Sonos now available in Apple physical and online stores

sonosapple

sonosappleLast month Sonos announced it was expanding its collaboration with Apple by bringing Sonos into Apple’s physical and online retail stores. Two of its most popular speakers — the PLAY:1 and PLAY:5 — were available 468 Apple Stores worldwide on October 5, and Apple’s online stores outside of the US starting November 2.

“Our expanded collaboration with Apple is a great example of our ongoing work with our full ecosystem of partners to make it easier than ever to listen to music out loud at home,” said Patrick Spence, president of Sonos. “Apple Music on Sonos is a powerful experience, one we’re proud to bring directly to Apple fans at Apple Stores worldwide.”

“This is a big deal — both for our companies, and for music lovers around the world who can now experience Sonos and Apple Music like never before. We know that the best way to discover Sonos is by experiencing it first-hand, which shoppers in 180 Apple Stores will be able to do, with a hands-on Sonos and Apple Music demo featuring a guided Sonos app experience on the iPad Pro.”

It wasn’t long ago that Apple Music joined Sonos as its exclusive partner in the connected home, creating experiences that only Sonos and Apple Music could provide– Beats 1 Radio in every room in the house, Apple Music exclusives like Frank Ocean in the kitchen, and Drake’s latest drops in the bedroom. With expanded collaboration, the Sonos whole home sound system with Apple Music’s curated playlists and personalized recommendations, tuned perfectly for your home.

 

Songs made with #Apple GarageBand Live Loops #music #tech

Examples of music made with GarageBand Live Loops

I’ve been working with Garage Band Live Loops over the past few weeks. It’s been a ton of fun learning how the interface works and putting together some songs that actually sound quite good. If you’re looking for some examples of what you could do with Live Loops check out the songs below.

 

If you get a chance please log on to SoundCloud.com and “like” these songs.

 

Rob Roy and the Associates releases debut EP

Rob Roy and the Associates

I’d like to introduce you to Rob Roy and the Associates. The sound is familiar but it’s hard to place exactly where you’ve heard this before. I hear notes of Dylan. Maybe some Watchmen. Perhaps a little Tragically Hip. What do you hear when you listen to these tracks?

If you like folk, rock, and alternative sounds check this new Vancouver artist out. These songs are particularly catchy and were made in Vancouver at Armoury Studios throughout the months of November 2014 to January 2015.

 

 

Should I stick with iTunes Match or go with Spotify?

spotify

I’ve renewed iTunes Match for another year but I’m starting to feel some buyers remorse. At close to $30 the service seems to lack what other services like Spotify are now offering for free. Hmm iTunes Match vs. Spotify. This is one of those questions I’ll be pondering for some time. Perhaps you’re in the same boat?

Every night at dinner I launch Spotify and find not only great mixes but entire albums that I can play for free mind you with the odd commercial every three songs or so. The commercials don’t bother me much and last only a brief time. They’re nothing like the commercials played on conventional radio that last for several minutes. At least not yet anyways. I’m sure over time Spotify will add longer and more annoying commercials in an effort to get more subscription dollars.

So if I’m launching Spotify everyday what about iTunes Match? You see the point is that I’m not really launching iTunes much at all these days. Spotify has all the songs in my iTunes library plus a whole lot more. I’m thinking that if I pay $9.99 per month for Spotify its not a whole lot more than iTunes Match. Consider that iTunes Match is $30 and albums are on average $10. If I buy only 9 albums each year I’m already at the same rate as Spotify.

The only downside to Spotify is that I can’t burn any of this music onto disk as it’s only a subscription and streaming service. This is a minor issue for me considering that I burn about 4 discs a year which I’ll play only in my car on occasion.

Hmm … go with the status quo or change things up… Let me know if you have any insights!

Jay

Mad Genius Radio Review

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With a number of music streaming services out there and Apple’s iTunes still one of the dominant players in the market, Mad Genius Radio has its work cut out for it. That being said it’s a hit that definitely delivers.

It’s now available in the United States and Canada for free to all Mad Genius Radiousers on iOS, Android and desktop during an extended trial-period. It will then cost you 5 dollars a month or 48 dollars for a year, not a bad price for someone looking for a personalized music service.

