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Review: Better High-Definition Audio From Your Smartphone

The DragonFly portable USB DACs and the Aumeo customizable headphone amplifier take HD audio to the next level

5 min read
Review: Better High-Definition Audio From Your Smartphone
Photo: Randi Klett

The modern smartphone may be a self-contained technological marvel, but that hasn't stopped engineers from coming up with a vast assortment of gadgets that plug into it. There are gizmos to augment your phone's camera, monitor your physiology, accept credit card payments, or even listen to software-defined radio. But the best of these (in my admittedly biased view) are the add-ons that improve the phone's music-playback capabilities. You can now get fantastic audio out of your phone—and you do not have to pay a lot to do it.

If you're an audiophile, you're probably aware of these offerings. But the dizzying array of products, promises, and prices may have left you puzzled. I'm here to help.

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How Nanotech Can Foil Counterfeiters

These tiny mechanical ID tags are unclonable, cheap, and invisible

10 min read
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Close up of a finger with a clear square on it.
University of Florida
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What's the largest criminal enterprise in the world? Narcotics? Gambling? Human trafficking?

Nope. The biggest racket is the production and trade of counterfeit goods, which is expected to exceed US $1 trillion next year. You've probably suffered from it more than once yourself, purchasing on Amazon or eBay what you thought was a brand-name item only to discover that it was an inferior-quality counterfeit.

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