Category Archives: AUDIO/VISUAL

Everything that lets you enjoy audio and visual entertainment ranging from home entertainment systems to media players to TV and more.

cute buttonless Internet Radio: Q2 Internet Radio

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(image credit: Q2 Radio) Q2 Internet Radio | £90.00 | www.q2radio.co.uk

there are many Internet Radio out there in the market but nothing is as close to this cute Q2 Internet Radio. most Internet Radio are of either contemporary or classic design (a little too ‘up there’ to my liking), but Q2 goes the opposite way by being cheerful, ease of setup, fun to use, compact in size and completely void of buttons and knobs (which make the Q2 stands out even more).

with tens of thousands of Internet Radio today, you can imagine the mammoth task in trying to tune in to a particular station that you desire. here’s where the ease of setup comes in. to set, all you have to do is hook up to a PC or Mac, add the desired station to each sides of the Q2 using the free Q2 Internet Radio software (up to four stations can be set). once done, unplug it and you are good to go.

operations of the Q2 is straight forward: turning the Q2 from side to side changes the preset stations and tilting back or forward changes the volume. no screen, no buttons, no knobs. i hear you asking about muting? well, that’s easy too. just put the Q2 on its face – muted. easy. obviously the Q2 uses WiFi to connect to the preset stations and is supplied with rechargeable battery and a main power adapter.

Q2 comes in five different colors: pink, white, blue, green and black.

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(image credit: Q2 Radio)

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(image credit: Q2 Radio)

via Gizmag

nature meets technology with Koostik iPhone dock

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(image credit: Koostik) Koostik iPhone Dock | from US$85 | koostik.com

technology advancements really gets to our head and we started going on some unstoppable buy-buy-buy spree, adding more advanced gadgets to our already burgeoning gadgetry arsenal. its an addiction. but isn’t it time to take step back from those expensive designers electronics and get back to basic? well, you can start with the low-tech KOOSTIK iPhone dock.

the KOOSTIK is a sound dock that amplifies your iPhone by 2 to 4 times – hardly an exhilarating performance comparing the sound docks out in the market but it was never meant to be a performance sound dock to start with. for a start Koostik is all natural and doesn’t use any form electronic for sound amplification. amplification sounds is via channelling of the docked iPhone to the left and right hollowed out ‘speakers’.

no electronics involved means that no power is required to use the KOOSTIK. however, it also won’t be able to charge your iPhone while your are spinning your tunes. accordingly to the designer, this beautiful crafted sound dock is not a replacement to electronically amplified item but its more intended for intimate vocals and instrumentals sound in relax settings. well, we heard you KOOSTIK. we saw the video demo and we are totally impressed.

KOOSTIK is hand made entirely out of solid wood in America and is available in six different solid wood combinations. good news for those outside of the USA, KOOSTIK ships internationally too.

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(image credit: Koostik)

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(image credit: Koostik)

KOOSTIK iPhone Dock 544px
(image credit: Koostik)

via Gizmag

serving up music to audiophile: Olive O6HD Music Server

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(image credit: Olive HiFi) Olive O6HD Music Server | US$4999.90 | www.olivehifi.com

hot on the heel after the release of the first budget HD Music Server in September, Olive announces the Olive O6HD Music Server this month. dubbed as the HD Audiophile Server, it is no easy task in making such claims especially when we talked home-ripped music. the O6HD spots a 10.1 inch widescreen color touchscreen for ease of browsing your music collection and it comes with a ultra quiet 2TB AV hard drive which is capable of storing up to 6,000 CDs in their original quality or 20,000 HD tracks.

as with all Olive music server, the OH6HD has front slot loading Teach-mechansim CDRW drive and one-touch recording function to turn your CD into a digital copy. to offer the most audiophile experience from the ripped music, the O6HD features a fully-balanced differential Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) with goodies such as two 24-bit/192 kHz DAC modules (Ti Burr-Brown PCM1792) and the TI SRC4194 Asynchronous Sample Rate Converter capable of up-sampling to 24-bit/384 kHz.

