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Tag Archives: speakers

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 ]

Rocketfish Bluetooth Speakers Nestle Right Into Smart Cover

By David Ponce

Bluetooth speakers are a dime a dozen. It’s also pretty boring tech. So why are we covering it? Well, these particular speakers from Rocketfish (Best Buy’s house brand) feature a nice triangular design that makes it possible to insert them right into your iPad’s rolled up smart cover. It’s neat because that’s how you’d have it if you were watching a film, presumably, so the speakers integrate pretty seamlessly with your Apple tablet. Connection is of course through Bluetooth, which means they will work with other devices but not quite so elegantly.

There’s no word on power output or battery life, but we do know that they are currently on special for $50, down from the regular $70.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ YankoDesign ]

Jean Michel Jarre’s 11-Foot Tall AeroDreamOne iOS Device Dock

Jean Michel Jarre's 11-Foot Tall AeroDreamOne iPhone Dock (Images courtesy Jean Michel Jarre)
By Andrew Liszewski

There are truly some ridiculous designs for iPhone-friendly speaker docks out there. So at this point if you’re going to throw your hat into the ring and try to outdo them, you really need to go for broke. Like Jean Michel Jarre has done with his new AeroDreamOne which stands 11 feet tall and includes a built in ladder so that mere mortals are still able to easily dock their iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad on top.

The 870 pound behemoth features 10,000 watts of total power broken down into a 4,000W low-end speaker, a couple of 1,600W mid-range speakers and a couple of 1,400W high-end speakers. Now given the AeroDreamOne is taller than the ceiling height in your average home, you’ve probably already guessed it’s not designed for your average consumer. And you’d be right. With a price tag of ~$560,000 (€399,000) I’m guessing your local Apple Store won’t be keeping them in stock. So not only do I now have to stare disappointingly at the tiny speaker dock I use, I’ve also got Popcorn stuck in my head. Awesome…

[ Jarre ] VIA [ Newlaunches ]

Logitech Doesn’t Think Your Tablet Is Loud Enough (Or Bulky Enough)

Logitech Tablet Speaker (Images courtesy Logitech)
By Andrew Liszewski

The iPad isn’t loud enough to compete with your average home stereo setup, but I think it’s adequate enough for personal use, or even with a small group. Logitech doesn’t think so though. In fact they feel that all tablets are severely lacking in the sound department, and so have created a clip on speaker to significantly improve their oomph.

Powered by a built-in rechargeable battery that’s good for up to 8 hours of use in optimal conditions, the Tablet Speaker attaches to any tablet with a rubberized clip. So while all the product shots show it in use with an iPad 2, it should also work with its competition. To maximize battery life it forgoes the popular wireless Bluetooth connection option in favor of a simple 3.5mm audio cable that connects to your device’s headphone jack. It looks like it’s going to add a bit of weight to whichever tablet you use, not to mention some unnecessary bulk. And with a price tag of ~$60 (EUR 39.99) it will cost you roughly as much as a pair of low-end, over the ear headphones. Which might be a better investment.

[ Logitech Tablet Speaker ] VIA [ Pocket-lint ]

iLuv iMM514 ArtStation Pro Turns Your iPad Into A Mini Home Theater

iLuv iMM514 ArtStation Pro (Images courtesy iLuv)
By Andrew Liszewski

When you inevitably get tired of holding your iPad while watching a movie, iLuv will come to the rescue with their new iMM514 ArtStation Pro ‘dock’ which turns your tablet into a miniature home theater. The iPad itself attaches to an articulated, swivelling arm ensuring it’s always positioned at the optimal angle. And it can be switched between landscape and portrait orientations for watching videos, or browsing a website.

The ArtStation Pro’s hefty base also incorporates what looks to be a generously sized speaker, if you prefer to use it as just a stereo. And an included wireless remote provides rudimentary functions like skipping tracks or adjusting the volume, while magnetically sticking to the back of the unit so it doesn’t go MIA when not in use. It’s also compatible with iPhones and iPod Touches, though it seems a little oversized to be used with those smaller devices. Available in August for $169.99.

