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Audio

B&O Play Debuts Beoplay E4 Earbuds

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B&O Play Debuts Beoplay E4 Earbuds

Bang & Olufsen's Play division announces a pair of active noise-canceling earbuds-- the Beoplay E4, an upgrade on the previous H3 ANC (active noise-canceling model) featuring a smaller battery pack.

The E4 retain most features from the H3 earbuds, such as the f20-16000Hz frequency range, 10.8mm electrodynamic drivers, 20 hour battery life and connectivity via 3.5mm jack and micro USB. What sees improvement is the battery pack, as the thick disk from the H3 is replaced with a slim rectangle complete with more tactile polymer surface.

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Yamaha Claims First Soundbar With DTS Virtual:X

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Yamaha Claims First Soundbar With DTS Virtual:X

Yamaha claims the YAS-207 is the first soundbar to feature DTS Virtual:X, the technology designed to provide an immersive sound experience without need for rear surround and height speakers.

DTS Virtual:X supports any input source from stereo to 7.1.4 (11 channels) and is optimised to work with all DTS codecs, including DTS:X.

A successor to the YAS-203 soundbar, the YAS-207 features a new design with a thinner profile, making it ideal for placing in front of TVs without blocking the screen image. It can also be wall-mounted through built-in keyholes, while the companion wireless subwoofer is a compact number with a vertical rectangular shape allowing for flexible placement options.

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The Apple Store Exclusive iSine 10 Black/Steel Edition

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The Apple Store Exclusive iSine 10 Black/Steel Edition

Earphone maker Audeze announces a version of the iSine 10 in-ear headphones exclusive for Apple retail-- the iSine 10 Black/Steel Edition, a version featuring a two-tone black and silver look.

The Black/Steel Edition includes the same patented planar magnetic technology seen in larger over-the-ear headphones, such as Audeze's own LCD headphones. The system consists of a thin diaphragm producing sound through the pulling and pushing action of two powerful magnets. According to the company, the technology allows for more robust audio compared to dynamic or armature-based alternatives.

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MAS Market Headphones…

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MAS Market Headphones…

The MAS TOKYO + MAS DUO are the first Bluetooth in-ear headphones in the world to support alternative audio-in function while the battery is running out of power.

MAS (Master Art of Sound), a design-driven premium headphone brand, was founded by the team of Consonance Technology Corporation who have been in the headphone industry for more than two decades offering OEM & ODM service to worldwide premium audio brands.

At Computex, MAS for the first time displayed their unique headphone concepts for iDevices, wired and wireless at the same time.

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XPUMP Gives Audio a Boost

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XPUMP Gives Audio a Boost

Embrace Audio Lab at Computex 2017 showed XPUMP.

The tiny XPUMP uses their XROUND audio digital signal processing algorithm to dynamically detect and analyze every detail in stereo audio sources and then reconstructs them to optimal presentation.

The pocket-sized, portable device can be used with desktop or portable speakers, sound bars, home sound systems, or headphones. Users simply plug the device between the source (computer, smartphone, television, etc.) and the output (speakers or headphones) and simply press play to get upgraded audio immediately. No extra settings or downloads are required.

XPUMP features Spherical Sound Field Expansion Technology that expands a stereo sound field by 200% while enhancing signal depth, width, and detail.

Soundstage Elevation unlocks the richness of an audio track, giving listeners the ability to discern different instruments, voices, and sound effects.

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The Essential Echo Competitor

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The Essential Echo Competitor

Andy Rubin's Essential unveils a home device together with its smartphone-- the Home, an Amazon Echo-style smart speaker featuring a round "auto-display," as well as increased security.

The company says users can activate the Home with a question, tap or even a "glance." Like similar products it accepts voice commands, allowing it to answer questions, set timers and control lighting. It also promises to gently manage the user's life, reminding them of meetings or when they're about to forget an anniversary.

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Rest in Peace, MP3

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Rest in Peace, MP3

MP3, the much loved audio compression algorithm, is dead-- or so its creator, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits, insists as it terminates licencing for a number of related patents.

Instead, the institute suggests, customers should switch to Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), which it describes as a "de facto standard for music download and videos on mobile phones." AAC is definitely superior to MP3, since it allows for streaming TV and radio broadcasting with higher-quality audio at lower bitrates.

The story of the MP3 format started in the late 1980s, when Fraunhofer and the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg joined forces to work on a means to send audio over telephone lines. The eventual result was the MP3, a technology the Fraunhofer failed to capitalise on due to a combination of industrial sabotage, piracy and, at one unfortunate point, the German government refusing to give a patent for a music streaming service due to its being technologically absurd at the time.

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RHA Presents MA650, MA750 Wireless Headphones

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RHA Presents MA650, MA750 Wireless Headphones

RHA takes on the likes of the Beats X with the MA650 and MA750-- both featuring the same neckband design together with features such as aptX Bluetooth and noise isolation.

The MA650 headphones carry a 380.1 dynamic driver together with AAC and aptX streaming. The housing is in aluminium, while the noise isolating design features a flexible, contoured neckband and a universal remote.

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Harman Kardon Details Cortana-Powered Invoke

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Harman Kardon Details Cortana-Powered Invoke

Microsoft reveals more details of its collaboration with Harman Kardon-- the Invoke, a cylindrical speaker promising "rich, captivating sound" as well as the capabilities of the Cortana digital assistant.

First announced back in December 2016, the Invoke is much like the Amazon Echo. Its cylindrical chassis carries three woofers, three woofers and two passive radiators for "premium" 360-degree sound, while Cortana allows users to control the music, manage calendars, set reminders, check the traffic and ask for the latest news through their voice alone.

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Como Audio Intros Amico, Musica Speakers

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Como Audio Intros Amico, Musica Speakers

Como Audio announces a pair of follow-ups to the 2016 Solo and Duetto speakers-- the portable Amico and the CD player-equipped Musica, both featuring touchscreen control and wireless connectivity.

The Amico is the smaller of the two, with an interesting upright design. It pairs with devices via NFC, supports Bluetooth and wifi connectivity, and can handle online radio, Spotify Connect and even FM radio.

Pushing the audio are a 4-layer voice coil woofer and a dome tweeter. A built-in battery powers up to 8 hours of use on a single charge, while a 2.8-inch TFT touchscren provides control together with EQ adjustment and 6 presets.

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Bose Wireless Headphones Spy on Customers?

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Bose Wireless Headphones Spy on Customers?

A lawsuit filed by Kyle Zak in Chicago federal court claims Bose spies on wireless headphone customers via app tracking the music, podcasts and other audio they listen to, before violating their privacy rights by selling the data without permission.

Reuters reports the complaint aims to stop the "wholesale disregard" for customer privacy shown by Bose through the free Bose Connect iOS/Android app. According to Zak, Bose sends "all available media information" from the smartphone to 3rd parties such as Segment.io, a customer tracking platform able to collect data and "send it anywhere."

"People should be uncomfortable with it," Christopher Dore, a lawyer representing Zak, says, "People put headphones on their head because they think it's private, but they can be giving out information they don't want to share."

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