December 2, 2015

Noctua introduces ‘chromax’ accessories

Noctua today officially introduced its chromax line of anti-vibration parts that give users the option of colour-customising their fans to match individual build colour schemes. Available in red, blue, green, yellow, black and white, the chromax versions of NA-SAV2 anti-vibration mounts and NA-SAVP1 anti-vibration pads are ideal for colour-coordinating Noctua’s black industrialPPC fans with other components and popular build themes such as all black, black & white, black & red or black & blue.

“The introduction of our redux and industrialPPC product lines marked a first step towards offering fans that fit in well with the typical colour schemes favoured by today’s overclockers and enthusiasts”, says Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). “With the new chromax line, we’re taking another step by allowing users to colour-customise their fans with red, blue, green, yellow, black or white anti-vibration parts.”

Whereas the new chromax edition NA-AV2 anti-vibration mounts fit all types of Noctua fans, including redux models, the NA-AVP1 anti-vibration pads fit all NF-F12, NF-S12A and NF-A14 models and are ideal for customising fans of the black industrialPPC line.

“When we introduced our industrialPPC series, we mainly had industrial clients in mind, but the fans have become surprisingly popular among overclockers and enthusiasts,” explains Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). “The new NA-SAVP1 kits now give them the option of matching their iPPC fans to various build themes by simply changing the supplied anti-vibration pads for chromax ones.”

Both the NA-SAV2 and NA-SAVP1 parts are made of premium-grade silicone that is extra soft and highly tearproof at the same time, thus combining efficient decoupling with excellent longevity and ease of use. While the NA-SAV2 kits include 20 anti-vibration mounts for 5 fans, the NA-SAVP1 kits include 16 anti-vibration pads for 2 fans.


Prices and availability

The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices for both the NA-SAV2 and the NA-SAVP1 are EUR 6.90 / USD 6.90. The following variants are currently shipping and will be available shortly:

NA-SAV2 chromax.blue
NA-SAV2 chromax.red
NA-SAV2 chromax.yellow
NA-SAV2 chromax.green
NA-SAV2 chromax.white
NA-SAV2 chromax.black

NA-SAVP1 chromax.blue
NA-SAVP1 chromax.red
NA-SAVP1 chromax.yellow
NA-SAVP1 chromax.green
NA-SAVP1 chromax.white
NA-SAVP1 chromax.black

November 19, 2015

Totem Acoustic launches the ARC digital amplifier Kickstarter campaign

Totem Acoustic from Montreal, Canada, just launched its first Kickstarter campaign to fund production of the first series of its new ARC amplifier. Since Totem is known primarily in the HiFi technology scene for its quality high-end speakers, the ARC represents a new adventure into the realm of amplifiers. The ARC is not just another HiFi amplifier, but possibly the first in line of a new generation of digital amplifiers. Totem likes to call it “The next generation of digital amps.” This amplifier allows all digital music to be played on a HiFi system with the sound quality of any large sound system. Totem is betting many music enthusiasts have been waiting for this advance for quite some time.


The ARC is a unique and amazingly simple receiver and amplifier that provides high-resolution USB audio streaming capabilities and high quality aptX Bluetooth audio, all in a single compact unit.

The ARC is revolutionary in that it allows Bluetooth audio wireless streaming from any digital device directly to almost any 8-ohm speaker system. Small and easy to use, all that is needed is a pair of speakers and the ARC. With the integrated Bluetooth audio wireless connection, the ARC works autonomously with a set of speakers and a smart phone. It can also be hooked up to a computer via USB. The ARC will thus act as a USB audio device, but will switch automatically to Bluetooth Audio if it is connected to a smart phone.

“Today most of the music we listen to is digital; it's on our phones, our laptops or streamed from the web. But there is gap, a missing link, when it comes to listening to our online music library or internet streaming music on a good HiFi system. As music passionate, we know that high-end quality is absolutely irreplaceable when it comes to a great listening experience and immersive sound. That’s why we created the ARC,” explains Gabriel Bull, Director of Technology at Totem Acoustic.

“All you need is a set of nice speakers and the ARC. Done. Now go ahead and play your music collection from your computer, smart phone, or any internet radio streaming on your existing HiFi setup or run out and get yourself some nice sounding speakers,” says Robert Valtierra, Research and Development Engineer in the field of Electronics and Embedded Systems and inventor of the ARC.


The Arc delivers great sound and musicality that can satisfy any audiophile.

The ARC is a game-changer in the well established HiFi world, altering every perspective by supplanting the need for equipment typically used today. Adjusting to the modern taste prevalent in the compact and digital world, the ARC delivers high performance for a moderate price. As a state-of-the-art Class D amplifier, the ARC operates silently without the need of a noisy cooling fan. All you hear is music.

