Top VR headset sales have dropped sharply year-on-year

Nielsen’s SuperData subsidiary has published some new figures for the ‘XR’ (‘cross reality’) market – essentially AR, VR and hybrids of the two – including the latest estimated sales figures for the top virtual-reality headsets. The company claims that Sony’s PlayStation VR and Facebook’s Oculus Quest were the top sellers in the final quarter of 2019, with 338k and […]

Joué bags an NWA co-founder and sets sights on US expansion

We last wrote about French startup Joué in June 2019, when the company was one of the finalists in the Midemlab startups contest. It’s a hardware company that makes instruments, with its first (also called Joué) being a board-shaped device made out of wood and metal, with “magic modules” made of silicon slotting in to turn it into a […]

Canalys predicts big year for wireless headphones and earphones

Research firm Canalys expects wireless earphones and wireless headphones – ‘the smart personal audio device market’ – to have a very big 2020. “In Q3 2019, the worldwide smart personal audio device market grew 53% to reach 96.7 million units. And the segment is expected to break the 100 million unit mark in the final quarter, with potential to […]

Colors moves into the headphones market with first hardware

Regular readers of our Sandbox report will be very familiar with music brand Colors and the minimalist videos it records for artists which are often a key part of their marketing campaigns. The visual aesthetic is based around getting acts to perform in a room that is in a single block colour, the intention being […]

Jukedeck founder responds to Amazon’s DeepComposer launch

We reported yesterday on Amazon’s announcement of DeepComposer, a musical keyboard designed to help developers explore generative AI. Now Ed Newton-Rex, founder of one of the first AI-music startups, Jukedeck, has been giving his views on what Amazon’s announcement means. That includes the fact that it’s the fourth of the ‘big five’ tech companies to publicly […]

Apple tipped to double its AirPods shipments to 60m this year

Thanks to its music-driven adverts, Apple’s original iPod earphones became one of the most recognisable tech products back in the day. Its modern equivalents, the wireless AirPods, are increasingly common on the streets today. Bloomberg has put some numbers to that, quoting “people familiar with the Cupertino-based company’s production plans” as claiming that Apple is doubling […]

Sonos is testing a subscription plan for its speakers

Fancy a Sonos speaker but aren’t sure about buying one? If you’re Dutch, you may be in luck. Well, if you’re one of 500 Dutch households chosen for the test of a new subscription plan called ‘Sonos Flex‘, you may be in luck. The Verge reports that the plan has several tiers: €15 a month […]

Sony unveils new Walkman complete with MQA hi-res support

Search for ‘Walkman’ on Google, and the ‘people also ask’ boxout reveals that common searches include ‘When was the Walkman discontinued?’ and ‘Do they still make Walkmans?’. The answer to the latter being ‘yes’ – a new one was unveiled yesterday by Sony. The Walkman NW-ZX507 (Sony’s consumer electronics division continues to have an… interesting […]

Magic Leap adds background-music feature to spark new apps

Augmented-reality startup Magic Leap started shipping its Magic Leap One Creator Edition AR headset in August 2018, and music has been part of it from the start, thanks to the Tónandi music-manipulation app that the company developed with Sigur Rós. Now Magic Leap is keen for other kinds of music experiences to be available for its […]

MelodyVR reveals beta smartphone app and ‘Viewer’ hardware

One of the things holding back music virtual-reality startups so far as been the slower-than-expected growth of VR-headset ownership. Now startup MelodyVR is making moves to tackle that challenge. First: it’s launched a closed beta of its app for Android and iOS devices, with plans for a commercial launch this summer. It’ll offer the company’s […]

Roxi, formerly Electric Jukebox, still planning US launch

British music-streaming / hardware startup Electric Jukebox was announced in October 2015, and launched in November 2016 in its home country – although it postponed its planned debut in the US citing Spotify’s songwriter lawsuits as the reason. Then, in August 2017, the company revealed a new product called Roxi and suggested that it would go public in 2018. Fast forward […]

Facebook to launch new models of its Portal smart display

Facebook launched its first Portal smart speakers – or rather, smart displays, since they came with screens – in October 2018. The 10 and 15-inch screened devices went on sale first in the US, using Amazon’s Alexa for their voice-control features, with support for Spotify, Pandora and iHeartRadio on the music-streaming side. Facebook hasn’t yet announced […]

Spotify Car Thing hardware streams music and podcasts to drivers

Spotify has unveiled its first hardware: a voice-controlled speaker for cars that will stream music and podcasts. However, ‘Car Thing’ isn’t a commercial product… yet. Instead, the speaker is being used for a test in the US with “a small group of invited Spotify Premium users” according to the streaming service. Those people will install […]

MI.MU gestural-performance gloves to go on sale for £2,500

The MI.MU gloves were made famous by artist Imogen Heap, who developed them as a wearable controller for ‘gestural music performance’. A Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in 2014 didn’t quite hit its target, but the gloves have since been used by a range of artists – including Ariana Grande in 2015 on her world tour – while the company set […]

Warner Music leads funding round for hardware startup Artiphon

Artiphon is one of the startups exploring the potential to create new musical instruments with a digital twist. It raised $1.3m in a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in 2015 to make its first device, the Instrument 1.The $399 device is a MIDI controller designed to work like a guitar, piano and/or drum machine. A few years on, […]

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