Brett Paine Murphy developed the SoundStage tabletop board game for children (or adults) to explore 3D audio in a playful way. I experienced SoundStage at the recent Dumbo Arts Festival in Brooklyn, NY, and was bowled over by the sound. It was a breathtaking display of technical virtuosity, but one that a 6-year-old child could enjoy. More specifically, SoundStage uses a double quadraphonic sound system with four speakers arranged in a square, and four more speakers closer to the floor. Within the eight-speaker sound cube there's a 2-foot square table, illuminated from below, and a large number of "… Read more
About 19 percent of respondents to a recent study say they have dropped their phones in the toilet, the Facebook for iPad app is hidden inside of the iPhone app version 3.4.4, and the popular iOS and Android game Cut the Rope makes its way to comic books.
Links from Monday's episode of Loaded:Cut the Rope goes to comics Netflix and Dreamsworks deal in the works 19% of people drop phone into toilet Facebook iPad app in iPhone app Dolby rolls out consumer 7.1 Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (HD) | … Read more
Note: This is an update of a deal I wrote about a few months back.
If you own an HDTV, I'll wager you've discovered an almost universal truth: built-in speakers blow. Unfortunately, with rare exception, you can't just plug in a set of external speakers; usually you need a receiver to act as the go-between, and that gets expensive.
Note that I said "usually." Another option is a sound bar, a speaker/receiver combo that sits above or below the screen and does the work of two or more standalone speakers. Of course, these can … Read more
I've seen these types of things before, but now Iogear has jumped into the fray with a new surround processor for stereo headphones. The product, the USB Theater Sound Xperience, is a USB audio adapter featuring DTS Surround Sensation Headphone technology. Connecting directly to a computer's USB 2.0 port, the USB Theater Sound Xperience simulates a surround-sound effect over stereo headphones or stereo speakers. It's a PC-only compatible device and will not work with Apple computers.
I have no idea what it sounds like, but I love the design; it looks like a vacuum tube! Fear … Read more
Surround sound on the go has never been an easy proposition. There's no point in hauling your massive surround sound home theater speaker system around with your laptop. Besides, your neighbors on the plane would complain.
Iogear is aiming to make surround sound convenient and portable with the USB Theater Sound Xperience, a gadget that simulates surround sound through your headphones or external speakers.
The $39.95 device harnesses a technology called DTS Surround Sensation that clarifies voices, enhances the bass by augmenting the harmonics, and creates a phantom center channel to give the impression of greater audio depth.… Read more
It can be hard to get excited about budget audio products, with even the best sound bars and home-theater-in-a-box systems just sounding "good enough." That's what makes the Pioneer SP-PK21BS 5.1 speaker system so impressive. Not only does it sound much better than everything else in its price range, it sounds legitimately great without qualification.
Its spectacular sound quality comes with trade-offs, though; the Pioneer SP-PK21BS system is absolutely huge compared with any of the competing systems. The oversize speakers also lack the furniture-level finish of some other speakers, so they stick out a little more … Read more
If you like to flaunt your home audio system, you're probably not going to buy the Boston SoundWare XS 5.1 speaker system. That's OK; it's not made for you. But lots of people who don't make home theater their hobby still appreciate a true surround-sound experience, and Boston's system delivers that at an incredible size and price. The SoundWare XS 5.1 sounds surprisingly good, and we say surprising because its five satellite speakers feel only a little larger than a baseball in your hand. Combined with its compact 100-watt subwoofer, it's one … Read more
Unleashing the surround-sound capabilities of your game console adds an extra dimension to your gameplay, and TubeSurround is exhibiting at E3 again this year to show off its halo-style Tube Sound Headphones.
The technology has been around for years, and the company's Web site is still as indecipherable as ever, but the basic concept is that you wear the halo around your head and two earbuds stretch down and into your ears. Six mini speakers are positioned incrementally around your dome to create an immersive sound environment with a combination of bone induction and traditional audio sources.
Even hard-core … Read more
I view the rising popularity of sound bar speakers as proof positive that more and more people are rejecting the notion of deploying five or more speakers in their home theaters. It's not just the number of speakers, people are also not thrilled by the idea of running wires to the far corners of their home theaters. Truly "wireless" surround speakers are a recurring fantasy, but I've yet to see a wireless surround speaker that doesn't have at least one wire; most have two (one for signal, one for power), which as far as I … Read more
Remember when a Blu-ray player all by itself cost $400? Talk about the bad old days. Thankfully, times (and prices) have changed.
Today, for example, Wal-Mart has the Philips HTS3251B/F7 Blu-ray Home Theater System for $198, plus sales tax and around $6 for shipping (or not if you choose site-to-store). That is one mighty fine deal.
Let's start with the Blu-ray player. You'll want to run an Ethernet cord to it so you can take advantage of features like BD-Live 2.0 and Netflix streaming. (The product description suggests that the player also supports Wi-Fi, but it … Read more