Audio

Timbre iPhone Amplifier.

The amplification of an audio source doesn’t always require electronics. Sometimes all you need is a well designed wooden box with the right acoustic properties. Case in point the Timbre Amplifier for your iPhone. Timbre by designer by Tyler Pratt is locally crafted from black walnut wood and is available in two finishes. The wooden amplifier provides up to 20 decibels in audio increase with no cords, no batteries, no wire. It looks nice, is well designed and provides good function with little visual intrusion.

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All About the Little Things.

I’m going to give a hat tip to Indian Motorcycles for being smart enough to get Mike Wolfe from American Pickers to be in their series of YouTube videos promoting the new bikes. I’m going to give Indian a big F circled in Red, and underlined for doing such an awful job on the audio production of these clips. Seriously guys, buy a wind sock for your microphones if your shooting outside, and who told you it was a good idea to mix Mike Wolfe exclusively on the right, and Greg Brew exclusively on the left?

Indian has spent a lot of money producing a series of videos to promote the rebirth of the brand, and the bikes. They have developed a nice looking YouTube channel to hold all of this content which is integrated with a dedicated website. The Indian site has a killer look that draws on the company heritage. The videos themselves have a nice look to them as well especially the promotional videos that were obviously produced by Indian’s Agency of Record. So it blows me away, that they would get Mike Wolfe to participate in a series of storytelling/brand building videos with their lead designer; and then they would drop the ball on a very important detail like the audio. I know most people won’t care, or even notice, but the crew that signed off on this stuff should have. It’s their job to pay attention to the small details that complete the package.

Now I don’t want to come off as “That Guy” so… The title cards look great, the opening screens look great, nice job on animating the type, solid editing and camera work… the audio just makes it hard for me to watch these.

A Little Bird Told Me About Wren Sound.

I hate wires. Specifically I hate coaxial cable, HDMI cords, speaker cables, and power cords. So, every time I find a wireless speaker system that promises to deliver superior sound quality and looks good too, I get a bit excited.

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Wren Sound Systems Mike Giffin, (Former Harman International Senior VP) along with a team of other industry veterans worked with product design and brand innovation firm, Ashcraft Design out of LA to develop the Wren V5AP. The system works with iOS, and Android devices to deliver room filling audio via WiFi in a stylish refined package.

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The Wren system is designed to reduce or eliminate resonance and coloration through a unique body design. Rosewood or bamboo veneers cover a half-inch laminated MDF board which sits on top of a 4mm low durometer silicone pad that stabilizes the chassis and absorbs cabinet vibration.  The face is wrapped in a unique internal diamond-matrix grille designed to protect the drivers without distorting the sound.

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Internally the speaker system uses an Intersil D2 50-watt DSP-controlled digital amplifier to power the wo long throw drivers with 4-layer voice coils and two widely spaced 19mm edge-driven soft dome tweeters. This allows you to play your music louder with less distortion.

The system has a great look with simple understated controls. It’s the kind of speaker system you don’t mind having out in a room because it looks so nice. At $399.00 it isn’t cheap, but it is on par with other systems like those from Bowers and Wilkens, and it’s far cheaper than Bang & Olufsen.

These Bluetooth Cans Look Great.

When you think of headphones, the phrase “sexy design” is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. Thanks to Harman Kardon, that might change. This is one sexy looking pair of Bluetooth headphones. Sleek retro styled over the ear cans, made with supple leather, and brushed stainless steel. Seriously, these look great. The tech specs on them aren’t bad either. 40 hours of wirless playback, full spectrum sound with a dynamic range of 16Hz to 20kHz from a 40mm driver. Harman Kardon has always delivered great design, and solid audio quality. They are a bit spendy but these look like a winner to me.

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