Audio, Sound & Speakers News - Page 3
Philip is introducing new Sleep Headphones, created in collaboration with Kokoon, to improve one's sleep. In addition to being headphones that you can wear all night long. This includes side-sleepers, which is usually the realm where anything headphone or earbud related is a big no-no on account of the discomfort. The "world's thinnest headphones with integrated biosensors" also detect when you fall asleep and will adjust sound levels accordingly so as not to disrupt you.
The profile here is tiny, with a thickness of only 6mm compared to most earbuds in the 20+mm range, and made of soft silicone.
These earbuds are also great for blocking background noise as they come equipped with white noise filters, which are handy if you're in a noisy environment or there's snoring. This is not to be confused with Active Noise Cancelling (ANC), which is not a feature here.
The Sony Walkman is an iconic music player dating back to 1979 when it quickly became a phenomenon thanks to being able to listen to music on the go - on cassette tapes. So much so that back in the day, portable cassette players were referred to as Walkmans even though that was explicitly Sony branding.
With the arrival of CDs, it stepped aside for the fresh-on-the-scene Discman and disappeared as the Apple iPod became the portable music player of choice in the digital age. Fast forward to 2023, and the Sony Walkman is now a premium portable music player, as seen in the new NW-ZX707 (USD 899.99) and NW-A306 (USD 349.99) models.
No doubt, the price of the NW-ZX707 Sony Walkman might make you do a double take, but when it comes to listening to high-fidelity music, high-end components are a big deal. In addition to the larger 5-inch display and enhanced battery life, the NW-ZX707 uses high-polymer capacitors and OFC (Oxygen-Free Copper) in the underlying hardware. It also uses what Sony calls a DSD (Direct Stream Digital) Remastering Engine to make compressed music on platforms like Spotify sound better.
Apple has unveiled its second-generation HomePod, which the company claims sports "breakthrough sound and intelligence".
In a new press release published on Apple's website, the company explains that the second-generation HomePod comes with several upgrades in the audio and functionality department. Apple explains that users will now be able to create smart home automation through an upgraded Siri, inform users with alerts when carbon monoxide or smoke alarms are triggered while also being able to read the temperature and humidity of a room.
Additionally, the new HomePod offers advanced computational audio for a new listening experience, including support for immersive Spatial Audio tracks. For perspective, Apple launched the original HomePod at $349 but decided to reduce the price when it saw the success of smaller similar devices such as Google's Nest, and Amazon Echo. Reactionarily, Apple decided to cut the price to $299 in 2019 and roll out the HomePod Mini, which has been widely popular, according to the press release.
When it comes to PC sound there's no shortage of quality headsets and maybe a few decent speaker options. Thankfully we've seen the arrival of PC soundbars in recent years, with Razer's Leviathan range being one of the more notable offerings. The latest revision though is certainly the most interesting to date as it sports AI-powered head tracking that is then used to directly beam PC audio to your ears. Powered by Audioscenic technology it sounds very cool.
The head tracking in the new Razer Leviathan V2 Pro is handled via an IR camera that sits on top of the soundbar, which then uses the five full-range 2-inch speakers inside the soundbar for some adaptive beamforming action. Which is the process of firing and controlling frequency responses across multiple speakers to shape and direct audio. Or, if that description didn't make a lot of sense - chalk it up to audio magic.
With audio being directional for the most part, if it works as described then no matter where you are in terms of being in front of your PC, the Razer Leviathan V2 Pro will deliver consistent audio quality. In terms of the audio itself, the Razer Leviathan V2 Pro features THX Spatial Audio to simulate 3D sound, which makes full use of the speakers and in-built downward firing subwoofer. Bluetooth support is also included, alongside a handy 3.5mm headphone jack, and Razer Chroma RGB lighting across 30 distinct zones.
Apple launched its first-gen AirPods onto the market three years ago now, back in 2019, and have been purchased (loved, or hated) by millions and millions of customers across the planet. But what about its successor: the upcoming Apple AirPods 2?
