CES: Audio

Headphones. Portable media players. Canalphones. A couple of players that use CD’s, believe it or not. The 2008 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is loaded with audio equipment. I know the theme this year was green electronics, but wow… I’m just seeing loads of audio gear.

Headphones. Portable media players. Canalphones. A couple of players that use CD’s, believe it or not. The 2008 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is loaded with audio equipment. I know the theme this year was green electronics, but wow… I’m just seeing loads of audio gear.

So if you’re into audio than scroll down with me as I take you through some of the best that CES has to offer your ears.

Looking for something that’ll sound good AND cancel noise? Audio-Technica – a company you’re unlikely to know unless you dabble in making sure you’ve got nice headphone or earbuds – are putting out their new ATH-ANC3 QuietPoint earbuds. They’re a little bit bigger than your standard set of earbuds but that’s because of the little box that powers the noise canceling part off of a single AAA battery.

We at the Cyber Shack like our portable media players and we’ve been curious to see what iRiver has had in store for us for some time. There’s a lot on their list including a new model Clix that can receive Digital TV from an antenna, the W7 MP3 player with in-built GPS, and the hot new iRiver Spinn which has quickly become something I want to see (right now). The Spinn has one of the more interesting interfaces I’ve seen in a while and will certainly give you something to play with if the touchpads and click wheels of recent years haven’t been your cup of tea. The hinge on the side is your control wheel and as you twist it, the screen changes.

Much like iRiver, Philips were in full spin this week with new audio devices including the Philips GoGear SA5200BT, a sexy new mp3 player featuring Bluetooth technology.

Philips also started targeting the home media player arena that players like Logitech and Sonos have been in for a while. This saw Philips introduce the new generation of Streamium wireless digital streaming devices. Decked out with a hard drive, colour displays, WiFi, and ports so you can plug a variety of devices in, I know I’m interested to see how these stack up against the competition and can’t wait to see them on our shores.

There some interesting new products at CES this year but one of the most interesting has to be the Pacemaker. Created by Swedish company Tonium, the Pacemaker is a handheld mp3 DJ device with 120gb of storage that uses a touchpad control system for crossfading, EQ, and all manner of things that DJ’s do. I’ve used vinyl mixing, CD mixing, and mp3 mixing in the past so I’m really quite interested to see what the Pacemaker does.

Speaking of DJ’s, if you’re a vinyl person and you’re looking for a way of “backing up” your vinyl per se, I know that CD probably is going to make you whine a little, but Ion Audio this year introduced the LP2CD, a direct-to-CD vinyl device. It’s got a USB connection so if you’re doing some turntabling and scratching, it could be a good way of recording what you’re doing and mastering it later.

How much do you value your CD collection? Enough to spend say… fifty-thousand US dollars on a CD player?!
(That’s $55,806 Australian for those of you keeping count…)

Well Burmester Audiosysteme have created the 069 CD Player created pretty much for the audiophile. Using a combination of carbon-fibre elements, high-end oscillators and a really pretty finish, this is the sort of thing you’d probably need a Class A Amp for. I won’t be affording one any time soon.

Not that I could tell the difference between a two-hundred buck CD player and a fifty-thousand dollar CD player.

I think these days most people are lucky to be able to tell the difference in audio quality.

There have been a few articles recently about how sound is getting worse and worse to deal with in the MP3 era. One of the problems is that the conversion to formats like MP3 and AAC throws out a lot of what makes audio so brilliant in the first place to account for the small file sizes.

Pioneer might have come up with a way of bringing that sound quality back. Using a technology they’ve called Advanced Sound Retrieval, devices like the stereo in your car might just be able to force compressed audio to sound better.

There is more in the audio fields at CES, but this was some of the best stuff as well as things that should actually make it out here in some form or another.

Well except that fifty grand CD player. That’s probably got no chance of your local department store selling it.

Source: CNet, Rolling Stone

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