There is no denying that the Nocs NS2 Air Monitors are stunning. Beautiful, elegant computer/small room active speakers with built in AirPlay tech, making it ridiculously easy to throw your music around the house… and with AirPlay’s multi-speaker set up being so easy, it’s been fun hooking up the speakers in every room - from laptop to kitchen to living room to bedroom to be in sync, so music follows us around the house and NOTlabs! But back to aesthetics, these are designed in Stockholm (assembled in China) and have hand-built soft touch rubber coated cabinets (feels SO good!), Kevlar reinforced woofers and silk dome tweeters. I’m smitten by the way the red pops - they also come in black, white, grey, orange, and yellow. The set up is relatively easy (but also easy to forget, lest you need to reset and do it again - but you can ping the website for that too) - you basically plug it in, press setup on the back, and connect to its personal wifi network, hitting the usual 192.168.1.1 to set it up to attach to your network. You can also use AirPlay Direct Mode, which allows you to play to the temp wifi network it will create, perfect for wifi-less scenarios (simply double click the setup button till it turns amber.) Ready to take a peek at the details and setup? See the full unboxing on the next page!
Entries tagged with: audio
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The first new Urbanears headphone design launched at CES this year was the Turncable which i just showed you. Second ~ Humlan! Interesting part of this design… there is a metal headband (love the detail of the urban ears tag actually being cloth sewn through a slit in the metal!) with MAGNETIC ear-speakers? pads? poofs? what would you call them? The simplicity and the satisfaction of feeling them snap into place and slide to adjust feels great ~ and i supposed when not using the headphones, you could even use it as a headband in their rainbow of colors… or even mix and match the usually monochromatic Urbanears. These are launching in fall of 2012! See more pics of the details on the next page!
Urbanears always has beautiful color palettes for their monochrome headphones and the most stunning photography/layouts for their lookbooks/displays. This year at CES they showed off two innovative new designs… the first: ZINKEN w/Turncable. These premium over ear DJ headphones have a cable with a 6.3mm adapter (perfect for your turntables/guitars/etc) on one end and a standard headphone 3.5mm plug on the other… and depending which you need, you plug the other into the headphone! Interesting alternative to simply using an adapter to go from 3.5mm to 6.3mm? Take a peek at more pics on the next page…
I’ve always had a fondness for the high gloss all in one audio boxes of Swiss Geneva Lab. They just look stunning! And the way the digital displays always illuminate from behind the speaker grill just makes me smile. So of course i couldn’t resist featuring the new tiny clamshell bluetooth, alarm clock, radio speaker ~ Geneva Sound System XS… and when they offered to send one over so i could check out the audio and packaging first hand ~ i couldn’t resist! So full unboxing on the next page… all the tiny design details in the packaging and design…
Geneva Lab now has a portable/travel sized Sound System XS model! Resembling a leather-like clamshell retro alarm clock ~ this little speaker packs in Bluetooth, FM, Alarm Clock, Speakers, and Amplifier. “The digital amplifier and stereo speakers play mid and high frequencies with absolute accuracy. The woofer is capable of producing robust bass response below 80Hz.” This 2.1 speaker system with two 1” tweeters and one 2¼” woofer come in their classic glossy white, black, and red and runs on a rechargeable lithium battery with 5+ hours of play-time. At a mere 6.2” × 4” × 4.5” it weighs in at 1.1 pounds. I can’t wait to check out the sound to see how it compares to my Jambox. See more pictures on the next page…
First impression. Wow. I mean, i’ve heard ABOUT the Ultimate Ears Customs for some time now, but being custom, no one elses will ever really fit you perfectly… so you can’t know how incredible they can sound, until you try your own. And wow. They sound and feel amazing! Freshly arrived today are a set of Ultimate Ears 18 Pro Custom In-Ear Monitors, which i got molded for back at NAMM (but was bad and had trouble deciding colors/prints/etc ~ as you can see, i went with the smoke!) From the goo they stuck in my ears, out came these perfect fitting molds hand made right here in socal! I’ve never loved the feel of ear plugs or headphones very much, but i barely notice these after wearing them for a while… and they sound incredible. While i can’t exactly SHOW you how they sound, i can show you the thoughtful packaging and what you receive when your customs arrive… take a peek at the unbox on the next page!
