Highlights from Interbike 2014

Speakers

Kyocera's 'Smart Sonic Sound' lightweight piezo film speaker (the medium-size model pictur...

Japan's Kyocera Corporation has combined a piezoelectric actuator with a special resin film to produce a proprietary, piezo film speaker that is considerably thinner and lighter than conventional electromagnetic speakers, while boasting similar audio levels. The Smart Sonic Sound already provides the audio for LG's 55-inch curved-screen OLED TV and the company hopes it will give designers of future TVs, computers and tablets more scope to place speakers on the front face of products, enabling an overall size reduction and expanding design options.  Read More

The Minx Go portable Bluetooth speaker from Cambridge Audio

Walk into any consumer electronics store and you'll likely encounter an overwhelming choice of wireless speaker systems on display. If you want premium cable-free sound, however, you can expect to pay a premium price. The Minx Go portable speaker from London-based Cambridge Audio is a little different. Not only is it claimed to offer high fidelity audio for a fraction of the cost of comparable systems, but its built-in battery keeps the party going long after other devices have given up and headed for the wall outlet. Gizmag has spent the last few weeks with a review unit, and we're suitably impressed.  Read More

Parrot's new Zikmu Solo is a single-speaker, 2.1 audio system

Parrot, a company known for its high-end audio devices, has released a new entry in its Zikmu line of wireless speakers. The new model, called the Zikmu Solo, features a 2.1 configuration, which is designed to generate high-performance sound quality without the need for two separate speakers.  Read More

The Glowdeck Bluetooth speaker wirelessly charges a smartphone

Smartphone users on the lookout for battery-powered wireless chargers, Bluetooth music players, and funky smart lights that bop to the beat will likely have to settle for a small collection of separates. There are devices that tick a couple of boxes, such as the Black Diamond III or TDK's Wireless Charging Speaker, but good luck finding one unit that does it all. If Justin Kaufman's new crowdfunding endeavor is successful, however, your quest might well be an easier one. The upper surface of his Glowdeck Bluetooth speaker system can charge the battery of any Qi-compatible device placed upon it using its own powerful battery or via a wall outlet, while the lights at the bottom flash to notify users of incoming calls or texts, or sync to the music being thrown out of the front-facing speakers.  Read More

The Trash Amps Jam speaker/amplifier

We’ve seen big glass speakers and we’ve seen smaller models, but Trash Amps’ Jam takes the whole glass speaker thing down to a new level – it’s a speaker and amplifier, housed in a Mason jar.  Read More

Outdoor Technology's Armadillo speaker

Outdoor Technology has been growing its line of wireless audio products quite steadily. After success on Kickstarter, it launched its funky Turtle Shell speaker last year? It showed off several new wireless headphones and speakers at CE Week last month and is preparing to launch the Armadillo speaker, which doubles the size and intensity of the Turtle.  Read More

STMicrosystem's new stereo digital audio amplifier

If you can find one, the new STA333IS digital audio chip and power amplifier from STMicroelectronics (STM) offers a quick and easy solution for converting digital audio into a 10 watt/channel stereo for anything from a boom box to a backyard sound system. Don't misunderstand, they currently are at distributors, selling for about one US dollar apiece. The problem is literally finding the chips. At about one-eighth the volume of a grain of rice and weighing only a few milligrams, drop one on a carpet and its gone for good.  Read More

Leon's sound sculpture at CE Week 2013

Looking to attract some attention to its InfoComm and CE Week booths, Leon Speakers created a piece of functional artwork that it calls the sound sculpture. Not quite as dramatic as the company's original sound sculpture, a 16-foot (4.9-m) dragon revealed in 2010, but still intriguing in its own right, the new sound sculpture hangs on the wall, where it seeks to dazzle both the eyes and ears.  Read More

TMI's split Bluetooth speakers

Though wireless speakers are certainly suggestive of music enjoyment in glorious stereo without getting tangled up in cables, the reality is often less than satisfactory. Take my trusty JBL Jembe Wireless speakers, for instance. Although Bluetooth-enabled, the two speakers are connected to each other by a cable, and there's yet another for power. There are speakers like the Dash 7 which pack a battery to offer extended periods of cable-free use, but such units house all of the speakers in one block. The TMI Stereo Speakers from Too Much Innovation take the best bits of both systems for what are claimed to be the only split wireless Bluetooth speakers (shortly to be) available.  Read More

The Anakonda KAN200 flexible speaker from K-array

Ensuring the dulcet tones of your keynote speaker reach every nook and cranny of a crowded conference room can be something of a challenge. Even perfectly-positioned box speakers and a powerful sound system might leave some guests wondering what exactly was said. Italian audio specialist K-array has come up with a distinctly bendy answer to the problem of placing speakers in those awkward, out of reach places. The Anakonda KAN200 is so flexible it can be wrapped around lamp stands or table legs, mounted to curved surfaces, or quite literally be tied in knots. It promises crisp, intelligible audio, and can be combined with other units to form one seamless sound line over 200 ft in length.  Read More

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