Items tagged with Audio

Marshall needs no introduction among musicians, but in case you're not familiar, Marshall is a British company that makes high-end amps, speaker cabinets, and other audio equipment. The company's newest product is the Stanmore, a modern wireless loudspeaker with a retro aesthetic that looks like one of Marshall's older amp heads. Stanmore is the compact cousin (or sibling, if you prefer) to Marshall's Hanwell, though the company promises it can deliver big sound. It has a pair of 3/4-inch dome tweeters and a 5.25-inch woofer powered by a Class D amplifier. Marshall rates max power at 80W RMS with... Read more...
In the world of high-profile audio, you can easily count the names that everyone knows: Bose, Shure, Pioneer, Sony, Dolby, and perhaps just a handful of others. Sadly, a pioneer in the world of audio has passed away this week, with Ray Dolby leaving behind his wife and two sons at the age of 80. Ray Dolby fired up Dolby Laboratories in 1965, and according to the official remembrance page, he "built an environment where scientists and engineers push the limits of sight and sound." He is best known for his role in crafting a noise reduction system that has remained popular to this day, and Dolby... Read more...
The headphone world is a lot like the tablet world: there's lots of watered-down, low-cost, low-quality options. And frankly, cutting through the noise is tough for companies. Apple and a small handful of others have done so in the tablet realm, but what about headphones? There's one name that's soaring above all others these days, and that's Beats Electronics. The famed audio brand has just introduced the new Beats Studio. These cans have been redesigned and tweaked in myriad ways. Each pair of Studio headphones is precisely tuned with new custom digital software called the Beats Acoustic Engine... Read more...
It's not easy getting noticed in a market as competitive as headphones, but OrigAudio has managed to draw attention to itself by marching to a beet of a different drummer. That's not a typo folks, nor is the Beets by OrigAudio line of headphones a joke, even though they're sure to elicit a few giggles by your Beats by Dr. Dre wearing friends. Unlike your buddies and all those sports stars you see wearing Beats by Dr. Dre headgear during pre-game ceremonies, you won't spend anywhere near upwards of $200 for a pair of Beets, which are priced at just $25. If that's not enough to make you feel good... Read more...
It's not too often that Harman Kardon ends up on these pages, but the company's newest A/V receivers have a few tricks up their sleeves that'll appeal to more than just audiophiles. The Harman Kardon AVR 2700 and AVR 3700 look like your average receivers, but there's a module within that enables native 4K scaling as well as support for Apple's wireless AirPlay standard. Both the Harman Kardon AVR 2700 and AVR 3700 are powered by the acclaimed Harman Kardon high-current, ultrawide bandwidth amplifier, not to mention eight HDMI inputs (with full 3D support), and Dolby TrueHD / DTS-HD Master Audio... Read more...
BioShock Infinite is a great game. I'm only into the early chapters as of this writing, but I can already tell you that all the great things people have been writing are, as near as I can tell, absolutely true. We're working on a performance comparison and review that'll be up in the not-too-distant future, so look for them. For all its gorgeous graphics and amazing attention to detail, BioShock Infinite has a really odd directional audio problem. I've created a video clip that demonstrates it below: Color me confused on this one. In this case, the problem is worse if I turn left than if I turn... Read more...
Ever heard of Gracenote? Chances are your ears have heard its work, and your eyes have seen its magic, even if you weren't aware. Back in the day, those who popped CDs into CD-ROM drives and ripped 'em to iTunes would need Gracenote's expertise to automatically add metadata to those tracks. The company actually does quite a bit more than that these days, and it's about to put a lot of its future into the bright minds and able hands of developers. The Gracenote Developer program launched today, making the company's music APIs and SDKs available for developers. This opens the world's largest and... Read more...
Audience has just announced their latest smartphone/mobile audio processor, the earSmart eS515. The earSmart eS515 combines the company’s advanced voice processing technology, which is already employed in many popular smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II, with a high-performance, low-power audio codec for enhanced voice quality and speech recognition and a better multimedia experience. By combining the sound processor with an audio codec onto a single chip, Audience is also able to cut power consumption and reduce off-chip communication for potentially better... Read more...
The doors of the Las Vegas Convention Center may still be largely sealed, but the news from CES 2013 is already starting to flow. Samsung is one of the major players showing up in Las Vegas to debut new products, and a new digital audio line-up will be a huge part of that. The company's 2013 AV products feature a number of wireless connectivity enhancements, including the industry's first soundbar that can connect with a TV using wireless Bluetooth technology. Samsung's Vacuum Tube Soundbar (model HW-F750) is the first soundbar to feature a built-in vacuum tube to maximize sound quality, and is... Read more...
One of the problems with being a multi-platform gamer that enjoys gaming on a PC just as much as on an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 console is that it gets mighty expensive stocking up on separate peripherals for each one. Can't we all just get along? Sennheiser thinks so, and to prove it, the company released its first pair of multi-platform headphones, the U 320. "The average age of gamers today is 25 years old and ‘mature gamers’ play on consoles more than they play on PC. This is why Sennheiser created the U 320, offering gamers a consistent high-quality sound experience on every platform,"... Read more...
There are just under half a billion iOS devices in the world, all of which use the "old" 30-pin Dock Connector. Starting with the iPhone 5, that connector is out, and Lightning is in. As the world must go on, eventually we'll see accessories shipped to support the new adapter, despite the overwhelmingly huge market share advantage of supporting the older one. Bowers & Wilkins is leading that charge into the future, with the introduction of the A7 and A5 AirPlay speakers. These join the pricey Zeppelin Air, enabling users of any iPhone or iPad that supports AirPlay to stream without a cord.... Read more...
Gaming headsets are a dime a dozen these days, but names like Turtle Beach and Tritton continue to produce goods that are a cut above the rest. Now, Mad Catz is announcing the Tritton Pro+ True 5.1 Surround Sound Headset, which is billed as the update to the Tritton AX Pro. It supports both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles, with shipments expected to start next month. The Pro+ offers up 5.1 surround sound through eight separate drives. Moreover, there's a redesigned inline Remote and Selectable Voice Monitoring (SVM), allowing users to choose if they hear their own voice in the headset. Price... Read more...
In the press release announcing NXP’s new audio system that portends to jack up the output power of tiny mobile device speakers by a factor of 5, NXP director of marketing Shawn Scarlett hit the nail on the head with this quote: “Digital natives have come of age taking poor mobile sound quality for granted. As speakers have become smaller, the quiet, tinny sound we’ve come to associate with mobile devices has got even worse.” NXP is out to change all that with the NXP TFA9887 IC audio system, which includes an embedded algorithm that can drive over 2.6W RMS through speakers... Read more...
PC gamers are sometimes a forgotten and overlooked class of gamers, shoved aside by peripheral manufacturers in favor of a growing legion of our console brethren. But fear not if you prefer the PC platform, Razer has your back, especially if you live and breathe Battlefield 3. Launched today is Razer's new Battlefield 3 BlackShark 2.0 Gaming Headset for PC. "The Razer BlackShark is a PC gaming headset with crisp audio and booming bass that is built for a highly intense shooter likeBattlefield 3," said Robert ‘RazerGuy’ Krakoff, president of Razer USA. "It lets you hear the gunfire,... Read more...
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