We spoke with Eric Neumann, Founder, prior to Mad Genius Radio’s launch on October 28th, 2014. “We know that people like to create their own playlists and do deep dive research when it comes to the music they listen to. We’re allowing people to create a personalized radio space that they can customize to their heart’s content and enjoy the eclectic nature of playlists.”

Features

Mad Genius Radio offers a slick interface that’s easy to use and navigate. I used it both on the iPhone and iPad Mini. Eric Neumann recommended the iPad Mini for most user experience and I would agree. The larger screen of a tablet makes the user interface feel less squished.

Where Mad Genius Radio will hit the mark is with true personalization Users can adjust how much of a genre they want to hear by adjusting its slider from 0-10. Additionally, users can adjust the rotation of songs and artists with 0-5 ratings. Ratings can be made as songs play, something I did regularly with Mad Genius Radio, running on the History page, or on artist pages. I loved being able to rate songs on the go.

Rated music is filtered into the mix with its own unique slider, which allows the user to control whether and how much their requests play. These features enable hyper-personal customization that cannot be achieved by the thumbs up, thumbs down approach to music ratings.

Time Machine feature: Listeners can pick a genre and travel back to a specific time period to experience radio as it was back in the day. For example, users can select the Adult Alternative genre and summer of 1993 to mix the elements of nostalgia with the surprise of more familiar but less-often played tracks, plus the discovery of songs they may have missed.

To download Mad Genius Radio, visit the App Store, Google Play or www.madgeniusradio.com

Could Apple, Google, and Microsoft offer a premium music streaming service for free?

beats audio

So it seems we are in the heat of battle. We are witnessing the war of the music streaming service providers. The media has been full of stories of music streaming providers lowering prices, consolidating services and buying up competitors. For consumers this is a great thing as it means more choice and lower prices in the end. The top contenders for our dollars are currently iTunes (Beats), Spotify, Deezer, and Songza (Google). Is it possible that we’re moving towards a “music as a feature”  model? Could Apple, Google and perhaps Microsoft offer a premium music streaming service for free?

 

Music as a feature?

Google, Apple and Microsoft have a ton of capital and could potentially offer music completely free if they wanted to obliterate their competition. By the way, according to Forbes, “Apple has $160 billion in cash available.” They could easily pay for all its subscribers fees and have money left over. Tim Cook, if you’re listening, have you considered this option?

Just imagine the possibilities here, free music for Android devices and free music for Apple devices. This is a very realistic scenario with the huge cash reserves these two companies have and would solidify the positions of these giants as market leaders. How could anyone compete with that?

What about the possibility of “music as a feature”? Our smartphones have consolidated so many past devices into one. Look at cameras and video cameras for example. Remember video cameras? I remember literally just 5 years ago spending about $300 for a JVC MiniDV video camera and the quality was horrible compared to what I get out of my iPhone 6. Fast forward 5 years and now I get a high quality video camera virtually free in my phone.

Music as a feature isn’t too far fetched. Look, you’ve got Google with Songza and Apple with Beats. All you need now is Microsoft to buy Spotify. You’ve got 3 mammoth size companies with tons of capital and each with its own mobile device platform. It only makes sense and if all three participate then the competition remains at the device level. All the “record” stores have already been obliterated anyways. Why not simply “buy” the music industry itself?

How much money does the music industry need? According to the IFPI the music industry as a whole is currently bringing in $16 billion per year. If you have Apple, Google and Microsoft giving the industry $1 billion a piece every year that may cover subscriptions considering the industry has other revenues streams including merchandising, concerts, and CD sales to mention only a few

Okay I admit it may be a little far fetched. $1 billion a year is a lot of money. But when you have $160 billion in pent up capital is it really? Just imagine the interest alone on $160 billion. It must be enormous. Anyone a math wizard out there and care to calculate the interest or investment revenue range Apple could be earning on such a sum?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mad Genius Unveils the Ultimate Personalized Radio Experience

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Mad Genius Radio, the only platform designed for the way people naturally consume music, today announced the launch of its mobile and desktop personalized radio apps (available on iOS, Android and the Web). While other platforms use antiquated binary correlation standards that deliver narrow and predictable playlists, Mad Genius Radio creates an always-fresh, “infinite playlist” that keeps people listening longer.

