Monstercat Best of 2016

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The annual mix for Monstercat is out, with 2 and a half hours of songs altogether, this album has a good number of songs. Out of the 40 songs, I will only review 10 of them. They are in no order.

Noisestorm – Antihero

Using the same formula as Heist last year, the trap song has a catchy start with Arabic-sounding buildups and using horns for a good portion of the starting melody. The drop is somewhat good, but it can surely be better.

Marshmello – Alone

A big hit in the electronic charts, undoubtedly Alone will be in the Best of 2016. With additional vocals, the song is generally good. A good buildup and melody helps it very well. The drop is also well produced. The vocals are quite good and fits the theme of the song.

Muzzy – Crescendo (featuring MYLK)

Part of the 5 Year Anniversary songs, Muzzy has shown what he has been doing. With one of the best vocals in the album, this is further complimented with a good mix of styles by Muzzy. The drop is somewhat bouncy and the buildup is intense. This is one of the best song produced by Muzzy.
Vicetone – Nevada (Featuring Cozi Zuehlsdorff)

Vicetone has made on of the best songs this year. With simple, slick and catchy synths and melody, with out any vocals, this will already be a well produced song. Ever since her inception last year in The Girl, the songs that she is starred in has beautiful vocals. Undoubtedly, this is one of the hottest songs on Monstercat this year.

Feint – Words (Featuring Laura Brehm)

The same formula is used twice, and it worked twice. In Words, Feint has produced a song with intense beats and still sound very melodic. Laura’s vocals are unbelievably good this time round, even though it is more intense than last year’s We Won’t Be Alone.

Pegboard Nerds and Grabbitz – All Alone

What could be considered a ‘dream collaboration’, when you have two of the most recognised artists to collaborate. With good vocals by Grabbitz and both artists producing the melody, it is a masterpiece by default.

Dirty Audio – Gorilla Glue
With an ominous start and a good drop, this is one of the better trap songs this year. Both parts are well produced and catchy. As compared to the ‘legendary’ trap songs on Monstercat, this is on the better end of the stick.

Rogue – Nemesis

To put simply this is Rattlesnake VIP. With the ‘pots and pans’ in the drop and reusing some sounds from Rattlesnake, this is a catchy song. A worth successor of Rattlesnake, this song is no doubt Rattlensnake 2.0, but better than a reskin or remake.

Hellberg – Synchronize (Featuring Aaron Richards)

An underrated song, but nevertheless a very good one. It is very well made, smooth and melodious. Aaron Richards’ vocals are well done and the lyrics are well thought-out. The well choreographed and touching music video is just the icing on the cake.

Richard Caddock, WRLD, Nitro Fun, Slips & Slurs & Subtact – Break The Silence

More is better in this scenario. With Richard Caddock doing the lyrics and vocals, WRLD and Nitro Fun doing melody and synths. Slips & Slurs and Subtact should be doing the bass and adding some of their signature sounds into the mix. This is very diverse and able to fit the styles of everyone in the track.

Noisestorm

Marshmello

Muzzy

MYLK

Vicetone

Cozi Zuehlsdorff

Feint

Laura Brehm

Pegboard Nerds

Grabbitz

Dirty Audio

Rogue

Hellberg

Aaron Richards

Richard Caddock

WRLD

Nitro Fun

Slip & Slurs

Subtact

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Audeze Sine

Looking like an ordinary headphone, the Audeze Sine actually has lots of quality up its sleeves. For a first, it features planar magnetic drivers. This technology is meant to lower the device’s rate of distortion, get stronger bass and have more responsiveness by making use of electromagnetic force. Next it also offers a Cipher Lightning headphone cable which you can choose to purchase together with the headphone. Thus you would be able to listen through the lightning cable if your device contains the Lightning port.

The Sine looks relatively simple. Covered in leather with earcups made of sturdy metal, it doesn’t have a really complex and unique design to make it stand out but it does have some small details which makes it really convenient. For example, its cord is tangle-resistant and is also detachable so you will be able to switch between the Lightning and the default cables. The Lightning cable is also said to improve the headphone’s performance. However, this performance boost does come at a cost of taking up more battery from your phone. The Lightning cable also has an integrated microphone, which is unfortunately not available on the standard cable, so that you would be able to make calls with it.

