Though lossy digital music formats like MP3 offer today's music lover many advantages, including the chance to carry whole collections around on one portable device, the listening experience can be less than satisfying. Not surprising then that modern audioholics are fueling an upsurge in analog formats like vinyl, with media analyst Nielsen recording a rise of 30 percent in US sales last year. Singapore-based Akai Professional is looking to tap into this growing market with a stylish new turntable named the BT-500 that's said to offer "no-compromise audiophile performance," together with analog-to-digital conversion and wireless streaming capabilities.
There's no shortage of Bluetooth speakers jostling for a place in your shopping cart, making it a challenge to stand out. Fluance is hoping to catch your eye with the unusual looks of the Fi70, and please your ear with a 3-way driver system powered by a 280 W integrated amplifier.
Last year, British high-end audio house Naim launched the gorgeous Mu-so wireless music system. Now the same engineers responsible for its design have developed the Mu-so Qb, an equally good-looking compact wireless system. Despite its bookshelf speaker proportions, the Qb is reported capable of throwing out 300 W from its five speaker drivers.
Samsung has a novel new concept for making your TV screen bigger – just push another one next to it, or above it, or below it. The company had its modular display technology at its CES 2016 booth in Las Vegas this month.
Denmark's Bang & Olufsen has been showing off a rather lengthy all-in-one music system in Las Vegas this week. Crafted in aluminum and sporting soundbar-like styling, the pentagonal BeoSound 35 is a meter long and comes with the promise of premium sound, with a price tag to match. In fact, you won't get much change from US$3,000.
After looking like they were going the way of the audio cassette tape, vinyl records are on a bounce back. Just this week, Nielsen reported that sales of 12-inch discs in the US rose for the tenth consecutive year, accounting for 9 percent of total physical album sales. Though there are portable turntables like those from Pyle Audio and Crossleys, enjoying vinyl on the move isn't exactly pocket-friendly. But converting records to run on an MP3 player means an inevitable loss of precious fidelity. Fortunately, Sony's new HX500 turntable boasts a built-in 24-bit analog-to-digital converter that allows audiophiles to transfer their beloved vinyl collections to high quality digital formats.
Headphones are great for listening to music, but also mean that you can't hear what's going on around you. New technology from Harman, however, could change this. Its Audio Augmented Reality (AAR) allows users to hear specific external sounds, such as your name being called.
Not much bigger than a can of soda, Archt Audio's sequel to its original Archt One Bluetooth speaker boasts 65 W of output power and 360 degrees of consistent sound quality through its patented multi-directional array module.
Back in 2014, Panasonic reanimated the not-dead-just-sleeping Technics brand with the launch of two high end audio ranges. We got a brief ears-on in the listening room and liked what we heard. Very much. But there was something missing. For many party animals of a certain age, the good times were fueled by discs spun on the DJ weapons of choice – a pair of Technics SL-1200 decks. The brand confirmed plans to appease vinyl lovers at IFA 2015 by introducing a new direct drive motor assembly for an upcoming turntable. Now, the picture is complete with a CES reveal of the brand new Grand Class SL-1200G.
After a good deal of pre-release positivity from audio community reviewers and industry pundits, V-Moda's flagship Crossfade M-100 headphones were finally made available to buy at the end of 2012. Though many market competitors have since embraced the music-buying public's increasing desire for wireless freedom and added Bluetooth models to their ranges, V-Moda has stubbornly resisted the call to ditch the cable. That all changed in September, however, with the launch of the Crossfade Wireless headphones – the company's Val Kolton calling them the "best sounding and most versatile" Bluetooth headphones he'd ever tried. Gizmag has spent the last few weeks finding out if mobile convenience can be as sonically fulfilling as cumbersome cables.