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The ultimate audio-gadget gift guide for Father’s Day

May 5, 2011 • Gadgets and Gaming

Father’s Day is a long-standing tradition – a day specially dedicated to thanking your Dad for all he has done for you by spoiling him with a nice gift. Why not pull out all the stops this year and really spoil him by getting him the ultimate in Father’s Day gifts? Ryno Goosen, product specialist on new technologies for leading audio and visual distributor,  HFX Systems, offers a few suggestions that any techno geek, gadget-appreciating dad would go wild for.

A concert for one with the P5 Mobile Hi-Fi Headphones

Bowers & Wilkins’ P5 Headphones (Image: file photo)

Bowers & Wilkins’ recently launched, first ever P5 headphones are designed for use on the move – giving them access to the best sound quality wherever they are. Some 45 years of audio experience has gone into the P5; close to five-decades of research into what true sound is. Recognising that many mobile headphones can be tiring when listened to over extended periods; Bowers & Wilkins’ engineers have worked tirelessly to produce a headphone with a natural, unfatiguing performance. The use of specially developed ultra-linear neodymium magnets and highly optimised mylar diaphragms provide the best possible sound quality. As always, countless hours of critical listening and tuning have played a major part in the P5’s natural and engaging performance.

This pristine sound performance is married to design and construction techniques aimed at isolating as much noise as possible, for consumers that do not require full electronic noise cancellation. This isolation is achieved through a combination of the closed-back design featuring a rigid metal faceplate, and the sealed-leather ear pads. These materials not only remove a lot of external noise, providing an enveloping listening experience without completely removing the user’s sense of place, they also offer an extremely comfortable user experience. The leather-clad headband has been designed for extreme comfort where it interfaces with the side of the head, while the softest available sheep’s leather from New Zealand has been used for the ear pads.

Recognising the dominance of Apple’s iPod and iPhone in the portable media market, the P5 comes supplied with a “Made For iPod”-approved cable, which allows for speech and device control. It also comes supplied with a high-quality, standard audio cable with gold-plated plugs. Switching between the two is facilitated by the magnetically attached ear pads, which simply pop off allowing access to the cable.

The Bowers & Wilkins P5 Headphones retail for R2 499,00 a pair from B&W Loudspeakers SA (0861 000 861). Visit www.bwloudspeakers.co.za for a retailer closest to you.

MM-1 brings Hi-Fi sound to your desktop

MM-1 Desktop Speakers (Image: file photo)

Bowers & Wilkins’ MM-1 desktop speakers offer desk-bound entertainment fans the audio performance their collection deserves. Whether it’s music, video or games – the MM-1’s performance will revolutionise the experience. The MM-1 draws on close to five decades of experience in audio excellence. Unlike many desktop solutions, the MM-1 is a serious hi-fi speaker: a full range, active, near field monitor, with two separate drive units including an aluminium dome tweeter for a refined treble performance.

Key proprietary Bowers & Wilkins technologies such as Nautilus Tube Loaded tweeters find their way into a speaker of this type for the first time. And new DSP technologies such as Bowers & Wilkins’ own Dynamic EQ, maximises bass output, and allows the MM-1 to provide full range sound without the need to resort to a subwoofer. The MM-1 also has advantages for private listening, thanks to its high-quality headphone output. Audio from a computer passes through the MM-1’s DSP and into its headphone socket to produce a sound that’s a dramatic improvement over a standard PC or Mac headphone output.

Design, build and materials are very much up to the premium quality Bowers & Wilkins’ demanding customers are accustomed to. The MM-1 itself is an incredibly attractive, yet discreet piece of engineering, while the choice of materials and build quality are of class-leading quality. User-friendly features such as the integral cable management system make for a remarkable package, and the MM-1 comes supplied with a pebble remote control that provides intuitive control over the speaker, and also works within iTunes and Windows Media Player on a Mac or PC.

The MM-1 desktop speakers retail for R4 990,00 a pair from B&W Loudspeakers SA (0861 000 861). Visit www.bwloudspeakers.co.za for a retailer closest to you.

The Zeppelin Air – a premium iPod speaker system featuring Apple’s AirPlay

The Zeppelin Air (Image: file photo)

The recently launched Zeppelin Air is the ultimate AirPlay wireless audio system with completely updated drive units and advanced Digital Signal Processing, plus fully integrated AirPlay technology so users can easily stream music wirelessly from their iTunes, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

Three years ago the original multi-award winning Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin redefined what could be expected from an iPod speaker system. Now, Zeppelin Air provides another seismic shift in audio performance, design and functionality with completely updated drive units, up-rated amplification and the latest in Digital Signal Processing to deliver improved sound quality. And while Zeppelin’s iconic shape has been retained, subtly updated styling help modernise this design classic.

The improved sonic performance is complemented by a collection of new features, foremost among which is the inclusion of new AirPlay technology. AirPlay also lets users create an easy to set up multi-room system with iTunes on Mac or PC, delivering music to multiple Zeppelin Airs around the house. The best sounding Zeppelin yet, Zeppelin Air features dramatic changes over previous models. It’s a fully active 2.1 design, which means that all five units are individually driven by dedicated audiophile amplifiers, which are specially designed by Bowers & Wilkins. The improved 4x25W + 1x50W output powers updated drive units, for a truly room-filling performance.

Zeppelin Air also features Bowers & Wilkins Flowport technology and advanced Digital Signal Processing in the form of Dynamic EQ; these combine with a significantly upgraded port for dramatically improved bass performance. The DACs have also been upgraded, with 24bit-96KHz capability for compatibility with emerging high-quality audio formats. AirPlay requires iTunes 10.1 or later and iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 4.2 or later.

The Zeppelin Air retails for R5 990,00 and is available from B&W Loudspeakers SA (0861 000 861). Visit www.bwloudspeakers.co.za for a retailer closest to you.

Simplify his life with the RTI T3-V touch-screen universal remote control

The RTI T3-V system controller (Image: file photo)

Representing the pinnacle of elegance, the T3-V is the second generation of the award-winning T3 handheld system controller. Wrapped in a new contemporary design, the T3-V adds a host of new features. Experience the eye-popping colour of the 3.5” VGA touch-screen – the highest resolution display available. This allows for graphic detail so fine, it seems life-like. The addition of wireless Ethernet and a built-in web browser allows the user to access web pages, IP addressable devices and utilize IP control for web based integration applications.

Like never before, the T3-V places powerful, stylish control in the palm of your hand.

The T3-V is a powerhouse of control wrapped in a stylish, ergonomic design. It builds on the original award winning concept with improved aesthetics, button layout, graphics, and communication options. Designed to satisfy the most discriminating user, it boasts custom graphics that come to life in sizzling colour and clarity. The addition of a full VGA resolution, high contrast LCD display allows the T3-V to showcase graphics, photos, and web pages with detail that was simply not possible before. Also enhanced, the new assortment of hard buttons provides tactile feel and control of commonly used functions, including a three-way rocker switch for scrolling list navigation.

Other new features include the addition of 802.11 wireless Ethernet and a built-in web browser allowing the user to access web pages, and utilize IP control for integration applications. A larger capacity battery is supplied with the T3-V to provide extended battery life and uninterrupted use over longer periods. The T3-V is more than just a universal remote control – it’s an expandable control system. When used with the available RTI automation devices, the T3-V is capable of RF transmission through walls and cabinets, power sensing for reliable operation, and RS-232 communications for advanced control.

The T3-V universal remote control retails at R12 990,00, and is available from HFX Systems (www.hfxsystems.com).

By Angela Meadon

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