Audio

Jaybird Intros Freedom Earbuds

PDF Print E-mail
Jaybird Intros Freedom Earbuds

Headphone maker Jaybird announces what it claims are its smallest earbuds yet-- the Freedom, a pair of wireless earbuds combining features from the X2 sports headphones with a companion app and a battery pack.

According to the company the Freedom earbuds are 20% smaller than previous models, making them a better fit for more customers. However it insists the small size does not affect audio quality, while the packing includes a variety of rubber and foam tips to ensure a perfect fit for most, if not all, wearers.

Construction is in metal injection moulding, and Jaybird ensures the earbuds are sweat-proof.

Continue reading...

Meizu Crowdfunds Cantilevered Speaker

PDF Print E-mail
Meizu Crowdfunds Cantilevered Speaker

Chinese smartphone maker Meizu aims a first product at Western market, but not with a smartphone-- instead the company launches the Gravity, "floating" wireless speaker featuring a cantilevered design.

Co-created with Dirac and Japanese designer Kosho Tsuboi, the Gravity sits on top of a transparent acrylic block. The block is positioned off-centre, but the speaker has enough weight on one side to ensure it will not lose balance and fall. The result? The speaker appears as if it is floating, at least when viewed from certain angles. Another interesting feature is an acrylic prism creating the illusion of a floating display.

The actual speaker is fairl small (262mm x 58mm x 47mm) and built in metal, with a soft mesh fabric covering the front and rear grilles. Inside are custom speakers with "dual passive resonance membranes" for stronger bass and Dirac "HD Sound" technology, and the result pushes 20W bass and a 70Hz to 20kHz range.

Continue reading...

Apple to End Paid Music Downloads?

PDF Print E-mail
Apple to End Paid Music Downloads?

According to Digital Music News customers will soon be able to buy and download music off the iTunes Store no more-- Apple is reportedly considering an "aggressive" two-year termination plan for the online music store.

“Keeping [iTunes music downloads] running forever isn’t really on the table anymore,” an anonymous source insists. Also in discussion is a plan to “ride the [iTunes music download offering] out for the next 3-4 years, maybe longer" once music downloads become an afterthought in a streaming-dominated industry. Another source bluntly states “if he were alive, Jobs would have killed it.”

In turn, Apple actually released a rare statement on a news story-- one insisting “our response is that it is not true, we are not shutting down iTunes downloads per [Digital Music News'] story." However the news website insists its sources are in the right, and the Apple reaction is more of a reassurance to music labels and artists, whose incomes will be wrecked even further with the loss of the paid download revenue stream.

Continue reading...

Bang & Olufsen Names Henrik Clausen CEO

PDF Print E-mail
Bang & Olufsen Names Henrik Clausen CEO

Bang & Olufsen replaces CEO Tue Mantoni with Henrik Clausen, the result of "a dialog with the board of directors about [Mantoni's] long-term commitment as CEO once certain important projects had been completed.”

Clausen is the former CEO of the largest telco in the Nordics, Telenor ASA. He takes over the luxury audio maker from 1 July. In turn, Mantoni has been B&O CEO since 2011.

"B&O is an iconic brand, with state-of-the-art quality products and a unique heritage," Clausen says. "I look very much forward to joining the organisation and working with the team to further exploit the global potential."

Continue reading...

Intel Wants to Replace Headphone Jacks With USB-C!

PDF Print E-mail
Intel Wants to Replace Headphone Jacks With USB-C!

The humble 3.5mm headphone jack appears to have an enemy in Intel-- a report discovered by AnandTech shows an Intel proposal to "remove the 3.5mm audio jack from audio sources."

But what does Chipzilla have against headphone connectors? First off, is the issue of its analog nature. In technological terms the headphone connector is outright ancient. The original 6.35mm favoured by high-end audio equipment was invented in 1878, while the two-conductor miniature 3.5mm connector has been around by the 1960s. The technology has evolved since then (with the addition of microphone support and remote control) but modern devices require more sophisticated interconnectors with higher data rates.

