Y Magazine

Musical Tech

Listening to your favourite music has never been easier so lend us your ears and sound out some of these, says Alvin Thomas.



PRYMA

Let’s be completely honest here: we have come to a point in technology where even normal headphones resonate beautiful sounds for lower prices. However, Pryma headphones with their Italian-crafted leather, die-cast aluminium, copper, and stainless steel form will surely stand out among the rest. You can even have them in the colours of your choice, perhaps to match them with your smartphone. Sonus Faber puts the acoustics together so the music is crisp and clear. The headphones are also designed to prevent sound leakage.

Yours from RO192 from pryma.com.

Retro record deck

Boomboxes be gone! Century-old electronics brand Electrohome has introduced the Archer Vinyl Record Player, which is a turntable with a twist. For starters, the device can play your vinyl discs as well as the tracks on your smartphone via an auxiliary input jack. Just make sure to secure the tone arm at the correct pick-up height so you don’t damage the diamond-tipped stylus (for those of you under 40, that’s the tiny piece of equipment that delivers the warm, high-fidelity sound to the built-in stereo speakers. All of this is encrusted in a beautiful 60s- style suitcase.

Yours for a mere RO38.5, from electrohome.com/products.

Induct

I’m not a huge fan of cheekphones. However, they have definitely become a lot more effective, crisper and way more affordable from the days of yore. And the Aftershokz Bluez is one of the better ones out there. The Bluez 2s rely on bone conduction technology so they don’t go inside your ears, making it a safer hardware for daily use. This way, you can also listen to music or take phone calls without tuning out what’s going on around you. The Bluez 2s are known to be surprisingly loud and crisp but not so much that everyone around can hear your music, and judge you.

Buy this from aftershokz.com for a reasonable RO38.5.

Bring the Jam

Guitars are beautiful musical instruments. However, somebody obviously thought they were a tad too big for daily use. Hence, the Jamstick+ smart guitar. This snappy-looking instrument does almost everything a guitar does; it even has real metal strings! The difference is that you will have to pair this device with a compatible smartphone that can run the Jamstik+ app (iPhone works). This also allows you to access a suite of other apps such as JamTutor series, as well as other karaoke apps.

Yours for a reasonable RO115.2 from jamstik.com.

SoundBar

Sony makes the cut on our page once again, with its brilliant HT-NT3 Soundbar. This wall-mountable, flat speaker offers both streamlined design as well as exceptional sound quality. It comes with virtual surround technology and is compatible with most devices, irrespective of brand. The woofer and tweeter are housed within a single speaker unit, utilising separate drivers to reproduce a whole range of sounds.

Yours for RO308, from sony.com/electronics/soundbar.

Editor’s Pick

Walkman

In the wake of a new era of smartphones that can do everything from scheduling your entire day and picking out your clothes to playing your entire pop playlist back to front; most people have already given up on music players. However, real music buffs will know that there’s life still in them. This Sony NW-A20 Series Walkman, for instance, takes music to another level altogether. Think of this as a virtual visit to the Royal Opera House Muscat. This device comes bundled with exclusive noise cancellation headphones, and upgrades your music to near high-resolution sound quality using DSEE HX™ technology. This is also one of the only devices that can stream seamless and high-quality music over Bluetooth.

All of this (64GB version) could be yours for a stiff RO115.5 from sony.com 

New:

Hercules

It seems like every youngster on the face of earth wants to become a DJ. But of course, you’d require more than just an Apple Mac laptop and a Beats headphone to become one. You’d probably require something professional, like this Hercules DJControl Compact as well as a lot of skills to take on industry legends like Skrillex and Diplo. This device is incredibly compact, and is designed to sync with your laptop. The two-deck DJ controller has dual jog wheels to mirror the experience of scratching and spinning real records. The wheels can be used to control the pitch and scrubbing throughout a track; and each deck also has four pads that you can use to launch looping, effects, samples and cueing.

Get yours from shop.hercules.com for a meagre RO27. Happy DJ-ing folks!

App of the Week:

Soundcloud

It’s a pity that most music streaming apps (Spotify, Pandora etc) are yet to enter the Omani music space. However, fret no more, as SoundCloud is here to the rescue. The app can be downloaded on all devices (iOS and Android) and can be used to stream all sorts of music starting from Pink Floyd, all the way to today’s pop idols such as Rihanna and Taylor Swift. Download for free from iTunes and PlayStore.