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Can the Megaplex Survive the iPhone?

While I still have a desire for Radio Accessory knowledge, I still take time for family and friends. I love fitness, going on cruises, family functions, and relaxing by a pool and serving people from my tiki bar which I built.

In an era where Video on Demand (VOD), near simultaneous DVD releases and now downloads to smart phones, the question is, can megaplexes survive the iPhone?

There are nearly 600 films released in the US every year. Many end up in the megaplexes. Some end up in your local art house or museum theater, some end up a VOD and some even can be downloaded to your iPhone, so you can see them while ignoring fellow mass transit riders.

Early last summer, the indie market was abuzz when prophets of gloom predicted the end of the independent feature film. Several small or boutique distributors either went belly or were swallowed up by their much larger brethren. The options for filmmakers were getting smaller.

Over at the megaplex where Hollywood’s latest popcorn films or chick flicks vie for the dubious and very transitory distinction of being the “#1 Film in America”, there is also a sense of gloom. Yes, gross sales are up this year. Many exhibitors are thankful for the recession They are convinced hard times make movie going affordable. Obviously they don’t buy their own concessions. But the studios and the exhibitors of all walks are on the same page. The way out of gloom is to look to the future and the future is digital. Economic well being will be assured and in the 3D. Despite the future bravado, actual attendance is at best the same. Inflation is the difference.

This is a quick view of the landscape. Both megaplexes and independent theatres see trouble on the horizon. They see VOD and even new platforms like cellphones as threats. The question asked earlier was, “Can the megaplex survive the iPhone?” The answer is simple, yes.

In the past Hollywood has fought television, then cable television, then the VCR, and then the DVD. They will fight anything new. Hollywood has more conservative thinkers than the last Republican. There will be many voices in La-La Land bemoaning the end of exhibition or the end of indie films, but nothing could be further from the truth.

When VCRs came around, not only did Hollywood find a new economic model spewing cash, new fans emerged. When DVDs established themselves, Hollywood found an amazing source of revenue, nearly twice as much as domestic exhibition with n near the cost. It was found money. They went from gloom to laughing all the way to the bank.

Both factors will come into play with new technologies – new audiences will be found and new revenue streams will flow. The megaplex will survive as will the independent theater. Both just need to be smart about what they do. One word of advice, embrace the new technologies. They are here to stay.
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Garen has been in the dark for years. As a film exhibitor, programmer and reviewer, he has seen thousands of films. Regularly on NE Cable News & NH Public Radio, he produces the Boston Science Fiction Film Festival. Besides film, he has a passion for being a Frugal Yankee.

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Audiofly AF160

Audiofly AF160
Well ladies and gentlemen, ive a new excellent radio accessory piece of writing for you to read, i know, you don’t have to thank me all, just add a social like to the article to show your appreciation.

Design
The bulky maroon/brown-and-black earpieces let you know immediately that the AF160 means business. Its easily detachable, black-and-gray braided cable descends from each earpiece, then joins into a single cord with a cloth casing. Semi-rigid wiring near the earpieces offers a moldable, extremely secure, over-the-ear fit. There’s no in-line remote control or microphoneyour next clue that the AF160 is not for the casual listener.

Armed with a handsome brown leather hard case, the AF160 feels like a luxury item. It comes with six pairs of eartips: three of the standard silicone round variety, and three flange-shaped pairs. Also included: An earwax-cleaning tool, a 1/4-inch headphone jack adapter, and an airplane jack adapter. No one can accuse Audiofly of skimping on accessories or design details.

Performance
Calling the AF160 light on bass response would be doing the earphones a bit of a disservice. In an era of overly bass-boosted earphones and headphones that shift the balance way too far toward the lows, the AF160’s sound signature is a breath of fresh air. On tracks with tremendous low frequency content, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the AF160 delivers the closest thing to a clinical, flat response sound I have heard in earphones in quite some time. However, at top (and unsafe) listening levels, it also distorts quite a bit on this track. That should never happen in this price range. At more moderate levels, the AF160 sounds defiantly light on low frequencies, with a focus on the high-mids and highs.

