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Amplifiers


— Home Entertainment

Stunning Ikarus boutique amp nears completion

Australian-born artist and designer, electrical engineer and recording engineer Kostas Metaxas started making and selling high-end audio systems in 1981. He considers art and design to be "visual music" and has combined haute horology watchmaking techniques, electrical and mechanical engineering and fine art for his latest eye-popping project – the Ikarus integrated amplifier. First revealed earlier this year in a series of computer-generated images, the Ikarus is now being readied for release.

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Radial puts guitar and amp switching in a compact box

Back in 2007, Vancouver's Radial Engineering launched a rack-mounted device called the JX44 Air Control which provided guitarists with a quick and easy way to control instruments, effects and amplifiers on stage. The company says that it has received a constant stream of requests for a smaller and cheaper version ever since, and has now responded with the JX-42 guitar and amp switcher.

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— Music

First look: RHA prepares to enter DAC/headphone amp market

For the last few years, RHA's earphones have gone from great-sounding blasters for the budget conscious to top notch high resolution audio throwers like the impressive T20s we reviewed back in July. Fast approaching its fifth anniversary, the company now feels that the time is right for a move beyond earphones and gave a glimpse into its near future vision with a still-in-development DAC/headphone amp on show at IFA 2015. Gizmag dropped by the RHA booth for a quick look.

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— Wearable Electronics 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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— Wearable Electronics

Zorloo crams DAC and amp into Z:ero earphones inline control unit

Though certainly convenient, listening to music through earphones plugged into a smartphone is not always a satisfying experience. Some music lovers, like myself, prefer to carry around a dedicated high quality audio player, while others who like to groove on the move might give the source audio a welcome boost by using a mini middleman like Cambridge Audio's DacMagic XS. Either way, higher quality comes at the expense of increased pocket bulk. The folks at Hong Kong-based Zorloo claim that they've managed to shrink down a digital-to-analog converter, headphone amp and control board to dimensions small enough for integration into the inline playback/volume controller of the company's upcoming Z:ero earphones. Read More
— Home Entertainment

Miyo designed to give your laptop audio a studio quality bump

Though many mobile workstation users will "make do" with less-than-satisfying audio output from the notebook's built-in amplifier, high res audioholics will likely seek the help of an external DAC headphone amp. Where once you could expect to shell out quite a tidy sum for a quality sonic massager, there are now a good number of affordable devices on the market, from desktop bricks like the Sound Blaster X7 to pocket-friendly beasts like the DacMagic. The creators of Miyo are promising world-class, studio quality sound in a small, portable and affordable package and believe their DAC to be a cut above the rest. Read More
— Music

Music gear that struck the right chord in 2014

It's been another strong year for instrument innovation, making the task of choosing a top five quite a challenge. Though many excellent examples of envelope pushing have popped up on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo during 2014, including the Hammer Jammer and Aalberg's Ekko and Aero, we allowed those to fall gracefully to the cutting room floor in favor of tech that's available now. Join Gizmag as we take a look back at some of the top groove gadgets of the last 12 months. Read More
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