Tivoli Audio adds five new products to its family

If there is one thing Tivoli knows about, it’s radio, after all their original Model One redefined table top radio as we know it. That said, there’s no such thing as perfection and with this new batch of releases Tivoli has tweaked its two leading products and expanded its audio pedigree into other related areas.

Tivoli-Pal-BT

First off, the legendary vintage looking Tivoli Audio Model One BT has become Bluetoothed allowing it to talk wirelessly to any of your compatible music devices. With an 8 metre range and a pairing capacity of up to 8 devices, the Audio Model One BT, with its chunky tuner and front speaker will turn a table into a conversation piece. £199.

Next up is the Model One’s posher cousin the Tivoli Audio PAL BT. All sleek and trendy, this tried and tested rechargeable  portable radio has also been given the Bluetooth treatment, so wireless streaming and an all weather case to boot. £239.

In a slight departure from its now familiar range, Tivoli has created the Audio BluCon a standalone bluetooth receiver which will bring wireless streaming audio to any device equipped with an auxiliary input.   £99

With the Audio Radio Silenz Tivoli has crossed over into headphone territory, maintaining its reputation for a great build and high quality sonics. This is a pair of over ear phones that are clearly related to the Model One’s familiar wood finish, with their own tidy set of wooden veneer trims over the ear pieces. Coming in three colours, ash, walnut and cherry, these active noise cancelling phones also carry a muting button so you can hear someone talking to you if you need to. A very nice touch.

Lastly, the free to download Radio App contains a 100 music stations and 10 categorised genres specially chosen by Tivoli from suggestions from its online community. Available from the App Store and Google Play.

Onkyo CR-N755: Spotify ready and willing to stream

It seems those harmonious home audio wizards Onkyo  have been hard at work cooking up another winner. Having been concentrating up to now on building quality mid market systems, they’ve now turned their efforts to the mini hi fi market.

Onkyo-CS-N755

The CR-N755 is a mini hifi receiver mini system and in true Onkyo fashion is fitted with 96 kHz/24-bit optical and coaxial digital inputs and a 192 kHz/24-bit DAC for high-resolution audio. Three-Stage Inverted Darlington Circuitry amplifies incoming signals while Onkyo’s Phase-Matching Bass Boost system ensures mid range clarity and a strong low-frequency presence, whatever the volume. Another high-end inclusion is VLSC noise-mitigation technology, which helps the onboard DAC to filter digital noise from the audio.

The genius part, is it’s able to network streaming music serives, so Spotify, Last fm, vTuner and AUPEO! can all be accessed, plus a plethora of internet radio stations. Now, I’m an internet radio convert, no hysterical or banal presenters, just 24 hours of uninterrupted music and the CR-N755 is the perfect platform to get it from. Better still you can download apps to your smart phone to browse these services and then play the stream through your network. You access your LAN via a standard cable connection, however there is an optional UWF-1 adapter. Talking of optional items, you can also get a pair of two way bookshelf speakers for an extra £150.

The mini receiver also caters for other media sources; the front loading cd player, the AM/FM tuner and finally a USB port for an iPhone, iPod, or flash-memory device. So all the bases covered then. This is a pocket rocket that packs a quality punch too.

Onkyo CR-N755 – Network CD Hi-Fi Mini Receiver with Spotify (available in black or silver) – £300. Additional D-055 speakers £150. Wi fi adapter £50.

All available from September 2012.

Onkyo CR-555DAB Hi-Fi Mini Receiver: Not too shabby

Home audio manufacturing monster Onkyo has introduced its boss new CR-555DAB Hi-Fi Mini Receiver, a quality personal audio player packed to the brim with some tasty high-end technology offered up at a not-too-shabby price (see below) with a nice black or silver finish fit for the office, living room or bedroom. Bow chicka wow wow!

CR-555DAB

Offering a wide selection of audio inputs, as well as the requisite top-mounted iPod/iPhone dock, front-loading CD tray, and FM tuner, the receiver features a USB port to accept flash-memory devices, playback is easily controlled using the system remote. Super-sweet, so far, then.

Audio enthusiasts (most of you, then?) can enjoy decent high-resolution playback, with a 96 kHz/24-bit optical or coaxial input directing the signal to the receiver’s 192 kHz/24-bit DAC. These inputs offer a convenient way to connect a PC and enjoy iTunes libraries, online audio streams, or movie downloads with sexy immersive sound.

