All posts in “Music”

Microsoft’s New Surface Earbuds Are A Premium Audio Delight

Rumours were circulating about Microsoft’s new Surface lineup for 2019. Insiders have been claiming that there would be dual-display devices joining the annual product refresh. Surely enough, at the big reveal, the Surface Neo and Surface Duo made a huge impact. People can’t seem to stop talking about the two upcoming gadgets slated for release next year. However, another surprise reveal was a pair of true wireless earphones. The Surface Earbuds is a premium audio device designed to blend with other Surface products.

The form factor is simple, but stylish, nonetheless. We noticed that Microsoft intentionally gave it a large flat area for a particular purpose. The touch-sensitive area responds to tap, touch, swipe, and other gestures to control the playback. According to the manufacturer, the audio-quality and precision-tuning of its custom drivers will even impress audiophiles. Meanwhile, the dual-microphone layout on each earbud offers superior call quality and voice recognition.

Despite being its first attempt with true-wireless technology, Microsoft seems to be getting everything right. The company claims users can keep the Surface Earbuds on longer than others. The ergonomic shape of the devices should make it feel non-intrusive to our ears. However, the large circular touch area could make it look too big on some individuals.

As expected with most Surface devices, it features some cool functions that allow you to interact with Microsoft Office applications. A swipe of your finger can move through slides in PowerPoint and so much more. The Surface Earbuds come with a charging case to give it a 24-hour boost on top of the 8-hour battery life. It will carry a retail price of $249 and will be available soon.

Order yours now: here

The Skullcandy Crusher ANC Is For Bassheads

Skullcandy is back in the game. Not that it really left, just that other names became bigger while it receded a bit in the background as we began transitioning to the wireless era. The Skullcandy Crusher ANC brings back the brand’s famous Crusher headphones, which has been offering thumping bass tones since 2013.

Then, in 2016, Skullcandy introduced a wireless version and followed that up with “an ultra-realistic sensory bass experience” on the Crusher 360 just last year. The latest model, called the Crusher ANC, comes with a radical new feature: active noise cancellation.

Like the predecessors before it, the Crusher ANC offers adjustable haptic low-end tone, the trademark feature of this headphone series. Dubbed as “adjustable sensory bass,” this new feature allows you to control the level of bass. With an actual slider built right into the headphones, that is.

According to Skullcandy, the Crusher ANC features the “broadest range of adjustable sensory bass” of any model in its collection so far. You can make the sound even more personal using the Skullcandy app, too. It allows you to toggle a few switches and apply itty-bitty tweaks. So you can adjust the sound profile exactly to your liking. You can also set sound profiles so you don’t have to go through all those settings again.

As for the active noise cancellation, here, according to Skullcandy, it works through “actively” monitoring your environment to block out any noise. The Crusher ANC also has a functionality typical of modern headphones: ambient sound mode. This disables the noise cancelation with a tap, useful for certain situations like quick conversations with people.


Bang & Olufsen Releases The Beosound Stage As Its First Soundbar

To grow as a person experts suggest that we step out of our comfort zone and try new things. About the same thing applies to companies that want to expand their reach beyond their current market segment. For instance, a recent announcement from Adidas revealed two Bluetooth headphones for active people. Another would be automotive manufacturers who are stepping away from internal combustion engines in favor of electric drivetrains. Premium audio company Bang & Olufsen is likewise taking a leap into new territory with Beosound Stage.

This new addition to the Beosound lineup will surely please consumers who want an upscale device for entertainment. Moreover, Band & Olufsen will be offering the Stage in two flavors. To match the dwelling’s décor, buyers can opt for either an aluminum or a wooden enclosure. It’s no longer surprising to find that the speaker grille sits behind a textile cover. Additionally, the control buttons are seamlessly crafted into the frame, which looks invisible from afar.

The Beosound Stage boasts an 11-driver configuration – four mid-range, four woofers, and three tweeters. The combination produces a wide range of sound without the need for a separate sub-woofer. Compatibility with AirPlay 2, QPlay 2.0, Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, and a built-in Chromecast function makes it even more attractive.

