Beats by Dre Pill portable Bluetooth speaker officially drops, we take one per the Dr. and go ears-on (video)
It’s official. Aside from letting loose its first set of headphones post-Monster for the Executive types, Beats Electronics has set its sights on nabbing the portable Bluetooth audio crown from Jawbone’s Jambox. You’ll recall this hitting the FCC a bit ago, but today the Dr. is officially ready to offer you it’s remedy for on-the-go wireless audio with its $200 Pill, an NFC-equipped portable Bluetooth 2.1 speaker. Coming in your choice red, black or white, the cylindrical system is loaded with a quartet of 1-inch drivers, and supports codecs including Apt-X and AAC. An internal battery is said to provide about seven hours of listening at around 75-percent volume (80 decibels), and the unit can be charged via its Micro-USB input. Notably, an auto-off feature turns the unit off after 30 minutes if no audio is streamed to it. As you’d expect, the Pill features a front-facing on-board mic for use as a speakerphone, physical volume buttons and power button, as well as a 3.5mm input if you’d like to play sans Bluetooth. We’re also pleased to notice that the diminutive system also features a 3.5 output if you’d like to send the audio out to another audio ware. The Pill comes with a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable, a USB to Micro-USB cable for charging with an included wall adapter and, lastly, a carrying shell case that can be hooked to a bag.
We’ve been able to spend about an hour with the system, and we’ve frankly come away very impressed. The unit feels very sturdy, with a stiff metal grille and soft-touch coating around the rest of its exterior. It feels very comfortable to hold in a hand, and will easily fit in a jacket pocket. Actually, one of our only initial complaints is that the included carrying shell doesn’t leave any room for the included cables. All of the buttons have a soft, slightly clicky tactility, which also aids to its premium feel. Using it initially alongside one of Beats’ on-hand Jamboxes in a wired A/B comparison, the Jambox came out sounding like a distorted, rumbling mess up against the pill — we even had a rep bring out a second unit confirm that it wasn’t a dud. If that wasn’t enough, the Pill also managed to get much louder, staying fairly clean (in comparison), and without rumbling on the table as the Jambox did very slightly. As a triple-check measure, we later came up with a similar outcome with our in-house unit of Logitech’s $99 UE mobile boombox — a speaker we find comparable in sound, if slightly better, than the Jambox.
Just in time for Halloween, Jarre’s new Aeroskull dock embodies 70 watts of total power in a human-like cranium, complete with a pair of speaker-packing shades. Jarre is showing off the colorful chrome tune machine in black, white, blue, green, orange, pink, purple and yellow finishes, with a matching IR bone remote to boot. With a tinted lens appearance, the permanently affixed sunglasses actually contain two 15-watt speakers, with a 40-watt subwoofer occupying the skull’s rear. The lofty £349 (about $565) sticker price will net you some of the latest technologies, including Bluetooth audio support and a standard 3.5mm audio input, but Apple’s new Lightning port is notably absent, with a good-as-dead Dock Connector mounted up top, instead. With 70 watts of power and Jarre’s backing, this seemingly bizarre rig may actually offer decent performance. You’ll need to wait until its October ship date to see for yourself, but if a skeletal sound system is on your list of must-haves, you can rest in peace knowing that you have but weeks to live (with your current spirited setup).
Remember that fancy-looking DDJ-AERO we saw from Pioneer recently? Well if that was a bit too “buttony,” or perhaps just too expensive for your beginner DJ pockets, how about that which you see above? Announced today, this is the DDJ-WeGO an (or is that another) all-in-one DJ controller — squarely aimed at the cheaper end of the market. With a suggested retail price of $399, it’s Pioneer’s cheapest controller to date, and comes bundled with Virtual DJ LE software. For your money, you get two platters and a mini-mixer, FX buttons, a choice of five colors (white, black, red, green or the pictured violet), as well as some built-in LED effects that help you learn to mix (the lights get brighter as the pitch of the two songs gets closer, etc.). On a more practical level, the unit is compact, USB-powered, and has a built-in audio-interface (no extra sound card required for headphone monitoring). You can get your spin on from next month, at the aforementioned quad-benjamin price-point, or tease yourself with the PR past the break.
