Happy Plugs – Solid Gold Headphones

The Swedish headphones company Happy Plugs have brought out a ridiculously bling version of their signature headphones. What makes them so bling? Oh you know they’re only made from 18 carat solid gold! Handcrafted by a goldsmith in Old Town, Stockholm, where 25 grams of gold are used for each pair.
So how much for these exclusive headphones? They can be yours for only £9,500!

If that’s a little out of your price range then you can take a pick from their pretty extensive none gold range that are kinder on your pocket at £24.99.

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Review: Sonos Play:1 Wireless Speakers

I think these Sonos Play:1 wireless speakers might just be the coolest things I’ve ever reviewed on the site so far! As soon as I saw these I knew I had to get a pair and fiddle with them until I got tired or went deaf.

Lets start at the beginning though… Wireless connectivity with speakers has always been a distant dream but then the world started owning an iPod/iPhone and subsequently an iPod/iPhone dock but there was always an obvious annoying problem in that you had to leave your iPod/iPhone cradled in your speaker. Well now things are changing and these last few months I’ve seen an endless horde of new wireless speaker systems hitting the market.

These Sonos Play: 1 speakers are the first ones I’ve tinkered with and I was absolutely blown away by the quality and power of sound from these sleek little rounded cubes.
(I played with the Jambox travel wireless speakers by Jawbone – read that review here)
I received a pair of speakers along with a Sonos Bridge and placed each one in different areas of the house.
The speakers themselves are about 12cms wide and 16cms high and come in black and white versions. The black ones are much sexier in my opinion! Setting them up and connecting to the app for Mac or iPhone was easy enough and I had some crisp tracks rich in bass and clean highs playing in no time.

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The way the speakers work is by finding content on your computer or iPhone. Take your iTunes for example, you have to run it through the app. It takes a while on first set up for it to archive everything you’ve got and file it all away for you to pick and chose from either your computer or your iphone while you’re going about your business in your house.
If you are into streaming services then they’ve got you covered as well as you can hook up your Spotify or Napster accounts and just stream all your playlists or anything else you can find on there.

There’s lots of amazing features and well thought out design points… The speakers are humidity resistant so you can put a pair in the bathroom to properly get woken up in the morning. You can pair up these speakers with other Sonos products to build the ultimate surround sound system and generally create an amazing pad with music in every single room! You can pair a couple to create stereo sound… There’s controls on the individual speakers so you can skip a track if you don’t have your phone on you… For the full list of everything thats possible check the Sonos Play:1 website.

Right so its all amazing so far right… amazing sound and easy connection but there is still a pretty big sticking point… for me anyways. What if I don’t want to use the app to play some music? As you may know by now I do a lot of blogging and I need to be able to stream stuff off webpages, Soundcloud and YouTube constantly and as it stands this isn’t possible which is a bit of a downer.

The emerging ways people consume music aren’t being catered for fully just yet. Even with Spotify, Napster and a tonne of other services being integrated all the time you still have to run everything through the Sonos app which is unlikely to ever be as good as the original software for your service of choice… For example with Spotify its best if you continue to use the original app and make your playlists from there. In the Sonos app the Browse function isn’t available and you only get ‘New Releases’ and ‘Top Tracks’ which is usually filled with crap that people should really be avoiding.

The Sonos app itself could be a bit sexier too… it reminds us of an old blue iTunes. It does mean its easy to use I suppose but as the speakers are pretty nicely designed I’d like to see them complimented by an equally good looking app.

So overall if you own all your music in a nice convenient place such as iTunes or you know exactly what you want to put on via your streaming service of choice then you’re golden with these speakers… They sound incredible and I recommend getting a pair if you can afford the £169 price tag. (That’s each :/ , Go on its nearly Christmas…)

[UPDATE]
Sonos speakers have just introduced Shuffler.FM to their supported services which means with any luck you’ll be able to listen to SlothBoogie’s catalogue of blogged tracks at the touch of a button! Now if that’s not worth buying some for I don’t know what is?!

Buy a pair of Sonos Play:1 speakers with a free Bridge

http://www.sonos.com/

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TMA-1 Carhartt Edition : Deep Night

The Danish headphone manufacturers AIAIAI have teamed up once again with ultimate fashion powerhouse Carhartt WIP. This time they flipped the colourway to a more menacing deep and dark blue hue branding then ‘deep night’. Flip them over and there’s a stark contrast of bright orange in the headband. As usual the TMA-1s are top level sound quality and will look amazing just as much on display in your home as on your head in a sweaty basement club.

Buy the TMA-1 Carhartt Edition : Deep Night Edition

Review: MiniJambox by Jawbone

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Jawbone brought out some very sexy mini wireless speakers last month called Mini Jambox and sent me a set to play around with. First thing I thought when the package arrived though was that this couldn’t possibly be the whole thing given it’s half the size of a bestselling novel?! But no there’s a reason its called a mini and thats cause its amazingly compact.

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So first things first the packaging is nicely designed and a clear taster of what you’re going to find inside. Crack the box in half and the first thing you touch is the cold brushed aluminium body and the tactile indented speaker pattern down one side… I was feeling the same kind of excitement opening it up as I would for a brand new Mac! I got a very attractive ‘blue diamond’ coloured Jambox and after a brief skim over the quick start guide I fired it up. Make sure you hold on tight though because the little brick shook and pulsed so loudly that it scared the crap out of me and I nearly dropped it!

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The Mini Jambox is packed with features and a long list of special tech that means it can squeeze out some impressive sounds from its sleek little body for around 10 hours! Usually on something this size you play some house music and nothing in the low end comes through and its all hi hats! But on the Jambox you definitely still get some of those lower bass tones. In fact when I was playing some new Waze & Odyssey stuff on it the sofa started to vibrate.

The Mini Jambox comes with a USB charging cable and a double ended stereo cable to plug into any device that won’t sync up with it via Bluetooth. You can also download a very good looking app for your iPhone to control it with. Once you’ve synced it to your phone with the help of a surprising little French accented lady you can play all your tracks on your phone or pick from a few internet streaming services like Spotify or Rdio. You can even use the Jambox speakers as a hands free devise as it will synch up with Siri.

All together if I wanted to buy a little wireless speaker dock to take with me to a festival or on my holidays then this would be it… it looks amazing, it sounds incredible for its size and if you can afford the £149.99 price tag then we would definitely recommend this piece of kit.