We’ve seen Bluetooth speakers from the Danish luxury consumer electronics brand but this their first foray into new territory. As televisions continue to slim down, engineers are having trouble fitting in powerful speakers. Hence, there’s a growing market for audio solutions such as soundbars to compensate for the lackluster speakers of modern TVs. The Bang & Olufsen Beosound Stage is a must-have for your classy entertainment setup.

/buy it here

Images courtesy of Bang & Olufsen

Adidas Collaborates With Zound To Gives Us Two Wireless Sport Earphones

Collaborations are a beautiful thing. In fact, these partnerships often give us some of the best products that we can sink our teeth into. A recent example is the Spiber X The North Face Moon Parka, which started out as a concept four years ago. Now, it’s finally releasing the product with cutting-edge technology and minimal carbon footprint. In the meantime, Adidas is working with Zound to break into the wireless audio market. What we have here is the FWD-01 Sport and the RPT-01 Sport and both look awesome.

What immediately stands out is the special knitted material that covers each model. Those looking for something more compact will love the FWD-01 Sport– a pair of around-the-neck earbuds. For others seeking a little bigger can go for the RPT-01 Sport on-ear headphone.

It doesn’t matter which one you pick because each one is IPX4-rated to keep moisture at bay. That’s right you’re looking at a fashionable collection of audio devices to suit your active lifestyle — both will be available on September 25.

However, our only gripe is Adidas keeping the wires on the FWD-01 Sport. Most companies are already ditching the cables in favor of a true-wireless configuration. Likewise, unlike the RPT-01 Sport, the knitted material doesn’t seem to be removable for the earbuds. The former model offers more than 16 hours of playtime, while the latter goes for a whopping 40 hours or more. Another cool feature of the on-ear headphones is the action button, which you can customize for different functions.

Grab them here

Images courtesy of Adidas

The Canvas OLED Soundbar Is Pretty, But There’s A Catch

If you happen to have just picked up an OLED TV, we have great news for you: the Canvas OLED Soundbar is a phenomenal complementary add-on to add sonic oomph to the visual beast that is your TV.

There are only two choices for improving your TV’s sound: a soundbar or large speakers. Canvas, a project from a group of audio veterans, slides somewhere in between those categories. It looks like a massive speaker but serves as a stand for LG’s OLED TVs. It provides sound quality comparable to bigger Hi-Fi offerings, but in a form factor that’s not too outlandish or bulky. Best of all, it sounds pretty darn fantastic.

The Canvas OLED Soundbar sits flush against the TV, which gives it an uninterrupted look, unlike soundbars that sit separate from their TV counterparts. You can remove the faceplate and change it with one of a different color. Perfect for those who want their soundbar to match their furnishings. There’s also a small nook inside the cabinet to hold the rest of your home theater equipment.

Let’s get technical. The Canvas OLED Soundbar boasts two six-inch SB Acoustics drivers, which take control of the bass and mid-range soundprints. You’ll also find another pair of SC acoustics tweeters. Plus, a four-channel 200-watt amp featuring a frequency response between 30Hz and 20,000Hz.

In effect, you get a towering facade that seems like it was transformed into a glorified TV stand. But it only takes one listen to realize this isn’t the case. The Canvas OLED Soundbar is the real deal if you want top-tier audio.


These Limited-Edition Guitars Were Developed with Eric Clapton, John Mayer and Carlos Santana

Now at Guitar Center you can buy five limited-edition guitars developed with Eric Clapton, John Mayer and Carlos Santana. The instruments — dubbed the Crossroads Guitar Collection — are detail-focused recreations and signature models that those iconic musicians played at different points in their careers.

The collection ranges in prices from $7,999 to $12,999 and includes guitars from Fender, Gibson, Martin and Paul Reed Smith. Clapton’s guitars make up the bulk of the collections: A Gibson Custom 1964 Firebird is based off an instrument he bought in Philadelphia and played with Cream and Blind Faith. Another guitar Clapton used with Blind Faith, a 1964 sunburst Telecaster, was recreated by Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Todd Krause and includes a recreation of Clapton’s “Brownie” ’56 Strat neck (which was swapped in). The last Clapton guitar in the collection is a Martin Ziricote Auditorium acoustic complete with herringbone pearl inlays, a carbon fiber bridge plate and liquid metal bridge pins.