Audiofly AF160 inlineI was curious to see if the AF160 was capable of producing big bass sound when forced to, so I connected the earphones to my Marantz stereo receiver and pumped the bass level to maximum. Interestingly, at moderate-to-loud volumes, the AF160 suddenly delivered some beautifully rich, vibrant bass. It’s a bit odd that it needed the Marantz receiver’s bass levels to be maxed out in order to deliver any real semblance of low-end, but the point is that the AF160 is capable of bringing out the lows in a mix you if use an equalizer, either on your mobile device, or on your stereo at home. It just doesn’t do very much of this on its own.

Back to regular listening on my iPhone 5s, Bill Callahan’s “Drover” sounds crisp and beautiful on the AF160. Yes, it’s again light on the low frequencies, but its focus on the treble edge of his baritone vocals and the guitar strumming deliver this mix cleanly and powerfully. This approach can’t work too well for all genres, however.

On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild”, the kick drum loop gets a nice boost to its attack, so that the hits slice through the mix. It sounds sharp and clean, but the loop lacks much in the way of bass presence, and the sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat have very little low frequency power. For electronic tracks like The Knife’s and modern pop and hip hop mixes like this one, the AF160’s approach to bass seems a bit too gentle and hands-off. These types of tracks can end up sounding weak.

Classical tracks, like John Adams’ “The Chairman Dances,” manage to sound a bit fuller than I would have guessed based on the sounds of the previous tracks. The higher register strings, brass, woodwinds, and percussion take center stage here, with focused sound that is never too bright. The lower register strings, however, somehow seem to have a little extra life at times. It’s nothing like what some bass boost might bring out in them, but it is more presence than the sub-bass frequencies have on the aforementioned tracks. Basically, this is the epitome of a flat-response style sound signaturea sound that is less popular now than ever, as the ubiquity of mega-bass changes the balance of mixes, and perhaps even the way some engineers approach mixing.

If your budget is sky-high and you want an even more pro-level-style in-ear pair, the Shure SE846$999.00 at Amazon and Sennheiser IE 800$999.99 at Crutchfield both sound amazing. You can also find the clinical sound minus the AF160’s pricing in earphone pairs like the Etymotic ER-4PT$264.99 at Amazon, the go-to flat response in-ear pair for years now, and the Westone W10$199.99 at Amazon with its slightly more low-end-focused balance. I was turned off by the AF160’s distortion considering its price, but at normal levels it’s not an issue. I tend to like a bit more bass response than what the AF160 offers, so I’d probably augment the low-end a bit with a subtle EQ, Plenty of listeners who a flat, mids-and-highs-focused won’t be disappointed, though. From the secure fit to the classy design and accessories, the Audiofly AF160 is every bit a high-end, audiophile-grade earphone pairif you can get past the distortion at top volumes.

2014 gadget hot list: Take a look what’s going to be the next big thing in technology

With very little information on the internet about earpiece’s, it is very rare when we get a chance to re post, with permission, an article from this industry.

How is it nearly 2014 already? Where has the time gone!
And we all know what that means once the clock strikes midnight on December 31 – yes, another year of rumour, counter rumour and conjecture about the latest gadgets, gaming and technology.
So what have you got to look forward to during the next 12 months?
Here are the top 10 things to watch out for.
Reuters Developer Maximiliano Firtman wears Google glasses before a news conference
10. Google Glass
Will it launch publicly in 2014? Well, we’ll see clearly soon – ‘see clearly’, geddit!
Anyway, these futuristic specs are currently in Beta with some high profile geeks posting pictures of themselves wearing a pair on their Twitter accounts.
Enabling you to interact with the world around you in a totally different way, Google Glass lets you get info from the web and take pictures using voice commands.
You just might look an idiot wearing a pair in the next 12 months, before it takes off and everyone has them.
Samsung Samsung’s Galaxy Gear SmartWatch
9. Smart watches
Hot on the heels of the Pebble and Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watches, will surely come newer and more innovative mobile-linked wristpieces.
In fact, at the 2014 Mobile World Congress expo, we’re bound to see loads of the things in a concept stage.
But 2014 will be the year Apple launches one. Or maybe it won’t.
Both of which would be a big story.
The first would show the potential power of these products and the second would dismiss the idea as a fad if a company like Apple fails to take up the gauntlet.
No doubt, in time, we’ll discover which one.
YouTube – SmartyRing
8. Wearable tech
Similarly, 2014 will be the year of technology that you wear – and not just on your wrist or nose.
The whole sector looks set to increase throughout our lives on the back of the growing trend for wearable fitness devices that track exercise progress and healthy living.
Expect to see products built into clothing as well as stuff you can physically wear yourself.

