Silentium Active Noise Cancellation

Silentium LogoSilence is golden and Silentium are working hard to achieve this with their active noise reduction technology. Andy and Don keep it down with Yossi Barath.

Silentium has developed an active noise reduction system that can be implemented in a single chip. The complex (and proprietary) algorithms programmed into the chip use noise cancellation (destructive interference) to reduce the amount of sound coming from a machine to make it quieter. Ventilation systems, air conditioners, computers and data centers are all examples of where Silentium’s system can be used to reduce the noise.

At CES, Silentium are releasing QB2, a headrest-embedded system which creates a bubble of quiet around a person’s head, perfect  for air travel or similar passenger situations. Generally, Silentium doesn’t produce products but sells its technology to other companies for inclusion in their own.

All sounds intriguing.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and RV News Net, and Don Baine, the Gadget Professor.

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The New Line of Turtlebeach Headphones

Turtlebeach, famous for their audio products, has a new line of headphones designed for use with tablets and smartphones, and geared specifically towards mobile gaming. They had the whole lineup on display recently at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and Scott Ertz of F5 Live and The Tech Podcast Network got a tour.

The M3, for instance, is super portable because it is so flexible and foldable.  It will retail for $39.95.  The M5 is slightly larger, but has the same sleek design and will cost the user $49.95.  There is also a pair of full-size gaming headphones, the X32 and X42,both of which are compatible with the Xbox 360 and are now dual-band, unlike their predecessors.  Both will operate in the 2.4 and 5 GHz range.  There is also a new X300 and X400 line.  You can check them all out in the video below and also visit Turtlebeach for more information.

Interview by Scott Ertz 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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Sennheiser Unveils High End Headphones

Sennheiser is one of the big names in headphones, so it’s not unsurprising that a few of the latest models were released at CES. Nick hears the latest for sound buffs from Eric.

First up are the HD 700s, an open headset approaching reference standard. With a wide soundstage, angled transducers give it a sound experience similar to listening to a speaker array; other features are designed keep the sound as pure as possible. These headphones are aimed at audiophiles who want to hear every nuance of the recording. Pricey at around $1000.

Next are the HD 800s, a futuristic-looking headset that takes audio purity and quality to an amazing level. Every detail has a purpose in the design, giving unparalleled acoustic reproduction for the total audio purist. Even more pricey at around $1500.

And finally, the Sennheiser Amperior brings the world-famous HD 25s to portable devices by optimising the impedance to give superior sound from a smaller unit. Suitable for all MP3 players, Apple iPods and iPhones, the Amperior comes with an inline remote and mic. Available from March for around $350.

Interview by Nick DiMeo of F5 Live.

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AfterShokz Bone Conducting Headphones

AfterShokz Headphones LogoBruce from AfterShokz shows off their bone-conducting headphones to Courtney at this year’s CES.

Previously the preserve of military specialists and bored long-distance swimmers, bone-conducting headphones transmit sound to the inner ear via the skull bones rather than down the ear canal. This method has several advantages over headphones and earbuds including much improved hygiene and comfort. They’re good for outdoor activities and cycling as not only do the headphones grip firmly, they allow outside sounds in so you hear that truck bearing down on you before it actually hits you.

The AfterShokz headphones are available now in three different models, Sport ($59.95), Mobile ($69.95) and Game ($69.95). The Mobile model has an in-line microphone and jack for use with mobile phones. The Game version also has an in-line mic but connects via USB.

Interview by Courtney Wallin of SDR News.

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Kidz Gear Volume Limiting Headphones

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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Parrot Introduces Cool Products like AR Drone Mark 2

Parrot There are some products that are shown at CES that are just cool and everyone who is a kid at heart just wants, the AR. Drone by Parrot is one of those gadgets. This year at CES 2012 they introduced AR. Drone Mark 2. The Mark 2 (aka AR. Drone 2.0) is controlled by a smart phone or tablet. It has a one button launch. Once it is launched it will sit and hove till the next command. The AR. Drone Mark 2 can fly up to 150 feet in the air, or as far as wi-fi will allow.  AR. Drone Mark 2 has stabilization and pressure sensor technology built into it. On the front is an HD camera and a standard def camera on the bottom. You can stream and record the video back to the phone via wi-fi. The video can then be uploaded to your favorite social site, including YouTube and Facebook.

