TouchMyApps » Speakers http://www.touchmyapps.com All Things iPhone and iPad for those who like to Touch. iOS App reviews, News, New Apps, Price Drops and App Gone Free Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:45:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.3 ORA turns your iPad into 8 Speaker Sound System http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/11/19/ora-turns-your-ipad-into-8-speaker-sound-system/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/11/19/ora-turns-your-ipad-into-8-speaker-sound-system/#comments Mon, 19 Nov 2012 23:20:33 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=70919 Watching movies on the iPad can be an enjoyable experience no doubt – just so long as you’re not relying on its terrible speakers. Even the ones on the iPad mini sound significantly better, thanks to the stereo speakers onboard. So how do you create the perfect accessory that makes the film sound great on-the-go … Read more]]>

Watching movies on the iPad can be an enjoyable experience no doubt – just so long as you’re not relying on its terrible speakers. Even the ones on the iPad mini sound significantly better, thanks to the stereo speakers onboard. So how do you create the perfect accessory that makes the film sound great on-the-go AND not require you to carry around separate peripherals (i.e bluetooth speakers)? Enter ORA, a unique case that literally puts 8 speakers around your iPad, delivering 5 times the loudness you’re accustomed to hearing.

To achieve a compact and light weight design, ORA uses an array of speakers around the display. The 8 speakers are facing the listener and deliver more than 5 times the loudness of the iPad. This configuration reduces the harmonic distortion level (THD) well below competitive designs and brings clarity to voice and instruments.

The optimized speaker placement coupled with a Digital Signal Processor control the 3D stereo expansion in both orientations (portrait and landscape). This results in a wider stereo image delivering a full immersive experience.

With a full charge, the ORA’s rechargeable Li-Ion battery provides up to 10 hours of play time, all without having to dip into the iPad’s own battery. It’s even smart enough to know whether it’s in portrait or landscape mode and adjusts the stereo sound accordingly. As for how much it weighs (392g vs 652g for a wifi only iPad), it’s rather reasonable considering that it packs 8 speakers and an integrated battery. The one big caveat though is the ORA’s 30-pin connector, meaning the speaker case is only compatible with the iPad 2 and iPad 3. According to the ORA team, they’re currently working on a an 8-pin ‘lighting’ version for the iPad 4 and iPad mini.

As the Kickstarter campaign just started today, there are still plenty of “early bird” specials. A $99 pledge will net you one ORA Stealth (black), and for $129, an ORA Pop + Case/Stand (it’s similar to Apple’s Smart Cover in that it covers the screen and folds into a stand). Assuming its target of $450,000 is met by Dec 30th, the first batch of ORAs will begin shipping in June 2013. Check out the intro video, screenshots and tech specs below. For the complete lowdown, head over to their Kickstarter page.

ORA Technical Specs:

Unique 8-speaker configuration for a full immersive stereo field

Provides 5x the loudness of iPad while maintaining crystal clear sound.

Stereo sound automatically adjusts to portrait and landscape mode

Digital Signal Processing, hand-tuned for ORA enhances:

  • 3D stereo expansion for wide stereo sound
  • Parametric equalization for balanced highs and lows
  • Dynamic range control to maximize volume
  • Integrated rechargeable Li-Ion battery for up to 10 hours of play time without using your iPad battery

Standard iPad 30-pin connector, including pass-through dual charging of iPad and ORA simultaneously

Private listening with 3.5mm headphone jack

Easily check your charge with battery indicator button and LED

Easy access to volume and power buttons

Easy insertion and maximum protection with four quarter-turn fasteners

Outside dimensions and weight:

9″ 1/4 (235.1 mm) x 11″ 3/8 (288.9 mm) x 0.7″ (17.9 mm)

ORA STEALTH and ORA POP: 12.8 oz. (365 g)

ORA Limited: 13.8 oz. (392 g)

ora-sound-system-for-ipad-10 ora-sound-system-for-ipad-9 ora-sound-system-for-ipad-8 ora-sound-system-for-ipad-7 ora-sound-system-for-ipad-4 ora-sound-system-for-ipad-3 ora-sound-system-for-ipad-2 ora-sound-system-for-ipad-1 ora-sound-system-for-ipad-6 ora-sound-system-for-ipad-5Read more]]>
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Digizoid zO2 Personal Subwoofer in Review – who let the dogs out? http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/04/24/digizoid-z02-personal-subwoofer-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/04/24/digizoid-z02-personal-subwoofer-in-review/#comments Tue, 24 Apr 2012 09:20:24 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=67789 Indeed. Digizoid dub this diminutive piece of plastic a ‘personal subwoofer’. I’d dub it a personal wolf pack – that is, if wolfs were known for barking. They probably growl, so maybe the metaphor stands. Which is more than I could do the first time I heard the zO2, which floored me. I’ve been mopping … Read more]]>

Indeed. Digizoid dub this diminutive piece of plastic a ‘personal subwoofer’. I’d dub it a personal wolf pack – that is, if wolfs were known for barking. They probably growl, so maybe the metaphor stands. Which is more than I could do the first time I heard the zO2, which floored me.

I’ve been mopping up ever since.

Care to discuss this in our forums? Go ahead!

Specifications
32-step digital potentiometer
Class-A headphone amplifier
Uses ultra-low noise pre-amp
Compatible with output impedances from:
High Gain: 16 – 250 ohms
Low Gain: 16 – 80 ohms
Gold-plated, four-layer PCB, with high-grade SMT components
Input impedance: 16.7k ohms
Output impedance: 1.4 ohms
Max input voltage:
Low Gain – 2.8 Vpp
High Gain – 1.47 Vpp
THD + N: 0.05% (x dB, FS, 1kHz)

It retails for 119,95$ USD from Digizoid and ships worldwide. It’s popular though, so from time to time, it may be out of stock. Snatch it up when you see it.