[embedded content]

Mayer’s contribution to the collection is also from Martin. His Cocobolo Parlor guitar is a modified version of Mayer’s signature OO-42 “Stage Coach” and has a Sitka spruce top and a short-scale neck. The collection is rounded out with a PRS guitar — one referencing the first guitars Paul Reed Smith built for Santana. It includes a nitro-finish curly maple top, a 24-fret Brazilian rosewood fingerboard and mini-toggle controlled humbuckers.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each guitar in the collection will be donated to Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Centre Antigua which provides treatment and education to chemically dependent persons. Each guitar is produced in very limited quantities, so if you’re looking an extra-special axe to add to your collection — and you have the money to spare — act fast.

Custom Eric Clapton Crossroads 1964 Firebird I VOS Guitar by Gibson $7,999

0042JM-C John Mayer Crossroads Cocobolo Parlor Guitar by Martin $9,999

Custom Shop Eric Clapton Crossroads Blind Faith Telecaster Guitar by Fender $11,999

Private Stock Carlos Santana I Crossroads 2019 Guitar by PRS $11,999

00042EC-Z Eric Clapton Crossroads Ziricote Auditorium Guitar by Martin $12,999
Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

This Special Edition Fender Guitar Is Even More Affordable Today

For almost 70 years, the Fender Telecaster has been a integral part of countless hit records and live rigs. The workhorse guitar was first introduced as the Broadcaster in 1950, and since then the instrument hasn’t changed a whole lot. The dead-simple design features a solid body with a single cutaway, a bolt-on neck and a couple pickups. That basic setup allowed for versatility and it became a favorite of musicians in genres ranging from country to jazz to metal.

[embedded content]

If you’ve been looking to add a Tele to your collection, head over to Guitar Center today. Right now, you can currently save $150 on an already affordable Special Edition Deluxe Telecaster. The guitar merges the best of the classic design with a few new player-centric features.

It has a solid ash body with an aged cherry-burst finish, a 1-piece fast-action maple neck with a modern-C shape, medium jumbo frets and Hot Standard Tele pickups. This Mexican-made Tele also has a vintage-style 3-barrel string-thru-body bridge and cast/sealed machine heads.

Normally $700, this guitar is just $550 today — act fast if you want a great deal.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Ian DeLucca’s Object No. 1 AirPods Flaunt Diamonds And White Gold

Even though there are true-wireless earphones out there with more features and an impressive spec sheet, Apple still reigns supreme. Perhaps it’s the whimsical notion that products from the Cupertino tech outfit are far superior to others. Nevertheless, we cannot deny that the AirPods are insanely popular since its release in 2016. It’s gotten to a point wherein whether we like it or not, consumers can now purchase a pair with a generous helping of diamonds. Behold the Object No. 1 AirPods by Ian DeLucca in all its shimmering splendor.

A lot of you are probably thinking that this is totally unnecessary, but the affluent folks among us will beg to differ. Perhaps in the name of art, these extravagant pair of earbuds are a unique canvas that exemplifies the height of fashion and luxury.

Ian DeLucca, a designer working in Los Angeles, is aptly naming it Object No. 1. Furthermore, it is the perfect platform to kick off his “NEW MATERIALISM” campaign. Only 25 examples are going up for sale and at $20,000 each, rich and famous will be snapping these up in no time.

The privileged few who can afford the Object No. 1 are in for a lavish treat. The Object No. 1 AirPods ditch the familiar white plastic of the original in favor of something grander. It flaunts a white gold shell with 1,000 natural-mined individual VVS diamonds. The opulence does not end there because the set even includes a marble charging stand. We just want to point out that this is not the first time an Apple product gets this type of treatment.

Get it here

Images courtesy of Ian DeLucca

Sony WF-1000XM3

Can Sony topple the reign of AirPods? We can’t answer that. One thing we do know, however, is that its new WF-1000XM3 wireless earbuds are on par, if not better, than Apple’s ultra-popular option.

Especially in Audio, Sony is a formidable name. No surprise, then, that the company is vying to eclipse Apple’s tight grip of the first place and ascend to the throne as the king of wireless earbuds. Of course, that’s not easy talk. Not only do you have to excel in the sound quality department (which Sony has and, better to put, does), it also has to cobble up a marketing campaign to the level of Apple’s. That’s much harder — the Apple brand has become, by sheer cultural osmosis and consistently great, if decent products, synonymous with undeniable reliance.

