Tag Archives: ipod

Minimalist Momentum Headphones from Sennheiser at CES

Sennheiser LogoSennheiser are usually my headphone manufacturer of choice when it comes to music, so I’m always interested in the latest news from the German team. To be honest, it’s not massive news but when the headphones look as good as these, who cares?

For CES, Sennheiser have updated their “minimalist urban” headphones, the Momentum On-Ear with three new colours; high-gloss black, classic brown and intense red. Nice. The ear pads and headband have been finished in Alcantara, a high-tech soft-touch material produced in Italy. Alcantara provides a combination of suppleness, durability and breathability that makes it popular in the fashion, interior design, and automotive industries, and the use of the material by Sennheiser makes the headphones very comfortable for long listening sessions. The headband is made of brushed stainless steel. All round, they look great.

Momentum On-Ear

Audio-wise, the On-Ear is driven by Sennheiser’s proprietary 18-ohm transducers, delivering the usual Sennheiser experience of incredible clarity and detail with a slight bass emphasis. The closed, on-ear design ensures reliable isolation from external noise for a great listening experience on the move, even in noisy urban environments.

The Momentum On-Ear headphones feature a single-sided detachable cable with in-line remote and microphone for Apple devices to control music playback, and to make and receive calls on the go.

With the three new colour versions, Sennheiser has reimagined this essential, cool design in richer, more subtle tones,” said Charles Cha, Product Manager at Sennheiser. “Where the Momentum On-Ear headphones first showed their playful and extroverted character, the new versions are a more discrete revelation of luxury that hints at their superb performance.

The MSRP seems to be US$299 but they currently seem to be on-sale in the Sennheiser store for $199.

I want.

Griffin MicConnect for iOS at CES 2013

Griffin MicConnectJeffrey Powers goes all Pop Idol when he chats to Jackie from Griffin Technology about the newly announced MicConnect, which connects iOS devices to XLR mics with phantom power.

The Griffin MicConnect is a small brick adaptor with an XLR socket (input) on one side for the microphone and a 3.5 mm jack on the other to connect into an iPhone, iPod or iPad. A 3.5 mm socket provides for headphone monitoring of the sound source and for condenser mics, the unit takes two AA batteries to provide phantom power (48V).

(As an aside, I’m not 100% clear if this is iOS only – the 3.5 mm jack looks pretty standard and there’s no reference to special apps being required so if Android is your OS of choice, it might be worth contacting Griffin directly.)

Included in the interview is Griffin’s updated Mic Stand Mount, which is now compatible with all iPad models (not Mini), and unsurprisingly holds an iPad on a mic stand. Jeffrey reckons the MicConnect and the Mount are a great combo for the mobile podcaster. Pricing-wise, both the MicConnect and the Mount are $39.99 but the MicConnect won’t be available until June.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine for the TechPodcast Network.

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Amazon Introduces AutoRip

AudioRip logo Amazon has introduced a brand new service called AutoRip. This is a very different way of looking at music storage. In short, it takes the CD that you purchased from Amazon and puts it into your Amazon Cloud Player. It also will make that album available on your PC or Mac, Kindle Fire, Android phone, iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Right now, this service is only available to customers in the United States.

This is a rather unexpected move in a time when record companies are screaming about pirating and copyright. Perhaps they aren’t complaining about AutoRip because it only allows users to put CDs that they really have purchased into the Amazon Cloud Player? I’m not sure.

It is clear that gifts of CDs that your friends or family purchased for you from Amazon are not eligible for AutoRip. There is also this interesting piece of “fine print”:

Some record companies require us (Amazon) to insert identifiers in the metadata that accompanies music when you download it from the Amazon MP3 Store or Cloud Player. This includes the music you have purchased from Amazon.com and matched music imported to Cloud Player from your device.

These identifies may include a random number Amazon assigns to your order or copy, purchase date and time, an indicator that the music was downloaded from Amazon, codes that identify the album or song (the UPC and ISRC), Amazon’s digital signature, an identifier that can be used to determine whether the audio has been modified, and an indicator whether the music was purchased from the MP3 store or imported to the Cloud Player.

Look for the AutoRip icon in search results and CD detail pages to find out if it is one you can use with this new service. The MP3 versions of your past AutoRip eligible CD purchases are already available in the Cloud Player, where they are being stored for free. CDs that you purchased through Amazon, from as far back as 1998, are eligible for AutoRip.

4iiii Innovations Announces Viiiiva at CES 2013

Viiiiva4iiii Innovations has created the first heart rate monitor to enable an athlete’s ANT+ devices to “talk” to their iOS devices without the need for awkward adapters. This incredibly handy device is called Viiiiva. It can easily communicate with your iPhone or iPod touch in real time.

Viiiiva is a lightweight, comfortable chest strap heart rate monitor. The Liiiink Connectivity Module inside it is what turns your iPhone into a cycling computer or running monitor. Go get some exercise while wearing Viiiiva, and it will seamlessly deliver all the data about it to the free 4iiii app or any of the popular fitness apps. It uses an ANT+ to Bluetooth Smart bridge to do it.

This allows athletes to monitor their heart rate activity on an iPhone as well as a sport watch. You can adjust settings, review activity summaries, and receive performance feedback from your iPhone or iPod at anytime, anywhere.

