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Paul Ridden

Music

Steampunk effects unit powered by a single tea candle

As you light the candle-powered lamp and throw out some soothing background music with a candle-powered Bluetooth speaker, wouldn't it be good if you could add some candle-powered rotary speaker effects to your play along noodling? The brass eye-catcher pictured above has been named the Candela VibroPhase. It's a guitar effects unit like no other and creates a rotary speaker effect with a touch of phase, wah, vibrato and tremolo without the need for a battery or power brick – just an inexpensive tea candle.Read More

Music

Earphones get a modular twist

Modular headphones like AIAIAI's TMA-2 and the t402v from Torque Audio allow listeners to change the look or sound of their earspeakers without having to buy a new pair to suit every whim. Some earphones, such as the Delta IEMs and the T20s, sport filter tips to alter the tuning, but stamping your own personality onto the in-ears is pretty much limited to the color and style of the bud you pop on each nozzle. With the mXers you'll be able to change the sound and the look, and replace worn or broken components, in a snap ... and a twist.Read More

Flagship headphone tech without the high-end price tag

The release of the Final's series-topping Sonorous X headphones last year was met with a good sprinkling of critical acclaim from industry reviewers and audio-loving consumers alike. But the arresting $5,000 ticket price wasn't so welcome. The Japanese audio house has now announced two new Sonorous family members boasting the same design techniques, technology and tonal characteristics as the company's flagship headphones, but at a faction of the cost.Read More

Robotics

Wearable third arm gives drummers extra robotic rhythm

Thumping out as many drum beats in 60 seconds may get you a podium spot at the annual World's Fastest Drummer competition, but we'll take the full kit virtuoso playing of Cozy Powell, Philthy Animal Taylor or Mitch Mitchell any day of the week. When trying to emulate the fastest or the greatest on your bedroom bin-bashers, though, you'd be forgiven for wishing you had a third arm. Georgia Tech Professor Gil Weinberg and his research team may have the answer to your prayers. They've developed a drumstick-wielding wearable robotic limb that's able to respond to both the music being played and the movements of the player.Read More

Children

Teeny Tesla Model S for Kids (almost) ready to roll

Thanks to a collaboration between veteran toy maker Radio Flyer and Elon Musk's Tesla Motors, 3-8 year-old electric car enthusiasts will soon be able to hit the parks and sidewalks in their very own Model S. The single seater can zoom along at up to 6 mph for around 6 miles before needing to hit the plug-in charger for a top up.Read More

Home Entertainment

ekko lets multiple listeners share hi-res streamed audio

Sharing a single audio source using cables is pretty easy. You just feed both pairs of headphones into a double jack adapter. Wirelessly streaming that same audio to up to 10 different pairs of headphones, however, can be a bit of a headscratcher. The folks at ekko Audio have designed a means of sharing high resolution audio between four or more listeners that's aimed at satisfying the quality demands of modern audiophiles, yet simple enough for anyone to use. The ekko's base station can be connected to a living room hi-fi, TV or games console and then wirelessly transmits high quality audio to one or more battery-powered receivers, with each user plugging in favored headphones for a shared listening experience.Read More

Home Entertainment

Mazel tov! Birth of DirectStream Junior DAC announced

Back in 2014, to much appreciative applause from industry pundits and the audiophile community alike, the DirectStream DAC was released. The digital-to-analog converter takes any digital input format and converts it to Direct Stream Digital for output that's touted as being "near-perfect analog." At just under US$6,000, however, it's eye-wateringly expensive. Maker Colorado's PS Audio has spent the last two years looking into delivering similar performance in a cheaper package. This quest has led to the development of the DirectStream Junior.Read More

Music

T8 puts music creation at your fingertips

Tapping out rhythms with your fingers can help relieve boredom in the workplace or each hit could sound out some must-dance-to electronica, depending on whether you're using a desk or a pad controller. Like Onyx Ashanti's impressive Beatjazz Hands, the T8 from Remidi puts wireless control of digital music in the hands of the performer, but without all those bulky 3D-printed components. The system comprises a sensor-packed glove and a tech-filled wristband that wirelessly connects to a laptop or mobile device running music creation software.Read More

Home Entertainment

Sentio headphones offer open or closed listening choice

Open-back headphones, where the outer earcups are perforated to allow air and sound to pass freely in and out, can bring a more natural, spacious feel to music listening. But sound leakage is a big drawback – users can hear much of the world around them and anyone nearby can clearly hear sounds coming from the headphones. Closed-back headphones, where the outer cups are solid, offer more isolation, but staging can feel restricted and the listening experience very much in your head. The Sentio headphones from British audio house Rock Jaw combine both headphone designs in one.Read More

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