Category Archives: audio

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.


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.

Coloud Sports Introduces The Snap Earbuds at CES

Coloud LogoColoud has designed a set of earbuds for the urban adventurer and those who have active lifestyles. The Snap earbuds are engineered to bring you a dynamic sound experience, with all the useful features you need, and without the stuff you don’t need.

You can adjust the size of the AnchorLoop on The Snap earbuds to find the perfect fit and to keep the earbuds securely in place while you exercise. It has a reflective cable which helps make those who enjoy a late-night run more visible to traffic.

Coloud The Snap Active EarbudsA lightweight cable clip snaps onto your clothing and reduces friction noise while holding the cable in place. Just like other Coloud products, The Snap comes with a flat cable and ZoundLasso – which helps keep things tangle free. The Snap has a 3.5 mm headphone jack. It also comes with a mic and is remote compatible with most 3.5 mm standard devices.

The Snap will be available for $30 on June 2, 2015 at the Coloud website as well as from retailers worldwide. Visit Coloud at Booth #21418 at CES 2015.

Braven unveils Bluetooth speaker to rock your home


Bluetooth speakers seem to be a dime a dozen on the market these days, and some are better than others. Braven tends to rank up there among the better quality ones available. The company produces a range which even includes water-resistant models that are ideal for outdoor use. But what about filling the inside of your home with sound? That is now covered as well.

Braven is announcing the new model 805, which it deems an “ideal home speaker”. The latest offering comes in a variety of colors, enough to suit even the most finicky of tastes. Customers can choose from simple white or black, but also can opt for the more exotic, such as pink, orange and more.

“The BRAVEN 805 is more than a speaker; it’s an extension of your home”, says Valentine Lopez, Executive Vice President. “It is the only part of your home décor that allows you to enjoy your favorite music whether you like lounging in the living room, dining and cooking in the kitchen or relaxing in the backyard”.

Braven claims the 805 will be available this month and the device will set you back $199, which isn’t a huge price for a good speaker. Plus if you’re attending CES 2015 then you can get a chance to preview it while there.

Audio-Technica Debuts SonicSport Headphones at CES 2015

Audio-Technica logoAudio-Technica will be introducing a wide variety of new products for listeners at CES 2015. They are expanding some of their lineups with brand new additions.

Their SonicSport headphones lineup will be expanded with new models for fitness-oriented wearers. These new over-ear headphones will be showcased in a “Find Your Fit” demonstration that includes an actual climbing wall. The purpose is to demonstrate the headphones’ comfort, stay-in-place fit, and sound quality. SonicSport headphones include several models: flexible memory cables that loop over the top of the ear, hinged ear hooks, or earpieces that mirror the hollow of the ear.Audio-Technica SonicSport SPORT3 headphones

In addition to the SonicSport headphones, Audio-Technica will be exhibiting its new ATH-W1000Z over-ear headphones, the SonicPro ATH-CKR10 in-ear headphones, and the SonicPro ATH-MSR7 over-ear headphones. Each of these headphones are designed to reproduce every sonic nuance of Hi-Res Audio and other better-than-CD quality high-resolution source material.

Audio-Technica will also premiere its newest gaming headsets at CES 2015. They are gaming-centric and have a detachable flexible gooseneck microphone, smartphone cable, and comfort-fit design. You can also check out Audio-Technica’s AT-LP60 Fully Automatic Turntable System which will be offered in striking red and blue finishes for a limited time in 2015.Audio-Technica At-LP60 in red and blue

For more information about Audio-Technica and its wide variety of products, visit them during CES 2015 at Booth 20756, South Hall Ground Level, Las Vegas Convention Center.

Kingston HyperX Cloud Headset Review

Kingston LogoKingston have long been a brand of choice for gaming professionals, expecially when overclocking the HyperX range of memory modules to within a megahertz of their life. Not content with the inside of the PC, Kingston has put the performance brand on the outside with the HyperX Cloud headset. Sensibly they’ve not tried to start from scratch but partnered with Swedish pro gamers Qpad to get into the market. Let’s take a look.

Kingston HyperX Cloud Box

Initial impressions are good. The HyperX Cloud headset comes in a solid well-finished box that pulls smoothly apart to reveal the headset and accessories. There’s a slightly cheesy marketing message from the HyperX Gaming Manager in silver on the inside of the lid, but it’s a nice touch.

Kingston HyperX Cloud in Box

As you’ll see from the pics, the version on review is the white with black edition; there’s a black with red version if you want to look a bit tougher. Taking the headphones out of the box, they feel pretty good and well-made for the price point. There are no rough edges, the headband stitching looks good and the embroidery is neat. The audio lead is braided rather than bare PVC and that alone helps with the tangles. It’s the end of the lead that gives away the fact that the HyperX Cloud isn’t only for listening to music as rather than a single 3.5mm jack, there’s a pair; one for audio in (the headphones) and the other for audio out (the microphone).

Kingston HyperX Cloud Headset

The detachable boom mic is on the left hand side of the box and plugs cleanly into a socket on the left hand ear cup. A small insert covers the socket when the microphone’s not needed to keep things neat. The boom is flexible and can be positioned to suit.

Kingston HyperX Cloud Headset with Mic

In the box there’s a comprehensive selection of accessories including an extension lead, in-line mic set and an adaptor to take the two 3.5mm stereo jacks into a single TRRS connector, as used in mobile phones. There’s even one of the adaptors needed for annoying aircraft seats, so whether it’s a PC, tablet, phone or plane, the HyperX Cloud can jack in.

But enough of the features….what is the HyperX Cloud like to use? To start with, the headphones are very comfortable to wear, especially when the leather-style pads are swapped for the included velour ones. I wore the headphones for several multi-album sessions without any soreness and would definitely recommend them for extended gaming sessions too. Obviously the preference between enclosed and on-ear cups is a personal one but for comfort, I think these are hard to beat.

Sonically, I used the headphones for gaming, music and IP telephony with Microsoft’s Lync. In the office, the headset is great. One minute you are listening to music, the next minute you are taking a phone call with no need to fumble around taking the headset off while picking up the phone. Voices were clear and callers could hear me well. Moving on to music listening, it’s always hard to critique without sounding critical. I thought the HyperX Cloud headset reproduced sound well with good clarity across the range. The sound could have been richer and more exciting but I was perfectly happy listening to the HyperX Cloud all day. Playing games, the headset was great with gunshots and explosions blowing up in your ears. Car engines came across well, so this headset was made for GTA. As with phone calls, abuse, sorry, conversation with fellow gamers was clear.

Overall, there’s not much to dislike and a great deal to enjoy with the Kingston HyperX Cloud headset. It’s well made and comfortable to wear, and comes with everything needed to plug-in. Audio quality is good without being outstanding. The Kingston HyperX Cloud has a list price of GB£79.99 but can be found on-line for less.  Stick it on your Christmas list.

Thanks to Kingston for providing the review headset.