Veho Mobile Gear at The Gadget Show

Pebble Power PackVeho probably isn’t the first name that springs to mind when thinking about gadgets but they have a sizeable range from miniature video cameras to digital photo frames and Bluetooth headsets. In the UK, their products are sold in the main big boxes – PC World and Currys.

On Veho’s stand at Gadget Show Live, I played with a USB microscope which showed magnified images on the PC screen. Perhaps a little limited with just two magnification levels (20x or 200x) but good fun nevertheless.

In this interview, James Farmer from Veho takes me through some of the Veho range, including their Muvi miniature DV cameras, Pebble portable battery packs and Mimi wireless speakers. I really liked their Pebble range of battery packs as they had a lovely smooth shape, like the original Palm Pre.

 

SoundMatters foxL Pocket Speaker

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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Sennheiser RS 220 Cordless Audiophile Headphones

RS 220 Audiophile Wireless HeadphonesCordless headphones rarely have audiophile sound quality because of the data compression technologies used to transmit the music to the headphones, but Sennheiser‘s new headphones resolve this by using a lossless technology to transmit the sound. Eric Palonen gives Todd and Jeffrey more detail.

The Sennheiser RS 220 are cordless audiophile headphones, based on the reference HD 650 headphones. The wireless transmission technology is based on lossless Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) implementation. The charging base has both digital and analogue inputs.

The RS 220s will be available from March for $599. For comparison, the HD 650s are $499.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine for the TechPodcast Network.

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Philips Introduces New AirPlay Line

AirPlay is a standard introduced by Apple, but it has been picked up by many audio hardware makers to get their products integrated with the Apple and iTunes ecosystem.  Philips is introducing a whole new line of AirPlay-compatible products from entry-level all the way up to the high-end of audio.

Philips has a stand-alone speaker with built-in WiFi and a WPS button to easily connect to your home router and you can control them through an app of your PC, Mac, or mobile device.  They are also introducing a new pair of headphones that are towards the high-end of this category as they made from premium materials like leather, memory foam, and have a durable, cloth-lined wire.  You can see both products in the video below and also visit Philips online to get more info.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Zimri Speakers Brings Incredible Wireless Sound

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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The High End of Sound with California Audio Technology

California Audio Technology, known as CAT, work with third-party hardware vendors in the home theater field to produce some of the best sound quality available.  They were recently at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas showing off their latest top-of-the-line 2 channel audio speakers.  These aren’t speakers for the feint of heart.  Each tower weighs in at 120 pounds.

CAT makes more than simple tower speakers though, they precision-make each speaker and can design them for almost any installation, including hidden in-wall speakers.  Their custom-made speakers can be found anywhere from homes, to music studios, to mega yachts.  All of that massive weight comes in handy to prevent any speaker vibration, which is a common issue in cheap speakers.

To really understand everything that goes into these speakers you will really need to watch the video below for an in-depth explanation of how they are milled and how they work.  You can visit them at their web site.  CAT speakers are on the market now, but if you have to ask the price….well, you know how that saying ends.

Interview by Nick DiMeo of F5 Live.

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Zipbuds

Zipbuds Do your headphones get tangled up in your pocket or purse?  Are you frustrated by having to spend time untangling them everytime you go to use them?  Then you may want to take a look at Zipbuds. Zipbuds are headphones where the cords zips up like a zipper and so the two cords become one and doesn’t get tangled up. Zipbuds come in two styles in ear and over the ear. The over the ear style has two models a lower end model and a higher end one. The lower end model comes in five colors and the higher end model comes in three colors. The earbuds come in eight different colors. They are made of PET plastic and aluminium and are environmentally friendly. They are available thru the Zipbud Web site and Amazon starting at $20.00. They have gotten great reviews on Amazon as far as how they sound and work. So if you are in the market for headphones that don’t get all tangled up you may want to take a look at some Zipbuds.

Interview by Courtney Wallin of SDRNews for the TechPodcast Network.

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Pioneer Releases New Line of Car Stereos

Pioneer is probably most famous for A/V receivers and car stereos.  At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show they talked primarily about their new line of car audio devices.  It consists of in-dash CD players, DVD players and even navigation systems.  All are what Pioneer refers to as “connected devices”.  There are even in-dash devices with capacitive touch-screens.

The new devices can replicate your phone’s interface, or reasonably so, allowing you to control the stereo from the touch interface in your dashboard.  The stereo will use your mobile handset’s connection to access services like Pandora and others.  In addition the new devices can use apps like those that help you find parking spaces or even navigate.

The new line of Pioneer in-dash stereos will also work with Android,  in addition to the previous support for iOS.  There’s a  lot more to these stereos than just what I have touched on here, but you will have to watch the video below.  You can also visit the Pioneer website.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News.

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Acoustic Research AirPlay Wireless Audio System

Jeremy from Vox International, representing Acoustic Research, dropped by the TPN studio at the Consumer Electronics Show to talk a little bit about the new AirPlay Wireless Audio System that they introduced at the show.  As the name implies, the system is based on iTunes and it allows you to free your iTunes library from you computer or mobile device and stream the audio anywhere in your house.

While there are a number of AirPlay devices on the market, Acoustic Research hopes to separate themselves from the group by, not only their famous name, but also with quality and pricing.  Users will be able to tether multiple players together so that they can have them in separate rooms, creating a whole-house audio system.

The box has 10w x 2 for audio power and will be available this April for $129.99.  You can learn more from Acoustic Research.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus and StreamMagic 6

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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