Paranoid? Better skip to the next story. A technology being researched by a pair of University of Oslo Physicists pairs a video system to 300 microphones arranged in a circle, allowing the system to “zoom in” on individual noises or conversations. The video demonstrates how at one time it can listen to a player venting his frustration or someone popping bubble gum next to the coach. → Read More
Audio Plus Services announced their Focal Bird 2.1 speaker system, combining a unified amplifier with a subwoofer and two satellite speakers. The Focal Bird system also uses a Focal Kleer wireless dongle, which allows you to stream audio from the iPod, iPhone, or iPad. There’s even a USB dongle available for streaming audio from your computer to the Focal Bird. → Read More
Short version: A great speaker system for your desktop — as long as you don’t need surround sound. Perfect for apartment living. → Read More
We’ve seen mini speakers, ceramic speakers, pig speakers, and jet engine speakers, but I’ve never seen anything like these glass speakers, if they’re for real. These speakers appear to use glass as a resonator, creating 360 degrees of sound. I’m concerned that they misspell “decibel” and use “thru” instead of “through” on their main page… → Read More
This isn’t exactly the most momentous announcement, but the evolution of the streaming media platforms out there is worth keeping an eye on. SRS is a good, established sound standard, present on many TVs and now decodable to your local setup through Silverlight. → Read More
We’ve been fans of Klipsch’s Image line of headphones for some time now, so we welcome the latest updates with open ears.
The ones I’m most excited about are the Image S5i Rugged. When you live in Seattle, you spend a lot of time worrying about whether you’re going to get rained on, and it’s nice not to have to worry about your electronics. → Read More
It’s not clear to me exactly what exactly people like Quincy Jones and Dr Dre do to make their particular brands of audio gear better. I mean, they put their name on them, probably because they are satisfied with how they sound, but is that the extent of their involvement?
Well, whatever the case, Quincy Jones (a Garfield High School alumni like myself) has seen fit to put his stamp on a new set… → Read More
How many of you out there have the scratch to pay a grand for your headphones? Raise your hands. None! But let’s be honest here. Look at your headphones. Now look at the picture to the right. Now back to your headphones — now back to the picture. Sadly (if you’re as poor as yours truly) your headphones probably will never be the Reference Monitors pictured. But you can dream. And… → Read More
Short version: SteelSeries makes great keyboards and mice, but headphones have always been a weakness of theirs. The 7H isn’t bad, really, but considering what’s out there for the same price or less, it’s a hard set to recommend. → Read More
These are Europe-only for now, as far as I can tell, but man, I really hope they get them over to this side of the pond. I’m a sucker for nice-looking headsets, and honestly, next to the TMA-1s, these Ultimate Weapons are the nicest set I can think of. The DR-GA200 is just the headset, but if you spring for the signal box with the DR-GA500, you’ll get 7.1 surround sound and a USB… → Read More
No, that picture is not Kratos’ new weapon in God of War 3, though you could be forgiven for thinking so.
