The largest fundraiser of the Billings Depot came up with a new idea to light up the downtown.
The Billings Outdoor Lighting teamed up with a team of lighting specials from California to embellish five trees with up to 2,000 feet of permanent lights.
Sub-zero temperatures didn’t sway the crews to stop working on Wednesday, wrapping each tree to the top.
This initiative is part of the extensive neighborhood beautification project. The Depot has been putting efforts for this initiative for two years where the trees on Montana Avenue will be wrapped in light paired with wireless speakers.
As part of the realization of Depot’s project, they reached out to Bruce Brenon who’s the owner of Shine Illumination. The company is known as a professional lighting company. It’s based in San Juan Capistrano in the Southern part of California.
Brenon said that lighting is an easy way to add life inexpensively. “A fairly inexpensive way to do it without having to change the facade of the building and things like that,” he pointed out. He said the community of Billings possess varied beauty and elements that remind him of Kansas.
Creating a ‘wow factor’ to the downtown area is the pursuit of the project.
The owner of the Outdoor Lighting, Grant Fagg, said that he loves to see the revitalization going, and the project is just one of the steps they could do. “If we could get the majority of town to light up the trees, it’d be a unifying thing. It would bring people to Billings, and it would bring people to downtown,” Fagg continued.
To further expand the project, both Brenon, and Fagg will donate their time for the project before Saturday’s Taste of Billings Gala.
Brenon also works with Harvey Singh, a Depot Board Member, and an area businessman, to light up the front of his restaurant, the Seva Kitchen on North Broadway. He’s currently available for consultations for other areas that might need lighting solutions to make the establishment more alluring all year round.
The Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center is more than just a space for events. This 572,387 sq ft is beautifully set in the heart of Long Beach downtown business and shopping district and overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Recently, they made renovations in their Pacific Ballroom transforming this 40,000 sq ft space into a multi-functional event space. Now, what’s a convention and entertainment center without its audio capabilities? Of course, it’s useless.
Good thing that the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center reached out to TheatreDNA Creative to partner them in looking for a practical and possible future proof wireless speaker. The convention center proves to be a challenging feat for traditional audio set up.
The convention has thick walls and wiring through may be not only expensive but also impractical. Well, the convention’s walls are 14″ thick. There are also a lot of things that happen inside the convention, and simultaneous events happen almost every day. And quality audio is essential to create an atmosphere in the whole area.
Another challenge that the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center is facing is that it has condo units just at the end of it and cranking up the volume for the sound to reach the other end wouldn’t just do. So, it was up to TheatreDNA to find the right tool. Or partner. Then, came along Powersoft DEVA.
Powersoft’s Deva is the future of wireless speakers. Timeless and self-sustaining. As mentioned earlier, audio distribution is proven to be a hard task. There’s the cabling and digging and a whole lot of them. That’s why TheatreDNA chose DEVA, not because of its cost efficiency but because it can do more.
So what can DEVA do?
Well, for starters let’s discuss its ‘future proof’ properties. The DEVA is made out of materials that can withstand any weather condition. Its casing is made up of molded plastic with an IP65 rating.
This feature allows the speaker to last longer even in the harshest conditions. Plus, it can sustain and power itself with the use of its external solar panel.
The battery life of the solar panel can last up to 18 days without recharging.
Second, let’s talk about connectivity. Connecting from one speaker to another through cables and wires are now gone. They’re quite primitive now. With the DEVA, you can multi-connect the speakers through WI-FI technology or LAN. Each speaker has their unique IP address where you can control in their DEVA system manager interface. The WI-FI capacity of the DEVA is 802.1 1 a,b,g,n,d with 2.4 and 5 GHz capacity. The speaker is also compatible with most devices (PC, smartphones, and tablets).
Lastly, let’s bring to the table what sets the DEVA apart from the rest. Well, DEVA doesn’t just function as a speaker but also as CCTV. They have both audio messaging and video capturing features. The speaker has 100Hz – 16kHz +/-3db capacity and its amplifier are laced with a highly efficient Class D circuitry. The max sound pressure level can reach up to 115 dB/m. Mix wireless connectivity and this sound can allow you to stream announcements and music real-time.
