Items tagged with Audio

The audio industry is filled to the brim with magical devices that are capable of reshaping the reality of those that dare tread within its realm. There is often utter bewilderment at the expressions some people use to converse with each other on the subject. What is the color of sound, 'clarity', 'warmth', 'coarseness'? These are also the same people that will take out a mortgage to buy a sound system, and even spend $10,000 on a single cable - yes, we're back to this chestnut again. (Update, 3/30/15: Pricing has been falling dramatically for these cables since the time the original article was... Read more...
It looks like we could be seeing an audio-related Nest product in the not-so-distant future. This news stems from the fact that Nest posted a job ad that seeks a "highly technical Head of Audio to lead the development of Nest Audio across hardware and software, present and future." That speaks volumes (no pun). Whoever gets hired will get to lead a team that oversees the development of 'Nest Audio', which will involve both hardware and software. Whatever comes from this will be an end-user product, but that's probably not too much of a surprise. It's an interesting move for Nest, although not really... Read more...
There are few markets that are quite as loaded-up with snake oil products as audio / video. I am sure that by me simply saying that, you immediately thought of "Monster", one of the most infamous offenders. But believe it or not, there are some vendors that push the envelope so far that Monster's $100 HDMI cables look like a bargain by comparison. Take AudioQuest's high-end Ethernet cable, for example. Called "Diamond", AudioQuest is promising the world with this $10,500 USD cable, and if you for some reason believe that an Ethernet cable is completely irrelevant for audio, you might want to listen... Read more...
With smartphones and tablets being so commonplace these days, we're all classified as mobile warriors. However, most of the devices lack mojo in one critical area -- speakers. At best, we hope for serviceable sound from speakers integrated into tablet and smartphone devices, which is why we're starting to see more portable speaker options. Towards that end, Logitech's Ultimate Ears division today announced its UE MEGABOOM, a next-generation portable wireless speaker that's supposed to deliver more power, sound, and bass than previous efforts.Don't fret too much over placement -- the UE MEGABOOM... Read more...
Make no mistake, Samsung fully intends to ride the whole "curved" craze as far as it will go, which so far has been applied to smartphones, televisions, and soundbars; the latter of which will see an expanded lineup at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. That's not all -- Samsung also intends to roll out a couple of concept speakers, one of which looks like the lovechild of Eve from Wall-E and those guns in Portal. That's the stand-type model (WAM7500); there's also a movable model (WAM6500) that will have you wanting to sing, "I'm a little teapot, short and stout"... Read more...
While Apple takes its time deciding how best to leverage its $3 billion acquisition of the Beats brand, Dr. Dre and company continue to grow the company's family of wireless products, including the launch of the Solo2 Wireless, the first set of headphones from Beats in the Apple-owned era and just in time for the holiday shopping season. "We’re taking the most popular headphone in the world and adding wireless Bluetooth functionality to it," said Beats President Luke Wood. "The Solo2 is already a world-class headphone much lauded for its acoustics, and now it joins our growing family of successful... Read more...
Just as you won't find any copies of Windows 8.1 or Surface Pro 3 tablets being sold in any Apple Store locations -- Apple and Microsoft are rivals, after all -- the Cupertino outfit is no longer carrying Bose products, either. Like Microsoft, Bose is now a competitor to Apple following the company's $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics. Apple used to sell a selection of Bose-branded speakers and headphones, but all such inventory has now been pulled off of store shelves. The move isn't all that surprising, not just because the two are competitors now, but also because tensions are high... Read more...
Dr. Dre and everyone else at Beats Electronics certainly seem anxious to close a reported $3.2 billion merger with Apple -- and who could blamed him, as the deal would make him the richest person in hip-hop -- but the fact that it hasn't happened by now might be cause for concern. News of what was billed as an impending deal first hit the web a little over two weeks ago, and word on inner circles was that it would be complete in a matter of days. Days turned into next week, next week turned into next week again, and that's turned into yet another next week with still no announcement, confirmation,... Read more...
Chromecast is great. It lets you stream just about anything to your TV from the Internet, and it does so in a unique, simple, and brilliant way: instead of streaming directly from your smartphone or tablet, your device tells Chromecast to do the streaming. A group led by a pair of ex-Google employees has essentially done the same thing for audio that Chromecast does for video with its simple device called “Beep”. Beep (or is it “a Beep”?) is a metal dial that connects directly to virtually any speakers in your home via 3.5mm AUX, RCA, or optical input and connects wirelessly... Read more...
Rosewill is showing off a number of new products at CES this year including cases, keyboards, portable power banks, headphones, and kitchen appliances. In all, Rosewill is showing off over 50 new products during CES 2014. The new LEGACY Case Series was among the new products we saw. This new line of cases is built with aluminum alloy and steel interiors. Rosewill also showed us their follow-up to their best-selling BLACKHAWK mid-tower case, the BLACKHAWK II ($99.99, targeted for Q2). Other additions to the lineup include the RISE ($119.99, targeted for Q2) and STEALTH ($69.99, targeted for Q2)... Read more...
We know what you're thinking -- the Internet needs another streaming music service like, well, the Internet needs another streaming music service. It's certainly a crowded field -- Spotify, Pandora, Rhapsody, Google Play All Access Music, Rdio, Slacker, and the list goes on -- but that isn't stopping Beats Music from joining the fray. Beats Music chief Ian Rogers confirmed that the streaming service is indeed real and that it's getting ready to launch next month. Given the brand recognition that already exists, this could end being more popular than people think, especially if celebrities get behind... Read more...
Hello Razer, have we met before? You may ask yourself the same question after spying the peripheral maker's new Kraken Forged Edition headphones. Razer's been known to put out some solid gaming accessories, no doubt about that, but the Kraken Forged Edition aims higher than Razer has perhaps ever aimed. Not only is this a premium (and premium priced) headset, Razer's touting it as the "best headphones" you can buy, point blank. "These are the best headphones on the market for both music and gaming, period," says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder, CEO and creative director. "We’ve made some... Read more...
When a legend dies, much of the world feels it. But how often is that legend a piece of software? If you were into digital music when the MP3 file format first became popular, chances are good that you crossed paths with Winamp. Chances are even better that you called it home for a number of years. It was as de facto a piece of software as one could get; the Photoshop of music players, if you will. And now, it's soon to be killed off for good. On the official website, attempting to download the player will issue this warning: "Winamp.com and associated web services will no longer be available... Read more...
You'd think that speaker technology was pretty well disrupted, given that it has been around for about as long as any technology... ever. As it turns out, there's still more to be down. A new kind of headphone taps into the power of carbon nanotubes in order to deliver sounds, with a tiny internal speaker relying not on moving parts, but producing audio "through the thermoacoustic effect." According to a new report, the nanotube speakers could even hit a sweet spot in terms of pricing. Essentially, the new invention bypasses moving parts and instead relies on expansion and contraction of air to... Read more...
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