Cool Stuffs Of The Month – March 2013 (Part 2) : ZEB-T9500RUCF, Amkette Evo TV 1GB, JBL J33

3/26/2013 3:43:35 PM

Price: $185

Specs: 50Wx2, 40Kz-20kHz, MP3, USB, SD card reader, FM


The Zeb-T9500RUCF tower speakers from Zebronics are as large as they come. You will need help to cart the box anywhere, as well as to unbox the two-piece set. By large we also mean that this speaker set is not meant for a small, one-room urban household. You better have a large living room if you want to play this.

We have a strong reason for suggesting a large room. This speaker has a large volume, which can be controlled both using the remote as well as the knob on the right of the left speaker. There are knobs below for bass, treble and mic volume - yes, you can use this for karaoke too. There is a front panel with an archaic-looking liquid crystal screen for basic navigation. But this navigation is pretty basic as you can just skip from song to song on your USB drive or SC card, Try listening to song number 51 and you will start crying for a folder skip option. The infra-red remote is also a bit sluggish. The same has to be used to scan and save FM stations too. But that wasn't such a bad experience thanks to the auto mode.

Thankfully, there is not much to complain about the sound. The only people who will complain will be the neighbors if you decide to test the higher volume levels of this unit. Being loud does not down out the music as the speakers have a good frequency range of 40Kz-20kHz. The drivers are large too and hence you have a good bass output. But we feel you would not really want to listen to a Carnatic Keertan on this one. This is more for the David Bowie lowers.

Bag it or junk it?

Good music quality, but not very


Amkette Evo TV 1GB - Smart Sequel

Price: $212

Amkette Evo TV 1GB

The Amkette EvoTV was one of the most innovative products of 2012. For the New Year, Amkette has upgraded their smart box with Android Ice-cream Sandwich, 1 GB RAM and XBMC for Android.

The interface is different definitely cleaner and you can now multi-task thanks to ICS. So if you have a game running in the background and you open the mail to check the inbox, it is possible to go back to the former without going to the home screen. You can also use the notifications bar to open Wi-Fi settings, which is a crucial part of this whole setup.

The other new feature that Amkette has brought it is XBMC, which is without doubt the most comprehensive and stylish media player software around. However, XBMC is an app and we would have loved it to be incorporated into the media player itself. Also, we noticed that this app has a tendency to get stuck, something which was very rare in the first version.

We were also happy with the extended battery life on the Evo touch remote. If it could last a week on a single change earlier, it can now last two and that is a major improvement. We think this has been achieved by adding a sleep mode to the device, which pushes the remote into standby it is inactive.

While the Evo TV has definitely become better, we feel there is a bit of fine-tuning that would be required in this version. Despite the small glitches in the new version, this is still the best smart box for televisions available in the market.

Bag it or junk it?

Needs some fine-tuning, but still the best

JBL J33 - Bass Booster

Price: $46


It is hard to miss the flat noodle type cord on the JBL J33. In fact, that is the thing that first captured our attention with this "premium" in-ear headphone. It is rare to find such wires on any device. But we thought they look better and are easier to manage, somehow. The ear-buds sort of further this design principle and are hence square-shaped and a bit deep that usual. The tips are silicone and very comfortable even are long hours. There are no volume controls anywhere, though there is a largish joint for the cable in between.

The sound quality is very clear and loud, maybe a bit too much so. JBL has put in a lot of premium components into the earphones to ensure that the sound quality is true. So you have 9.2mm nickel plated drivers that give you a bass quality that is not usually found in in-ear devices. The bass is real booming and heavy, the sort that makes you enjoy the baritone of Tiziano Ferro. The 3.5mm jack is also gold plated to ensure the perfect connection. The wide 10Hz-24kHz frequency response range means you will be able to enjoy most types of music with this earphone.

But we guess people who love a lot of bass in their music will like this earphone more than those who are inclined towards sharper sounds. Overall, this is a good earphone for daily use. At this price, we would have liked it to have volume controls too. There is a J33i version with hands free abilities and remote for Apple devices. Both devices come with a carrying case.

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