It's not often we see concepts based on peas, but there's a first time for everything. Designer Lu Le has borrowed the idea of a pea-pod for this wireless "dynamic audio environment" Pea Speaker system: seven Bluetooth-enabled speaker spheres, that can be distributed around a room for unusual stereo separation.
Logitech have introduced the Squeezebox Boom, in effect the company's Squeezebox network music player with built-in amplification and speakers. Setup is straightforward - plug into the mains, enter your WiFi password - and then you have the pleasure of bi-amped 3-inch woofers and 3/4-inch tweeters (with a 24-bit Burr Brown D/A converter behind the scenes) to enjoy either music stored elsewhere on your network or streaming from Rhapsody, Last.FM, Slacker, Pandora and Sirius.
Sony has announced a new high-end SACD player in Japan, the SCD-XA5400ES, catering to wealthy audiophiles still with a fondness for the technology. Based on a twin R-core transformer and D/A system - individual components rather than rolled into the general chipset - Sony are calling the parts the best the company has produced to date.
Sonos have announced upgrades to its wireless music streaming range, including two new ZonePlayers - the ZP90 and ZP120 - and new software, both firmware for the ZonePlayers themselves (introducing support for SonosNet 2.0) and version 2.6 of their computer app. Perhaps most interesting of all, both new and existing users upgrading to v2.6 will receive $200-worth of music from various download services.
Custom distributed audio specialists ADA (Audio Design Associates) are promising marital bliss with their latest multi-room receiver, the Suite 8200. Supporting eight stereo sources and eight separate output zones, it's a single chassis pre-amp and class-A/B amplifier, all in a 2U rack-mount box.
Looking, frankly, malevolent at your taste in music, Tiger Electronics' A.M.P. Automated Music Personality robot is meant to "revolutionize how and where you listen to music." Standing 29-inches high, the A.M.P. uses a piezoelectric gyroscope to stay upright on his twin-wheels (with a flip-out kick-stand for stationary use) and lets you plug in any MP3 player, stow it in his back compartment, and then watch in astonished horror as it "dances" to the music's beat, flashing its 49 LEDs and adding any of more than 62 sound effects. Playback is via the built-in 12 watt amp, through a 5-inch mid-range speaker and two high output tweeters. On the A.M.P.'s hands are touch-sensitive mixing pads, the left controlling music effects and the right controlling the audio itself.
Did you know that Tesla coils can sing? ArcAttack, an AV-DJ group, certainly do, and they're behind the world's first Singing Tesla Coils High-Voltage DJ system. Basically, the electrical arcs shot out by the coils actually create audible square waves, similar to original analogue synthesizers.
Check out the video of the Singing Tesla Coils in action, after the cut!
Sleek Audio, an audio equipment manufacturer who are so convinced by their SA6 in-ear monitor headphones that they don't actually make anything else, have announced that they will be the next company to use Kleer's wireless audio technology. Kleer's system, ostensibly a rival to Bluetooth A2DP, is special because of its ability to carry CD-quality audio despite ultra low power consumption. The new Sleek implementation will also support Kleer's Listen In technology, which allows up to four users to hear the same source from a single transmitter.
Is the tech world set to split into "those who understand the Sony Rolly" and "those that don't"? No, probably not, but AP's Rachel Metz would certainly fall into the latter category. In her review of the bizarre twitching, wiggling, flashing PMP speaker - which officially went on sale in the US earlier this month - Rachel's few good experiences with the device are pretty much overwhelmed by Rolly's inability to fit into a standard music player niche. Highlights (or should that be lowlights?) include the lack of a headphone socket, the paltry 2GB of storage and the tricky controls.
Onkyo's latest mini-HiFi system, the X-NX10A, might look pretty mainstream (although that color LCD is on the large size), but its demure appearance hides a few pleasantly up-to-date features. For a start, there's an 80GB hard-drive that you can rip CDs to or, via a USB port, copy across your existing digital music files. An ethernet port also allows the HiFi to look up track and artist information online, or download (non-DRM) tracks directly.