Digizoid reckon the zO2 packs ‘jaw dropping sound’. It does. And it does so for a price that will floor even the most stalwartly thrifty of audiophiles. We can come back to that. Let’s get on with the template, shall we?

Build Quality
There’s not much to say here. For 120$, you get a tiny little plastic box with anti-slip coating, decently spaced in/out ports, and a little nob that does everything. Oh yes, the front lights up, too! Yippee! But, to be honest, the zO2 looks like a sub 100$ item. The seams are rough, the paint job is reminiscent of pre-teen model-building, and the anti-slip coating feels like an iPhone case.

The upside to what at first blush looks kitchy, is a well-built device that can stand the rigours of a pocket full of change, that hole in the car where you throw all your wrappers, lids, and old CD’s of Amy Grant, and even a place of honour next to horrible bedroom speakers.

Also, the upside to a plastic housing is that it bounces. It doesn’t scratch as easily or noticeably as metal does. The best thing about plastic, however is that it’s weightless.

Ergonomics and polish
A small piece of two-sided cell tape would hold the zO2 to a wall or a speaker for its life. It floats on poorly-made jello and Swedish coffee. Metal wouldn’t do that. Please don’t try either.

In use, the zO2 is a breeze. If you hold it in your right hand with the zO2 logo smirking up at you, the LightBar (a multicoloured pillar of flame or moss) winks at you like a cat’s eye. Above it on the top edge are the speaker/headphone output and input ports. Your thumb rests firmly on the toggle switch which adjusts volume, bass contour, and triples as a power switch.

As long as you can get the hang of punching it long and short, you will get on well with the zO2. A long inward push turns the zO2 on or off. A short inward push switches it between contour and volume mode. If you nudge it up or down, it cycles various settings such as volume and intensity in either mode. The literature included with the zO2 makes it seem harder than it is. Trust me, even an early-thirty something can figure it out.

Features
Unlike a GoVibe product that hides all the goodies under the chassis and even buries its dual Wolfson DACs like it’s embarrassed, the zO2 wears its features proudly.

There are two gain modes that you need to be aware of. Low gain mode is for when you make use of line out ports and docks from your CD player, computer, DAT player, crocodile vinyl player, or iDevice. It allows you to adjust volume on the zO2 itself. High gain is for when you use variable outputs such as the headphone output of all the above devices. The volume in high gain mode must be controlled via your device. High gain is pink, low gain is blue. To get to pink, nudge and hold the toggle switch for 6-8 seconds when the LightBar is blue. Voila! Purple. To get back, do the same, but in reverse order.

I tend to use line out docks, so I use low gain mode in order to directly control volume on the zO2.

As soon as you have managed low and high gain modes, you can move onto the fun part: contours. Push in the toggle switch. The LightBar will turn orange or green. Nudge and hold the switch up or down and the LightBar will change colours. Green is as neutral as the zO2 allows. Bright red is as woofish as it will get. And that’s a bloody wolf pack.

Sound
Here is where the zO2 differs from a traditional amp. It DOES have a good amp circuit included. And yes, that amp can drive even very difficult earphones such as the Earsonics SM2 with little to no effort. Yes, it is a powerful machine, even a good standalone amp.

But, if you’re interested in the zO2, it’s possibly because you’ve had enough of amps and DAC’s that make your music sound the way the recording artists intended. You just want to have fun and enjoy your music. I understand completely. So do Digizoid.

They reckon that the bright red contour setting is good for movies. I reckon it is good for anything. In fact, the amp is at its best in terms of dynamic range and noise levels when its circuitry is clubbed out. That’s great news for me. I’ve been known to vacillate between earphones on a daily basis, but I always come back to the Audio Technica CK10, an earphone that could do with a bit of clubbing. My recent love affair with the DBA-02 MKII describes a similar outcome. Both earphones are considered by some as stark, boring, and metallic. Of course, fit is of grand importance with these earphones, but even with perfect fit, you won’t get heaps of bass out of either one.

Unless you have the zO2.

Subwoofing power
Flick it to yellow, or if you dare, to red, and the zO2 will give you club-level bass. Honestly. With a good seal, even bass-neutral earphones will rattle in your ears and you will swear your chest is pounding from 1-meter subs and that Paul van Dyk is on stage. That bass is clean, comparatively artefact free, and detailed. It is the best bass enhancement I’ve ever heard, even trumping Graham Slee’s Voyager headphone amp, a device that costs more than three times the zO2.

In terms of raw data, the zO2 can push around 15 decibels of difference between low and high frequencies, and focuses on the frequencies between 10Hz and 300Hz. It’s incredible.

Unlike traditional amps that have ‘EQ’ settings, the zO2 allows you thirty-two levels of customisation. In other words, you don’t have to succumb to one company’s interpretation of enhanced bass. The power is completely in your hands.

There are no drawbacks to the zO2 that aren’t present in other, more expensive audio devices. For instance, noise levels are on par with many amps that cost many times the zO2’s meagre sum. Yes, with sensitive earphones, you will hear white noise in the background, but it could hardly be called stentorian. To be honest, ALO’s wonderful The National headphone amplifier has as much background noise as the zO2 does.

It’s a small price to pay for such lovely bass.

prodigious bass is off the charts!

