Product Reviews

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I-MEGO's Throne Gold Headphones

Brewer
Zeal Optics
zealoptics.com


When I first tried on these Zeal shades, they felt strangely light and feeble. When I looked into them, I discovered that these glasses are made of 100-percent plant-based materials. While I value and laud any company who makes an effort to utilize renewable materials, this—in conjunction with their seeming lightness—led me to question their $129 price tag. What I did not anticipate was the comfort that lightness in a pair of sunglasses produces: As one who rides my bike around, prone to wearing a hat or a helmet, I found that the flexibility of the Brewer’s Z-Resin ™ Frame and un-heavy nature of these sunglasses added to my comfort while navigating through the city. Also, in a recent jaunt driving an automobile (where I use my eyes on the road in a different way than when I’m cycling), I found that the polarized Hyperion™ Lenses on these bad boys do a great job of blocking light to keep my excursions focused and safe. Although I’m not wholly convinced on the price tag, I do think that these specs are quality-made and derive from a healthy, environmentally conscious method of production. -Alexander Ortega

Crosley
CR6017A Player Turntable
rockinrecordplayers.com


I'm not a record collector. I made my first "vinyl" purchase a couple of years ago at a mr. Gnome show, and it was simply because it came with a digital download, and seemed like a more worthwhile purchase at a few bucks more than the cheap plastic CD. Record collecting, to me, seems like an expensive hobby that clutters my room and adds another round of heavy boxes to lift and load every time I move. That being said, I love going to other people's houses and admiring their collections, watching their colorful records spin in hypnotic circles and listening to the breath-like start and stop of the needle--which is why I signed up to review the Crosley. It's cheap, it's small, it's light, it has a radio and auxiliary output, and for someone like me, it does its job--kind of. The built-in speaker on it is a major deal breaker. The main draw of this particular player was that I wouldn't need to clutter my desk with auxiliary speakers, but I'm pretty sure a mouse sneezes louder than the volume goes up on this thing. At least I finally have somewhere to spin my (surprise!) purple mr. Gnome record--and listen to it whisper. -Esther Meroño

I-MEGO
Throne Gold Headphones
i-mego.com


I am ALWAYS looking for a good pair of headphones that excel at these four things: audio, aesthetic, durability and, most important of all, comfort. I have cute, little ears, but they are so fucking sensitive. I-MEGO’s Throne headphones have definitely impressed me in this regard. The memory-foam ear pads are soft around my cartilage, and the leather headband feels like it’s nonexistent on top of my head, so I don’t need to massage my temples and ears for an hour afterward. The audio isn’t earth-shattering—apparently, the Gold model is geared toward big bass as opposed to the Poison model, which is tuned for acoustics—but the sound is clear and dynamic. Aesthetics-wise, they’re gold-plated and look like vintage mics, which is pretty classy and gets me some compliments when I wear them out. As for durability, we’ll have to see how they hold up. Though they’re showy, the Throne headphones are made simply, which means they don’t have too many fancy parts like a pair of $200 Fanny Wangs I once had, which broke apart within a couple months. I’m pretty satisfied with these, and definitely recommend them if you’re looking for the same things I am in a pair of headphones. -Esther Meroño

…Lost
Mini Uber Plank
lostenterprises.com


As I grow older, I get shittier and shittier at street skating. My knees deteriorate at the same rate as my liver, forcing my kickflips to look worse and worse. My solution? Cruiser boards! Introducing the Lost Skateboards Mini Uber Plank! The Uber Plank is a stiff, tight-turning, super-fun mini. The smaller wheelbase makes for tight, sharp turns to control your speed. It comes with 65 mm wheels that have a little bit of a harder dueromitor (85A) to give the Uber Plank some extra speed. The wheels are still soft enough to give you the grip on the road that you need, and the Resin Works lamination makes this little guy durable as fuck. You won’t feel bad bailing this thing full-blast into a curb. You do need a bit of god-given skater’s balance to really rock the Uber Plank due to how tight it turns, but that’s not a bad thing. Also, the brighter graphics will make sure you will never let your Lost skate get lost. Overall, this board is super fun and a great fit to my quiver. And it got me to the liquor store super fast. -Mike Brown

PowerA
Moga Pro Controller
mogaanywhere.com


This is how you bridge that awkward gap between hardcore and mobile gaming. I don’t play a game on my phone unless I am in dire need of distracting myself from the universe for precisely three minutes. The Moga Pro changed that. With a killer ergonomic design, a slew of available games and easy setup process, I don’t see any other way to use a game pad on your Android device. The Pro has multiple benefits over the pocket, but the biggest are the design and handgrips. The comfort is so much better with its PlayStation-style design. The app store is another phenomenally set-up portion of the experience—apps are listed inside the Moga Pivot store, but link directly to Google Play. This is how it should have been done the entire time. If blasting aliens is at the top of your to-do list, or maybe hacking back the hordes of undead, this is the controller that should accompany your journey. -Thomas Winkley

