Sound Bytes 2 October 2019: Now for a new feature: a weekly roundup of gadgets designed to entertain you:
New products from Tivoli Audio,
New headphones from Bowers & Wilkins,
B&W Formation Flex speakers,
Klipsch in-ear headphones,
Sound Bytes 2 October 2019 is a weekly round up of audio news
New products from Tivoli Audio
Retro radio brand Tivoli Audio has released its PAL + BT portable radios in red, blue, white and black. This model adds DAB+ radio to the Tivoli Audio PAL BT and takes away AM radio.
Of course, it also works with Bluetooth. The unit is “weather
resistant” and a built-in battery will run it independently of power for up to 16
hours. The price is $339.
It has also launched a portable Bluetooth speaker, the Tivoli Go Andiamo, priced at $299. It’s like a 135mm diameter hockey puck, made of aluminium and real leather. It runs a 64mm driver with, apparently 20 watts of power. Bass is helped by the 76mm passive radiator.
The new B&W headphones will be available from November 2019.
B&W Formation Flex speakers
It’s not just headphones. Bowers & Wilkins is launching
its own Wi-Fi multiroom system based on “Formation Wireless Technology”. Ho
hum? Well, this is B&W, so it uses technology from its highly regarded
stereo speakers. This includes such things as its “Decoupled Double Dome
The Wi-Fi stuff is also rather interesting. Yes, there are
plenty of Wi-Fi multiroom systems around, but this one might be new. I hadn’t
been aware of this, but B&W – a UK firm formally established back in 1966 –
was acquired in 2016 by a Silicon Valley company known as EVA Automation. These
days if you type evaautomation.com into your computer, you’ll be redirected to
I figure EVA may have had something to do with the Formation
Wi-Fi technology. It supports a mesh network, apparently “developed to run
independently from your home Wi-Fi network for seamless sound”. It also uses
certain bands in the 5GHz space that are little used, helping ensure a clean
signal that doesn’t have to run through your router.
They also note a 1 microsecond sync between speakers in the
same room. Good, I guess, but I’d note that if you move 15cm away from one
speaker and towards another, you’ve changed the timing by one thousand times
that (sound travels around a third of a metre per millisecond).
The first model is the Formation Flex, but it’s to be followed soon by a soundbar, subwoofer, high end stereo speakers and several other devices. No prices yet.
New Klipsch soundbars
US loudspeaker specialist Klipsch has launched two soundbars
which include a design feature that goes with the name. Klipsch started back
after the Second World War with incredibly high efficiency horn-loaded
loudspeakers. Modern high-fidelity loudspeakers waste – I’m not making this up –
99.5% of their power input in heat. Some Klipsch models are 20% rather than 0.5%
Not that these soundbars will push that hard. But both feature
horn-loaded drivers. There are two models:
Klipsch BAR 40 – 2.1 channels with wireless 165mm subwoofer, built in Dolby, and only 71mm high. Price: $848.
Klipsch BAR 48 – still 71mm tall, but 3.1 channels with a wireless 200mm sub. It adds Dolby Digital Plus and DTS HD (High Resolution, I assume, rather than Master Audio).
You can add optional wireless surround speakers to the BAR 48 for true surround sound. Both models also support Bluetooth and ARC audio from the TV.
Klipsch in-ear headphones
Ah, and don’t forget the bunch of new earbuds also coming
Klipsch T5M wired are the budget models, with braided cable and an in-line aluminium remote: $99.
Klipsch T5 Sport are wireless – although the buds are wired together. They have a 10-hour battery and Comply Comfort eartips. They are sweat rated to IPX4 and priced at $169.
Klipsch T5 Neckband wireless earphones offer a 15-hour battery, dual cVc microphones and Bluetooth 5. Price: $199.
Klipsch T5 True Wireless earphones provide 8 hours of playback, plus 16 more via the charge case. Four Clear Voice Chat microphones are included for better voice capture. Price: $349.
Sound Bytes 2 October 2019 is curated by resident audiophile GadgetGuy Thomas Bartlett. Any audio vendor may submit releases to [email protected]