July 2, 2008

SoundCast OutCast Wireless Speaker System - Rocking a Pool Near You!


"Wow, those are some cool jams crankin' out of your Air Purifier". At least that we imagine what folks will say when they see the SoundCast OutCast Wireless Speaker System. The Outcast is a mobile speaker system that connects up with your iPod. I4U has a small review of the Outcast that starts:

The SoundCast OutCast speaker system includes two pieces, the OutCast speaker and the iCast transmitter. The iCast transmitter connects to your iPod and sends the music streaming wirelessly to the large outdoor speaker. The speaker is powered by an internal NiMH battery pack and the speaker has an AC port that can recharge the battery and run the speaker at the same time.

The speaker is large and has a downward firing 8-inch woofer and four 3-inch high frequency drivers in an omni-directional array that assures no matter what side of the SoundCast OutCast you are on you get good sound. The speaker is powered by a 100W digital amp and is built out of water resistant plastic. The battery life is good for a claimed 10 hours of playback. The transmitter and speaker communicate on a 2.4GHz frequency band and automatically jumps channels until a clear channel is found.

As far as quality, the review states:

The SoundCast OutCast is large and rather ugly. I have seen air purifiers that look better than it does, but it delivers the goods when it comes to sound quality. The large 8-inch sub makes for deep bass that sounds great with minimal distortion. The omni-directional array speakers make for great mid and high sounds at any position around the system. I found that it sounds best when not placed against a wall on one side or in a corner.

Besides the look, the biggest issue I4U had was the $699 price tag. We're working on getting a review unit so we'll let you know what we think about the look and the price point. So if you need a strong speaker system by the pool this summer, the Outcast may be the answer.

At I4U

SoundCast OutCast Wireless Speaker System at Amazon.com

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 1, 2008

Sony Announces New Elevated Standard A/V Receivers


Here at the NetworkingAudioVideo headquarters, it's just about time to invest in a new home theater system. With all of the devices we have connected into our existing theater system, we're just waiting for the old gal to disenegrate.

That's why we're pretty interested in the new high-end home theater systems just announced by Sony:

SAN DIEGO, June 26, 2008 - Sony today introduced three new audio/video receivers in its "Elevated Standard" (ES) product line that deliver high-quality sound and video performance.

Engineered for high-end home theaters, the new STR-DA4400ES, STR-DA3400ES and STR-DA2400ES receivers feature sophisticated A/V technology supporting 1080/24p video signals, the latest audio codecs (Dolby® Digital Plus, Dolby® TrueHD, dts® High Resolution Audio and dts® HD Master Audio) and Faroudja DCDi Cinema® technology for upscaling all video sources to 1080p when connected via HDMI™ to a compatible high-definition television.

The ES receivers are all designed around a unique construction platform, digital board and a wide band power amplifier to maintain the purity of the audio and video signals by minimizing external vibrations and internal jitter.

"The rapid evolution of audio and video has generated increased demand for connectivity and high-performance components," said Tyler Ishida, director of marketing for Sony Electronics' Digital Imaging and Audio Division. "This new line of ES receivers delivers the fidelity, build quality and connectivity expected for an outstanding cinematic experience in the home."

The new models utilize a xross media bar™-inspired graphical user interface for easy content navigation, Sony's Digital Cinema Auto Calibration for simple surround sound setup, and BRAVIA® Sync™ for Theatre for easy synchronization of compatible home theater components.

Sony's DIGITAL MEDIA PORT adds control, networking and connectivity options for music playback through various accessories, including a Cradle for iPod (TDM-iP10), a Network Walkman™ cradle, a PC client device and a Bluetooth® adapter (each is sold separately). The models are also Sirius® and XM Connect-and-Play™ Ready.

The models are:

  • The STR-DA4400ES 7.1 channel receiver has a 120-watt amplifier (8 ohms, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 0.09 percent THD), six HDMI inputs and DSD decoding through HDMI. It offers high-definition video distribution to a second zone, audio distribution to three zones and picture-in-picture for monitoring of multi-zone output or an external video source. The model will be available in August for about $1,500.
  • The STR-DA3400ES 7.1 channel receiver has a 100-watt power amplifier (8 ohms, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 0.09 percent THD), four HDMI inputs, a 12-volt trigger, IR repeater and high-definition video distribution to a second zone (composite). It will be available in August for around $1,000.
  • The STR-DA2400ES 7.1 channel receiver has a 100-watt power amplifier (8 ohms, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 0.09 percent THD), a basic icon-driven graphic user interface and four HDMI inputs. The model will be available next month for about $800.

