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Category Archives: Audio

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 ]

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 ]

Audiophiles Unite: RISE Modulated Music Source


By Ryan Nill

For the (single-CD) DJ on the go, SIGMA audio concepts presents the RISE music source. Yet another beautiful concept in the world of sound, this RISE project features modulated components. This particular model RISE music source features three main components, each painstakingly wrapped in its own individual aluminum case, so as to completely eliminate any sound interference. This setup utilizes a Phillips CD reader, power box and a mixboard/equalizer. The only questions yet to be answered are what type of connections this thing is using, how long it operates using independent power and why on earth doesn’t this beauty play vinyl?

Custom made and pricing on a need to know basis. So its probably horrible expensive.

[ SIGMA audio concepts ] VIA [ gizmodo ]

Swan’s Ultimate Ribbon System 2.3HT Both Frightens and Inspires

By Ryan Nill

Swan’s new 2.3HT system packs an unbelievable 1500 watts. They boast that this is the current end of all of personal sounds systems; a claim that I might have heard a few times before. After a quick glance of the 2.3HT’s specs, I’m starting to believe them. The 2.3HT is comprised of several sections, two front speakers (Swans 2.3F), a center speaker (Swans 2.3C), two surround speakers (Swans 2.3R) and two Swans 2.3 Subwoofers.

Swans gives us a bunch a technical jive, which we’ve kindly included after the jump for those of you so inclined. But the gist of their claim to fame is the use of a total of 165 drivers, in a 630-pound mammoth system. And while their description sounds awesome (and slightly dangerous), the chances of losing your hearing are significantly mitigated by the exacerbated price of $30,000. Yes, it will cost you $30,000 to own the home sound system that will make Mr. Jones finally give up in disgust.

Continue Reading