As with the video capturing features, it has the capability of scanning large areas with a resolution of 752×582 pixels. It also has an infrared presence detector that analyzes its environment during night’s watch.
So that was the power product of Powersoft. TheatreDNA and the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center made the right call of acquiring these speakers. Aside from the fact that they are well-advanced, well-designed and well-engineered, it saves the developers time and just refocuses on what is important: making the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center one of the best places to go in California.
Beats by Dre teams up with UNDEFEATED to bring a series of products. The fierce vibe of tiger camouflage is the banner design that comes in shades of green, black, and white.
The collaboration of the two top teams includes a new set of a new Beats Pill+ speaker and UNDEFEATED BeatsX Earphones. Both of the products can be purchased in a unique colorway from the Apple online store.
The story behind UNDEFEATED is a part of the wider history of camouflage.Multi-levels of music, fashion, culture, and counterculture are transcended by this design. Across genres and generations, camo proves itself to belong in style.
It’s considered as a badge of honor by UNDEFEATED. This ‘badge’ is worn by people whose lives are according to their terms.
Beats’ Pill+ Speaker comes with the camouflage design for its speaker mesh. The model has a black middle section which allows the user to control it. This button features the well-known UNDEFEATED branding. The product comes with an olive green carrying case. This case isn’t usually included with a Beats Pill+ speaker.
For the third collaboration of UNDEFEATED and Beats by Dre, the first Beats Pill is also born. The product comes with a custom styled grill along with the first-ever customized BeatsX.
This limited edition collection gives out premium acoustics with the attitude and style of a streetwear’s convincing brand.
Apple’s Beats brand usually collaborates with celebrities, designers, and other companies to create special edition products. Apple has collaborated with Third Man, LINE FRIENDS, Balmain, Alexander Wang, MCM, and many more famous brands. The team-ups resulted in plausible products that the Apple fans had been enjoying.
Apple, a household name in the technology area, has recently announced that it’ll be releasing its very own HomePod on February 9, 2018. They’re also announcing that they’ll be accepting preorders for the device on January 26, 2018, Friday. The smart speaker will initially be on sale in the US, UK, and Australia. Then in France and Germany sometime in spring.
The company’s first ever smart speaker was initially set to go on sale before the end of the year 2017. However, production was delayed in mid-December. It meant missing a holiday season where millions of smart speakers were out on the market – but the area for voice-activated speakers just clearly got started.
At $349, Apple’s HomePod speaker plays a different market than of Google’s and Amazon’s much cheaper and tiny speakers. The HomePod is predicted to be at the same level as Sonos’ high-end wireless speaker rather than as one of the players of a plethora of inexpensive smart speakers which is flooding the market nowadays.
So what’s the hype about Apple’s HomePod all about? Here’s all you need to know about Apple’s latest innovation.
The Apple HomePod has surface sensors that send out a 360 beam of sound. Its 360 beam sound will detect any surfaces nearby. If it finds a shelf or a bookcase, it’ll use the wall behind that object to reflect a distinct sound level.
This feature is similar to the Sonos speakers with its multi-room audio function. The system solely relies on your audio source at a certain distance away from the smart speaker.
The HomePod automatically work out and connect whether another speaker is nearby, and balances the sound to make sure the two speakers work well. To pair your Apple device, all you have to do is hold it near the speaker just like how you do with AirPods.
When it comes to audio performance, Apple’s HomePod is far from subpar, as expected from an expensive wireless speaker. Its bass level may not hit your heart but is a bit higher than of Amazon’s and Google’s. With its beam sound sensor which is mentioned earlier, it can put any wireless surround speaker to shame.
Despite its delay, Apple still never fails to deliver quality and epic products. Apple has focused on music and sound quality, rather than banking on the speaker’s intelligence, which is the core focus of its competitors’ products. The speaker has an always-on voice assistant. But the implementation of Siri is more likely limited to what’s present on other devices.
A downside of the HomePod is that Apple has not made it clear on how the speaker will work on non-Apple devices. Voice assistant feature is also limited to specific categories of third-party integrations. The multi-room audio won’t be supported until later this year. They’ll be releasing it with a software update. This update also applies to the stereo playback, where when two HomePods are present in the same room, they connect automatically.
