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Category Archives: Audio

Tritton AXPC 5.1 USB Gaming Headset Reviewed. Verdict: Surprisingly Good for the Price

By Ian Chiu

You want to enjoy the fullest of your DVDs’ 5.1 surround sound, to give orders to your comrades in Call of Duty and to chat with your mum in Skype. Other than adding a bulky 5.1 set and grabbing a $10 commodity headset, the Tritton AXPC 5.1 USB headset may do all these just fine without adding more cable clutter. The Tritton retails for $55 and as a USB audio device, it bypasses onboard audio that often produces an annoying hiss. The circumaural cans can effectively filter out almost all ambient noises and provide a sealed sound chamber. The mic has a +20dB mic boost feature that is proven to be extremely useful in VoIP. In movies, the 5.1 performance actually puts “…ordinary headphones to shame.” However, a significant problem lies within OpenAL, one that affects a lot of the latest game titles. For full details, follow the link love at the bottom.

Surround sound is like dual monitors and satellite radio. Once you have it, it’s hard to go back. So when your new neighbor calls the cops on you for having the volume too loud, or you’re attending a LAN party with no speakers permitted, it’s imperative to have a backup plan. Enter the Tritton AXPC gaming USB headset, offering true 5.1 surround thanks to 4 individual drivers in each cup, rumble feedback, and a detachable boom mic to keep those late night gaming sessions rocking. Did we mention it’s USB? Full review ahead.

[Tritton Audio Xtreme PC USB Headset Review @ Everything USB]

Sony Experimenting With Column-Shaped Speakers

sound column

By David Ponce

Sony Design has been playing around with speakers, in this instance coming up with this column of glass named “Rin”.

[The device is a] column rising vertically from a stone floor, tapering into a translucent pole from which sound emerges in all directions. The radiating sound defines the space through which it propagates-like ripples produced by a stone dropped in a pond…

The base is made from Lombardy marble, long employed for creating acoustic spaces in so many historic churches and salons.

This design is part of several others resulting from a temporary union between Sony Design and Master Craft Lombardia, in Italy, in a project to “craft a variety of materials into unique and original pieces that produce sounds and images and are exhibited in a fascinating and suggestive setting.” Whether this or any of the other designs will ever be produced remains to be seen.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ 3 Yen ]

M-Stock 533 Alarm Clock Downloads Songs From Your Mobile

m stock 533

By David Ponce

The M-stock 533 is a really nifty clock, albeit one with limited appeal to anyone outside of Japan. It’s not that it really does anything revolutionary, or something that couldn’t be accomplished differently, but we like it all the same: it is able to download songs from your mobile phone via IR. It stores up to 5 and you can then have the pleasure of being awakened by whatever tunes you happen to think are cool at the time. The problem is that it’s limited to Japan, and that the tunes have to be purchased from Mupass. And yeah there are a number of ways to wake up to your songs, but we thought the idea of an alarm clock that downloads songs from your mobile to be kinda cool.

It’s 8,925 Yen, or roughly $76.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Tokyomango ]

Kyocera Bluetooth Music Gateway For Musicphone Aficionados

kyocera bluetooth music gateway

By David Ponce

The musicphone market is growing, and for good reason: listening to music and making phone calls are two essential elements to life. And sure, it’s fun to carry your tunes around with you all day but there aren’t too many options to get these off your phone, and into your home sound system. Enter the Kyocera Bluetooth Music Gateway, a device the size of a deck of cards that allows any A2DP-enabled cellphone, DAP or PMP to stream their tunes right into your home speakers. It connects to your system via RCA cables, and if your mobile has AVRCP, it can also be used to control tracks and volume. Should you be a sad Bluetooth-less mobile owner, the company also sells for $35 a Bluetooth adapter that plugs right into a standard 3.5mm audio jack. No 3.5mm jack on your mobile, and no Bluetooth? Dude, you ain’t even got a real musicphone, so you’re outta luck.

Expect to see these on store shelves sometime in April, at $100 with the adapter bundled, or $80 without.

[ Product Page ] VIA [Engadget Mobile ]

Creative Labs To Launch X-Fi Card For Laptops

21332.jpg

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 ]