Crowdfunded Hi-Fi Streamer Looks Like a Flask – The EchoBox Explorer X1 is a new portable audio player for listening to MP3s or streaming music from Spotify, Google, Apple, Tidal, YouTube or others. Echobox plans to sell it for $500, but early backers can request a unit by pledging of $249 or more. It uses a Rockship RK3188 processor, a 3700 mAh battery has 64BG of bult-in storage and a microSD card slot that supports up to 128GB of removable storage. It can handle lossless FLAC, WAV and AIFF, and what looks like the spot for the flask at the top is the volume dial and power button. It has a touchscreen, runs on Android 4.2 and comes with a three-month subscription to Tidal.
Another Kickstarter-funded TV Audio Device – is AfterMaster TV. Backed by Justin Timberlake, it helps TV dialogue to sound clearer and louder among loud music and other sounds and also improves the overall audio. It connects between the consumer’s AV source and their TV and boosts the full frequency range of audio without removing any other elements. You can set it and then forget it – it goes from genre to genre without sacrificing sound. It uses the world’s smallest high-powered DSP semiconductor chip, the BelaSigna 300 DSP, and is slightly larger than an iPhone. There is also a limited edition for mobile devices such as listening to music thru headphones.
Update of Google Chromecast – It is still only $35, and the lack of current wireless frequencies, lack of apps and a bit of a lag when when using the dongle have been fixed. The new version is dedicated to just streaming audio. It comes with Chromecast Audio, wich is dedicated to just streaming audio. The box includes the Dongle and power cords plus the added 3.5mm audio cable. The second generation is a lot less subtle than its predecessor; its large puck comes in Coral, Black or Yellow. The Audio Dongle comes with grooves to make it look like the grooves of a record. If you have to upgrade to Chromecast 2.0, the latest version, it walks you thru the setup on both your smartphone and big video screen. There are now hundreds of compatible apps and you’ll experience less crashes, and with Chromecast Audio, most Bluetooth speakers will start playing the moment you have connected to them. It supports 5.0GHz networks (the original only supported 2.4GHz). It’s an inexpensive way to connect to some speakers without the need for cables.
DTS Expansion of Play-Fi Wireless Audio Ecosystem – It includes new partners MartinLogan, McIntosh and Paradigm and existing partners Definitive Technology, Polk and Wren. The industry-leading selection of hardware choices has increased to 30 and includes speakers, soundbars and amps. Arcam will develop Play-Fi products in the coming months. The user interface has been completely redesigned and is clean, bright, streamlined and easy to use. On the custom installation front, a new media service provides seamless integration of Play-Fi into expanding home automation.