Three analogue sockets enable connection of practically any electronic audio device, but the coolest feature here is the DAB/DAB+ tuner. With a big 40-station preset memory, the digital radio function opens up a great wide world of programming entertainment for the user to enjoy at the simple touch of a button (are you excited yet? Are you!). Naturally, there is also a dedicated subwoofer pre-out should the user wish to add ground-shaking impact – we here at LatestGadgets HQ full endorse this, of course!

As well as adding a DAB/DAB+ radio tuner to its feature set, the CR-555DAB boosts core audio performance by incorporating the same three-stage amplification technology currently driving Onkyo’s top-shelf A/V receivers and hi-fi separates. The delightful “inverted” Darlington circuit design uses proprietary technology to amplify the incoming signal in three distinct stages, reducing distortion and faithfully preserving the natural character of the recording.

Just like its high-end siblings, both channels on the CR-555DAB are symmetrically laid out, with short signal paths between amplifier and power supply to reduce interference. This uniformity eliminates errors between channels, cuts noise levels, and improves the unit’s ability to deliver well-separated stereo sound. Love it!

Another advance comes in the form of a Phase-Matching Bass Boost system (it’s as useful as it sounds, folks). While most mini systems offer some form of bass enhancement, most are prone to the effects of phase-shifting, which can overwhelm mid-range frequencies and muddy the sound. Onkyo’s phase-matching bass solution preserves that all-important mid-range clarity – allowing vocals and strings to shine, while maintaining a powerful low-frequency presence at all volumes.

Onkyo will also be offering the receiver in a complete system, partnered with its D-055 speakers (CS-555DAB). Using N-OMF (New Onkyo Micro Fibre) speaker cones made of moulded layers of aramid and lightweight non-woven cotton, these provide the stiffness for a faster, more accurate response. This durable material combines with a bullet-shaped equaliser to absorb vibrations and enable very precise audio reproduction. What a beast!

The CR-555DAB CD Hi-Fi Mini Receiver is out in August priced £250 while the CS-555DAB – CD Hi-Fi Mini System with FM/DAB+ tuner, and D-055 2-way speakers (black or silver) has a price to be confirmed but will see light in August.

For more information visit the Onkyo website: http://www.onkyo.com.

Trophy Cuddler Audio: Furniture just got more interesting

If you find it hard to get your other half enthused about sofa shopping, maybe this couch from DFS might spark his interest. You’re probably wondering why a site like Latest Gadgets is talking about couches, so let us enlighten you.

Trophy-Cuddler-Audio-Sofa

The DFS Trophy Cuddler Audio Sofa is a two-people sized couch that also features a built-in iPod entertainment dock with Bluetooth connectivity and USB port, speakers and subwoofer.
Is this starting to make sense now?

The Built in entertainment dock is exclusive to DFS and features iPod/iPhone/MP3 dock, USB port, auxiliary port, SD card slot & Bluetooth connectivity. The Trophy Cuddler also has the benefit of built-in speakers and subwoofer.

Now for the furniture stuff – it comes with metal feet or dark or light wood feet and has a 10-ear frame and springs guarantee.

Until the end of June the sofa is on offer at £699 (after that date it will costs £1,398)

We’re not convinced we’d go out of our way to buy one, but if you’re after a new sofa anyway, it’s certainly worth trying one out.

Available in DFS stores or order online at: www.dfs.co.uk

The Elite QSP takes current dumping to another level

Back in the ‘30’s Peter Walker was the go to man in audio electronics. A true British audio pioneer he created the QUAD system, an acronym for “Quality Unit Amplifier Domestic” and ever since then, the QUAD brand has become synonymous with high quality domestic sound systems. Completing the history lesson, the curiously named ‘current dumping’ technology was introduced in the 70’s, a process that combined twin stereo amplifiers working together with a precision pre amp network to throw out class A sonic power and quality as well as controlling power to the speakers.

Quad-QSP

With such a pedigree, it’s no surprise then that QUAD has gone on to produce cutting edge sound systems albeit under various owners culminating in the Elite series, a top end range of solid state domestic audio.