Mad Genius Radio is equally focused on delivering an unmatched user experience and financially supporting artists. Mad Genius Radio is now available in the United States and Canada for free to all users on iOS, Android and desktop during an extended trial-period, and will then introduce its subscription-based pricing model for $5 a month or a $48 annual membership.

“The outdated streaming model has pushed users to on-demand madgeniusradiostreaming services or canned playlists based on an artist or song, and a lot of problems with this approach,” said Eric Neumann, founder of Mad Genius Radio. “Most importantly, it takes the emotion and fun out of hearing old songs you love, but may have forgotten; deep cuts you never hear on other services; and that ‘oh, wow, who sings this?’ feeling that radio used to give us. Mad Genius Radio combines the best aspects of radio, eliminates annoying ads and makes you the program director of your favorite station. We improve upon professional curation by empowering natural personalization, proving that the art of radio is more robust now than ever.”

Mad Genius Radio’s patent-pending algorithm is based on rotation, and not correlation, which leads to a personalized – but never predictable – listening experience. Nearly 100 human-curated genres fit every listener’s preferences, activity and mood. But rather than having to pick just one category, Mad Genius users can combine up to seven genres – with hundreds of songs in rotation – at a time. A unique 0-10 sliding scale adjusts how much of each genre will play, while a 0-5 rating scale determines how often each artist or song will rotate.

“Mad Genius Radio was designed to sound great with or without comments from the listener, just like a well-programmed radio station,” added Neumann.

“I’ve been an obsessive music fan since I was 4 years old,” said Kristin Clemons, Mad Genius Radio listener. “I had tried all the other Internet music apps, and had dismissed them long before finding Mad Genius Radio, as they just didn’t have what I was looking for. Since finding Mad Genius Radio, I continue to be amazed at the variety, the personal control, the simplicity and the fun that the player gives me when I listen. Its comprehensive music library is astounding, and the ability to have such detailed control over what I listen to day-to-day, or even hour-to-hour, is something you’ll find nowhere else. I will never listen to another music app other than Mad Genius Radio. It’s the total package.”

With the release of Mad Genius Radio, key industry differentiators of this platform include:

  • True personalization: Within the Mad Genius Radio platform, users can adjust how much of a genre they want to hear by adjusting its slider from 0-10. Additionally, users can adjust the rotation of songs and artists with 0-5 ratings. Ratings can be made as songs play, on the History page, or on artist pages. And with the Request feature, listeners can search and rate an artist’s entire collection. Rated music is filtered into the mix with its own unique slider, which allows the user to control whether and how much their requests play. These features enable hyper-personal customization that cannot be achieved by the thumbs up, thumbs down approach to music ratings.
  • Genres for every taste, activity and mood: Along with the traditional genres of music, Mad Genius Radio curates playlists according to mood, including “Get S&*%! Done,” “All Amp’ed Up,” and “Rainy Day.”
  • Time Machine feature: Listeners can pick a genre and travel back to a specific time period to experience radio as it was back in the day. For example, users can select the Adult Alternative genre and summer of 1993 to mix the elements of nostalgia with the surprise of more familiar but less-often played tracks, plus the discovery of songs they may have missed.

To download Mad Genius Radio, visit the App Store, Google Play or www.madgeniusradio.com.

About Mad Genius Radio

Mad Genius Radio, the ultimate personalized radio, combines music people love with discovery and surprise—without the annoying ads. The subscription-based player, founded on the principle that manually creating playlists is too time-consuming and leads to listener burnout, lets listeners mix professionally curated genres and rate songs and artists, rather than the standard binary correlation radio that leads to boring, stale and soon abandoned playlists. Available on iOS, Android, and desktop, Mad Genius Radio delivers an infinite playlist to listeners that want personal, not predictable, radio. To learn more, visit: www.madgeniusradio.com.