Sony has all that to reckon with, but we won’t get into that. The headphones themselves, however, are great, at least on paper. They’re noise-canceling ones, which the AirPods aren’t. They also feature a 0.24-inch driver unit that delivers crisp audio. Plus, they come equipped with DSEE HX to upscale compressed music files, resulting in better audio in theory, though we’ll have to test if the gains are noticeable.

With a battery life enough for you to squeeze six hours of playback on a single charge, the Sony WF-1000XM3 is a modestly designed wireless option for those who care most about sound quality than other gimmicks. And yes, they do come with a charging case, which packs three full charges. They’re a tad bit more expensive than the AirPods, though, at $230. But that’s the price you have to pay for good sound.


Fitbit Flyer Bluetooth Earphones

Years of polishing its skills on crafting fitness trackers, Fitbit is finally making a move to join the wireless audio market. Although this comes as a big surprise for a lot of its consumers, feedback is mostly positive. It’s important for companies to branch out elsewhere eventually, and the direction it’s taking appears to be on the right track. It’s high time for it to shake up the wearable tech segment with something totally different. The Fitbit Flyer is the brand’s first venture into the world of Bluetooth headphones.

Among fitness trackers, Fitbit quickly comes to mind for a lot of people. On the other hand, this is the first time the brand is investing in something other than activity trackers. Nonetheless, longtime users of its products will be glad to finally own a pair of wireless earphones to match their wearable. Let’s begin by pointing out that this is more of a traditional design. You have two earbuds with a wire connecting both ends. This could be a deal-breaker for those who are after a true-wireless experience but does not affect performance.

In order to match your active lifestyle, the Fitbit Flyer is resistant to all types of moisture that come with the territory. Moreover, the package includes several ear tips and accessories that you can combine together for a secure fit. Therefore, you can be sure that it will survive even the most grueling workouts in your menu. Sound quality is likewise top-notch with the right blend of bass, dynamic range, and distinct clarity. A full battery lasts up 6 hours, while the quick charge feature gives you an hour of juice after a 15-minute charge.

Buy one now

Images courtesy of Fitbit

This Special Edition Fender Guitar Is Now Surprisingly Affordable

Without a doubt, Fender is best known for making the iconic Stratocaster guitar. But the Arizona-based company also produces quite a few other models worth checking out. One of it’s lesser known styles is the Jaguar, an instrument with an offset body, originally produced between 1962 and 1975.

During that time, it was popular with surf rock guitarists, but after it went out of production, it became an onstage staple at punk, alternative and indie shows. During the ’80s, Fender produced a Japanese-made version of the instrument, and in ’99, due to the Jaguar’s underground popularity, the brand began producing the style again in earnest.

If you’re looking to add this unique guitar to your arsenal, head over to Guitar Center today — currently you can save $50 on a Fender Special Edition Standard Jaguar guitar. The instrument comes in a Surf Pearl finish (an homage to the Jaguar’s early days) and has an alder body, a 22-fret maple neck and a Pau Ferro fingerboard. Unlike some of the single-coil models produced a half-century ago, this guitar has two humbucking pickups and a modern C shape neck.

Normally $600, this guitar now costs $550 and includes free shipping.

A Bunch of Fender Guitars Are Now on Sale

Now at Guitar Center, you can save up to 30 percent on a bunch of Fender Guitars. For the July 4th sale, you can choose from Stratocasters, Telecasters, Jaguars and more — but act fast, because these deals will be gone soon. Start Saving

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

TOKK Reactor Speakers

Buy the TOKK Reactor Speakers if you want some wireless audio companion that’s like nothing else in the market. Not only do these speakers feature rich stereo sound, they’re also pocket-sized so you can take them anywhere.

With a built-in battery offering up to eight hours of listening time, you can enjoy your favorite playlists without missing a beat. The real highlight here, however, are the magnetic wireless halves that affix together and to other magnetic surfaces. That means these can attach to any metallic surface thanks to its magnetic ability.

