It’s been a fairly long while since the last time an audio device made the headlines. Gone are the days when teenagers would do anything just to fit hefty Walkmans into their pockets on their way to town, or when the iPod changed the way we use and think of digital music. The name of the game is now convergence, and HD audio on its own is no longer a sexy enough feature for any hi-tech gadget that’s worth its salt.
This is, however, is only one side of the story. If audio and recording devices have never been as portable, affordable and performing, the cutting edge can still be found far from the limelight and high street retailers, offering great delights for audiophiles and gadget lovers alike.
Given how little the general public knows about the vast majority of recent releases in the audio world, we thought we’d share the knowledge and present five of the most unique and ambitious devices of the last few months. Hit or miss – you’re the judge…
Rocking your world
It fits into the tightest pocket and it allows you to send and play all of your digital music from your Rocki app to more old-fashioned devices with very little effort. The Rocki boasts a very unique shape and comes in 7 different colours. Can you think of a better partner in crime for the Spotify generation? TechRadar doesn’t seem to think so, and named the Rocki “Best Audio Accessory of 2014”.
Wait – didn’t we just say that the Walkman was a thing of the past? Well we still think it is, but it’s slowly coming back to haunt us. The ZX2 is the 21st century reincarnation of a 20th century hero. Perhaps not one you could have afforded in the 90’s, given its initial £949 price-tag. Hopefully, though, you’ve managed to find your way in life since then and can now afford such portable beast, complete with copper chassis and able to stream 24bit/192kHz files.
Sockets can record
Voice recorders have long been a journalist’s best friends. But the dark side of recording has grown exponentially in the digital age, and recording tools that were once a spy’s prerogative are now easily available on the internet. Among them, you can find audio spy devices the size of a paperclip, as well as socket strips capable of recording up to 576 hours of hi-quality audio. Maybe you’re not a spy yet, but one of these could still be a really good fit for your band’s rehearsal studio.
Bootlegs and co.
For all those who don’t need to hide while recording – the Sony PCM-M10 has earned praise for recording live music very well, so it will record anything else you can think of without an issue. It comes with 4GB internal memory which can be increased up to 64GB.
One more for the nostalgic: after taking the streets by storm in the 80’s, boomboxes are now back in a digital shape. Some producers, among which iHome, Philips and Sony are all riding the wave and offering some a range of quality offers below the £100 mark. Rather than convenience (we surely can think of more portable speakers!), these devices are all about the cool. Is there a slicker way to walk into a party than by carrying a bluetooth boombox with you?