Steel Speaker by Transparent Sound

Transparent sound, the company that brought the seriously cool Transparent Speaker has teamed up with blacksmith Jonas Majors to create the Steel Speaker, part of their Upcrafted editions. An exclusive run of 10 units made to order with each speaker unit weighing at around 20kg.

Handcrafted by Jonas in his workshop on the island of Mörkö south of Stockholm, he finds and repurposes material from various places before forging it, cutting it to size, then welding, polished and blackened. Said to manifest the power of the company’s big speaker acoustic platform by its mere presence

If you aren’t familiar with Transparent Sound, the Steel Speaker is fitted with two 3-inch full range drivers and a single 6.5 inch woofer with an output between 80 – 100 W and can be connected via Bluetooth. On the front of the unit you can control the volume, bass and treble as well as plugging in a 3.5mm line in.

Round the back of the unit there is a second 3.5mm jack and a toaster slot which allows you to slot in a smart home device – Transparent recommend Amazon Echo – keeping the aesthetic whilst offering voice control. This allows users to keep the speaker system for years to come and upgrade the smart tech as needed.

The Steel Speaker is available now for £2,250.

Tech specs

Dimensions (mm): 431 × 333 × 118
Weight: ~20 kg
L/R Drivers: 2 × 3’’ (Full Range)
Woofer: 1 × 6.5’’
Amplifier: Class D built in (Active)
Output power: 80 – 100 W
Sealed Cabinet Volume: 10,2 l
Frequency Response: 35 Hz – 20 kHz ±5dB
High Quality Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
Front Controls: Volume, Bass and Treble
Line in: 2 x 3,5mm (front and back)
Usb Power Out Socket In Back
Cables: 2 X Audio Cables (long and short), 2 XPower Cables (mains and USB)
Wireless: Bluetooth“Toaster Slot” with power supply in back

REVIEW: Cambridge Audio G2 Bluetooth Speaker

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The Cambridge Audio G2 Bluetooth speaker is much like the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion chilli. Small, but packs a massive punch. About the size of an iPhone 6 plus, it is packed with technology. NFC connectivity for starters. If you are unfortunately not blessed with NFC on your phone, you will need to use the Bluetooth connectivity. Phone and laptop connect almost instantly after a quick and easy pairing session. Considered as a ‘Class D’ amplifier, this little unit offers a lot of power for very little size as well as longer battery power and cooler operating temperatures.

The G2 has a trick up its sleeve. Not only does it allow for 10 hours of playback but you can plug your phone in and it will act as a portable charger.


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Build Quality

Black aluminium mesh on both the front and back wrapped in a black metal casing. Six rubberised buttons adorn the top and a rubber anti slip pad sits on the bottom. It is a very sturdy piece of equipment which will look good on show no matter what colour you choose.  Readily available in Black, Champagne, Red and Blue. Red and Blue are both limited edition colours. The people at Cambridge Audio are proud to have their equipment built here in the UK since 1968, following one simple belief; “Music should always sound amazing.”

Voice Calling

When using the voice calling option on the G2 with both a standard call and a FaceTime audio call, the call was very clear on both ends however the receiver did tend to hear an echo of their own voice which can be somewhat tiresome.

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Party Speaker

If you have a second Cambridge G2 speaker, you can wirelessly link both of them for double the sound. Priced just a hair under £100, this portable speaker is definitely punching above its weight-class. Buy it now from here and fill your house with sound.

SPECS:

Driver: Two speakers and two bass radiators

Connectivity: Bluetooth connectivity with NFC for instant touch pairing, 3.5mm AUX jack

Input Connection: Bluetooth/ AUX/ NFC

Battery: 10 hours

Dimensions: 189 x 67 x 55 mm

REVIEW: JBL J56BT Headphones

Searching for a new pair of headphones? Fed up of having to untangle wires? JBL have released a set of Bluetooth wireless on ear headphones known as the J56BT. Usually when dealing with Bluetooth connectivity in headphones, prices start creeping past £250. But not all bluetooth headphones should cost silly amounts of money. These JBL J56BT’s cost under £130.

