News Column

Trio of Gadgets Make for Sweet, Sweet Music

Sept. 16, 2012

music gadgets, mp3 players, record conversions

Music is timeless -- yet modern tech has only made access to it and they ways we can enjoy it better and better. Here are three cool devices that most any audiophile can use to enhance his or her music-listening experience.

Everything Old Is New Again

If you're from the era that used albums and cassette tapes, and held on to them, this one's for you. Or if, perhaps, you're a thrift store/swap meet junkie that regularly encounters albums that would be gems, but for your lack of a portable turntable. The Behringer U-Phono UFO202 Audio Interface is a device that can digitize records and cassettes, transferring them to your computer as an electronic file that can then be transferred to your more modern musical device (i.e., iPod, smart phone, mp3 player, etc.). The hookups are simple; a USB plug for insertion into your computer and easy hookups for your record player/turntable/stereo. PRICE: Varies depending on where you purchase, but should be readily available for mid $30s. Warning: may require a couple extra cables to attach your analog equipment.

Sea-Side Sonics

One definite disadvantage of modern music players is that they're somewhat less rugged than the boomboxes of yesteryear. Enter the Eco Terra from Grace Digital ("Grace Digital GDI-AQ2SI60 ECOXGEAR Rugged and Waterproof Stereo Boombox"). It converts your phone or mp3 player into a dirt and water-resistant boombox that you can take to the beach or other hostile-to-electronics environs. It connects from an internal audio jack, and your musical archive can flow from the external speakers. Not to mention -- it floats! About $150.

Portable and Stylish Speaker

A cutting-edge speaker that promises to be "light as a book" and provides 10 hours of battery life for your Bluetooth-enabled device, the CUBEDGE: EDGE.sound is as sharp-looking as they come. Check out a demo of the sound quality and levels here. But the features don't end there: it has a microphone, so you can use it for Skype or other VOIP/'net conferencing applications. And it's made with a conscience: the company says that it's made with "eco-friendly parts" as to minimize environmental impact. About $150.

EDGE.sound Music/Volume Demonstration from Cube Edge on Vimeo.

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