Continue reading...

The Smallest BeoPlay A1 Speaker

PDF Print E-mail
The Smallest BeoPlay A1 Speaker

Bang & Olufsen announces its smallest Bluetooth speaker yet-- the BeoPlay A1, a puck-shaped number measuring 13.3cm across and 4.8cm thick the company claims offers 24 hours of use before the battery needs recharging.

Inside the speaker are two 30W Class D amps powering a 3.5-inch full-range driver and a 0.75-inch silk-dome tweeter. Peak power output is rated at 2x 140W, while effective frequency range is of 60 to 24000Hz. A built-in microphone allows speakerphone use.

Continue reading...

Denon Refreshes Heos With High-Res Audio

PDF Print E-mail
Denon Refreshes Heos With High-Res Audio

Denon announces "significant upgrades" to the Heos wireless multi-room audio system through the addition of Bluetooth and fast 802.11ac wifi connectivity, as well as support for high-resolution audio streaming.

Such features will first be available in new versions of the Heos 5 and Heos 7 tabletop speakers, followed by upgrades of the Heos 1 and Heos 3 speakers. The upgrades involve a new Heos HS2 platform featuring a more powerful processor (specifically a 1.2GHz ARM A9 processor) allowing the decoding of uncompressed WAV (PCM), ALAC, and FLAC files up to 24-bit/192kHz, with DSD and AIFF playback coming later via firmware update.

Continue reading...

Devialet Phantom Speaker Reaches Apple Store

PDF Print E-mail
Devialet Phantom Speaker Reaches Apple Store

French audio maker Devialet signs a deal with Apple bringing the Phantom wireless speaker to Apple Stores in key European locations, namely Paris, Berlin, Barcelona, London, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Rome and Edinburgh.

The deal follows an agreement providing Devialet with promotional space in 14 Apple Stores in the US.

Continue reading...

Samsung Soundbar Gets Dolby Atmos

PDF Print E-mail
Samsung Soundbar Gets Dolby Atmos

Samsung present what it claims is the first soundbar featuring Dolby Atmos-- the HW-K950, a soundbar complete with soundbar and 2 rear wireless speakers able to rebound audio off ceilings and down towards listeners' heads.

The HW-950 is described by the company as a 5.1.4 system, since it offers x5 surround-sound channels, x1 subwoofer and x4 channels bouncing audio off the ceiling. The system pushes a total of 500W of audio power, thanks to the 160W amp in the 8-inch sub, x9 2.5-inch drivers spread across the soundbar and rear speakers, and a 35mm wide-range tweeter in the soundbar.

Continue reading...

JBL Intros USB-C Powered Headphones

PDF Print E-mail
JBL Intros USB-C Powered Headphones

JBL announces the Reflect Aware C-- the first headphones from the company featuring a USB-C connector allowing for noise cancellation and adaptive noise control capabilities without need for a separate battery pack.

The USB-C port handles both audio and power connections. The actual headphones feature a lightweight sweat proof design, with ergonomic ear tips promising to keep the ear buds inserted even during vigorous activity.

Noise-canceling is adjustable via in-line remote, allowing users to either mute all extraneous sound or select various noise-canceling levels. Audio comes through a 14.8mm driver.

Continue reading...

Onkyo DP-X1 Player Gets MQA Support

PDF Print E-mail
Onkyo DP-X1 Player Gets MQA Support

Onkyo further boosts the DP-X1 portable music player with the addition of Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) support, providing users with another option for high-resolution audio.

First seen back at CES 2016, the DP-X1 supports a number of high-resolution audio formats, including FLAC, ALAC, AIFF and WAV up to 24-bit/384kHz, as well as DSD up to 11.2MHz. However MQA claims superiority to such formats thanks to smaller file sizes, allowing one to fit more music on the device.

The Android-powered player provides up to 400GB of storage (via dual microSD card slots). Audio capabilities come through of Sabre chips-- the ES9018K2M DAC and 9601K amp.

Continue reading...

Page 9 of 32