audio

2015 Toyota People Mover Has A Mic That Shouts All The Way To The Back Seat

Toyota realises that few customers shopping for a minivan care about horsepower or 0-100 times — they’re basically looking for the easiest way to haul kids. So on its 2015 Sienna, the North American successor to the Tarago, Toyota is introducing a rather clever new feature called Driver Easy Speak that amplifies the driver’s voice with a dedicated mic so that they don’t have to turn around while talking (yelling) to passengers (kids).


This Classic 1970s Speaker Just Got Revamped With Today's Tech

If you were alive in the 1970s, there’s a good chance you listened to Stig Carlsson’s delightfully streamlined OD-11 speakers at some point. The so-called Sonab “Carlsson Cube” offered unprecedented sound quality in an impossibly small cabinet. Now, a Swedish audio company is re-releasing the design with a whole new set of high tech guts inside.


A Hoodie Made From Speaker Fabric Won't Muffle Your Headphones

Originally designed for home or recording studio use, over-the-ear headphones somehow became a popular choice for music aficionados on-the-go. We can probably blame Sony’s Walkman for that, but it means that Betabrand’s new Audio Engineer’s Hoodie — which uses speaker fabric on the hood so headphones can be worn over it — isn’t necessarily just for those hiding in an over air conditioned studio all day.


Vinyl's Upward Surge Continues Because Vinyl Rules

Last week, Nielsen Soundscan released its mid-year report, and once again album sales were in the gutter, down 14.9 per cent from the year before. Vinyl, though, keeps plugging upwards, with sales growing 40 per cent to four million units. Even as our media is increasingly intangible, there’s a subset of people that just can’t get enough of the LP.


This App Will Make You Perfect Fitting Earbuds From Photos Of Your Ear

We wear headphones and/or earbuds for hours every day, so comfort is imperative. Want some designed just for you? A new company called Normal wants to sell you perfectly customised earbuds by using a nifty app to get you fitted — instead of having to pay a visit to an expensive audiologist.


Over-Ear Headphones That Wrap Behind Your Head To Preserve Your 'Do

Audio-Technica’s new ATH-S600 headphones don’t break much new ground when it comes to sound quality, but that’s not why consumers might be interested in the new cans. What makes the headphones interesting is their over-ear design with a headband that wraps around the back of the wearer’s head to protect their well-coiffed hairstyle.


Soundhawk's Smart Listening System Aims To Make Hearing Aids Cool

Here’s how hearing aids work today: Oh you can’t hear well? Stick this ugly thing inside your earhole. But in the view of a new company called Soundhawk, that’s all wrong. Better hearing can be cool.


This Spotify Tool Makes A Playlist From Your Favourite Band's Last Show

Going to concerts is fun no matter what, but it’s a million times more fun if you know all the songs. Sadly, sometimes if you only know a cut or two, it can be hard to brush up on an artist’s whole catalogue before the show. Spotify’s new Set Listener tool is here to help.


Dolby's Crazy Atmos Surround Sound Comes To Your Living Room

More than two years ago, Dolby trotted out Atmos, the most advanced surround sound system in history. It’s been used to bring explosions and battles to deafening life in everything from Gravity to The Hobbit. It’s available in hundreds of theatres, and now Dolby plans to bring Atmos to your house.


After This Audio Illusion, You'll Never Trust Your Ears Again

It might be a little too early in the morning to have your mind blown, but this audio illusion is worth your time, because it demonstrates your brain’s uncanny ability to use new information to help process something that is otherwise incomprehensible.