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Paul Ridden

The iLoud portable speaker for musicians and audiophiles

Thanks to mobile audio processing and recording apps, composing on the road has never been easier. Showing off your latest killer riff to the rest of the band through tablet or laptop speakers is less than satisfying, however. There are a good many battery-powered micro amps out there which might help a little, but the output is often, to put it delicately, sub-par. Italy's IK Multimedia demonstrated a wired/wireless audio thrower at the Winter NAMM show back in January that promised studio monitor sound quality in a portable, chunky tablet-sized package. Developed specifically for musicians and audiophiles, the 40 W iLoud has now been released.  Read More

The Farmer's Mill Electric Mud Grinder from Crushsound

Inspired by the kind of brown or muddy tones produced by ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons on tracks like Loaded from the 1996 album Rhythmeen, Jedrzej Lewandowski of Poland's Le 2 Workshop architects created the Farmer's Mill, which was unleashed, appropriately enough perhaps, on April 1 2012. The second generation has now been released. It's a little bigger than its predecessor, a lot better, and is now available in orange as well as white. Gizmag has spent the last few weeks making guitars wheeze, cough and splutter like they've been smoking 40-a-day since birth, and walks way mighty impressed with the destructive capabilities of the Mark II Electric Mud Grinder.  Read More

The Asus EB50N NFC-enabled, Bluetooth 4.0 (with EDR) earphones

Asus has announced what is claimed to be the world's first Bluetooth 4.0 headset to feature NFC technology. The ergonomically-designed EB50N earphones support one-touch pairing with smartphones and tablets, feature full-range stereo drivers, and boast a long battery life.  Read More

The Olympus Stylus 1 premium compact superzoom

Should you find yourself wondering what would happen if the OM-D E-M5 Micro Four Thirds camera and the XZ-2 compact had a baby, the answer from Olympus is the 12 MP Stylus 1 premium compact superzoom. Combining DSLR-like operation and performance and compact camera portability, the prothusiast camera features a 300-mm constant aperture zoom lens (with the option to extend the telephoto end via an adapter and add-on lens), a tilting touchscreen display and an electronic viewfinder, and built-in Wi-Fi.  Read More

The new Immaculate Wireless Sound BeoLab speakers from Bang & Olufsen

As promised earlier this month, Denmark's Bang & Olufsen has officially moved into the wireless speaker market with the launch of three new WiSA-certified BeoLab digital active speakers. Undeniably stylish and capable of streaming high fidelity, uncompressed audio, the Immaculate Wireless Sound range comprises the BeoLab 17 bookshelf speaker, the BeoLab 18 column floor-standers, and the BeoLab 19 subwoofer.  Read More

The DacMagic XS USB headphone amp from Cambridge Audio

It doesn't seem too long ago that a quality headphones amplifier was the size of a chunky paperback novel, and would occupy so much space in a laptop bag that it would probably get left behind more often than not. Now the UK's Cambridge Audio has managed to squeeze a high-end digital-to-analog (DAC) converter and headphone amp into a device that's smaller than a matchbox.  Read More

The gesture-controlled PACO concrete speaker from Digital Habit(s)

Visitors to the homes of audio buffs might well be surprised to find weighty blocks of concrete breaking up the living room's otherwise colorful designer decor. These high-end music lovers have turned their backs on the unwelcome distortion and color that can be caused by oscillations of MDF, wood or plastic speaker cabinets, and plumped for drivers housed in concrete. If you can't afford, or don't have room for, large commercially-available floor-standing units like the exquisite N1 loudspeakers from Germany's Concrete Audio, Italy's Digital Habit(s) design house has created a gesture-controlled, Bluetooth-enabled tabletop speaker called PACO, which can be built at home using open source plans, or bought fully assembled.  Read More

The custom graphics on the Indus guitar from France's Kompozit Guitars

Many veteran guitarists believe that great tone can only come from instruments made using exotic hardwoods. This hasn't stopped makers from trying other materials, though, including Ampeg's iconic Dan Armstrong-designed Plexiglas guitar, the all-metal Gittler Guitar, and the 3D-printed guitar from AweSome Musical Instruments. For its new line of hand-made, Tele-shaped axes, France's Kompozit Guitars has chosen to give polyester-based fiberglass a whirl.  Read More

The MT840UHD MultiTaction Cell Display from MultiTouch Ltd

Only a few weeks after attendees at the annual developer conference of Finland's MultiTouch Ltd got a first look at the company's latest MultiTaction monster, it's gone up for pre-order. Currently a working prototype, the new 84-inch unit is claimed to be the world's first fully integrated, 4K resolution interactive display.  Read More

LG's G Flex smartphone display follows the contour of the face

It looks like LG and Samsung are at it again. Both companies were vying for our attention at CES 2013 with simultaneous "world's first" curved OLED television announcements. LG consistently led in the race to the consumer space, and looked liked being first to move the screen format onto smartphones with the announcement earlier this month of its plans to mass produce flexible OLED phone displays. Samsung had other ideas, however, and the Galaxy Round was launched just a few days later. LG has now caught up with the forthcoming release of its slightly larger G Flex smartphone, featuring a curved display that follows the contour of the face.  Read More

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