New Jabra Solemate Max Breaks the Wireless Sound Barrier

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jabraJabra has announced the imminent arrival of a new addition to its Solemate portable speaker family. Designed for wireless music, the chic, greyscale Jabra Solemate Max is stylish enough to complement your living room and it’s fitted with Jabra’s trademark rugged speaker sole so you can take it outside for summer barbecues, rooftop parties or trips to the park. Just pick it up by the handle and let your music follow you. Jabra teamed up with Dolby to include a Sound Space Expander that surrounds you with superb stereo so you can hear every instrument clearly and immerse yourself in a richer sound experience.

Solemate Max is available this November at Best Buy and Future Shop stores with a RRP of $329.99.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Unmatched wireless sound in a portable speaker for music in your home and outdoors
  • A high-tech design that looks as good in your living room as it does out in the garden
  • Hi-fi sound with two tweeters, two woofers and a custom-designed proprietary bass
  • Experience your music and YouTube content in full-spectrum Dolby sound via exclusive Jabra Sound App
  • No wires and easy pairing with Bluetooth or NFC
  • Up to 14 hours of battery life
  • Wireless portability – get the highest quality audio from any Bluetooth device within 10 meters (33 feet)
  • Durable design – dirt, dust and water resistance lets you venture beyond the living room

About Jabra

Jabra is the brand name of GN Netcom, a subsidiary of GN Store Nord A/S (GN), listed on NASDAQ OMX. Jabra employs approximately 925 people worldwide and, in 2013, produced an annual revenue which amounted to DKK 2,612 million. Jabra is a world leader in the development, manufacturing and marketing of a broad range of communications and audio solutions. With a reputation for innovation, reliability, and ease of use that goes back more than two decades, Jabra’s consumer and business divisions produce corded and wireless headsets, plus mobile and in-office speakerphones that empower individuals and businesses through increased freedom of movement, comfort, and functionality.

VIZIO HDTVs and Audio Collection now available in Canada

Vizio

VIZIO, the #1 Smart TV and Sound Bar company in the U.S., announced last week the viziotwoCanadian availability of its award-winning portfolio of HDTV and audio products at Best Buy and Future Shop locations throughout Canada as well as online at bestbuy.ca and futureshop.ca.  Consumers can now visit retail locations across Canada to experience VIZIO’s best-in-class technologies for themselves.  Whether in the market for a new HDTV for the living room, or interested in a sound bar to upgrade their home theater, Canadian consumers will appreciate VIZIO’s attainable, beautifully simple products backed by North America-based customer support.

Canadian consumers can now find VIZIO’s popular E- and M-Series Full-Array LED Smart TVs and a range of award-winning audio solutions, including VIZIO’s 2.1 and 5.1 Sound Bars Systems and 2.1 Sound Stand, at retail locations nationwide. Whether looking to buy at retail or browsing before shopping online, Canadian consumers now have access to an informative in-store experience at Best Buy Canada and Future Shop retail locations.

The inviting, interactive VIZIO-branded displays in-store feature both VIZIO E- and M-Series Smart TVs as well as various audio offerings, allow consumers to see, listen and learn about VIZIO’s award-winning technologies before purchasing.

“VIZIO is excited to bring our brand promise of quality, innovation, value and support to Canadian consumers,” said Lily Knowles, Vice President of Product Marketing. “From an outstanding in-store experience, to a newly designed Canadian VIZIO website and national television advertising campaign, VIZIO is committed to Canadian consumers.  Its our mission to engage new VIZIO fans and make sure they get properly acquainted with VIZIO and learn about our technologies so they can make an informed decision.”

Once consumers have a chance to visualize what VIZIO product(s) will work best in their homes, they can go in-store with help from the “Find A Retailer” feature on VIZIO.ca for the full, hands-on experience.  Depending on the site a consumer visits, a VIZIO brand wall may occupy anywhere from an 8- to 12-foot-wide wall in all 135 Future Shop stores nationwide and up to 32-foot-wide section in all 72 Best Buy Canada destinations.  In addition to one-on-one interaction with VIZIO Smart TVs and audio products, consumers also have access to trained Blue Shirts at Best Buy and sales associates at Future Shop to walk them through the benefits of each VIZIO product.

