Excellent radio for the digital age
Before you get excited: Kitsound is a UK company, and though many of its products quickly become available in the US, this one hasn't got there yet. That doesn't usually stop you getting their devices direct from the UK, but it's different with radios -- as digital standards are different around the world. So, on the one hand, you need to drool now over this Kitsound Air DAB/FM Radio with Bluetooth and on the other, if you're outside the UK you can pity us for our low quality DAB (digital audio broadcasting).
An ambient sound app to relax by, sleep to, or make your own soundscapes
Remember those scenes in the 1992 comedy Cousin Vinny, where Joe Pesci's character couldn't sleep in the rural quiet of the small country town he was visiting. He didn't get a good night's rest until somebody sent him a recording of his New York neighborhood at night. Noise can either keep you awake, or lull you to sleep. White Noise by TMsoft is an app that provides ambient soundscapes, paired with an alarm clock and the ability to record and loop our own "perfectly quiet" environment sounds. We tried out White Noise for iOS on our iPhone 5, and we were often surprised and delighted by the experience.
Silence the bleeps – and the bugs
"Ladies and gentlemen, this evening's performance of the MacNN Variety Circus Spectacular on Ice is about to begin. Please switch off your iPhones. Also your iPads. Your iPad minis. Your iPod touches -- anyone still got those? -- plus the new MacBook and MacBook Airs in your bags. And your Apple Watches."
Make a loud noise for this small speaker
The Kitsound Pocket Hive Bluetooth Speaker has a hive-like hexagonal design -- the UK makers of the device cannot seem to resist making every bee pun you can think of in their documentation, and on their website. Yet they seem to have missed one very apposite British phrase: this Pocket Hive speaker is the bee's knees.
Microsoft starts pre-orders for Surface Power Cover, ships March 19th
Microsoft has opened up pre-orders for its Surface Power Cover, with shipments set to start on March 19th in the United States. Spotted by ZDNet in the Microsoft Store for $200, the Power Cover adds up to 70-percent more battery life to the Surface Pro, Surface 2, and Surface Pro 2 tablets, and retains the same keyboard and touchpad as other Surface covers, though it adds 9.75mm (0.38 inches) and just over half a pound in weight to each tablet.
Latest RHA products use unique airflow design
British headphone specialist RHA announced earlier this week the upcoming launch of two premium in-ear headphones. The MA750i and the MA600i have a three-button remote and microphone, compatible with Apple devices. RHA describes their headphones as having a 'aerophonic design', meaning that it is designed to allow air flowing from the driver to be less obstructed than traditional headphones shapes, to encourage a smoother sound. The MA750i has a handmade 560.1 driver, and contains 303F-grade stainless steel in its construction. Aircraft grade aluminum is used for MA600i, with a 320.1 driver. Complete with a carrying case and ear tip selection as well as a three-year warranty, the MA750i and MA600i are to be available in the US market August 28, and will be priced at $130 and $90 respectively.
Soundbars include SRS-powered audio processing
Vizio has lined up four new soundbars in time for the holiday season. Both the E-Series and the M-Series soundbars are designed to work with the HDTVs revealed last month, also with the E- and M-Series monicker, with the only difference between the two being the addition of a small display and extra controls on the top of the unit.
SoundMeter 1.0 for iPhone
FaberAcoustical is making use of the iPhone's built-in and handset microphones with an app that measures sound levels. SoundMeter 1.0 levels in a variety of ways. Although not up to professional standards, the company says its app is "an excellent alternative to other inexpensive handheld meters for home or hobbyist use."
IK Multimedia has announced the release of SampleTron, the second virtual instrument to be released from the Sonik Instruments range. SampleTron is a virtual instrument workstation featuring the a complete collection of authentic 'Tron' and other vintage keyboards instrument samples. The library includes 17 rare instrument sounds, together with a "Powered by SampleTank" engine, offering sample-based virtual instrument plug-in for every popular DAW and also as a standalone application for Macs The Tron anthology includes 2 GB of sounds, 640 presets and 260 multi-samples from 17 Mellotrons, Chamberlins , and their derivatives like the Optigan , Rhythmaster and more.
JoeSoft has announces the availability of Hear, a sound enhancement program for the Mac. The developer says this add-on "greatly" improves audio quality in movies and music throughout all Mac OS X applications. It offers a wide array of settings, purportedly delivering intra-app sound that is richer and clearer with regard to dialog. "Hear is a great new program that makes everything sound better on your Mac. All your music will be vastly improved, your movies will surround you with rich sound and your games will now blow you away" says Greg Brewer, CEO of Prosoft. "Once you've listened to your music or movies with Hear, you will never want to be without Hear." Hear is priced at $50.
Sonicfire Pro 5
SmartSound has announced the release Sonicfire Pro 5, a new music library solution. Shipping in June, Sonicfire Pro 5 features new music timing controls and searching features. The tool allows users to choose a beat from a score and move it to a spot in the Timeline without changing the rhythm or tempo of the music. Sonicfire can also suggest music that is the best fit and provide customization tools to make it precisely match the timing of scenes.
Altec debuts iPhone dock
Altec Lansing has unveiled its T612 digital audio system for Apple's iPhone and iPod, offering users sound with iPhone incoming call support. The T612 ensures that when a call comes in while music is playing, the iPhone gives priority to the call by pausing the music. Once the call is completed, the iPhone is re-docked in the T612 and the music resumes playing at the same song and place. The T612 is priced at $200 and will ship in February.
Bluetooth dongle for iPod
Hitachi Maxell today introduced an SRS WOW HD-enabled Bluetooth audio transmitter (site not updated) for iPod to enhance sound quality of the portable player's digitally compressed audio and video files. The new Bluetooth-enabled dongle is compatible with all full-size iPods as well as iPod nano and iPod mini, and uses the proprietary Apple DIN connector that attaches directly to the iPod dock. The company offered no shipment details or pricing.
i2i music sharing device
Aerielle today launched its i2i Stream Digital Music Broadcaster, a device that allows users to listen to music wirelessly by streaming music content from any audio device. The company will demonstrate the device streaming CD quality sound for the first time at CES next week. "Whether it's friends hanging out and listening to a single iPod or the desire to stream music wirelessly to speakers in the home, the i2i Stream is the perfect solution," said Art Cohen, president and CEO of Aerielle. The i2i Stream is already available for $70, with 2-packs priced at $130.
iPod speaker, earphones
USBFever.com has launched four new iPod accessories ranging from a tiny portable speaker earphones. The company's Fingertip Mini Cube Speaker serves as a tiny sound system that works with all iPod models. The speaker is small enough to hang on a keychain, and features built-in amplification via a Lithium-Ion battery that users recharge via USB. The Fingertip Mini Cube Speaker ($10) offers 0.8W power output, weighs 17 grams, and includes an on/off button.
Native Instruments has announced a downloadable demonstration version of KORE 2, the second generation of its multi-functional host system, is now available. The new version features realtime parameter control, and comprehensive sound access functionality. The tool also includes a sound library based on integrated NI instrument engines. The demo version comes with a special demo library that contains 100 KoreSounds with Sound Variations. The KORE 2 demo version is now available as a free download for Windows and Mac OS X on the NI website.