Wednesday, August 17, 2016

How Audio Devices Changed the Face of Entertainment

A major part of entertainment is dependent on the audio industry. And as the level of entertainment industry is growing with each passing day, audio industry is also going through some major tweaking, leaving listeners with lots of options of audio devices to choose from. Today, we will talk about home entertainment system that has evolved to a whole new level within the last few years.

Few years back a TV and a stereo system were considered enough on the name of home entertainment, but now there are so many devices available such as home theatre systems, DVD players, Blu-ray players, wireless speakers, and soundbars that define the home entertainment. So, let’s talk about the evolution journey of these devices.

Home Theater System

Image Source: http://www.world-import.com/LG-HT-356-Region-Free-PAL-NTSC-Home-Theater-System.htm#sthash.Rm1kTnhc.dpbs
Home entertainment system has come into existence with an idea of enhancing the sound of a TV. Its speakers can attach with a TV to provide a 360 degree surround sound experience. But, as the time is changing, new features are getting added in the home theater systems day by day. Now, the home theaters are not only about producing amazing audio, but they also started supporting the best videos with features like 4K resolution and 3D support. Now a home theater system can change your home into an ultra HD entertainment zone. The brands that are making a high impact in home theater segment are Sony, Panasonic etc.

Blu-ray players

Image Source: http://www.cnet.com/news/get-a-samsung-blu-ray-player-with-wi-fi-apps-for-45/
As everyone knows Blu-rays are CDs that support high-definition video than normal CDs, but the amazing new features in them will leave you amazed. Now Blu-ray players can act as a one stop solution for complete entertainment. New Blu-ray players can support different applications with Wi-Fi support. They can surprisingly upgrade the quality of audio and video with 4K video and high-resolution audio support. Not only with the functionality, but their looks have also upgraded a lot with sleek design and beautiful finish that adds to the beauty of your living room. Brands like Samsung and Panasonic are doing a lot of good in the segment of Blu-ray players.

Soundbars

Image Source: https://usa.denon.com/us/heos-homecinema-soundbar-with-wireless-subwoofer
Soundbars are comparatively new additions in the listing of audio devices. The idea behind soundbars is to introduce a device that is sleek, consumes less space and yet provide an impressive surround sound experience. Some soundbars are also accompanied by wireless subwoofer to give that extra wow factor. Soundbars are pretty sleek, can be easily mounted on a wall and consume very less space, but the quality of sound they produce contradict their size. They produce perfectly loud, clear and balanced sound. These devices are hi-tech, provide wi-fi support, app support for different platforms, HDMI, USB inputs. These features of Soundbars are making them a favorite of users nowadays and to satisfy users’ needs, many big brands such as HEOS, Vizio have launched their soundbars in the market.

Wireless Speakers

Image Source: https://usa.denon.com/us/heos-1-portable-wireless-speaker
Wireless speakers also become a sensation in the audio industry. Wire and clutter free speakers that are highly portable, can be placed anywhere within the room and can stream music effectively with any music streaming app, they have made music playing an easy task. Wireless speakers have changed the connections from wired to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi giving freedom to the listeners to play their music anytime only by touching the screen of their mobile phones. Many big brands have launched their wireless devices to stay ahead in the competition such as HEOS, Sony etc.

All these are the devices of the new generation that are playing a major role in serving the requirements of modern listeners. These devices have truly changed the face of audio industry and entertainment. But, it is very sure that the evolution of audio devices doesn’t stop here, there are still many interesting devices to come that will further enhance this industry, we will keep an eye on them, until then stay entertained.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Amazon Echo Dot & Tap, Two New Smart Devices Unveiled

Amazon has been playing a major role in contributing smart devices to the audio industry. Following the same track, Amazon has come up with two new devices once again that are smart and equipped with 'Alexa' voice assistant. Amazon Echo Dot and Amazon Tap, one is a smaller version of Amazon Echo and another is a wireless speaker, both the devices are unique in their own way and we will discuss them in detail. Amid a number of other competitors that are already having a great market share of wireless speaker industry such as HEOS by DENON, Bose etc. Amazon has also become successful in establishing a brand name.

Amazon Echo Dot


Image source: images-amazon.com 
Amazon Echo Dot, as the name includes dot, this device is not as small as a dot, but definitely a smaller version of Amazon Echo. You must be wondering that a big Amazon Echo is already there, so what’s the need of launching its smaller version. Well, let me explain that to you in detail.

Amazon Echo is equipped with speakers that can fill the whole room with sound, but indeed they are not the best speakers offered by the company. And, the Company also wants that its voice assistant ‘Alexa’ will take over the charge of smart devices of your entire house. That is why, Amazon has enabled the feature of its voice assistant Alexa in smaller ‘Amazon Echo Dot’. This device is not having the powerful speaker system, but it can be connected to different audio devices, or your most preferred one to enable Alexa and its functionalities in it. Either connect Echo Dot using a cord or Bluetooth, and you will get a smart audio system that can control smart devices around home, follow your instructions by playing the music of your choice, giving information about weather condition or either calling an Uber.

