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Audio

Walk into any electronics store and you'll see a wide variety of headphones. From tiny earbuds to high-end cans, they come in all shapes and sizes. They all have one thing in common though: they deliver sound directly to your ears. "Duh," right? But bone conduction goes in another direction: it skips the outer ear and takes the scenic route into your inner ear. Let's take a look at an accessory that plays your skull like an instrument, Max Virtual's Cynaps bone conduction hat. Read More
IK Multimedia recently released its latest iRig audio interface, the iRig HD, in addition to giving its popular iOS amp-modeling software AmpliTube a facelift. Gizmag investigates whether the two products can offer musicians a portable platform for band practice, playing shows, or recording songs. Read More
In the 1870s, Heinrich Beck founded what would eventually become Beck's Brewery. At about the same time, Thomas Edison was hard at work on creating the first phonograph. It's a safe bet neither man thought the two products would ever merge, but when the New Zealand branch of Beck's wanted to promote a new record label project, the company turned to design agency, Shine Limited to do exactly that. The designers concocted the Edison bottle, a simple glass beer bottle inscribed with music that can be played like a 19th-century phonograph cylinder. Read More
VitaSound has launched a multi-functional audio enhancement device for those who suffer from situational hearing difficulties. The PAE-300 has been designed for folks who don't need a hearing aid, but could do with some help when trying to hold a conversation in a noisy room, or watch television without needing to crank up the volume. It's powered by the intriguing Neuro-Compensator technology, that's said to enforce an optimal electrical signal from the root of the auditory nerve to the brain, resulting in improved audio clarity and a natural listening experience. Gizmag has been sent one for review, but, since my hearing is pretty good, I've recruited my father-in-law, Jean-Jacques, as primary device tester. Read More
Radio plays can transport listeners to far away exotic settings but the BBC’s prototype Perceptive Radio aims to give listeners a more localized experience. Shown to the public recently at the Thinking Digital Conference in Gateshead, UK, the Perceptive Radio uses local data and onboard sensors to adjust itself and even alter the script of a radio play in real time to reflect local conditions. The goal is to make listening to the radio more like attending live theater. Read More
Not too long ago, Amanda Ghassaei from Instructables caught our attention when she constructed several playable records with a 3D printer. By sending raw audio data through a custom script, she was able to automatically generate 3D designs for a printer to follow – albeit with crude results. Recently, Ghassaei programmed a new code that let her substitute the 3D printer for a laser cutter to carve functional records from wood and other materials. Read More
They may look somewhat bulky and a bit like someone wandered out of an avant garde theater, but a pair of concept pieces developed by students and the Royal College of Arts in London allow wearers to fine tune their senses of sight and hearing. Called “Eidos,” from the Greek for "form," "essence," "type," or "species," the system uses sensors and computer processing to select sensory input and alter it for applications in sport, the arts and medicine. Read More
Marshall first dipped its toes into the headphone market with the excellent Major on-ear headphones and Minor in-ear monitors launched in 2010. The iconic brand has now announced its first over-ear model, the Marshall Monitor, which allows users to choose between two different listening experiences. Read More
Audio files may seem to have put paid to CDs, but new technology shows that, like vinyl, the format still has a few tricks left in it. CDs do a pretty good job of reproducing music, but for many an audiophile the digital format lacks “warmth” and often suffers from tiny, yet detectable, imperfections that can be as jarring as serving Gordon Ramsay ketchup with lobster. The Parasound CD 1 player strives to eliminate these imperfections by ditching the conventional CD player in favor of a CD-ROM drive that spins CDs at four times normal speed in order to find and eliminate imperfections before they reach the speakers. Read More
Thanks to the growing number of wireless speaker systems, those of us who have a good-sized digital music collection on our smartphones or tablets no longer have to concern ourselves with docking our device to hear our favorite tunes. Sony is aiming to make complicated wireless setup and fiddly pairing a thing of the past too, with the introduction of a streaming audio system with one-touch near field communication (NFC) connection. Read More
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