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Category Archives: Audio

Surround Sound Heaphones With Style

By Jonathan Kimak

Headphones have always been a good friend of the gamer. They keep the parents, girlfriend, neighbors or pets from ruining a perfect moment by shouting/barking “Turn that damn game down” just as you were about to execute a perfect headshot. Many times you had to sacrifice comfort for functionality or vice-versa. But the AudioFX Pro 5+1 gaming headset hopes to give you everything you need, including comfort.

They do look rather comfy and the 5.1 surround sound is a really nice feature. Bonuses to the design are the included force feedback effect and LED lights on the side that indicate the volume level. It’s a USB headset and has a price tag of $79.94. Be sure to use the mute mic button if you still live at home and you don’t want to be caught on YouTube being chastised by your mom and laughed at by millions of others.

[ eDimensional ] VIA [ Everything USB ]

Solar Powered iPods: Will They Soon Be a Reality?

By Jonathan Kimak

The solar powered iPod is minutely closer to becoming a reality. Back in April of this year Apple filed a patent for solar cells on portable devices. What’s interesting about this patent is that it describes having the solar cells on the surface of the device.

So instead of having a solar charger that you have to attach to the iPod, you would just have to let your iPod rest in the sun. With no charger you can save valuable real estate in your pocket for things like your wallet, which is once again empty because you just bought another iPod, even though you already have an iPod Classic and an iPod Touch and you promised yourself you’d wait at least a year for the price to drop.

This is purely in the hypothetical, and could take years for it to actually be developed. So don’t go lining up for one yet. But if you do, save me a spot.

[ Patent Application ] VIA [ CNET ]

Logitech Z Cinema Speakers Reviewed. Verdict: Terrific SRS TruSurround HD Emulation

By Ian Chiu

When room space is in scarcity, not everyone can afford a 5.1 surround system for their computer entertainment system. That however doesn’t mean one has to miss the theatrical experience. SRS earlier has come up with TruSurround HD which in essence allows for virtualization of up to 6.1 channels on a 2.1 speaker set. Their processing techniques create phantom speakers that trick you into thinking that sound is coming from a certain direction when it is in reality coming from the front. While the technology is specifically for mid-range and high-end TV market, the SRS TruSurround HD has made its way into Logitech’s Z Cinema.

The Logitech 2.1 speaker set also benefits from this proprietary audio enhancement, but since the TruSurround HD requires multi-channel input (for virtualization), USB is employed to replace the analog audio cables. Each satellite puts out 35W RMS, with right speaker doubling as a receiver for the bundled Vista MCE remote as well as LCD screen for status display. In Everything USB’s review, the Z Cinema was praised for doing its job right; the reviewer felt a more submersive experience with the surround sound emulation enabled. He tested it with Transformers (the movie), 300, Half-Life 2 and Call of Duty 4. The only disappointment came from the lack of volume produced and the price which, as of this writing, is $220.

For full review, hit the link below.

[ Logitech Z Cinema Review @ Everything USB ]

Monster Cable Threatens Blue Jeans Cable, Gets Ass Handed Back

Cable Lawsuit

By Evan Ackerman

I’m not an especially big fan of Monster Cable. I’m sure they produce quality equipment and stuff (not that it really matters), but they have a nasty habit of suing people, including Monster Garage (the TV show), Fenway Park (home of the Green Monster), Pixar (over Monsters, Inc.), and a variety of smaller audio companies. Most recently, Monster Cable has sent a cease and desist letter to Blue Jeans Cable, claiming patent infringement on its RCA connectors.

Happily, the president of Blue Jeans Cable, Kurt Denke, spent 20 years as a lawyer and knows how to respond to what are apparently frivolous threats:

“My observation has been that Monster Cable typically operates in a hit-and-run fashion. Your client threatens litigation, expecting the victim to panic and plead for mercy; and what follows is a quickie negotiation session that ends with payment and a licensing agreement… I do not compromise with bullies and I would rather spend fifty thousand dollars on defense than give you a dollar of unmerited settlement funds.”

