DIGITALLIFE SOUND &VI­SION

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

head­phones have of­ten been ac­cused of lack­ing a bit sound-wise, but I find lit­tle to com­plain about in that re­gard with the BeatsX Blue­tooth in-ear head­phones.

The spe­cial Ap­ple-made chip in­side also means pair­ing and con­nect­ing to iPhones, Macs, iPads, and Ap­ple Watches is mer­ci­fully free of the usual Blue­tooth faff. IF there’s a bet­ter bar­gain in the head­phone world than these beau­ties, I would be as­tounded. They sound amaz­ing – bet­ter than many more that are more than twice the cost. Ex­cep­tion­ally good value for money at a knock-down price.

high-def au­dio, piped di­rect to your ears by a pair of spe­cially de­signed 45mm drivers. They look cool, too, and of­fer an out­stand­ing 38 hours of play­back time on one charge, as well as a built in mic so you don’t have to miss that call when your ears-deep in your favourite playlist. THERE is noth­ing about this pair of cans that isn’t top class – your tunes will never have sounded bet­ter, and the noise can­celling is sec­ond to none. Also in­cludes a pas­sive lis­ten­ing mode, so you can keep on with the mu­sic even when the bat­tery is flat. Folds up tight PLAY a dig­i­tal gui­tar on the go with­out the has­sle of hav­ing to carry an ac­tual gui­tar with you. It might be great for prac­tic­ing, but that’s not all it’s good for – it’s a midi con­troller too, so if you can play the gui­tar, with the Jam­stik, pic­tured above, you can also play any other in­stru­ment, too – just as soon as you plug it into a com­puter. I WOULD rec­om­mend the Echo Dot, Ama­zon’s mini Alexa smart speaker that was just up­dated with bet­ter louder speak­ers – but they won’t be back in stock un­til af­ter Christ­mas, so pop­u­lar have they been. If you can’t wait till then, the Dot’s big brother, the Echo it­self, is rea­son­ably-priced and packs an even bet­ter sound. It’s the best way to get Alexa in your home in time for Christ­mas...

Sonos One is a fully-fledged Alexa-en­abled speaker, too, but adds sen­sa­tional sound qual­ity into the mix. If you’ll be lis­ten­ing to a lot of mu­sic, and care about how it sounds, this is the Alexa speaker to go for. Get two for a stereo pair. AT the time of writ­ing I can’t think of any­thing cooler than Teenage En­gi­neer­ing’s tiny pocket syn­the­siz­ers and sound gen­er­a­tors. They come in a va­ri­ety of flavours – drum ma­chines, se­quencers, sam­plers and more – and al­low you to cre­ate beats and tunes on the go. IT might be a bit pricey, but the Roli sys­tem of com­puter-con­trol­ling mu­si­cal in­stru­ments could be all you need to make the next hit. Com­bin­ing a key­board and a touch-sen­si­tive “block” you can play with taps and swipes, it works with any dig­i­tal au­dio work­sta­tion on any com­puter plat­form, and looks and sounds like it could be the fu­ture of mu­sic mak­ing… If the set is out of your price range, these com­po­nents and oth­ers are avail­able stand­alone.

THE one thing that an­noys me about to­day’s big-screen TVs is how they dom­i­nate the room when they’re off as well as on – great slabs of black plas­tic stand­ing like the 2001 obelisk in the cor­ner of your room. That’s why I love The Frame. Not only is it a su­perb TV, ex­celling at all the things a TV should, but it al­most looks bet­ter when it’s off – re­sem­bling a pic­ture frame. A se­ries of fine art paint­ings can be dis­played, and the dis­play is sen­si­tive to the am­bi­ent light, so it could ac­tu­ally pass for a paint­ing when turned off. IF you want a cheap way to make your TV smarter, look no fur­ther than this bar­gain stream­ing stick. Pow­ered by the ex­cel­lent Roku sys­tem, the NowTV stick ob­vi­ously gives you ac­cess to the con­tract-free Sky TV bun­dles on of­fer, and the re­cent ad­di­tion of Net­flix makes it a no brainer.

fu­ture of TV is apps, says Ap­ple, which is per­haps why its TV set top is start­ing to gain some trac­tion – there are lots of apps for it. Next year Ap­ple is ru­moured to be plan­ning to of­fer its own stream­ing TV show bun­dle and has in­vested in orig­i­nal pro­gram­ming with big names (Steven Spiel­berg and Oprah). THERE’S noth­ing like watch­ing a printed photo come to life be­fore your very eyes, and that’s ex­actly what you get with this lit­tle beauty. Fu­ji­film has cre­ated a tiny gem of mod­ern tech­nol­ogy with a retro twist – an in­stant cam­era for the In­sta­gram gen­er­a­tion.

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