The super sweet folks of Ultimate Ears (an irvine based Logitech company) ~ reached out and invited me to visit them at NAMM ~ and little did i know that when i arrived at their booth, i’d be sat down in an ominous white leather chair, while Dr. Noy in white lab coat and all would make me bite down on a piece of foam while he filled my ears with mysterious blue quick drying goo. Ok, so to be fair, that’s the creepier way of wording it, basically they took impressions of the inner workings of my ears for some custom fit earphones by Ultimate Ears - while i’ve never been much of a headphone connoisseur, they’re catching me up quickly… i’ve been using their 700s since the unboxing and the sound quality has been awesome… but people can’t seem to stop raving about the customs… not to mention i’m fascinated by the idea that they can be customized to your heart’s content (color, graphics, etc) and they fill fit perfectly into your ears (and only your ears! unless you find an ear twin?)… more to come once i actually figure out how i want to customize my customs (any suggestions?) ~ but for now, take a peek at the fun Ultimate Ears NAMM booth! It had quite the crowd, but i tried to sneak a few fun pics of the ear molding process and some of the examples that were out!
I love products to play with during breakfast. Perfect way to start the day? I had a chance to poke at Ultimate Ears (recently added to the Logitech family, and locally based in Irvine!) over breakfast at King's Highway with a guy who works for Logitechin Palm Springs at the Ace and he let me keep them to play with (especially after they'd been in my ears!) and just to be super clear, no, i'm not writing about them because of that! As for why i'm including them in the netbooks section ~ every netbook totally needs a good pair of headphones to go with them ~ since often when netbooking, you can be somewhere pretty public (be it at the cafe or in an airplane)!
On top of the nice sound quality ~ it's the design details of this particular set that grabbed me. I love how subtle, tiny and pill like these Ultimate Ear 700s are ~ they totally reminded me of my chill pill necklace and capsule pills in general when i saw them. So tiny! Not the kind of headphones that basically end up looking like funky earrings... Also while the packaging leaves a bit to be desired (bit too much plastic and not all too interesting box graphic design) ~ the case is perfect to protect your buds in your netbook case or bag and at the very bottom in the inside has the cutest little infographic showing you to wrap the cord around your fingers. Silly, but someone clearly spent a bit of time on the details! Also extremely subtle, the right side earbud is red, the left is black! Take a peek at the unboxing and design details on the next page!
NOTCOT Note: It's been a very crazy month for us all, sorry for the delays, but here is the final installment of NOTConcept 002 from Hero Design Lab! Here are some glossy renders showing off how we envision a fun aesthetically pleasing modular series of speakers, projectors, ambient lighting....ENJOY!
NOTCOT Note: Here's part two of NOTConcept 002 ~ more thought out sketches exploring the idea of the tiki torch styles and gnomes to create a modular ambient multi-sensory experience outdoors... and i must admit, as i go through the sketches that Leo Corrales and Jenny Lemieux from HERO Design Lab have done for this round, i can already imagine how much fun a garden party or dusk, movie on the lawn party would be with these surrounding you and helping create that perfect outdoor musical/projector experience.
To start off - here's the Alfa gnome (there are also alfa trees), which will incorporate a projection unit... either to create flood light or to project your last trip vid (alright maybe the match of the day that you're watching with your buddies)... See the rest of the clan of gnomes and their corresponding tiki torch speaker trees after the jump!!!
NOTCOT Note: This week has been a bit off... i'm still trying to catch up, but freshly in my inbox are the first rough sketches of NOTConcept 002! Jenny and Leo (of HERO Design Lab and i have been playing with ideas on what can be done to create more ambiance in our outdoor spaces. We played with discussions of solar power, lighting, music, projections, and just subtle objects that add character to our spaces. Ultimately we decided to head in the direction of outdoor speakers you least expect... creating a whole new way to achieve surround sound outdoors without needing to completely "hide" your speakers. As with NOTConcept 001 feel free to comment and brainstorm with us as we stretch our minds and play with new ideas.