As the world of digital DJing offers those who spin increasingly individual configurations, there’s still a dedicated crowd who like to keep it strictly “ones and twos.” Denon hears this, and is hoping to snag some of those faithful with its latest SC2900 DJ media player. From the tease video (after the break) it looks like it’s pitting itself against Pioneer’s CDJ900 and CDJ2000 models. There’s a 7-inch platter (Denon’s first without a motor,) jazzed up with LEDs for cue and marker points. This can be used to get hands on with CDs (audio and MP3,) USB drives, music direct from the companion “Engine” software (i.e. hosted on a Mac or PC,) and shared media from other compatible networked players. Other goodies include four hot cues, native support for Traktor (and other) DJ software over MIDI, a “slip mode” made popular by the CDJ900 for keeping tracks in the mix even when scratching, and library browsing via iPad (though we’re not sure if it’s anything more than that). Pricing and availability should get played out soon, in the meantime you might want to start boning up on those old DMC routines.
When it’s not bringing the crazy that is iNuke, Behringer turns out some pretty serious audio gear. The latest offering? Three new mixers that throw an iPad into the EQuation. A dedicated app serves as an interface, while the iPad provides the brains and the power source. They’re no dumb terminals though, as you’ll also find a dedicated audio interface, mic pre-amps and a new dual-engine KLARK-TEKNIK FX processor, complete with 32 configurable “studio grade” presets (reverb, chorus, flange and so on). The trio comes in three sizes: 16 channels for the iX1642, 24 on the iX2442, and 32 for the big ole iX3242. Behringer’s keeping the volume down on pricing and availability right now, but they’ll be on display at NAMMthis week if you want to have a fiddle. Not going? Then fade-in the press release after the break for more info.
As expected, the HTC made the Rezound official at today’s event in New York. Also, as expected, this is one multimedia-centric phone we’re looking at here, starting with its big and bright 4.3-inch 720p Super LCD display. Despite its decently large screen size, the phone is surprisingly light and feels nice in the hand. Unlike Motorola and Samsung, however, the company wasn’t all that focused on thinness with the Rezound, and the thing rocks a slightly convex back — not unlike the HTC Vivid on AT&T, which has a prominent hump on the back cover. However you slice it, though, it’s a great looking phone. The company clearly put some though into the appearance of the device, with its textured back featuring red accents — a clear reference to the company’s partnership with Beats. If you read our review of theSensation XE, you know HTC’s design philosophy didn’t change much in its journey across the Atlantic.
Unfortunately, the company wasn’t showing off those custom Beats earbuds for our demo, and we had to settle for an over-ear pair — naturally, we rocked a little Dre on the thing. As you’d expect, the sound is extremely bass-heavy. You can thank Beats for that, no doubt. Interestingly, HTC apparently didn’t devote all that much time to the volume buttons on the side of the device, which aren’t quite as responsive as we’d like. The music continues to play, even as you launch other apps, which can be bit a distracting when you’re trying to stream a video using the phone’s LTE radio. For the record, that video loaded quite quickly.
The latest version of Sense (3.5) — last seen on the HTC Rhyme – runs smoothly here, thanks to the 1.5GHz dual-core processor inside. Flipping through home screens is breezy, as is launching the camera app the company talked up during today’s event. The Rezound is coming at you on Verizon November 14th for $299. Until then, have a gander at our gallery of preview shots and rock out to a hands-on video after the break.
HTC Rezound shows off its Vigor with leaked press shots, Beats Audio demo, HD video samples (update)
HTC’s set to unveil its newest mobile creation in a just a few hours, and you can bet that it’s likely the 4G LTE-enabled Rezound seen above. In the past few weeks, we’ve seen a purported pre-release unit and even some colorful renders, but today Pocketnow has snagged what appears to be the first official press shots of this rumored 1.5GHz device. The leaks don’t stop there, though, as videos of the Rezounds’s Beats Audio capabilities and HD video-chops have recently popped up on YouTube — this courtesy of user worldofjohnboy, who’s had his hands an early-run unit for some time now. Questions still remain regarding any official specs and that supposed November 10th release date on Verizon, but we’ll surely find out in just a few hours. In the meantime, you’ll find the trio of aforesaid videos just past the break, and more info at the links below.
Oh hey, Sony, how nice of you to join the party! The console gaming headset party, that is (no, Bluetooth earpieces don’t count). Over a year ago the company had us yearning for a PS3-oriented headset after letting loose its duo of Ultimate Weapons headgear for PC gamers. Then in May, a glimmer of hope shone upon us when its PS3 Wireless Stereo Headset was announced for the DualShock-wielding gamers — and priced at a modest $100.