For a high-end system, the $1500 doesn't scare us too much so we may have to make the jump.

At Sony.com

[via SlipperyBrick]

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Listen to Your Pandora Stations Anywhere in Your Home


Here at NetworkingAudioVideo we're big Pandora Radio fans. If you're not familiar with Pandora, it's a free streaming music service that catagorizes and plays music based on the Music Genome Project. According to Pandora:

Together we set out to capture the essence of music at the most fundamental level. We ended up assembling literally hundreds of musical attributes or "genes" into a very large Music Genome.

Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song - everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony. It's not about what a band looks like, or what genre they supposedly belong to, or about who buys their records - it's about what each individual song sounds like.


So image our excitement when we heard there's a new wireless device from Grace Digital Audio to stream our favorite music from Pandora. According to PRWEB:

San Diego, CA (PRWEB) June 24, 2008 -- Grace digital Inc., a leading manufacturer of audio and telephony consumer electronics, announces the integration of Pandora's personalized radio service onto their Grace Digital ITC-IR1000B Wi-Fi Internet radio.

Grace Digital brings to market the first Pandora enabled sub $200 wireless Internet radio to provide personalized radio to the over 65 million active Internet radio listeners. The ITC-IR10000B allows you to play your favorite Internet radio station in any room of your house wirelessly - directly from your broadband router. The set up is simple. Plug your ITC-IR1000B stand alone Internet radio into any power outlet in your home, log on to your wireless broadband connection, and start listening to over 11,000 Internet radio stations with no monthly service charge.

$200 might be a little pricey but we like the retro radio design. We'll try to get a hold of the Pandora Radio and let you know what we think.


More Details at GraceDigitalAudio

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 26, 2008

Rocketfish Launches New Wireless Headphone Models


If it weren't for the invention of wireless headphones I'd never get to watch TV. The reason is most of my quality TV time is late night after the family is asleep and they get a bit cranky when I'm watching the bank robbery scene in 'Heat' at full volume. While some audio purists might squawk about wireless headphones, a good set of headphones can really enhance TV and music anywhere in the house.

Since we're big fan of Rocketfish products we thought we should mention they've announced two new wireless headphone models, the The RF-WH01 and RF-WH02 which uses Avnera's first generation wireless audio system.

According to WirelessAudioBlog.com:

The RF-WH01 and RF-WH02 are both very similar models, with the primary difference being:
  • RF-WH02 is mainly targeted at TV users, so it offers some hook-up flexibility. Including a boom mic option for older sets that don't have supplementary audio outputs. This is also a quick and dirty way for someone to enjoy music at a higher volume level than others also watching the same TV, without headphones.
  • RF-WH02 has a spatial enhancement feature to enhance stereo sound.
  • RF-WH02 also offers some voice enhancement meant for people with diminished hearing who have difficulty picking out speech when watching TV.
  • RF-WHP01 has black trim. The RF-WHP02 has metallic maroon trim.
  • The RF-WHPO1 & RFWH02 are available now at Best Buy stores. As of the writing of this article, they are not yet available online, though that's only a matter of time.

If you have a pair of these headphones be sure to leave us a comment and let us know what you think of the quality.

At WirelessAudioBlog.com

Rocketfish Website

Related Articles:
Review: Rocketfish - Wireless Multimedia Bluetooth Keyboard and Laser Mouse
Review: Hands on with the Rocketfish Wireless Rear Speaker Kit

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

June 23, 2008

FM Radio on the Go with The Intempo Rebel


Are you addicted to good old fashioned FM radio? While most of us get our radio from the internet or satellite, Intempo has a unique product for those who need an FM radio fix while on the go. The Intempo Rebel is an FM radio that records the content and saves it to an MP3 format that can be save onto an SD / MMC card so you can play it on a mobile device or MP3 player. The really unique part of the Rebel is that it cuts out the DJs and advertisements. According to Intempo's website:

The Intempo Rebel is a breakthrough product that allows consumers to explore new music recorded from the radio, free of charge. The first of its type in the world, Rebel is a music sampling system which records the most-played tracks from any FM station then saves these tracks as MP3 files, cutting out hyperactive DJs and adverts as it goes. You can then effortlessly download these songs onto your iPod, MP3 or mobile phone, liberating your favourite tracks to your pocket without paying a penny.

While it's a neat concept, the Rebel seems a bit behind the times. Isn't it a whole lot easier to record or download your MP3s from the internet? Now if they introduced the Rebel 20 years ago when people actually listened to FM radio, I might of been impressed. Still, this might be a unique device for someone who's a hard-core FM lover.

At Intempo-Digital.com

[Via Redferret]

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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