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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

News: JBL Flip 3 coming soon - shrinked JBL Charge 2?



It seems Dutch Mediamarkt leaked a video of the upcoming JBL Flip 3, as there has been no official announcement yet.
In contrast to the farting bassreflex port of the previous versions that were not able to produce any bass worth mentioning, the Flip 3 uses the same dual passive radiator design of the Charge 2 and rather looks like a shrinked version of it, but the Flip 3 is claimed to be waterproof with support for wireless pairing of several speakers (maybe up to 3 as the video suggests). I am not quite sure if stereo pairing with 2 speakers is also possible, but this would be great. If the JBL Flip 3 manages to sound as serious as the JBL Charge 2 which is to be assumed as the acoustic design looks very familiar, then the JBL Flip 3 might become a very serious portable speaker and a much better alternative to all this UE junk out there.


It will be available in 8 colors and comes with a handy wrist strap. Of course no information about availability nor price yet, but I guess it will be announced soon and come to the stores this summer.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

First impressions: RIVA (Turbo) S - sneak peek and interview with chief engineer Donald North


I got a visit of RIVA's and ADX' chief engineer Donald North and we had lots of talk about RIVA's current and upcoming products as well as portable speakers in general. I have prepared a short interview with Donald where he talks about the challange of speaker design and finally shows off their upcoming smaller speaker: RIVA S

Monday, May 11, 2015

Coming soon: Oluv's speaker audio database

 
I would like to briefly introduce the upcoming speaker audio database. All programming work has been meanwhile finished. I also finished the first recordings of most speakers I currently have at home, it will still take some time until I have all the content put together to finally publish everything. Here I just want to give you some information about the idea behind this database and what you can expect from it.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Review: RIVA Turbo X - Vrrooommmm!!!


Despite the sheer number of Bluetooth speakers that flood the market every day, it is still quite seldom that a unit manages to stick out of the whole crowd in some particular way. The B&W T7 stood out because of its funny design and mediocre sound, the Fugoo stood out because of its ruggedness and unique approach to 360° sound, which worked so much better than what UE is trying to sell as 360° and the JBL Charge 2 stood out because of all the artefacts and distortion noises it managed to produce... But now a rather unknown company "ADX" (Audio Design Experts) came up with an own brand called "RIVA" and a first own product, the Turbo X which is a portable battery driven Bluetooth speaker. Jump in to see why the RIVA Turbo X manages to set itself apart from all the rest.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

News: Minirig - now with Bluetooth!

Yes, finally Minirigs brought us their great Minirig with Bluetooth included, something many owners were already asking for from the beginning.

 
The great thing about the new one: it supports AptX for best streaming quality and 2 of them can be wirelessly paired for stereo sound! Apart from that it is as sturdy and great looking as the old one. It is water resistant and still has the impressive battery life of 8 hours at maximum volume or up to 50 hours at moderate levels! If I think about the UE Boom which dies after 2 hours on top volume, but hardly manages to sound as good as the Minirig...
You can check out how both compare at maximum volume from my video I did last summer, although I was still using the old non-Bluetooth Minirig. The new one is supposed to have even better sound especially at lower levels as according to the engineer there is some bassboost included now, which makes the sound even more full-bodied than before, which also shows up in the specs: while the old Minirig was only rated down to 100Hz the new one should play to 75Hz which is on par with the JBL Charge 2 now.


Let's hope I can get one of the new Bluetooth Minirigs for a test soon...

Monday, March 30, 2015

Music selection for the upcoming speaker comparison tool


For my upcoming speaker comparison tool or interactive database (or however it will be called then) I wanted to cover many modern and representative music-genres that should give you a better idea of how a speaker behaves with this or that kind of music. Jump in to help me finding the right tracks.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

$$$ - A short note on my own behalf


First of all I want to thank everyone who was willing to press the donate button in the meantime. As you can see I had added a "donate"-widget at the top of this site some time ago for everyone who finds my work helpful and who wants to support me. Any small amount will help me to continue the work on this blog.

