Geek News: Latest Technology, Product Reviews, Gadgets and Tech Podcast News for Geeks


Sculpted Eers Off-The-Shelf Custom-Fit Earphones

Posted by Andrew at 10:16 PM on February 19, 2012

Sculpted Eers Custom-Fit EarphonesHow can they be off-the-shelf yet custom-fit? Easy, Sculpted Eers can be bought off-the-shelf in stores or online but come with a custom-fitting kit that takes five minutes to mould your ears and make a personalised earphone.

Nick from Sonomax, manufacturers of Scuplted Eers, gets Andy fitted with Eers at CES as you watch. The Sonofit custom-fitting kit inserts small bladders into each ear which are then filled with a quick setting silicone mix. The bladders expand to perfectly fit the ear and it’s completely painless. After 5 minutes the silicone has set, then it’s simply a case of detaching the Eers from the kit and fitting a small cap to each earphone to finish the process off.

Available now, Sculpted Eers cost CAD $199 for the single driver model and CAD $299 for the dual driver. There’s a store finder on the website or you can order on-line. New models are in the pipeline as well.

Interview by Jeffrey “Noddy” Powers of Geekazine and Andy “Big Eers” Smith of Geocaching World.

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SoundMatters foxL Pocket Speaker

Posted by Andrew at 11:06 AM on February 19, 2012

Soundmatters foxL speakerSoundMatters show off to Jeffrey and John their range of small speakers, suitable for travel and the home.

First is the world’s best pocket-size speaker (allegedly), the foxL. Weighing a little over a pound, the smart idea was to incorporate the battery into the speaker itself and use it as the bass driver. The foxL comes in three versions; wired, Bluetooth and Bluetooth with the Apt-X codec for CD quality sound. Priced at $149, $199 and $229 respectively.

New later in the year is a mini sub-woofer which delivers 25 watts to give a big sound from a small package. It uses two parallel metal plates to push out the lower frequencies. Expected in late spring or early summer it will retail at $149.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and Andy Smith of Geocaching World.

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Lil’ Wiz Vibration Speaker

Posted by Andrew at 8:47 AM on February 14, 2012

Lil' Wiz Vibration SpeakerCourtney introduces her favourite “party-in-a-pocket”, the Lil’ Wiz. It’s a mini vibration speaker that converts any flat surface into a loudspeaker.

There are two Lil’ Wiz models – the first is a basic MP3 player and takes microSD cards ($79). The second has Bluetooth and will stream music from any Bluetooth-equipped smartphone or tablet, both iOS and Android ($99).

Both have rechargeable batteries, though it’s not clear how long the battery can be expected to last. A special mount connects the Lil’ Wiz to glass or other smooth hard surface to use a window as a speaker.

I can’t imagine the Lil’ Wiz provides audiophile levels of sound but it seems to be a fun device for some impromptu music.

Interview by Courtney Wallin of SDR News.

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Zimri Speakers Brings Incredible Wireless Sound

Posted by Alan at 10:55 PM on February 4, 2012

zimri speakers logoZimri Speakers was recently at the Consumer Electronics Show to display their latest line of speakers.  They have a full range beginning with tiny bluetooth speakers that can be used with a laptop or even tablets and smartphones.  What sets their speakers apart is both battery life and the lack of distortion, even at the highest levels.

Moving up the line from the smallest speaker already mentioned, Zimri’s next entry is nearly identical, but has a slightly bigger body for better base and also an SD Card slot, allowing it to be a stand-alone music player.  Zimri also offers battery packs that can not only recharge your speaker, but also your mobile device.

You really have to watch the video below to get the full concept of Zimri Speakers.  The demo of the bluetooth range, especially in a crowded and noisy CES show filled with other  bluetooth devices, is absolutely amazing.  For more information you can visit Zimri Speakers.

Interview by Nick DiMeo of F5 Live.

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Ivee Digit Alarm Clock

Posted by Andrew at 10:45 PM on February 4, 2012

Ivee Digit talking alarm clockThe Ivee Digit alarm clock looks like an ordinary bedside LCD or LED alarm clock…but would it be at CES if it was just that? Andy and Courtney finds out what makes Ivee tick.

The Ivee Digit understands natural language and can respond to 35 voice commands and speaks the date, time and temperature. The big sister, Flex, includes a radio as well. You can tell Digit to set the alarm, tell you the time or snooze for another five minutes as you roll over for more ZZzzs.

Here’s a typical conversation with Ivee.

You: Hello Ivee
Ivee: Say a command
You: Set alarm 1
Ivee: Please tell me the alarm time
You: Seven o’clock am
Ivee: Alarm 1 is set to 7:00 am

Aside from the novelty value, it’s great for people who are short-sighted.

Interview by Andy McCaskey and Courtney Wallin of SDR News and RV News Net.

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Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus and StreamMagic 6

Posted by Andrew at 8:45 AM on January 31, 2012

Cambridge Audio LogoI think it would be fair to say that Cambridge Audio has successfully moved from being a budget hi-fi brand into a solid middle tier player with several of their products receiving praise from audio and home cinema magazines. Consequently, I was interested to see what Cambridge Audio was demonstrating at CES this year, especially as it’s a British company. Scott has the interview.