It come with two hulls one for in home use and one for outdoor use. It is built to take some crashes, but if something breaks you can get replacement parts are on-line. The AR. Drone Mark 2 should be available according to Peter George of Parrot in the second quarter of 2012 for about $299.00

Once you are finished playing with the AR. Drone Mark 2, you may want to relax with a little music and some quiet time, well Parrot has you covered there too. They are introducing a pair of stereo cordless headsets that are noise canceling called the Parrot Zik . They work over either Bluetooth or the included cord. They run on a chargeable battery and give about 5 hours of listening pleasure. Once the battery runs down you can continue listening by connecting the cord. What makes the Parrot Zik headphones stand out besides the great style by French designer Philippe Starck are the controls on the headphones. There is a sensitive touchpad on the headphone which allows you to skip back and forth thru tracks by swiping right or left and control volume by swiping up and down. The headphones fold down flat to fit into a small carrying case. There is no price or launch date at this time, but they should be available sometime in 2012 at various retailers. All together Parrot introduced seven new products at CES 2012, including three additional products in the car environment and the asteroid marketplace.   You can take a look at all of them at their Web site Parrot.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of [Geek News Central](http://www.geeknewscentral.com ) and Don Baine The Gadget Professor of Geek News Central

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Sennheiser Brings New Earphones to CES

Sennheiser today announced that it would be presenting its latest in-ear headphones, the IE 60 and IE 80, at CES in January. Extending the Professional line, the new models build on Sennheiser’s experience in the music business and are aimed at audio enthusiasts who want the best possible sound quality from MP3 players and smartphones.

The IE 60 and IE 80 ear-canal phones are ideal for discerning listeners who want to hear music with the finest possible detail,” explained Eric Palonen, senior product specialist for Sennheiser’s consumer electronics division. “Based on the huge success of our earlier models and the overwhelmingly positive feedback from our customers, we developed new models that have an even more innovative design.

The IE 60 has passive noise attenuation of up to 20 dB, with a frequency response of 10 to 18,000 Hz, tuned to deliver modern rock and pop. The IE 80 provides a frequency response of 10 to 20,000 Hz with a passive noise attenuation of up to 26 dB, but its special feature is a unique sound tuning function. By using a miniature rotating control, the user is able to increase or reduce the bass response to suit the music being played.

Sennheiser IE60 Earbuds / HeadphonesSennheiser IE60 Earbuds / Headphones

The IE 60 and IE 80 are available now for MSRPs of $250 and $450 respective, though you can find them online for about half of that. Still, serious prices for serious sound. The full spec sheets (.pdf) are here and here, respectively.

MIYA Customised Headphones

If you feel that white headphones mark you as just one of the herd, and that black headphones are a bit dull, then you’ll want to check out MIYA headphones, because these come in more colour combinations than you can possibly imagine.

Each set of headphones has 18 colour changeable parts and you can build your own headphones from the builder on the MIYA website. There’s a picture of it below. Now you can have headphones to match your clothes – imagine a set in lurid colours to go with your Lycra sportswear.

They’ll work with any device that has an audio 3.5 mm jack, so that’s most mp3 players, iPods and so on.

Price is HKD 388 (Hong Kong dollars) but there’s HKD 150 off if you order before the end of June. There’s a checkout code on the website for the discount. For comparison, HKD 400 is about US$ 50 or GB£30.

Can’t comment on the audio quality as I haven’t got a pair myself. Let us know if you get a set.

Sony Wireless 7.1ch Headphones

Sony in the UK have announced the MDR‑DS6500 digital wireless 7.1ch surround sound headphones. That’s quite a collection of adjectives, so to break it down into the constituent parts…

Digital wireless – All-digital wireless transmission resists noise and interference from other devices in the home. Automatic tuning switches seamlessly between RF channels in the 2.408 – 2.473 GHz range to optimise signal reception. Range approximately 100 m so you can roam your home while listening to you tunes.

7.1ch – Exclusive to Sony, Virtualphones Technology (VPT) reproduces the soundstage of multi-channel speakers. Even if you’re listening to a stereo 2ch or 5.1 channel programme, VPT builds a virtual 7.1 channel stage that stretches behind and beyond the screen. There’s also a choice of selectable surround sound modes to optimise listening for movies, gaming or speech.

Surround sound – Supporting Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, DTS and DTS ES, the base station will take both digital optical and analogue inputs.

Headphones – Over the ear, weighing in at 320g. Pretty good looking too. When they’re not being used, you can rest the MDR‑DS6500 headphones on their wireless charging dock. Three hours charging time provides power for approx 20 hours listening time.

Available in May for a £249. Not cheap. Full specs here too.