As for the sound, it features 4W RMS — just fancy talk that means the speakers can deliver loud and high-definition sound. Unfortunately, it’s still stuck with Bluetooth 4.2. That severely limits its capabilities, sadly. However, you should have no problem connecting it to your devices. You can even use it to take a call or talk to Siri if you pair it with an iPhone. Google Assistant is also supported, of course, as is other select smart assistants.

And before we forget: this thing’s also waterproof. IPX5, to be exact. That means you can use it for poolside hangouts and not have to worry about occasional splashes. Just don’t dip it into the water for very long.

Perfect for traveling, camping, or anything, the TOKK Reactor Speakers are a sleek pair of feature-rich speakers that will accompany you with your favorite tunes as you go about. The package comes with a lanyard and carabiner for easy carry, and a microUSB cable.


Save Over $100 on These Classic Fender Guitar Amps

Now at Guitar Center, you can save over $100 on a range of classic Fender guitar amps. The Silverface ’68 Custom reissue line — a Princeton Reverb, a Deluxe Reverb, a Vibrolux Reverb and a Twin Reverb — is currently discounted. These classic tube amps recreate styles from a transitional year in Fender’s amp production: the tones were classic Fender — warm and bell-like — but they were also noticeably dirtier than amps produced in the mid-‘60s. The amps also presented a new aesthetic with a silver-and-turquoise front panel and an aluminum grille-cloth trim.

[embedded content]

These ’68 Custom amps feature cabinets made from birch-maple plywood, Celestion speakers and all-tube circuitry with Groove Tubes preamp tubes and power tubes. Each model also includes custom-made Schumacher transformers, tube-driven spring reverb and a 2-button footswitch. Wattage ranges from 12 in the Princeton to 85 in the Twin Reverb, so there’s something for every player and situation. Rarely on sale, these amps have open-box discounts of up to $156 — hard to argue with that for brand-new gear.

’68 Custom Princeton Reverb by Fender $900 $792

’68 Custom Deluxe Reverb by Fender $1,050 $924

’68 Custom Vibrolux Reverb by Fender $1,200 $1,056

’68 Custom Twin Reverb by Fender $1,300 $1,144
Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

John Mayer Played This $1.9 Million Guitar with Dead & Co. in NYC

On June 23 at Citi Field in NYC, John Mayer played Jerry Garica’s famous Wolf guitar onstage with Dead & Company. This was the first time Mayer performed with one of Garcia’s instruments. “It wasn’t time until it was,” he said in an Instagram post. “NYC, we were all holding Jerry’s guitar tonight. I cherished the responsibility.”

The guitar was built by California luthier Doug Irwin and first used by Garcia at a private party for the Hell’s Angels in NYC in 1973. The instrument was made with a purpleheart and curly maple body, a 24-fret neck and an ebony fingerboard inlaid with African ivory (except for the first fret which is mother-of-pearl).

Irwin built the guitar with a plate system for mounting pickups so Garcia could experiment with traditional Fender Stratocaster pickups and humbuckers — the guitar now has humbuckers in the bridge and middle positions and a single-coil in the neck. To control the pickups, the guitar has a five-position selector, tone controls for the front and middle pickups and a master volume control (two mini-toggle switches control pickup coils). The guitar also has two output jacks: one went directly to the amp and another went to an effects loop (another mini-toggle switch brought the effects loop in or out).

Garcia used the instrument throughout the ‘70s and then used it to experiment with MIDI synthesizer technology in ’89. He last played it onstage with the Grateful Dead in Oakland in 1993.

[embedded content]

In 2017, the guitar sold for over $1.9 million at a Guernsey’s auction benefiting the Southern Poverty Law Center. Brian Halligan, the Boston-based CEO of HubSpot, placed the winning bid with intentions that the guitar be played. “I think it is best served by being played, so I plan to do so,” he told Rolling Stone. “I plan to lend it out to the Garcia family whenever they want it.”

