aiFi is a Stackable, Configurable Speaker System at CES

Aifi logoWith the invention of portable media players and earbuds, music listening moved from an inherently social event to an isolated experience. The problem has only been exacerbated over time, as boomboxes and portable stereo systems have fallen out of favor with consumers. aiFi is a new speaker system that’s looking to bring music back out into the open.

Scott met with Fredrik from aiFi. Fredrik explained that aiFi is a unique speaker system that can be used in multiple ways. One aiFi speaker works just fine on its own. But when it’s stacked with another aiFi speaker or setup with two or more other aiFi’s, the speakers will configure themselves, depending on the location of each aiFi. For example, stacking two aiFi’s will increase the bass response of each unit. Or, three aiFi’s could be placed together to create a sound-bar system for TV viewing. aiFi speakers accept input thru either bluetooth, optical line-in or standard audio line-in, so these speakers can be used with nearly any type of sound source.

Interview by Scott of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the TechPodcast Network.

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Altec Lansing Brings new Waterproof Speakers to CES

Altec logo

Electronics and water. Two things that just don’t go well together. And while it’s easy enough to keep your electronics dry at home, what about those times when you’d like to play some music or listen to a podcast at the beach or next to a swimming pool? Altec Lansing has a new line of waterproof bluetooth speakers that you can use virtually anywhere.

Scott had a chat with Jill from Altec Lansing. Jill showed off an impressive array of products from the company’s “jacket” line. Starting wit the Mini h2o Jacket ($39.99) going all the way up to the Boom Jacket ($199.99), these speakers are wireless, waterproof and highly durable. All of these speakers are also designed to float, so no worries if they’re dropped into the ocean or knocked into a pool. Altec Lansing even put these speakers thru a series of tests, including fire and bullets. And each time, the speakers came thru, still working as expected.

Interview by Scott of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the TechPodcast Network.

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Denon Brings Innovative new Professional-Grade Gear to CES

Denon logoNo doubt there’s a big focus on consumer-focused products at CES. But there’s still much to be found at the show that’s specifically aimed towards professionals. Denon is a great example of one company that’s not here to sell wearables or kids’ toys.

Nick caught up with Eric from Denon. Eric demonstrated several of Denon’s new products that are specifically designed for use by audio-video integrators. The first is the Solutions series bluetooth-enabled receiver. It’s a box that transmits audio via bluetooth and can easily be integrated into a pro-grade sound system.

Next up is the Denon Envoy, a 360-watt chargeable PA speaker that comes loaded with different input options. Envoy can stream audio from a bluetooth-connected smartphone, it can play media from a built-in SD card slot or it can be connected to a standard external mixer. Envoy’s battery will run for up to 12 hours on one charge.

The last piece of gear in the demonstration is the DN300Z rack-mountable media player. This device is designed to play any type of media a user might have on hand. It’ll play CD’s, bluetooth streams, files from SD cards or USB sticks, even AM/FM radio. This unit would work great in situations where it’s necessary to play back multiple media formats in a hurry.

Interview by Nick DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the TechPodcast Network.

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IK Multimedia Announces iRig PowerBridge

Ik Multimedia iRig PowerBridgeIK Multimedia, a company that puts musicians first, has created the iRig PowerBridge. It is a new charging system for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch that allows for the continuous charge of the device while using iRig accessories. This allows mobile musicians to practice, perform, and record with their favorite 30-pin or Lightning compatible IK gear anywhere they want and for as long as they want.

The iRig PowerBridge is compatible with the iRig Mic HD, the iRig HD, iRig Keys, iRig PRO and iRig MIDI 2. The iRig PowerBridge combines a power supply and an ultra-low noise power conditioner that connects to a power outlet on one end and a Lightning or 30-pin iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch on the other.

Between both ends is a female Mini-DIN connector that can be used to connect any digital iRig accessory with a Mini-DIN or Micro-USB port. It is a streamlined setup that allows for continuous charging while also passing along audio and MIDI information between the iRig accessory and the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. An LED display provides at-a-glance visual feedback while charging.

The iRig PowerBridge comes in two versions. One is for Lightning and the other is for 30-pin. Both are available for preorder for $69.99 (excluding taxes). The iRig PowerBridge will ship Q1 in 2015 from music and electronics retailers worldwide and on the IK online store.