7. Big screen Apple TV
Will Apple launch its own TV set in 2014?
Well, it’s been talked about since 2012 and we are still none the wiser.
But it would make sense to enter that market and take on rivals Samsung and Sony.
A touchscreen telly backed by iOS and all of Apple’s apps and games would be a massive disrupter in the TV space.
However, it would surely cost a premium price and that marks out one major issue for the US giant as it battles to extend mainstream reach of the iPhone and iPad.
AFP A fairgoer passes by a tunnel made of washing machines
6. Internet of things
This catch-all term for appliances in our home talking to each other is yet another buzzword but it will come further to fruition in 2014.
It speaks of a world where washing machines, fridges, kettles and ovens connect to the internet and can be controlled via mobile phones or tablet computers.
Watch out for many manufacturers launching compatible products at the CES gadget fest in Las Vegas in early January.

5. iPhone 6
The next yearly update for Apple’s flagship product will be crucial.
With the 5S bridging the gap with its fingerprint reader, it will take a huge jump in technology and design for the iPhone 6 to really garner positive headlines and satisfy investors.
Apple usually has a trick or two up its sleeve but facing stiff competition now in the smartphone space, it will have to conjure up the sort of magic that set the original iPhone apart from the rest.
goCarShare
4. Sharing economy/Tech for good
There are dozens of startups in the UK now operating in this space aiming to use technology for the greater good of society.
From car-sharing ones like goCarShare to the product sharing RentMyItems, there’s a huge shift in creating services to help others, and for some, not concentrate so much on huge profits.
This theme will certainly continue in 2014 so watch out for new ways to collaborate with friends, neighbours and strangers to make the world a much better place.

3. Electric cars
From the Nissan LEAF to the BMW i3, 2013 started to bring electric cars more to the middle of the road.
As more charging points are rolled out across the country in 2014, expect the interest in these motors to increase.
As well as helping the environment, they keep the cost of driving low with no need for petrol or diesel.
All you do is plug them in overnight and off you go in the morning.
Of course, you have a limited range but they’re great for local and short hopper journeys.
Rex The Oculus Rift – a 1080p HD Virtual Reality Headset for 3D Gaming
2. Gaming takes centre stage
As the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 begin to take hold in our living rooms, all eyes will be on new gaming experiences being created for them.
With more power and better graphics, we’re expecting some developments that really push the boundaries of immersive entertainment crossed with gaming experiences.
If we don’t get them though in the next 12 months, that’ll be the final nail in the coffin for the traditional-style home console we used to know and love.
AFP A journalist takes a look at a 110 inch giant screen 4K television
1. 4K TVs
When we switched from normal telly to high-definition, the change in picture quality was massive.
Now imagine taking that up a few notches further and moving from HD to Ultra HD or 4K.
2014 should be the year these screens start their extension into the mainstream with prices lowering enough to make the them affordable for early adopters.
It won’t be until late 2015 that these will be within reach of us all but in the meantime, along with thinner and even curved TV screens, this is a trend to watch.