Distortion
Then, there is distortion. Quite a bit, to be exact. Driving the SM2, the zO2 outputs up to 2dB of averaged noise and intermodulation distortion, mostly, you guessed it, in the bass. That is when the zO2’s contour settings are orange or yellow settings, and again, under load. GoVibe’s VestAmp+, a fine-sounding piece of equipment has similar peak levels of IMD and noise under load, though its base levels of distortion in the low frequencies are lower by about 20dB lower than the zO2’s are. In the high frequencies, however, that number reverses, and the zO2 has the upper hand. Again, the zO2 is much cheaper, smaller, and bounces when dropped.

Stereo image
Onto stereo separation. Phenomenal. This tiny piece of plastic, aimed at bass heads, sustains -73 dB (averaged) of stereo separation under load. It handles that separation well in the midrange, loaded or unloaded, but low and high frequency separation gets squashed as soon as the zO2 is under load. It comes quite shy of my reference amp, ALO’s Rx, and in well under the GoVibe VestAmp+, but then again, the zO2 costs less than a third of the cheapest of those? I will. And it does.

However, higher levels of distortion in the midrange and bass cause the zO2 to sound a bit more muffled than a stock iPod. There is slightly less ‘sparkle’ in the stereo image, and of course, the zO2 spends no energy in emphasising high frequencies which helps to paint a bright, separated sound picture. This is a subwoofer and emphasised bass tends to mask the perception of high frequencies. The quantitative effect is that even though the zO2 sustains great stereo separation, it will sound sound more closed, more intimate than your most audio sources will for headphone use. As a subwoofer, I’d expect nothing less.

Digizoid note: add a little treble to you player’s EQ and voila! you have that sparkle back!

Dynamic range
I feel funny even bringing up dynamic range here, but I’ll do it. Why? Well, by nature, a subwoofer overpowers the perception of dynamic range, tipping everything to the floor and beyond. Still, the zO2 is probably capable of exceeding the bounds of 16-bit audio, which is 96dB. I say probably because my equipment, while decent, isn’t professional, and introduces a bit of its own distortion into the signal. Still, feeding the Edirol FA-66, the zO2 manages to push 94,6dB of dynamic range. Not bad.

But et’s be honest: if you are in the market for a subwoofer for your portable device or your living room, you are probably not worried about dynamic range. You want power, volume, and fun. The zO2 delivers all of that, but just in case you need to validate your purchase, take a look at the graph below and remember, the zO2 is under load. Incredible.

Charts Disclaimer
This review’s RMAA measurements reflect the performance differences between the naked iPod touch 4G and the same iPod when paired with the zO2 and Twisted Cables line out dock. Since these measurements are taken with my equipment, they should not directly be compared measurement-to-measurement to other technical data taken with different equipment. The data represent the ability of the amplification circuit to drive headphones and speakers.

Volume
Finally, let’s talk volume. With earphones, you will get more than enough volume for any use, ever. For large headphones such as the Beyerdynamic DT880 600Ω, you will get enough, but won’t be able to pierce your eardrums. Bugger. When hooked up to speaker systems, I suggest using the zO2 as a preamp. It won’t give enough juice to smaller powered speakers unless in small rooms. Remember, this is a palm-sized device. It has its limits. But those limits are feeble in comparison to the myriad plusses the zO2 has.

Niggles
I have only two niggles with the zO2. The first is that in low gain mode, and with sensitive earphones such as the Sleek Audio CT7, even the lowest volume setting nears uncomfortably loud levels. The overall gain should be lowered even further, preferably to near zero levels so that users can comfortably adjust their music for any headphone or speaker. The second is that if you use the zO2 near a phone or other radio-toting device, you will get beeps and boops from time to time. Those beeps and boops are radio interference. The zO2 could be better shielded.

Sound Conclusion
The zO2 is a good headphone amplifier that sustains relatively high quality signals even under difficult loads. In similar price categories there are few amps that can trump it across the board. The iBasso T3D is the only one I can think of off the top of my head that actually does. But that isn’t the only way the zO2 defines itself. It is also a portable subwoofer that can be attached directly to headphones, powered speakers, car stereo’s, and powered microphones (yes, but I don’t suggest it). Don’t expect anything like it to hit market at any price until Digizoid’s push out the next z0. (And believe me, something incredible is in the works!)

Conclusion
Get one. That’s it. If you have been looking for a small portable headphone amp, there are few better options in the price category. And if you want more than a traditional headphone amp; i.e., you want bass for gutless speakers and headphones, and loads and loads of fun to boot, the zO2 represents the cheapest and best way to make every single headphone, speaker, stereo you own into a bass powerhouse. Audiophiles, too, should take note as the zO2 delivers top performance in key areas. Fun included!

There is nothing like it. I’m howling-proud of this device. Bow wow wow.

Kiss It Rating - 5/5

App Summary
Title: Digizoid z02 Personal Subwoofer Developer: Digizoid
Reviewed Ver: z02 type: headphone/speaker/stereo amp/preamp and subwoofer
Price: 120-140$
  • Light and tiny
  • Extremely powerful sound
  • Top-level sound
  • 32-levels of bass adjustment
  • Lowest volume level in low gain mode is too loud
  • Radio interference
Digizoid-z02-closeup Digizoid-z02-earphones Digizoid-z02-inbox Digizoid-z02-iphone Digizoid-z02-manual Digizoid-z02-palm Digizoid-z02-stacked z02-ct z02-dr prodigious bass is off the charts! z02-imd z02-ns z02-thdRead more]]>
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Griffin introduces the PowerDock Duel and AirCurve Play for your iDevices http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/11/15/griffin-introduces-the-powerdock-duel-and-aircurve-play-for-your-idevices/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/11/15/griffin-introduces-the-powerdock-duel-and-aircurve-play-for-your-idevices/#comments Mon, 15 Nov 2010 18:16:03 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=42627 Started in 1992, Griffin Technology has grown to become one of the largest providers of accessories for your digital media. With their latest releases of the PowerDock Duel and AirCurve Play they continue to improve upon and accessorize your favorite electronic gadgets. The PowerDock Duel is built around the concept of placing everything you carry … Read more]]>

PowerDock Dual

Started in 1992, Griffin Technology has grown to become one of the largest providers of accessories for your digital media. With their latest releases of the PowerDock Duel and AirCurve Play they continue to improve upon and accessorize your favorite electronic gadgets.

