Photokina 2014 highlights

Digital music

The PA1 wall-mounted Bluetooth speaker from Studio Proper

Battery-powered Bluetooth speakers are great for those who like to share their sounds with friends while out and about, but can't always satisfy when streaming music in the kitchen or living room. If your wireless audio needs lean more towards semi-permanent placement than portability, you may find that upmarket looks, room-filling output and quality audio tend to go hand in hand with a rather large price tag. This is something that the folks from the Studio Proper design house in Melbourne, Australia are looking to address with the PA1 wall-mounted Bluetooth speaker.  Read More

Spotify Artists gives musicians access to their play counts, track-by-track information an...

Spotify has made a move to get music artists onside by making its formula for calculating royalty payments and analytics openly accessible through the new Spotify Artists website.  Read More

The Korus Wireless Speakers from Core Brands LLC

Playing music without having to run a cable between speakers and smartphone, computer or media player has great appeal, but is not without issues. Bluetooth technology is well supported, but has limited range and pairing can sometimes be a real test of character. AirPlay or Wi-Fi give a little more freedom to wander, but you're tied to a router and all the finicky logins and security settings that go with that particular territory. The Korus wireless speakers from Core Brands use a wireless audio protocol called SKAA that promises increased range, easy setup, almost latency-free high fidelity playback.  Read More

The Opera Only high end amplifier from Andrea Pivetta

We're no strangers to gigantic audio throwers here at Gizmag. A couple of years ago, we brought news of a monstrous iPod dock called the iNuke Boom that Behringer claimed capable of pumping out an incredible 10,000-watts, and earlier this month Sweden's Studio Total unveiled the 8000-watt second generation Wall of Sound. Yet both these systems combined couldn't come anywhere near the awesome power of the extremely expensive Opera Only from Italian designer Andrea Pivetta.  Read More

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

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

The Sonos Play:1 compact wireless speaker

I think it's fair to say that not all wireless music systems are created equal. One of the best streaming speakers I've heard is the Play:5 from Sonos (formerly the Zoneplayer S5), but at US$400 a pop, a multi-room setup can get very expensive, very quickly. Sonos is now offering a cheaper way to enter its world of Hi-Fi audio streaming with the introduction of the Play:1 compact wireless speaker.  Read More

The Seaboard GRAND from ROLI

When we first brought you news of a new instrument prototype from London-based ROLI back in March, there was talk of a limited production run of just 88 instruments following later in the year. That time has now arrived, but ROLI has announced not one, but three new Seaboard GRAND instruments. The flagship 88-key GRAND is joined by a 61-key GRAND Stage, and a 37-key GRAND Studio.  Read More

The Loop wireless speaker from Libratone

Gizmag was introduced to the Libratone Beat wireless speaker at CES 2010, and left mighty impressed. The Danish company has now raised the bar even further by unveiling a disc-shaped new addition to its FullRoom family called the Loop, which is claimed by CEO Tommy Andersen to offer "unparalleled sound quality."  Read More

The Minx Xi and Aero 6 speakers from Cambridge Audio

The UK's Cambridge Audio was at the 2013 Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) Expo in Denver, CO, last week and took along an audiophile-pleasing addition to its Minx range, and a new range of speakers. The high end components found in the new Minx Xi all-in-one music player promise music streaming and internet radio lovers top quality sound for a wallet-friendly price. The company has also brought its great-sounding hybrid Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR) driver technology to classic-looking speaker design for its Aero speaker range.  Read More

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