from the a-natural-match dept
More often than not, when dealing with music-related stuff in this column, we've focused on music creation tools. But this week, we've got a pair of crowdfunded products for music and audio lovers.
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In retrospect, the convergence of mobile phones and portable music players was inevitable — but that doesn't mean the standalone player is entirely dead. iPod sales have been dropping and Apple has been moving away from the product, but not everyone is thrilled with that, as some still prefer a separate device (anecdotally: my girlfriend still uses her Shuffle for most listening, and just this week a friend of mine was pleased as punch to have tracked down a decently-priced iPod Classic on Craigslist). Now, the rise of streaming music has even further reduced your non-phone options for music listening, and that's where the Mighty steps in. Physically, it's more or less a clone of an iPod Shuffle, but it works by first pairing with your smartphone via Bluetooth or WiFi and storing 4GB of offline music from Spotify. That's a first as far as I know, and while I'm sure lots of people will opt to simply stick with their phones, there are at least 1500 people (so far) who would very much like this option.
Of course, in many ways, a music player is only as good as the headphones you plug into it — and this is one of the nicest pairs of headphones around. Admittedly though, the appeal of the OSSIC X headphones is more for gamers, VR users and surround-sound movie watchers, because that's what makes them special: 3D sound more customized and advanced than any solution to date. There are lots of 3D sound headphones out there, but getting a truly good pair can be tough — not only is there a vast range of quality requiring a lot of pre-purchase research, there's the fact that everyone's ears are a little different and the experience won't be consistent for all listeners. That's where OSSIC X steps in: these headphones use head tracking and "anatomy calibration" to customize their output to an individual user. They adjust the 3D sound delivery based on the size of your head and torso and the unique shape of your ear, then use the built-in movement tracking to keep sounds fixed at a specific point in space even as you make minor movements with your head. The result is 3D audio with a greater degree of accuracy and immersion than any standard set of Dolby cans.