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Audio, Sound & Speakers Posts - Page 1

Amazon Echo teardown reveals the speakers impressive internals

Amazon's Echo speaker is still super fresh, but iFixit seem to get their hands-on these devices first, with a beautiful teardown revealing the internals of this smart speaker.

 

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Inside of the 10-inch tall Echo, we have three circuit boards and a bunch of processing chips which are found between two speakers and a bass reflex subwoofer. Texas Instruments silicon chips are found inside for controlling most things from the ring of LED lights, stereo playback and digital signal processing. SanDisk make an appearance with 4GB of flash storage, Samsung provides 256MB of RAM, while Qualcomm finds its way inside of the Echo speaker with a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module.

 

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Some eagle eyed readers might note that we haven't talked about a processor yet, because Echo has its processing done in the cloud. This is an impressive feat, and shows that the future of the cloud is very bright. Amazon's Echo, which is still an "invitation only" device right now, is getting some decent reviews from users so far.

Apple iPod Classic's reach a new extreme - $90,000 sale of rare item

Remember how we told you to hang onto your iPod classic for a little longer as they're discontinued and selling for a mint? Well, if you're looking for a house deposit or a fancy new imported car - now might be the time to auction off your limited edition iPod classic.

 

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Spotted recently on eBay thanks to Mashable, this special edition U2 iPod was auctioned off for a cool $90,000. Factory sealed and engraved with the autographs of U2's band members, this UK edition has surely helped boost some lucky fans bank accounts - and drained another.

 

There's also been a $180,000 iPod classic offering pop up on the popular auction and trade website, seeing investors jump at the chance to bolster their income for the year. We've also seen reports that sealed first-generation iPods are now going for a cool $20,000.

Continue reading 'Apple iPod Classic's reach a new extreme - $90,000 sale of rare item' (full post)

Bose products rumored to return to Apple Stores next week

After being ripped from Apple Store shelves not too long ago, Bose audio products are rumored to be making a return. iGen.fr, a French Apple website, has a source that said some Apple retail stores have been receiving shipments of Bose products, with orders from management to get them onto the shelves next week.

 

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We still don't know why Apple removed Bose products from their shelves in the first place, but it most likely has something to do with its acquisition of Beats Electronics. Not only that, but the patent infringement that Bose pulled on Beats back in July, which would now obviously affect Apple.

 

After Apple acquired Beats, Beats and Bose decided to settle the patent dispute between them. This could have filtered down enough that Bose is now on talking terms with Apple once again, maybe.

Logitech unveils the new Graffiti Fetish Edition UE BOOM speaker

Logitech has just unveiled the latest member in its ever-growing UE BOOM range of portable speakers, the new Graffiti Fetish Edition UE BOOM. This is the fifth version of the UE BOOM where Logitech has collaborated with artists for a custom-look on its speaker.

 

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The new speaker is now celebrating "the fusion of two art forms" with music, and graffiti gifs. Logitech explains the new speaker as "art, graffiti, fetishism, and desire collide in the Graffiti Fetish edition UE BOOM, a vivid and vibrant print by London street artist Insa". The new Graffiti Fetish Edition UE BOOM can be purchased directly from Logitech's UE BOOM website for $199.99 sometime later this month.

The Apple iPod Classic is now becoming an expensive collector item

A few months ago Apple had sneakily removed their Apple iPod Classic devices off their online stores - bringing a silent end to its longstanding history and reign as the first legitimately useful flash portable music listening device.

 

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This came about with their site upgrade thanks to the iPhone 6 release, with speculation stating that the old iPod's are no longer needed in today's market - mobile phones are becoming larger and larger in capacity, people are adding massive SD cards to their Android devices and much of our music is now streamed online. All of these factors start to render our old favorite a little bit useless.

 

Confirmed by CEO Steve Cook as "a declining business" the iPod Classic saw a swift removal from all online portals. But now they're becoming a bit of a rarity, seeing fans paying up to four times the originally listed price. This is said to be not only due to their limited nature, but the capacity that they hold.

Continue reading 'The Apple iPod Classic is now becoming an expensive collector item' (full post)

Microsoft adds native support for FLAC audio files in Windows 10

Audiophiles, rejoice! Windows 10 Project Manager Gabriel Aul has announced via Twitter that Microsoft will offer native FLAC support in their latest operating system. FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) is a commonly used lossless audio format that provides a more accurate reproduction of recordings. In other words, it sounds better than other formats, such as MP3, which compress recordings down to a more manageable size but lose quality in the process.