With the new Elite QSP amplifier, the next generation amp from the much loved 909, the emphasis is clearly on producing clean, pure and powerful sonics using state of the art screening and audiophile grade components within a compact aluminium chassis that comes in at just 359X269mm. Despite its somewhat diminutive size, the Elite QSP still packs a punch, delivering 140 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 250 watts into 4 ohms, more than enough muscle to drive demanding speakers.

For the more ‘green’ focussed consumer, the QSP has a stand by function that consumes less than a watt of electricity. The amp can be put into standby via a button on the front panel, or via Amp Bus: QUAD?s proprietary cable system that carries both balanced audio and control signals to the QSP from other Elite components in the stable, such as the Elite Pre preamplifier and Elite CDP CD player/preamp, enabling the QSP to be switched to standby via remote control.

This is a sound system with a class pedigree, still retaining founder Pete Walker’s commitment to quality.

The Quad Elite QSP is available from February 2012 with an SRP of £1,199.95.

Pure i-20: Sound and vision from a PURE-ly simple dock

PURE has come up with a stylish iPod Dock so that you can play all the tunes on your music player through your hi-fi or AV system, as well as video through your TV.

The i-20 is a good-looking piece of black and steel kit that will take up minimal space, and allows you to use your existing speakers to deliver high-quality sound (through its Digital to Analogue Converter) for high-bit-rate compressed or uncompressed iPod tracks or radio.

Pure-i20

Unusually, it also offers video outputs so that any video stored on your iPod or iPhone can be viewed on a TV – it supports popular video formats including component, S-Video and composite. And to cut down on wires and chargers, the PURE i-20 charges your iPhone or iPod while it’s docked. A remote control is also supplied for easy control and navigation.

Anyone who is fed up with fiddling around with any new piece of kit to get it working well will be glad to know that PURE’s i-20 should offer a pretty painless solution. Unless you have a lot to spend, most available systems require you to stream your music or connecting a hi-fi without its own dock to the iPod using the 3.5mm jack. This method results in the sound getting squeezed.

Instead, uses PURE Clearsound digital end-to-end technology to produce its digital audio outputs, so that sound is not compromised when connected to a quality digital amplifier or hi-fi system. For its analogue output, the i-20 uses its Cirrus 4353 hi-fi quality DAC and high-precision low-jitter clock to deliver true hi-fi audio performance levels.

The PURE i-20 is stamped with Apple’s ‘made for iPhone’ and ‘Made for iPod’, which we guess means it’s got Steve Jobs’ seal of approval.

The PURE i-20 costs £74.99. For more go to www.pure.com

Panasonic DJS400, HX40 and HX45 DJ headphones: Supafly Hi-Fi

Panasonic are about to release some rather cool looking DJ headphones – DJ culture is slowly penetrating the mainstream and to this end they have three new fashionable headphones – DJS400, HX40 and HX45.

With headphones becoming a fashion statement, Panasonic have gone to town on the look and quality of the design and would look pride of place on any fashion conscious music-lover.

Panasonic-DJ-headphones

Compared to in ear buds, over ear headphones wipe the floor with their minimal cousins. The DJS400s come in white with an orange finish. Featuring Tuned Bass, a feature, which drowns out the background noise to give you a crisp, clean, punchy sound – something integral if you are a bedroom DJ or just want to a Hi-Fi quality sound through a pair for headphones.

The HX40s go for a more minimal design, even with the compact design. Panasonic has adapted a unique Hybrid Diaphragm. The speaker diaphragm (moving part) is made from soft material (PU) on its rim part, and hard material (PET) on its inner part. The combination of PUs smooth movement and PETs rigid sound vibration results in wide frequency range without distortion.

They both featured the clever swivel flat folding mechanism allowing both sets of headphones to be stored within a minimal space.

The HX45’s not only offers superb sound quality, but its sleek polished design is also highly desirable and creates the perfect match with iPhone and iPod classic. They have a comfortable Head pad and Soft Ear pad for long periods of use, HX45 are also adapted with synthetic leather head pad and ear pads. The noise isolating ear pads also contribute to the reproduction of Hi-Fi sounds.

If you’re a fashion conscious person and want some great sounding headphones, you can’t go wrong with any of Panasonic’s new range, whether you’re a DJ, someone who wants something more comfortable than ear buds or just want to look cool.