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Category Archives: Audio

Creative Labs To Launch X-Fi Card For Laptops

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By David Ponce

So you got yourself a shiny new laptop, with a great video card and enough RAM to give Vista an aneurysm, but your games still sound like your grandma’s dusty vinyl records. We feel your pain, buddy, but it seems your luck is about to change. We’re hearing word that Creative Labs will be releasing a version of it’s top of the line X-Fi card meant specifically for laptops. It’ll be called Xtreme Audio Notebook.

Yeah, it’s ExpressCard only, so that leaves a bunch of PCMCIA users out in the dust, but, well, that’s life. And that’s about all we know at this point. We do have a bunch more pictures after the jump.

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Radio Lovers Rejoice, Olympus VJ-10 Can Record Up To 2,500 Hours Of RF Goodness

olympus vj-10

By David Ponce

It’s not everyday you see a device with a 37GB hard drive. 37 is just so random, yet that’s how many gigabytes the VJ-10 Radio Server from Olympus can store. The device is basically just a basic AM/FM radio, with a hard drive embedded right in. Even in “high quality” mode (128 kbps) the device can still hold 1,250 hours of your favorite talk radio show. It features a large 3.9 inch (128 x 400) monochrome STN display, USB 2.0, amplifier and stereo speakers which allegedly sound decent thanks to SRS and WOW XT.

Think of it like a TiVo for the radio, except exponentially less exciting. I mean, hey, other than when you’re stuck in traffic, when do people ever really listen to the radio anymore? Still, if you’re into that sort of thing, you should know the device is expected to cost 40,000 Yen ($ 335) and be available in Japan starting March 16th.

[ Product Page (translated from Japanese) ] VIA [ Gizmologia ]

Optimus Prime iPod Dock

optimus prime ipod dockBy David Ponce

Not another iPod dock, right? Well, yeah, another one, though this time, some people might actually be interested. See, what you’ve got is the (perhaps unholy) union of two icons: an iPod and Optimus Prime. When in truck configuration, the 4.2 pound toy serves as a dock, with two speakers of unspecified output. It will work with all standard size iPods, though not the Shuffle. We’re guessing it can be battery powered, since the site mentions that there is also an AC connector.

This sort of large toy is usually reserved for collectors, unless you think your 4 year old deserves a two kilogram $144 toy. But hey, that’s totally up to you.

[ Optimus Prime iPod Dock ] VIA [ Ubergizmo ]

SolidDrive Turns Everyday Objects Into Speakers

soliddriveBy David Ponce

We’d have to try this out before even thinking about taking our plastic out, but the premise is interesting: SolidDrive promises to turn any large surface that you slap its SD drives onto into a full-fledged speaker. So, you could turn your fridge, your patio door or even you cat’s litter into a speaker, while allegedly retaining “high-quality, full-range sound […] with a frequency response of 70 Hz to 15 kHz.” It does this by using “high-powered neodymium magnets and dual symmetrically opposed motors to convert audio signals into powerful vibrations that are transferred into solid surfaces by direct contact.”

As fun as turning everyday objects into sound emitting sources might seem, we believe the company’s goal is a little more lofty than the novelty of a talking bay window. The system is meant to be professionally installed behind walls, with special vibration-reducing brackets, to give the customer a location free, completely wirefree surround sound experience, while maintaining channel separation… and no visible speakers. At $500 a channel, we’re thinking that it better make your walls sound like God’s own voice. Mind you, telling your visitors that the wall is the speaker sure sounds like something we’d drop a grand or two over.

[ SolidDrive ] VIA [ Hacked Gadgets ]

Submarine Radio

Submarine Radio (Image courtesy I Want One Of Those) By Andrew Liszewski

I just don?t understand the need to turn the daily routine of bathing or showering into some kind of fun adventure. I mean sure using bath toys as a way to get kids into the bathtub is a good idea but as adults there are really better places you could be listening to your iPod or watching TV.

But if for some reason you prefer to spend hours on end soaking in the tub but don?t want to miss out on the adventures of Garrison Keiller and the residents of Lake Wobegon then add one of these Submarine Radios to your bathtime fleet. Well it?s actually more of a bloated caricature of a submarine but it has a waterproof speaker and buttons for scanning the FM frequencies or adjusting the volume. It also runs on 2 AAA batteries instead of a nuclear reactor like it?s full-size counterparts which might disappoint some people.