First sketch above is the Gnome idea... Tapping into the kitchy world of garden ornaments - this media pod channels the essence of garden gnomes. You could have a clan of 'gnomes' that would generate your surround sound/light/projection/media experience.
See the sketches of the other 5 ideas after the jump!
Gift Guide Day 3 is all about some musical gadgetry that can accompany the mp3 players/ipods that we all have... as well as a fun mini guitar amp, portable mp3 dj device launching in feb, and more! As usual ~ you can view all the gift guides to date on one page!
Ooooooh. Ok, to be honest, when i first say the Griffin Evolve Speaker images i thought it had floating speakers... they are in fact ~ "wireless rechargable digital speakers", and it's also you're all in one ipod dock ~ with audio out channels, video out, s-video, etc... And you can even add more speakers - they have a cute little Multicast flash piece that shows you various members pairing their speakers then taking them to various rooms! They say "So have your friends bring their Evolve speakers next time they come over"... but doesn't that seem a bit silly? I mean we're already supposed to be carrying our wiimotes around, but our speakers too?
Woohoo! We're at Gift Guide Day 24 (gotta motivate myself, 31 feels like a lot of days) - and today i'm excited to share my picks from our sponsor Audiocubes, who you've seen a bit in our tags the last few months ~ they've been very kind in supporting what we do! And they are our go to store for audio goods and crazy japanese gadgetry (in fact we were shopping there before they even approached us!). And just to get you started on all the goodies in today's gift guide, for anyone who hasn't seen how this freaky Facebank works... check out the video below!
Ready to get up close and personal with the Vers 2x wood ipod speaker system i wrote about earlier? Well they sent a sample over, and i had the pleasure of playing with it, and as a product i'm smitten with their attention to details... things you don't see in their product shots? The gorgeous circular designs on the speaker cover ~ the way they run their wires under the unit ~ just how beautiful it really is to have a nice woody speaker amongst all the plastic and metal tech that surrounds us... It's currently on sale at places like Target and Amazon for $179. Anyhow take a look below for a slew of close ups.
Just noticed these woody ipod speakers over at Acquire, and i can't stop staring. There is something about clean sleek wood and tech that just gets me every time. This is the Vers 2x - Hand-crafted cherry veneer cabinet - no two alike - 2 3" custom-engineered 15 watt speakers - Dual port design for deeper bass - Advanced 14 function remote control with 25' range (I wish there was a pic of this!) - 3.5mm audio cable for use with other MP3 players (i'm SO glad people are not locking you in to ONLY use it for your ipod these days). Its MSRP is $179... and they are even listing Target as one of the places to go find it in mid-Oct.
New Gallery Tags! Have you noticed the new tags? On the left and right of NOTCOT.com? AudioCubes is sponsoring them this month, and showcasing some of their many fun and hard to find headphones, toys, accessories, and gadgets you didn't even realize you'd needed. In fact they even just got the Audrey Kawasaki Gelaskins in (couldn't resist tossing that one in the pic, after just posting the great new Audrey pieces below) - Dan (yes, co-founder and genius behind our tech) is quite the audiophile, and he swears by AudioCubes having ordered some headphones from them. Personally their robot section was my favorite on the site, as well as those tiny speakers that are so cute, tempted to get one for my ipod. You'll also probably noticed quite a few products we've featured, like that video bulb that you just plug into your RCA and it becomes your tv screensaver? Anyhow, i'm in a giddy shopping kind of mood today!
The iPod nanos always felt like a bar of soap to me, a wet bar of soap, the type that was ready to launch out of your hand. Vakaadoo's Soft Feel changes that to have that great slightly grippy texture, and you barely notice the case on it. (Unless you want to - by picking contrasting colors, etc.) Been playing with this for the last week or so, and actually have found that its brilliant feature i've fallen for is that i can attach my keys, etc to it, so while working out i don't need to worry about various loose pieces. And the quality of the piece is really nice, almost surprising how seamlessly the front and back pieces slide together, and hold so well! More images below of what other goodies come packaged in with the case.