Back in the day, boomboxes were all the rage, busting out golden age hip-hop while breakdancers popped, locked, and windmilled the their big beats. The problem with carrying around a real boombox was that they were really heavy to lug around.
If you’re a serious audiophile, nothing less than the best headphones will do. There are a handful of players at the very top end of the headphone market, and now French audio equipment maker Focal has joined the ranks with their ultra-premium Utopia headphones.
Musicians rejoice! IK Multimedia just dropped a big update to their iRig HD interface, making it the best way yet to connect musical instruments to your iOS device, PC or Mac. The iRig HD 2 lets you connect guitars, basses, and other instruments to digital devices, and lets you record, tweak and tune sounds to your heart’s content.
Sony’s new Walkman NW-WM1Z high-res audio player costs three times as much as last year’s high-end Walkman release. This time out, the audiophile player features “detailed acoustics and natural sound qualities,” thanks to its new S-Master HX digital amp.
Over the years, I’ve tested out dozens of different headphones and earphones, and until now, the best sounding ones I ever heard were a pair of STAX electrostatic headphones, connected to a schmancy tube amplifier. The technology in electrostatic headphones and speakers provides an incredibly clean and dynamic sound that is nearly impossible to produce with other driver technology.
Headphones are like cars. There are cheap and basic ones that get the job done, and then there are Ferraris. The Focal Elear is one of the luxury supercars of the headphone world. Everything about them exudes quality, from their impeccable build and styling to their incredible sound.
Today’s smartphones are shooting better and better video, making them more than sufficient for most purposes. However, one area where smartphones still kind of stink is in their audio recording quality. Their puny internal microphones were designed for making phone calls – so they tend to be tinny, and pick up lots of hiss and noise.
French audio gear maker Focal may not be a common name among everyday electronics buyers, but they’re well known in the audiophile community for their high-end speakers, which can cost thousands of dollars. With the release of Focal’s Listen headphones, buyers can enjoy some of the engineering know how that goes into such fancy listening devices without breaking the bank.
The Dato Duo combines a sequencer with a synthesizer. That’s no big deal, but what is different is that it is designed to be played by two people, making it perfect for musical collaborations. That’s a pretty cool feature, because two minds are often better than one when it comes to music.
Earphones are becoming smarter and smarter, but most of them incorporate fitness or communication options. SenCbuds on the other hand promise a simple but still practical feature. They automatically pause the audio when you take them off, then resume playing if you put them back on.
A few years ago, we featured Vocre, a mobile app that translates speech from one language to another using your mobile device as a display, a microphone and a speaker. A new company called Waverly Labs claims it’s working on a more elegant solution that uses wireless earphones.
When you think about headphones these days, the first thing that comes to mind is those silly little earbuds you attach to your iPhone. But serious audio junkies know that proper over-the-ear headphones can sound better than loudspeakers, providing an immersive, dynamic and personal listening experience like no other.
If you’re in the market for a wireless sound system, you’ll definitely want to check out the speaker lineup from Definitive Technology. The company offers a variety of wireless speaker systems which connect to your Wi-Fi network to provide high quality audio in every room of your home.
If you’ve ever needed to interview someone for a podcast or video shoot, you know it can be tricky to get the microphones set up properly. You can buy a couple of pricey mics, connect them to a mixing board, and then hook them up to a dedicated recorder, or you could travel light and grab a pair of IK Multimedia iRig Mic Lavs, and your smartphone instead.