Well, the new Apple AirPods 2 are getting some attention on the rumor mill, with Mark Gurman saying that Apple will launch its new AirPods 2 earbuds without any health features such as heart rate monitoring. These types of future-gen health-related features were something most people expected, but we might be getting a more simple update from Apple instead.
The new Apple AirPods 2 will reportedly be launching with improved audio quality, better battery life, and NO health-related features according to Mark Gurman in his latest "Power On" newsletter. The biggest issue appears to be the battery life of the original AirPods Pro, where if you purchased the original AirPods Pro back when they launched towards the end of 2019, you might be getting some not-so-great battery life out of them as the batteries would be nearing the end of their life.
Sony's new ultra-high-end Walkman is so hardware super-powered that you probably won't have the music collection to truly unleash it, but the new NW-WM1ZM2 is here, and it costs a whopping $3700.
So... what does a $3700 ultra-high-end Sony NW-WM1ZM2 Walkman get you? Inside, Sony is using an S-Master HX digital amp with "fine-tuned" capacitors, thick Kimber Kable (which links the amp to the headphone jack), and a 99.99% pure gold-plated, oxygen-free copper chassis.
Sony is using a larger 5-inch 720p display, a larger power supply, and an improved upscaling algorithm that's capable of CD-quality audio (16-bit, 44/48kHz). Inside, Sony gives you 256GB of expandable storage, Wi-Fi streaming, a USB-C port, and up to 40 hours of battery life if you're listening to 96kHz FLAC audio. There's also support for 32-bit, 384kHz audio in MQA and WAV formats, but I'm sure you know about the NW-WM1ZM2 if you're using those audio formats.
SteelSeries announced and released their new Arctis Nova Pro gaming headset at Computex 2022, which the company teased has been "four years in the making".
The company set itself some great goals from the start: removing pain points when gaming, and the best audio in gaming. SteelSeries has provided a clean look, has AI-powered voice clarity, high-fidelity audio, and the best comfort so you can be wearing them all day without feeling discomfort... and that's a big deal.
SteelSeries uses a dual-battery "Infinity Power System" for "unlimited battery life", where you can use one of the batteries in the headset, while charging another -- and then swap them out when needed. The new SteelSeries Arctic Nova Pro gaming headset is tapping "Quantum 2.0 Wireless" letting gamers mix two audio connections simultaneously: this allows for communicating with your friends over the phone, while you're gaming on your PC or console.
You've just walked into an Apple Store and plonked down around $449 for the absolutely amazing (I personally purchased a pair, and they are the best headset I've ever used) Apple AirPods Max headphones... but what do you put it in?
A $980 bag from Gucci, poser.
Gucci's new "Ophidia case for AirPods Max" include style (and price) that only Gucci can pull off, but if you're into that type of thing then I'll let Gucci explain it best: "The Aria collection explores Gucci's archives, combining vintage-inspired details with the contemporary".
Another year, another idiot has swallowed an Apple AirPod "accidentally" with a TikTok user accidentally picking up and swallowing something far, far bigger than some painkillers... and get this: the entire thing was recorded from within her stomach.
The TikTok user is of course warning everyone of her ordeal, saying that she thought she had taken some painkillers when she picked up the Apple AirPod in her left hand while the painkillers were in her right hand. She continued on her TikTok video: "I was crawling into bed. I like threw something back, took my water bottle and took a sip then realized it wasn't the Ibuprofen. I tried puking it up and it would not come out".
She eventually pooped the Apple AirPod out, while confirming she had an X-ray to confirm what had happened and to keep an eye on the situation. The TikTok user said that the AirPod was connected to her iPhone and she was on a call, after sending a voice message to her friend they could hear a gurgling sound from her stomach... yummy.
Apple has done something that they normally don't do: update a previous service with a higher quality feature, and didn't charge anything more for it... that's exactly what the company has done with Apple Music.
Apple Music will soon have lossless audio that will cost users no more per month, it will be included in their Apple Music subscription. Not only that, but Apple will be pumping thousands of Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos capable tracks onto Apple Music with more dropping on the service over time.
75 million songs on Apple Music with lossless quality are now available to every Apple Music subscriber, at no additional cost... from Apple... with no additional cost (again for emphasis).