MSB Mods iPods for Audiophiles

We all know real audiophiles are spending tens of thousands of dollars on hand-made tube amps, investing many hours re-biasing their systems, and straining their ears and frequency meters with the dulcet tones of pink and while noise generators to balance their rooms. (Oh, and let’s not forget cleaning vinyl—lots and lots of vinyl!) But the digital audio revolution hasn’t gone un-noticed by this crowd, and the lure of digital media players like Apple’s iPod is strong. The problem, of course, is that when you connect an iPod to your pristine home system…you’re listening to digitally compressed music converted to audio by the iPods better-than-most-but-still-sub-par consumer digital converters. Wouldn’t it be great if iPods had a true digital output, so you could pump that delicious portable digital audio (stored in a lossless format, of course!) through your Manley, Apogee, TNT, or other audiophile-quality converters?

MSB Tech is here to make those audiophile dreams come true by way of its iLink, a combination of after-market iPod modification and iPod docking station which offers audiophiles true digital output for use on their kick-ass systems. MSB Tech modifies stock iPods to enable digital audio to be sent to the iLink dock, which can then output the music to a music system via Toslink optical, RCA coax, or XLR AES/EBU, effectively making the iPod a high-end digital audio source on a level with a good-quality CD player. (Of course, you’ll want to store iPod audio using uncompressed, lossless formats, not MP3 or AAC.) The iLink dock charges the iPod, and includes an RF transmitter which enables the iPod to be moved around the listening room while maintaining pristine audio quality.

If you think storing uncompressed audio eats your iPod’s storage capacity…well, it does, but the numbers are still impressive. A 30 GB iPod can store about 75 CDs of uncompressed audio (about 90 hours); an 80 GB iPod can store about 200 CDs, or 240 hours of audio.

MSBTech will be happy to perform the conversion on your iPod, or you can order a new, pre-modified iPod from them. But it won’t come cheap: the iLink with iPod Upgrade runs $1,995, while the iLink with upgraded iPods run $2,249 and $2,349 for 30 and 80 GB models—but you have your choice of black or white. The iPod upgrade itself is $199, with additional upgrades only $99 apiece. But it’s a bargain at any price…especially since you’re tearing out all those walnut and teak cabinets for more transparent surfaces anyway, right?

Product Review

Chris is the virtual co-pilot phone-obsessives need in their car

Driving while using your phone is dangerous, and often illegal. Meet Chris, the digital assistant for your car that wants to help keep your hands off your phone, and your eyes on the road.
Deals

Amazon slashes prices on Echo devices that play Alexa’s sweetest-sounding music

Amazon slashed prices on Alexa-controlled Echo devices with the best music sound quality. All Alexa smart speakers stream music, but some sound better than others. Save on Echo Plus and the Echo Sub bundled with Echo and Echo Plus speakers.
Deals

Amazon shaves $50 off the Coway Mighty air purifier ahead of allergy season

When it's allergy season, a good air purifier is a must-have for sufferers. The Coway Mighty air purifier (now on sale from Amazon) is one of the best, greatly improving the air quality inside your home by removing dust, dander, pollen, and…
Computing

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.
Deals

Amazon slashes prices on UE Boom and MegaBoom 3 Bluetooth speakers

With just the right combination of great sound, a rugged design, and an overall sleek aesthetic, the UE MegaBoom 3 is our favorite Bluetooth speaker. And Amazon is offering a rare discount on it right now.
Home Theater

There isn’t a single good reason to buy Apple’s new AirPods

After nearly a three-year wait, Apple has finally announced a new version of its popular true wireless headphones, the AirPods. We had high hopes for vast improvements, but that's not what we got.
Home Theater

Tipping point? Streaming subscribers outnumbered cable in 2018 for first time

2018 was a very good year for the entertainment business as a whole, but it was especially good for streaming companies like Netflix and Amazon, says a new report by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Movies & TV

Stranger Things season 3 is coming! Here’s everything we know so far

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season, premiering in July 2019.
Home Theater

Here’s what’s new on HBO and what’s leaving in April 2019

Whether you're a cable lifer or a staunch cord cutter, there's never been a better time to get down with premium TV. April 2019 brings Game of Thrones season 8, BlacKkKlansman, and Crazy Rich Asians to HBO.
Home Theater

TCL drops the price of its 75-inch 6-Series 4K Roku TV to $1,500

March is a great time for TV deals, and we've got a whopper: TCL has taken $300 off the price of its superb 75-inch 6-Series 4K HDR Roku TV, making it $1,500. That's the lowest price ever on this affordable TV.
Movies & TV

Comcast launches Xfinity Flex, a $5-a-month service aimed at cord cutters

For $5 a month, Xfinity Flex gives existing Xfinity internet subscribers a 4K- and HDR-ready set-top box that can stream video from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, as well as free TV from apps like Cheddar and ESPN3.
Home Theater

Here’s how to watch Apple’s March 25 product reveal event live

It's almost here: Apple's much anticipated March 25 event, where it is widely expected to announce several streaming services, including on-demand and live TV with original programming. Here's how to watch it live.
Movies & TV

HBO’s Deadwood movie rustles up a trailer and a release date

This spring, HBO's long-awaited Deadwood movie will explore what happened 10 years after the events of HBO's award-winning drama, giving the series a finale 13 years after the show was canceled.
Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is set for March 25: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.