There’s no doubt that this playing field’s been blanketed with a saturation of wallet-tempting selections (we’re looking at you MadCatz, Turtle Beach and Astro), but Sony’s official kit has a few tricks up its sleeve for a potential home run. Despite the moniker, it’s capable of virtual 7.1 surround soundand displays onscreen status reports exclusively when used with a PS3. We spent a few fragging-hours over PSN to hear how well we could pin-point our enemies with sound to keep the kill streaks coming. You’ll find out the answer by hitting that “read more” link below.
No word yet on if the volume peaks at 11, but what Line 6′s new Mobile In offerings will do is turn your iPad or iPhone into a pro modeling amp, with a sick range of amplifiers, guitar cabinets, stompboxes, tones and rack effects. The setup comes in two separate parts: the free mobile Pod app and the Mobile In adaptor, which lets aspiring metalheads (or Fleeting Foxes) connect their guitars to an iOS device using the 30-pin connector. Line 6 says this connection blows similar jack-based apps out of the water, and it’s throwing in 24-bit/48kHz digital sound for good measure. Although you’ll get a killer 110dB of dynamic range for guitar, you can still achieve 98dBs when you plug in another mono or stereo-line level — that old keytar, perhaps? With that kind of combo you’ll be thankful to know that it records and works with other CoreAudio apps like GarageBand — perfect for jamming out with your keyboard toutin’ buddies without the back-breaking work of carrying a heavy amp. Have your lighters ready for when the $79.99 adaptor ships this fall, but until then, check out the video and full PR after the break.
Razer has unveiled a new leap forward in the creation of gaming headsets in the form of the Razer Tiamat 7.1 surround sound gaming headset, which Razer claims is the worlds first true 7.1 headset gaming headset to be available.
Rather than using virtual surround sound to create the illusion of 7.1 surround sound, the Razer Tiamat 7.1 is equipped with a 10 discrete drivers. Creating the perfect and true to life 7.1 surround sound experience for gamers.
New audio input capabilities are nothing new for JVC, but soon you’ll be able to show off your guitar chops alongside whatever bands you choose to idolize — so long as you’re kosher with rocking a boombox atop your left shoulder, of course. The company has announced that the 2011 offering from its Kaboom line will showcase a guitar / microphone input (1/4-inch) with mixing capabilities to allow for gigs to be played from anywhere you darn well please. The RV-NB70 will have all the key ingredients of previous models, including an iPod dock (updated to be both iPod and iPhone compatible), a USB host that enables use of a mass storage device, an audio input and CD / radio playback. True to the original’s design, this fellow features much of the same look while promising 40 watts of guitar soloing power. Your next box ‘o fury can be had right now for $299.95, and if you’re eager for an encore, the full presser (as well as a demo vid) is just past the break.
The PC and Xbox-friendly, surround sound Z6A, meanwhile, rocks eight amplified speakers (including two subwoofers) and is juiced by a 5.1 channel amp that promises to bathe your head with booming bass. The USB-powered device may leave you tethered to your console, but at least it will house your ears in an oversized mesh cushion, which may make those late-night gaming marathons a little more bearable. The PX3 will retail for about $150, with the Z6A set at around $100, and both headsets will be on display at E3 next week in Los Angeles, so we’ll be sure to give you our feedback once we get our paws on them. For now, you can sate your appetite with the full PR and an image of the Z6A — both of which are waiting for you after the break.
Harman Kardon has departed from its austere design language on occasion and come up with some questionable aesthetic results, but its latest compact stereo system sports the clean and classic lines for which H/K is famed. Of course, looks aren’t everything, so the MAS 102 slings songs at your skull using a two-channel 65W amp, five-inch mid bass drivers, and one-inch waveguided dome tweeters. The MAS 102 also has dual USB ports for accessing digital music and a phono input for those who prefer sourcing tunes from an old school turntable. It’s not all sonic bliss, however, as an optional dock (sold separately) is needed to hook up the iDevice of your choosing. That’s a glaring omission for a stereo that costs just under a grand — but forgiving that flaw should be easy for the form-over-function crowd. More info can be found in the PR after the break.