2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Audio

The DacMagic XS USB headphone amp from Cambridge Audio

It doesn't seem too long ago that a quality headphones amplifier was the size of a chunky paperback novel, and would occupy so much space in a laptop bag that it would probably get left behind more often than not. Now the UK's Cambridge Audio has managed to squeeze a high-end digital-to-analog (DAC) converter and headphone amp into a device that's smaller than a matchbox.  Read More

The skye system allows users to wirelessly play their music on devices that would not norm...

Many of the latest music players are launching with Wi-Fi for sharing music from a computer, iOS, or Android device. Perhaps you have an older model, and you still want to be able to take part in the wireless music listening fun. A new product called the Auris skye aims to bring such an experience to existing docks with a 30-pin connector.  Read More

Gizmag gets to grips with the QuNeo 3D Multi-Touch Pad Controller

Musicians are spoilt for choice when it comes to MIDI controllers, but the QuNeo 3D Multi-Touch Pad Controller from Keith McMillen offers a new take on a familiar form, boasting a mix of pressure-sensitive touch sliders, velocity-sensitive pads, and 251 programmable LED lights – all in a package that's the same size as an iPad. Gizmag puts it through its paces.  Read More

This is a speaker, believe it or not (Photo by Eliza Grinnell, SEAS Communications)

Audio speakers are showing up in a variety of unusual forms these days, from the incredibly tiny to the eye-catchingly bizarre, but a research group at Harvard University may have trumped them all with a new one that's as clear as glass. Scientists at the college's Engineering and Applied Sciences branch recently built a flexible speaker out of ionic gel that is almost invisible to the naked eye and can produce high-quality sound ranging across the full audible spectrum. In doing so, they also provided a proof of concept for electronics that can transfer electric signals in a similar manner to the human nervous system.  Read More

Split is controlled by gentle 'bite clicks'

Want to listen to music in public but not be obvious about it? Until someone figures out how to make music play in your head, the next best thing might be Split. Developed by Greenwing Audio in Miami Beach. Florida, Split is a music player set in a pair of wireless, synchronized earbuds that are controlled by biting. Still under development, its the focus of a Kickstarter campaign running until October 31 to bring the player to market.  Read More

The Minx Air 200 wireless speaker system from Cambridge Audio

Last month I got the opportunity to spend some quality time with the Minx Go Bluetooth speaker from Cambridge Audio and came away mighty impressed. Since then I've been playing my tunes through its bigger brother, the top of the range Minx Air 200. This wireless speaker is roughly four times the physical size of the Go, is compatible with Apple's AirPlay technology as well as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and has a monstrous 200 W amplifier at its heart.  Read More

The Intelligent Headset combines 3D audio, GPS, and head tracking for immersive augmented ...

Running down an alley you make out the low growls of a zombie approaching distinctly above you and to the right. Touring a famous city you get lost, happen upon a fascinating art exhibit, and touch your headphones to find out where you are and what you see. Intelligent Headset hopes to create these augmented reality scenarios with its GPS-enabled 3D audio headset and a complementary suite of smart phone apps that entertain, educate, and always know where you're at.  Read More

Kapture is designed to be worn at all times

Have you ever delivered a great line, been involved in a memorable conversation, or heard something you'd like to preserve for posterity? If so, then Kapture may be the device you've been waiting for. The wrist-worn device records the last 60-seconds of your life on a loop and allows you to save, edit, and share the recorded file via an accompanying app.  Read More

Kyocera's 'Smart Sonic Sound' lightweight piezo film speaker (the medium-size model pictur...

Japan's Kyocera Corporation has combined a piezoelectric actuator with a special resin film to produce a proprietary, piezo film speaker that is considerably thinner and lighter than conventional electromagnetic speakers, while boasting similar audio levels. The Smart Sonic Sound already provides the audio for LG's 55-inch curved-screen OLED TV and the company hopes it will give designers of future TVs, computers and tablets more scope to place speakers on the front face of products, enabling an overall size reduction and expanding design options.  Read More

The Minx Go portable Bluetooth speaker from Cambridge Audio

Walk into any consumer electronics store and you'll likely encounter an overwhelming choice of wireless speaker systems on display. If you want premium cable-free sound, however, you can expect to pay a premium price. The Minx Go portable speaker from London-based Cambridge Audio is a little different. Not only is it claimed to offer high fidelity audio for a fraction of the cost of comparable systems, but its built-in battery keeps the party going long after other devices have given up and headed for the wall outlet. Gizmag has spent the last few weeks with a review unit, and we're suitably impressed.  Read More

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