Turtle Beach i60 review: Wi-Fi headset made for Macs

headphonesYou’ve probably stumbled upon this looking for information about earphone’s, hopefully this will help you answer some of those questions, if not please click on one of the relevant links within the article

i60 review
Turtle Beach is well known in the gaming community, with its gaming headsets favourites of tournament players. So you might be thinking what is a gaming headset company doing designing a headset with Apple users in mind. Macs arent exactly renowned as gaming machines, although Mac gaming is getting better. So what opportunity has Turtle Beach identified in the Apple market that has lead it to market this new Wi-Fi headset as ideal for Apple products?

Obviously we arent talking just Macs, and neither is Turtle Beach. The i60 headset is designed for use with Apple products, most notably for multitasking between various different Apple products. For example, you could listen to the movie you are playing on your Mac and answer a call on your iPhone at the same time while the movie audio continues to play in the background. You could even talk to Siri on your iPad thats over the other side of the room, all via the i60 headset.

The multitasking is possible because the i60 headphones feature both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 +EDR connectivity, Turtle Beach is also selling at the slightly cheaper i30 headset but that set lacks the Wi-Fi, relying on Bluetooth for wireless audio. Listening to music via Bluetooth is never going to give you a great experience, so the i60s look like the obvious choice, but do the additional features warrant the extra 100 expense – thats 349.95 compared to 249.95. And does the Turtle Beach i60 Media Headset even warrant a price that puts it in the same league as big players such as the Bowers & Wilkins P7 Mobile Headphones, Parrot Zik, and Bose QuietComfort 3 (in fact all those headsets cost less than the i60s).

In the Turtle Beach i60 box
The first place to start is by looking at whats in the box. Along with the i60 headset there is the i60 transmitter; a USB cable for connecting your Mac to the transmitter; a headset charging cable that plugs into the USB port on your Mac (theres no mains charger included); an audio cable (for plugging in your iPad or iPhone); a 6.3mm adapter plug and an airline adaptor plug (why dont airlines just change this port?); a headset carry bag (pictured below); a Quick Start Guide; and a Turtle Beach sticker. Rechargeable lithium polymer batteries with, according to Turtle Beach, up to 15 hours continuous operating time are also included, although its more realistic to suggest you will get 10 hours of continuous play on a single battery charge.

Turtle Beach i60 set up
That Quick Start guide is definitely worth a read because these arent simple plug and play headphones, but dont let that put you off, the reason they arent plug and play is the fact that they offer surround sound capabilities and youll need to change the default settings on your Mac to get the most out of them. You can view the i60 instruction manual online here.

That manual takes you through the set up with easy to follow illustrations. Start in System Preferences and in your Sound settings associate the Turtle Beach i60 Media Headset with Output and Turtle Beach i60 Chat (USB) with Input. Then you need to open the Audio Midi Setup and configure the speaker output at 8ch-16bit integer. The multichannel then needs to be changed to 7.1 surround. It sounds much more complicated than it is – the clear instructions in the guide make it simple.

Once you have told your Mac what its dealing with the next step is to set up the transmitter that connects with the headset via Wi-Fi. If the LED is blinking it is unable to communicate with the headset. To get the headset and transmitter talking, start by turning the headset off, then press and hold the Power Button for about 5 seconds until it announces Pairing Headset. Now press the pairing button on the transmitter until that LED begins to blink. When the units are paired the LED will remain on on the transmitter, the LED on the headphones will blink intermittently, and a voice will announce headset paired.

Finally, setting up Bluetooth pairing is a case of pressing the Bluetooth LED on the side of the headset for 5 seconds until the voice prompt announces Bluetooth Pairing. Then go to Settings on your iPad or iPhone, turn on Bluetooth and select Turtle Beach i60 Media Headset from the devices listed. The good news is you can simultaneously pair to two Bluetooth-enabled devices with the i60 at once and the i60 will automatically remember the last two paired devices upon powering on. However, only one Bluetooth device can be active on the headset at a time.

You can also pair your headset with your Mac via Bluetooth, but you wont be able to take advantage of the surround sound audio features.