Similar to Amazon Echo, Echo Dot also comes with a blue colored ring on the top that implies that your device is listening. Echo Dot comes with the same smartness as Amazon Echo with an added advantage that it can be connected to different audio devices.

Amazon Echo Dot is equipped with small speakers that are used to convey important messages during conversation with the device. Apart from this, it can also act as an alarm clock in bed room, an assistant in kitchen, operator of smart devices at home including lights and temperature etc.

As per the information, Amazon Echo Dot can only be ordered using Alexa and currently the device is only available to Prime Amazon members who already own Amazon Echo, or those who use Fire TV can also order Amazon Echo Dot by asking Alexa for doing so.

Amazon Tap


Image source: images-amazon.com 
Amazon tap is a wireless speaker that comes in a cylindrical shape, it is light weight, easy to carry, and easy to charge etc. It’s one full charge can play up to nine hours of non-stop music and it can survive on standby mode for up to three weeks. Smaller in size, this speaker produce decently loud sound as per it’s appearance.

But, as the name implies Amazon Tap needs a Tap on button if you want to talk to Alexa. There is a button at the front of the speaker that needs to be tapped before talking to Alexa. Well, that’s a useful and easy thing that is helpful in saving battery life while being off or in case you are not communicating with the device. A tap on the button, and Alexa will arrive to listen to every single instruction given by the user. Amazon tap works on Wi-Fi in the Wi-Fi enabled zone, otherwise tethering can be used to play the music of your choice.

These devices let you stream music from streaming music services such as Spotify, Pandora and Amazon Prime music. 

Amazon has done two new additions in the industry of smart audio devices and wireless speakers. Audio industry keeps on getting new updates from time to time, so keep visiting the blog regularly for more updates in future.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wireless Audio Industry Welcomes Three New McIntosh Products in CES 2016

No more hassle of wires and no need to search for a plug-in for playing the music; wireless technology has completely altered the way audio devices used to work before. This trend of wireless audio devices is growing with an unstoppable pace and internet is working as a catalyst in the whole process. New wireless speakers or music streaming systems keep on launching in the market from time to time and this CES, i.e. CES 2016 has made a new addition in this category.

A well-known brand McIntosh has launched three new home audio products for serving all the requirements of entertainment i.e. from superior videos to audios. All the three devices are equipped with wireless and some other advance functionalities to match up or even surpass the existing audio technologies. Let’s brief you a bit more about the three brand new McIntosh products.

McIntosh MX122 A/V Processor


Image source: mcintoshlabs.com
This processor is a one stop solution for up scaling lower resolution audios and videos to the best possible audio and video quality. This device is all set to create new milestones with breakthrough surround sound, 3D audio and 4K Ultra HD picture quality. It includes a great number of input and output options; inputs - 7 HDMI, 4 Digital audio, 1 balanced and 8 unbalanced analog stereo, 3 component and 1 composite video with 1 USB for iPod, outputs - 3 HDMI, 2 component and 2 composite video and many more. Apart from these, wireless connectivity options such as Bluetooth and AirPlay allows easy streaming from mobile devices. Support for wireless streaming services such as Pandora, SiriusXM, Spotify and vTuner are also included. 
Shipping of McIntosh MX122 A/V Processor is expected in January 2016.

McIntosh MB50 Media Streamers


Image source: mcintoshlabs.com
This new audio streamer utilize the DTS Play-Fi technology to wirelessly play music over the existing Wi-Fi network. To make the most of this device, there is only need to connect the MB50 to home audio system and Wi-Fi network. MB50 supports Apple and Android mobile app and Windows desktop app with built-in support for streaming services such as Pandora, Rhapsody, Spotify, Songza, SiriusXM etc. This device has support for high resolution audio with multiple input/output options and Wi-Fi antennas for a strong network connection.
Shipping of McIntosh MB50 Media Streamer is expected in March 2016.

McIntosh RS100 Wireless Speakers


Image source: mcintoshlabs.com
McIntosh RS100 Wireless Speaker also works on DTS Play-Fi technology to play music wirelessly over existing Wi-Fi network. It also supports Apple and Android mobile app and Windows desktop app. These speakers have the capability to connect up to 16 speakers at a time to single Wi-Fi network, i.e. enough to play music in 8 different rooms. This speaker is also capable of connecting to both streaming and non-streaming setups. So, it’s your choice to either connect it with two internal Wi-Fi antennas or through a USB-to-Ethernet adapter.
Shipping of McIntosh RS100 wireless speaker is expected in March 2016.

Undoubtedly, wireless speakers are the future of audio products. Their features such as high portability, ease of use, unlimited storage, easy access & share-ability, and affordable prices are making them everyone’s favorite.

