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The Audio Jack Could Be Gone For Good

To the confusion and frustration of many iPhone 7 users, the lack of an audio jack is being seen as a step forward rather than back. With the advent of USB Type-C, audio will no longer require a 3.5mm headphone port. Instead, that data can be transmitted, along with videos and power, through Type-C.

USB Audio



The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) recently announced its awaited audio specifications for USB Type-C to end the reign of our beloved headphone jack so lets take a look at the new standard. Officially called the USB Audio Device Class 3.0, manufacturers that need to feed sound through USB Type-C ports are affected the most by it. Everything from PCs to phones is included and the USB-IF expects Type-C to be the “primary solution for all digital audio aplications, including headsets, mobile devices, docking stations, gaming set-ups, and VR solutions.”

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Phone Charging On The Go

Never again will the average skateboarder miss out on recording a sweet 12-stair or kickflip due to lack of battery life on the most popular recording device on the planet. With the revolutionary method of harnessing centripetal force, FluxTech Industries is looking to change the lives of millions of skaters across the world with the PowerBoard.

PowerBoard



While many have dreamt of the hover board since Marty McFly showed us its possibilities, the PowerBoard achieves a far greater feat. To understand this, lets look at some of the board’s functionality. Underneath, there is a thin panel covered in an adamantium shell. Inside the panel a unique architecture of circuits, capacitors, and Legos enables the board’s magnificent ability to convert each wheel’s centripetal force into electromagnetic energy with 120% efficiency, a magnitude completely unheard of in the physical world.

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Sony Branded USB Turntable

CES, 2016. Sony releases a USB turntable, named HX500. Sony will provide backup- software for the Mac and PC and it connects via USB. From there, you can send the DSD (Direct Stream Digital) copies to your computer or device. Of course Sony would prefer you to play them back on their Hi-Res-playing Sony Walkmans.

The DSD audio is a lossless audio quality that will sound more full and rich than your downloaded MP3 file. Andy why not, vinyl records have been making a big comeback the last couple of years.

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StarTech USB 3.0 & 4K DisplayPort Dock Station

The USB 3.0 / 4K display and dock station is ideal for the Bring Your Own Device work environment (BYOD).

Assuming you have a limited port laptop computer the StarTech dock station can expand your laptop screen and extend out to a 4K video feed needed. It doesn’t stop there with USB 3.0 port connectivity, and Ethernet connection.

The front side of the dock station also includes a USB charging port. You can avoid the inconvenience of a dead battery and make sure your mobile device is always ready to go, using the dock’s USB fast-charge and sync port. Plus, the always-on port supports device charging even when your laptop isn’t connected to the dock.

The dock station can act as a charging station unplugged as well, making it a very portable solution. A good fit for this product would be home-office where the work space is not that large, or class room where the budget isn’t there for a complete work station and a BYOD situation best applies.

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Tech Hack: Alesis IO Dock with USB Hub

The Alesis IO Dock is a great product for iPad musicians – this small hack makes it even greater. It overcomes one limitation of the IO Dock: You can’t simply hook it to a USB hub. So I decided to build in an additional hub – which allows me to hook up additional class-compliant interfaces like my M-Audio Axiom master keyboard, and power them via the hub. Yes, it works. No, it hasn’t been thoroughly tested yet. So try at your own risk. Full Tutorial (nice) Continue Reading

Apogee DUET2 USB Interface Device

Apogee’s Duet 2, a USB audio interface device now features a full-color OLED display to offer visual feedback for its multiple functions, including level metering, audio input / output and more. The Duet2 offers full 24-bit/192kHz recording, a configurable touch pad, Soft Limit technology, a breakout cable and Maestro 2 software, along with completely re-designed mic preamps, four balanced outputs, and an independent speaker. The Duet2 is best used for sound recording in a mic or directly plugged into the device. It uses a fully-redesigned breakout cable to convert its one I/O port into two mic (XLR) or two line/instrument (1/4-inch) preamps, and a click-free multi-function controller knob to assign gain up to 75dB. The visual display allows users to pick the perfect volume without distortion (along with monitoring phantom power and phase invert), and the Soft Limit technology previously found only in Apogee’s top-end gear now prevents digital clipping by instantly rounding off transient peaks before they hit the also-redesigned analog-to-digital converters. The unit also features up to four outputs, including: two balanced line outputs, up to 20dBu, along with separate speaker and headphone outs, allowing a user to monitor one source while sending another out — useful for Djs at live events, recording studios or spoken word. The configurable touch pads allow uses to quickly access output functions or switch headphone sources. Apogee Duet 2 costs $595 and will be available in April. It is designed exclusively for the Mac and works well with most popular music software, particularly Garageband and Logic. It also works with other music-creation suites like Live, Pro Tools and Cubase. Continue Reading

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