Apple's portable music players have always been popular among music enthusiasts for the quality of the audio reproduction. Sure, they don't support the FLAC or Ogg Vorbis file formats that are the audiophiles preferred method of listening, but the internal audio processing components have always lent a certain cleanness to the audio quality.
At the Portable Audio Festival that took place in Tokyo over the weekend, there were some companies that were exhibiting high-res audio gear that are close enough to Apple to be able to speak to Mac Otakara about the possibility of Apple moving towards high-resolution audio for their streaming service, Apple Music.
Google has added support for high-resolution audio with its Chromecast Audio device, so you can now experience the aural bliss that is 96KHz/24bit lossless (assuming the song you're playing supports it). For the not-audiophiles, this is even better than the much-revered CD quality audio.
You can also blast that high-resolution audio in every room in the house now too if you feel like it, thanks to the addition of "Multi-room" functionality.
Researchers from the University of Belgrade claim that Graphene, a conductive carbon lattice, is even more useful that originally thought. They've made the world's first condenser microphone out of this material, quoted as 32 times more sensitive than nickel microphones in a report by Gizmodo.
In its current prototype state, the Serbian researchers were able to get to this phase by 'growing' sheets of graphene on a nickel foil, etching the nickel away and then placing their new creation within a microphone casing. Reports claim that this new creation has a sensitivity of 15 decibels higher than commercial microphones, handling frequencies up to 11 kHz.
The scientists claim that this prototype is just an indication of things to come, claiming much improved models in the near future, capable of completely blowing away current market-available models.
If you're interested in the high-end spectrum of audio, it's possible that Ultimate Ears (UE) is on your 'to watch' list. Starting at a price of $999, UE has worked with Capitol Studios on its new UE Pro Reference Remastered in-ear device, branding it as "an in-ear monitor tuned for high-resolution audio" in a recent press release.
Boasting a two-decade involvement in the high-end audio business, UE has thrown its 'True Tone Drivers' into this champion product. This model sets out to provide users with a flat response to 18KHz sound - allowing for clarity and the ability to hear harmonic structures and overtones missing in many other audio products.
This product is designed to "help bring studio-quality sound faithfully to the fan" according to Universal Music Group executive, Barak Moffitt, who expanded that this product promises to deliver audio "in a way that's completely faithful to the original studio recordings."
If you're an Uncharted fan, and a lover of vinyl, you will be happy to hear that iam8bit and Sony are working on a three-LP box set of the soundtracks to the Uncharted trilogy.
The soundtracks from Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception will all be made available through the Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection vinyl soundtrack box, which will feature Greg Edmonson's soundtrack being remastered for, and pressed onto an 18-gram colored vinyl.
To top it off, the vinyl soundtrack set will have artwork from Australian art collective We Buy Your Kids, where you can also purchase the artwork as a poster. The set can be pre-ordered for $55, and should ship in the first quarter of 2016.
Samsung's new R series speakers are shaped funny, but for a reason: the circular design means you can hear audio equally loud regardless of what side you are listening from. You might think distortion would be an issue, depending on placement, but Samsung claims this is not the case, as the diaphragms of the woofer and tweeter are closer to the speaker sides, resulting in "superb" treble and bass balance.
The R1 ($299), R3 ($499), and R5 ($649) set (pictured above, starting from the left) are the standard offerings, while the R6 ($599) and R7 ($699) are branded portable (those being the two on the right side in the image above).
PAX Australia 2015 - One of my oldest memories of Creative is using the Sound Blaster AWE 64 sound card back in the days of Wing Commander, but the company walked us through their booth at PAX Australia 2015 this year in Melbourne, impressing us with their latest headsets and audio products.
The company has launched its new Sound BlasterX range, with the highest end model in the H7. We tested out both the H7 and the more mid-range H5 model with some impressive results. The audio range and sound were great, with more than impressive bass levels. CS:GO was being played on the headset, and the explosions and gun fire sounded quite good for a pair of headsets priced at under $200.
Memorabilia masters Mondo have put together quite the early Christmas present, slapping the entire score from the 'Back to the Future' trilogy onto an awesome-looking vinyl set.
You can grab each movie individually as a two-record set for $35 each, or the entire vinyl kit for $105. The individual album versions include artwork by Matt Taylor, who was responsible for the screen-print Back to the Future posters for Mondo while the box set artwork and design was done by DKNG Studios.
If you buy the kit, you'll get it in an awesome radioactive box, the same box that Doc had in the first movie. The album art itself looks incredible, with any 'Back to the Future' fan set to jump at the chance to secure themselves this beautiful kit.
If you're a real fan of BBC's DR WHO and simply can't get enough, Massive Audio has just announced its new DOCTOR WHO Bluetooth wireless and wired headphone models. With the information being released recently through a press release and stock expecting to arrive very soon, these headphones are a continuation of Massive Audio's TARDIS and Dalek Bluetooth speaker products.
Designed with an over-ear design across all models, the Bluetooth edition further features an inbuilt microphone, song controls and a claimed 30-hour play time on a single charge.
If you're interested in one of these for yourself, the Bluetooth edition will set you back $119.98 and the wired edition $79.98. There will be a plethora of stores stocking this 57mm driver-packing product, including the BBC SHOP, Think Geek, Amazon and Game Stop.
Audio company V-MODA has unveiled the Crossfade Wireless Over-Ear headphones, a hybrid audio device that supports both wired and wireless listening.
The headphones can maintain a wireless Bluetooth signal up to 33 feet away, with 12 hours of continuous listening. V-MODA also supports a dual-diaphragm 50mm driver, and plugging in a cable immediately switches off all electronics so zero latency can be achieved. The built-in hidden microphone supports phone calls and voice recognition, whether connected to a PC and notebook or smartphone.
"As an avid analog purist, for years I said I would not make a wireless headphone; instead, we decided to make our best over-ear wired headphone yet featuring the best wireless mode," said Val Kolton, CEO of V-MODA. "After years of R&D, we can proudly say that Crossfade Wireless is versatile enough to be the everyday audio weapon of choice for music professionals, audiophiles, gamers and savvy consumers, alike."