears 350vi's $60 price tag (and even lower street price) makes it an attractive buy, especially given its three-button remote and headset functionality. However, the 350vi's domineering bass makes it difficult to recommend it for many listeners.

Crayola MyPhones and Ety-Kids 3 earbuds let kids listen safely

Griffin Technology's Crayola MyPhones and Etymotic's Ety-Kids 3 Headset + Earphones are specifically designed to let your child enjoy music, movies, games, and educational software while maintaining their hearing health (and your own peace and quiet).

Scosche's IEM856md In Ear Monitors offer great sound

At the $250 list price, Scosche's IEM856md and IEM856m canalbuds aren't cheap, but they offer great, well-balanced sound with no glaring weaknesses. Their substantially lower street prices make them potentially great values.

MEElectronics A151 is a quality headphone at a reasonable price

The $75 MEElectronics A151 is a canalphone that uses balanced-armature technology to provide accurate, balanced sound. It's a strong performer, especially given its price.

B&W C5 In-Ear Headphones offer impressive design, but a bit too much bass

B&W's C5 In-Ear Headphones offer good sound quality and impressive design, but bass is emphasized enough to detract from the overall performance. Still, if you like C5’s design, have had trouble with in-ear-canal headphones falling out, or want good sound with an abundance of bass, the C5 is worth a look.

Denon AH-C560R in-ear headphones

Just about anyone would enjoy the AH-C560R. Its audio detail is good without brightness or harshness, and the overall balance is good enough that the slight emphasis on lower frequencies won't offend most listeners.

Sennheiser MM 70 iP

With a street price of around $100, Sennheiser's MM 70 iP has quite a bit of competition in the canalbud market when it comes to sound quality. However, few of its competitors offer comparable microphone performance or are as comfortable.