Pioneer electronics makes all sorts of gear for pro and amateur DJs alike. Much of that gear is the controllers and other decks used to make music. Pioneer also has a full line of headphones that are aimed at the DJ. Most DJ headphones we see have big over the ear cans that are bulky.
If you are the sort that prefers a more compact and comfortable in-ear headphone, Pioneer has unveiled two new offerings that are just for you. The headphones include the DJE-2000 and DJE-1500. The high-end DJE-2000 has a hybrid 2-way driver that is able to produce deep bass in the back driver and mid/high range sounds in the front.
The DJE-1500 has a single driver design with a CCAW voice coil and a speaker diaphragm made of a ceramic powder coating. Both headphones come with multiple ear tips for comfortable and correct sizing. Both sets of headphones also have detachable cables.
Polk Audio has announced that it will be launching the very fest set of Xbox One headphones that will hit the market. The headphones are the Polk 4 Shot Headset. The headset will hit store shelves in the US on March 6.
The headphones were made in collaboration with 343 industries and Turn 10 studios, the developer's behind Halo and Forza Motorsport respectively. The headphones use a 40mm driver in each ear cup and have a 3.5mm input. They ship with a 46-inch audio cable and a 4-inch cable for connecting to the Xbox One wireless controller.
The headphones were designed specifically for the best in-game experience possible according to Polk. The 4 shot does have a retractable near-field microphone that can also be used for making calls in addition to chatting in-game. The 4shot headphones will sell for $159.99 and are available in three colors.
There are more speakers on the market today than you could possibly listen to. Many of those speakers are made using speaker diaphragms made of plastic, metal, or some sort of fiber. Panasonic is talking up its latest loudspeaker that it says is the first in the world to use bamboo plant opal.
Bamboo plant opal is a material that is very rigid and found in the leaves of the bamboo plant. Panasonic says that the material is able to create a diaphragm that can deliver low distortion sound. The speaker is suitable for use in home speakers and automotive speakers.
Other than using the bamboo plant opals found in the leaves, the speaker also uses other parts of the bamboo plant. It uses resins made from bamboo fibers and bamboo charcoal. Bamboo is a fast growing, green, and renewable material.
Scosche makes a wide array of audio devices, speakers, and accessories for smartphones. One of the last products we talked about from Scosche was a new wearable fitness device that was unveiled around CES 2014. Scosche is back today with a new Bluetooth speaker designed for music on the go.
The speaker is called the boomCAN BT and it uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone or other device. It also has a 3.5mm input for devices that don't support Bluetooth. The 3.5mm cable is included and stored in the carry case for the speaker. Also tucked away inside that carry case is the USB cable needed to charge the internal battery.
Scosche says that the battery is good for 2 hours of playback per charge. That isn't a lot of run time, but you can't get a massive battery inside such a small device. The boomCAN BT is under 2.5-inches tall and 2-inches wide.
Over the last few years Sceptre has gone from a little known brand that pretty much only sold online to a brand that you can find in many large retail stores around the country. The company was first known for computer monitors and TVs, but it has now branched out into other product categories.
One of those other product categories is the portable speaker realm. Sceptre has unveiled its latest Bluetooth speaker called the SoundPal. The speaker uses Bluetooth 2.1 for connectivity with your portable device. It also has NFC tech inside for easy paring with NFC equipped devices.
The SoundPal has a microSD card slot so you can play your digital tunes directly over the speaker without needing to connect a smartphone via Bluetooth. The speaker also has a 3.5mm audio input jack for connecting devices that lack Bluetooth.
If you aren't happy with the sound your TV has right out of the box, there is a wide range of solutions that will get you better sound. If you have the room and the inclination, you can go with a full surround sound system with multiple speakers.
However, some people don't want wires and speakers sitting all around the room. For this sort of person, a soundbar might be the best thing and Yamaha has a new offering that has nice features and a nice price. The sound bar is the YAS-103 and it is the follow-up to the best selling Yamaha sound bar ever called the YAS-101.
The main difference between the YAS-101 and the new 103 is that the YAS-103 has support for Bluetooth streaming and for control via a smartphone app. The YAS-103 supports Dolby Digital and DTS virtual surround sound. It also has two full range drivers, two down firing subwoofers, and a bass reflex port.
It's been a while since we talked about Grace Digital. The company is known for making a number of Wi-Fi streaming music players with an eye towards online radio and other content. The company is back with a new Wi-Fi music player that would be at home next to the bed. The music player is called the Encore.
The Encore is fitted with a special tweeter and woofer arrangement for clear vocals and deep bass. The Encore connects to online radio and other content via Wi-Fi network in the home or office. You can save your favorite internet radio stations to a preset for easy access. The device supports just about any internet radio station you can think of along with Pandora, SiriusXM, Rhapsody, and Live365.
The Encore has enough storage to save 100 of your favorite stations to memory. It also has seven alarms with an adjustable sleep timer and a large snooze bar. Other features include a headphone jack, RCA output, and RCA aux-input.
