Wow, did I see some cool audio-related stuff today at CES (mostly in the South Hall). Wish I could write about all of it, but I selected a few of the cooler things I got to play with or do. One of which was to record a demo blues track using the little USB recording setup at Blue Microphones (check out the video above). Ok, kinda cool, but they showed me a demo from a real pro using their awesome Blue Mikey. A small accessory device that turns your iPod touch or iPhone into a mini recording studio (or say an interview recording device). I also found a charger that produces power by pulling on a string (called Yogen). Thirdly, I got to use a mouse that lets you control your Media PC or Mac from across the room without a flat surface--you wave it around in the air like a Wii controller. If that wasn't cool enough..oh well you get the idea....read on for more great gadgets and stuff I saw at CES today.
Ok, so the Blue Mic thing is probably one of the coolest things I saw today (at least iPhone/iPod accessory related), but the Shure guys also had some very cool headphones mics to check out. They also had a kick-ass DJ there spinnning some really good beats.
Shure Booth DJ...
The Shure line of headphones range from the high-end ear-bud type, up through DJ and recording studio models that are easily over $200 a set (SRH models). I listened to several types, and even checked out their new iPhone/iPod buds (SEII5m+, $150 MSRP), which also feature a control dongle with a built-in Mic, volume, music/video playback, and answer buttons.
The sound quality was amazing on them all, and I had my iPod touch handy of cxourse for on-the-spot recording.. Shure is also a reknowned maker of microphones, and have their own line of USB Mics as well. They briefly demoed their USB-XLR converter device (x2u), which allows you to record from any mic source to your Mac or PC.
The Blue Mic guys gave me a great demo of their stuff before I tried showing off my weak guitar chops...haha. Their techie and sales guys/gals were great and indulged me, but Tyler Barth (the BD dude) gave me a great demo on the latest iPhone/iPod app (free in the App store). The Blue Mikey is exceptional, and I'll be doing a full review certainly after CES.
The amazing thing about this is really the quality, but then if you knew how Blue Mics got it's start, you would understand they have been refurbing and innovating high-quality mics and working with recording technology for 15 years as a company. The experience goes back even further, as before the digital age of recording came about, the Blue Mics founders were experts at fixing and restoring the superior equipment from the 40's and 50's. Tyler demoed the latest Mikey unit, which also includes line-in and usb pass-through ports and a 230-degree rotating design.
Yogen Charger For Life
The Yogen guys actually came to us. We were chilling at the booth, and the owners son and a friend came walking by yanking on these things so I pulled them aside. I thought it was some weird new version of Guitar Hero or something, but found they were charging their phones while strolling around the hall. Cool! I went over to their booth and checked it out for myself, and grabbed a little charge while the owner briefed me. The Yogen charger is small, light, simple and effective. You yank a few times on the string in succession, (or for several minutes for a bigger charge), and you are slowly re-charging your iPod or phone without plugging in (a piece of molded plastic detaches and provides the puller). A fine idea, and the units are also well-made and warrantied for a year. What is really cool is you can charge non-iPhone stuff as well.
The Loop Mouse by Hillcrest Tech
This one I had to go to the Renaissance Hotel to see, but it was worth it. The Loop is essentially a hoop shaped mouse that you aim at your PC-connected widescreen display (I'm guessing after some kind of calibration). The mouse buttons and scrollwheel are located on top where you can use thumb access, and the scheme works rather well. The mouse is simple to use, and is very precise (though I was standing right in front of the screen). Works with both Mac and PC, and a must if you use your PC (connected to a big screen) as a media center.
ACCELL power strip/surge protectors and cables
Looking for smart, green tech that turns off power to your peripherals automatically when you shutdown your Mac or PC? ACCELL has the solution in their line of smart power strips/protectors. They also offer a line of high quality A/V cables compatible with iPod/iPhone...
Well, that's all for today I guess, but definitely stay tuned here for more great CES-related posts over the next few days.