The ARC is ultra-compact and space-friendly. Being the size of a book, it can be placed anywhere. Just connect it to your speakers and forget about it. The ARC has no buttons or knobs; it turns on automatically when you connect to it. With a total power of 120W, it runs at high efficiency thereby providing large amounts of audio output power while requiring very little space and without need for heat sinking.

The ARC is a fully-integrated amplifier system. Amplification is provided by the latest in Class-D amplifier technology. It is designed using digital inputs: USB Audio 2.0 and Bluetooth aptX Audio. The USB audio connection delivers professional audio quality sound, with 24-bit resolution and sampling rates up to 192 kHz. The Bluetooth connection can provide a "CD-quality" connection via aptX.



“This digital amp is capable of driving nearly all types of speakers while producing amazing sound, superb balance, great tone and detailed imaging. Just connect the Arc to your speakers. You need nothing more than your music. It’s that easy,” affirms Vince Bruzzese, Founder and President of Totem Acoustic.

Although the ARC performs very well on its own initiative, it is possible to customize sound with the free and optional ARC App. The ARC App allows for optimal sound control and is available for download on the iTunes App Store or Google Play™.


FEATURES AND SPECS


Built-in, powerful digital Class-D amplifier

Class-D. Maximal rated output 120W (2 x 60W into 8-ohms, THD+N<0.05% @ 1kHz) with both channels driven, 20 Hz-20 kHZ-AES17 measurement bandwidth.

Silent operation

As the amplifier does not produce any heat, there is no need for a noisy fan — all you hear is the music.

Full range output

The Arc allows for 2.1 installation to achieve more bass power. The optional and free Arc App allows for more subtle adjustment of frequencies.

Speaker connections

Push Gold plated posts

Auxiliary output

RCA type line-level output

Audio formats supported

All audio formats supported.

Internet radio supported

All streaming radios supported


Suggested retail price: $350 US

Kickstarter

Kinmini.com

November 18, 2015

Review: Clear-Coat Fusion Screen Protector

Glass screen protectors appears to be all the rage these days. There are so many on the market that it may be hard to choose one for your well valued phone. However, one of the more unique screen protectors is the Clear-Coat Fusion, which may be an odd decision since it is not glass unlike most of the other $30+ screen protectors.

The Fusion has some features that makes it stand out from the crowd: it is reusable and self healing, just to name a few.

Packaging and Presentation

Clear-Coat's packaging is pretty basic compared to other glass screen protector packaging. Inside it comes with all the necessities to put the screen protector on. You will find the usual microfiber cleaning cloth, alcohol wipes, the screen protector itself, and dust removal stickers.

Installation

Installing the Fusion was simple and straight forward. The included cleaning supplies did a great job at prepping my screen for the installation. After that, it's a simple peal-align-place-peal process. If there was an misalignment during installation, the removal stickers easily got it off the phone.


Protection and Durability

Although the Fusion does not have true edge to edge coverage, it does a great job covering up as much space as possible without touching the curve in the glass of the iPhone 6. Cut outs for Touch ID, front camera and front speaker assures normal functionality. The ambient light sensor also seems to be functioning normally.

The Fusion has a special self-healing layer on top of the bottom layer of material. This makes most scratches only temporary and they disappear in minutes, although deeper scratches are still permanent. This is one of the feature that makes this screen protector stand out from the competition. It also does a great job at shock absorbing since is is not glass and has more elasticity, so you’re less likely to shatter your screen upon impact. The flexible screen protector is great for removing and applying as it won’t shatter, unlike many other glass screen protectors that easily shatter upon removal.

Clear-Coat’s Fusion is also washable and reusable! You can simply wash the underside of the screen protector, shake to dry, and apply it if you ever need to reapply it. This is a really unique feature that really differentiate it from the competition, and very handy too. Gone are the days are dreading over a piece of dust getting under the glass during installation. However, I did find that trying to dry the screen protector after washing it did attract dust particles. Eventually, after three washes, I did manage to get the Fusion back on my phone, dust free.

Everyday Use

First off, the clarity on this screen protector is… amazing! If I didn’t see the outline of the screen protector on my iPhone, I couldn’t have guessed if there was one on it. The only downside to my daily experience with the Fusion is how it feels. Since it has a self-healing coating on top, it isn’t as smooth to the touch as glass screen protectors without the coating. I guess this is the tradeoff for the self-healing feature. It isn’t a huge problem, but it does make inputs feel a bit… sticky. For those with the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, it does make 3D touch harder to activate just by a little bit from my experience with it.





