Go back to making music a shared experience
Take your pick from these three products and bring music back to its former gloryUpdated: Jul 22, 2017 22:47 IST
Music today is different. It’s different because of the way we experience it. It’s more withdrawn, isolated and singular. Almost all our music resides in our phones, heard through headphones, once in a while streamed onto a car audio system. Very different from how it used to be. A shared community experience, a family enjoying it together, speakers blaring and a new turntable being demoed to the whole neighbourhood. I think of it as a great loss. Unlike reading, music was always supposed to be about a shared experience. That’s why these three products may be perfect to bring music back to its former glory.
The French company claims this to be ‘the best wireless speaker in the world’. This is a product that is a visual and aural experience. An over-the-top assault of all your senses, crammed with space age technology in a chassis that screams ‘outlandishly futuristic’. With multiple patented technologies embedded within, this speaker uses 1.2 tonnes of pressure to seal it hermetically and emits 30 kilos of thrust force to fire the base from the lateral woofers. The top-of-the-line version weighs 12 kilos and can produce sub bass at 14Hz all the way to 27kHz with 4,500 watts and 108 decibels of power. If the jargon and numbers are too much, let me make this easy. I played this little puppy at a jarringly loud level, threw in the toughest music I own, songs that can make the best systems rattle, and all I got was pure sound with no distortion. Very rarely am I ever impressed by a sound system, but this really shook me up despite no vibration in the room. But there is one piece that will shake things up and that’s the price. It starts off at about ₹1,50,000 for the White version and goes up many moons for the Gold. Still, this replaces multiple components, is a self-contained unit needing literally nothing else, is easy to set up, has its own app, will play anything from any device via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi (or wired) and can be a killer home cinema set-up.
Bose SoundLink Revolve
This is Bose doing a 360-degree omnidirectional audio device and getting it right the first time. Basically you can put this anywhere in a room and you’ll get the same pure sound irrespective of where you are. It’s got a brilliant all perforated metal design, can play without being plugged in for about 12 hours, and for a pretty small little thing, can handle some serious volume. But it’s in the 360-degree sound that it really excels. There are no dead spots anywhere around, which is a very important thing for a portable speaker you’ll be moving around to various locations. It’s also water-resistant, thus ideal for a pool party or picnic. It also has voice prompts for set-up, memory for pairing with eight devices, stereo-pairing for two Revolves, multi-room mode and a Bose Connect app. The Revolve is a very evolved package in a small, light enclosure at about 19K.
By far the quirkiest device of the lot. This is a retro package laden with awesome new tech. A chunky retro old-style radio that still looks very much at home in a modern home. The Carvaan pulls off multiple magic tricks. It’s a device that comes with 5,000 preloaded classic songs, a Bluetooth speaker, a USB player and an FM Radio. Most songs are from the ’70s to the ’90s, you can’t choose a track as it’ll play it like a playlist (but you can skip a track) and it’ll run on battery for about five hours. The audio quality for such a device is just fine and it did a spiffing job of playing off a USB stick. The best part of this device is the new discovery of old songs. My dad was in nostalgia mode for the entire time he was in the room and rediscovered songs he loved but had forgotten. Amazing little gift and an amazing little player for ₹5,999.
It’s time to change music and make it a community experience. Isolated music is like having sex with yourself. You can do it and its not too bad, but its always so much more fun with someone else.
Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3
From HT Brunch, July 23, 2017
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First Published: Jul 22, 2017 22:47 IST