“With Best Buy and Future Shop positioned as Canada’s top two retailers of consumer electronics and lifestyle goods, we’re excited to bring VIZIO’s award-winning product line to Canada,” said Jason Abrams, Director of Televisions, Best Buy Canada and Future Shop. “We are very proud to offer VIZIO’s HDTVs and audio solutions to our customers through leading store networks as well as online and mobile capabilities.”

All VIZIO Smart TVs offered in Canada feature the VIZIO Internet Apps Plus® platform, bringing apps such as Netflix, YouTube, Yahoo! News, Flickr, Crackle and more, right into the living room, bedroom or den. An app dock overlays the bottom of the screen giving consumers quick, at-a-glance access to seven of their favorite apps, without interrupting on-screen content.  With the selected app in center focus of the display, users can easily view the previous three and next three apps in the carousel for faster navigation.

VIZIO audio solutions serve as the perfect complement for today’s slim HDTVs and bring superior surround sound and new convenience features to any room in the house. From the VIZIO 54″ 5.1 Home Theater Sound Bar System with Wireless Subwoofer designed for consumers with HDTVs 55″ and larger, to the VIZIO 2.1 Sound Stand which offers room-filling audio in a compact form factor, VIZIO brings a variety of options to consumers looking to upgrade their audio experience or create a personal home theater. VIZIO’s 2.1 Sound Stand was recognized by Digital Trends with a 2014 Best of CES Awards nomination in the home audio category, while Sound & Vision chose VIZIO’s 42″ 2.1 Home Theater Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer as a 2013 Top Pick of the Year.

VIZIO sound bars include an intuitive and easy-to-use remote which features a built-in LCD screen, allowing users to easily adjust input, turn on Bluetooth pairing, enable/disable audio technologies, or select other audio settings. The entire VIZIO audio line-up comes equipped with convenient Bluetooth technologies for streaming music, even when the TV is off, and includes all necessary cables for a quick, hassle-free set-up right out of the box.

About VIZIO

VIZIO, Inc. is headquartered in Irvine, California. VIZIO skyrocketed to the #1 shipper of LCD television in North America in Q2 20071, within five years from their first shipment, and has been in the top 3 ever since2. VIZIO is now also America’s #1 Smart TV company5 and large size LCD TV company3. VIZIO is also the #1 Sound Bar Brand in the U.S4. For over a decade, VIZIO has remained committed to what it does best — focus on the consumer to deliver visionary products at a great value. The brand is consistently recognized for excellence in customer service, and was awarded 19 Stevie Awards, including the Grand Stevie Award in the 8th Annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. VIZIO offers a broad range of award-winning consumer electronics that now include PCs and mobility products.

JBL synchros deliver PureBass audio bliss

jbl synchros

HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated, is expanding its award winning JBL portfolio with the new line-up of JBL® Synchros headphones. From in-ear to around-the-ear, the new JBL Synchros E-Series headphones combine JBL engineering with innovative features sure to complement every lifestyle and every way of listening.

“Our JBL Synchros headphones combine unbelievably powerful sound with innovative design and features,” said Michael Mauser, president, Lifestyle Division, HARMAN. “Whether at your desk, in your home, at the gym or on the go, the best headphones seamlessly blend the best audio quality with comfort and features that reflect your lifestyle. The full line of new JBL Synchros E-Series headphones deliver exactly that.”