Sony’s Camera Won “Best of Innovation” at CES

SONY logoSony brought a line of new innovative products to CES. This includes an award winning camera, a wireless Bluetooth headset, two additional new video cameras, and the newest incarnation of the Sony Walkman. It’s been a long time since there was news about the Sony walkman!
Sony a7s camera
The α7s Camera won the 2015 “Best of Innovation” in the Digital Imaging category at CES 2015. It is the world’s smallest full-frame interchangeable lens camera. This new model puts extraordinary sensitivity, low noise and spectacular 4K video quality into the hands of professional photographers and videographers.

Sony FDR-X1000V 4K Action Cam
The FDR-X1000V 4K Action Cam lets you grab pro-level footage in gorgeous 4K resolution, with advanced image stabilization and super-slow-motion recording. It has SteadyShot image stabilization that works from bikes to aerial shots and more. You can control up to 5 Action Cams via phone or LiveView remote. The body of this camera is splash proof.

Sony FDR-AX33 4K HandyCam Camcorder
Sony’s FDR-AX33 4K Handycam Camcorder gives you smooth footage thanks to Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization. It has built-in Wi-Fi, which makes it easier for you to share video with others. It also has a Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T lens with 12x optical zoom.

Sony MDR-1ABT Bluetooth Wireless Headphones
The MDR-1ABT Bluetooth Wireless Headphones gives you unmistakable Sony sound and superior comfort. It is capable of Bluetooth audio streaming, so there is no need of a cord on these headphones. It also has intuitive touch controls.

Sony MWZ-ZX2 Walkman
When was the last time you thought about buying a Sony Walkman? The new NWZ-ZX2 Walkman has a slim, sleek, design. It has high-quality components and comes with high-quality sound. This enables Sony’s new Walkman to deliver great Hi-Res Audio anytime and anywhere. Enjoy up to 60 hours MP3 and 33 hours Hi-Res playback on a single charge. It is compatible with DSD, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, ALAC, MP3, WMA and more.

Sennheiser’s URBANITE XL Goes Wireless

Sennheiser URBANITE XL WIRELESSSennheiser introduced a new wireless version of its URBANITE headphone range at CES. The new versions add Bluetooth and NFC to the winning URBANITE formula of cool urban style and uncompromising sound, with massive bass and crystal clear trebles.

The URBANITE XL WIRELESS deploys the latest cutting-edge wireless technologies for great sound and the ultimate ease of use. The latest apt-X codec is used to deliver clear, CD-quality sound. The set up is effortless thanks to NFC, which allows easy Bluetooth paring to NFC-compatible devices or by bringing the headset into close proximity. Use of the latest Bluetooth 4.0 standard enables multi-connectivity – pairing with up to eight different devices as well as simultaneous connections to two devices, which make it possible to link the URBANITE XL WIRELESS to, for example, a smartphone and a computer at the same time.

The Sennheiser URBANITE XL WIRELESS also has great durability. They can deliver an impressive 25 hours of playback, and are constructed with durable materials including strong metal components. The clever collapsible design makes it easy to fold and store it in the supplied soft pouch.

Touch Control Panel on Sennheiser URBANITE XL WIRELESSIt also includes an intuitive, state-of-the-art touch control panel on the right ear cup that makes it possible to adjust the volume and skip to the next track by sliding a finger across the panel or tapping it. Touch control is enhanced by voice prompts that provide all necessary information about the status of the headphones. Crystal clear sound quality is ensured by dual microphones within the ear cups that continuously monitor ambient noise to dynamically cancel out external interference for clearer speech.

Sceptre Unwraps SoundBase TV Audio System

Sceptre SoundBassSceptre announced the availability of their newest speaker, the SoundBase TV Audio System. It is an attractive blend of Bluetooth speaker and sound bar. It transforms TV programming into an amazing audio entertainment experience and connects wirelessly to any Bluetooth device for music streaming.

Sceptre’s SoundBase features a combination of four speakers and a subwoofer for a combined 75 watts of lifelike surround sound audio. It is capable of supporting TVs up to 55-inches and under 65 lbs., making it the ideal TV sound bass to build the ultimate home entertainment system. It is also Bluetooth V4.0 equipped, enabling users to connect devices wirelessly and fully control music with the SoundBase remote control.

