Awhile back, I reached out to audio designer Victor Johansson after seeing some enticing preview images of an audio solution he was developing, a design-tantalizing ceramic stereo system utilizing wireless connectivity, all contained within a vessel of smooth earthenware and warm wood. He's finally finished his project to share with us...
The larger, younger sibling of the original Jambox wireless speaker, one of our favorite outdoor audio options, has expanded its wardrobe of color combinations to include 9 grill and 13 cap colors (including new Purple, Dark Green, and Crimson Red), allowing buyers to mix and match to their color-loving content. The color customization option joins last month's 2.0 software update, which optimized battery life two additional hours and fixing dropouts and interruptions at greater distances while streaming from an iOS 6.1 device. Sounds like the perfect audio companion for a picnic or dining al fresco now warm weather has become the rule, not the exception.
There's really no way around the fact the built-in speakers of the Apple iPad are tiny and anemic. Movies, games, and music require plugging in a pair of headphones for clear dialogue and an immersive experience. Belkin's aptly named Thunderstorm was designed to eliminate the need for headphones or Airplaying to an external source by augmenting output with a miniature sound bar design. Using my iPad 3, I took this hybrid case/speaker for a high-fidelity test drive.
We've been longtime fans of the lovely lacquered pedestal display Geneva Sound System's Model S. The only real knock we could really assess upon reviewing the iPod/iPhone speaker dock was its lack of wireless connectivity. You can cross that out now: Geneva has added Bluetooth 2.1 A2DP for wireless audio streaming. It's the same 2010 I.D. International Design Magazine Consumer Products Award winning design, updated to play nice with any Bluetooth device sans cords, cables, or dock. *Note: you can get the previous non-wireless model on sale right now before this updated model becomes available later this month.
If you're a home theater enthusiast, a decent 5.1 speaker setup partnered with a receiver is a given. But what happens when theaters start upping their game? Sound engineers report the human ear is capable of discerning sounds well beyond what a 5.1 system can offer: 7.1, 9.1, 10.1 and even 11.1 surround sound setups are here, bringing home viewers closer to the movie theater experience one extra speaker at a time.
The era of setting up a home theater is changing: wired connections between speakers to a receiver and to an audio or video source is becoming hopelessly outdated. There are now so many easier ways to attain home theater sound and now even video, and none of them involve little white, red, and yellow cables, let alone speaker wire or HDMI cables...
Many of us like to listen to music, podcasts, or the radio while we administer our daily ablutions in the bathroom, on that we can agree. But there are a few bathroom entertainment topics which bring out differences in opinion: whether or not we sound good singing along in the shower and just which features our bathroom audio devices should sport.
Fess up...you like to bring your smartphone into the tub, don't you? It's certainly not uncommon for people to listen to music while getting ready in the morning, browse the internet, or even email/text from the bathroom. Muji offers those tempting fate (and humidity) with this splash-proof speaker housing, which augments both sound and water resistance. Audio playback is rated for 30 hours with three AAA batteries, and the see-thru touch panel permits use of the device screen even with damp or wet hands, all in Muji's signature minimalist modern style.
Until now, there have been two main choices for people who want to stream wireless audio from a computer or device in one room to speakers located in another: a smattering of black AirPlay devices that look a lot alike, and the pricey Sonos system that creates its own mesh network over Wi-Fi.
Soundbar speakers evolved as a compromise between improved sound (compared to tiny built-in TV speakers) and retaining the sleeker presence of a flat panel display. Sonos has further improved the design by further streamlining the form factor, offering the Sonos Playbar, a wireless streaming speaker designed for wall-mounting or positioned underneath a display. With a selection of TV shows, action movies, and favorite songs, I recently had the opportunity to put this all-in-one soundbar to a real world test to see if its beauty went beyond skin deep...