Category: Hardware

Audioengine HD6: The New Speakers My Desk Yearns For

unnamedBefore I started using a Razer Leviathan as my primary speaker setup for all computing and gaming needs, I made use of (and reviewed) the entire line of Audioengine speakers — the B2, A2+, A5+ and the odd-child, the P4W. I was tipped by my friends at AE that eventually, at some point, new powered speakers would arrive.

Today is finally that day, and I’m interested in what their performance might be. The Audioengine HD6 is a take on the modern speaker, while also becoming Audioengine’s new flagship speaker. It comes in cherry or red (hello, holidays) and will retail for $749 a pair.

Bluetooth aptX support, 3.5mm audio, RCA and digital optic inputs all are means of getting sound through these gorgeous bookshelf speakers, but it’s specs and audio quality that you’re paying such a premium for. Also: detachable grills, in case you want minimalism or expose the audiophile aesthetic.

Power output is at a solid 150W peak output (50W RMS, 75W peak per channel), through 5.5″ Kevlar woofers and 1″ silk dome tweeters,  24-bit input/DAC and an aluminum remote control.

They’re available starting today, through Audioengine and its retail partners. Hopefully I’ll be getting my hands on a pair, and will report back on their performance.

Via: Audioengine

Master & Dynamic Fulfill My Wireless Fantasy: Meet The MW60 Headphones

mw60Only twice have I reviewed Master & Dynamic headphones, but both of those times I’ve  enjoyed the sounds that were emitted to my ears. It’s a close listening experience that I enjoy, with aesthetics that I prefer to no other brand except Sennheiser or harman/kardon.

So, when M&D told me that a wireless version was in the works — then my prayers would literally be answered.

Enter, the MW60 headphones. Adorned with leather, memory foam earcups, leather touches, aluminum and stainless steel for metal integration — they’re nothing short of beautiful. And most importantly, the cups fold inward. Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX technology provides the wireless experience, with a woven aux cord available in the box as the complimentary wired experience.

M&D is concerned about battery life, so naturally the presser indicates that the Li-Ion battery is capable of holding a 16-hour charge  — chargeable by micro USB — but the MW60 promises the same (if not better) performance seen in the amazing MH40, with 45mm Neodymium drivers, while also including an omnidirectional microphone in the ear-cup (previously a separate accessory in the wired model).

Cost? $549 per pair — top of the range with a price reflecting it; colors include the gunmetal black composition, or brown with silver. It’ll take a review to justify the high sticker price, and so I shall…soon.

Via: M&D

Vizio’s Reference Series Is A Strong Entry In ‘Most Beautiful 4K TV’

IMG_20151006_184507213Today ,Vizio invited guests to an artsy street under the High Line to debut its Reference series: two television they’ve been working on for years, and only now are satisfied with their current specs to unveil them to the world.

The first Vizio set in the Reference series is a 65-inch, 4K TV with Dolby Vision speakers and a price tag of $5,999. By using 384 “LED Zones” to bring light to the screen, Vizio sidesteps the edged lighting that most other high-end (and quite frankly, all) TVs and monitors use. This way, more precise and individual areas of the screen can be lit up at a time, with deep blacks and vivid whites that help contrast the image.

Specs worth noting about the Reference series include an 800-nit display brightness, an integrated 5.1 sound bar, 5 HDMI 2.0 inputs, 802.11ac dual-band WiFi, and a quad-core GPU + dual-core CPU to keep the show running.

In-person, I can easily tell you that every frame is bright, striking, sharp and vivid. If it is acceptable to say, it’s almost too striking, too vivid and too fluid — an uncanny feast for the eyes and an initially deceptive introduction to the brain.

But of course, Vizio has something more — extravagant. For a rather flattering $129,999.99, Vizio can send a custom installation company to bring the 120-inch version of the Reference series to your home (or apartment, because why not?).

It’s true: 4K TVs are incredibly expensive, no matter how you spin it. But, Vizio is the purveyor of the inexpensive but high-end HDTV, and as a result, has plans to bring some of this technology down the range to more affordable sets. It sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it?

More images, after the break.

Master & Dynamic Has Engineered The ME05 Earphones, Milled From Brass

ME05_black_onsideHand-finished and machined from solid brass, Master & Dynamic is at another attempt to continue making a name for itself in the headphones and earphones industry. The sound delivered from their products is fantastic, as I’ve said once before (twice, actually). However, this time there’s a different aesthetic going on here: the use of brass. Utilizing the unique sonic qualities that brass has, M&D can create warm, sounds using the 8mm titanium-coated dynamic drivers, along with balanced weight distribution so that the ME05 doesn’t fall out of your ear.

Asking price? $199.

Via: M&D

Here Are The (Prototype) Wireless Controllers For The HTC Vive VR Headset

20150715_142612Wading it through storms and showers in New York City (to the Dream Hotel, no less) this week was thoroughly worth it — because, a demonstration of HTC’s Vive virtual reality headset was in order. The experience is fluid despite needing more work in the user interface (which is designed as a gallery that you “walk” in), as well as the two mounted sensors that will be simplified for consumer use — they fill the room with lasers and in layman’s terms, assist in the calibration and recognition of the user’s real-world space.

And surprisingly, HTC is close to Valve, evening going as far as developing a Portal VR demo.

Samsung Developing 11K Mobile Displays That Give 3D Illusion

L1010577 copyYes, Samsung is taking the screen game to next-gen levels. Currently their flagship phones have quad-HD displays, but the South Korean conglomerate is looking to increase that state to 11K — yes, higher than a 4K display, which is just gaining traction, and even more pixel-dense than an 8K display, which is just making its technological debut. 11K would represent a whopping 2,250 pixels per inch and in doing so, would replicate a 3D effect sans glasses, so says Samsung.

That’s one of the main reasons Samsung is partnered with 13 companies to work on the “EnDK” project, and with the South Korean government investing $26.5 million over five years — this isn’t a science fair project, by any stretch.

Via: Electronic Times

Oculus Touch: “Natural Input VR Controller” Is A Thing Now

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 2.32.59 PMAbove is the Oculus Touch being used in conjunction with the Oculus Rift. 

The primary function of the Touch is to provide a more natural input for playing VR games with the just-finalized VR headset. While it won’t debut in Q1 2016 alongside the Oculus Rift’s consumer launch, the Touch will accompany the company’s catalog later on in 2016.

Some notes on what the two controllers actually are: they have capacitive touch input, gesture recognition, haptic feedback and a set of traditional buttons as well.

In short, you’ll be able to “feel” certain things in the VR space thanks to the Oculus Touch — which will complete the experience. Why can’t this come any sooner?

Via: Oculus

Oculus Will Team Up With Microsoft To Bundle Xbox Controller With The Rift

oculus_stepintotherift1It’s a very interesting partnership and further cements Oculus’ place as the first solid purveyor of VR gaming. The Oculus Rift final consumer model has been unveiled as part of a press conference today, and with it, the consumer bundle. An Oculus Rift kit will include a wireless Xbox One controller, the Rift headset, and a small table-top camera that observes LED markers to track head movements.

Some notes on the new Rift headset: Oculus managed to include a pair of headphones capable of 360 immersion, a low latency tracking system that’s been refined over the course of the past few years, and finally, two OLED screens.

On top of all of that, Rift will work natively with Windows 10 come its launch in Q1 2016.

Via: Oculus