The DacMagic Plus is a digital-to-analogue converter that will take the digital output from a games console, PC or smartphone, analyse and upscale the signal and then produce a clean analogue signal vastly superior to that produced by the original device. Let’s be honest, the DAC in your average games console or PC probably cost pennies to the OEM so it’s unlikely to be hi-fi quality. The DacMagic Plus has a pair of digital inputs, both optical and co-axial, plus USB input for high data rates (24 bit). There’s also an optional Bluetooth adaptor which uses the new AptX high quality codec. Output is to headphones, phono (RCA) and XLR.

The StreamMagic 6 is a new network music player that streams from a wide variety of sources – PC, uPnP, DLNA, Internet radio, Pandora – and it connects to the network either by ethernet or wireless-n. Cambridge Audio provides an on-line music portal which lets the audiophile choose their listening selection from a PC or tablet before sending the playlist to the StreamMagic. This neatly avoids the problem of poking around thousands of tracks on a tiny screen trying to find the ones you want. Round the back, like the DacMagic Plus, two digital inputs can take signals from sources such as smartphones or music players.

Overall, two great products that are definitely worth checking out.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live.

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Connected Wireless Speaker by Sharper Image

Posted by KL Tech Muse at 5:24 PM on January 28, 2012

Sharper ImageWe all want to listen to music while we are in the kitchen or bathroom, but for most of us counter space is at a premium. Sharper image has a solution for this problem. At CES 2012 Steve Lee of Netcast Studio spoke with Don of Sharper Image about their newest product the connected wireless speaker. It takes up very little space and is designed specifically for the kitchen or bath. You can either plug it into any AC outlet or it also works through the installed lithium batteries. There is between 3-4 hours of playback time on a fully charged battery. Once it is plugged in or started it will connect wirelessly to your Bluetooth enabled device including a smart phone or tablet. You can also take a call directly from the device with its built in microphone. It should be available in May or June for about $49.99 online at the Sharper image Web site or through various retailers. This should be a great product for the kitchen or bath.

Interview by Steve Lee of Netcast Studio

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Kidz Gear Volume Limiting Headphones

Posted by Andrew at 5:06 PM on January 28, 2012

Volume Limiting Headphones

CES regular Jack Peterson talks with Todd and Don on the latest headphones for children from Kidz Gear.

Kidz Gear produces headphones with smaller headbands and ear cups to fit the smaller heads of children. This year they’ve brought to the market new wired headphones that have a built-in volume limiter that prevents children’s hearing becoming damaged through excessive sound levels. The headphones reduce the maximum sound level by about 20% into the 80-95 decibel range.

The new headphones are compatible with the iPad, iPhone and iPod ranges and include an inline remote  and mic control. They’re available from the Apple Store or direct from Kidz Gear for $29.99.

An additional new product in the same vein is a volume limit cable which can be added to already-purchased headphones to make them safer for children. Priced at only $9.99, there’s currently a special price of $5.99 showing on-line.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Don Baine, the Gadget Professor for the TechPodcast Network.

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A New Way to Make a Pig of Yourself

Posted by susabelle at 9:59 AM on September 27, 2011

iHog Pink speakerI know we’re all trying to find the perfect geek gift for the holidays already.  After all, Christmas is only 88 days away.  You don’t want it to sneak up on you again like it always has, right?

Being a girly geek, this one caught my eye.  What girly-girl wouldn’t want a cute pink pig to sit on the floor of her room and whirl out sound to every corner?  Even better, what girly-girl wouldn’t want to take this fun outside to the back yard, the playground, the patio party, or the tea party?

Yes, I’m speaking a bit tongue-in-cheek here, but the newest system from Speakal, the iHog Portable,  is really not a bad way to go if you want to have big sound in a little footprint, with a long battery life (up to 10 hours on its rechargeable battery).  The total output includes four speakers positioned for maximum sound separation and distribution between tweeters and midrange, with a 20w subwoofer.  Total output is more than 28 watts of sound.  The device will take any version of iPod or iPhone, which means it would even work on my almost-6-year-old classic video iPod.  In addition, it has an auxiliary input jack to connect to television, gaming consoles, or other MP3 players and music sources.

And never fear, if pink pigs aren’t your thing, you can have a white pig instead.  Or take a look at their other products, which include speakers shaped pandas, soccer balls, and flowers.  Then there is the iBoo, a ghost-like speaker set.  They also have traditional docking systems that would fit into any decor, including the iKurv and the iExecutive.

I don’t think either of these will replace my current Philips docking station, which could give the Boze a run for its money in the sheer clarity of its sound, but maybe for my girls for their spaces.  Being able to take the device outside without having to find a cord to plug in with is a huge advantage.  I could hide this thing behind the Halloween display in the front yard this year, for a real spreading of the holiday cheer at trick-or-treat time.

The iHog is introductory priced at $119, with other models ranging in price from $69.99 to 229.99.  Go get your hog on today!