The PowerDock Duel is built around the concept of placing everything you carry in your pockets or hold in your hands in one convenient location when coming and going from a single destination. Carrying both an iPad and/or iPhone/iPod with you? Simply plug it into the dock and charge both simultaneously. Access to your iDevice’s screens and sounds are left unobstructed while you store your keys, wallet or gum in the valet dish. The PowerDock Dual is now available and can be yours for $59.99.

AirCurve Play

Griffin’s AirCurve Play is an Acoustic Amplifier built specially for your iPhone 4. Its clever design collects the sound from the built-in speaker of your iPhone and amplifies it with the AirCurve’s built-in coiled waveguide and projects it into the room, thus making your iPhone speakers louder by 10 decibels. The “Play” was also engineered so that it works without batteries or power adapters.

Built out of transparent polycarbonate, you’re able to view see your iPhone 4 from a 360 degree angle in either landscape or portrait mode. AirCurve Play is also now available and priced at a reasonable $19.99.

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Ecoball sound system – portable solar-powered speakers http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/09/22/ecoball-sound-system-portable-solar-powered-speakers/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/09/22/ecoball-sound-system-portable-solar-powered-speakers/#comments Wed, 22 Sep 2010 13:31:30 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=40028 While probably not as sleek on the front of a Marinoni Fango cycloross bicycle as the Cy-Fi wireless sports speaker, Pedro Gomes’ Ecoball is a great idea for hikers, picnickers, beachers, and sportsters who love the outdoors. Sporting solar power strips, your speakers shouldn’t run out of juice (as long as you use them outside), and … Read more]]>

While probably not as sleek on the front of a Marinoni Fango cycloross bicycle as the Cy-Fi wireless sports speaker, Pedro Gomes’ Ecoball is a great idea for hikers, picnickers, beachers, and sportsters who love the outdoors. Sporting solar power strips, your speakers shouldn’t run out of juice (as long as you use them outside), and they fold up into a big, tight ball (TWSS), for easy toting. As with many enterprising designs out there, Ecoball doesn’t have a manufacturer yet, but I can promise that its design is sound. iPod accessory makers – let’s get running!

Wanna know more? Check out the Pedro Gomes’ Ecoball sound system at Behance
Thanks for the tip, Yanko!

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Pioneer Audition XW-NAS3-K – iPhone/iPod touch audio/video – kitchen sink included http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/07/07/pioneer-audition-xw-nas3-k-iphoneipod-touch-audiovideo-kitchen-sink-included/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/07/07/pioneer-audition-xw-nas3-k-iphoneipod-touch-audiovideo-kitchen-sink-included/#comments Wed, 07 Jul 2010 12:24:47 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=35718 Pioneer are the latest in a long line of well-known audio/video companies to release a fully iDevice-integrated speaker dock. “Been there, done that”, you say? Think again. Pioneer’s Audition may be another 2.1 device, but comparisons can stop there. Once plugged in, the Audition strips the iDevice’s cheap DAC, processing music digitally instead. Users can … Read more]]>

Pioneer are the latest in a long line of well-known audio/video companies to release a fully iDevice-integrated speaker dock. “Been there, done that”, you say? Think again. Pioneer’s Audition may be another 2.1 device, but comparisons can stop there. Once plugged in, the Audition strips the iDevice’s cheap DAC, processing music digitally instead. Users can also enjoy A2DP Bluetooth audio from their iPod touch 2-3G, iPhones, and other mobiles. That, my friends, is a step up from both the Bose SounDock and the now legendary Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin and the Zeppelin Mini. It’s also got component and composite video outputs and a Bluetooth adapter port.

At 449$, it certainly isn’t cheap, but Pioneer’re obviously aiming pretty high with the Audition’s long feature list.

It is compatible with the following iPods and iDevices:

iPod Classic, iPod Nano (2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Generations), iPod Touch (1st and 2nd Generations), iPhone, iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS

Full spec and more piccies after the gap:


Pioneer Audition XW-NAS3-K details:

Pioneer® XW-NAS3-K Dock for iPod® and iPhone®: Don’t Compromise Your Portable Music

You’re an audio perfectionist. You don’t want to compromise your sound, even–perhaps especially–when it comes to your portable digital music. You love the convenience of carrying your favorite tunes everywhere on your iPod® or iPhone® device, but when you’re ready to take out the earbuds, do you really want to settle for the poor performance of a wimpy speaker system?

Pioneer’s Audition Series is the answer. You don’t have to compromise audio quality when it comes to reproducing your digital music files. With its clean, modern styling and rich 2.1-channel sound with a dedicated built-in subwoofer, your portable music has never sounded so good on a compact unit. And with an optional Bluetooth® adapter, any one of your portable A2DP profile Bluetooth-enabled audio devices can benefit from the Audition Series’ incredible sound.

