Audio News for February 16, 2016

First Headphones With Choice of Open or Closed Back –  Rock Jaw Audio has a new headphone, the Sentio, that is the world’s first which is able to switched between an open and a closed back simplyt by rotating the earcups. So you can have two types of sound experiences with one headset. The closed back of course blocks out most external noises, while the open back also some of them to come thru, giving a feeling that the band is playing in front of you, rather than playing in an empty room. There are two drivers in each earcup, one a 30mm and the other a 50mm. The starting level for the Sentio is about $185, and there is an additional Blutooth models  at about $36. $11 more will get you a headset too. The device is only on Kickstarter so far, with a couple weeks left and the headphones’ delivery to be expected in September.

Stream Your Tablet to the TV With Chromecast – The inexpensive Chromecast device will strem movies and TV shows from the Google Play store plus YouTube and other sources, but both Chromecast and your Android device must be on the same wireless network. The free Chromcast App (at the Google Play store) manages your Chromecast hardware and stream video to a connect TV screen. Just plug it into an available HDMI port or USB port to power it. Using the TV’s remote, switch the display input to Chromecast’s HDMI port and follow the setup instructions. Then you go to the Chromecast app on your tablet, tap the menu icon and select Cast Screen/Audio. The tablet will then display on the TV.

Sony’s PlayStation 4 Led January 2016 Hardware & Software Sales – The NPD Group found that PlayStation 4 – selling roughly 36 million units – also topped the console charts for 2015, beating out Microsoft’s Xbox One. Overall, there were $605 million sales of video game hardware, software and accessories in the US last month, a 4% decline year over year.

See Mars Sand Dunes With NASA Video – NASA’s Curiosity had been offering some cool 360-degree video images to check out. If you have any sort of VR helmet, such as the Google Cardboard viewer, it’s really awesome – as close as you can come to standing there on the surface of Mars. But just as a plain video it’s quite impressive. The closest dune is about 23 feet from Curiosity. The video had to use hardware compression of course, 720p resoution and a sloth-like 10 fps. It’s actually a bunch of still images spliced together as a giant panoramic image.

How to Shop for Music on Vinyl – The LA Weekly has a few tips on how to find high-quality classical and jazz on vinyl: Buy used; for jazz, go for these labels: Columbia, Blue Note, Verve; for classical go for Decca UK, EMI UK, Uercury and RCA Victor; pick a genre with the genre and explore; for jazz pick performers you like; nationalities and heritage are great clues; Know the Big Five American orchestras: NY, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Cleveland. Remember you’re at an advantage because many vinyl shoppers ignore these recordings.

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