Archive for: Audio

Rumor: Spotify Partnering With Two Major Labels For U.S. Launch.

We’ve talked about Spotify a time or two here at Gadgetsteria, though for good reason. It’s an awesome music streaming service — over in Europe. Thus far, Spotify and major U.S. music labels have been unable to come to any agreement regarding licensing and payments. Spotify, if you didn’t know, thrives on the freemium + ads model. The labels on the other than want large up front payments and aren’t too keen of Spotify’s preferred freemium design. But things could finally be coming together.

An article posted by The New York Post earlier this morning highlights “two industry sources” who claim to know one of Spotify’s two partnering U.S. music labels — Sony. As previously stated, the second partnering label isn’t known at this point.

While good news to Spotify hopefuls who have no doubt waited impatiently over the last couple of years and through several promised deadlines, some would simple say “who cares” at this point. Spotify debuted in Europe in 2008 — nearly two and a half years ago. The U.S. market has seen its own fair share of streaming success stories such as Pandora,, Slacker, and so on. Is Spotify really different or unique enough to dethrone anyone? Hopefully we’ll be able to test that theory in the not too distant future on our very own.
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Marshal Minor Headphones Now In Stock!

It’s been a long time coming (hey, mere weeks in the tech realm seems like forever), but the Marshal Minor headphones are finally out. These miniature buds of audio bliss feature 20Hz-20KHz frequency response, an impedance of 32 ? ± 15% AT 1kHz, SN ratio of 115 ± 3dB AT 1kHz 1mW, and a maximum input power of 5mW. I didn’t get to actually hear these at CES last week, but we’re on the list for review units. So check back in a couple of weeks as to our thoughts and impressions on Marshal’s “baby” headphone. In the meantime, you can find the Marshal Minor’s for $59.99 at

The Fat Lady Has Sang: AudioVox Buying Klipsch.

Now we don’t want to discount AudioVox — they make the occasional interesting audio-related product for consumers at a bare bottom price. But they are far from quality in regards to audio performance. With that said, it fills us with great sadness to reveal that AudioVox is in the process of dotting i’s and crossing t’s to purchase every last Klipsch share and subsidiary. The faint glimmer of good news to come out of this is of course a scenario in which AudioVox merely acts as an open wallet and lets Klipsch employees continue doing business as they have been. Furthermore, there’s quite a bit of strings attached — “satisfactory completion of due diligence, negotiation and signing of definitive agreements and requisite approvals”. With that said, if we start seeing a flood of ex-Klipsch employees spilling onto the job market within the next 6 months, we’ll know everything is not going to be alright.
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#CES2011 — Sonomax DIY Custom Ear Phones.

If you’re into headphones and audio, you know that headphones which require custom ear molds aren’t cheap. But as the saying goes: “You get what you pay for”. Not only that, the process of getting the actual molds done takes many days to weeks. But a new product from Sonomax cuts the price and time dramatically.

At CES, I was fortunate enough to get a pair of the company’s PCS 100 single-drive units made for my ears. The process is quite simple — a pair of pumps and medical grade silicon are inflated within 4 minutes to give you your very own custom ear phones. As far as audio quality goes, they are on par with other single-driver products despite the higher $199 price tag. Though remember, custom ear molds will cost you a pretty penny, so you’re actually getting quite a deal.

If you want higher quality, Sonomax has a dual-driver PCS 200 model availabe for $299 as well.

#CES2011 — Pioneer Press Conference Wrap Up.

In the world of high-end car audio, one of the biggest names you’ll constantly hear is that of Pioneer. For many years, they’ve been known for their audio products. However, they are so much more than that. In fact, the biggest focus on today’s press conference didn’t have anything to do with the traditional Pioneer audio electronics, and instead focused solely on integration with smartphones — particularly the iPhone — as well as social and multimedia services. There’s plenty more to know, however. Hop inside for the full rundown…
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#CES2011 — Pioneer Press Conference Live Blog

Front and center at the Pioneer press conference at CES 2011. The event is scheduled to start shortly. Hop inside…
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Parrot Unveils Connected Car Receiver Powered by Android. #ces2011

Consumer electronics company and mobile wireless accessory manufacturer, Parrot, revealed a new connected car audio receiver tonight at CES: Unveiled. The “Parrot ASTEROID” is powered by Google’s Android operating system and ships with a GPS key that when combined with a 3G key (purchased separately) can bring literally anything and everything into your car and display it front and center on your dashboard. Everything from weather, to news, to streaming can be accomplished with this head unit, and any iPod or other MP3 player can be attached via USB ports on the back of the device as well as paired via Bluetooth.

As for sonic qualities, the unit features (2) pairs of RCA pre-amp outputs and a separate RCA output for a subwoofer. Specifics are still being obtained as is pricing. However, users can expect the ASTEROID’s release in Q1 for France, Spain, Italy, UK, Germany, Benelux and Q2 for the United States.

Keep checking back! Gallery after the jump.

[Press Release] — PDF
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House of Marley Debuts Eco-Consious “Marley” Audio Headphones and Docks. #ces2011

House of Marley unveiled a slew of audio-related products at Tuesday nights CES: Unveiled. Spanning everything from full-size headphones to earbuds to iPhone docks. Besides the obvious ties to infamous musician Bob Marley, the MARLEY line of audio products are all designed and manufactured using as much recycled and eco-friendly material as possible. The three lines — Jammin’, Freedom, and Destiny — follow a “Good, Better Best” marketing scheme and escalate in price accordingly ($99-$499).

Backing up the earth-happy features is handled by a claimed “pure” and “true” sound. I played around with the full line up tonight at CES and must say, they do sound quite nice. Though a more thorough review will have to wait until closer to the estimated ship date of Q2 2011. With that said, hop inside for the press release and a boat load of images to chew on…
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Klipsch Designing Windows Phone 7 Headphones. #klipsch #wp7

Choosing a headset or specific set of headphones for an iPhone can be quite the challenge. There are literally dozens of different styles from an equally high number of different brands. For non-iDevices however, the attention isn’t nearly as great. Though Klipsch is reportedly working on changing that. A WPCentral tipster has claimed that Klipsch is working on a Windows Phone 7-specific headset complete with in-line controls for music playback. It would certainly be a worthy accessory for WP7 users.

We’re working on confirming this and/or finding out more details.

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