JBL Synchros E50BT around-ear headphones: With your first listen, you’ll know why these innovative headphones walked away with a 2014 Red Dot Design Award. Bask in bold JBL sound: huge 50 mm drivers with JBL PureBass performance envelop your ears, delivering an expansive soundstage with the clarity and precision of a 10 Hz to 24 kHz frequency range. Bluetooth technology allows wireless connectivity with your smart devices. Integrated ShareMe™ technology lets you take your music social, streaming music wirelessly to another JBL ShareMe™ equipped headphone, while Bluetooth multipoint connectivity enables you to pair seamlessly to two other devices. A single control button provides a pure connection for clear hands-free calling. A built-in rechargeable Lithium-ion battery keeps the sound going with 18 hours of uninterrupted playtime. The ergonomic headband and 3-D hinges provide long lasting comfort without fatigue. Soft leatherette ear cups cradle your ears for all-day comfort while providing a heightened level of passive noise reduction. The JBL Synchros E50BT’s sleek design and five unique color combinations make a visual statement that’s as striking as its sound.

http://rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&nou=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=vancogadge02-20&o=15&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=B009IKCFRE

JBL Synchros E40BT on-ear headphones with Bluetooth: Take JBL’s signature sound with PureBass performance to the next level with the convenience of Bluetooth technology. Winner of a prestigious 2014 Red Dot Design Award, the JBL Synchros E40BT is not just the perfect complement to your smartphone or tablet. It’s also a social hub; a touch of the ear cup activates ShareMe™ functionality, streaming your content to another JBL ShareMe™ enabled headphone to turn your music into a concert for two. With premium 40 mm drivers, the sound is full spectrum with uninhibited clarity, uncompromising highs and expansive lows thanks to their wide 10 Hz to 24 kHz frequency response. The built-in, USB-rechargeable Lithium-ion battery provides best-in-class 16 hours of uninterrupted listening, with an included aux cable for passive listening. The JBL Synchros E40BT keeps you connected, not tied down. Seamlessly shift your connection between multiple devices with Bluetooth multipoint pairing, as well as transition from music listening to a phone call with the simple touch of a button. The ear cup-based microphone with echo-cancellation technology allows hands-free calling with clear voice transmission. Soft, leatherette ear cushions shut out noise from the outside world while they cradle your ears for all-day listening comfort and the ergonomically designed headband with 3D aluminum swivel hinges align the ear pads for perfect fit and ultimate wearability.

JBL Synchros E30 on-ear headphones: You’re mobile, busy, connected; always somewhere between a call, a tweet or an email. The JBL Synchros E30’s are well suited to your busy lifestyle and help you make the most of your leisure time. Winner of a prestigious 2104 Red Dot Design Award, this next-generation on-ear headphone features JBL’s legendary sonic DNA, mobile-friendly controls and cutting-edge advanced styling. 30 mm drivers and JBL PureBass performance take your music to the next level, with broad frequency response and distortion-free bass you can feel. Slip on these head-hugging phones and relax into plush cushions that embrace your ears. Their distinctive 3-D swivel hinges with aluminum accents ensure freedom of movement, and a choice of five vibrant colors express your personality. The detachable, OS-agnostic cable with inline remote/microphone puts total control at your fingertips.

JBL Synchros E10 in-ear headphones: Who says great things don’t come in small packages? Along with the convenience and portability of an in-ear headphone, you get full-spectrum sound, a comfortable secure fit, smartphone- and tablet-friendly features, and JBL Signature Sound with PureBass performance delivered directly to your ears by the 8 mm drivers. The E10 lightweight advanced design is not just style, unique angled ear-tubes and optimal fit reduces ambient noise to let you hear things they way they were intended to be heard. The one-button inline remote/microphone takes care of telephone calls, and the included handy carrying case takes good care of everything else.

Pricing and Availability
For additional information on the JBL Synchros E10 (MSRP $39.95), E30 (MSRP $79.95), E40BT (MSRP $99.95) and E50BT (MSRP $149.95) headphones, or to purchase, visit www.JBL.com

 

About HARMAN
HARMAN (NYSE: HAR) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and integrated control solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets.   With 15 leading brands, including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson ®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a global workforce of 15,200 people and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last 12 months ended March 31, 2014.

© 2014 HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Harman Kardon, JBL, Lexicon, Infinity, and Mark Levinson are trademarks of HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated, registered in the United States and/or other countries. PureBass, is a trademark of HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated. The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by HARMAN is under license. Features, specifications and appearance are subject to change without notice.

