As the latest portable Bluetooth speaker from Damson, the Oyster cements itself as the brightest and boldest product yet to come from the Yorkshire company. The Oyster’s stylish and innovative design houses sophisticated technology consisting of two 2in front-facing 10W midrange drivers, two side-firing 1.5in tweeters and a rear passive radiator subwoofer. The dynamic sound is unrivalled delivering unbelievably balanced and clear audio.
Measuring just 230 x 100 x 116mm the Oyster is perfectly portable: small enough to be stowed in luggage yet large enough to handle impressive volume. With a staggering 12 hour battery life take the Oyster anywhere or keep it as a stylish permanent fixture in the home.
Boasting both simplicity in design and simplicity in function, the Oyster makes Bluetooth pairing effortless; simply, pair and play.
Check out the epic product video here.
FiiO E17 Alpen
The FiiO E17 has come out top trumps at the Editors’ Choice Awards for Sound + Vision Magazine. Rated as one of the 23 best audio and video products of 2012 the FiiO E17 proved its merit to the tough panel of editors.
The E17 is a portable headphone amplifier with an on board digital audio converter (DAC). So not only will the E17 take you lacklustre files and give them a huge volume boost but it will transform those files into an unrecognisably brilliant sound. With the ability to drive high powered headphones the E17 is all you need to give ordinary music files an audiophile makeover.
‘If that’s not enough for you, the E17 can also function as the brains of your desktop system. Via a docking connector, you can use the E17′s DAC to feed the the E09K desktop headphone amp [£109], which will provide all the current you might need for home listening. And you can pick up both units for significantly less than you’d spend on many comparable portable headphone amps alone. Now that’s a bargain.’ Sound + Vision
£199 – 32GB
£149 – 16GB
Cowon are a South Korean audio company best known in the UK for their audiophile media players. Now, with each player we are offering a free set of Cowon CE-1 headphones!
Cowon’s media players range from the X9 with its monster battery size capable of 110 hours play back to the Android enable Cowon Z2 – as well as everything in between!
Simply select the Buy Together option at the bottom of the Cowon product page and claim your free headphones!
From the award winning team behind the What Hi-Fi 5 star QSB USB desktop speakers, SoundScience have released a new animal of desktop sound to the audio world – the Frankenspiel 40 watt speakers.
Don’t let the name put you off. We’ve all heard of worse names for tech products and I definitely prefer a quirkily named set of speakers than a set of speakers with some convoluted series of letters and numbers that looks more like nuclear codes than a memorable name for a new product.
ANYWAY, these operate via the same way as the QSBs where they draw their power solely through a USB connection to your laptop or computer. This makes them very power efficient but surprisingly powerful speakers. 40 watts of stereo sound is impressive from something of this size and design.
Their size and design is what lends them their portability. Simply unplug, pack away in their carry case
and use elsewhere. High end portable sound in a small package for all your desktop devices. For more information click here.
Now with a name like ‘Advanced MP3 Players’ you know we’re not shy to bring you the very best in audio. Dealing in high end players such Cowon and Colorfly we know where to find the gold nuggets of the audio world. And we’ve found another. Enter the Astell and Kern AK100 portable audio system.
This little device looks to set the new sound bar over here at Amp3 Towers and we’re all getting a little excited. Firstly, think of it as a hi-fi, you know the ones that sit grandly in your living room that play out the most celestial sounds ever gifted to your ears? Well shrink that and all its sonic glory into an Astell and Kern type shape and there you have it – the Astell and Kern AK100 portable hi-fi.
What makes this the portable audio system of your dreams is its file support. It’s capable of playing Mastering Quality Sound files (MQS) from the likes of HDtracks.com as well as a lossless formats such as Ogg, FLAC, WAV, WMA, APE and MP3.
In true luxury player style the AK100 has a touch screen for navigating and a mighty Wolfson DAC. In not-so-luxury-player style it boasts impressive practical features such as playback time of up to 16 hours and expandable memory. With high end audio we too often find that, as a compromise to outstanding sound, the basics are lacking. Not so with the AK100,which is, quite simply, quite a considerate player.
For all the super techy stuff and to find out what those graphs are all about, check out the product page here. Or, if you’ve already been persuaded by the super retro cool looks, buy below.
We get quite a varied range of questions via our Technical Support phone line, and we’re more than happy to help where we can. We’ll feature some of the more regular questions in this newsletter in case any of the answers are of interest.
Can you tell me if 64GB SDXC cards are compatible with Cowon’s latest players such as the X9?
No, SDXC cards are not compatible with the current range of Cowon players that feature memory card slots, such as the X9 and the Z2.
The Cowon players are only currently compatible with SD and SDHC (High Capacity) cards up to 32GB in size, the new SDXC (eXtended Capacity) cards are not supported.
As the cards are electrically the same in terms of the socket type and connection it may be possible that they are supported in the future through updates to the firmware, but for the time being please be aware we have received no information regarding this possibility from Cowon themselves.