No matter the delays of development, we can never refute that Apple’s product is always worth the wait. They always deliver and when they deliver they don’t disappoint. So what are you waiting for? Make sure that you don’t miss this one out. Grab one on pre-order and enjoy Apple’s latest innovation.
If you’re thinking about buying a whole home audio system this season with the right supreme audio quality, and you don’t mind spending for a premium, then Sonos and Bose might be the top choices for you.
Bose and Sonos are brands that are of the same caliber when it comes to quality, features, and price. However, these audio brands may differ when it comes to the same things too.
So let’s check the differences of the Bose SoundLink Mini vs. Sonos Play:1.
In this review, we classify each brand to the following:
Design-wise, the Bose SoundLink Mini is pretty straightforward. The speaker is designed for simple usage, with a clear label on each control button on top. Like any other Bluetooth speakers, the Bose SoundLink Mini can stream audio wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet, plus any Bluetooth-enabled PC or audio player. The speaker can remember up to 6 devices. Plus, it automatically pairs with your device once it is in range.
For its size, it’s reasonably expected that it doesn’t have the same quality of a large speaker. It’s called mini for a reason. However, for a small speaker, it could make some other speaker brands a run for their money. The speaker delivers a clear sound quality with a deep bass. Bose’s engineers have to restrain a little bit so that there’ll be a minimal distortion if the speaker is put on full volume.
Although the Bose SoundLink Mini is a straightforward speaker with minimal features to boot, it makes up for its sound quality. Just like how a classic Bose product functions. If you’re the type who values audio quality over design, then this is the one for you.
The Sonos Play 1 is the best-looking Sonos speaker in the Sonos series. This wireless speaker has a signature look of the Sonos brand but adding just a little bit of stylish sizzle. Although the speaker is made of plastic, it doesn’t feel cheap at all. The Sonos Play:1 is heavy for its size and has no built-in battery.
You can control the speaker through its app, the Sonos Controller app. It’s available on Android, iOS, OS X, and Windows. Stream music from all major streaming sites and apps.
Plus, the Sonos Play:1 is expandable. You can connect other Sonos speakers to create an expansion of your current speakers.
The only downside is that the Sonos isn’t a portable Bluetooth speaker. You have to plug it into a power source to enjoy it.
The Play:1 is Sono’s first ‘mono’ speaker. There’s little stereo separation on other Sonos models, especially the Play:3. The speaker is ideal for a small room. But considering its size, it’s understandable.
One of the good things is that the speaker doesn’t distort even at full volume and has a right amount of bass even for its size.
The Play:1 is a good option for home entertainment because of its expandable features, but setting it up and expanding it can take up to ages to complete. To be fair, the Sonos Play:1 can naturally compete with other brands because of its audio quality and connectivity features.
For portability and excellent sound quality, the Bose SoundLink Mini may be the best choice for you. If you’re looking for exceptional quality, with a reasonable price and a stable speaker, then the Sonos Play:1 is all you need.
So who do you think won the battle of the Bose SoundLink Mini vs. Sonos Play:1? Pick one side or maybe pick both.
Wireless speakers available in the market give you a variety of options. You usually choose to buy a speaker that suits your personal preferences. Most wireless speakers have almost the same features and deciding which device to select can be a little challenging.
When an audio product is released on the market, people tend to compare it with another product. In this article, we compare two portable speakers from prominent audio brands – the Beats by Dre Pill XL and the JBL Flip 4.
Both wireless speakers come in a cylindrical shape. If you’re rooting one of these two wireless speakers then, let’s take this comparison to a higher level.
The JBL Flip 4 is covered with a durable fabric material. Its sizeable ends cups protect the item from any damages. This wireless speaker has oversized molded plastic buttons for adjusting the volume, playing/pausing music tracks, and a Bluetooth pairing button.
The JBL Flip 4 is great for outdoor activities. Since it’s IPX7 waterproof, this wireless speaker can work well with any weather condition. It’s also capable of submerging to water for 30 minutes at a depth of less than a meter.
The Beats Pill by Dr. Dre has allocated buttons for controlling your audio. However, Beats Pill isn’t waterproof. The design is comparable to an oversized pill. It looks perfectly cylindrical from the front with the back part that’s uniquely carved. Aside from being portable, the carved area also serves as part of the main base. The rear part of the speaker also houses most of the device controls.