SOURCE HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated

Pioneer Home Theatre Receivers have advanced smartphone and computer connectivity options

VSX-824

Pioneer Electronics of Canada Inc. ensures its products meet the demands of these rapid changes, and this week introduced four Pioneer® branded home theater receivers designed to support the most up-to-date high quality audio and video formats.

The VSX-824 5.2-channel and VSX-1024 and VSX-1124 7.2-channel receivers offer the latest connectivity and performance features to make any home theater listening and viewing experience truly exceptional, including the recently announced HDMI 2.0 specification for the highest video signal transfer, Roku Ready® certification, ESS SABRE® Premier Audio DAC, multi-channel high-resolution playback, and Pioneer’s proprietary iControlAV5 App.

“Pioneer’s AV Receivers have become Canada’s most popular line of AVR due to a strong combination of audio/video performance and leading edge connectivity”, says Andrew Murphy, director of Marketing for Pioneer Electronics of Canada.

The VSX-524-K lists for $329.99 and is arriving in stores late June.VSX-524-K_reg And, available in July across Canada: VSX-824-K ($459.99), VSX-1024-K ($549.99), VSX-1124-K (699.99). VSX-524-K has the power to perform. Highlights include: 4 HDMI inputs, 5 Channel Discrete Amplifier Design, with MCACC Auto Room Calibration.

Advanced Connectivity

  • HDMI 2.0 – Pioneer incorporates HDMI 2.0 into its line of receivers, bringing the latest advances in consumer entertainment into the home. Finalized in September 2013, version 2.0 of the HDMI specification offers a significant increase in signal bandwidth, now up to 18Gbps. The increased bandwidth provides support for new features such as 4K60p 4:4:4 color support1. The 4:4:4 color support offers viewers the highest quality color reproduction available in content today when images are displayed on compatible 4K televisions screens. The ability to pass through a very high bandwidth signal without downgrading the image means that Pioneer receivers will serve as the perfect entertainment hub.
  • Roku Ready Certified – All models are Roku Ready certified, expanding the user’s world of entertainment with access to more than 1,000 entertainment channels of streaming movies, music, TV shows, news, sports and more. Utilizing the receiver’s built-in MHL® Connection relocated to the rear of the 2014 receivers, users can simply plug-in a Roku Streaming Stick™ to start using the device. For added convenience, Pioneer receivers offer full control of the service from a Roku stick via the receiver’s remote control and iControlAV5 app.
  • Music Enthusiast – Offering a diversified listening experience, the receivers have access to today’s most popular Internet radio music services including Spotify, PANDORA® and vTuner®. In addition, Pioneer incorporates the seamless connectivity standards of HTC Connect™ that enables wireless high quality music files to be shared between compatible HTC One™ smartphonesand Pioneer receivers.

Enhanced Performance

  • ESS SABRE Premier Audio DAC – The VSX-1124 incorporates the ES9006S DAC (192kHz/24-bit) to bring true professional digital audio into the home for unparalleled audio performance. The new DAC produces outstanding sound quality with warm, more natural sound reproduction, as well as a linear response resulting in audio with substantially less jitter.
  • Advanced MCACC with Subwoofer EQ – Pioneer developed its MCACC® technology more than 10 years ago with the help of professional recording studios. Advanced MCACC built into the new models helps create the best acoustic environment for movies and music. The receivers use a microphone (included) and a subwoofer EQ (new for 2014 on the VSX-1124) to compensate for differences in speaker sizes, output levels, and distances from the user’s listening positions automatically.
  • 4K2K Ultra HD 60P Video Up-Scaling – The VSX-1124 supports the next generation 4K2K Ultra HD resolution standard to help give the highest quality video image available, with the ability to pass through 4K video signals of up to 60 frames per second to any HDMI 2.0-equipped 4K display. It can also upscale lower resolution signals before delivery to make them viewable on compatible 4K Ultra HD displays.
  • Multi-Channel High Resolution Music Playback – Strengthening a commitment to high-resolution music playback beyond two channels, Pioneer added playback support for 96kHz 24-Bit 5.0- and 5.1-channel FLAC and WAV files on the VSX-1124. The receiver also supports other high-resolution music files including AIFF, WAV, FLAC, DSD (2.8 MHz), Apple Lossless, MP3, WMA and AAC, offering broad support for the most common high-resolution music. Gapless playback for many of these file formats is supported as well. In addition, Pioneer’s MCACC room calibration works with high-resolution music playback.

