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Category Archives: Audio

hipDisk Gets Jiggy Not At All


By Evan Ackerman

Winner of the prestigious “Simultaneously Most Hip and Least Hip” award is the hipDisk, a totally unique musical instrument designed by Danielle Wilde. It’s billed by the designer (not us, the designer) as “the most undignified musical instrument ever,” and she’s not kidding:

As you gyrate spastically, switches inside the disk translate your movements into sounds. Yes, you could kinda do the same thing with a belt, but part of the point is visualizing the movement and resulting sounds. The designer will ultimately outfit a small orchestra of hipdisked women; currently there is no version for men. What a shame.

[ hipDisk ]VIA [ We Make Money Not Art ]

iPhone Launch Soon, AT&T Hires 2,000 More Workers To Cope

at&T logoBy David Ponce

Not for a long time have people’s panties gotten up in bunches of this magnitude over an upcoming gadget release. But word is that come June 29th (the day the iPhone hits the market), massive hordes of bespectacled geeks lusting after the coveted phone will swarm AT&T stores nationwide in such a frenzied scale that it prompted the company to hire an extra 2,000 employees just to handle the rush. To put a little more perspective, here are a couple more fun fact about the launch:

-1,800 AT&T retail stores exist and will all be selling the iPhone.
– AT&T sales staff have received a total of 100,000 hours of training to sell the device, with each employee receiving about six hours of individual training.
– AT&T stores will close locally at 4:30 p.m. on that Friday to prepare for the launch, then reopen at 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. that night.

[ Read More ] VIA [ Crunchgear ]

Decapitated Gundam Serves Speaker Duty

gundam robots head speakers

By David Ponce

Hysteria is rising over the upcoming Transofmers movie. It’s understandable. So maybe it makes sense to see some Korean company trying to cash in on the action… by releasing Gundam speakers. No, Gundam is in no way related to Transformers, but they share many of the same elements: robots, anime and awesome 80s looks. That’s of course where the similarities end, and these Gundam Head Speakers aren’t really all that exciting once you get over their looks. The speakers use batteries for power, and the actual speakers are revealed only once you open the flaps on the back of the head.

No word on price or availability, but chances are this is Korea only.

[ Product Page (translated from Korean) ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

Vinyl Gods And Speakers – What’s Not To Love?

marka27 vinyl gods

By David Ponce

Marka Quiñonez is an artist that likes to make groovy vinyl toys. He’s better known as Marka27, and he happens to be the creator of a long awaited line of speakers called “Mini Gods”. They are 16 inch tall, are powered by a 9V battery and receive audio input through a minijack. They are being made in limited numbers and come in four designs:

Brazil (300 pcs), Midnight (300 pcs), Gold Grillz (100 pcs), and Platinum Grillz (100pcs). The Gold Grillz will be released by Toy Tokyo as an SDCC exclusive with Marka27 there to sign them and meet his fans.

There’s no word on price, but we can’t imagine them being cheap.

Couple more pictures after the jump.

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DMT-100 Speakers Look Like Freaky Eyes, Are Supposed To Sound Better

proclaim speakersBy David Ponce

Paranoids and other mentally unstable readers may want to abstain from Proclaim Audioworks‘ DMT-100 speaker set: they look like three eyes stacked atop one another. Of course, the company did not set out to make them look like eyes on purpose; they claim they produce better sound being shaped this way.

The enclosures are built using two opposing layers of fiberglass which are filled with a proprietary sand mixture which is then vibrated to a densely packed consistency. The result is a heavy, dead, non resonating enclosure that lets the driver unit itself do all the talking and not the surrounding surface.

Maybe this actually makes sense, maybe it does not. This sort of talk is usually reserved for a very special kind of person: the audiophile. Only they will be able to separate the audio wheat from the mumbo-jumbo chaff, if only in their minds. See, the audiophile lives in a special kind of world where the right words can talk them out of $26,000. That kind of money buys saner people a car, but who are we to judge?

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Ounae ]

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


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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