Audio

Cabasse Adds Streaming to Sound Base

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Cabasse Adds Streaming to Sound Base

Cabasse announces the Stream Base-- an addition to the Cabasse Stream range featuring 4-way-per-channel audio  as well as (predictably enough) built-in streaming from online services and network drives.

The Stream Base uses active filtering technology to control the tweeter, midrange and low-range drivers, while a downward-firing 13cm woofer takes care of the bass. Expanding the width and depth of the soundstage is proprietary Cabasse sound processing.

Connectivity comes through optical and coax digital inputs. A 3.5mm stereo mini-jack input is also included, as well as wireless connection to mobile devices through Bluetooth Aptx.

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Amazon Adds to Alexa Devices With Echo Dot, Tap

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Amazon Adds to Alexa Devices With Echo Dot, Tap

Amazon follows on the Echo, the odd voice assistant in a cylindrical speaker, with the Echo Dot and Tap-- a pair of equally curious echo audio devices featuring the same Alexa cloud-powered voice assistant.

The Echo Dot is the Echo minus the speaker part, making a small, puck-shaped device. It features the same far-field microphone array as its bigger brother, and has a small built-in speaker allowing use as an alarm clock or a smart home controller. Users can also boost the Echo Dot's audio capabilities by plugging it into another speaker, turning it into a voice-controlled audio payer.

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Panasonic Expands ALL Connected Audio

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Panasonic Expands ALL Connected Audio

Panasonic announces 4 additions to the ALL Connected home audio range-- the SC-ALL05, SC-ALL7CD, SC-ALL9, and the SC-ALL6, all featuring wifi and Bluetooth connectivity and, in case of the SC-ALL05, a waterproof body.

ALL Connected speakers feature AllPlay-powered multiroom functionality, with wifi and the Panasonic Music Streaming App providing easy setup. The companion app also handles streaming from a number of music platforms, including Spotify, Napster and TuneIn.

In addition users can stream music via wifi to any ALL Connected device before sharing to any other compatible speakers via Bluetooth Re-streaming feature.

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Apple Music on Sonos Gets Release

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Apple Music on Sonos Gets Release

Sonos announces Apple Music is now available on Sonos wireless speakers, allowing customers to stream Apple Music content and access features such as For You, Radio and My Music.

The launch comes after a 2 month beta testing period, one described by Apple VP Eddy Cue as "great" and " provides amazing listening experience."

“This partnership has been an excellent example of two companies that truly care about music coming together to deliver a great listening experience,” Sonos adds. “Working with Apple gives us the opportunity to share Apple Music throughout people’s homes in a way that’s easy, intuitive, and sounds great.”

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Meridian Products Get MQA Playback

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Meridian Products Get MQA Playback

Audiophile customers wanting high-resolution audio playback can do so through a firmware update for multiple Meridian Audio products allowing the handling of Master Quality Authenticated (MQA)-encoded music.

Such products include the Explorer2 portable USB DAC, Prime headphone amplifier, 808v6 reference CD player, 818v3 reference audio core, Special Edition DSP loudspeakers and 40th Anniversary DSP systems.

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Misfit Takes on Headphones With Specter

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Misfit Takes on Headphones With Specter

Fossil-owned fitness tracker maker Misfit takes on a different product category as it announces Specter-- a pair of wireless in-ear headphones featuring fitness tracking capabilities.

The Specter headphones are described by the company as "smart hearables." The design is supposedly comfortable enough for all-day wearing, while a built-in accelerometer handles activity and sleep tracking functionality (including steps taken, distance traveled and calories burnt) offered by other Misfit products.

Pairing with the Misfit Link app allows control of other devices, such as smartphones and the Misfit Bolt smart lightbulbs. A built-in microphone handles voice calls.

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Philips Presents Detachable Speakers

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Philips Presents Detachable Speakers

Philips presents an interesting addition to the E-Series audio range at CES 2016-- the Fidelio E6, featuring a pair of detachable wireless speakers users can use in either stereo or 5.1 surround modes.

The two Fidelio E6 front speakers have a detachable top section one can place anywhere for "instant" surround sound. Promising to make setup even easier is a spatial calibration algorithm able to calculate balanced sound regardless of speaker placement.

The front speakers carry angled 3-inch drivers directing sound towards the centre of the sound stage, and the package comes complete with wireless subwoofer. Connectivity comes through HDMI ARC, Bluetooth and NFC handling up to 3 wireless devices simultaneously. Google Cast and Spotify Connect compatibility are included.

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Apple Axes Free iTunes Radio

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Apple Axes Free iTunes Radio

Apple alerts users of the Pandora-style iTunes Radio the service will no longer be free from 28 January 2016-- meaning customers wanting free Apple-powered radio have to resort to the Beats 1 service.

"All radio stations except for Beats 1 will be available exclusively to Apple Music members," the message reads. As such, users wanting to create iTunes Radio-like stations based on artists or songs need to cough up the standard $10-per-month Apple Music membership.

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Sony Digitises Vinyl at CES

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Sony Digitises Vinyl at CES

Sony marries the seemingly disparate audio technologies of vinyl and high-resolution digital music at CES 2016 with the PS-HX500-- a "reference quality" turntable able to convert LPs into digital audio files.

A built-in analog/digital converter handles the digital transfer of LPs in either native DSD (up to 5.6MHz) or WAV (up to 192kHz/24-bit) files, allowing users to digital store vinyl recordings for playback on high-res audio devices.

One can even combine tracks from both sides of an album or split and save multiple tracks via included PC/Mac software. A special driver allows the recording of compatible DSD streams.

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Apple Working on Cord-Free Beats?

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Apple Working on Cord-Free Beats?

According to 9to5Mac Apple is using resources from 2014 purchase Beats to develop an iPhone 7 launch accessory-- a pair of "completely wireless" earphones similar to the Bragi Dash wireless in-ear headphones.

The report says the earphones feature a noise-cancelling microphone system allowing phone calls and Siri use even without an in-line microphone and remote, with such functionality accessible via built-in button. 9to5Mac adds the earphones will be a "premium alternative" to a new version of the traditional EarPods, and as such should retail separately at a premium pricetag.

As for the new EarPods, 9to5Mac says the headphones will feature Lightning connectivity since, as rumours insist, the iPhone 7 lacks a 3.5mm audio jack.

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The Streamz Streaming Headphones

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The Streamz Streaming Headphones

CES 2016 hosts the debut of Streamz-- headphones able to play music without need for connection with any media players, since audio comes through streaming or built-in storage.

The Streamz headphones carry a 96kHz/24-bit DAC and a wifi network streamer, providing access to music stored on home networks and cloud-based streaming services. The headset pairs with the Google Chromecast to provide access over 150 music services, including big names such as Spotify and Pandora, while file format support includes MP3, AAC, FLAC and WAV.

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