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Paul Ridden

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

Music

Stunning Custom Shop Telecaster has its own musical movement

In March last year, guitar maker Gibson brought some eye-catching sparkle to its twin-horned classic by adding more than 400 carat of diamonds and pounds of 18 K gold to an SG for the creation of the two million dollar Eden of Coronet. Master Builders from Fender's Custom Shop recently raided the jewelry box to give the workhorse Telecaster a luxury makeover inspired by an 18th century pocket watch.Read More

Music

Fret Friend is like a blackboard for learning guitar

Learning to play guitar is hard. Though there's no effective replacement for many of hours of repetitive practice, today's six-string students do have numerous teaching aids to help make the learning curve a little less steep. PocketStrings, for example, caters for chord shaping on the go, Fretlight illuminates fretting finger positions, games like Rocksmith make learning more fun and countless mobile apps can turn the ubiquitous smartphone into a powerful teaching tool. But there are times when simply marking finger positions on a fretboard might make chords and scales easier to remember. Naturally, you don't want to be taking a Sharpie to your axe of choice, which is where Fret Friend may come in handy.Read More

Music

Tone Shifter 3 puts iOS interface and MIDI controller at your feet

Though interfaces like the excellent iRig Pro Duo are great for bridging the divide between music creation apps running on an iPhone or iPad and an electric guitar, changing tones on the fly does involve taking playing hands away from the guitar to make a touchscreen selection. China's Tone Shifter has developed a box that places such control, and much more, at a player's foot-stomping disposal.Read More

Music

Marshall tones digitally replicated for Code series amps

Guitar players who want to tap into the legendary tones of Marshall amplifiers no longer have to fill their homes with numerous heads and speaker cabinets. Thanks to a collaboration with Swedish audio software developers Softube, a number of Marshall's classic preamps, amps and cabinets have been digitally captured and made available in each member of the Code family.Read More

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