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Having used these headphones for a few weeks, it is safe to say that they are pretty great. Connection to my smart phone in my pocket is seamless and sound quality is immense with the signature PureBass performance, allowing you to really hear the deep bass lines in the music tracks.

The ability to skip songs, adjust the volume and answer calls without having to take out your phone is an added bonus which most people will appreciate. It does sit a little wide on the head, feeling a little like a gaming headset than a sleek pair of headphones. JBL have fitted this set of headphones with aluminium accents on the bridge of the headphones along with the logo on each arm and blue covers on the cups which house the controls on the left side. The cups are soft, supple and include noise cancelling elements meaning you can listen to music for hours on end without getting uncomfortable. They also fold into the bridge, clicking when you hit specific points into the turn, allowing you to pack them into the neoprene case for travelling.

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The headphones are supplied with a soft neoprene case and two cables, one for charging and one to wire it up to your device if ever needed.

Battery life is great, I have used my headphones for a few days without a need of a charge, so people using them for their daily commutes will be able to get a week or so of play if they remember to turn them off.

A few problems i have found with these headphones; the controls on the headphones tend to be a little slow when talking to my phone. When using the headphones for a call, I realised that a lot of external noise is filtered into the conversation sometimes making the person hard to be heard. So if you are looking for a set of headphones with the added bluetooth connectivity, look no further.

Audio Specifications

Driver 40 mm
Frequency Response 20 Hz—20 kHz
Maximum Input Power 30 mW
Sensitivity 115 dB SPL/V

REVIEW: JBL Flip 2

JBL Flip 2 box and speaker
JBL Flip 2 box and speaker

In the market for a bluetooth speaker? look no further. JBL have the answer with their speaker known as the Flip 2.

Like most modern gadgets, the Flip 2’s packaging is minimal, the box simply contained the speaker and its sturdy neoprene carrying case. Upon further inspection, the carrying case held the charger and instructions to the bluetooth speaker. To be fair JBL could have done without the instructions. It’s that easy to use. Press the on/off button on the side of the speaker, hit the bluetooth button and pair with your device and bang! you are ready to go.

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I am one of those difficult people who decided to run an Android phone whilst all my other tech is an Apple product.  This tends to bring about connectivity problems. The JBL Flip 2 has had no problems whatsoever, seamlessly connecting to my phone, Macbook and iPad.

What is great about this little speaker is that you can stand it up or lie it down depending or where you want to place it. six inches in height and crafted in beautiful metal and white rubber, it is very easy to mistake the design as part of the new Apple Mac family which is a compliment in its own right.

Another trick it pulls out of the hat, is that this speaker is also a speakerphone, great for an office or simply if you don’t want to hold your phone to your ear as you go about your business.

Testing it with two tracks, Outkast’s Rosa Parks and Muse’s Symphony part 3 where both tracks offer completely different levels of bass, treble and mid tones, the Flip 2 worked wonderfully for such a small speaker. At the beginning of Rosa Parks, there is a faint beat which is normally lost on headphones and some speakers however the JBL worked wonderfully. This speaker sounds a lot larger than it actually is and can compete with some of the top end speakers out there.

The downside that I have found with this speaker, is the battery life. It lasts 5 hours which is great but depending on the volume that figure may drop. I have found if you can plug it just do that and leave the wireless playing for when you really need it.

So go try it out and I can assure you, you will not be disappointed.

Spec Sheet:

Transducers: 40mm x2

Amplifier power: 2x6w

Frequency response: 100Hz – 20KHz

Signal to noise ratio: 80dB

Input connections: AUX/ Bluetooth

Battery: 5hrs listening time

Charge time: 3 hours by adapter

Music is everywhere – MuteFish

Music is anywhere you turn. A child banging on some pots and pans in the kitchen all the way up to the professionals in recording studios with millions of pounds with equipment. It can be in a place where you least expect to be swept off your feet. Walking along the cold streets near Dublin’s world famous ‘Temple Bar’ a crowd had gathered. Then the sound of fast tempo music filled the air. Muscling my way to the front of the crowd, six men surrounded by instruments banging on them profusely created a sound that was not only serenading but also warmed the inner depths of the body and soul. This was the first experience I had of ‘MuteFish’.

