audio

Disney Invented A Way To Control Your Phone Using The Sounds It Emits

In an effort to bring more functionality and interactivity to a device that is often just a large monolithic touchscreen, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Disney Research have come up with a series of accessories that manipulate sound coming from a smartphone’s speaker to serve as an external controller.


This Bluetooth Adaptor Streams Music Through Your Record Player

If pressured, Jesse England might have a tough time justifying the existence of his unique creation — known as the Universal Record. What looks like an extra-thick piece of vinyl is actually a Bluetooth adaptor for record players. But instead of transmitting sound from a turntable through a wireless speaker, it allows sound to be transmitted and played through the turntable’s needle.


This Wristband's Tactile Vibrations Let Musicians Silently Keep The Beat

During a performance a band is completely reliant on its drummer for setting the rhythm, but what about during rehearsal when a musician is practicing alone? Or when a musical group doesn’t have a drummer? That’s where this new wearable comes in. It doesn’t tell time, it doesn’t have notifications, and it can’t run apps. All it does is precisely keep the beat using strong but silent vibrations.


You Probably Can't Hear What Jay Z Is Selling -- But You Can Try

Jay Z’s newly acquired and relaunched streaming music service Tidal claims only one difference from Spotify and the rest: superior audio quality. Is it worth switching? Here’s a simple test that will help you decide whether it’s worth forking over $US20 a month for the best of the best quality.


LittleBits' Tiny Toy Synth Kit Now Works With MIDI And USB

Launched in late 2013, the littleBits Synth Kit lets you snap together the different components of a synthesiser into an extremely minimal modular instrument. Today, littleBits is adding three new modulates to its lineup, allowing its toy synth to connect with other musical tools like, uh, your computer.


If You Try The HTML5 Drum Machine, It's All You'll Do For The Next Hour

This dead simple drum machine that runs in your browser is so much fun.


The 'Harvard Sentences' Secretly Shaped The Development Of Audio Tech

During World War II, the boiler room under Harvard’s Memorial Hall was turned into a secretive wartime research lab. Here, volunteers were subjected to hours of noise as scientists tested military communications systems. Out of this came the Harvard sentences, a set of standardised phrases still widely used to test everything from mobile phones to VoIP.


Sony Still Thinks There's A Market For Tiny Rolling Speakers

The Rolly, a dancing, rolling, glowing MP3 player, was yet another intriguing product in a long line of curiosities from Sony. Unfortunately, it wasn’t intriguing enough for consumers to actually spend $US400 on it. But someone at Sony is obviously still carrying a torch for the Rolly, because the company’s new rolling Bluetooth speaker seems eerily familiar to a product that already failed.


I Heard The Future Of Sound Technology While Bjork Whispered In My Ear

First launched as a Kickstarter back in 2013, Dysonic’s RondoMotion’s 3D head-tracking technology is now being used to power trippy acoustic effects in Bjork’s MoMA retrospective. It’s true 3D listening in your earbuds. That and also Bjork.


Reasonably-Priced Bluetooth Buds That Don't Make You Look Like A Doofus

With its new Shadow Wireless headphones, reasonably-priced audio purveyor Sol Republic is tackling a problem no one else has gotten right yet: a compact, portable Bluetooth headphone that sounds good.