Harman Kardon has been around for a long time and has a reputation for making speakers and other radio gear that sounds good and looks really cool too. Harman Kardon makes the cool Nova speakers that we talked about back in November. These speakers have a cool clear case and NFC tech crammed inside.
Harman Kardon is back with a couple new products being unveiled, including a set of attractive headphones called the Soho and a wireless loudspeaker called the Esquire. The Soho headphones are Android compatible and have an inline mic and remote. That means you can control your music without taking your smartphone out of your pocket or bag and make and receive phone calls.
The Soho headphones fold flat making them only 1.25-inches thick and easy to take on the go. They are available in white, black, and brown colors for £169.99. The Esquire wireless loudspeaker is aimed at people wanting to share their music with a large group.
Streaming music services such as Pandora could be putting a dent into digital album sales, with music listeners enjoying a cheaper and wider selection to music. Copyright groups, providers and consumers are still fighting through a complicated royalty battle that has left all sides disappointed through various periods.
Digital album sales finally passed CD and physical album sales in 2011, but digital music sales dropped in 2013, as Amazon, Apple and other companies will need to fight for consumer attention. It's not all bad news for music vendors, however, as 50 percent of streaming music subscribers also purchase at least one album's equivalent in digital downloads each month, according to research group Nielsen.
Online music is coming upon an interesting crossroads, with Beats Music jumping into the crowded streaming music market, while Deezer decided to shutter.
In a world where stand-alone MP3 players are a quickly dying breed, companies are resulting to extreme measures to sell their products in which they have invested millions into. Sony's W Series Walkman is one of those devices that while it may be a barebones MP3 player with no additional special functionality, has one major thing going for it; its waterproof.
To highlight this unique feature in New Zealand, Sony has began packaging the W Series inside of a bottle full of water with the help from an ad firm called DraftFCB. The bottle appears to be a reusable sports bottle with a stainless steel band around the top that bears the Walkman logo. Getting your hands on one of these will not be easy though as Sony has placed vending machines containing the Bottled Walkman inside of select gyms and pool facilities around New Zealand.
Bring your best Spotify playlist, and jump on a plane for the Netherlands - where the European Space Agency has its Large European Acoustic Facility, or LEAF, which has quite the sound system installation.
LEAF is a collection of spaceflight simulation facilities, all under a single roof. The main test chamber features two massive horns, as you can see pictured above. Nitrogen is shot through them which produces a range of sounds, up to and exceeding 154 decibels. The ESA describes this to standing as close as you humanly could to a passenger jet, as it's taking off.
If you were to stand next to the LEAF system, your body simply couldn't handle it. So the ESA has installed multiple safety features, where the system will not work if the doors are not closed. The walls are also coated with epoxy resin to absorb sound waves. Steel-reinforced concrete walls encapsulate the test chamber which blocks more of the sound, and the entire room itself is supported by rubber pads which stop the vibration from being transferred throughout the entire building.
Today ROCCAT announced the launch of its latest gaming headset, the Kave XTD 5.1. The Kave XTD is a true 5.1 digital gaming headset and is built on the foundation of the original Kave headset, with an entirely new ground-up design. The Kave XTD 5.1 features a fully-equipped desktop remote that incorporates a full 5.1 digital sound card as well as several other exciting features.
The Kave XTD 5.1 features ROCCAT Smart Link technology that lets users pair their smartphone with their headset and can make and receive calls during a gaming session by pressing a button on the remote control. The phones audio is piped into the headset, and allows gamers to take their call while in-game without the need to remove their headset. The Kave XTD's software mutes any incoming or outgoing audio from the game or chat software during calls, so no one hears your conversation but you.
The Kave XTD features 3 drivers per ear cup that have been aligned at a 12 degree angle to provide clean, crisp, and immersive sound. The remote control also features the ability to connect a true 5.1 audio speaker system to your PC from the 5.1 sound card built into the remote, and users can switch from headset mode to speaker mode with the push of a button. Finally, the Kave XTD 5.1 features a sensitive boom mic that is positioned perfectly for accurate communication with your fellow players.
I personally haven't used a Klipsch product before, but I've heard nothing but good things over the years. The speaker and headphone manufacturer has just unveiled two new gaming headsets, designed specifically, for gaming.
Starting with the Klipsch KG-200, which is a wired headset featuring 40-millimeter drivers and four equalizer presets: Fidelity, Combat, Stealth and Sport, will cost you $129.99. Then we have the wireless KG-300 headset which will be $70 more at $199.99, will feature the same EQ settings, plus Dolby Digital decoding and Klipsch SphereSpace Surround Technology. The KG-300 will require three AAA batteries to run.
Klipsch says its new gaming headsets will run on the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and PC, and will be available through its website and authorized retailers starting next month.
Audio maker JBL added its Flip 2 Bluetooth-enabled portable sound system into a crowded audio market at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), a refresh to the company's popular Flip speaker. The device is powered by micro-USB and no longer needs an AC adapter, with improved speaker and speakerphone clarity. Rated with five hours of battery life, which isn't as good as it could be, the Flip 2 is still a solid speaker that provides good quality audio playback.
"It's much more than a portable sound system," said Michael Mauser, HARMAN Lifestyle Division President, in a statement. "With dual, performance-tuned drivers and a built-in bass port, it's a party in the palm of your hand."