Busking has been a form of performing for many years with the earliest known buskers seen in the 11th century. To busk literally mean to seek which is what this group of six artists intend on doing.

A six-man band comprised of artists from Eastern Europe, the band plays sounds that are a mix of reggae, Irish folk and punk. Tomas Pupalaigis or Tommy as he is known said, “we just play the music, we don’t really think of how its gonna come up at the end.”

Starting off as a three-piece band, Tommy explains that he wasn’t part of the original three but recruited later on to play bass and an instrument called nerves. Marka Lovkil from Lithuania on Cajon (type of drum), Bogus Stelmach from Poland on guitar and Vaclov from the Czech republic on mandolin were the founding three. Tommy knew Marka from Lithuania, “I knew Marka from before, as I played with him in few bands back in Lithuania and guys offered me to join on bass.”

Vaclov, unfortunately left the group putting Mutefish on hold. This didn’t stop the musical talent from flowing as the three members started another band known as ‘The Braconniers’ focusing on a surf/punk genre, which is still in existence today. “When we are free from MuteFish time,” as Tommy put it. Peter from Ukraine who plays the drums and Daithi, the Irishman on the flute then added in the missing elements of the band, up until Peter had to return to his native country, but soon returned. Then Phil, the second Irishman joined the group and completed the package.

The mix of traditional Irish folk music predominately played with the flute is beautifully crafted into the fast tempo bass and reggae style to create their own unique spin on an already fast genre. The energy that flows is electrifying and it can be seen as well as heard. I half expected a group of intoxicated leprechauns to burst out of the instrument cases and perform the river dance. To my disappointment, it was only an old age pensioner who had a little too much Jack Daniels spinning and dancing.

Performing on a cold street to get cash is not an easy way to make money but MuteFish do not really put much emphasis on the difficulty, “We don’t think about that. Probably the fact that you’re your own boss and every decision you make have direct consequences on your well-being. But it’s also the most pleasant part.”

For buskers, the ultimate goal is to ‘make it’ and play for a large crowd, but MuteFish have already done that. Having played in Ireland, Germany, Austria, Canary Islands, France, Belgium, Lithuania, Italy and India, “The most rad festival was probably Antaragni festival in Kanpur, India. There were 15000 people and we were one of the main bands which is not too bad for a busking band.” So where do they go from there?

 

Marshall fridges

Marshall….. a brand synonymous with music. this brand sells beautiful amps and even delved into headphones more recently. the company seems to have enjoyed branching out as its gone for a white good.

This white good will put a ‘SMEG’ to shame. Marshall have created a fridge that looks like any other Marshall amp.

The slogan for the fridge is “The coolest icon in music just got cooler.

it has the normal features you would find on a Marshall amp. authentic Marshall logos and facing with knobs that turn up to 11.

the fridge can hold up to 125l or 4.4cu feet.

it has convenient can storage in the door for easy access.

for now its up for pre-order at $299 from the Marshall website and shipping will start on October 1st of 2012 so there is a bit of a wait.

check it out here

Lighter than air……

iCloud seems to be the way to go…… airprint, airplay. more and more reasons to make us lazy! Sometimes it makes me wonder if we will really start looking like those depictions of people in Wall-e the animated film.

But then I get lazy and don’t really care. I don’t fancy having to walk over to my speakers to plug-in my iPod/iPhone to listen my music.

This is where the new Air Speaker by Loewe comes in.

A beautiful Cube sitting in any part of the house looking like a table or even a piece of modern art right to the point where soft beats start pouring out of it.

Loewe have enabled Airplay from Apple products meaning it lets you stream your music from nearly anything Apple. (iTunes, iPod, iPhone and iPad.)

There is a choice of 250 colours and these cubes can be placed in multiple rooms and you can have different music in different rooms. It’s not all about the aesthetics though, some thought of the sound quality has gone to it. The cube consists of two subwoofers, two tweeters and two mid range speakers hopefully giving a good spectrum of sound. Another thing…. it turns on automatically when you press play on iTunes.

prices are set at £699 and can be found at www.Loewe-uk.com

Aren't they sexy?