Receiving a call via the i60 headset
Once set up you can listen to audio on your headset via Wi-Fi and, as long as you are connected to your iPhone via Bluetooth, when you get a call youll hear your ring tone and you can answer it. If you get a call when you are listening to audio on your headset the audio will be lowered automatically, but it will still play in the background and when the call is finished you wont have to reconnect the headset to your computer.

To answer that call you tap a button on the side of the headset. The mic is incorporated into the headset and it offers noise filtering technology.
There are a total of nine buttons and various combinations of key presses to learn, from a double key press to redial a phone number to three key presses to activate Siri, but its logical enough to learn and youll hear a button selection voiceover so you know what you pressed.

Audio settings for the i60 headset
There is an app you can download to your iPhone (Ear Force Audio Hub) that allows you to fine tune your headset. We like the way you can adjust and optimise sound using various presets from flat equalisation or to bass boost, but also a mid boost for human speech, Footstep Focus (ideal for game play), and Superhuman hearing (also designed for gaming). There are also three surround sound settings: movie mode, music mode, game more, you can also turn surround sound off. The strange omission is the fact that you cannot increase or decrease the volume using the iPhone app, nor do the volume controls on your iPhone have an impact. Given that many of the presets are louder or quieter than others its frustrating that you need to use many different means to make adjustments. We would have preferred to be able to adjust the sound levels from our iPhone given that we were using it to change the sound presets. Adjusting the volume is a case of finding the buttons on the back of the ear piece, or using the Wi-Fi transmitter, which features a big outer ring for volume control. This volume control is a bit redundant if you happen to be over the other side of the room, which is after all the point of using Wi-Fi, but it looks nice.

You can also play around with the microphone using the app. There are four settings: flat, high morph (to sound like a chipmunk), low morph (to sound like a robot), and voice reverb. Were not entirely sure when wed implement these sounds.

The Bluetooth volume control in independent of the Wi-Fi volume control – so if you have the volume on high while you are watching a movie, you wont be deafened if friend calls.
The various audio settings hint at the uses Turtle Beach is anticipating for this headset. As we mentioned earlier, gaming isnt huge on a Mac, but it is growing, and obviously gaming is massive on the iPad and iPhone. Here wed advice plugging the headphones in directly, rather than relying on Bluetooth though.

The superb 7.1 Surround Sound and 5.1 Channel DTS means this headset is ideal for watching movies. We also found the mid boost great for radio and TV programmes that focused on the spoken word. However, we found it frustrating that the audio levels in films were considerably lower than for music, meaning that movie sound levels were quiet unless we set it to super human hearing (perhaps you needed super human hearing to hear the other audio settings). Its odd that the sound levels were so different when movies and music were compared. Well look in to this further.
We were impressed with the audio quality for music – but our audiophile technical editor is yet to try them out himself, so we may update this article if he decries them not up to his exacting standards.

Unfortunately these arent noise cancelling headphones so they arent ideal for use in noisy environments. Noise leakage was reasonable, but if you do have the music on loud expect to annoy the person sitting beside you.

Turtle Beach i60 comfort
Since this is an over-ear headset many will be concerned about comfort, especially if you are planning to use them for long periods of time. We found them to be light weight, and the leatherette ear cups were soft and comfortable to wear. With its previous focus on game players, it appears that Turtle Beach knows how to make headphones that you can wear for long periods of time. We did feel that they were a little lose on our head, however.

The headset itself looks nice enough, with a white plastic finish that will stand out from the crowd (should you want to). The Turtle Beach logo will also speak to those who are familiar with the brand.

OUR VERDICT
The 349.99 asking price might seem a bit high and, as we said above, it puts them in the same league as Bose and the like. At that price wed hope for noise cancellation, but the surround sound quality is superior and as a result we suspect that it would take a lot of external noise to distract you. Our only criticism is that the audio levels are so different between music and movies and this makes the fact that the audio level can’t be turned up via the iPhone app all the more frustrating. (We’ll keep testing this aspect of the i60s and will update this review should we find a solution).