aside from ripping CDs, the CDRW is also capable of burning audio, MP3 and Data CDs. supported audio formats are the usual WAV, FLAC, MP3 (128 & 320 kbit/s) as well as AAC (128 kbit/s). for those who loves to immerse themselves with the music without other ambience disturbance, you will be delighted by the high-end headphone output powered by a dedicated TI 192khz/24-bit Burr-Brown PCM1792 and a TI TPA61620A2 high performance audio amplifier.

there are a bunch of connectivity associated with this high-end music server, both analog and digital. analog audio connectivity includes gold-plated RCA, 6.4mm headphone jack, XLR connector – which are usually found on professional A/V equipment. digital audio output is the form of AES/EBU connector, S/PDIF optical TOSLINK and gold-plated S/PDIF coaxial cinch. other connectivity include wireless 802.11n, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI and USB 1.1/2.0 port.

all these goodies are housed in a passive cooled anodized fine-grade aluminum shell, thus making it not only aesthetically pleasing but extremely quiet. which is an important aspect if you demand the most out of your lossless music. the O6HD is available in Silver or Black. its pretty hard to list down all the features from a almost $5000 machine, so we suggest you checking out Olive HIFI website for more details.

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(image credit: Olive HiFi)

Olive O6HD Music Server - Silver - front view 544px
(image credit: Olive HiFi)

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(image credit: Olive HiFi)

home-made videos in 3D: ViewSonic 3DV5 3D HD Camcorder

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(photo credit: viewsonic.com) ViewSonic 3DV5 HD Camcorder | US$180 | www.viewsonic.com

looks like consumer 3D recording/imaging is being realized faster then we thought. recently, ViewSonic announced the ViewSonic 3DV5 3D HD Camcorder capable of taking 3D HD videos and 3D still images which you can preview instantly (in 3D) on its 2.4 inch 3D TFT LCD screen, without the need for special 3D glasses.

this palm-size camcorder has a pair of lenses with 5 Megapixel sensors (CMOS) built-in. the 3DV5 comes embedded with ArcSoft Wizard and a pair of red/cyan 3D glasses, which allows you to enjoy 3D videos and images on a standard PC or notebook. the 3DV5 is also capable of 2D recordings/images and HD is the form of 720p videos at 30 frames per second (fps).

the 3DV5 has an internal 10MB storage and an SD/SDHC card slot that supports 256MB up to 32GB SDHC, which should give you ample storage for your HD recordings/shots. the lenses are fixed focus lens but comes with 4X digital zoom. powering the camcorder is a NP60 1200mA Li-ion rechargeable battery. there’s no formal indication of it’s battery expected performance though.

other features include mini HDMI and a USB 2.0 port for connectivity, a standard tripod mount socket, built-in stereo microphone and one 0.5W speaker built-in. the camcorder measures 71mm x 120mm x 29mm and weighs in at 120 grams. given the size which is much larger than an iPhone 4, the 3DV5 is consider pretty light (just give you a rough idea, iPhone 4 weighs about 140 grams).

with all the hype about 3D, sometimes i wonder if we really need 3D at all? but then again, at US$180, its certainly a budget way to take a dip into the world of 3D and once there, if you find that 3D isn’t your cup of tea, the 3DV5 can always take 2D videos and images.

zip up those ear buds: Zipbuds By DGA

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(photo credit: dgastore.com) Zipbuds By DGA | US$39.99 | www.dgastore.com

if you are looking for a tangle-free earphones, and you need something more than just fabric cords then Zipbuds by DGA could be it. the highlight of the Zipbuds is the tangle resistant zipper integrated cable. tangle-free? makes sense to us, cos’ we can’t really tangle a zipper, can we?

while it may seems quite bulky looking (as compared to traditional cord), but the concept of zipper makes it a style-statement. the zipper portion only runs up to a few inches before the noise-isolating stubbed ear buds, so you won’t look ridiculous wearing it. other features of the Zipbuds include Dupont Kevlar reinforced cabling, braided nylon cable, gold plated audio jack, 8mm driver with a rated output of 2mW (max input: 5mW).

the Zipbuds come in 5 different color and includes three custom fitted ear tip sizes, two sport ear clips and a storage pouch. pretty neat huh? just don’t confuse with your jacket’s zipper.

i thought the Zipbuds is suitable for those who’s looking for tangle-free earbuds and at the same time, doing it with style.