Although I am not a big fan of advertisments many will probably also have noticed that there are some more ads in the blog-layout now. In future I will also add affiliate links to various amazon-stores which will be just a way to help me cover a fraction of the costs this blog is causing.

Just to let you know, I am not getting rich with this, I started this as fun project in my spare time and because of my passion for music and portable devices. Every amount of money I "earned" was put back into the blog by buying new speakers, new recording and measuring equipment and lately paying the programmer who is currently coding the new "interactive audio database":



To tell the truth I currently have more financial loss because of all this than benefit, not even mentioning the time which goes into this. Meanwhile I am even not quite sure if I will be ever able to finish everything as I liked, because there is still lots of time to be put inside to prepare all the recordings etc. My family is already protesting against this...

But with this tool I really hoped to be able to create something unique and helpful for everyone who is interested in portable speakers as much as I am and I think the new audio database could become a first important resource for everyone who wants to get a first impression of how this speaker compares against another one.
I put lots of thought into the setup to make the recordings as consistent as possible and the intention is to complement the database with new speakers continuously, although please understand that I cannot afford buying any new speaker just because someone asks me to do so. Neither do I expect any of the big boys like JBL, Bose, Sony etc. sending me speakers for free, but I welcome any loaner of anyone who would like to have their speakers recorded and added to the list. Please be patient a bit. I have already got some cool music from great musicians to be used for this tool, I am still waiting for a response from other artists if they would like to contribute. When the final playlist covering many different genres is finally finished, I can start with the recordings and then publish this tool online.

Thanks to everyone for your support and let's look ahead at even some more interesting gadgets in future!

Your, Oluv!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Music: essentially worth listening

I have been working on something new for some months now and there will be a big surprise coming soon on this site, so please be patient.
Along the way I also contacted various musicians for the right content and would like to present a unique artist who gave me permission for using his music for my speaker comparisons:

Soulpersona with Digisoul records already released some outstanding artists like Carl Hudson who I presented last year with his "Zoology for Martians". But Soulpersona did some brilliant own recordings together with Princess Freesia as well which you have to check out if you are into electronic R'n'B/Funk groove with some deeper inspirations taken from the Discofunk/Boogie sound of 80s.


The first album by "Soulperfreesia", which is an "Amalgamation" of Soulpersona and Princess Freesia is still from last year, but nevertheless sounds fresh and funky even today and should be played at any event where real groove is in great demand.













"FateFul Attraction" by Princess Freesia is more of a "solo-album" and might appear a bit more "mainstream", but still bears the strong sound signature of Soulpersona who was responsible for all the production work.














Here comes "Fast Forward" from Soulpersona featuring Princess Freesia again, the most recent release from last month with great pounding production work and one track featuring legendary vocalist Jocelyn Brown and a funky disco instumental with Carl Hudson playing a spacy lead-solo. One of my favorite albums currently which gets played just in a repeat-loop.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Denon Envaya Mini teardown...

Mark, a good friend of mine finally took the risk to open his Denon Envaya Mini. For all those interested about the drivers and their specs (the drivers are rated at 4W btw.) but also those who want to know what kind of battery is built in and if it can be easily replaced, you must have a look at his video where he managed to tear his Envaya Mini nearly completely apart. Of course he also reassembled it again and made it work just like before:

Monday, January 12, 2015

Review: UE Megaboom - too much boom to be good?

 
Happy new year with hopefully many new happy speakers! Therefore let's immediately start with the first one, the new UE Megaboom that was just released recently.
The Megaboom should hopefully improve on many aspects of the smaller UE Boom promising bigger sound, bigger bass and better features out of a bigger body. I was never a big friend of the original UE Boom. Although it had some great potential, it failed completely on overall sound quality and I also found it to be overpriced too much for what it offered. Now the Megaboom seems to continue with this fashion to be priced higher than the competition and equal to many other comparable portable "permium" speakers thus at 300$/€ it competes directly with current offerings like those from Beats with their Pill XL, or the Infinity One and the Bose Soundlink III maybe even the slightly more expensive B&O Beoplay A2 which has a similar 360° sound concept. Come in to see if Ultimate Ears can really keep the promise of offering something outstanding this time.