[ PR – iLuv Launches Award-Winning ArtStation Pro ]

Soundsitive Gesture-Controlled Speaker

Soundsitive Gesture-Controlled Speaker (Images courtesy designboom)
By Andrew Liszewski

At the moment the technology world is still all caught up in ‘touch’ functionality, but one day it could very well be replaced with even easier gestures, creating a planet inhabited by people constantly waving their arms and hands about in the air. And that would probably be ok with industrial designer J.C. Karich, who created this Soundsitive gesture-controlled speaker as part of the Designlab show in Paris last month.

As you move your hand closer or farther away from the top of the speaker, an outer wooden veneer sleeve raises and lowers, causing the volume to increase or decrease. Or more likely, just serves as a visual indicator that your gesture has been detected and adjustments are being made. And skipping tracks, forward or back, is controlled by simply swiping your hand over the top of the speaker in either direction, depending on whether you want the next or previous song. On one hand it’s nice not requiring a remote or buttons to control the speaker, but on the other hand, the invention of the remote control, and not having to get up to interact with something, is truly what separates us from other species.

[ Designlab – Soundsitive Gesture-Controlled Speaker ] VIA [ designboom ]

Singbox MP3 Player Goes Heavy On The Speaker

Singbox SV-606 (Images courtesy Novelview)
By Andrew Liszewski

It might be no where near as compact as Apple’s tiny iPod Shuffle, but the Singbox MP3 player from Novelview has a good excuse for being so rotund. It packs a 2W speaker on one end allowing you to use it as a highly portable boombox for sharing music with others. I’m sure the sound quality and levels aren’t mind-blowing, but I’m also sure it would be more than adequate in a situation where you’re traveling and don’t want to pack anything too elaborate.

It can also be used as a portable audio player too, supporting MP3, WMA and APE files enjoyed through headphones. While an FM tuner provides a sampling of local content and color. A microSD card slot provides the Singbox’s storage, which means you can cram up to 32GB of music on it, while the USB-charged battery is good for about 13 hours use. Though I’m sure that’s dependent on whether you’re using the speaker the entire time. And for you style conscious types, it’s available in 8 different finishes.

[ Novelview Singbox ] VIA [ Akihabara News ]

Statuesque Speaker Lets You Camouflage Your Gear

Richard Grant Statuesque Speaker (Images courtesy Richard Grant)
By Andrew Liszewski

While I don’t subscribe to it, I can understand that not everyone is happy with their home looking like NASA’s mission control. But sometimes you can’t easily hide a piece of electronics without compromising its functionality. So in those cases you need to employ the age old art of camouflage, like profesional prop builder Richard Grant has done with this large floor speaker that looks like a fine Italian sculpture.

There’s no photos of it, but behind the dead stare of this bearded chap you’ll find the speaker’s cones, which presumably work just as well when they’re pointed away from the room. It certainly makes for a lovely piece of art on its own, but I have to wonder if having five of these starting at you in a surround sound setup would be too creepy. Available for purchase soon, though pricing info has not yet been divulged.

[ Richard Grant – Statuesque Speaker ] VIA [ Apartment Therapy Unplggd ]

Nokia Play 360° Makes Connecting To A Wireless Speaker Easier With NFC

Nokia Play 360° (Image courtesy Nokia)
By Andrew Liszewski

Today Nokia announced a new smartphone, the N9, which quite frankly is probably not going to make much of a dent in the marketplace, as sleek and svelte as it looks. But they also announced a few new accessories for the phone, like the Nokia Play 360° wireless speaker, which is a bit more exciting. It’s yet another Bluetooth equipped speaker that lets you wirelessly stream music from your smartphone, but manages to stand out in a crowded market with a few notable features.

Unlike the way Microsoft uses it, ‘360’ here refers to the speakers omnidirectional sound that is better suited to filling an entire room in all directions. And thanks to a built-in NFC (near field communication) chip all you have to do is tap an NFC-equipped phone with it to automatically initiate Bluetooth pairing. If you’ve got a second Nokia Play 360° on hand, the two will even work together to play stereo sound. Like all wireless speakers there’s a 3.5mm line-in port for connecting any audio source, but unlike most it has an impressive 20 hours of battery life. And it’s expected to ship sometime in the 3rd quarter for ~$214 (€149).

[ PR – Nokia – Nokia steps it up a gear, with new accessories ] VIA [ designboom ]