Note to PR people: when your product goes in someone’s ears, try not to make it look like a weapon. The reflections aren’t helping. → Read More
Aiaiai’s TMA-1 is, theoretically, my favorite pair of headphones. I say theoretically because they only just started shipping out of Denmark this week and I’m not sure if I’ll ever actually have a pair of them wrapped around my head. But the next best thing is seeing them in this Cool Hunting video, with their designers talking about what went into creating these lovely things. → Read More
I’m no audiophile, but it’d be silly to deny that there’s a wide range of quality in the audio devices out there, and material and construction can be the difference between a perfectly good speaker and a buzzy piece of trash. I was delighted with the ceramic and cork construction of the speakers I reviewed a few months back, but I have to say I’m a bit skeptical of the… → Read More
Well, it looks like Razer has finally departed from the “mostly black” style with their latest. The Razer Orca is, as you can see, as green as a radioactive Granny Smith apple. I suppose it’s to set it off from the rest of the lineup; unlike almost everything else Razer makes, this headset isn’t made for gaming at all. → Read More
There isn’t too much to explain here. This is Logitech’s new iPod/iPhone dock and speakers — the main thing you need to know is that it has a rechargeable internal battery so you can take it to the beach and whatnot. It’ll go all day long — and all night strong. As long as that’s not more than eight hours. Comes with remote. It probably sounds good too, but why… → Read More
Short version: NOX’s first entry into the crowded gaming headset market sets itself apart with its portability, comfort, and ease of use. → Read More
While poking around for pictures of those Swirl earbuds I posted a few minutes ago, I saw this headset teased at Aiaiai’s site. It’s been around here and there, but I haven’t really seen much attention given to it — so I thought I’d post it up, because this is one of the most gorgeous pieces of industrial design I’ve seen in a long time. → Read More
These headphones, made by Kilo Design for Aiaiai, are pretty normal except for a few little details. There’s a built-in kink at the end of the cords that lets you hook it over the back of your ear, instead of having it hang from the front. And there’s that little coil on one cord, which I couldn’t figure out until… oh yeah, it’s just so you know which is left and… → Read More
The Super Audio CD (SACD) format may never have entered the mainstream market after Sony and Philips started pushing it back in 1999, but some audio fanatics out there still believe in the quality of these CDs. Good news for them: Sony today announced [JP] the SCD-XE800, their newest SACD player, which is specifically marketed as an entry-level device. → Read More
Remember cassettes? In case you are one of the people who still owns tapes and now wants to digitize the content for eternity, the so-called HIDEOTO might be the right thing for you. It’s not the first gadget out there that can get the job done, but it’s certainly the most compact and stylish we’ve shown you so far. → Read More
No, you’re not seeing triple — those really are three totally different models of voice recorder from Olympus. Well, they’re not actually that different. Core functionality is largely the same between them: a few gigs of internal storage, rechargeable AAA battery, built-in stereo mics, and a monochrome LCD screen (now bigger!).
People do, in fact, still use these; not everyone can get by… → Read More
Onkyo in Japan announced [JP, PDF] a new “digital media audio system” for iPod and PC owners today. The system consists of the ND-S1, a so-called digital media transport interface/cradle, and the DP-M1, a set of active speakers. Onkyo already offers the ND-S1 (even outside Japan), which serves as a link between your home theater or PC and your iPod. → Read More
There’s a bunch of possibilities to get attention when you’ve just founded a startup and try to get the word out about your first products. Coming up with a unique name is one way, and California-based audio tech maker Schiit has surely pulled that part off. Yes, it’s the company’s real name (tag line: “You are not going to believe this Schiit”), but Schiit’s producing what looks like low-cost… → Read More
We think Toy Story 3 is great, it’s a huge box office hit in the US, and it’s poised to replicate the success over here in Japan. Reason enough for Sony Japan to come up with a Toy Story 3-themed Walkman S [JP] for the local market. It’s not as cool as Sony’s Metal Gear Solid Walkman W, but it’s certainly cuter. → Read More
For the last six months or so, whenever I was on Razer’s site for whatever reason, I always would check the StarCraft II section for updates. There were silhouettes there for ages, teasing Blizzard-branded peripherals, yet aside from the messenger bag we gave away, we saw no more of said peripherals than we saw of the dark side of the moon. But E3 this year was the launch date, and I spent a… → Read More
When they told me there was a new PS3 surround sound bar, I didn’t expect much in the way of originality. And I didn’t get much. But it does look like a nice little audio solution for a small apartment or room where you don’t need cables running all over. It’s a little more than two feet wide and about three inches tall and deep. What were you expecting? it’s a bar. → Read More
I love me some surround sound headsets and big ol’ open-cup designs for when I’m at home, because nobody can see how dorky I look there, and I don’t have to worry about the cables getting everywhere. But for traveling around, putting in a quick game at a cafe, or playing your DS on the bus, you definitely want a more compact pair of cans. The Specialist and the Scout, from (relative) newcomer Nox… → Read More