You can read Kurt Denke’s entire response to Monster Cable, which makes them out to be a bunch of amateurish jerks, after the jump. It’s long, and if you have a short attention span, the best parts are the last few paragraphs… But if, like me, you enjoy watching smart people stand up to gigantic companies arrogantly trying to muscle their way around, you’ll get a kick out of the whole thing.Continue Reading

Vox amPlugs; Stop Annoying Me, You Filthy Hippies


By Ryan Nill

Your guitar is far too loud and no one really wants to hear your rendition of Freebird. Plug this into your guitar and along with a pair of headphones and save us all a little bit of suffering.

The little amps run off two double A’s and come in three new and exciting sounds; Classic Rock, Metal and AC30. Sadly, they all look roughly the same, but its still a pretty nifty music gadget for 70$. Available now from the rather British looking Vox site.

[ Vox Amps ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

DigiDJs unite, produce DN-HC4500 Media Player and Controller

By Ryan Nill

Goodbye vinyl, hello MacBook! Denon unveils the DN-HC4500 Media Player and Controller, the “first USB / MIDI audio interface designed exclusively for computer performance club and mobile DJs.” No longer will we be forced to have various computer parts (or entire computers) spliced into our decks. The DN-HC4500 features both PC and Mac support, 24-bit processing, BU4500 drive support, real time displays, touch-sensitive jog discs (for all your scratching needs), and comes integrated with Reflex LE software. And it looks sexy. Incredibly so.

But for a price, of course; your immortal soul or your Technics 1200. Go with the soul: much less regret. Or, alternatively, you could wait a month and pay £399.99 (about $540 US).

[ Denon ] VIA [ Techdigest ]

Watts In The Tiny MicroVee Sub? 1200

By Evan Ackerman

VeloDyne MicroVee

I’m not sure exactly how, but this tiny (about 8 inches on a side) aluminum subwoofer cube is capable of pumping out a staggering 1200 watts (600 RMS) of earth-shaking bass. Inside the MicroVee is a built-in amplifier and three 6.5 inch drivers. I have a bit of trouble understanding how such a small sub can move enough air to make all of those watts worth hearing, but it’s got some kind of software distortion control that should help. It’s got speaker level inputs, weighs about 20 pounds, and is available in black or white for £575 in November.

[ Velodyne ] VIA [ What HiFi ]

Nike Amp Watch Leaked

NIKE.jpg By Ryan Nill

The new iPod compatible line of Nike watches has been (strategically) leaked on the Internet. The AMP+ comes as a stylistically minimal watch, complete with trendy red undertones and a LED based face. When the AMP+ is linked to a Nike+ compatible iPod nano, it becomes something more than just eye-candy; the AMP+ can display information and be used to remotely control your iPod nano. All from your stylish wristband.

13 of these beauties have been seen out and about, and they are due to hit the retail market in a couple of months.

VIA [ Josh Spear ] and [ ubergizmo ]

Bang and Olufsen Create New Portable Speaker Line

By Ryan Nill

Danish design company, Bang and Olufsen, have unleashed a new line of modular, portable speakers; the Beolab 3. Despite the exceedingly odd shape, the Beolab 3 is being marketed on extreme versatility and portability. They can handle up to 250 watts and include three drivers; a mid-range driver plus two passive radiators that give a much need bass boost to such a small unit. Also new and/or interesting is the tweeter, which sits on top of the speaker from a retractable silver stand; marketed as “Acoustic Lens Technology,” it is supposed to disperse the sound and lead to a more pleasurable listening experience.

The Beolab 3 is made from solid aluminum and measures 6.4″ x 5.2″ x 8.8″ and comes in black, gray, red or blue. This is about the size of standard PC speakers, unlike standard PC speakers, it doesn’t come cheap: the Beolab 3 speakers retail for about $3,200.

[ Bang and Olufsen ] VIA [ Newlaunches ]