Mayer’s Signature PRS Guitar

John Mayer’s new Paul Reed Smith signature model takes cues from vintage ’63 and ’64 Strats. Blending the precision PRS is known for with the best qualities of the vintage guitars, this is a magical instrument. Read the Story

Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 True-Wireless Earphones

Wireless audio products are here to stay to the chagrin of audiophiles who preach that wired is the only way to go. We have to understand that the digital audio formats of yesterday and wireless platforms had room for improvement. The majority will argue that sound is analog by nature so analog is the best way to go. However, modern Bluetooth technology and audio codecs have turned the tables against the traditional format.

Now, we are seeing the influx of true-wireless earphones with the Apple AirPods leading the way. Other brands are following suit just like the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1, which seeks to take the game to another level. High-end audio companies can spot a winning horse if they see one and true-wireless is the way to go.

We recently featured a follow-up model from Bose called the Earbuds 500 as well as another one with noise-canceling technology coming in 2020. It’s no surprise that this British audiophile-centric brand is jumping in to grab a piece of the pie.

The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 features a pair of true-wireless earbuds that pack a 5.8 mm graphene driver. Experts claim that these produce exceptional bass and treble. Its battery performance offers up to 9 hours on a full charge. Due to the compact nature of true-wireless earphones, most models tout shorter usage times than their conventional cousins. That’s why most brands are throwing in charging cases for that extra juice when you need it. The Melomania 1’s accessory adds another 36 hours on top, which is good for another 4 charges.

Get one now

Images courtesy of Cambridge Audio

Sennheiser GSP 670 Wireless Gaming Headset

Gaming can start off as a hobby that helps you kill time solo or with buddies. Depending on the type of game you’re playing, you can play against a friend side by side. However, when you’re taking the action online, there are ways to have an advantage over other players. First of all, you’re going to need gaming-grade accessories such as keyboards, mice, controllers.

Input lag can mean victory or defeat, so a lot of gamers prefer to use ones with wires. On the other hand, new wireless models are now available that overcome that limitation. One of those is the Sennheiser GSP 670—a wireless gaming headset that promises a lag-free experience.

Exceptional eye and hand coordination is the skill that turns players into winners. Nevertheless, the majority of professionals who have almost flawless records claim that audio is very important. Audio cues help them stay aware of what’s going on in the background as well as communicate with teammates. Wired headsets are commonly used but the cables can actually get in the way. Wireless is the obvious solution, but latency is always the downside.

The Sennheiser GSP 670 on the other hand, is making a bold claim that its wireless headset is virtually lag-free. What makes this possible is the proprietary technology that maintains a low-latency connection between the headphones and the USB dongle. Moreover, the microphone’s noise-canceling system lets you maintain crystal clear communication with your team. A full charge will reportedly offer 20 hours of non-stop usage using Bluetooth. This goes down to about 16 hours using the GSA 70 wireless dongle. With all of these features on the table, $396 is a small price to pay for superior audio performance.

Get it here

Images courtesy of Sennheiser

Bose Earbuds 500 True-Wireless Earphones

We all know that Apple was not the first tech company to release a pair of wireless earphones. Nevertheless, with the help of stellar brand recognition and a superior marketing approach, the AirPods are on top of everybody’s list. In the meantime, there are consumers who do not want to join the brand’s ecosystem. Thankfully, there are better alternatives out there that are worth your consideration. Let’s take a look at the Bose Earbuds 500 and find out what makes it better than the competition.

For those of you who already caught a glimpse of the Bose Sleepbuds might have an idea of what the new ones offer. While the former only played a preset number of relaxing sounds, the latter is a Bluetooth audio device. This new model reportedly a follow-up to the SoundSport Free, which was their first foray into the true-wireless market. Sadly, despite its exceptional features, the chunky design, physical button controls, and larger-than-life charging case were deal-breakers for potential buyers.

It looks like the company is learning from its mistakes and making the Bose Earbuds 500 sleeker and more compact than its predecessor. Furthermore, the true-wireless earphones are packing Bose AR technology. This is a new system of motion sensors that detects head orientation and other movements. We can’t wait to see how it enhance the user’s listening experience later on. Voice controls are likewise on the table with support for Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. Additional specifications and details will be available soon. Meanwhile, for those of you who are not in a hurry, a noise-canceling model is apparently on the way next year.