The Sub Radio is available from I Want One Of Those in either yellow or black for about $29.

[ Submarine Radio ]

Gibson Pro Digital Guitar

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By David Edney

The Gibson HD.6X-Pro guitar comes with the digital hookups needed to connect straight to a computer for all your editing/distorting pleasure. It comes with Media-accelerated Global Information Carrier (MaGIC) which is a Gibson Ethernet hookup, and it carries bi-directional signals with low latency and no signal degradation over miles of cable. The HD.6X-Pro?s Hex pickup is composed of six small, patent-pending humbuckers positioned under each string at the bridge. These digitize the notes strung internally, so the system does all it’s own work. The whole setup comes with all the equipment and software needed to play like a pro. That is if you’ve got $5,000 laying around.

[Gibson ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Earmuff Headphones

Earmuff headphones

By David Edney

It’s that time of the year where your extremities start freezing. Frozen extremities have a nasty tendency to simply fall off, and we think your gal (or boy) pal might take it badly to seeing you earlobe-less. Kills the mood and stuff. So of course, there are many ways to listen to music without freezing your ears off, but we kind of like Lobz. They’ve got you covered (literally) with their Audio Ear Warmers. They include removable stereophonic headphones that plug directly into the ear warmers, windstopper fabric for stopping the wind while keeping your ears snug, adjustable sliders for fitting, and an all-weather nylon construction that is foldable for easy storage. They go for $30 and they actually don’t look bad. If you’re going skiing or snowboarding, these would be the way to go for your audio/ear warming comfort.

[ Lobz ] VIA [ SciFi Tech ]

The Electronic Music Stand

electronic music stand By David Ponce

If you’re a serious musician, or a conductor or some such musical type, then this little device from Hammacher Schlemmer will seem like a Godsend. It’s essentially an eBook reader on a stand, but, hell, it’s really a lot more than that. Look at it like a fancy paperless music stand that will possibly change your career. Hmm… well, maybe not, but still, hear us out. The unit displays your music sheets on a 12 inch backlit LCD and allows you to turn pages by either touching the screen, or pressing a pedal. Since there’s no paper, it means no noise during your performance. You can also scan sheet music to a computer and transfer it to the tablet, purchase and download over 85,000 scores from an online store, or transfer scores in PDF and JPG formats or from music software and store any of these on the included 128MB USB module (presumably upgradeable to more). But, the fun doesn’t stop there:

The device also stores setlists, bowing and fingering charts, has an integrated metronome, pitch pipe, audio player for MP3, wireless capabilities, and comes with a file browser. Includes 128 MB RAM, two USB ports, video and audio ports, an audio player for MIDI, carrying case, and rechargeable battery that provides three hours of use (also plugs into AC).

As you can imagine, something like this doesn’t come cheap: $1,400.

[Product Page] VIA [The Raw Feed]

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A high-tech music stand goes great with a new Musical Instrument. For anything you may want from drums to Electric Guitars right over the internet.

The Sound Station Connects To Musicphone

sound station sp-2985By David Ponce

It’s strange to think of the nearly endless stream of speaker docks that everyone, their grandma and her kittens are making for the iPod and other music players when there’s a perfectly good market begging to be filled, and being largely ignored: musicphones. Come on guys, why does it have to be a relative unknown, Trust (we say “relative” to be nice, and not say complete) that is one of the first to come out with a musicphone speaker dock with decent features?

The Sound Station SP-2985 connects to some phones from Sony, Nokia, Samsung and Motorola (for the full list, go here) and not only allows you to playback whatever music you have stored in the device via its neodymium 3″ micro drivers, but also charges the phone and lets you access its contents from your PC, thus functioning as that cable you probably lost two weeks after you opened the box. Even better, if you get a call while docked, the Sound Station will serve as a hands-free speakerphone. Finally, there’s a 3.5mm input, so you can connect pretty much anything else to it, albeit maybe not as elegantly.

Unfortunately, there’s no word on price or availability.

[The Sound Station SP-2985] VIA [Crunchgear]