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135th Audio Engineering Society Convention to Feature Session on Live Audio Drama and Narration

135th Audio Engineering Society Convention to Feature Session on Live Audio Drama and Narration
Article of the Day………ok so i don’t have a piece of writing every day, but when i get an opportunity I will post content that I find fascinating. Fortunate enough here is one of those articles that I read and needed to share. Should you enjoy it as much as me, please add one of the special social media likes, you know the one that tells everyone that you enjoyed something, rather then you sat on your arse and watched Television!

The 135th Audio Engineering Society Convention (Thursday, October 17, through Sunday, October 20, 2013, at the Javits Center in New York City) will feature the event Stories for the Ears: Live Audio Drama and Narration, Friday, October 18, 2013, 8:30 PM to 10:00 PM, at The Paley Center for Media. Doors open at 8:00 p.m. Seating is limited, first-come-first-seated. The event, hosted by Bob Kaliban (CBS Mystery Theater) and presented by the HEAR Now Festival and SueMedia Productions in conjunction with the Audio Engineering Society (AES), features an evening of live audio/radio drama along with narrative readings celebrating the art of sonic storytelling.
The program will feature performances by Audie Award-winning and Golden Voice narrators Jim Dale, Katherine Kellgren, Robin Miles and Barbara Rosenblat, and the award winning NY-based audio drama troupe VoiceScapes Audio Theater.

About the featured performers:

Bob Kaliban has been a voice actor for more than 40 years, having been a regular on programs like CBS Mystery Theater. Bob has also performed in ads, cartoons (School House Rock), television, movies, on Broadway, in video games and more.
Jim Dale has won a record ten Audie Awards, including Narrator of the Year 2001/5/7/8 and Audio Book of the Year 2004, plus two GRAMMY Awards and seven nominations. He holds two Guinness World Records: 1. Creating 146 different character voices for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, 2. Occupying the first six places in the Top Ten Audio Books of America. He has performed on Broadway and won a Best Actor TONY Award for Barnum, along with five additional TONY Nominations and four Drama Desk Awards. Jim is also an Academy Award Nominee for writing the lyrics for the title song to Georgy Girl.
Katherine Kellgren is a multi-Audie Award winning Golden Voice Narrator who is an audiobook fan favorite because of her no-holds-barred portrayals of characters. Her aptitude with accents is extraordinary. From drunken Scotsman to high-born ladies, Katherine fully embodies all the characters in every book she reads.
Robin Miles began her career as a dancer and actress who found her way to audiobook narration in the early 2000s. An Audie Award-winning and Golden Voice narrator, her works have included Brother, Im Dying; Half of a Yellow Sun; and Roots. Among her stage credits are The Violet Hour on Broadway and works by Shakespeare, Moliere, Shaw, Euripides, and Brecht at venues like The Public Theater, The Ensemble Studio Theatre and The Yale Repertory Theatre. Robin is also a voice coach and teacher.
Barbara Rosenblat has been described as the Meryl Streep of audiobooks by the NY Times. She is a multi-Audie Award-winning and Golden Voice narrator whose extraordinary range of accents and characterizations in a distinguished body of work (more than 400 titles to date) makes her one of the most sought after and beloved narrators of audiobooks in the country. On Broadway, Barbara created the role of Mrs. Medlock in the TONY Award-winning musical The Secret Garden. She returned to Broadway in the critically acclaimed revival of Eric Bogosian’s dark comedy Talk Radio starring Liev Schreiber. In the gaming world her voice can be heard in Grand Theft Auto. Currently she is a featured cast member on Netflixs Orange is the New Black (as Miss Rosa).
VoiceScapes Audio Theater is a troupe of audio actors, directors, sound engineers, writers, and producers who perform original works of fantasy comedy, and more. They will be performing their award-winning original audio play It Always Feels Like Monday. Additionally, VoiceScapes will present the award-winning comedy short Best Friends Forever. Manual live and recorded sound effects and music give VoiceScapes Audio Theaters performances a cinematic sound quality.
About the presenters:

The HEAR Now Festival is the audio equivalent of a film festival for contemporary audio story-telling in all its forms: live and scripted shows, solo and multi-voiced performances, classic radio drama, experimental narrative, and much much more. The Festival happens every June in Kansas City, Missouri.
SueMedia Productions specializes in Transmedia Storytelling. An Audie Award-winning company, they create fully realized soundscapes for all of their projects. Additional awards for their audio productions include The Gracies, Communicator Awards, International Festival of Radio Awards and many more.

