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Tag Archives: speakers

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 ]

Trash Amps Turns Discarded Boxes And Cans Into Speakers… Kinda

Trash Amps (Images courtesy
By Andrew Liszewski

When I first came across these Trash Amps, which were recently shown off at the 2011 Maker Faire in San Francisco, they seemed like a great way to upcycle old cans or Chinese food takeout containers. But after reading up on the product, I’m less excited about their eco-friendly potential.

At first I assumed they used old cans as a resonance chamber, boosting the performance of the Trash Amp speaker which sits on top once the can is beheaded. But it turns out the can is really only used as a decorative sleeve for the self-contained speaker unit that slides inside. In other words, by itself the Trash Amp works just fine as a compact speaker without the need for a can or other container. The inventor, who shows off the product in the video below, even encourages you to switch things up when you get tired of one can design, so in a way you’re not even really giving a used can a permanent home.

Admittedly the speaker sounds like a vast improvement to the built-in speaker on your smartphone as demonstrated in the video, but for $49.99 it better!

[ Trash Amps ] VIA [ Treehugger ]

Joon & Jung’s Natural Resonance Porcelain Speakers

Joon & Jung's Natural Resonance Porcelain Speakers (Images courtesy Joon & Jung)
By Andrew Liszewski

If form outranks function when it comes to choosing a pair of speakers for your home or office, you’ll want to do yourself a favor and check out The Natural Speaker from studio Joon & Jung. (The same designers who brought us the Paper Alarm Clock.) But just because they’re made from less common speaker components like porcelain and wooden dowels doesn’t necessarily mean you’re sacrificing a lot, if anything, when it comes to sound quality. In fact, apparently the use of porcelain for the speaker casing results in a more mellow sound with clearer resonance.

The idea for the ‘the natural speaker’ derived from the desire to create an absolutely unique, handcrafted speaker for the interior space. Whereas a lot of speakers are constructed to produce a rather fat bass and sharp high tones, we felt the sound was kind of stuck inside the speakers, missing a natural vibe and ambiance. During the development of the ‘the natural speaker’ we discovered the great properties of porcelain as a speaker casing, providing a clear resonance and mellow sound.

Amplified inside the ceramic and wood transmission construction, the sound gains a slight echo, creating a natural feeling of resonance, resembling the distinct flair of an acoustic instrument right in front of you.

And since they each appear to be hand made, The Natural Speakers will only be available in a limited run starting sometime last month, and presumably not cheap.

[ Joon & Jung – The Natural Speaker ] VIA [ Freshome ]

Nixon Introduces Portable Speakers

Nixon The Block Speakers (Images courtesy Nixon)

Nixon, best known for their watches and recently known for their headphones has now introduced a couple of rechargeable speakers to their lineup including The Block. Powered by a lithium-ion battery providing up to 6 hours of playtime The Block is a stereo set of speakers that connect together with magnets to form… a block… that’s easier to transport and store. A USB and 3.5mm line-in connector are integrated into a single cable to keep things neat, and as far as controls go you only get a single analog volume dial keeping the design clean and simple. Available in black or white for $80.

[ Nixon The Block Speakers ] VIA [ Acquire ]

OZAKI iCarry Bike iPhone Amplifier

OZAKI iCarry Bike iPhone Amplifier (Image courtesy OZAKI)
By Andrew Liszewski

It’s most definitely not the first passive speaker system for the iPhone that relies on physics to boost the performance of its built-in speaker. But I’m pretty sure it’s the first specifically designed to mount on the handlebars of your bike. The iCarry Bike L from Germany-based OZAKI includes a mounting arm that keeps your iPhone in easy reach when riding, yet fully protected, and a seashell-like bottom that both amplifies the sounds coming from your phone and those going to it. So in theory it should improve its speakerphone performance as well. But for the $50 they’re asking for it (according to The Gadgeteer) you’re probably just better off getting a Bluetooth headset and keeping your iPhone in your pocket.

[ OZAKI iCarry Bike iPhone Amplifier ] VIA [ The Gadgeteer ]