 

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FLAC audio files are very large, but the audio quality is superb. Windows has long forced users to turn to downloadable third-party audio codec packs to support FLAC, along with several other codecs. Microsoft has finally seen the light and is integrating FLAC directly into Windows Media Player 12 and the music app. Microsoft has also pleased the world at large by finally supporting MKV as well, so perhaps there will be less third-party codec downloads with insidious bloatware installers in our future.

Continue reading 'Microsoft adds native support for FLAC audio files in Windows 10' (full post)

Omni-directional single-person speaker on Kickstarter

"Snap" is a directional sound system, utilizing ultrasonic sound to carry waves in a straight path toward the listener meaning that any others not standing in the exact direction of this speaker will not be affected.

 

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Regular speakers distribute sound in a cone shape and alongside bouncing off objects in a room, allowing multiple users to listen to the same sounds in unison - you know, like a party. What we've got here is a parametric speaker, which through the methods displayed above, allow just one user to easily listen to sounds without disturbing others.

 

Think about it this way. Forget your headphones on the bus, plane trip or library study visit? Not to worry, set up your parametric speaker (or laptop with them already installed) and blast your hardstlye or death-metal away without getting in trouble from those around you. Developers have claimed that Snap is not their first directional speaker, saying that other models have been developed coming in at around $275 US retail price. Also due to Snap coming as a bunch of accessories, the users must assemble their own device.

Continue reading 'Omni-directional single-person speaker on Kickstarter' (full post)

Logitech announces the Skrillex Edition UE Boom mobile speaker

Logitech has announced its latest addition to the UE Boom lineup, with the company teaming up with six-time Grammy Award-winning electronic dance music producer Skrillex for the Skrillex Edition UE Boom.

 

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Skrillex has provided a unique visual style to the Skrillex Edition UE Boom, with his own hand-drawn work splashed onto the already slick-looking mobile speaker. Skrillex said: "UE BOOM is awesome because it's small, portable and powerful. They get so loud! I listen to them all the time on tour - from the bus to backstage. They're the best little speakers you can get, which is why I'm pumped to have my own artwork covering a custom edition".

 

The Logitech UE Boom is a great speaker, with my very positive review on it right here, but this new Skrillex Edition UE Boom is definitely for fans of Skrillex. General Manager of Ultimate Ears, Rory Dooley, said: "Skrillex has been a disruptive force in the EDM evolution, changing people's expectations of and experiences with music. UE is thrilled to work with an artist as notable as Skrillex to bring people their music in an exciting - and expressive - package. Skrillex finds inspiration in the combination of music, people and technology, and this collaboration is a natural fit for our brand".

Continue reading 'Logitech announces the Skrillex Edition UE Boom mobile speaker' (full post)

Amazon unveils Echo, a speaker with a built-in personal assistant

Amazon has just unveiled somewhat of a surprise to the world, in the form of an always-listening, waiting-for-your-command portable speaker: Echo. Amazon's Echo has a built-in virtual assistant, with Siri and Google Now-like abilities, which can help you out wherever your Echo is sitting.

 

 

Inside of the slick-looking black tube, we have a 360-degree-firing speaker, with a 2.5-inch subwoofer and 2-inch tweeter, capable of playing your music from a smartphone or tablet through Bluetooth. Echo is also able to play music online through your Amazon Music Library, Prime Music, TuneIn and iHeartRadio.

 

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Echo has seven microphones that feature far-field technology, so it can hear you from virtually anywhere in your room. It can use voice commands to do a variety of tasks, such as playing your music (the most obvious one), get the news for you, answer your questions, create to-do lists, set timers and alarms, tell jokes and much more. You can access Echo from anywhere, thanks to its companion app, too. In order to wake it up, you just use a "wake word" that you've set it up with: for example, "OK, Jarvis" would work nicely.

Continue reading 'Amazon unveils Echo, a speaker with a built-in personal assistant' (full post)

Southwest Airlines rolls out free Beats Music during flights

Southwest Airlines will introduce Apple's Beats Music for free on all aircraft that have Internet connectivity, in an effort to give travelers something to do while traveling. Using the free in-flight Wi-Fi network, travelers can listen to the Beats Music catalog using their smartphones, tablets, or laptops - with a Beats Music button displayed after passengers connect to the Wi-Fi network.

 

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"Southwest connects our customers to what is important in their lives, and in this case, it's music," said Kevin Krone, Southwest Airlines Chief Marketing Officer, in a press release. "We continue to enhance our onboard offerings to remain current as our customers' needs evolve, and with the addition of Beats Music on our entertainment portal, we're doing just that."

 

This is a unique marketing ploy by both companies, especially from Apple, which hopes passengers will turn into future subscribers.

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