“Made for iPod” and “Works with iPhone” Certified
The Audition Series is “Made for iPod” certified on all recent models of iPod: iPod Classic, mini, nano®, and iPod touch®. But it’s also “Works with iPhone”-certified, so you have maximum ease of use with all your favorite Apple® products. And unlike other docks that use analog, the Audition Series features a true digital connection with your Apple media player, ensuring bit-perfect audio.
Expand Your Connectivity with Optional Bluetooth
For total flexibility, the Audition Series offers Bluetooth connectivity with an optional adapter (sold separately). Models with the optional Pioneer AS-BT100 adapter installed allow you to pair your iPhone, BlackBerry®, Android or other smartphone, as well as your PC, laptop or other A2DP profile Bluetooth-enabled source to enjoy pleasing stereo sound from the dock, wirelessly. If you already have an AS-BT100 adapter for use with your compatible Pioneer home theater system, that adapter is also compatible with the Audition Series–just plug the adapter into the dock’s adapter port.

Dedicated Subwoofer for Rich 2.1-Channel Sound
The Audition Series features two 52mm full range speakers as well as a separate down-firing subwoofer, giving you unimaginably rich sound from a dock with a small footprint. You don’t need to lug around a huge dock to get portable sound that’s comparable to your home stereo–the Audition Series delivers an immersive audio experience with custom-tuned design by Pioneer’s EX Speaker engineering team.

Double-Isolated Cabinet Eliminates Resonance
Conventional docks typically can’t withstand loud volumes; even if the wattage can deliver it, a weak cabinet design often results in shaking and unpleasant “buzzing” or resonance at high volumes that dilutes the listening experience. But the Audition Series features a double-isolated enclosure that virtually eliminates cabinet resonance, meaning you can get a clean, accurate sound response.

Component and Composite Video Output Lets You Share Video on Your HDTV
The Audition Series features component and composite video outputs, meaning you can share stored movie and TV video files from your iPod or iPhone, or stream directly from YouTube® to your HDTV.

There’s more on Pioneer’s Audition page.

Accessories-dock-Pioneer-Audition-01 Accessories-dock-Pioneer-Audition-02 Accessories-dock-Pioneer-Audition-01Read more]]>
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Five Useful Gadgets For Your iPhone http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/05/25/five-useful-gadgets-for-your-iphone/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/05/25/five-useful-gadgets-for-your-iphone/#comments Tue, 25 May 2010 19:31:00 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=33456 Most people seem to have an iPhone lately; I used to quite enjoy seeing the look of jealousy on people’s faces when they saw my iPhone (although admittedly I always thought I was going to get mugged) but now everyone’s got one. So with that in mind I thought I’d have a look at some … Read more]]>

Most people seem to have an iPhone lately; I used to quite enjoy seeing the look of jealousy on people’s faces when they saw my iPhone (although admittedly I always thought I was going to get mugged) but now everyone’s got one. So with that in mind I thought I’d have a look at some fun and useful little gadgets designed to make your relationship with your iPhone that little bit better.

MiLi Pro iPhone Projector

The MiLi Pro iPhone Projector is an awesome little piece of kit; it allows you to project your videos, photos, podcasts (and anything else visual) from your phone onto any convenient wall. The maximum projection is 70 inches, which is bigger than most household TV’s and it comes with integrated speakers and an ultra-slim remote control.

It’s great fun to use and impress your mates with, but it is quite expensive; retailing at the $399 mark (MSRP). If you’ve got apps like Stream to Me and Air Video that stream movies/tv shows from your desktop to your iPhone (provided you have wireless internet at home), it may be worth the investment. And it’s still cheaper than a decent 30 inch TV.

Sony ICF-CL75iP Clock Radio Speaker

I am such a sucker for these kind of gimmicks, but it looks cool, it works really well and it’s Sony – so I couldn’t help but pick one up for myself. The Sony ICF-CL75iP is basically an alarm clock / radio and allows you to wake up to your iPod or iPhone music, video and photos on a large LCD display.

The system has a docking point for your iPhone, which will also charge it, and comes with a built in FM/AM tuner and digital tuning with a 30 station preset.

MiLi Power Skin

The MiLi Power Skin, the world’s thinnest iPhone battery case, is a slim and gorgeous iPhone charger that is genuinely unobtrusive. Whereas most portable chargers on the market are chunky and dramatically increase the size and/or weight of your iPhone, the MiLi Powerskin is light and and no more distracting than most iPhone cases or covers. In fact, it looks just like a protective iPhone case and and you’ll barely even notice it.

The Powerskin offers up to 230 hours standby time, 3.9 hours talk time, 3.9 hours internet use (on 3G) and 19 hours of audio playback.

MoviePeg

Before I had the iPhone Projector, the MoviePeg was my favourite iPhone gadget; incredibly simple in its’ design, the MoviePeg is a hands-free stand which allows you to prop up you iPhone in either portrait or landscape positions, meaning you can watch videos on your phone without the inconvenience of trying to prop it up against a wall or something similar. Anyone who’s tried to watch a video on their iPhone without a proper stand will know how frustrating an experience it can be.

So stop faffing around trying to balance your iThingy on the desk and dropping it in your tea –  just buy a Moviepeg, they’re only £4.99.

Messless Gadget Charge Kit

Although not an iPhone specific product, the Messless Gadget Charge Kit does work with the iPhone and iPod and is a fantastic piece of design. It allows you to charge up to four gadgets simultaneously and removes the need for several cables and clutter. In essence, it’s one charger with a variety of different adapters that allow you to plug in a myriad of gadgets and devices. It works brilliantly and the design of the product is excellent, meaning it wouldn’t look out of place in even the most stylish of homes. The gadgets all stand vertically on a glass disc and really make add to the chic design of the product.

Admittedly the charge kit isn’t cheap, retailing at around £49.99 (roughly $72 USD) but it’s definitely the best (and most stylish) multi-product charger I’ve come across.

