Messages announced over train station loudspeakers are notorious for being unintelligible. It can also be difficult to understand announcements made in airports, at conferences, or in any number of other busy public spaces. Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology is trying to do something about it, however. It's developed new audio-enhancement software, which might even find use in smartphones.
If you could buy a pair of augmented reality glasses that made the world around you appear to get bigger or smaller, change colors, have glowing psychedelic trails, or make individual objects transparent ... well, that would be an AR product straight out of a sci-fi novel, far beyond anything we've ever seen. Now imagine that same product, only instead of sight it relied on your sense of hearing. Join Gizmag as we review Here Active Listening earbuds, which give you the power to fine-tune (or trip out) your ears' experience of the world.
There's no doubt that digital music formats offer a convenient way to listen to lots of music on the move. Factor in on-demand streaming services and you don't even have to worry about running out of storage space on your portable device. But even though digitized music reigns supreme, demand for analog formats like vinyl is on the rise, with US sales in 2015 up 30 percent on the previous year. Austria's Horch House says that when it comes to analog, you can't beat reel-to-reel tape and has announced its intention to develop a new consumer reel-to-reel player.
If you perused our Best of CES picks this year, you may have noticed our Top Wearable was Doppler Labs' Here Active Listening earbuds. Why were we so excited about the "hearable?" Read on for our ears-on impressions from CES.
From the top-of-the-line Woburn speaker to the experimental London smartphone, Marshall Headphones offers audio for everyone in a range of prices and power. It was only until recent that the Kilburn was the company's most portable speaker. With Marshall's latest release, users now have a backpack-friendly option for music on-the-go. We spent the past weeks rocking out with the Marshall Stockwell to see if big things still come in small packages.
In what's reported to be a first for Digital Audio Players (DAP), Onkyo's new DP-X1 features two digital-to-analog converters (DAC) and two amps with balanced headphone output for greater power and control. The device supports hi-res digital music playback in WAV and FLAC formats, has native DSD, too, and is one of the first to support the MQA standard. It runs an Android-based OS and features two micro-SD slots that take its storage potential right up to 432 GB.
The Sugr Cube is a portable, Wi-Fi-enabled speaker block that plays tunes from multiple sources and packs a powerful audio punch for such a small unit. We tested the Kickstarter-funded speaker to see how it measures up against comparable speakers offered by the likes of Sonos.
Australian company Audiofly, long-associated with quality in-ear monitors, has delivered its first attempt at a professional over-ear product with the AF240 headphones. After a promising demonstration at CES2015 in January, they were released this week. Gizmag was sent a pre-release pair for review and found them stylish, practical and sonically pleasing.
At first glance, the Explorer X1 has the look of a hip flask. But rather than offer a wee nip to help take the edge off a chilly autumn stroll, the X1 is aimed at satisfying a very different thirst. Echobox is taking aim at the modern audiophile's pocket with a high resolution media player housed in a curvy wooden jacket.
With a few notable exceptions, you'd be forgiven for thinking that laptop audio circuitry is something of a manufacturing afterthought, with decisions on such things made at the very end of the design process when there's very little money left in the pot. Plugging a pair of top drawer headphones into a notebook's (often cheap and cheerful) audio out jack can therefore be a little disappointing, leading many music lovers to look to the USB ports for help. Though some USB digital-to-analog converters and headphone amps can be a good deal bigger than the laptop they're connected to, and have a suitably large price tag to match, smaller options are available. The successfully-crowdfunded ZuperDAC from Zorloo, for example, is about the size of a USB thumb drive and supports audio file resolutions right up to 24-bit/192 kHz. We've spent the last few weeks diving into our hi-res FLAC and WAV vault for some lossless easy listening.