Thursday, January 27, 2011

Frisby Dual-Shock PC Gamepad

Today I'm going to review the Frisby Dual-Shock PC USB Gamepad. Anyone who is into emulated games (i.e. NES, SNES, Genesis, etc) probably knows that most PC gamepads today don't have a d-pad that's worth a crap. Most d-pads today are analog instead of digital and/or have poor direction separation. The Frisby Dual-Shock PC USB Gamepad, however, is one of the few that does it right. The directional buttons on this gamepad are separate digital buttons. There's no more struggling with trying to pull off special moves in games like Mortal Kombat or Street fighter 2.

Though this pad is almost perfect, there are a few problems. First, the buttons, especially the dpad are a bit stiff. This isn't a bad thing compared to almost all other PC gamepads in existence and can easily be gotten used to. Also, the buttons in general are a bit sharp and square. As for the final problem: The driver CD (only needed for rumble effects) that came with my unit seems to be a blank rewritable DVD. I was unable to find drivers on the company's site either. I'm not sure if they are there or not since the site is in Turkish.

- d-pad with separate directional buttons
- cord isn't too long

- Doesn't feel as good as a PS2 Dual-Shock
- Driver DVD was blank?!

In summary, I would suggest this to anyone who either doesn't have a few actual PS2 dual-shock controllers lying around, or to anyone who doesn't want the 30ft of cable that comes with a PS2 dual-shock + a PS2 to USB adapter.

Anyone else have suggestions for good PC gamepads, especially ones that work well with emulated games?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

JVC Marshmallows vs JVC Flats

First off we have the JVC Marshmallows.


* In-ear
* Driver Unit: 8.5mm (Neodymium Magnet)
* Frequency Response: 8Hz - 23,000Hz
* Sensitivity: 102dB/1m
* Nominal Impedance: 16 ohm
* Cord Length: 1.2m (3.94ft)

These are the best earbuds I've ever owned and definitely the most comfortable. They come with a medium and large set of memory foam ear pieces. They sound great. I'm not an audiophile so I won't try to describe the sound, but they sound better than any other earbuds I've tried.

With the good comes the bad, though. These earbuds have two problems: the cord transmits any vibration, say from the cord rubbing against the table or your jacket, directly into your ear and it's loud. The biggest problem though, is that the memory foam ear pieces are fairly fragile and prone to drying out. If you take good care of them and make sure the ear pieces do not split at all you should be fine, but once they do they will dry out and get hard if you don't use them for a day or two. This wouldn't be as big of a problem if buying a replacement set didn't cost as much as a whole new pair.

Now onto the JVC Flats


* Ear Cup
* Driver Unit: 30mm (Neodymium Magnet)
* Frequency Response: 12 - 23000 Hz
* Sensitivity: 105dB/1m
* Nominal Impedance: 32 ohm
* Cord Length: 1.2m (3.93ft)

These sound just as good as the Marshmallows if not slightly better. The bass seems clearer and deeper. I prefer these for comfort. The marshmallows would hurt my ears after a couple hours of use. These have felt great and not caused any pain. The flat folding design is convenient as well.

In summary, I'd say both of these sets of earphones/headphones have their specific uses. I wouldn't bother mowing the lawn with Flats, but the Marshmallows block out more than enough sound to hear and enjoy your music. The Flats, however, are more durable and more comfortable for most other uses. Either way they're both great options for cheap music listening. If anyone else has thoughts or suggestions for headphones or earbuds in this price range leave them in the comments section. Thanks for reading.