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Paul Ridden

Paul Ridden

While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.

Follow Paul:

— Wearables

Torque adds tunable twist to headphone modularity

Back in April, Denmark's AIAIAI announced a new headphone line that allowed buyers to customize their preferred sound and look by swapping out components. Los Angeles-based Torque Audio has a similarly modular outlook to headphone design and has hit Kickstarter to try and bring its new flagship headphones to release. The t402v models feature a proprietary bio-cell diaphragm and will come with supra-aural and circumaurul ear pads that can be tuned for bass response.

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— Aircraft

E-Fan 2.0 makes podium appearance at Le Bourget

When we first covered the news of the E-Fan's first public flight, Airbus was only showing an artist's impression of what the production model of the two-seater electric demonstrator could look like. But this year the company had a full-sized version on display at the 51st Paris Air Show. In addition to straining our ears to listen to hear the original aircraft in the air above Le Bourget, we got the opportunity to rub shoulders with the sleek and sexy E-Fan 2.0 electric pilot trainer.

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— Home Entertainment

Axiom Audio puts the power of Pi into new wireless speaker

Canadian loudspeaker maker Axiom Audio reckons its new AxiomAir brings something new to the wireless speaker system table. It's been designed to liberate listeners from the single user, low powered, low fidelity confines of Bluetooth portable speakers into the higher quality streaming world of Wi-Fi. But what really sets this speaker apart is the fully functional Raspberry Pi computer beating at its heart. While this allows future Axiom updates to be installed with the touch of a button on the user interface, it also opens the door to user-created applications.

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— Music

OWOW puts digital music creation in the palm of your hand

A company based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, has spent the last 3 years designing, developing, tweaking and building what's described as a new breed of musical instruments. Just when the sonic scientists at Omnipresent World of Wizkids (OWOW) had reached a point where the five "smartly built, but stupidly simple to use" MIDI devices were ready for the production line, they ran out of money. So they've turned to Kickstarter to get the wob, wiggle, drum, pads and scan into the hands of players.

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— Electronics

It's touch and Go for Makey Makey

At about the size of a credit card, the original Makey Makey (now called the Classic) isn't exactly a behemoth, but it's not really something you could wear around your neck or dangle from your ear either. Aiming for portability, the boffins at JoyLabz have redesigned the board, stripping it down to its bare essentials, then adding a magnet (so tinkerers can stick it a fridge door between uses) and some LEDs (for colorful visual feedback), and wrapped it in protective plastic bumpers. The Makey Makey Go is now about the size of a USB thumb drive and, like the original, can be used to turn everyday objects into touch-enabled "buttons" – everything from bananas to someone's ear to jello to a potted plant. So long as it's able to conduct even the tiniest amount of electricity, it's fair game for some Makey Makey magic.

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— Wearables Review

Review: The Z:ero digital earphones from Zorloo

Hong Kong-based Zorloo headed to Indiegogo earlier this year to crowdfund some next generation earphones that integrated a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and headphone amp into the inline controller. By the time the campaign closed on February 22, the campaign had attracted over US$85,000, nearly four times the funding goal. Now, after a slight production delay, backers are starting to receive their Z:ero in-ear headphones and the company's Andy Ho sent Gizmag some to try out.

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— Music

Dual-driver M4U 4 earphones promise perfect listening room audio experience

For its first foray into a crowded earphone space, PSB Speakers is aiming straight for the audiophile jugular with a combination of hybrid dual-drivers and its own Roomfeel technology. When the source audio signal reaches each M4U 4 in-ear monitor, the lower frequencies are directed to a dynamic driver while the higher end head for a balanced armature driver. This hybrid system has allowed the company's designers to add back the acoustic signature of a typical listening room for greater space and true-to-life presentation of recorded music.

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