Tag Archives: headphones

Kickstarter find – SPLIT: The World’s Only Earbuds with no Strings Attached

split wireless ear bud mp3 player kickstarter greenwing audioThe ironic thing about most “wireless” earbuds is that while they don’t connect to your phone via a wire, they probably connect to EACH OTHER via some kind of wiring. Kinda betrays the concept when cables get caught behind the neck or on things like scarves…

Well, Greenwing Audio is looking to cut the cord, actually ALL the cords with SPLIT. SPLIT is a standalone music player which uses a low power radio signal and internal clocks to time left ear and right ear buds for playback. Greenwing is estimating radically less power consumption and radiation absorbed by the body that traditional Bluetooth wireless headphones.

Form factor is  about as minimal as you can get, pretty much just the size of a traditional earbud driver. This leaves about zero room for controls, but the SPLIT uses accelerometers to detect bite motions from your jaw to skip tracks and control volume. I’m not sure how SPLIT will determine between “control” bites and  say “eating” bites, but it’s a novel solution for keeping the earbuds as small as possible.

Greenwing has 27 days left to fund its project. Pricing looks like it’ll fall around $150 for a 256MB version of SPLIT. Check out the project video below. These things are teenie…


SPLIT on Kickstarter

Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine buy Beats Audio back from HTC

dr dre jimmy iovine billboard beats audio

What we do know, is Dr. Dre and Mr. Iovine are looking to seriously expand the reach of the Beats brand to include more pro gear, speaker systems, in-car audio, and more consumer electronics. Maybe we could see Beats branding on other phones, tablets, and tech like we did back during their HP partnership.

What we don’t know, is why the pair of producers parted ways with HTC. We can speculate that the Beats brand is becoming a vanguard for a new crop of consumer designer audio, developing consumer mind share that rivals companies like Bose. Unfortunately HTC hasn’t been able to boost its own image in the world of smartphones. While delivering critically acclaimed handsets, they still haven’t cracked the consumer nut yet, with sales of their flagship and mid-range phone lagging.

HTC announced the sale should be finished by end of year, and that Beats will still be a valued partner, but we don’t know what this new relationship will resemble. While Beats is a popular brand, HTC has partnered with other audio companies in the past, like Dolby for the HTC Surround.

(via NASDAQ.com, pic via Billboard)

Review: The AfterShokz Sportz M2 Bone Conduction Headphones with Microphone (video)

Aftershockz spotz m2 bone conduction headphones with mic somegadgetguy reviewIt’s like listening to the future.

Bone conduction is a fascinating tech which is starting to work its way into the consumer space. The ability to interact with audio without blocking or covering your natural sense of hearing is like having a super power. Plus this tech should encourage safer behavior from people who use headphones while jogging or (cringe) operating a motor vehicle.

Plus they’re even cheaper on Amazon than when I originally shot this video: http://goo.gl/6PgjVU

IFA 2013: The Rest of Sony’s Shock & Awe – Cameras, Speakers, and Laptops, oh my

Sony was a busy bee today, unveiling all kinds of goodies in Berlin.

CAMERAS 

1237130_10151672757411997_128816263_nFor those wanting to rock some HD video with great audio, the HDR-MV1 might be just the trick. Pairing a small HD camera to a pair of stereo mics, this looks to be an improvement over previous Flip-style cameras. A wide angle lens is built into the front so you shouldn’t have to stage it too far away to get the whole band in the shot. NFC and WiFi are also built in allowing you to quickly tap and share pics and vids to your favorite online destination. No current pricing info or availability.

1208825_10151672823256997_1561317119_nIf you need something a bit more “pro”, the FDR-AX1 Handycam might be more your speed. Sony’s first 4K camcorder records video at 60 frames per second in four times the resolution of HD TV. Pro mics are built into the front, with the ability to plug in XLR cables for additional audio options. Sony is using a 20X zoom lens (31.5mm-630mm) so you should have most shooting situations covered in that range, and built in ND filters can help you cut bright light out of your frame. $4499 is the pre-order price and it’s expected to ship early October.

Speakers and Headphones

1233473_10151672757861997_1430604708_nPortable wireless speakers are hot right now, we’ll be covering a few audio solutions in the coming weeks here on SGG. Sony showed off their Splash-Proof Bluetooth wireless speaker today. Looks like a great solution to bringing audio to small gatherings and spaces. Plus you don’t have to fear a trip to the pool or beach as they’re water resistant. Available now in six colors for $129.99 each.

555336_10151672757451997_688780776_nIf you want to keep your tunes to yourself however, Sony is also dropping a new pair of noise cancelling headphones. The MDR-10R feature a comfortable looking on the ear design which should help with isolation, and active noise reduction will sample the background audio around you and block it. $269.99 pre-order and they should ship the middle of October.

Laptops and Tablets

Sony is moving into its Windows 8 strategy nicely.

1229954_10151672756976997_685812621_nThe Vaio Tap 11 is Sony’s response to the Surface Pro and Asus Transformer Books of the world. It’s an 11″ slate running a full version of Windows 8. Built into the rear of the Tap is a kickstand like the Surface, which allows the tablet to stand and interact with a wireless keyboard cover accessory. Folded up together, the keyboard and Tap 11 are about as thick as the Surface pro alone, and Sony might just be telling us the truth when they boast this is the world’s thinnest PC.

Standard Ultrabook options are built in behind the 1080p display, and you have your choice of Core i3, i5, and i7 paired with up to 512GB of solid state storage. USB 3 and Micro HDMI are on board for connectivity, and the screen has a wacom tablet built in for pen touch computing. Front and rear facing cameras help with your video needs, and an IR blaster is built in to use the Tap as a universal remote for your TV and cable box. No pricing or availability yet.

sony-vaio-flip-575x368The Sony Vaio Flip is an interesting twist on the convertible laptop (see what I did there). A hinge in the middle of the screen allows the display to flip outwards from the keyboard in a kiosk-like setup, or to fold flat on top of the keyboard to use the computer as a slate. And that display is a very high resolution 2880×1620, while the guts of this mobile work horse are also capable of driving a 4K display.

Screen sizes will come in 13, 14, and 15 inch flavors with your standard CPU and storage options. 14 and 15″ models will also have the option for discrete graphics, here an NVIDIA GT735M, a welcome option for graphics professionals really wanting to get the most out of that UltraHd screen.

1185589_10151672757711997_764467108_nLastly, the Tap 21 is pretty much what it sounds like, a 21.5″ version of the Tap 11. Obviously more of a desktop replacement, it does only weigh eight pounds, which could make it an interesting semi-mobile solution for things like presentations where we would normally carry a computer and a monitor or projector. Improvements to the Tap 21 include a new hinge which allows the system to reach just about any angle from near perfectly flat to completely upright.

Well done Sony. I think I might need to take a nap now…