Highlights from Interbike 2014

Surround Sound

The Logitech Z906 TXH-Certified surround sound speaker system

Logitech has announced that its veteran digital 5.1 speaker system, the highly regarded Z-5500, is to be retired and replaced by a newer model at the end of the month. On the face of it, the upgrades to the new Z906 system appear to be purely cosmetic. It offers similar specs to its ancestor but loses out slightly on the total RMS output, although Logitech says that it will still shake your house. The system benefits from multi-source simultaneous digital and analog input, wire-free remote and room-filling Dolby and DTS surround sound technology.  Read More

The MixAmp 5.8 system allows gamers to attach just about any set of wired headphones to a ...

Being wired for sound to a games console can be a somewhat restricting experience, especially if you're trying to release your inner rock star with games like Rock Band 3. Astro Gaming has taken its pro-gaming MixAmp audio technology and made it both wireless and home-friendly. Users of the MixAmp 5.8 system can plug in just about any pair of wired headphones to the wireless receiver and benefit from 7.1-channel Dolby Surround Sound and a virtually interference-free wireless connection to the transmitter.  Read More

Creative has released a couple of USB solutions that bring Sound Blaster surround sound au...

Having spent a number of years as the audio weapon of choice for computer sound systems, Creative has announced a couple of USB releases that will allow any sound card to benefit from its Sound Blaster know-how. The Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro is said to offer true 5.1 surround sound, while the Sound Blaster X-Fi Go! Pro has been designed for mobile listeners. Both benefit from the company's THX TruStudio Pro entertainment system, that provides depth and space to give a more natural feel to stereo output.  Read More

The 6.1-inch XNV-660BT

Sony has announced its first foray into the U.S. in-dash car navigation system market which sees it teaming up with TomTom. Joining Sony’s existing line of Xplod in-dash A/V units, the XNV-660BT boasts a 6.1-inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen, while the XNV-770BT ups the screen real estate to 7-inches. In addition to car navigation duties, both units feature CD/DVD playback, integrated Bluetooth, rear USB 1-wire connectivity for portable music players and support for multi-channel audio playback with virtual 5.1 channel surround sound capabilities.  Read More

The 3Dxy electric guitar pickup system registers string vibration on two axes to offer a r...

The incredible guitar virtuosity from the likes of Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson and Stanley Jordan all rely on their string-picking proficiency being registered by the instrument's pickups. These vibrations are then transformed into electrical signals and sent off to an amplifier for our listening pleasure. Using such a setup, string movement can only be read on one axis, the horizontal. The 3Dxy pickup system reads each string twice, on both the horizontal and the vertical and is said to result in a rich, surround sound effect called natural stereo.  Read More

Sony's DR-GA200 headset

Hardened first person shooter (FPS) veterans know that your ears can be as important as your eyes when battling hordes of enemy combatants. Such veterans will also be aware that the staccato of gunfire and the sound of exploding body parts aren’t always appreciated by other members of the household – particularly in the early hours. In response to extensive research to show what different gamers want from their headsets, Sony has unveiled its DR-GA500 and DR-GA200 headsets designed to maximize spatial awareness without waking up the neighbors.  Read More

Connected to a Toshiba laptop at this year's Computex

Call me old fashioned but when I see the comforting glow of a vacuum tube I know that I'm in for some sonic pleasure. And that's precisely the thinking behind the aim AS301DTS USB audio tube headphone amplifier. OK, so the vacuum tube doesn't actually work, it's designed that way to trigger the very mental connection I opened with. That done, the tiny device then promises to deliver bass-enhanced surround sound to just about any pair of headphones attached to it. Sweet.  Read More

The Zo from digiZoid

At the beginning of May digiZoid introduced the Zo personal subwoofer, which claimed to enhance a listener's sonic experience by offering increasing degrees of bass contouring to any audio fed through it. Over the past week I've had the chance to take the Zo for a spin. Has it lived up to the claims of its manufacturer? Read on for a full review.  Read More

The Psyko 5.1 gaming headset

Most of us are now familiar with 5.1 surround sound systems that allow us to enjoy (almost) cinematic audio experiences in our living rooms when watching movies or playing games. The Psyko 5.1 gaming headset aims to offer a similar experience by using air tubes to direct sounds to the ears from five speakers fitted in the bridge and subwoofers within each ear cup.  Read More

Holophone offers Professional 5.1 Surround Sound at the camera for US$600

The vast majority of multi-channel sound (stereo, 5.1, 6.1, etc) is produced post-production, making it difficult to squeeze professional-grade discrete 5.1 audio quality into modest production budgets … until now. The Holophone PortaMic 5.1 and PortaMic Pro surround microphones both sit atop your video camera and offer a cost-effective means of recording surround sound directly to a camera or indeed, any stereo recording device. At US$600 and US$1000 respectively, the microphones permanently offer professional discrete surround recording from a single point source for a once-only price off, with no additional mixing required. Bargain!  Read More

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