Klipsch Gig

So i discovered this short article on the internet and i heard that just posting it like a whole piece isn’t the right thing, I got permission from the original writer and read up how to curate posts, so that is it…….i thought this was interesting as it highlights some of the highs and lows that I encountered when i was working inside the business.

audioKlipsch’s latest portable Bluetooth speaker, the Gig, is a well-designed $199.99 (direct) option that features a swiveling kick stand so you can angle the drivers to face various directions. The Gig can get quite loud for its size, and delivers a more powerful sense of bass than most wireless speakers in this price range. However, on tracks with seriously deep bass, it can often distort at top volumes, which is a bit disappointing considering its pricing. Regardless, at moderate to high volumes, the distortion can be avoided, and the portable Gig provides a very sculpted listening experience that will appeal to fans of rich lows and crisp highsthough it may be a bit too sculpted for purists to enjoy.

The Gig is offered in a cream-colored motif as well as a black-and-silver model; if those two schemes are insufficient, Klipsch sells a range of additional color bands for $24.99 each. Measuring 3.6 by 7 by 2.1-inches, the 1.4-pound speaker, like the Bose SoundLink Mini, is on the larger end of the portable Bluetooth speaker scale. In other words, the rounded rectangular contour, with its built-in, swivel stand that allows for various speaker angles, is portable in the sense that you can move it around and it runs on an internal lithium ion battery. But its size might overwhelm a purse or small bag, and it’s not a pocketable option.

The stand, which is easily removable, makes it possible for the Gig to sit flat on a table top and project sound upward, or sit at multiple angles, though not all of the angles seem to stay in place. There’s a locking mechanism that holds the speaker in place only when sitting at a perfect right angle, projecting sound forward, toward the listener instead of up toward the ceiling.

Behind the speaker grille, two 1-inch drivers and two 2-inch passive bass radiators combine to output a hefty audio signal. A volume dial is located along one of the side panels, and it houses a multi-function button in its center that controls Play/Pause, Track navigation, as well as answering calls and ending them, and putting a call on mute. This button also doubles as the status indicator, telling you whether you’re paired or not, and how much battery life you have left. Along the back panel, there’s a 3.5mm aux input (a cable is included), the USB port for charging (a cable is included for this, as well), and the Power/Pairing switch. Klipsch Gig inline

In addition to the two cables, the Gig ships with a wall charger that the USB cable plugs into, and international outlet adapters for it. These accessories get their own carrying pouch, and the speaker itself gets a larger carrying pouch, both of which are black cloth drawstring bags. Klipsch estimates the Gig’s battery life at about 12 hours of standard use, and 4 hours of use at maximum volume.

Audio cues let you know when you’re in pairing mode, paired, or powered upand they are guitar strums, which will either make you smile or annoy you. Regardless, the pairing process with an iPhone 5s was simple and quick. If you have an NFC-enabled device, you can also pair with the Gig using this functionthe NFC sensor is near the volume dial.

The Gig employs digital signal processing (DSP), which typically ensures that there will be no distortion by limiting a track’s transient peaks at higher volumes. On the Gig, however, the DSP can’t quite restrain tracks with serious sub-bass content, like the Knife’s “Silent Shout,” from distorting. At this price, that’s a bit of a disappointmentdistortion shouldn’t be part of the equation at $200. It’s not shocking when you see the size of the Gig, howeverit’s bigger than many portable Bluetooth speakers, but a boom box it is not.

