The World’s 12 Most Grueling and Insane Endurance Races There’s nothing like a great pair of over-ear headphones to completely envelop you in your favorite tunes. But those looking for a more low-key way to roll may want to swap out those bulky cans for the sleek and elegant fit of an in-ear monitor, such as Audiofly’s gorgeous new AF180. Packing radiant detail, rich and woody bass, and a comfortable fit that cuts out the outside world, the AF180 are the modern way to take music with you wherever you roam.You may not have heard of Audiofly yet, but the up-and-coming Australian headphone maker has quickly made a name for itself by cultivating a music-first philosophy — along with some impressive in-ear offerings along the way. Designed for stage musicians, the company’s AF180 don’t just wedge into your ears like standard earbuds, their wrap around design keeps them snug, while the surprisingly light earpieces fill your entire ear canal to block out ambient noise.Related: Add premium performance to your commute with the Nuforce Primo 8And while the stone-blue buds aren’t hard on the eyes, it’s what’s inside that makes these headphones worth their salt. Like others in their class, such as the Westone W40, or the Nuforce Primo 8, the AF180 pack four miniaturized balanced-armature drivers, known for their unrelenting accuracy. Banded together to cover the full frequency spectrum, the drivers combine for a commanding display of power and precision.But what really makes the AF180 special is their ability to dig up smooth and taut bass, especially prevalent in woody stringed instruments like guitar, and string bass, which makes them sound much more like a pair of full-sized cans than their slight form would suggest. Pairing that with vivid accuracy up top, and a smooth flush of midrange warmth, the AF180 are hard to put down.Accessories include three sets of ear tips, including two silicone designs, and one set of Comply foam tips, gold-plated quarter-inch and airplane adaptors, a cleaning tool, and a rustic leather case to wrap it all inside.Of course, all their spoils don’t come cheap. At $550, these headphones beg for better source material than what’s offered from your standard smartphone loaded with low-grade MP3s. However, thanks to a growing selection of high-resolution portable devices from the likes of Astell & Kern, Sony, and Neil Young’s PonoPlayer, it’s a good time to start thinking big when going small. We also caution their thin cabling at the top, which demands a delicate touch on the road.That said, if you’re looking for uncompromising sound in a diminutive design — and you don’t mind paying for it — Audiofly’s new AF180 are a tempting new addition to the audio landscape. If You Haven’t Visited the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, What Are You Waiting For? The Dive Motel Brings Legit 70s-Era Swagger to Nashville Editors’ Recommendations The Best Wired and Wireless Headphones for Travel A Rev-ealing Conversation About IndyCar Racing with Takuma Sato
The Toronto stock market was lower Monday despite earlier relief that Spain had admitted it needed help in recapitalizing its debt-laden banks and secured a bailout for the sector.The S&P/TSX composite index was down 37.31 points to 11,463.32.Eurozone finance ministers said Saturday they would make up to C100 billion in loans available to the Spanish government to prop up banks stuck with non-performing loans and other toxic assets after the collapse of a real estate bubble. Spain has yet to say how much of this money it will tap.But the TSX gave up early advances as relief was tempered by traders wondering whether Madrid can manage the extra debt and whether it will be forced to ask for further aid.“I think that’s really the issue and what concerns markets the most,” said Chris King, portfolio manager at Morgan, Meighen and Associates. “There’s more writedowns to come and ultimately it’s a process of writing things off, all the while maintaining liquidity and equity in your banking system as we remove more than a decade of excess from the banking system and there’s always a price to be paid.”The TSX Venture Exchange was off 11.02 points to 1,281.91.The Canadian dollar was also off session highs as early advances in commodities weakened and the greenback strengthened, down 0.25 of a cent to 97.12 cents US.U.S. markets also shed early gains with the Dow Jones industrial average down 53.36 points at 12,500.84. The Nasdaq composite index was off 20.39 points to 2,838.03 and the S&P 500 index dipped 6.26 points to 1,319.4.Uncertainty about the bank bailout was also evident on bond markets. The rate on Spanish 10-year bonds — a direct measure of how much investors trust a country to pay its debt obligations — started with a 17-basis point drop.But this soon turned into an increase and later rose 0.289 of a point at 6.518 per cent, edging closer to the seven per cent level where the three other European bailout countries — Greece, Portugal and Ireland — sought international assistance.Prices for oil and metals initially advanced but at mid-morning the July crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange was off 59 cents at US$83.51 a barrel. The TSX energy sector slipped 0.66 per cent and Suncor Energy (TSX:SU) gave back 36 cents to C$28.67.The base metals sector declined about 0.7 per cent as July copper was up six cents to US$3.34 a pound. Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN) moved down 30 cents to C$10.52.The gold sector was down about 0.4 per cent as August bullion in New York climbed $5.40 to US$1,596.80 an ounce. Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX) faded 27 cents to C$39.86.The telecom sector led advancers with Telus Corp. (TSX:T) ahead 92 cents to $59.57.The industrials sector was also positive as Canadian National Railways (TSX:CNR) rose 73 cents to $84.39.Traders also opted for caution ahead of this weekend when Greek voters head to the polls in an election likely to determine whether the debt-mired country will stick with the euro. If Greece leaves the common currency, that will raise questions about whether others might follow suit.“There’s enough concern about uncertainty out there that people are not taking undue exposures,” added King.Stock markets have been under increasing pressure over the last six weeks, in particular, as the eurozone debt crisis spread to Spain’s banking sector. But the TSX gained almost two per cent last week amid a bout of bargain-hunting after having endured a string of losses that left the main index down more than 11 per cent from its highs of late February.Meanwhile, traders also digested data from China that came out over the weekend indicating that the government of the world’s second biggest economy can concentrate on further measures to boost growth.China’s statistics bureau said that industrial production grew 9.6 per cent in May from a year earlier, higher than the 9.3 per cent growth registered in April. But it was lower than the 9.9 per cent gain that analysts expected.Exports rose 15.3 per cent from a year earlier, beating 4.9 per cent growth in April and higher than the 6.9 per cent rise forecast by economists.On the inflation front, consumer and wholesale price gains eased more than expected with the May consumer price index rising by three per cent, down from 3.4 per cent in April.There was relief on markets last week after China’s central bank cut a key lending rate by 0.25 per cent, its first rate cut in about four years.In corporate news, convenience store chain Alimentation Couche-Tard (TSX:ATD.B) issued another warning to shareholders of Statoil Fuel & Retail who may be waiting for a higher offer. The Montreal-area company that owns Mac’s and Couche-Tard convenience stores and Circle K gas bars says it won’t pay more for the Scandinavian company. Couche-Tard’s offer values Statoil Fuel at about $2.7 billion. Its shares edged 71 cents lower to $40.98.Kinross Gold Corp. (TSX:K) added two cents at $8.53 after it said production had resumed at its Tasiast mine in Mauritania following a labour dispute that was resolved Saturday. The Toronto-based company has said the work stoppage was illegal. It provided no details of how the dispute was resolved in Monday’s announcement.NovaGold Resources Inc. (TSX:NG) said Monday it has signed a deal to sell its Rock Creek property in Nome, Alaska to Bering Straits Native Corp. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately available. NovaGold shares were unchanged at $6.13.