Overall, Clear-Coat’s Fusion screen protector is one of the best out there, in my opinion. The amazing clarity, self-healing, and reusable aspects of it makes it a very appealing one. In the sea of screen protectors, this one sure does stand out. The $34.99 USD(iPhone 6/6S) / $39.99USD(iPhone 6 Plus/6S Plus) does make this a rather pricey option, but I believe that the pros makes it worthy of your money. You can purchase Clear-Coat’s Fusion screen protector from their website http://www.clear-coat.com. For more information on how the screen protector is made, visit their blog here


September 8, 2015

Pioneer DJ Releases the HDJ-700 Headphones with Optimized Sound Reproduction


Pioneer DJ is proud to introduce a new pair of stylish headphones that look great and sound superb - the HDJ-700. The robust, fully enclosed HDJ-700 is fine-tuned to reproduce rich, clear mid-to-low frequencies for monitoring dance music, and has a simple, sleek design with color options to suit every style.

This latest addition takes inspiration from Pioneer DJ's top-flight headphones - the rotating ear cup with rubber grips enables easy one-ear monitoring, while the replaceable cable prolongs the life of the headphones. With soft, snug-fitting ear pads, and a sturdy, lightweight headband, DJs receive a comfortable fit as well as peace of mind that their headphones will stay in place.

Available in four designs - matte black, matte black with a gold or red stripe, and cool white - the HDJ-700 has a distinctive style of its own. The HDJ-700 will be available in late September 2015, with a retail price of $129.00.

KEY FEATURES OF THE HDJ-700 SERIES
  • Fine-tuned for clear mid-to-low frequencies and accurate monitoring: The HDJ-700's audio circuitry is optimized for monitoring dance music. Narrow ear pads and 40 mm driver units with rare earth magnets ensure a powerful bass sound, while a thicker than usual (19 micrometer) diaphragm and a copper-clad aluminium wire (CCAW) voice coil accurately reproduce kicks and snares.

  • Tough, durable build and replaceable cables: The HDJ-700 inherits a rugged, stainless steel headband from the HDJ-1500 to ensure a long life of service. The headphones come with two interchangeable side-mount cords: a 1.2m coiled cord - which extends to around 3m - and a 1m straight cord.

  • Soft ear cups for a snug, comfortable fit: Soft, textured polyurethane ear cups fit the ear snugly and ensure the DJ's comfort over long periods of use.

  • Design and rotatable ear cups inspired by the top-flight HDJ-2000MK2: Spin-finished aluminium hinges, a lightweight build and the sleek, stylish design are all inspired by Pioneer DJ's ever-popular flagship headphones. Plus, the HDJ-700's right earpiece can be rotated forwards or backwards by up to 60 degrees to enable one-ear monitoring, while the handy rubber grip makes it quick and easy to put the cup back in position.

For more information, visit the product page.

Cooler Master CM Storm Quick Fire XTi Available Worldwide


Cooler Master, a leading manufacturer of desktop components and peripherals, today announced the availability of Quick Fire XTi, a minimalistic mechanical gaming keyboard with multi-color backlighting for gamers built with 100% authentic Cherry MX switches.

A performance keyboard designed for gamers with a refined sense of style and sophistication. The XTi comes without any distracting logos and frivolous "button clutter" freeing up precious space on the keyboard. The Quick Fire XTi is a performance keyboard: A plug and play design makes sure that profiles, macros, and color backlighting modes, are all quickly and easily customizable without the need for complex software.

Gamers who enjoy minimalism will appreciate the sleek lines, refined symmetry and solid built quality of the Quick Fire XTi. Soft to the touch and long lasting, Quick Fire XTi has UV coated keys which delivers a luxurious experience while protecting the keys for durable, long-lasting game play. Now you can say goodbye to missing letters and unsightly, discolored keys. Choose between 100% authentic red, brown, or blue Cherry MX switches to match your tactile preference.

The Quick Fire XTi features dual color backlighting (red and blue) that can be mixed to give you up to 35 colors per key. Multiple lighting modes are included like wave, breathing, and unique responsive effects. Four profile keys allow you to record and switch between lighting modes instantly. Program multiple keystrokes to a single key or change per-key backlighting with intuitive keyboard commands. And you can do all this without the need for additional complex software.

Also, the Quick Fire XTi has 100% anti-ghosting with 104-key rollover over USB. This ensures that each key press is correctly detected regardless of how many other keys are being actuated. Never miss a beat and stay accurate even when your game gets fast and furious. Furthermore, Cooler Master will continue to provide updates like new LED lighting modes and keyboard functions on the Quick Fire XTi product page.

Quick Fire XTi comes with a detachable, braided, cloth cable that won't strain or fray. Underneath the Quick Fire XTi is a micro USB plug and a choice of 3 cable tracks (center, left, right) that secure the cable in place. Choose the track that suits you, so the cable won't ever get in your way or clutter up your desktop.

Pricing & Availability:
The Quick Fire XTi is expected to be available at local retailers in Europe from September 8th, 2015 for a suggested retail price of € 149,99.