Backstage: Big queue awaits, Daiginjo Sake on tap

The big story that I was saving for Backstage – the H2O Audio SV-iMini – unexpectedly turned into a main site piece last week when the AP reviewed a faulty unit. We’ve been playing with a unit and found that in addition to the water issues the AP described, which can range from minor (no issue in a shower, a few drops when dunked) to major (seal fails, case fills with water), there are also some volume issues with the included headphones, as well. From what H2O has told us, some of their headphones get damaged in shipping and don’t play at standard volume levels as a result. We’ve now received two sets of headphones and both have the same issue: plug them in and you get “normal” volume only if you crank up the iPod’s volume to max. It’s not the case, which we’ve used with other headphones without a problem. It’s the phones.

Our guess is that the AP reviewer had the same issue, but didn’t realize that this was also a problem when he took them underwater and found them generally easier to hear against the quiet of the pool. We’ve tested in a shower and found the headphones almost unusable against a noisier background. A major bummer, because the case’s iPod mini interface is so incredibly well-designed. If it wasn’t for the fact that you can’t really take it underwater and have problems listening to it in the shower, it would be the ideal… well, yeah, okay.

There is an absolutely insane pile of stuff here awaiting review, including (in no particular order): silicone cases from XtremeMac and Gadget Accessories, utility cases from Acme Made, the Charger from Incase, the iPak and iGrip from Handstands, a hundred other things from XtremeMac, the Yahba Opus in-ear headphones, some iPod mini and iPod lanyard and belt clips from Rivet, Marware’s TrailVue for 4G iPods, and wood Dock covers from Westshore Craftworks. I’m sure I’m missing a few other something elses, but they’re here.

picOn a personal note, my puppy (Sake the iLounge Husky) is now officially registered with the American Kennel Club under his proper name – Innisfree Daiginjo Sake. Innisfree is the name of his (famous) kennel, and Daiginjo Sake is the top-shelf form of the famed Japanese wine. As Sake’s the closest thing to a kid as I have at the moment, I like to mention him on Backstage (and would even post pictures if I thought anyone cared), but try not to blog the mushy boring stuff of my life too often. 🙂 Maybe this will inspire Dennis to toss up some new photos of Rocket.

Another brief personal note: peace and warm wishes to all of those affected by Ziff-Davis’ out-of nowhere closure of GMR and XBN magazines today. While these closures primarily underscore the continued decline of the print magazine business, they conversely demonstrate the inability of major publishers to cultivate and establish their most talented personnel in a marketplace hungering for accurate information. A big shame, and certainly not one that reflects on the individuals laid off today. Good luck, guys.

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