The Beats Pill XL measures about 13 x 3.75 x 3.75 inches and weighs around 3.3 pounds, while the JBL Flip 4 measures 3.6 x 3.6 x 8.5 inches. In this case, the Beats Pill XL is apparently heavier than the JBL Flip 4 which weighs just 1.8 pounds.
It’s fair to say that battery life, is one of the most important features in choosing a wireless speaker. Longer playtimes usually are better, right?
The battery life of the JBL Flip 4 can play up to 12 hours of continuous music while the Beats Pill works up to 15 hours. Both wireless speakers battery life depends on the volume level. Playing music at lower volume levels helps save battery life. Although they differ in battery life, both speakers have a battery life indicator which is considered an essential feature.
The Beats By Dr. Dre Pill XL and the JBL Flip 4 are both wireless devices that allow you to have more freedom of movement. If you have non-Bluetooth devices that you want to connect, both wireless speakers also have a socket for a 3.5 mm audio jack. Each wireless speaker has one USB port. However, Bluetooth pairing using NFC is only supported by Beats by Dre Pill XL.
Unlike the original Beats Pill, the Beats Pill XL offers a better bass response. The treble response of this wireless speaker is also satisfying. When turning the volume to the maximum level, the Beats Pill XL doesn’t distort much. It’s also capable of limiting the frequencies produced when it gets too loud. You may observe that the speaker sometimes holds back to avoid distortion.
The Flip 4’s sound quality is very similar to the previous models, like the Flip 3. Many reviews have shown that the JBL Flip 4’s audio quality isn’t consistent. Some track sounds good, and other songs played sounds a bit pushed to its limits. Though the Flip 4 is little inconsistent with its bass response, the overall performance is still exceptional. The dual 40mm drivers are responsible for reproducing incredible sounds.
You can purchase JBL’s Flip 4 wireless speaker for $99.00, and it’s available in five colors: black, blue, grey, red and teal. The Beats by Dr. Dre Pill XL also comes in five colors: black, white, pink, metallic sky and titanium. You can purchase this item for $300.
Wireless technologies also have enabled audio to be transmitted from an audio source to speakers without cables seamlessly. However, some of us may wonder about this awesome audio functionality. How do these wireless devices connect to a receiver?
Most home theater systems require an AV receiver to pick up transmitted audio signals from its audio source. Read on if you want to know how do wireless speakers connect to a receiver.
There are two common ways on how wireless speakers connect to a receiver.
Bluetooth® is a very convenient technology that uses radio signals in the 2.4 to 2.485 GHz band range to exchange data wirelessly over a certain distance. The latest Bluetooth® version, Bluetooth 5, allows fast and seamless data transmission within a 240-meter (800 ft) operating range.
Bluetooth® is already integrated into most devices like smartphones, wireless speakers, home theater systems, and headphones. These gadgets are considered audio sources because they’re capable of storing data or audio files.
These Bluetooth-enabled devices can perform two functions in the wireless audio chain. They act as the source and the transmitter at the same time.
You can connect your receiver to wireless speakers and home theater systems by doing the following methods:
A Bluetooth transmitter is used to connect your receiver to your wireless speaker, hi-fi or home theater system.
To obtain a wireless audio connectivity, the transmitter is plugged into the headphone socket of the receiver. The receiver must be turned on by plugging it into a power source. Once the receiver is on, the transmitter then activated and the Bluetooth function of your wireless speaker is enabled. The two devices are then paired via Bluetooth connectivity to enjoy all your music wirelessly.
If your AV receiver features a USB port and a headphone input:
The headphone output from your source device is connected to the transmitter’s mini-jack input. You may need a 6.35 mm-to-mini-jack adapter for this option.
The transmitter is then activated by plugging it into the USB port of the receiver. The receiver and the wireless speaker is then paired via Bluetooth connectivity.
If your audio source doesn’t have a headphone output, you can use the RCA audio output located at the back of your receiver. You’ll need to use the RCA-to-mini-jack audio cable to connect your Bluetooth transmitter to the receiver. Then, enable the Bluetooth function of both devices and pair them to enjoy wireless audio/visual experience.