Despite the distortion at higher volumes on deep bass tracks, the Gig does manage to pump out a hefty amount of bass response at moderate-to-high volumes. The Knife track that distorts sounds full and clean, with a thumping beat, at moderate volume levels. Basically, adjusting either the max volume on the speaker or your device will solve the distortion problem on deep bass tracks, so it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, especially considering how loud the speaker can get at medium volume levels to begin with.

On Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” his vocals receive a nice, smooth low-end presence, complimenting his rich baritone delivery nicely. The crisp highs give his vocals and the guitar strumming enough treble edge to standout, despite the bass presence. And the drums get a nice dollop of low-end presence, as well, but the Gig keeps the bass boosting on this track fairly subtle.

Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild” manages to almost completely avoid distortionat max volumes on both the speaker and the sound source, the vocals start to waiver a bit whenever the sub-bass synth hits come into the picture, but at just slightly lower levels, there’s no distortion. The kick drum loop’s attack gets plenty of high-mid presence, allowing it to slice through the mix, while the bass radiators provide a convincing sense of the kick drum’s low-end sustain, and a laudable amount of heft for the sub-bass synth stabs.

Classical tracks, like John Adams’ “The Chairman Dances,” also receive a subtle boosting in the lows, allowing the lower register strings to have a bit more body and life, but the spotlight still belongs to the higher register strings, brass, and percussion, which take advantage of the sculpted highs.

The comparably priced Bose SoundLink Mini doesn’t suffer from the distortion issues the Gig has at maximum volumes, but it arguably has less low frequency push at moderate levels. If these options are out of your price range, the Panasonic SC-NT10 and the Skullcandy Air Raid are both solid portable Bluetooth speaker options, but obviously, they’re going to deliver a less intense, powerful audio experience. For $200, the distortion is disappointing, but the Gig can be used at high volumes without the problem rearing its ugly headand it delivers a better sense of bass than most portable Bluetooth options $200 and under.

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Will I be Able to Hear Bone Conduction Headphones Even if I Wear Earplugs?

Article of the Day………ok so i haven’t got an article every day, but when i get an opportunity I will post articles I find interesting. Fortunate enough here is one of those articles that I read and had to share. Should you enjoy it as much as me, please add one of those special social media likes, you know the one that tells everyone that you enjoyed something, rather then you sat on your arse and watched Television!

audioHi Nick,

The short answer is yes, yes you can.

Because bone conduction bypasses the ear entirely and directly stimulates the ossicles (which is the scientific name for the tiny bones that reside in your inner ear, as well as the rationale behind comic book hero Daredevil’s athletic prowess), it is entirely possible to stick your ear plugs in and still listen to your ‘Bonephones’.

In some respects, it’s actually preferable. Y’see Nick, using headphones is fine and dandy, until you have to turn the volume all the way up in order to drown out noisy children, busy traffic and/or people shouting into their phones all around you. After that, if you increase the volume to too great a degree, you can expose your ears to sounds that can actually permanently damage your hearing.

Bone conduction, however, carries much less of a risk, because it does not effect the parts of the ear most at risk from loud noises.

Hearing is a process that actually has several stages. At first, your ear picks up sound waves, the sound waves pass into your middle ear (specifically, your auditory canal) before hitting the eardrum. The eardrum then vibrates, passing the sound down to the aforementioned ossicles (‘aforementioned ossicles’ is a lovely phrase, don’t you think?) From there, the ossicles transmit the sound to the cochlea, which is a fluid-filled structure that encodes the sound information in order for our brain to decode it (this is not unlike the way a wireless mouse works, actually).

Yup, the inner ear is a wacky world.

Essentially, bone conduction technology rattles the ossicles in the same way that they’d rattle in your inner ear, it just, to turn a phrase my father is particularly fond of ‘cuts out the middle man’. It really is an interesting invention.

So, as you see, there is no way a pair of earplugs pose any problem at all to your enjoying music or audio content on your Bonephones. I hope this helps. You’ll likely find this method especially useful if you happen to find yourself on a long plane journey and seated next to a disgruntled infant.

I’m actually fairly certain that bone conduction technology was invented during a similar scenario.

Have fun, Nick.

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