The SoundBase speaker is easy to setup and connects to smart devices such as TVs, monitors, music players, stereos, and more. It has customizable sound profiles and enjoys three pre-set professional sound modes that provides the best sound quality for TV, film, or music.

Samson Meteorite Falls Into CES

Samson LogoAudio specialists Samson today announced the new Meteorite, a USB condenser microphone for capturing high-quality recordings on a laptop or desktop. Meteorite is perfect for podcasting, creating audio for YouTube videos and recording music on your favourite software or apps, and to top it all, looks great.

Samson Meteorite

The Meteorite will be better than any computer’s internal microphone and soundcard, which is often provided at the minimum possible cost. The Meteorite’s studio-quality 14 mm capsule and dedicated audio conversion path provides a smooth, flat frequency response to capture the natural characteristics and dynamics of speech.

The Meteorite mounts to a magnetic base that lets you tilt and swivel the microphone to customise its positioning to your exact preferences. You can even take the microphone off its base and speak directly into it for recording or communicating in crowded noisy environments, and when combined with the iPad using Apple’s Lightning USB Camera Adapter or Camera Connection Kit (for 30-pin), the Meteorite is a great for recording on the go too.

The Metorite is priced at only $39.99 and to find out more visit Samson at CES South Hall 1, booth 21935.

I want one purely because it looks cool!

JVC Mobile Showcases its 2015 Product Line at CES

JVC logoJVC is highlighting 21 new products that incorporate the latest technology and convenience benefits to create a more entertaining driving experience. They have sixteen new in-dash receivers, four new speakers, and a subwoofer amplifier. These new products bolster an impressive lineup of more than 60 products.

All of the new receivers replace the 2014 models with stylish design and improved ergonomics. All touch screen equipped models enable the user to position icons for their most-used functions according to their preference. Drivers can swipe a finger on the screen to control volume and media selection on select multimedia receivers. If the vehicle is equipped with factory steering wheel controls, they an be integrated to control all the new JVC receivers.

JVCShow15-2

JVC Mobile’s new receivers expand on their integration with Android-based smartphones to provide a level of integration comparable to that of the iPhone. With the JVC Music Play app, CD and Digital Media receivers can now control audio selection and playback on stored media on select Android devices through a direct USB connection.

Apple phone integration remains a strong point of JVC Mobile receivers with support for music control over USB connection or via Bluetooth. It also offers direct access to Siri Eyes Free Mode for safe, audible, delivery of Web-based information.

Fourteen of the 16 new receivers include a built-in app to access Pandora Internet Radio through a connected device. Most of the receivers feature iHeartRadio. The new receivers include Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC). For MP3 or WMA-encoded audio, the Digital Track Expander helps to restore higher frequencies that are lost when music is compressed.

The HX line of speakers features a lighter and more flexible speaker cone and improved midrange reproduction throughout the four new models. The new single-channel amplifier benefits from a parallel drive MOSFET power supply to improve power while maintaining linearity.

Visit JVC at Booth # 1771 in the North Hall at CES 2015.

Marshall Introduces Major II Headphones at CES

Marshall Major II HeadphonesMarshall is a name that is a true rock classic. The name is easily recognizable by both musicians and non-musicians. Marshall Headphones together with Marshall Amplification are introducing the new Major II headphone at CES 2015.

The Major II headphone has classic good looks, improved ergonomics, and updated sound. It has good durability and is built to last. Its advanced sound features include customized drivers, to deliver deeper bass and more extended detailed highs with a refined mid-range and overall lower distortion.

It has a detachable double-ended coil cord with mic and remote that is equipped with an L-plug end. This provides improved durability and carrying ease. The 3.5 mm jacks allow you to pick which side you prefer to wear your cable on. It also enables you to plug in and share your music with a friend.

This lovely headphone has classic good looks that have been upgraded to a more rounded construction. It has an extra durable vinyl finish. The newly constructed hinges and headband design allows it to fit better than ever. The Major II has increased flexibility which allows the ear caps to rotate more freely. It adapts to your head shape for increased comfort.

The Major II will be available at the Marshall website and local US retailers for $120 and in more than 90 other countries by the end of January 2015. Visit Marshall at Booth #21418 at CES 2015.