For behind the scenes pictures, stories and special contests, follow us on Facebook!
Subscribe:

Tag Archives: Audio

Small Speaker, Great Sound: Aiia Ssssspeaker

Aiia Ssssspeaker

 

Big sound, small speakers. That’s probably what best describes the Aiia Ssssspeaker. At first glance, the speaker with the unusual name doesn’t really look like much of a speaker. In fact, it probably looks more like a hockey puck when it’s not in use. But pull the collapsible cone out from the base of the speaker and get ready to get lost in your favorite tunes.

One major downside? Aiia isn’t built with Bluetooth so you won’t be able to hook it up with your music player or smartphone wirelessly; instead, you’ll have to hook it up via the 3.5mm auxiliary port.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gear Hungry ]

SoundCloud and Why Music Production will Never Be the Same

IMG_20131113561

SoundCloud has become ubiquitous around the web as a source for DJs and new bands to upload their tracks and get some recognition and attention for their work. Game soundtracks like Hotline Miami and FTL: Faster Than Light found homes here, as well as new pop-rap acts like HyperCrush and Santigold. Hypem culls songs from music blogs all over the web, and those songs more often than not come from SoundCloud.

There is a movement away from SoundCloud, but the influx of uploads to the service suggest that more people than ever are trying their hands at making music. Electronic music is inexpensive to produce, and while musical knowledge is required, the bar for entry is much lower than for a standard musical instrument.

Continue Reading

Timbre: They’re More Than Just Glass Bowls–They’re Actually Speakers

Glass Bowl Speakers

“What’s a bunch of glass bowls doing in the game room?”, someone might ask.
“Those aren’t just bowls,” you might answer. “That’s actually a speaker.”

That’s a hypothetical conversation that you might have with someone if: (a) you actually had the Timbre Speakers and (b) if you actually had a game room. These unusual speakers were created by designer Casey Lin and they’re obviously unlike your typical speakers.

All the electronic components are hidden from view inside the box, including the surface transducers that vibrate the box, in effect turning it into the actual speaker. The glass bowls, which are set on top of the box, are instrumental in the design as well, since they amplify the sound from the box and function as physical equalizers, too.

Continue Reading

Flip Headphones Cost Money, The Fist To Your Face Is Free

flip

These have been out for a bit, but new headphones come out every other day so you’ll have to forgive us for not having noticed. And we’re only discussing the Flip headphones now because, well, we hate them and feel like ranting. The gimmick here is that in normal listening mode they’re just another pair of headphones, but flip them around and they become a pair of speakers. Yeah, they’re specifically designed so you can walk around with your music blaring around your neck, gracing your surroundings with your undoubtedly wonderful taste in music… These are the headphones that allow you to be ‘that guy’ that everyone at the bus stop just wants to punch, but is too civilized to do so. Unlike you. You… you aren’t like most people, you need attention because maybe your parents didn’t love you enough as a child. We don’t know, but if we see you wearing some Flips, we’re going to… really glare at you.

They’re $120. Now if you don’t believe us about how awful an idea this is, watch the below video and see if it isn’t the most cringe worthy minute you’ve ever seen.

[ Product Page ]

Room Spy Bug Audio Surveillance Listening Device

listening-device-1

Let’s not get into the legality of this device. But if you have a need to listen in on conversations for whatever reason, the Spy Bug Audio Surveillance gadget pictured above should do the trick. About as small as a pack of matches, it accepts a SIM card, which means you can just call it anytime you want to eavesdrop. Better yet, you can set it so that anytime there’s a sound above 45dB within 10m, it calls you!

- Use with any mobile SIM card (We recomend Verizon Wireless): Insert the SIM card; conceal the device where it can’t be seen; dial the SIM card phone number from your phone; now you can listen in!

