Sonos doubles down on spatial audio with its latest speaker

Sonos has unveiled its latest speakers, and spatial audio is a key focus for the company in 2023 as its CEO has made clear. The post Sonos doubles down on spatial audio with its latest speaker appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Kano is launching some new Stem Players without Kanye West

British firm Kano started off making computers for kids, before moving into music-tech in 2021 with the Donda Stem Player. The post Kano is launching some new Stem Players without Kanye West appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Spotify stops making Car Thing, its first hardware device

We reported on Spotify’s financial results yesterday, but another piece of news has emerged since then. The post Spotify stops making Car Thing, its first hardware device appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Apple predictions: VR/AR headset in 2022, AR glasses in 2025

Oh, and don’t forget AR contact lenses sometime after 2030. By which time nobody will remember the prediction or the predictor enough to check whether it was right. In fairness, Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities, is one of the Cupertino-focused crystal-ball gazers who has earned respect with accurate predictions about what Apple […]

Native Instruments sells majority stake to Francisco Partners

By the end of 2020, Native Instruments had more than 1.5 million monthly active users of its products for making music and DJing. This, plus the wider buzz around music creation technology, has been making investors’ ears prick up. Native Instruments’ majority owner is an investment company called EMH Partners, which bought in to NI […]

Sonos Radio is the third most-streamed service on its devices

The latest musicians to curate channels on Sonos Radio were announced yesterday: D’Angelo, FKA Twigs, Björk and the Chemical Brothers are the latest artists to turn DJ for the hardware firm’s streaming service. But another detail in the announcement caught our eye: the fact that Sonos Radio is now “the third most streamed service on Sonos”. That’s […]

Sony unveils its first 360 Reality Audio smart speakers

Sony’s consumer electronics arm has been showing off its new smart speakers, which are its first to use the company’s 360 Reality Audio format. They do stick to some Sony traditions though: numberwangtastic product names: the SRS-RA5000 and SRS-RA3000 will be launching in the next couple of months. Both devices will offer a choice of voice […]

Artist Tom Vek is crowdfunding a Sleevenote music player

In 2016, we interviewed artist Tom Vek about his work on a mobile app called Sleevenote, which offered “interactive sleeve artwork for your digital music”. He’d clearly been thinking hard about the listening experience on streaming services, and that has continued. Vek has just launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for a new iteration of Sleevenote, and it’s hardware instead […]

Oda connected speakers have their own season of concerts

Oda is a startup making a pair of speakers (also called Oda) that look very nice indeed – “made of wood, glass, cotton, and steel: materials that are humble and human, not technological” as the blurb puts it – with as much attention to detail paid to their audio innards. However, what interests us about the $299 […]

Roli boss talks Lumi keyboard and music education’s evolution

Music Ally first came across Roli in 2013, when it was named as a finalist in the SXSW Music Accelerator startups contest, before we reported on its $12.8m funding round the following year from investors including Universal Music Group. The company was focused on music instruments, with its first being the Seaboard Grand, a keyboard […]

Rewind and remix radio with Teenage Engineering’s new OB-4

Teenage Engineering’s pocket-sized synthesizers are marvellous, but now the Swedish company is applying its innovation skills to radio. Its latest device, the OB-4, is pitched as a “magic radio” – a portable Bluetooth speaker that can also receive FM radio broadcasts. The twists being that, well, owners will be able to twist the audio itself. “OB–4 continuously […]

Startup Synaesthetic seeks artists for ‘immersive music’

We spotted Synaesthetic in October last year, as a startup promising to develop “a new musical medium, that is more engaging and practical; through classical music theory, cutting-edge AI, and neuroscience”. Nearly a year later, the company is showing off more of its plans for a product called ‘Lava’, and an artist-testing scheme called ‘Leap’ that goes […]

Facebook unveils Oculus Quest 2 VR headset and Tidal deal

Facebook’s Oculus Quest has been the most successful virtual reality headset yet, finally delivering on some of the early hype around what VR was capable of. Now it’s getting a sequel. The Oculus Quest 2 costs $299 – $100 less than its predecessor – and is lighter and more powerful. It comes out in October, and gaming […]

Amazon Halo sees tech giant get into the digital fitness game

Apple has quietly been becoming a digital health and fitness company for a while now, with wellbeing becoming a key selling point for its Apple Watch smartwatch. Now Amazon wants in on the fitness-wearables game. It has unveiled a device called Halo, which is a fitness band (sadly not one that hovers above your head) […]

Apple tipped to launch over-ear wireless headphones this year

Apple’s wireless AirPods earphones have been a big hit, but if you don’t like sticking things in your ears, they may not appeal. Never fear: Apple may well be working on some ‘over-ear’ wireless headphones, according to a report from Bloomberg. It claimed that Apple is “working on at least two variations, including a premium version […]

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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