McIntosh is now ready to make a mark among so many other brands that are already the market leaders of wireless audio products and known for their unmatched sound quality such as HEOS by Denon. We constantly keep an eye on the latest events and updates of the audio industry, so stay tuned for more.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Steps to Turn any Speaker Into a Wireless Zone

Say you missed out on the wireless audio movement. Like you just missed it. A few years ago you purchased a top of the line stereo system and went home really proud of yourself. Then BAM! In just one week’s time, wireless speakers were rolled out and you sadly realized that your stereo speakers were already old news.

It’s okay- really! With HEOS Amp by Denon, you can easily turn your plain, outdated speakers into wireless ones and it’s all very simple. Here’s what you’ll need.

  • Internet Connection
  • Apple or Android Mobile Device already connected to your network
  • Speakers and their wires


To connect and play, you’ll need to follow a few easy steps that can be accomplished in minutes! Start by unpacking your HEOS Amp and choosing a convenient location that is near your speakers. Then do the following:

  1. Connect the speakers by baring the very tip of the speaker cable and inserting it into the speaker terminal. The terminal must be opened by being turned counterclockwise, then closed again by rotating clockwise. Once the terminal is shut, power the speakers by plugging the power cord into an outlet.
  2. Gain control of your Amp by downloading the HEOS by Denon App. Once launched, the application will guide you through a few basic instructions that will help you add your amp.
  3. Sign in to your favorite music streaming channels and enjoy.

With the HEOS Amp, you’ll be able to control your speakers with your cellphone, surfing through all your favorite music streaming channels with ease. The amp will also enable Denon’s famous multi-room audio functionality, which lets you play the same song, or multiple songs in different rooms all at the same time. In addition to those awesome features, you’ll also be getting exceptional sound quality thanks to class D amplification, which delivers dynamic sound without distortion.

Wireless is better, and the HEOS Amp is a truly attractive option for getting your speakers there. Not only will it simplify your music experience and deliver exceptional sound, but the unit also looks great, bearing the HEOS brand’s signature sleek style, and unique shape with stunning silver accents.

If your stereo system still features cassette or CD players or if you’re still searching between the couch cushions for your remote control, then you, my friend are in need of an upgrade. Catch up to the best of the audio industry by going wireless with a HEOS Amp!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Wireless Soundbars vs. Speakers- What I learned In My Quest for an Upgrade

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they look around, evaluate their possessions and begin considering upgrades.  Okay, that actually happens pretty often, especially now, when technology keeps outdoing itself every other month.

I, myself, just had a recent ‘replace it’ epiphany when my monthly dinner party with friends was scheduled at a new member’s home for the first time.  As usual, the crowd was awesome, the food was great, and the drinks were flowing, but what really stood out to me that night were my host’s amazing sound systems.  Just about everywhere I went, music followed, and the sound was spectacular.  It was then that I realized my faithful stereo system was in serious need of an upgrade.

The first thing you’ll realize when you set out to choose a new and improved set of speakers is that there isn’t just one type.  Gone are the days when speakers were a one-size-fits-all stereo accompaniment.  Instead, there’s a near endless array of shapes, sizes and technologies to be chosen from.  Luckily for me, I investigated at my friend’s house and came away knowing that their living room had surround sound speakers and the den featured a sleek soundbar.

Though surround speakers and soundbars serve the same function, there are distinct differences between both set-ups, and it all basically comes down to preference and application.

Surround Sound Speaker
Surround sound speakers are the way to go for true surround sound.  With speakers placed strategically in any entertainment area, you can feel, rather than hear all the noise from every angle.  This means you’re going to have a thrilling movie experience or electrifying party atmosphere whenever you want it.

On the downside, more speakers means more set-up, and typically, the better surround speakers will cost a pretty penny.  Another thing I noticed is that the pricier surround speaker systems, although classified as wireless often do require wires that can be run against the wall and connected to each speaker.

Soundbar
Soundbars are sleek, and well-designed speaker alternatives.  Essentially, they are long rectangular bars that house several small speakers hidden within the design. These are generally good for small to medium sized rooms and are a great way to upgrade the sound on a television set that is lacking in audio performance.  One of the best parts about a soundbar is that it’s meant to mimic the effects of surround sound but without the hassle of multiple units and a mess of wires.
Despite its most gallant efforts however, true surround sound can really only be obtained through a surround sound set-up.  While a soundbar can improve a basic sound experience, surround speakers will always create the most powerful, even effects.  Plus, some soundbars require an additional element, like a subwoofer, to function properly.

Once I learned all of this, the question became which would I rather have in my own home and naturally, I had to have one of each. Upgrading my home’s sound systems was one of the best investments I’ve made in a while.  Now, when it’s my turn to host a dinner party, I feel confident that my new HEOS HomeCinema and surround sound speakers will blow everyone away!