Archive for the Audio Category

Bowers & Wilkins updates on-ear P5 headphones with wireless function

July 4, 2015 by Tom in Audio with No Comments.

The much-loved Bowers & Wilkins P5 headphones have had their cords cut in their new incarnation - the P5 Wireless. The new model retains a number of the P5 Series 2 features - namely the 40mm drivers and removable soft leather ear pads - but adds a Bluetooth function and three-button control system for navigating tracks, adjusting volume and taking calls. For calls, two microphones are onboard and the built-in battery offers 17 hours playback. The P5s also work when the juice runs out, just via the detachable cable for 3.5mm connection. HD audio streaming is possible with Bluetooth 4.0 and aptX. Taking the P5s wireless adds $100 to the price of the standard model - these will launch at $400. Given the legacy of the P5 Series 2 model, these could prove a good option for

Get comfy, it’s the Focal Sphear in-ear headphones

July 3, 2015 by Tom in Audio, Earphones IEM with No Comments.

Focal has focused on in-ear comfort for two years while developing its new Sphear headphones - driven by the belief that earphones are currently too uncomfortable. The Sphear headphones are set to "redefine the approach towards the ear canal", they say. So... how? They answer comes in the form of two memory foam tips and an extended housing, designed to relieve the ear canal of too loud sound and a weighty pull. The Sphears pack in 10.8mm drivers, tweaked to deliver a clear sound with a rich mid-range. These earphones will launch this July at £100 (US$156) Via whathifi

Freaq out in the pool: Soundfreaq Sound Kick 2 waterproof Bluetooth speaker

July 3, 2015 by Tom in Audio with No Comments.

Soundfreaq has announced its first waterproof Bluetooth speaker, the Sound Kick 2 - a splash-happy update of the original Sound Kick speaker. As well as IPX4 waterproofing, the sound has also been boosted to be fuller and with bigger bass thanks to the inbuilt passive radiator. On top of that there's are two 2.3-inch speaker drivers. The custom-built drivers are made to work with the Soundfreaq UQ3 spatial enhancement speaker for the promised bigger sound. Music can be fed through over Bluetooth 4.0, as well as the standard 3.5mm input. Battery life is around 8 hours and it can also be used as a portable charger via its USB socket. The Sound Kick 2 is out now and costs $99. Via soundguys

UMi takes its Uni Voix headphones wireless with the bendy Bluetooth UMi Voix Blu

July 2, 2015 by Tom in Audio with No Comments.

China’s Umi has announced the next incarnation of its Uni Voix headphones in the form of the UMi Voix Blu: a Bluetooth version of its current flagship headphones. The Blus have a neat twisty headband (and hopefully hardy connections inside to put up with the strain!). The release date is a way away yet but they are expected to carry a CSR8670 audio chip, as well as noise-cancellation functionality.   Via gizchina

3D Microphone can pick you out in a crowd

July 1, 2015 by Tom in Audio with No Comments.

Researchers at Imperial College, London, have developed a 3D speaker that can hone in on subjects in a loud, busy room and listen to them for recording or voice commands. The speaker uses 32 microphones arranged in a sphere and use algorithms to determine the distance of each source and then “zooms in” on specific voices. They suggest their real-world applications for this technology include improving the likes of Siri for direct commands, as well as improving hearing aids and assisting helper robots in future hospital situations and the like. Soon you might be able to “OK Google”, or “Hey Siri” across the bar. Via gizmodo

Apple Music Launches, with Sonos support to follow

July 1, 2015 by Tom in Apple, Audio with No Comments.

Apple Music is now a viable option, but Apple Music over Sonos isn’t - yet. Most major streaming services work with the popular Bluetooth speaker, which supports Spotify, Deezer and Tidal. Apple Music’s Ian Rogers says they have been working closely with Sonos, however, and that line of streaming will be available in the not too distant future, once they get fully on top of the mobile service. Apple Music is currently available to trial. Via pocketlint

AKG N90Q headphones: premium cans with TruNote and the Quincy Jones seal of approval

July 1, 2015 by Tom in Audio with No Comments.

The AKG N90Q headphones have got the thumbs up from legendary producer Quincy Jones, who has lent his name to previous headphones from Harman (AKG’s parent company). The AKG N90Qs are a pair that are visually hard to ignore, with their jet black and gold colour combo. They feature large ear cups that drive the active sound and house a built-in battery that activates AGK’s TruNote calibration. TruNote emits a signal that measures the listener’s ear canal shape and in turn the necessary frequency response it’ll need for the best sound. As this is optional, they’ll also work just fine without it, allowing direct comparison. However, they’ll always need to be powered to work as they don’t have a passive system option. The battery pack is 2,400mAh, however, so they s

Xiaomi Piston earphones get new lease of life with fresh colour options

July 1, 2015 by Tom in Audio, Earphones IEM with No Comments.

No, Xiaomi’s not released a Pistons range in rainbow colours, they’ve gone for a subtle palette, within which options include lilac, cherry pink and glacier blue. The earphones remain the budget price of 49 yuan (US$15) and are still built to last with their reinforced Kevlar fibers in the flat cord. Also still onboard is the in-line mic, which is a nice bonus for a budget set. For a deeper look inside, check out the exploded view below. [gallery link="file"] Via soundguys

Devialet Silver Phantom is a wireless speaker in disguise

June 27, 2015 by Tom in Audio with No Comments.

With no discernible speaker features, to look at the Devialet Phantom is more Portal gun than Bluetooth speaker but rest assured the two new models - Phantom and Silver Phantom - are standard Bluetooth speakers beneath the interesting facade. Music is streamed over Bluetooth, as well as WiFi and optical audio options. Each unit has four drivers - two subwoofers either side, a tweeter and a midrange unit in the middle. They all have individual amps by ADH, which are hybrid units that combine Class A Analog and Class D digital components. The output of the Phantom is 750 watts at 99db and it costs $1,990. The Silver Phantom costs a little more at $2,390 but has a 3000 watt output at 105db. They are not yet available to purchase but more details can be found at on their websi

Twist 2-in-1 LED light bulb and Airplay speaker goes on pre-order

June 26, 2015 by Tom in Audio with No Comments.

Twist, the LED light bulb with a built in Airplay function for streaming audio has gone on presale. While most bulbs with audio are Bluetooth-powered, this Airplay option gives a new angle to illuminated sound solutions. It works as simply as screwing it in and running your Airplay device. It also adjusts the light to the time of day, so will automatically emit a bluish-white light in the morning and give out a warmer glow at night. As this is automated, for a more hands-on option a Twist dimmer is available. The LED bulb lasts up to 15 years, consumes 10 watts of power and is available in two packages - the Single Room Set costs $249 and the Lighting Pack is $129. While they can be purchased now, they'll not ship until 2016. Via pocket-lint

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