John lives on the South coast of England and works for an online company specialising in gadgets and toys. He’s a child at heart and loves having a job where he can spend his days playing with new toys, games and gadgets.

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iPod touch/iPhone remote app for Kleer Wireless devices http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/12/10/kleer-wireless-ipod-touch-iphone-remote-app/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/12/10/kleer-wireless-ipod-touch-iphone-remote-app/#comments Thu, 10 Dec 2009 15:01:34 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=24537 Kleer, manufacturer of true lossless wireless audio transmission technology, will release an iDevice app designed to interface with products from multiple vendors which benefit from Kleer’s wireless technology. Kleer has the advantage over the other popular wireless solution, Bluetooth, by firing a stronger, higher quality signal to receiving devices, and has unique pairing options. You … Read more]]>

Logo-KleerWireless

Kleer, manufacturer of true lossless wireless audio transmission technology, will release an iDevice app designed to interface with products from multiple vendors which benefit from Kleer’s wireless technology. Kleer has the advantage over the other popular wireless solution, Bluetooth, by firing a stronger, higher quality signal to receiving devices, and has unique pairing options. You can read more about Kleer VS. AD2P for the iPod touch, and in TMA’s review of the Cy-Fi Wireless sports speaker which has turned my training sessions into safe, tuneful workouts.

Press Release after the gap:

Press Literature
Kleer, the company behind some of the world’s best- sounding wireless audio devices, today announced they will be demonstrating KleerZone, a wireless music ecosystem, at CES 2010. KleerZone consists of an interoperable collection of typical consumer home audio components—including speakers, headphones and earbuds— representing a wide variety of brands and manufacturers. In addition, Kleer will be unveiling an iPhone®/iPod touch® application that turns those personal music players into wireless home music hubs for Kleer-based receivers, across brands and manufacturers.

KleerZone at CES will feature wireless products from many of Kleer’s consumer partner brands including Sennheiser, Sleek Audio, DigiFi, Cyfi and Ion Audio. Kleer will also present innovative reference designs that can be quickly and easily converted to shippable wireless products by OEM and ODM suppliers.

The KleerZone CES 2010 wireless music ecosystem will consist of fully interoperable:

  • Low-latency wireless home theater and stereo system components consisting of CD, DVD and AM/FM transmitters and speakers, headphones and earbuds from multiple vendors
  • Battery-powered speakers that eliminate all wires since they require neither a power cord nor an audio cable
  • Wireless audio streamed from a PC/laptop to home speakers, headphones and earbuds.

In addition Kleer will be demonstrating an iPhone/iPod touch application that will allow individuals to select and direct music to any Kleer-based receiver in the home, right from the palm of their hand.

“Consumers want to cut loose and eliminate wires. They’re tired of poor quality wireless products that make them walk all over the house to select and hear their music,” said Steve Humphreys, President and CEO at Kleer. “With Kleer your music is always available and the choices for listening are at the touch of a finger—along with CD-quality digital stereo sound that music lovers have come to expect.”

Only Kleer has the high-quality, low-latency, long-distance and low-interference profile required in home audio applications combined with the small size and ultra-low power consumption necessary for portable music players. This makes Kleer the “one stop shop” for consumer electronics brands looking to “cut the wires” on everything from earbuds to speakers to home theater systems. And because Kleer guarantees full interoperability between any wireless home audio or portable audio products using its technology, regardless of brand or manufacturer, consumers will be able to mix and match their music sources and listening devices in the home or on the go.

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Cy-Fi Wireless sports speakers in Review – no strings attached http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/10/11/cy-fi-wireless-sports-speakers-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/10/11/cy-fi-wireless-sports-speakers-in-review/#comments Mon, 12 Oct 2009 04:36:46 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=21223 Just as The Quest ain’t your kid’s RPG, Cy-Fi ‘s iPod and Bluetooth speakers aren’t your average run-to-the-beach bicycle speakers. And, at 159$ for either model (Kleer or Bluetooth) also ain’t your casual, cheap portable speaker. I’ll be honest here, I’ve searched for years for a perfect way to listen to my music whilst riding … Read more]]>

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Just as The Quest ain’t your kid’s RPG, Cy-Fi ‘s iPod and Bluetooth speakers aren’t your average run-to-the-beach bicycle speakers. And, at 159$ for either model (Kleer or Bluetooth) also ain’t your casual, cheap portable speaker. I’ll be honest here, I’ve searched for years for a perfect way to listen to my music whilst riding and tested everything from earbuds to custom earphones. But as you can guess, deafening your ears to the outside is extremely dangerous. Actually, putting anything in your ears while riding is dangerous, no matter how much the trail or road needs the fellowship of music. For this very reason, Cy-Fi’s wireless bicycle speakers simply rock for the serious rider.

