Kanto’s YU2s seem to come from a time when speakers were solid, simple structures; proud temples to sound that said of their owners, Hey, I’m serious about music, and I know what I’m doing. Aesthetics were important, of course, but unquestioningly took a backseat to sound. Sound was king.
If you haven’t heard of Kanto before, that’s OK — the Canadian outfit just sprouted up in the Vancouver suburbs around five years ago. The YU2s are Kanto’s latest speakers, the smallest of their lineup of a half-dozen or so, and they’re designed to fit unobtrusively on a bookshelf or desk and play music from your computer or mobile device.
The YU2’s performance during our review, however, was nothing short of astonishing — and they could very capably substitute for larger speakers in a variety of roles.
Surprise: These cans aren’t quite the flashy, youthful boombasts their outward appearance suggest (yes, that’s a good thing). And, surprise: There’s much more here than simply a nod at the term “active noise cancellation.”
SMS, which is helmed by Rapper 50 Cent, jumped into the headphone game just shy of three years ago. At that time the lion’s share of attention was directed toward their wireless Sync cans, which stream music via the somewhat uncommon Kleer technology. But that doesn’t mean the rest of SMS’s broad, diverse lineup should be ignored, and that assertion is well-supported by the performance — and, yes, dash of flash – of the wired, active noise-canceling Street by 50 ANC headphones.
As expected, Spotify has today announced a new music streaming service for Android and iOS that won’t cost you a penny to enjoy. It’s not traditional Spotify streaming as you know it, though; the new “Shuffle” feature lets you pick an album or artist then delivers tracks in a random order.
There aren’t many in-ear monitors made of steel. Aluminum? Yes. Plastic? Wads. But steel-bodied IEMs — now that’s a rare find. There’s good reason for this: Though the material is solid, hard-wearing and, according to some, produces a cleaner sound, it’s heavy — which can make steel-housed IEMs often uncomfortable and annoyingly ill-fitting.
But forget all that. Scottish-based RHA have managed to make the stainless steel-bodied MA750i supremely comfortable and well-fitted, even under heavy action. In fact, RHA absolutely nailed it perfectly with these ‘phones in every single category that matters, with only two or three minor trade-offs.
Chances are you’ve already picked your preferred music streaming service by now, but you’ll have another to consider next year when French startup Deezer make its debut in the United States.
The company has avoided the U.S. up until now, citing too much competition, with Spotify, Rdio, Google Play Music All Access, and many others already offering subscription-based music streaming services there. But having already amassed over 5 million paying customers in 185 countries worldwide, it’s ready to do battle with the big guns.
Google has today enabled Google Play Music All Access in Mexico, just over a week after the service extended its reach in Europe. The service can be enjoyed both on the web and via the Google Play Music app for Android, and you can sign up now for a free 30-day trial.
Google Play Music All Access has today expanded its reach across Europe by arriving in seven new countries. The rollout comes less than a month after the service’s first European expansion, and it brings the total number of supported countries up to 19.
Rdio announced this morning that it is launching a new personalized radio station feature to take on Pandora and iTunes Radio. The new radio station feature, dubbed You FM, combines users’ listening history with track voting, Facebook likes, Twitter follows and more to give each user an individualized experience.
Users can tune stations towards familiar or adventurous sounds or pivot it based on your favorite tracks. The new stations feature is available now on the App Store, Google Play and the web.
Sceptre’s Sound Bar 2.1 turns your standard HDTV into a Smart TV with quite a bit of help from the Android operating system. Once connected, the hardware allows you to connect to the internet and download apps from Google Play, as well as surf the web and play your favourite games on the big screen.