Some wireless devices offer wireless connectivity without using Bluetooth technology. Most of these devices use WiFi connectivity and require analog or digital outputs.
With the use of RCA audio cables, the audio output of your device is attached to the audio input of your AV receiver. Then on the receiver, select the proper input channel and adjust your audio settings using the audio functions available on the AV receiver.
Once the setup is complete, connect the devices using WiFi connectivity. Then, you can use an app in your audio source to manage your audio tracks and enjoy an uninterrupted wireless streaming.
These methods are usually found in the user manuals of your wireless devices or your AV receiver. Read them carefully so you can set up your devices correctly and enjoy a wireless audio experience.
Xbox is a household name, one that can compete with the gaming and entertainment industry. It has developed, housed and partnered with the best in the gaming industry. Xbox has partnered with Razer, Astro, Plantronics and Turtle Beach for their wired audio accessories.
Now, Xbox has made a massive leap with their audio and entertainment gear. They’ve recently joined the Wireless Speaker and Audio Association, in the hopes of making another milestone in the gaming industry while ramping up their game.
This pairing may seem odd, but it makes perfect sense because WiSA is an organization that aims to bring high-res and wireless multichannel audio products into the home theater market. WiSA currently has more than 30 members and partner brands signed up and actively working to develop the world of wireless audio.
Why is the partnership a significant benefit?
Gamers, enthusiasts, and casual users know that Xbox unveiled the Xbox One X – the most powerful and with advanced specs console up to date. This partnership could also entice other audio brands looking to tie their products into a source of content wirelessly. It’s also an added benefit for Xbox as it explores options in creating an incredibly captivating and engaging gaming experience through wireless audio solutions. By bringing Xbox as one of the leading video game brands under the WiSA organization, WiSA gives Xbox and the company’s members direct access to the team and vice versa.
In incorporating WiSA’s technology on their consoles, Xbox has the opportunity to open up an entirely new experience of wireless audio for gamers.
This partnership allows Xbox to create a wireless audio system that accommodates their needs and can improve over time of research and development.
This partnership with WiSA could be a stepping stone to higher and advanced wireless audio solutions. WiSA allows the possibility of a simple-setup wireless sound solution that’s versatile to any space and has a wide range of products.
WiSA has interoperability, which means that they have the ability of computer systems or software to exchange and make use of information. This capability allows users to “feel assured” that all WiSA certified components from all brands under them would work seamlessly with one another.
WiSA-certified products guarantee users that multi-channel setups will flow with low latency. Sound reproduction will come as crisp and clear as what’s intended and guaranteed.
Indeed Xbox’s partnership with WiSA is a wise move by both companies. They’re creating a world-class experience for gamers worldwide. What an excellent day to be a gamer, indeed.
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Alexa lit the match that sparked the battle of smart speakers. Google obliged. Soon enough, Siri completed the triad of the most coveted product of today’s technology.
But before the clash of smart speakers evoked, Thomas Edison had no idea that his experiment that involved tinfoil-coated cylinder with two needles would result in today’s plethora of audio of music recording and ultimate audio experience.
The marriage of music and technology
As the society continues to enjoy the latest developments of high-resolution sound and wireless streaming, it’s fair enough to look back at the audio formats before the dawn of wireless speakers.
As the turntable can be traced back in the late 1800s, it was until the 20th century when an audio component became relevant in every home. The record player made it possible to preserve music. Users may revisit it anytime even if it’s limited to playing 78 and 45 rpm records.
The radio was the rock star of the 30s. It may be considered parallel to today’s internet since radio revolutionized the way society consumed music. The radio was essential to every living as it kept families together with the entertainment that it brought. It may be considered as the nation’s first mass medium. In the US, it used to broadcast 599 stations.
The primary role of this technology mainly evolved in improving the home audio quality. It ought to provide a listening experience that mimics the resonance of a live orchestra. Harman Kardon took the challenge of developing the first stereo receiver that combined the radio tuner with broader FM bandwidth, pre-amplifier, and amplifier into a chassis. This development paved the Golden Age of Hi-Fi.