Specifications

Model Kleer Wireless (Model 18) Bluetooth A2DP (Model 19)
Compatibility Use cy·fi with your iPod or iPod nano Use cy·fi with your cell phone, PDA or MP3
Sound Enjoy 100% lossless, CD-quality wireless audio via Kleer technology Enjoy wireless stereo sound via A2DP Bluetooth technology
Controls Change the track, volume and playlists settings from your speaker Change the track, volume and playlist settings from your speaker
Mounting Easily mount cy·fi on your bike, boat, backpack, etc., with the provided attachment Easily mount Cy·Fi on your bike, boat, backpack, etc., with the provided attachment
Power over 6 hours Over 5.5 hours
Operating Distance 30 feet (~ 9-10 Metres) 30 feet (~ 9-10 Metres)
Portability Pack cy·fi as a travel speaker – it weighs less than 4 ounces (~ 115 grams) Pack cy·fi as a travel speaker – it weighs less than 4 ounces (~ 115 grams)
Special Features Broadcast your favorite tunes to up to four cy·fi speakers - cy·fi enables you to make hands-free calls (if your phone supports it)
Technology Kleer Wireless

The Setup
Firstly, both models are nearly idiot-proof – though there were a few times where the A2DP model left me scratching my head. In the end, it was my head, not the Cy-Fi model which was the problem. Essentially, if you can apply a tourniquet, you can mount the Cy-Fi: just layer on the rubber runners, clamp the plastic around the handlebars, and twist the bolt. Then, the speaker unit slides onto the bass with a comforting and secure ‘click’. While about the size of an oblong fingerless hand, Cy-Fi’s speaker unit manages to stay stable and a light at 110 grams (4 ounces) which promises to be shock proof and weather resistant. Un-mounting it is almost as easy as clicking eject from the OSX finder sidebar; simply push the small tab down and slide the unit in the opposite direction. The only other handy bit you have to know is how to shove model 18′s Kleer Wireless transmitter into the dock feeder at the bottom of your iPod/iPhone. If you are already a bicycler, just pop the iPod/transmitter or your iPhone into your shirt’s rear food pouch, but I would suggest some sort of perspiration/precipitation-proof protector.

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Kleer Wireless

Cy-Fi’s integration with the iPod/iPhone is exemplary, missing marks in the smallest of areas. But first, let’s get the good stuff out of the way shall we? Once you engage either model (read the manual), the external speaker will work for a variety of media: music, movies, games, etc.. And just as versatile, the unit can be played whilst charging in its own cradle. But, you had better not be watching movies whilst burning down Whistler at 70 k/ph; taking your eyes off the road is dangerous and is why the unit’s big, easy-to-press buttons are so damn comforting. While either unit manages around 6 hours of battery life, your iPod/mobile phone may not. I used both models extensively only to find that my 1G Nano lasted about 3 hours with model 18 and my iPod touch survived the six hours with either model, but was desperately short on juice by the time I got home.

A2DP

A2DP

The interface
Whilst plugged in, the model 18 (Kleer) will automatically load your iTunes library and play the last song which had turned over in your device. Model 19, being Bluetooth, must first be paired, but apart from that, interface differences are minimal apart from phone functions.

Review-Speak-Cy-Fi-BT-Interface

For iPhone users, I would recommend the A2DP version simply because it does everything: plays music, serves as an external speaker for movies and games, and will let you take calls. For the iPod touch 2G, the Kleer is vastly a better-fitting product. Firstly, model 19 did nothing else but raise/lower volume and pause/play. I suspect this has to do with the touch’s own linearity with regard to A2DP networking. With a variety of mobile phones, the Bluetooth unit is a mixed bag: most modern handsets are capable of proper BT interface, but some, like the iPod touch, are not. Regarding the Kleer unit, there are no such problems at all: in all conditions, it simply works with any post-mini iPod. In fact, on my first ride with the iPod nano and model 18 (iPod version), it worked so well that I ran straight into a storm and before my lazy reactions took over, I was riding 22 kilometres home in a stiff rain. The return trip did nothing to the Cy-Fi, but the constant rain, flood sand, and construction debris wrecked havoc with my tyres, and after finding a nice hole to stuff my front wheel into, notched my rim. Miserable, but encouraged by Armin Van Buuren, my return ride was much better than it could have been.

The Experience
Since both units rely on wireless signals, you can probably follow me when I say that nothing is quite ideal. What I mean is that the speakers and transmitter are lovely ideas; in all conditions, they work very well. But, South Korea is livid with the buzz of all sorts of wireless signals from mobile phones to stray internet, and in my area, military communication. For the same reason, my Cateye wireless cyclometre may get retired this year as it often finds some fritz to go on. When pairing my iPod touch with the Kleer version, I’ve yet to experience dropped signal, but it and my Cateye don’t see eye to eye; frequently, the cheap, poor computer loses signal for several hundred metres while model 18 pounds out tunes. The Bluetooth version loses signal sometimes, but not annoyingly so.

If you have an iPhone and are a little more casual a rider, I would recommend the BT version; it simply stuns with the combination of music/handset features. The Kleer version on the other hand, isn’t as flashy a multi-device, but it has a wonderful card up its sleeve: multiple-speaker pairing. You and up to four mates can enjoy the same Armin for your team/club route climbs as long as you remain within 10 metres of each other. For training, the beats are a great way to synchronise heartbeats, breaths and pedal strokes – if you are into that sort of thing. The six-hour battery lasts long enough for almost any normal ride, but a problem with the design is that once batteries go, they are gone. And, because Cy-Fi uses a proprietary connector, there is no way to charge it whilst out and about, so your trips may have to be planned with segregated listening schedules.

And, for the road audiophile, my recommendation goes like this: just enjoy the fact that you have music from a safer source than earphones. Neither unit can show their stuff as you are clipping down the tarmac at 30+. The combination of wind, road noise, other riders, your own breathing, and the slight rattling of the unit on its frame will be enough to lower even the best quality speakers to the level of primary school HiFi: tin-cans and string. But, the 159$ unit does not have those speakers to start with. Music gets loud enough to field a riding pair, but won’t bleed outward too much, nor will it convince anyone that Kleer or A2DP are the perfect audio solutions. That isn’t to say that Kleer’s tech isn’t amazing; I have demoed it on several occasions and been wowed by its technical astuteness, but Cy-Fi is more about the convenience and safety provided with bicycle speakers rather than sound quality. The speakers lack bass and mid-range finesse, but can belt out lossless files and are wonderful companions to the road with any music. While over-amped, and tuned for volume rather than quality, the Cy-Fi still rocks the road. If I really wanted the best sound, I would strap my Sensaphonics 2X-S into my iPod and take the dangers of the road with my morning mouthful of Jinro. After using Cy-Fi, however, I am not ready to go back to earphones of any calibre.