Here are some quick features of Viiiiva HRM:

* Works with Garmin, TIMEX, adidas, and other popular displays
* Accurate heart rate measurement on your Bluetooth Smart iPhone without awkward adapters
* Liiiink can send heart rate, cadence, power, and speed, data to most popular iOS fitness apps, including Endomondo, MapMyFitness, Runtastic, Runmeter, Strava, Training Peaks, and Runkeeper. (when applicable ANT+ compatible sensors are connected)
* Viiiiva stores your data in .FIT files
* No need to recharge – Viiiiva runs on a coin-cell battery for over a year.

4iiii Innovations is at CES 2013, where they will be displaying Viiiiva HRM. Find them in the Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall, at the ANT+ booth #26700.

Image by 4iiii Innovations

Griffin Expands Kid Friendly KaZoo Line at CES 2013

KaZoo Line GriffinGriffin Technology has expanded their line of animal inspired headphones, cases and accessories for kids. The line is called KaZoo, and it is easy to see how the “Zoo” part got into the name. It features adorable monkeys, frogs, penguins, lions, zebras, elephants, and pandas. Super cute!

KaZoo MyPhones come in two varieties and feature either a bright green frog or a black and white penguin with a yellow beak. They are over the ear headphones designed for children. The headphones have built-in volume-limiting circuitry that keeps the sound pressure down to levels recommended as safe for young ears. It caps at 85 decibels. KaZoo MyPhones sell for $19.99 from the Griffin website.

KaZoo for iPod Touch are cases made from durable, yet soft, silicone. It gives you easy access to the multi-touch display and headphone jack while protecting your iPod touch. Choose from a zebra, penguin, lion, elephant, or monkey. Each is priced at $24.99 on the Griffin website.

The KaZoo Aux Cable line are AUX cables that are designed to be used with an iPod. Each heavy-duty cable has a colorful animal on it and has strain relief built into each plug. These are priced at $9.99 on the Griffin website, and will become available in February of 2013.

The Capper Stylus is awesome! You can see it in the photo above. It is a colorful, removable, stylus that slides onto a regular pencil just like a typical pencil topper would. Put it on the eraser end of a number 2 pencil, and you can use the Capper Stylus on all capacitive touchscreens. It has been designed in three styles: an orange pencil, a blue rocket, and a purple ice cream cone. These will sell for $9.99 and will become available in March of 2013.

You can find Griffin at CES 2013 where they will be displaying their full line of products. Find them in the LVCC North Hall at Booth 5212.

Image by Griffin Technology

Kid Friendly Accessories for iPhone, Android, and iPod Touch at CES 2013

Nickelodeon AccessoriesGriffin Technology has partnered with Nickelodeon to create fun accessories for children’s mobile devices. The inspiration came from several of the popular characters that your child watches in cartoons that appear on the Nickelodeon channel.

The first three lines of cartoon inspired mobile device accessories for kids feature SpongeBob Squarepants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Dora the Explorer. Each will be introduced at CES 2013. The products are slated to become available in Spring of 2013 at major retailers nationwide.

The SpongeBob Squarepants line includes a SpongeBob Folio iPad case with several characters from the show done in 8-bit style. (The nostalgic aspects of this one might appeal to adult fans of the cartoon as well as the kids!).

This line also has Faces for iPhone 5G. It is a case that looks like SpongeBob, and you can interchange six different eyepieces and three different mouthpieces to make customizable expressions. In the photo above, you can see the SpongeBob Woogie, a huggable, squeezable, five-legged plush SpongeBob doll that doubles as a protective case for iPhone, iPod touch, and Android devices.

The Ninja Turtle accessories include a Shell for iPhone 5 and iPod touch, which is made of a hard, durable, exterior that protects against impacts and scratches. The photo above shows the Folio for iPad that has Ninja Turtle artwork on the front, microsuede lining, and a loop to carry a stylus.

The Dora the Explorer line might appeal to preschoolers. This line includes a Dora the Explorer skin for iPod touch. It is made of a durable, yet soft, silicone that allows for easy access to the camera and all ports, controls, and connectors. As you can see in the photo above, it also features Dora herself on the back.

Griffin Technology is at CES 2013 where they are displaying their line up of products. You can find them in the LVCC North Hall at Booth 5212.

Image by Griffin Technology

This Message Will Expire in Ten Seconds

Poke AppFacebook has a new app called Poke. The name was inspired by the Facebook feature called Poke that has been a part of Facebook since 2004. The functionality of the app, however, is something that people are comparing to SnapChat.

If you log into your Facebook account you can select a friend to Poke. I’ve never entirely understood the purpose of this function, but I suspect it is used as a means to let someone you have “friended” … I suppose be reminded that you still exist and want to communicate with them. Whatever happened to a friendly message that starts with “hello”?

The Poke app, is not the same as the Poke feature in Facebook. The Facebook Poke app was released on December 21, 2012, and is a mobile app. Right now, it is only for iOS devices. One might assume that there could eventually be an Android version, (but there isn’t one right now). You can download it onto your iOS device for free.

The Poke app allows users to send a message, a photo, or a video to their Facebook friends who also are using the Poke app. Which, I suppose, can tell you which of your “friends” are using iOS mobile devices.

The message, photo, or video you send will last for a specific time that you set. You can have it appear for 1 second, 3 seconds, 5 seconds, or 10 seconds. Your friend (or friends, as you can choose to send something to multiple users, or groups, at the same time), must press the screen and hold it in order to see the message you sent. After the time expires, the message disappears.

It is easy to see why Poke is being compared to SnapChat. There is some concern that people will use Poke to send messages, photos, and videos, that are of the “not safe for work” variety, (since it has been said that people use SnapChat specifically for that purpose). Facebook sort of acknowledges this potential. It says:

If you ever see something you’re uncomfortable with, you can click the gear menu and report it.