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Tag: hi-fi

Sennheiser RS 220 Cordless Audiophile Headphones

Posted by geeknews at 8:46 AM on February 15, 2012

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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SOUL by Ludacris Audio Gear

Posted by Andrew at 8:39 AM on February 14, 2012

CES Ludacris Soul PartySOUL by Ludacris can be guaranteed to have some nice gear on show and they don’t disappoint. Allante takes in the latest audio extravaganza.

First up are the flagship SL300 flagship noise-cancelling headphones, with built-in amplification giving great sound even within noisy environments such as aircraft.

The little brother to the SL300s are the SL100s, a smaller headset; still very stylish, but without the noise-cancellation.

And if you prefer earbuds, the SL49 and SL99s are good choices depending on budget.

Finally, the brand new “Party in Box” is a portable iPhone dock…but when I say “portable”, I don’t mean slip-it-in-your-pocket portable. It’s the size of a small suitcase and has a carrying handle. Granted, the sound quality should be amazing and it will blow any other sound dock into the weeds but if you want it, prepare to fork out $1299. Wow!

Pity we missed the party…

Interview by Allante Sparks of F5 Live.

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ClarityOne Earbuds with PureSound

Posted by Andrew at 12:26 AM on February 9, 2012

ClarityOne Earbuds

ClarityOne visited GNC at last year’s CES with their prototype earbuds and this year, Dean Kurnell returns to report on progress and to show of the new headset. Alex and Courtney listen in on the pursuit of sonic perfection.

ClarityOne’s PureSound processor is at the heart of their products and it completely eliminates distortion from the speaker, no matter how small. According to Dean, the dual-unity coupled coil creates a magnetic break by cancelling out the inductive reactance, which allows the audio signal to travel without distortion. We’ll have to take his word for that, but it’s covered by six awarded patents and two pending ones.

There will be three earbuds in the range. $149 for the pro music version that has inline music controls, $129 for the smartphone version which has a microphone and calling features, and $109 for just the earbuds. At the moment, only the $129 set is on sale but the other models will be along soon. Available on-line and in retail stores.

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

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Silentium Active Noise Cancellation

Posted by Andrew at 12:55 AM on February 8, 2012

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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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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Sennheiser Brings New Earphones to CES

Posted by Andrew at 11:49 AM on December 19, 2011

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.

Olympus LS-100 Audio Recorder

Posted by Andrew at 7:59 AM on December 19, 2011

Olympus has announced the latest addition to its popular LS series of digital recorders with the addition of the LS-100 linear PCM audio recorder. Aimed at musicians and audio enthusiasts, it comes with a combination of professional interconnects, high quality sound recording, multitracking and extra features in a convenient pocket size.

Olympus LS-100 Audio RecorderIt’s an impressive little device with a matching list of features

- two internal 90-degree directional stereo condenser microphones with a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz and capable of capturing sound pressure levels up to 140 dB (which is about as loud as you’d really want to get).

- uncompressed 24 bit/96 kHz Linear PCM digital recording saved to the internal 4GB memory or on SD (up to 2GB) / SDHC (up to 32GB) / SDXC (up to 64GB) cards.

- separate audio and system circuitry to keep the signal clean.

- low cut filter at either 100 Hz or 300 Hz to eliminate low frequency background noise.

- two quarter-inch XLR / standard phone combo jacks, supporting phantom power at 48/24 volts to power high-quality external microphones.

- 8 track multitracking, with independent volume and pan control.

- tuner and metronome.

- Lissajous measurement which shows the phase difference betweenthe left and right mics.

- direct CD mastering.

- 2″ LCD screen and all-metal body.

The Olympus LS series has been a favourite of musicians, artists and music lovers, and the LS-100 is an evolution in this series designed with the working musician, specifically, in mind,” said Amy Leslie, Sr. Marketing & Business Development Manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “For songwriting sessions, band rehearsals, live performances, broadcasting, or really anything that requires the highest quality of audio recording, the LS-100 is an ideal, all-encompassing recording solution.”

Nevermind all that, it just looks cool. Full details on the LS-100 are here and it will be available from all good stores in February 2012 for $399.

Polk Audio Delivers Wireless Surround Sound

Posted by Andrew at 8:24 PM on February 1, 2011

Todd talks to Al Baron from Polk Audio which has introduced an incredible 82 new products in 2010. Polk Audio provides high quality audio components for a range of different of environments.  Not just the home, but auto, marine and outdoors.

A couple of highlights from the year includes Wireless Surround effects speaker which replaces the rear speakers with single unit. As it’s wireless no cables are required except for power. Available now for $399.

Continuing the surround sound theme, the PolkAudio SurroundBar delivers surround sound from a single unit and pairs well with flat screen TVs to give a big audio experience with minimum of fuss. There’s just one cable from the TV to the speaker. Starts from £349.

PolkAudio also have a range of subwoofers that are wireless ready so they can start off wired and then be converted to wireless with the addition of $99 module. Very easy to use and keeps your investment going for that little bit longer.

Finally, Al talks about the Blackstone TL series of compact home theatre speakers. These are small powerful speakers for home audio that pack a punch and give big sound from a small box. A 5.1 home theatre system runs $499 upwards.

All products are available now.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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