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Digital music

— Home Entertainment

High School students reinvent headphone cable for the 21st century

Music lovers can waste many hours and huge sums of money searching for a pair of headphones to match a certain style or preferred sonic signature, only to have to put them to one side and start again just to join the groovy wireless in-crowd. If those premium cans are the kind where the audio cable can be unplugged, however, then the Spiro X1 will allow them to be transformed into Bluetooth ear candy.

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— Electronics

Schiit drops new consonant-heavy high-end DAC

No need for a second take, the company is indeed called Schiit Audio and it's pronounced just as you'd expect. Though rather suggestive of audio products best avoided at all costs, the company actually has excellent pedigree in the shape of Mike Moffat. The firm's co-founder is the inventor of the DS Pre, the first DSP-based outboard digital to analog converter on the market. Moffat and company have spent the last five years researching digital filter algorithms, a quest that has ended with Yggdrasil, a flagship multi-bit DAC with a true closed form filter. Read More
— Music

Jambé offers 10 zones of percussive playability

The Jambé takes bits of electronic drums, hand bangers and finger tappers and mashes them all up into one traditional-looking percussive instrument. Its makers say that a special combination of materials and sensors allow it to read every playing nuance, transforming the mighty wallop of a drum stick into thunderous sounds or a gentle tinkle from light finger taps with the help of an iPad or iPhone processing brain. Read More
— Music

Wearable album art and digital music come together in Astrella's Musical Ts

The (relatively) brave new world of digital music consumption can arguably more than satisfy the aural needs of most music lovers, but vinyl and CD collectors also enjoy a visual feast in the shape of album art. Sure, you might get some small pixel pleasure with your MP3, and if you're lucky perhaps even a PDF booklet, but you're unlikely to get anywhere near the satisfaction you'd get from some concept art and band info on a 12 inch square of cardboard or a glossy paper flip-book in a jewel case. The high fashion house of Astrella has linked the digital and the physical with a line of t-shirts where streamed music is part of the package. Next month, shoppers at two Bloomingdale's stores will be able to get access to music and more with the help of their smartphones. Read More
— Music

Zivix adds hexaphonic pickup and Bluetooth to pocket string picker

There are many iOS apps that offer onscreen versions of musical instruments and, though a convenient way to practice chord positions or to quickly jot down a song idea, they can be a pretty poor substitute for the real thing. In 2013, Zivix launched a successful crowdfunding campaign to bring a backpack-friendly MIDI guitar designed for the mobile musician called the JamStik to production. Now the company is back with an improved mini guitar that boasts better picking detection and processing speed, and uses Bluetooth LE instead of Wi-Fi to keep surfing channels open while playing. Read More
— Computers Review

Review: Meteor M2 multimedia stereo speaker system

Among the raft of new consumer audio products that Samson Technologies took to CES last month was a desktop speaker system for computers, laptops and tablets. The company says that the Meteor M2 stereo speakers promise studio quality sound that breaks barriers in desktop audio at volumes that go "well beyond its compact size." We got our hands on a review system and have spent much of this month putting those claims to the test. Read More
— Music

Tibo Urban 500 lets DJs rock and roll

As far as equipment bulk goes, digital DJs can have a much easier time of it than their vinyl spinning and scratching counterparts. But even if your groove controller of choice is something as portable as Pioneer's DDJ-WeGO3 or as compact as IK Multimedia's iRig MIX, the loudspeakers that will get you heard above the party chatter can add significant weight to a gig bag. The UK's Tibo Electronics has taken an all-in-one approach with its new Urban 500 DJ station, which sits a media controller atop a 500 W speaker tower with wheels on the bottom to help you trundle to your next gig. Read More