Q: I have a Canon Pixma 5320 photo printer, and since my Mac's latest update, my drivers are no longer compatible. I tried downloading new drivers from Canon, but it still does not work. Because the printer is more than five years old, I've started thinking that perhaps I should just replace it. What do you recommend for a photo printer selling for under $400 that can print 11-by-14-inch photographs? I have an all-in-one inkjet for general use, so for this I can use something specifically designed to make high-quality photo prints.
A: As tablets and smartphones have become ubiquitous, there has been much less demand for photo printers. But we need printed photographs, too, and a high-quality photo printer will surprise you with the quality of photographs it can produce.
Check out the Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 wide-format photo printer (epson.com). It lists for $349 but can be found online for $299. It uses a high-quality, six-color ink system to make stunning color and black-and-white prints up to 13-by-19 inches in size. I have been testing one and have been thrilled with the results.
If you do buy the printer, to get the best results I very strongly recommend that you use only Epson photo-grade paper. The paper and ink are designed to match each other, and if you select "preset paper type" when you click print, you will get more accurate color and overall superior quality without fuss. This is something that hasn't changed with changing technology. I've been recommending this for more than 15 years, and it has never done me wrong.
The disappearing earphones
Q: You recently recommended the Sbode Wireless Sport Earphones. They have disappeared from Amazon. Do you have any idea why? I bought a pair for my wife, and she likes them quite a bit. I was considering getting a pair for myself, but now they're gone.
A: The Sbode Wireless Sport Earphones are, indeed, quite good, especially being priced under $30. Although I review earphones frequently, I am not usually an earphones kind of guy. For my own personal ergonomics, they typically are uncomfortable for long-term use, or they do not stay in my ears when I move around. The Sbode earphones were different. Not only did I find them comfortable, but they stayed in place at the gym. That they sound good and are affordable makes them an appealing buy, and they come with a hard case, too.
After I received your e-mail, I reached out to Sbode. The company's public relations representative apologized that the headphones are not available and assured me they will be back soon. He did not give a reason for the unavailability, but my guess is that they sold out quickly and the situation caught the company off guard. Good news can travel fast with inexpensive products like this one, and the earphones received various positive reviews online. When you take that into account, I am not surprised they sold out. When they are available again, I will announce it in the column.
Send questions to Don Lindich at email@example.com. Get recommendations and read past columns at soundadvicenews.com.