As you might expect, Bang & Olufsen's take on the one-stop-shop wireless music system
for the living room is both stylish and expensive. The two part BeoSound Moment system comprises a hub that's compatible with B&O's entire range of wired and wireless speakers, including those boasting the company's Immaculate Wireless Sound
technology, and a tablet-like wireless touch interface. When used together, they integrate digital music collections and streaming services into one unit that can match tunes to a listener's mood.
Google has announced that the Cast technology on which its Chromecast
is based will soon be used in speakers. Google Cast for audio will allow users to stream audio services wirelessly to compatible speakers. Users will also be able to control the speakers via a computer or mobile device.
Though many mobile workstation users will "make do" with less-than-satisfying audio output from the notebook's built-in amplifier, high res audioholics will likely seek the help of an external DAC headphone amp. Where once you could expect to shell out quite a tidy sum for a quality sonic massager, there are now a good number of affordable devices on the market, from desktop bricks like the Sound Blaster X7
to pocket-friendly beasts like the DacMagic
. The creators of Miyo are promising world-class, studio quality sound in a small, portable and affordable package and believe their DAC to be a cut above the rest.
It's been another strong year for instrument innovation, making the task of choosing a top five quite a challenge. Though many excellent examples of envelope pushing have popped up on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo during 2014, including the Hammer Jammer
and Aalberg's Ekko and Aero
, we allowed those to fall gracefully to the cutting room floor in favor of tech that's available now. Join Gizmag as we take a look back at some of the top groove gadgets of the last 12 months.
Nearly 3 years ago, Japan's CyberStep Communications revealed a prototype
all-in-one synth, sequencer and multitrack audio editor called the KDJ-ONE that could be held in the palm of the hand, had built-in storage and offered Wi-Fi connectivity. Then, after well-received demonstrations at trade shows like NAMM and Musikmesse, all went quiet. Now the company says that a redesigned portable music studio is finally ready for release and has launched two simultaneous crowdfunding efforts to bring the device to market.
The folks behind the Mikme microphone are aiming to make recording inspired moments of creativity as easy as possible, whenever and wherever you happen to be when the muse strikes. Though you can
make use of the microphone on the ubiquitous smartphone, the captured audio probably isn't going to be a match for the Mikme's promise of studio-grade quality. The Mikme is also a versatile little beast, able to work as a battery-powered standalone microphone, be cabled to a computer via USB or wirelessly paired with a smartphone running a companion app.
Initially developed for kids with disabilities, Edinburgh-based Skoogmusic has spent the last four years delivering its colorful and tactile Skoog digital music-making instrument to almost 2,000 schools around the world. Now the company is eyeing the consumer space with the development of version 2.0, which benefits from a much-reduced cost of entry, new mobile companion apps, wireless capabilities and battery-powered portability.
About this time last year, the Woojer hit popular crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to raise production funds. Rather than merely massaging or enhancing the output from a mobile music player with the aid of a headphone amp, the so-called wearable woofer sends beat-driven vibrations throughout the region of the body where it's placed, adding a new dimension to the personal music listening experience. The matchbox-sized device entered the consumer space at the end of October, and Gizmag has been grooving to Woojer's polyphonic beat ever since.
A group of French hardware and software engineers who tired of having to spend precious time building streaming music playlists have created a new system that aims to serve up the perfect tune every time. Not only does Prizm learn to play music based on the individual tastes of whichever listener is in the room, but it can even decide which type of music is appropriate for what's going on in the room. The device can be used as a standalone connected music feeder or alongside a companion app.
Back in August, a company best known for its studio vocal and instrument microphones and USB mics for mobile devices announced its first foray into the headphones market with the launch of Mo-Fi
. Blue's big and beautiful over-ear headphones promised mobile music lovers a high fidelity listening experience regardless of the source music device. I managed to snag a quick listen
at a busy IFA 2014 in Berlin last month and came away wanting more. My ears have now spent more hours than I care to admit surrounded by soft Mo-Fi foam cushions and I find myself reluctant to remove these rather impressive retro beasts.