Review-Speak-Cy-Fi-iPodMount-04

The Verdict
I have a hard time not making a special award at TMA for the Cy-Fi, but it ain’t the end of the year yet. In South Korea, I see many creatively cobbled speaker setups, but none, not even the best sports-oriented units do what Cy-Fi does. Ease of use, aerodynamics, iPod/iPhone integration, good battery life, hot-swappable, and for their niche, good-sounding, both models are almost perfect. They even play lossless files without tracking or dropping frames. Add to that telephony or team-pairing capabilities, and you have your 159$. Cy-Fi needs a port for charging whilst on the go, and better dampening so that it rattles less on its frame, but otherwise, for the serious bicycler, it is nearly the perfect product. For those with a shopping bike, or who just want to go to the beach and have some tunes, other, cheaper options may be better.

Model 18 and 19 are serious accessories for the serious rider.
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App Summary
Title: Cy-Fi Wireless Sports Speaker Developer: Cy-Fi
Price: $159 App Size:
  • Easy to set up
  • Easy to operate
  • A2DP: take calls
  • Kleer: pair up to 4 bikes to the same iPod
  • Good, but not great sound
  • Weatherproof/shockproof
  • Rattles slightly in its frame
  • Needs on-the-way charging – port for pedal-generator would be great

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A2DP Review-Speak-Cy-Fi-BT-Interface Review-Speak-Cy-Fi-Front-01 Review-Speak-Cy-Fi-iPod-02 Review-Speak-Cy-Fi-iPodMount-03 Review-Speak-Cy-Fi-iPodMount-04 Review-Speak-Cy-Fi-iPodMount-05 Review-Speak-Cy-Fi-packageRead more]]>
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Bose SounDock 10 – Shooting for the Zeppelin http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/09/17/bose-soundock-10-shooting-for-the-zeppelin/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/09/17/bose-soundock-10-shooting-for-the-zeppelin/#comments Thu, 17 Sep 2009 08:06:37 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=20042 Bose has made a few great alarm docks for the iPod since the dawn of the dock port. Now, years later, and with growing competition, they are engaging afterburners by offering a top-tier system for the iPod. The SounDock 10 features a newly designed woofer whose main attraction is a larger magnet which Bose claim … Read more]]>

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Bose has made a few great alarm docks for the iPod since the dawn of the dock port. Now, years later, and with growing competition, they are engaging afterburners by offering a top-tier system for the iPod. The SounDock 10 features a newly designed woofer whose main attraction is a larger magnet which Bose claim will deliver “stronger low notes you’ll notice right away” and good claims that the iPod dock will rival bigger, more expensive systems.

Against the B&W Zeppelin, the SounDock 10 is priced for competition. The two have different aims and features though; Bose’ dock lacks the optical in of the Zeppelin, but both supply Video out and Auxiliary inputs in order to use the speakers from literally any source.

And, at 600$ a piece, your choice of B&W or Bose has as much a chance to be determined by brand loyalty as it has to do with function.

For all pertinent SounDock 10 information, check out Bose’ page.

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Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Mini launched http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/09/16/bowers-wilkins-zeppelin-mini-launched/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/09/16/bowers-wilkins-zeppelin-mini-launched/#comments Wed, 16 Sep 2009 07:11:30 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=19981 For home audiophiles, B&W have a cooed a soft spot among those who love nothing more than to carve an audiodition into their housing budget in order nest a 50 000$ sound system. But, for those on more realistic budgets (not to mention, iPod fans), the Zeppelin Mini looks to be an extraordinary follow-up to … Read more]]>

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For home audiophiles, B&W have a cooed a soft spot among those who love nothing more than to carve an audiodition into their housing budget in order nest a 50 000$ sound system. But, for those on more realistic budgets (not to mention, iPod fans), the Zeppelin Mini looks to be an extraordinary follow-up to the original Zeppelin which revolutionised iPod dock systems for integration and quality.

The Zeppelin Mini retains much of its older brother’s design philosophy, including its austere curves and reflective polished metal. But, below its somewhat less gaudy reflections is the important stuff: USB Digital to Analogue conversion to bypass your shoddy MacBook sound card, 2.1 speakers, sync and charge integration for the iPod; the list goes on, but one thing is for sure: the combination of price and features should keep this Zeppelin afloat. Below are its specs:

Model Zeppelin mini
Technical features

Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
Digital amplifier
Switch mode power supply
Rotating Arm for cover flow operation
Flow port
USB streaming from PC/Mac
iPod/ iTunes sync
Remote control

Description
Speaker system for iPod/iPhoneTM
Drive units 2x f75mm (3.0 in) full range
Frequency range -6dB at 38Hz and 20kHz
Amplifier power output 2x18W
Power input voltage 100V – 240V ac 50/60Hz on external power supply 16V DC on product
Rated power consumption 15W
Standby power consumption <0.8W

Inputs
30-pin iPod connector
3.5mm mini jack analogue
USB 2.0 for PC connection: Streaming, synchronization & software upgrades
Height 200mm (6.8 in) free standing
Width 320mm (12.6 in)
Depth 100mm (4 in) free standing
Net weight 2.5kg
Grilles: Black cloth

Check B&W’s Zeppelin Mini page for full details.

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