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(photo credit: dgastore.com)

now showing on your TV: Boxee Box by DLink

Boxee Box by DLink
(photo credit: dlink.com) Boxee Box by DLink | from US$200 | www.dlink.com

DLink has joined the flock of media players in the market with Boxee Box. yes, it is a box that looks as though a quarter of the box has sunken onto a flat surface. last month we reported on the Western Digital TV Live Hub and we go ‘wow’… however the Boxee Box definitely had us go ‘Wow… wow…”

not only did this Linux-based Boxee Box look gorgeous but it is packed with features. first off, the box offers full 1080p playback via the HDMI, optical out, two USB ports, Ethernet port and standard audio out. the biggest boost for Boxee Box perhaps is the content it promise to deliver.

Boxee Box by DLink
(photo credit: dlink.com)

something that caught our eye is the remote which doubles up as a QWERTY keyboard. we completely understand the pain of trying to scroll through the (on screen) alphabets just to make some searches, thus we welcome the implementation of QWERTY keyboard with open arms. the QWERTY definitely will be make users feel more at home when using this set top box. those who gone through the onscreen input ritual (Playstation 3, WD HD TV Live etc) will know what we mean.

we certainly love the Boxee Box and hope it will land on out shore soon. for those in North America, you are are just so lucky! and with HULU and NETFLIK in the pipe line, couch potatoes will be totally spoilt for choice!

mini-size sharing: Verbatim MediaShare Mini

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(photo credit: verbatim.com) Verbatim MediaShare Mini | US$90 | verbatim.com

Verbatim proves that Network Attached Storage or NAS doesn’t need to be big with the new MediaShare Mini, albeit some trade off. the Mini has no internal storage, instead it lets you connect any existing external drive to your network.

the Mini supports up to four USB-connected external drives which you can access via your home network or the Internet. it is strange that Verbatim decided to head this way. i mean isn’t having a basic storage with addition of USB port(s) to accept any other external drives a more ‘cuts both ways’ solution?

maybe we would be able to save some desktop space, but putting a hard drive or in this case, up to four would undoubtedly clutter the space too. in anyway, this could be good for those who need to have high turn over of drives. the Mini offers the same features as the full-size counterpart such as remote access, photo album sharing, mobile device supports, social web integration and media streaming.

seriously, i thought the Mini can’t be considered as a NAS proper as it has no built-in storage. it’s more like a network attached bridging solution. don’t you think so?

sophisticated docking: the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 8 dock

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(image: B&O) B&O BeoSound 8 Dock | US$999 | www.bang-olufsen.com

you can always trust Bang & Olufsen (commonly known as B&O) to come up with product that make you exclaim ‘wow’ and the BeoSound 8 is no exception. finally we have a sound dock that docks the iPad as well, not just your iPods or iPhones. the new BeoSound 8 can be hanged on the wall, and place anywhere as long there’s a power outlet to power it. Continue reading sophisticated docking: the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 8 dock

cooking up to the sound of DAB: DUALIT DAB Lite Radio

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(photo credit: dualit.com) DUALIT DAB Lite Radio | approx. US$194 | www.dualit.com

if you think cooking and music can’t go together. think again. the DUALIT DAB Lite Radio features a 6-watt, 3-inch speaker with a in-built charger so that you can cook up a storm in the kitchen while listening to any of the 20 preset stations.

of course, you can use it anywhere but with a 99 minute kitchen egg timer as part of its feature, why would you use it anywhere else? having a BBQ party? lug the DUALIT DAB Lite outdoor and the rechargeable NiMH battery has enough juice to power it for the day on one single charge. it can also run off 6 x AA batteries (not included) or via the mains.

among the features include bass port for rich sound, alarm with snooze & sleep options, 3.5mm headphones jack – all these clad in a sexy contemporary chrome body with a LCD white on blue display (which automatically dims to save power). well, i gotta say the DUALIT DAB Lite is definitely an eye-candy but my worry is… it’s going to be a fingerprint magnet.