The JBL Flip 2 will be released later this year with a $129 price tag.
Bluetooth speakers are great for providing wireless audio in a compact, portable form factor, but sound quality has only recently started to progress. JBL and other established manufacturers are pushing the boundaries for consumers to have a small, energy-efficient product when listening to music.
One of the more exciting devices to slide through Kickstarter, is the ROCKI. We wrote about it a little while ago now, but the Kickstarter is slowly coming to an end, with something exciting announced in the last few hours of its crowdfunding.
ROCKI will see Spotify and Deezer support, with a new $210,000 stretch goal of: "Spotify or Deezer - Which first?" announced. ROCKI required $50,000 in funding, but quickly flew past that, and is now soaring above $204,000 at the time of writing. With around 30 hours to go, you need to jump in and throw money at your monitor for the ROCKI if you're a music lover. Free your music with ROCKI, and now Spotify and Deezer support? Yes, thanks!
Today BitFenix took a step into an entirely new realm of PC peripherals by launching its first high-end headset. The new Flow headset is designed to be extremely comfortable at and away from the PC. An included mobile audio cable, makes this headset perfect for use on-the-go as well as during intense gaming sessions.
The Flow Headset features the same sleek, modern, and minimalist design theaming that BitFenix is known for, while powerful 40mm drivers deliver clear, crisps audio that is sure to please. The SoftFeel ear cups will cushion your ears while a steel frame will keep everything rigid. No pricing information was provided at the time of this writing.
Headphone and earbud maker, Skullcandy has just released a new bluetooth wireless speaker called the Air Raid. The people from Skullcandy claim that it is louder than the competition. They are also saying it is "it is built like a tank and loud as hell." The Air Raid can hold a charge of 14 hours has two 50mm drivers. The Air Raid is a nice portable size and perfect for occasions like parties, camping, tailgating etc. You won't have to worry about breaking it either, they claim it is life proof and is water resistant. Air Raid will be available for $150.
SteelSeries has just unveiled its latest H Wireless Headset, which is a new multi-platform wireless headset. The H Wireless Headset provides "robust sound, lag-free wireless and versatile functionality bring superior audio to a wide range of platforms, including PC, Mac, mobile devices, consoles, home entertainment, streaming devices and more." The new SteelSeries wireless headset boats some impressive Dolby technologies, including:
- Dolby Digital reproduces multichannel audio for a cinematic audio experience
- Dolby Headphone recreates the sensation of up to 7.1-channel multi-speaker surround sound in headphones
- Dolby Pro Logic IIx optimizes the surround sound experience for the most realistic multi-directional sound
What about gaming? Well, SteelSeries has your back with two innovative gaming features. The first, is ChatMix, which lets the user tune the right balance between game and chat audio, which comes in handy, as you can increase another gamers voice, but keep your game volume tuned to your specific liking.
If your desktop is feeling a little bare, then maybe you could check out Harman Kardon's latest Nova stereo system. The new speakers are compatible with pretty much anything that pumps out audio, either wired, or wirelessly.
Harman Kardon's Nova system features 2.5-inch drivers and 1.25-inch tweeters, with the company stating it will provide a richer listening experience. Not only that, but the Nova speakers have passive radiators with a turbine enclosure, that will provide an extended bass response. This means that the frequency response is 70Hz to 20Hz, with Harman Kardon's DSP technology paving the way for improved soundstaging and voicing.
Not only do they have the usual 3.5mm audio jack, but the Nova speakers feature NFC capabilities, and a quick-paring feature that lets users activate the Nova by simply touching the mobile device near the speakers. How much is it going to cost you? $300, which isn't too bad, but it is a Harman Kardon device after all.
Cambridge Audio has just unveiled a new Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) that is said to change one's entire computer audio experience. The all new DacMagic XS is a ultra-compact Digital to Analog Converter that takes the digital audio signal from your PC and converts it into a much more rich and full analog signal for a true Hi-Fi experience.
The DacMagic XS is smaller is size than your average matchbox but still manages to pack in the high-end components and technology needed to produce a product that audiophiles will appreciate. The DacMagic also features a built in headphone amplifier, that delivers ten times more power than most of the laptops soundcards are capable of. This ensures that the audio is always crisp and clear, even in the noisiest environments. Cambridge Audio says that the DacMagic XS is available now at an MSRP of $189.
Music streaming services are all the rage these days and it appears that owning just one of these services is just not enough for Google. Today Billboard.com is reporting that YouTube is planning to launch its own streaming service similar to Spotify in that it will have a subscription level of membership as well as a free version.
What sets YouTube apart from similar services such as iTunes Radio, Spotify, and even Google Play Music, is that it will offer music videos, something no one else has even hinted on in the past. While it is still not clear as to how the service will operate, I expect some form of partnership with Vevo, the largest music video producer on YouTube. Vevo is in a nice situation to partner up with Google and YouTube on this and already has tens of thousands of videos in their catalog. What do you think? Would you buy into a music video streaming service? Personally I think I will be sticking to Spotify.