This audio component may be considered as a failure. But, let’s acknowledge how these analog magnetic tapes were a great commercial success. The 8-track home decks were successful enough that they paved the way for every audio format that came after these audio devices. It was originally designed for DJs at radio stations to play jingles, commercials, and record singles. But later, it became soundtrack cartridges that house eight parallel songs. This technology then developed from car radios to home decks.
This development combined a receiver, speakers, turntable and some kind of cassette player into one package. It became easier for families their favorite entertainment medium.
You owe Philips the credit for creating the cassette tape and bringing analog platform with a more suitable audio solution.
During the late 70s, there was a demand for more dynamic and louder radios. This need led to the creation of the boombox. The portable radio-cassette player with loudspeaker instantly starred in most outdoor listeners.
Sony led the frontier for companies that contributed the digital audio transition back in the 80s. Many people considered the CD format groundbreaking. It delivered better sound quality than cassettes.
The SACD format was historical as it replaced the CD into the Millenium. Sony headed the crusade with its machine that’s called SCD-1 SACD player. It was compared to master recordings as it delivered phenomenal sound.
Back in 1994, Larry Schotz applied for a patent for a digital wireless speaker system.
The technology behind wireless speakers is quite simple. One, a transmitter sends a radio frequency to a receiver that sits in a musical loudspeaker. Two, a board amplifier powers up the woofer. Three, radio signals are broadcasted.
Like any other success stories, the concept of wireless speakers had some difficulty coming into existence.
Radio frequencies may have erratic signals. This issue is caused by low signal strength or blocked antennae. The FCCs limit the intensity of the wireless signals. To aid this, developers harnessed the digital signal.
The advent of wireless speakers was in accord with the advancement of Bluetooth technology.
The Ericsson Company created Bluetooth technology. It was designed as a wireless alternative to data cables. Basically, Bluetooth uses radio signals to transport data.
The primary advantage of Bluetooth over other wireless devices is that Bluetooth can be used for a valuable distance.
Today, as smart speakers arch their way through home entertainment, it becomes more evident how far we’ve gone in the field of audio experience. And there’s no telling how far we can go.
Some people like to preserve retro trends. With vinyl records and record players still available on the market, you can have a nostalgic music experience. When you go to a club, you’ll notice that DJs usually use turntables for their setup to produce music.
If you have a wireless speaker that you want to connect with your record player and want to experience the same enjoyment, you can, and it’s very easy.
You have two possible options for connecting your wireless speakers to your turntable:
Most old model turntables don’t have a built-in pre-amp. So what you need to do is purchase a pre-amp component. But if you already have one, there’s no need to buy.
Typically pre-amps are available for $100 and are sold separately. Simply connect the record player to the pre-amp. Then connect the pre-amp component to the wireless Bluetooth speaker.
Some modern wireless Bluetooth speakers don’t have RCA inputs. You can utilize the 3.5mm AUX input from the wireless speaker.
What you need is to own the right cables to connect the two audio devices. Today an RCA to 3.5mm cable is already sold in the market at a very low price. Just make sure to buy a quality cable to avoid short circuits.
Plug in the necessary wires to their respective ports and switch your record player on. Now, you can play your favorite records with better sound quality through your wireless Bluetooth speaker. Remember also to set your wireless speaker into AUX mode.
You might be wondering why this option isn’t entirely ‘wireless?’
This is because you connect your turntable to your wireless speaker using an RCA or 3.5mm AUX cable. That’s why the next option offers you that total ‘wireless’ connectivity.
To make this happen, you need to purchase a wireless streaming turntable that’s compatible with your wireless Bluetooth speaker.
A great example of this is the Ion’s Air LP which streams records wirelessly to any wireless Bluetooth speaker. This turntable costs only $84.99. Amazing, isn’t it? And it you are converting speakers to wireless, then you may want to use a record player to enjoy the amazing sounds of wireless speakers.
To wirelessly connect the speaker and the record player, simply turn on both devices and set it to pairing mode. The audio device will automatically be detected. You’ll notice a steady blue light from the turntable which indicates that turntable is connected to the wireless Bluetooth speaker.
Who says you can’t combine the good old stuff with new ones? Now, it’s up to you to decide which of these two options you prefer to use.
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