Dr Dre, Jay-Z and Ludacris aren't the only rappers to have given their names to audio headgear. Record producer, actor, entrepreneur and philanthropist 50 Cent has also released some cans through SMS Audio. Earlier this year the existing wired and wireless over-ear headphones were joined by the STREET by 50 in-ear wired headphones and Gizmag has spent some time getting to grips with a pair. SMS Audio says that the main focus when developing the earbud-type earphones "was to create a sound signature that is suitable for many genres of music and not just rap/hip-hop." So how did they shape up?
Japan's Zoom has released a few details about a new addition to its excellent handy recorder line. The H6 is claimed to be the world's first portable recorder with interchangeable microphone heads, giving it a versatility lacking in its closest competitors. There's not too much by way of available information, but here's what we do know.
TDK chose IFA 2012 to showcase the next step in the evolution of its Life on Record
range of audio products. The new Boombox and Sound Cube models include Bluetooth technology for wireless audio streaming from mobile devices, and have been joined by a weatherproofed portable speaker.
Unfortunately, when it comes to sharing digital music with friends, there aren't too many eco-friendly portable speaker options available for the discerning green consumer. When such things do make an appearance, they tend to be acoustic docks made from materials like bamboo (think iBamboo
) that simply boost the source audio in a similar way to using an old-fashioned horn speaker, or otherwise get their power from renewable resources (as with the SoliCharger
, for instance). The Pulpop MP3 speaker designed by Balance Wu and Chin Yang takes a slight diversion from such norms. It's made from recycled paper pulp and uses of vibration speaker technology to amplify the source audio through the surface on which it stands and
the hollow space inside the doughnut.
Almost two years ago I reported
being very impressed by the sound sculpturing capabilities of the Zo Personal Subwoofer. digiZoid has now released version 2, and brought some significant upgrades to the pocket-friendly headphone amp. With so many quality dedicated digital music players (the Cowon C2
or the Colorfly C4
, for instance) and high end smartphones already offering pretty decent audio reproduction, is it worth laying out extra cash for sonic enhancement technology that sits between device and earphones? I've been giving a review unit a good testing over the last week or so in an attempt to answer that very question.
The B&O PLAY Beolit 12 is about the size of a small car battery, weighs 2.8 kg and contains a substantial battery, a digital Class D 120 Watt amplifier, plus two 2" tweeters and a 4" woofer. It also connects via Apple's AirPlay, so it plays seamlessly from your iPod, IPad or iPhone by AirPlay for four hours, or wired to your iThing for eight hours. Based on our past experience with B&O, the sound will be exquisite, but the Beolit 12 might also be the most expensive accessory you'll consider for the iPhone - EUR700 or US$800.
For a good deal of the 1980s and 90s, Sony's Walkman and Discman players ruled the portable audio roost, and it was almost a given that the company would go on to dominate the world of mobile digital music devices, too. Although Apple emerged victorious in that respect, the Walkman brand has stuck in there and currently has three models listed amongst Amazon's top 50 MP3 players. The latest B-Series additions feature a one-touch bass boost button, a quick charge feature and something called ZAPPIN song search technology.
It's been a good while since Olympus added to its LS-series
of portable audio recorders, but it looks like it was worth the wait. In a company first, the forthcoming release of the LS-20M will see the marriage of full 1080p high definition video capture with 24-bit/96kHz Linear PCM stereo audio. Unlike many pocket-camcorders and similar products like the Zoom Q3
, the design sees the autofocus lens positioned between two microphones on the top of the unit at a right angle to the 2-inch color screen on the front.
Amongst the range of headphones on display at Sennheiser's booth at IFA 2010
in Berlin recently were five new additions. The company has updated its audiophile 500 series and introduced a couple of mini headphones for mobile music enjoyment. While there's little change to the technical specs offered by The HD 518, HD 558 and HD 598 high-end cans, the company claims that the new PX 90 and PMX 90 phones are so lightweight and comfortable that you'll only know you're wearing them by the dynamic bass and lifelike sound image.
Most songwriters will agree that when inspiration hits, it's vital to get it down fast. Roland's new MP3/WAV handheld recording device, the R-05, could help capture that magic moment before it slips away forever. Having the ability to record and playback in high quality uncompressed stereo, with onboard editing features and a 16 hour continuous recording battery life, the pocket recorder will obviously appeal to musicians. That said, Roland sees it being useful in non-musical applications, too.