Check it out here

Cambridge Audio AX Range Affordable Hi-Fi System

It’s daunting to even begin thinking about entering the world of Hi-Fi audio. There are all sorts of super pricey equipment you need to buy, firstly. Plus, the number of audiophiles who’ll gnaw at you for making wrong decisions is endless. No surprise, then, that the audiophile seems like an elite club of highly secretive misanthropes.

But Cambridge Audio wants to make Hi-Fi systems more accessible for a wider range of people. With its latest AX Range, you can take the plunge with little fear going in. Not just because this system is one of the most affordable in the market. But it’s also not as intimidating as other gear.

Perfect for Hi-Fi novices, the Cambridge Audio AX Range consists of two CD players, two integrated amplifiers, and two stereo receivers. All these are fairly priced, mind you. The design takes cues from Cambridge Audio’s more expensive CX range and the upmarket Edge system.

Let’s talk about the parts. The AXC25 CD features one stereo analog RCA output, a remote control, and is available in both Lunar Grey and plain Black. The second CD player is called the AXC35, which has the analog RCA output of the AXC25 but also gets the option of a coaxial digital output.

The two integrated amplifiers are called the AXA25 and the AXA35, the latter of which offers additional connectivity and 35W of output. The final two pieces in the range are a couple of stereo receivers, the AXR85 and AXR100.

Learn more by visiting the link below.


Photos courtesy of Cambridge Audio

ASTRO A40 TR + MixAmp TR Wired Headset

Looking for the right audio device entirely depends on what you need it for. Take for example for traveling, which usually needs headphones that have excellent ambient noise reduction. Moreover, models that come with active noise cancellation are on high on the list. Next, users who live an active lifestyle will need ingress protection to keep moisture and dust out. Finally, content creators, streamers, and competitive gamers require accurate audio, which the ASTRO A40 TR + MixAmp TR will gladly deliver.

Just like noise-canceling headphones that frequent travelers use for the long-haul trips, comfort is the key. Gamers, streamers, and content creators normally wear these for long periods of time. There was a time when Turtle Beach was the brand of choice, but Astro is gaining popularity for good reason. This $249.99 set is a complete package that is compatible with the Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One, Mac, and PC. The soft cloth cushions on each ear cup are made of breathable fabric for superior ventilation.

Other than its versatile compatibility, the headphones actually look good. The mix of heavy-duty plastics and metal makes it quite durable. Furthermore, it features ASTRO Audio V2 tuning for exceptional acoustics that offers an immersive experience. Meanwhile, the included microphone is removable and can be attached on either side. The mixamp even features multiple ports and controls, which you can even digitally daisy chain. The large metallic dial knobs allow precise adjustments so you can hear every sound in detail. Finally, the Dolby Digital Surround sound processing makes the ASTRO A40 TR + MixAmp TR a cool combo.

Experience and audio treat with ASTRO

Images courtesy of ASTRO Gaming

U-Turn Orbit Special Turntable

Vinyl sales are on the up on up, in case you didn’t know. The buyers are part of merely a small niche, to be sure, but the classic format is well and alive. Which means, of course, that crate-digging for rare sleeves has long eclipsed hipster territory. Record-collecting is cool again; some major artists even release LPs of their latest tracks.

But what to play them on? That’s the tough question. Why not this ultra-chic U-Turn Orbit Special Turntable? Which, lucky for you wood fans, comes in a special hardwood material. Beyond its clean, minimalist aesthetic, this high-performance audio player will do well introducing you to the world of vinyl. LP Neophytes will love the refined plinth, machined from your choice of solid rift walnut or flat cut maple.

This U-Turn Orbit model comes equipped with a gimbal tonearm bearing an Ortofon 2M Red elliptical diamond cartridge/needle. As newcomers to the vinyl scene, you probably don’t know what that is. Let’s just say you can expect crystal clear playback every time. No resonance or feedback at all. Just topnotch, clean audio each listen.

Perhaps the most noted thing about U-Turn’s players is their quiet motors. The same can be said of this model. Whether you’re playing at 33 or 45 RPM, you’ll hear nary a peep. It’s also got a Pluto preamp, which enables you to connect it to your sound system right out the gate. Audiophiles will beam at this.

Both walnut and maple versions are available for $549 apiece. That drops down to $479 if you’re okay to forego the preamp.


Photos courtesy of U-Turn Audio