Lincoln Walsh died a year before his radically innovative speaker technology made its commercial debut in the Ohm Acoustics F in 1972. The speaker featured an omnidirectional Walsh driver that projected a massive stereo soundstage. At the time of its introduction the $900 per pair Ohm F was hailed as one of the greatest speakers of all time by the international press. It sounded like nothing else, and the single 12-inch, truncated cone driver produced bass, midrange and treble frequencies (37Hz to 17kHz). The driver had a titanium top section, aluminum midband and paper bottom, with a single voice-coil at … Read more
At its announcement in May 2012, the Aperion Aris was billed as the world's first wireless speaker for Windows. While there are dozens of Apple AirPlay speakers, and even an Android speaker or two, why has no one thought to make a Windows one? Apart from sounding unfashionable, play with the Aperion Aris for 5 minutes and you'll find out why.
The problems with the Aperion aren't exactly the fault of the speaker, as Windows' Play To feature is fairly unreliable, but it does make us pine for the Apple AirPlay option that's due for the … Read more
The Philips Shoqbox SB7200 portable wireless speaker doesn't fill a room with sound quite as well as the pricier Shoqbox SB7300 model, but a tough shell helps it stand out among all the portable Bluetooth speakers currently flooding the category.
The hard-mesh speaker and rubber casing amplify bass tones as well as protect the unit from dirt and dust, making it a logical companion on outdoor adventures like hikes and trips to the beach. Pro tip: its light waterproofing also does equally well in your bathroom if you prefer bathing to a soundtrack. The Smart Sensor does a so-so … Read more
Bluetooth speakers are everywhere, so it's hard to come up with a way to distinguish a new design. An Indiegogo project called Petite Square is looking to stand out by building its enclosures out of ancient history. The speakers are crafted from 50,000-year-old wood excavated from bogs in New Zealand.
Ancient Kauri has been called the the oldest workable wood in the world. It's certainly easier to work with than petrified wood. The giant logs have to be raised out of prehistoric bogs, adding to the expense and rarity of the material. Still, there seems to be plenty available on the market for craftspeople to make musical instruments, carvings, and the Petite Square speakers.… Read more
When it comes to choosing a bookshelf speaker, you're often forced to decide between one with a dock and one that supports Bluetooth.
Thankfully, you can have the best of both worlds. Today only, and while supplies last, Tech.woot has the refurbished XtremeMac Tango TRX Bluetooth speaker with 30-pin dock for $39.99, plus $5 for shipping. It originally sold for $179.99, and the best price I've seen elsewhere (for a new unit) is $99.
As you can see in the photo, the Tango TRX sports a dock that can accommodate nearly any iPhone, iPod, or … Read more
Tech startup Coleridge Design Associates is trying to raise $45,000 on Kickstarter to manufacture a sleek-looking and transparent-sounding desktop speaker system, the aCube BMR. I've covered Kickstarter projects before, but this time I had a chance to listen to the product, and the sound definitely piqued my interest.
The aCube uses an advanced 4.5-inch BMR (Balanced Mode Radiator) driver mounted in handmade clear-cast acrylic 6.5-inch cube enclosures. The $180 speaker houses a stereo 20-watt Class-D amplifier, but if you want stereo sound, you have to buy a second speaker (without the amp) for $120. Optional at … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Eton has unveiled a few different solar charging Bluetooth speakers here in Las Vegas. Earlier we highlighted the Rokus XL, but here's a closer look at the Rugged Rukus, the company's more compact model, which is due to hit stores in the next few months for $99.99.
The lightweight Rugged Rukus has a splashproof rubberized exterior, a 20-square-inch solar panel and a USB port for charging cell phones.
The internal lithium ion battery gives you about 8 hours of audio streaming via its wireless Bluetooth connection and it takes about 5 hours to charge in full … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Wireless audio at CES 2013 has been almost entirely dominated by the idea of streaming music directly from your smartphone, usually via Bluetooth.
Teenage Engineering's newly announced OD-11 is taking a different approach, which it calls the Cloud Speaker. The cubelike speaker actually borrows its design from Swedish audio engineer Stig Carlsson, whose original OD-11 in 1974 featured the same angled tweeter and woofer that directs sound out the the top of the speaker, rather than a more traditional front-facing design. The idea is to throw the sound into a room, without a defined sweet spot that standard … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Wireless peripheral maker Parrot is showing off an update to its Philippe Starck-designed Zikmu Solo wireless speaker system. Due sometime this year, the system doesn't differ much aesthetically from the original model introduced back in 2009. The latest version, does, however, offer improved innards, powerful sound, and a lower price point.
The $999 Zikmu Solo has 2x100-watt output and a built-in 1GHz ARM A8 processor that the company says "controls the path of the coil of the bass loudspeaker in real time" to greatly reduce distortion during playback.
The 2.1 stereo audio speaker system features built-in Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC (for quick pairing). Aside from the array of connectivity features, the Zikmu also jives with DLNA for networked streaming and can even connect with another Zikmu (over Wi-Fi) for even more output. A built-in speaker dock at the top of the device works with older iPhones and iPods with a 30-pin power port.… Read more
LAS VEGAS--If you can't decide whether to buy a portable or desktop speaker for your smartphone, here's a solution that may give you the best of both worlds.
The Zagg Origin, spotted at the Digital Experience event here at CES, is a 2-in-1 speaker system. It consists of a portable Bluetooth speaker that can be used on the go for more than 10 hours with its onboard rechargeable battery.
When this portable unit is docked into the desktop component, sound output is seamlessly transferred to the larger speaker, enabling it to fill a bigger room. Meanwhile, the portable … Read more