Awesome Stuff: Life Never Sounded So Good... On The Go

from the speakers,-speakers-and-headphones dept

So we're back with another week of awesome stuff. I really did not intend for each week to have a theme, but that's sort of how it's worked out for the past few weeks, and why stop now? This week, let's talk about speakers.
  • First up, there's the Yaba Portable Speaker & Guitar Amp by PLX Devices. We've seen tiny speakers (that use whatever surface they're on) to create bigger sounds before, but the Yaba at least appears to have a pretty cool design that seems quite small for the level of sound they seem to suggest they're able to get out of it. It's tough to tell how well it really works in action unless you can see it in person, but conceptually, it looks cool. The fact that there's a version that can double as an absolutely tiny guitar amp seems quite cool for guitarists as well. Could definitely see plenty of uses for a device like this.
    It only just launched, but seems well on its way to hitting the goal. Early bird pricing at $39 sounds like a great deal, though they (not surprisingly) sold out quickly.
  • But what if you've got some big old speakers around? How about easily turning them into portable speakers that play off of your mobile phone via Bluetooth (or regular line-in jack)? That's the plan for The Vamp, a tiny stylish box that can connect to any old speaker magnetically, providing both the connection and power.
    Even if you don't have old speakers around, the project's creator Paul Cocksedge notes that you can pick up old speakers for just a few bucks these days, since they've become somewhat obsolete. And yet here's a neat way to bring new life to old speakers. Cool idea. This one is still decently below its target, but it seems likely that it will get there in time.
  • Of course, who uses speakers any more? These days, it's all about the earbuds. And that's why the last "awesome stuff" item this week is The Elroy. I'll admit, it took me a little while to understand exactly what this was, but basically it tries to combine the wireless flexibility of bluetooth with the general convenience of typical earbuds. That is, uptop, it's like a normal earbud setup (in fact, it sounds like you can use your own earbuds if you'd like), but about 1/3 of the way down a normal cord length, they just connect to a little bluetooth gadget which wirelessly communicates with whatever devices you want. So... no long cords getting in the way. Plus, it acts as a magnetic holder for the earbuds, which means no more dealing with tangled wires. And the phone features will even pick up / hang up as you detach / attach the earbuds to the unit.
    The thing that I can't fully get past is that the device itself still looks a little dorky -- not unlike bluetooth headsets, but now clipped to your shirt somewhere. The project describes it as "a piece of electronic jewelry" which sounds like a stretch. Also, it seems a bit on the pricey side for the benefit it provides -- but clearly lots of people disagree with that assessment, as it's quickly shot way past its target goal.
Well, that should give you plenty to listen to for a while. We'll be back next week, with more crowdfunded awesome stuff...

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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 23 Mar 2013 @ 8:02am

    That Elroy needs to be smaller. Other than that sounds like an useful thing.

    The Vamp got me puzzled. I'd need to see it working to decide whether it's useful or not. But if you can build some sound box and use it without anything else it might be a winner. I'm also wondering how the magnetic thing would affect other electronics. I'm assuming that's how he makes the thing work.

    As for Yaba I've never seen anything like that yielding good sound yet but it sounds like a good place to chip 1 or 2 dollars.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    BS Simon, 23 Mar 2013 @ 11:47am

    The Elroy isn't new. there are several similar bluetooth devices available that have a 3.5mm jack to plug headphones into. It does look good, and the magnetic earbuds are an interesting idea.

    I did have a cheap similar device and clipped it to the collar of my undershirt when I wore a polo shirt. it was almost not noticeable.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Mar 2013 @ 1:13pm

    All content is going to be delivered without wires much sooner than anyone realizes.
    That has significant ramifications for those that consume their content via illegal means.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Big Al (profile), 23 Mar 2013 @ 4:13pm


      Please explain this comment. Are you saying that no-one will have a local copy and everything will need to be connected to a host somewhere?
      I personally don't see that any time soon since it would remove a large part of the market (no access, download caps etc.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    gus, 23 Mar 2013 @ 4:06pm

    "Never sounded so awesome"? Really?

    OK, so I get the fact that a lot of people listen to music off mobile, and that the market for accessories is huge so everybody gets orgasmic overreactions over even the most ridiculous and pathetic gizmos. But to use phrases like "never sounded so awesome" in the context of wee little boxes that sound totally crap is just plain misleading to those reading the article.

    To get things straight, no - you can't get awesome sound out of a tiny little tin can. If you want awesome sound - with wireless streaming thrown in - look at Dynaudio Xeo or better still the Moos Mini Aero - now THAT is AWESOME!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      lfroen (profile), 24 Mar 2013 @ 7:13am

      Re: "Never sounded so awesome"? Really?

      Agree. Those are absolute crapware. Nevermind that BT-2-headphones adapters are already exists, and, what a surprise: most of them also crap.
      Surface sound looks cool to you? You can't be _that_ clueless - this idea is not even bad, it's a fairytale.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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