Simplified Operability

  • iControlAV5 Application – Pioneer developed iControlAV5, a new app enabling wireless control of the features and functionalities of 2012, 2013 and 2014 line of the receivers from the convenience of various portable digital devices. The app incorporates multiple controls from basic volume adjustments and input selection to advanced features such as equalizer adjustments and management of audio settings and modes, including full control of the Roku Streaming Stick. With the VSX-1124, iControlAV5 adds AV Scaling, enabling manual override of a television’s native setting for easy adjustment of video scaling. The app is available at no cost from www.AppStore.com or the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The app is also available in Google® Play (www.GooglePlay.com) for Android devices.
  • AVNavigator Built-In – Pioneer’s AVNavigator is a two-way interactive owner’s manual that removes the complications of setting up a receiver. New for 2014, the VSX-1124 features AVNavigator built-in, eliminating the need to upload the software to a computer or laptop. Simply connect the receiver to a home network and launch the web browser. The functionality is also included in the iControlAV5 app where users can tap the AVNavigator icon in the application. AVNavigator features Pioneer’s Wiring Navi application, providing an interactive guide walking the user through the entire receiver setup process including speaker arrangement, sound optimization, connecting sources, MCACC calibration, renaming inputs, and more. AVNavigator also includes an Interactive Operation Guide application providing a linked two-way operation guide that gives users a way to learn about the receiver’s features (i.e. a push of the standard surround button on the front of the receiver takes the user directly to the portion of the manual that explains the standard surround feature).

About Pioneer Electronics Canada

For over 75  years, Pioneer has been a preeminent manufacturer of high performance audio and video equipment for the home, car, bike and business  markets in the consumer electronics industry. Its auto division is the leader in Canada for audio/navigation  products. Long-standing partnerships and collaborations with the creative community have provided Pioneer unique insight in its quest to capture the purity of a movie or musical artist’s original vision into its broad range of home entertainment products. The company’s brands include Pioneer® and Elite®.

Jabra Sport Wireless+ review

JabraSportWirelessPlus

Having used the Jabra Sport Wireless+ headphones since February, I have a confession to make. I’m not switching back to regular headphones!

Cutting the headphone cable has been a great move for me as it’s now so easy to listen to music and not be cabled to my Apple devices.

At first it was a challenge trying to hook the headphones on my ears and configure them via bluetooth in my iPhone. Jabra Sport Wireless+ headphones should be charged every 4 hours or so of usage so a few of my workouts have been without music because I have forgotten to charge and have run out of batteries. Sometimes the headphones do fall out of my ears despite the guarantee from Jabra. I haven’t tried switching between the three sizes of ear gels provided as they come with small, medium, and large.

Once you get past these little hiccups it’s smooth sailing with the Jabra Sport Wireless+. The sound is great and both treble and bass are easily noticeable and more than adequate.

Product specifications are always a big part of any technology blog review as well so let’s dive right into those.

Connectivity

  • Wireless Technology: Bluetooth™ for wireless connectivity
  • Supports Bluetooth® version 3.0
  • AVRCP You can control your music from this device when it’s streaming from another device, such as your mobile phone

Music Streaming

  • Device can stream music from a source, such as a Smartphone, Bluetooth enabled laptop, tablet, or MP3 player
  • Omni Directional/noise filter enhances call clarity by eliminating background noise from the office
  • Mute gives you the option to mute/unmute the microphone directly on the device

Battery & Power
 Talk Time

  • 
Talk Time is the most time you can talk before a device runs out of power. The Jabra Sport Wireless+ is up to 4 hours of usage
  • Standby Time: Up to 120 hour(s)
Standby Time is the most time a device can stay powered on

Design

  • Wearing Style: Behind-the-ear
Behind-the-ear wearing style
  • Ear Cushion Type:Large (L) sized ear gels, Medium (M) sized ear gels, Small (S) sized ear gels