Rock Out 2 Speaker
Goal Zero
goalzero.com


The Rock Out 2 is a huge step up from the original Rock Out. The new design makes controlling your listening experience even better. Just plug in your music device, slip it in the pocket, zip up the speaker and you’re ready to go. The new controls on the front make it easy to pause and play, skip songs or turn it up when your favorite jam comes on. The Rock Out 2 is like a mini subwoofer, making it the perfect summertime accessory. I have taken it to the Sasquatch Music Festival campgrounds, to pool parties and BBQs, and it has provided the perfect element when a little extra beat is needed. The bungee straps on the back of the speaker make it easy to attach to your backpack or bike, making hikes and rides through the city streets more exciting. Now, I may not have tossed it off a 50-foot cliff, but it has been through its fair share of drops, throws, tosses and even endured a little bit of light rain, and it still plays like a champ. Charging the Rock Out 2 is also a breeze—I am still waiting for it to die from the first time I charged it up, living up to its 20-hour charge promise. It can also be daisy-chained to other Rock Out 2 speakers, which will make my next campout sound even more epic. Goal Zero has taken a step in the right direction with this new speaker, creating something both effective and efficient for any adventurer. -Karamea Pearl Puriri

Wicked Audio
Deuce Earbuds
wickedaudio.com


At first, I was pretty stoked about these earbuds—I really needed ear speakers for riding my bike around to distract me from crucial traffic points, and something that matches my current red-black-blue attire and other accoutrements. I was glad to settle for a teal model, and I was on my way. As I found the smallest ear size cushions to put on the earbuds (a stripper who called herself Tawny once told me I have “cute, little ears”), I realized that there is no suction agent in the structure of these ear-bud inserts, which eventually led to the earbuds falling out of my ears unduly (which were also uncomfortable). Also, I have a stamina test for earbuds: If they can make it a couple months while listening to my iPhone while my buds are attached to my phone in my pocket as I ride and not have some sort of short in the wiring, then they’re solid buds. The previous pair of Sonys that I bought lasted a day; these lasted one week—big whoop. Also, the phone mic and volume control on the cord located on the plug-in stem to the speakers randomly steered from the set volume of my headphone volume to max volume, which provided some unanticipated and unwelcome, extremely heightened blasts of All Pigs Must Die into my eardrums. Only buy these if you’re in dire need for some earbuds. -Honk Carnie

Photos:
I-MEGO's Throne Gold Headphones ...Lost's Mini Uber Plank Rock Out 2 Speaker from Goal Zero

Product Reviews – January 2008

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Almost Skateboards
Cooper Wilt 7.9"
almostawebsite.com


Photo: Adam Dorobiala

So I got this awesome almost Skateboards deck to review. It's the Cooper Wilt Pro Model and is blue, one of my favorite colors! I haven't used the deck yet, and probably won't for a little while. If you're wondering how someone can review a skate deck without using it, keep reading and I'll explain. I have every intention of shralping the shit out of this gnar wood dagger, but the fact remains that I am old. Well, old for a skater that is. I won't say exactly how old I am, but I've been busting nuts for more years than your average kid at the skate park is old. This means that I break bones faster than I break boards, and therefore haven't had a chance to mount up this wonderful almost deck (I also have a weird superstition about only skating one deck at a time. It's silly, I know.) But with age comes wisdom, and I have developed the keen astute sixth sense of knowing just what the fuck my feet will like in skateboard materials before they are ever compiled in a shredding fashion. For instance, the shape of this deck is bomber; nice fat tail for scooping up those techy flip tricks I'm trying to re learn. And it has a steeper concave, which I prefer, to lock in my lurpy size 12's. This board also has some impact support lamination, which basically means I will probably never break it and it could quite possibly be the last skateboard I ever ride. Thank you, almost, your team is amazing and I can't wait to ride this deck! –Mike Brown

Globe Shoes
Chris Haslam "Sabaton"
globeshoes.com

These are directly from the mind of the Cheese and Crackers genius, and it is no wonder Chris Haslam can do all the crazy shit he does with these kicks on. Really simply put, the Sabaton has a vulcanized soul, heel protection and some pretty cool colorways, which is all you could ever really want in a good pair of shoes. And on top of that, they have a "Hex Trac" pattern on the bottom of them that keeps you firmly gripped to your board. They hold up pretty good, but just like any other skate shoe, they're not indestructible. Also, the sizes seem to run a tad small, but if you can deal with the discomfort for the first few days, they loosen up to fit your foot like a fuckin' glove. Its good to see that there are new shoe designs that aren't completely fashion over function, and the Sabaton is definitely a shoe that is all function and no filler. – Adam Dorobiala

Ripstick
Ripstick
razor.com

I had seen these snake-like contraptions in a few places before receiving one to review, and thought they were totally bogus, but the more I started to ride it the more I realized it wasn't half bad. Based on a "Caster Board," the Ripstick has two swiveling footpads to step on and two inline rollerblade wheels with a 360 degree rotating mount that you, ride upon. At first it can take a while to get used to, but once you get used to the motions needed to make it propel forward it's actually pretty fun to ride. It comes with an instructional DVD on how to ride it (which is absolutely hilarious by the way) and shows some pretty cool stuff people can do on them. Since you only have two wheels to ride on, it takes a bit of balance to get it going but once youre going it teaches you numbers for your lateral (heel to toe) balance which transfers over to your regular skateboard for added confidence for skating rails. I have dubbed the Ripstick the "Jedi Board" cause it almost feels like you are floating down the road instead of riding on something. The only downfall is the fact that it is made out of some pretty shitty plastic so it can break if you get too gnarly. Get Vertical! –Adam Dorobiala