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Audio

Parrot's new Zikmu Solo is a single-speaker, 2.1 audio system

Parrot, a company known for its high-end audio devices, has released a new entry in its Zikmu line of wireless speakers. The new model, called the Zikmu Solo, features a 2.1 configuration, which is designed to generate high-performance sound quality without the need for two separate speakers.  Read More

A beech pair of Troubadour headphones from lstn

Ask a tone-head what makes his Fender Strat or Gibson Les Paul Goldtop sound so good, and there's a good chance the top answer will be "the wood." The acoustic benefits of wood are well known, yet many audiophiles enjoy their music through headphone drivers encased in plastic and metal. Californians Joe Huff and Bridget Hilton believe that this simply won't do, and have created a line of wood-flavored audio products to add that certain something to our personal music enjoyment. The lstn Bowerys are in-ear earphones, the Fillmores are on-ear headphones and the Troubadours are over-ear headphones, and all of the models are offered in beech, cherry or ebony. Gizmag was sent a pair of beech Troubadours for review, so let's find out how they performed.  Read More

STMicrosystem's new stereo digital audio amplifier

If you can find one, the new STA333IS digital audio chip and power amplifier from STMicroelectronics (STM) offers a quick and easy solution for converting digital audio into a 10 watt/channel stereo for anything from a boom box to a backyard sound system. Don't misunderstand, they currently are at distributors, selling for about one US dollar apiece. The problem is literally finding the chips. At about one-eighth the volume of a grain of rice and weighing only a few milligrams, drop one on a carpet and its gone for good.  Read More

Howler monkeys are among the species the researchers used to train the system (Photo: Anto...

The tropical ecosystems of Costa Rica and Puerto Rico have ears, and have done for some time. These recording stations were put together with iPods and car batteries which each record 144 60-second recordings every day, and transmit them to a web-enabled base station up to 40 km (25 miles) away. From there they're uploaded to a web app with which biologists train a software algorithm to recognize the chirrups, squeaks and caterwauls of the forest's birds, monkeys, frogs and other fauna. It's all in the name of documenting wildlife, to better understand the effects of deforestation and climate change. And according to scientists at the University of Puerto Rico, it sure beats putting boots on the ground.  Read More

Inventor Tomás Henriques' son Tristan, playing the Sonik Spring

Not long ago, Buffalo State University music professor Tomás Henriques set out to develop a digital accordion. While that in itself would have been newsworthy, what he ended up creating could ultimately have a lot more significance. Known as the Sonik Spring, Henriques’ device may find use not only in the field of music, but also as a means of physical rehabilitation.  Read More

Gizmag reviews the Cynaps bone conduction hat

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

Gizmag goes hands-on with IK Multimedia's iRig HD and AmpliTube

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

To promote its new record label, Beck's Brewery inscribed a simple beer bottle with music,...

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

The Personal Audio Enhancer (PAE-300) from VitaSound

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

The Perceptive Radio uses local data and onboard sensors to adjust itself and even alter t...

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

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