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Music

Nowadays most of us take portable media players pretty much for granted but back in the 1980s, when Sony released its first personal cassette player, they were revolutionary. Thirty years on and cassettes have all but gone and, despite numerous other worthy contenders, Apple holds the media player crown. For many, however, the Walkman is still regarded as the media player of choice and Sony has just revealed a new addition to its iconic family, the supermodel-thin S750. The audio and video player features noise canceling, audio enhancement technologies, a Karaoke mode and 50 hours of audio enjoyment on a single charge. Read More
Amongst the range of headphones on display at Sennheiser's booth at IFA 2010 in Berlin recently were five new additions. The company has updated its audiophile 500 series and introduced a couple of mini headphones for mobile music enjoyment. While there's little change to the technical specs offered by The HD 518, HD 558 and HD 598 high-end cans, the company claims that the new PX 90 and PMX 90 phones are so lightweight and comfortable that you'll only know you're wearing them by the dynamic bass and lifelike sound image. Read More
The incredible guitar virtuosity from the likes of Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson and Stanley Jordan all rely on their string-picking proficiency being registered by the instrument's pickups. These vibrations are then transformed into electrical signals and sent off to an amplifier for our listening pleasure. Using such a setup, string movement can only be read on one axis, the horizontal. The 3Dxy pickup system reads each string twice, on both the horizontal and the vertical and is said to result in a rich, surround sound effect called natural stereo. Read More
Danish audio innovator Libratone has been showing off its first consumer product at this year's IFA Consumer Electronics Show in Berlin. The Beat is a high-end wireless speaker that promises listeners an audio sweet spot wherever they may be in a room. An iPod, iPhone or iPad is connected to a wireless transmitter which sends an audio signal to the speaker, then FullRoom technology reflects the sound off the room's walls to provide 360 degrees of sonic enjoyment. So does it live up to its promise? Gizmag stopped by to check it out. Read More
Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), the company that boasts the distinctive Zeppelin iPod dock, Nautilus and Panorama amongst its line of high-end speakers, has made its first foray into the headphone market with its P5 Mobile Hi-Fi Headphones. With a slim design and great sound reproduction that provides warm bass and stunning clarity through the mid-range and high-end, these headphones would have to be the most comfortable – and amongst the most impressive – headphones I’ve ever wrapped around my noggin. Read More
If you've ever imagined the song you'd like to be played at your funeral or you imagine it to be the send-off of the year, then you might be interested in And Vinyly. This UK-based company will press your cremated ashes into a vinyl playing a track of your choice or a vocal message for your friends and family to enjoy and remember you by. Hmmm. Read More
With over a million sales notched up, Roland has announced that the next generation of Cube amplifiers is ready to be let loose. The Cube XL series is available in four sizes, starting at the practice 15W version right up to a gig-worthy 80W model. The amps all feature a host of tones and effects and an auxiliary input to allow a portable music player to provide backing tracks. Features on offer from the new range include amp modeling, channel-switching and a strange-sounding power squeeze function. Roland has also unleashed a couple of BOSS guitar effects pedals – one that offers the player pitch control and voice harmony possibilities and the other squeezing some tube amp sounds into a palm-sized stomp box. Read More
Tuner manufacturing veteran Peterson Electro-Musical Products has been helping musicians keep their instruments in check since 1948, and introduced the first true bypass strobe tuner in 2004. Responding to requests from players for a snap-on tuner, the company has announced the StroboClip. The handy tuner benefits from 0.1 cent accuracy, exclusive presets for a variety of stringed and non-stringed instruments, a sturdy, road-friendly design and a pivoted clear screen that makes for easy viewing. Read More
Dutch manufacturer Lenco has introduced a new turntable at IFA today which offers advanced digital functionality at a fraction of the price of equivalent units. The Lenco L-71 turntable retails at less than EUR100 and records directly to USB memory stick or SD card. That makes the cost of liberating the music you've already paid for on vinyl much cheaper than ever before. Read More
Guitarists who like to bring a little music to city streets and maybe make a bit of extra cash on the side face the problem of having their tunes drowned out by traffic noise or carried away on the wind. Traditional amplifiers requiring a power source are no help and while there are battery-powered units around, we don’t think any are as elegant or convenient as the solution developed by Laurie Nicoll of Victoria, Australia. His sound hole amplifier, or “SHamp” is a compact amplifier that fits into the sound hole of an acoustic guitar to give it that bit of extra oomph when you need it. Read More
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