6 Audio Products That Might Be the Wave of the Future
Audioholics has been covering odd AV products for over 20 years. Some gadgets, like waterproof TV’s make sense. Who doesn’t want to catch up on today’s news while waking up in the morning? Try watching ‘Jaws’ while taking a bubble bath, it brings the film to a whole new level of terror. Some products, however, just don’t seem to make much sense. Many times, companies use outrageous claims and snake oil products to generate more revenue. We’ve addressed claims like Synergy in audio cables and had editorials on new technology and proven science, over the voodoo and hokum, but as PT Barnum once said, “A sucker is born every day”. By the way, do magnets and wooden risers really make speaker cables sound better?
But necessity is the mother of invention and the once dreamed technologies of yesterday are fast becoming today’s reality. Just 10 years ago wireless charging stations used to be a joke played on new employees. We asked them to get us a wireless extension cord which resulted in a wild goose chase. Now I have a wireless phone charger that looks like the Millennium Falcon.
Think of the most outrageous, ridiculous idea for audio equipment and then Google it. Chances are, someone has created a product based on your idea. Below are 6 REAL products. Some seem like science fiction; others just make you scratch your head and wonder why they were ever invented.
Ok, this one isn't half bad. If you don’t like the feel of earbuds inside your ear, or the pressure of over the ear headphones, how about a device that can “beam” audio right into your head? I’ve experienced focused speaker systems before. Usually the sound is transmitted from the ceiling and as you walk under them, you can hear what’s playing.
Now, audio company Noveto has a mini sound bar called the N1 that uses beamforming tech to direct binaural audio to one set of ears: the person sitting in front of the system. If you are sitting just a meter off the left or right side of the target person, there is a 90% reduction of sound, creating just a whisper for non-intended listeners. This could be a lifesaver for office cubicles, however this won’t help you if you’ve ever put your headphones on even though the batteries are dead so you don’t have to talk to the person next to you.
Bluetooth Shower Speaker
Waterproof speakers are nothing new. We reviewed the Ego Waterproof Speaker way back in 2007. Now kitchen and bathroom giant Kohler and audio legend Harman Kardon have combined to give you a showerhead that has a Bluetooth speaker built in. Like Dolby Atmos, the Moxie showerhead turns any shower into an immersive sensory experience. The Moxie showerhead even comes with Amazon Alexa built in, so you don’t have to worry about taking your phone into the shower with you to change tracks or volume. The Moxie waterproof speaker is detachable and portable, so you can take it with you.
Maybe the future will be a portable speaker showerhead that you can take with you that comes with pipeless water. Just imagine, you can bring it to the beach to listen to some tunes and then hold it over your head to wash away the salt.
Moxie’s tagline is “Let superior sound wash over you”. With a motto like that how could you go wrong? Just don’t play ambient rain background noise from it. That could get quite confusing…
Sound Isolating Microphones
Have you ever tried having a conversation with someone over the phone in a noisy room? Even the best gaming headphones with attached microphones let some noise in. Now Mutalk has their VR Microphone, which prevents sound leakage so people you are talking to can only hear your voice and no ambient noise around you. This product might NOT be for me. Between the headset and the microphone I would feel like a Borg at feeding time. For us real humans though, maybe they could add a beer port so you can take full advantage of the 10-hour battery life.
Air Purifier Headphones
Audioholics.com has had some “too close to home” experiences with Coronavirus which makes us slightly more than normal paranoid about the epidemic. Airvida may have us covered with their E1 air purification headphones. The purification system of the headphones is also reported to clean allergy causing particles from the air as well.
Negative ions around the user’s facial area which can disrupt and breakdown coronavirus’ carbon-hydrogen bond and inactivate them immediately.
The negative ions are reported to attach themselves to airborne particles, making them heavier and therefore fall onto the ground rather than being inhaled by the wearer. Like adding magnets to a product to make them better, anytime I see the words “negative ions” I get suspicious. For future reference, other words that annoy me are proprietary, paradigm (not the company, they're fine), and synergy.
Paper woofers we’ve heard of, entire speakers made of paper are a different story. Researchers at Germany’s Chemnitz University of Technology have come up with a new printing process that effectively and quickly churns out paper-thin speakers in form of long sheets called T-paper. These sheets can be mass-produced and made available for various consumer applications, including existing speaker technologies. The new engineering system consists of lamination, roll-to-roll printing, and contact poling for fabricating rolls of over 100m length T-paper. The electronics are integrated invisibly in a paper using inline polarization of piezoelectric polymer layers.
The researchers say that this lightweight, loudspeaker paper can be rolled to offer a 360-degree surround sound experience that’s highly immersive compared to a movie theater. If Audioholics gets a chance to do unbiased testing on these paper speakers, will James Larson have to do the test on a windless day? If not, we might have a new product. Kite speaker!
Portable Record Player
Just when Editorial writer Jerry Del Colliano has come to grips with getting rid of his prized vinyl collection, we find a product that might have changed his mind. The Victrola Revolution GO can play records from any era. The switchable three-speed operation lets you spin at 33-1/3, 45, or 78 revolutions per minute. It’s also semi-automatic. The platter stops spinning automatically, and the motor shuts off at the end of a record (although the tonearm must be returned to rest manually. Sigh).
The Revolution GO does come with two way Bluetooth, meaning you can stream digital files to the record player or stream the vinyl to an external Bluetooth speaker. The entire system is run off a built-in rechargeable battery with a reported playing time of 12 hours.
Unfortunately, this device is not truly a portable record player. You can’t listen to it while walking, biking, roller-skating, etc. You must hold it flat and perfectly still in order for it to work in this fashion. Unfortunately, the included strap and carrying handle are oriented for the vertical holding position. The removable dust cover doubles as a display stand for up to five records, so that’s a plus.
For those of you who frequent Audioholics and thought this was an April fools article with fake products, the jokes on you. All these products are currently on the market or are in the final stages of research and development.
Initially, the goal of this article was to create a list of products for you to determine which was real and which was fake. The problem came when every fictitious product turned out to be already on the market! Maybe I should have put in a fake set of headphones that you can change the volume and move through tracks using your brain. It would be like a neuron controlled wearable headset. We could have called it something like Neurable. Wait, that’s already a thing! Damn…
Confused about what AV Gear to buy or how to set it up? Join our Exclusive Audioholics E-Book Membership Program!
Recent Forum Posts:
gene, post: 1549810, member: 4348@gene You have a Working VCR!! Man I sure could use one of those! My oldest Son is holding a bunch of old VHS home movies for the 80's when they where lil children and of my Mom and Dad. He was gonna transfer all those VHS movies the digital. But lost has VHS player when his home got flooded back in 2016. I still have movies on VHS, the original Blade Runner first release, Animal House many more. Gene, would you know where I could pick up a VHS player? Enjoyed your YouTube video as usual it's always a good one. Thanks for sharing that with us on your website.
Breakthrough in Immersive Surround Sound right here, must try!
For those of you who frequent Audioholics and thought this was an April fools article with fake products, the jokes on you. All these products are currently on the market or are in the final stages of research and development.It's not a good look for the hi-fi industry when you can't even satirize it…
Replicant 7, post: 1549742, member: 96226
Gene is well known for dropping April fool's jokes been some pretty good ones in the past. The one for last year was one of his best, The Golden Ear, you guy's remember that one. Oh and the disappearing submarine..I laugh about that one when I think about it. @gene
Gene may be joking, but that Dyson headset is a real product I believe.