Again, not sure how legal something like this is in your jurisdictions, so use wisely. It’s $60.

listening-device-2

[ Product Page ] VIA [ 7Gadgets ]

Create Your Own Arcade Music With Pianocade

Pianocade

As expected, 8-bit games come with 8-bit music. I don’t know about you, but I always feel a strong sense of nostalgia every time I pass by my local arcade. It’s not just seeing all the arcade games that I used to play when I was still a kid; it was just the atmosphere, the sounds of the place, that reminded me so much of the childhood that once was.

If you’re missing the good old chiptune sounds of your old arcade gaming days, then you might want to check out the Pianocade. It’s a chiptune synthesizer that looks like an over-sized, extended version of your regular arcade game console. You’ll also be pleased to hear that the Pianocade is more than just a novelty product, as it boasts of a 128-note range and a MIDI connection.

Hit the jump to check out a video of the Pianocade in action!

Continue Reading

Urban Fidelity Art Speakers Are A New Take On An Old Product

By David Ponce

It’s not every day a new audio company goes up against Bose, Sony and Best Buy. But the new Urban Fidelity Art Speakers are trying to do just that. Where typical speakers in the $300-$400 price range are black or gray generic boxes, Urban Fidelity speakers are like pieces of art for your living room, featuring dozens of designs from popular indie artists. They also boast features like eco-friendly construction and are made in Los Angeles, not China.

We’re told Urban Fidelity is aiming to do for home stereo what Skullcandy and Beats By Dre did for headphones. In the world of hi-fi, many speaker companies are competing to see who can make the smallest, most invisible speakers. Urban Fidelity dissents and thinks speakers should be as interesting as the music they play; forget hiding your speakers, these are meant to be seen.

The Urban Fidelity speakers pack some pretty impressive technology that’s unlike anything else in the price range: dipole Air Flow driver, 8” double cone and a crossover-free design that’s said to greatly improve clarity. Specs are mid-50Hz to 20kHz, and up to 80 Watts power handling.
Pick up a pair on Kickstarter for only $269. After they launch, the price jumps to $400.

[ Project Page ]

Parrot’s Zik Headphones Pack A Heavy Tech Punch

By David Ponce

Headphones can be boring to write about. But when they’re designed by Philipe Stark and pack as much tech as these, they pique even our blasé minds. “Alongside the standard Bluetooth connectivity, Parrot’s new Zik headphones feature active noise cancellation technology, a touch panel on the right earpiece, a head detection sensor, bone conduction sensor, five microphones and, in a headphone first, integrated near field communication (NFC) technology.” The active noise cancellation senses outside noises and produces “opposite waves” to eliminate up to 25dB of ambient noise. The touch panel on the right ear cup lets you interact with your music: a left/right swipe changes songs, up/down toggles the volume, a single press answers a phone call and a two second press rejects it. The head detection sensor automatically pauses the music then you take them off your head. The bone conduction sensor keeps track of the vibrations in your head and jaw and allows it to better isolate your voice from the ambient noise, and make it easier for your interlocutor to hear you. And finally the NFC makes Bluetooth pairing easier: just tap a compatible device to the left ear cup.

Assuming the sound quality is on par with other headphones in this price range, Parrot may have a winner on its hands. It’s $400.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

You Can Now Print Your Own Earbuds-To-Headphone Adapters

By David Ponce

There comes a time when stuffing little plastic speakers into your ears gets boring. Maybe your ears hurt, or you just crave the look of oversized headphones better. Who knows why you’d want to eschew the convenience of buds for the bulk of headphones, but there you have it… it could happen. Well, you can now print your very own adapters to do exactly that. You do need to have a 3D printer in the first place, but seeing as how the prices on those things are dropping at an astronomical pace, it’s not unlikely you already own one. Created by the Chilean-born, Paris-based designer JC Karich, the files needed to make them have been made available on the Thingiverse, the marketplace for 3D prints for the Makerbot Replicator we discussed back in January. Yes, the finished product looks like Ramen noodles that were wrestled into a headphone shape, but that’s normal for 3D printed objects. The technology is still in its infancy, and if you don’t like the DIY look, you can choose a finer resolution and/or sand them.

Hit the jump for a few more pictures.

Continue Reading