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The Wall of Sound 2.0: To Wage Musical Wars

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At almost 500 pounds and with a width of five feet, the Wall of Sound 2.0 is, undoubtedly, the world’s biggest, and perhaps loudest iPhone speaker in the world. The Swedish-manufactured, hand-made speaker system is a tower of 8000 watts of sound on which your iPhone might look a little ridiculous. Continue reading

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Collage Speaker: If Rothko Designed Speakers

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The Collage speaker system from In2uit takes all of its inspiration from mid-century modern art. With its bold primary colors, the Collage resembles Mark Rothko’s famous multiforms, paintings that feature big blocks of color. Mechanically, a Bluetooth enabled wireless audio streaming speaker set, the Collage is more than that. Because of its confident design, the Collage is like a sculpture at the same time as it is a tremendous speaker system. Continue reading

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Meteor Mic: plug & record glory

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As a musician in New York City, with few funds to pay for a rehearsal space, and a small living space as it is, recording song ideas and tunes is a process of writing things down on paper and hoping I remember how to play them later. For a long time, I was recording songs using my smartphone’s microphone, saving them, plugging the smartphone into my computer, and then uploading the audio files which sounded terrible.

The Meteor Mic from Samson is exactly the thing I need to fulfill my home recording wishes. A condenser microphone with USB connection, the Meteor Mic is perfect for the space-constrained musician or aspiring podcaster. Continue reading

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Sonos Play:1: Any song in any room

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With so much of our media stored in the cloud, it would make sense for the devices that play the media to be untethered, too. The Play:1 is part of Sonos’ series of speakers that play your music via wireless connections. Using Sonos’ own Hi-Fi wireless audio streaming system, not Bluetooth or Apple’s Airplay, the Play:1 can playback the same or different songs at a range of 30 feet and with no interruption from phone calls or Twitter notifications. Continue reading

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Beoplay A8: Bug-Eyed Sound

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The bug-eyed look of the Beoplay A8 speaker from Bang and Olufsen is fantastically funny but still very serious and functional. I understand that you might get absorbed by the bizarre appearance of the two disc-shaped speakers at the edge of the A8, but beyond the exterior design, there are great electronics at work. Continue reading

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Ranchero Radio: someone still loves you

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Described as “new-stalgic,” the Ranchero Radio by Crosley is a perfect homage to the style of radio that was full of Mid-Century ornamentation. While it’s arguable if analog, tunable radios are even necessary, or stand-alone radios for that matter, with the Ranchero, the point really isn’t purpose but style. Maybe it is the fogginess and idealism of nostalgia, but the Western style in which Ranchero is designed was something like perfect. The Ranchero designers didn’t get mired in style alone, though. Continue reading

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Lexon Titanium Clock Radio and Bluetooth Speaker: As Little Design as Possible

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There’s little better than design that uses one type of material for its form. There’s also few materials better than metal for illustrating the explicit beauty of products designed with this single-substance technique. Manipulated by an expert designer, certain metals immediately push-away competing designs that go for excess as a theme. This explains a lot of Apple’s success: their habit of minimizing materials has allowed them to focus and avoid frill.

The Titanium Clock Radio and Bluetooth Speaker by Lexon are these minimal material designs that join the Jony Ive-ranks of attaining attractive products through simplifying. Continue reading

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Beolab 2 by Bang & Olufsen: Bug-like Bass

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As a guitar player, learning to love bass tones is like the slow-burn fulfillment of living as an adult. Everything to do with the word bass seems to get shoved into the background in most contexts. Solos are giving to so-called “lead” instruments like guitars. Stand-up bass players are confined to a corner of the stage near the drummer, both working in low-tone synchronization to make sure the song doesn’t fray because the trumpet and saxophone players are wandering around their instrument like they were the only musician playing. Perhaps as I get older though, I crave the security of bass tones. Continue reading

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Switch Speaker by Native Union: A box of wonders

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I’ve been searching for a wireless portable speaker for quite some time now. I want it to sound good and look good. It also needs to be packed with great features without burning a hole in my pocket. I was looking at the Jawbone Jambox and the Beats Pill by Dre, but finally I’ve decided to go with the Switch by Native Union. And boy, am I glad I did!

With great quality for under $150 price range, the Switch has everything I wanted in a portable Bluetooth speaker. Hi-Fi sound? yep. Good looks? yep. Feature packed? heck, yeah! Continue reading

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Wow & Flutter speakers: Sound Takes Shape

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For those of us who grew up playing with Legos, the need to take things apart, rearrange them, and put them back together in a new configuration is constant. Hopefully we don’t do this with products that aren’t meant to be manipulated so freely. However, the Wow & Flutter speaker system is something that was designed for the twitchy Lego fan. Continue reading