The Audeze Sine sounds really revealing and clear so it’ll sound really similar to the source itself. Compared to other headphones at this price range, the Sine performs really well and really shows its worth in this aspect. Along with its planar magnetic drivers its sound really proves how its popularity did not come by luck at all.

Spearheading the new technology of planar magnetic drivers, the Sine is definitely a headphone you should consider if you are looking for something high – end sounding but yet not all that unaffordable. Even though it doesn’t have spectacular features or unexplored technology, I strongly believe that the Sine is worth a listen.

 

Photo Courtesy of : http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/5/10713110/audeze-sine-planar-magnetic-headphones-release-date-price

Avegant Glyph

Starting off as a Kickstarter project, the Avegant Glyph’s concept is simple. It brings the movie screen to you. Now don’t be fooled by the way it looks almost identical to a earpiece, there are actually two eye holes inside the head band. The sound does function like a regular earphone though, so you would look like you’re oddly staring at the headband.

The image is projected to the eye hole using a relatively complex micromirror technology by containing chips which contains lots of these tiny mirrors and projecting the image with a precise colour. A resolution of up to 720p is supported.

However, it only works as an external HDMI source so you would need to connect it to another device. This would then mean that you wouldn’t be able to view if you did not have a phone or other external device. But fret not, the Glyph does has a few features to boast about.

For a first, the image quality is relatively decent and a definition of 720p isn’t all that bad either. The device also gives you a really immersive experience, as if you really were watching right from the screen. The fit of the device could be improved however as it does gets uncomfortable after a period of time.

Below the eye holes, there are magnetic nose pads. There is also a cover so that your hair wont be interfering your viewing experience. The Glyph is also sturdy and not that flexible but only to give you a tight and comfortable. This also contributes in removing external sounds but does not have proper noise cancellation features. Nonetheless, it still does its job of giving you that immersive and personal experience.

Setting up the device was not much of a problem as the main focus is only getting the optics right. There would be sliders to aim the image into your eyes and conveniently, you can also tweak the settings if you are vision – impaired, so you wouldn’t have to wear your glasses inside the device.

The result you get is really cinema – like. The areas out of the image are black except below the headband. With the immersive sound kicking in, it certainly does give you a cinematic feeling.

The device also supports 3D viewing if the video source has the feature. This results in a really cool and unique experience as it feels really private and from a first person view it is an amazing experience, as if you were viewing everything again right through your own eyes.

Though being a really creative device, it still feels as if there is still much room for improvement. The device is impressive and unique but it definitely has not reached its top potential yet. That being said, with all its feature, it does come at a overwhelming price of about S$970. Worth it? I guess not. Personally, I would not consider purchasing the Glyph just yet. Waiting for a little more development and stability would probably do no harm at all. That said, this still remains a really exciting product to keep track of.

Photo Courtesy of:http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/4/7491191/vr-company-avegant-shows-off-headphone-inspired-glyph-headset-ces-2015

Jaybird X2

The Jaybird X2 is a above average headphone that offers an improved sweat proofing compared to it’s predecessor. The X2 is also more comfortable now and offers an improved battery life. It sounds great and offers a steady wireless connection. Although people claim it offers a comfortable fit, but there are a few cases where people claim that it did fit them well. And at $180 it has quite a heavy price tag for a headphone like this. Generally it’s sound and connectivity is improved and it’s will be more comfortable if it fits you.

Jaybird offers many popular sports-orientated headphones. The Jaybird X2 offers one of the best sounding quality compared to other headphones at it’s price range out there. But the headphone only fits a majority group of people, whereas for those who feels that the headphones does not fit them will find it uncomfortable.

Overall, the Jaybird X2 is only a headphone you would want to get if you have the money. It offers good sound quality, but you have to make sure it fits you before you purchase it as it gets quite uncomfortable if it does not fit you.

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