I can’t transfer music files to my Cowon Z2 from my Apple Mac computer, can you help?
This is a problem we have heard from a couple of customers and it comes down to the format used by Android on the Z2. On the Z2 the internal memory is formatted as an NTFS partition.
By default in MacOS X, NTFS partitions are set to read only, so you can view the files on the Z2 when you have it connected via USB but are unable to write/copy files onto the player.
There are settings in MacOS you can edit to allow read/write access by default, and a quick search on the internet will bring up guides to show how to do this. However, as we do not have any Apple Macs ourselves here at AMP3 so we are unable to test of the solutions we have found ourselves.
i.Fuzen iPhone 4 case
‘If you’ve been wondering what to treat your iPhone to for its birthday, this might just do the trick.’ Read the full wired.co.uk review here.
Wired.co.uk have rated the i.Fuzen case and given it a massive 7/10! The i.Fuzen iPhone4 case is a revolutionary piece of kit for any iPhone 4/4s user.
The i.Fuzen operates as a protective case, a charger and a headphone amplifier. Addressing all the shortcomings that any iPhone user will be well aware of, this beauty brings out the very best your phone has to offer. Almost double your battery life and enjoy your music as it should be heard through the amplifier. By extracting audio through the base of the phone the i.Fuzen makes it sound infinitely better.
‘Switching on the spare battery (there’s a button on the back) from a full charge stretched playing time to almost twice its normal length — so it’s well worth considering if you regularly find yourself out of juice when you’re out and about.’ wired.co.uk
GoPro HD Hero 2 – Outdoor Edition
GoPro make video cameras designed to film all the action of the most extreme sports. Whether you’re skiing and using it to capture every minute of a scary descent down an icy mountain or stopping to take pictures on the 11 megapixel camera, the GoPro HD Hero 2 is designed to withstand the harshest of conditions while recording some of your favourite memories.
Taking 170º wide angle 1080p video these experiences are captured in super high quality. At a rate of 10 photos per second you can choose between still and moving shots and relive those recorded moments in pristine clarity. The HD Hero 2 is the smallest, thinnest and most powerful HD camera in the world and its durable design withstands the extreme conditions it is capturing.
The HD Skeleton Housing protects the camera from the bumps and bangs that would normally damage a similarly high performing camera. The rechargeable lithium battery and up to 32GB of storage gives hours of recording time and charge for capturing high quality footage.
With the HD Hero 2 you simply attach and go.
Click here and check out this video to show the possibilities of the Go Pro HD Hero.
Our team are often asked about software that’s available for use with their MP3 and media players, so here’s some of the best software we’ve found and use ourselves.
Please note though we can’t offer support for third party software, but you should find all the help and assistance you need from the authors via their websites.
If you are looking for an audio editor then look no further than Goldwave. Giving the capability of editing, trimming, recording and manipulating audio this is a very versatile digital audio editor.
A free version is available to show what it can do, and a small fee will unlock the full time unlimited version.
Pazera Free MOV to AVI Converter (latest version v1.2)
If you’ve been getting to grips with some of the digital video cameras we have which record in Apple Quicktime (.mov) format it can be awkward to edit if you only have software for the more widely supported .avi format. After a bit of searching we found some ideal free software to convert between formats.
This utility easily lets you convert Quicktime .mov files into AVI and allows you to set the video and audio codecs and bitrates for the converted files. You can also crop the image and set the output resolution – useful if you are downscaling for playing back the file on a portable player.
Pazera Free MP4 to AVI Converter (latest version v1.3)
Also from the same author is a utility to convert from .mp4 video files to .avi, which I have found useful for converting YouTube videos.
Both of these utilities can be downloaded from http://download.cnet.com/windows/
Sony NWZ-Z1060 32GB
The Sony NWZ-Z1060 is the latest player from Sony that has been eagerly anticipated by the likes of us here at Amp3. A bigger screen and better video output make the Sony NWZ-Z1060 player great for videos; Android lets you browse and download a huge selection of apps and to top it all off, the sound has been improved to audiophile standard!
Sony has designed a high performing player engineered with technology that catapults it into the audiophile market directly competing with the likes of audiophile experts, Cowon. This is a seriously high tech player that will redefine your expectations of portable entertainment. A little larger than the previous A-series the Sony NWZ-Z1060 is just as sleek and boasts easy and efficient navigation.
The Sony NWZ-Z1060’s secret to success is in its audio output. What makes the output so good is the technology behind it all. To give you a taste of what Sony sound engineers have been up to, read below.
The Sony NWZ-Z1060 has been expertly engineered to reproduce sound with higher than ever noise and distortion reduction levels. S-Master MX technology typically used to power AV receivers, HiFi amplifiers and hi-end theatre systems, has been optimized for mobile devices where the Sony NWZ-Z1060 is the flagship model.
The Sony NWZ-Z1060 is available to pre order here for £274.