Los Angeles-based StudioFeed first came to our attention in 2013 when it launched a crowdfunding campaign aimed at putting some low end rumble in your seat. The Kickstarter campaign was successful and the SubPac tactile bass technology has since been further developed, and also pushed beyond the immersive music and gaming experience. It's been integrated into Peugeot's Fractal concept car, for example. It's also added a more engaging, physical dimension to a VR-enhanced premiere of the movie Jurassic World, and allowed deaf and hard of hearing festival goers in Brazil to feel the music at this year's Rock in Rio. Now the company is aiming to put some bottom end on your back with the upcoming SubPac M2 wearable sound system.
Over the last few years, Chinese audio maker Fiio has made a name for itself producing high end audio players, headphone amps and earphones that don't necessarily come with the expected luxury product price tags. Though its current line of portable music players certainly deliver on the audio front, they're not particularly stylish or easy to use. Hell, they even have an early generation iPod-like click/scroll wheel. The new X7 is different. Not only does the chunky smartphone-sized high resolution digital audio player feature a multitouch screen and quad-core processor, but it runs Android KitKat.
Though many of us watch music videos or listen to digital radio via the living room TV, it's probably not the first home entertainment device that springs to mind when considering music streaming. That's usually the domain of wireless speakers, smartphone apps and services like Spotify or Pandora. But premium service signups and associated costly tariffs, yet more logon details and passwords to remember, and regular app updates across different mobile platforms can be something of a turn off for many music lovers. London-based Electric Jukebox Company is now offering a less complicated way, one that's aimed at changing the way music is played at home forever by leveraging the goggle box as an audio entertainment hub for the family.
Marshall's London smartphone is an interesting animal. On the one hand, it's a pretty mediocre smartphone with a high price tag, but on the other, it's a musician's dream, with hi-def playback and recording, dual headphone ports, and more. Read on for our thoughts on the audio-focused smartphone.
The rather clunky, chunky steampunk looks of the Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro won't be to everyone's taste, but the high-end portable music player has attracted rave reviews from industry experts and hi-res music lovers alike since first being outed at CeBIT 2010. Where the C4's supported audio resolution maxes out at 192,000 samples per second, each at 24-bits, Colorful Technology's new C10 player bumps the res up to 32-bits/192 kHz and supports native DSD128 decoding.
When Dmitry Morozov was offered a pyrite disc in the US, it was given free of charge on condition that the Russian media artist, circuit bender and musician create something sonic with it. He came up with a combination of optical media reader and digital music instrument called Ra, which uses a laser to scan the uneven surface of the pyrite sun and produce synthesized sounds.
For some players, faulty cables, abused amplifiers and neglected instruments can be a source of surprisingly gratifying sonic output rather than a performance or recording nightmare. But if it's true grit you're after, only actual topsoil will do. Such is the thinking behind the ERD modular Eurorack series distortion unit from Martin Howse, which has a box a real dirt at its core. Buyers of the strictly limited module are even being offered discounts for providing the creator with earth from locations linked to the macabre.
Back in March 2013, UK-based startup Roli introduced a new kind of expressive musical instrument called the Seaboard Grand. From a distance, it had the look of a digital piano, but getting closer revealed a playing surface that looked like a plastic keyboard cover had melted over the keys after being left in the hot sun for too long. The whole of this SEA interface was actually one continuous, pressure-sensitive playing area with pitch, volume and timbre controlled by strikes, presses, glides and slides. The company has been working to improve its Keywaves expression technology ever since, and has now revealed a new portable member of the Seaboard controller family called the Rise.
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.
At IFA 2014, Panasonic woke up its Technics music entertainment beast from a 6 year slumber with the launch of the first Reference Class R1 Series and the Premium Class C700 Series high end home audio products. The company revealed more additions to the new Technics family at this year's show, including an all-in-one hi-fi system, some new headphones and an early look at an upcoming turntable. Gizmag took time out from a buzzing IFA to have a look and listen.