Cambridge Audio Minx Air 100 – CHOTA PACKET BADAA DHAMAKA! (Small size – Big Bang)

Cambridge Audio Minx Air 100 review by http://www.theaudiophile.net/

Have been truly impressed by the Cambridge audio minx 100, in the very short span of time that’s its been with me. It’s a pretty compact speaker that enables one to wirelessly stream music via blue tooth or airplay enabled devices & avail of music services such as spotify, without requiring a separate mobile app.

Unboxing:

The Air 100 came well packed (double box packing), with all the accessories neatly ensconced in nicely cut out thermocol that holds the Air 100 firmly in place within the box as well as neatly tucking in the accessories in it. The accessories include:
1) Quick start owner’s manual in various languages (separate booklets having info related to hooking up the Air 100 via Wi-Fi networks
2) Three Types of power cords (CU, EU & UK Plug Terminated)
3) One Card type remote with its battery cell
4) Ethernet Cable

Packing Quality: 5 Stars

Appearance:

The Air 100 is a very well put together piece of equipment, nicely finished in curved glossy piano white casing with a matt silver band around the speaker grill. The unit is pretty heavy & feels solid when held in hand, with a conveniently placed slot for ones hand to secure holding it. The speaker grill is a fixed type & is slightly shiny grey in colour which neither looks bland nor flashy, pretty understated & functional. The top side of the unit as 5 rubberised buttons on the left side numbered 1-5 to store the preset internet radio channels. The top right side has another 5 rubberised buttons which operate the following: Bluetooth, Analog Input, Volume – /+ & Power.
The buttons are nicely textured to touch & a breeze to operate. The card remote is a little compact piece with all the features of the buttons on the main unit with the addition of being able to switch between 10 preset channels & an addition of a mute button. Adjusting the bass level is also possible with the presence of -/+ buttons. All the buttons are not back lit like the ones on the main unit. I doubt that the remote would see much use as most end users would use their mobile devices to control the Air 100 or end up using the buttons on the unit itself. The remote build quality though sticks out as a sore thumb in comparison to the main units high build quality.
The back panel of the Air 100 houses the following in a little recessed area of the back:
Power Cord Port
Ethernet Cable Slot
LED which flashes orange/green when in use
Bass Level Knob
A micro USB port for servicing the unit
3.5 mm auxiliary pin slot
Stereo RCA Input
The Air 100 is essentially a ported cab design with the port being cleverly integrated into the hand grab recess.
Overall the look of the Air 100 is simple & understated.

Build Quality: 5 Stars

Bluetooth/Air Play Pairing:
Bluetooth pairing was effortless & quick. One can start playing music pretty much instantly from ones mobile devices, which is always good for one who is wanting a fuss free operation.
When you power on the Minx Air, an LED on the back flashes orange and green. To set up AirPlay, you have to connect to the Minx Air’s temporary Wi-Fi hotspot. Once you do, you type 192.168.1.1 into your browser, select your Wi-Fi network’s SSID from the list, and type in your password and click Apply. The Minx Air will save the configuration, and your own PC will see the Minx Air hotspot disappear, meaning that it should automatically reconnect to your existing home network. If all is well, you’ll be able to select the Minx Air from your iOS device. This setup is functional, Cambridge Audio makes available a free Minx Air iOS app, which I tested using an iPhone 5. The app lets you control the device as if the iPhone were a remote, as well as find and store Internet radio stations from a selection of over 20,000. It also includes something you can’t get via the front panel or hardware remote: 10 DSP presets for modifying the speaker’s frequency response curve.
Connecting via the RCA inputs does take about 30 seconds for the music to play but that’s pretty much acceptable for one to sit back & enjoy the music.

Listening Impressions:

Straight out of the box, one is impressed with the big sound coming from its size. It goes pretty loud as well without distorting itself out of breath. It does get a little uncomfortable to hear at high volumes but is still acceptable when one keeps the size of it in mind. What it does tell you pretty much instantly is that it will show up a poor recording rather tellingly. I played a variety of formats (flac, wav, mp3) & it kept revealing the good, bad & ugly in all the formats pretty consistently.
The feature of adjusting of bass levels is pretty much useless as when preset to centre position of the knob, it gives more than enough bass, infact it can sometimes feel a bit overpowering the mids, so vocals do sound a little recessed in comparison to the lows & highs. The vocals do sound coming from dead centre of the unit, but overall the sound is localized. Having said that, I think it’s a pretty decent performer that one can happily live with if one is looking for A) Convenience, B) Style Quotient & C) Portability (wherever there’s an electricity socket).
Sound Quality: 3.5 Stars

Final Word:
A commendable effort from Cambridge Audio, to make a very well designed product, one that will be useful for many, though if you can spend a little more, then I would whole heartedly recommend its bigger brother, the Minx Air200. Stay tuned for its review being readied shortly.

Retail Price: Rs.29900/-

http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/produc…eakers/air-100

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Cambridge Audio Minx Air 200 – Awaken a Beast!

Cambridge Audio Minx Air 200 – Awaken a Beast!
Review by http://www.theaudiophile.net/

 

Having reviewed the Cambridge Audio Minx 100 already, I was thinking how much further can the Cambridge Audio Minx 200 improve upon it. To say quite a bit is shocking in the very least! While it does everything that the Cambridge Audio Minx 100 does, it just goes deeper performance wise.

Unboxing:

The Air 200 came well packed (double box packing), with all the accessories neatly ensconced in nicely cut out thermocol that holds the Air 200 firmly in place within the box as well as neatly tucking in the accessories in it. The accessories include:

1) Quick start owner’s manual in various languages (separate booklets having info related to hooking up the Air 200 via Wi-Fi networks
2) Three types of power cords (CU, EU & UK Plug Terminated)
3) One Card type remote with its battery cell
4) Ethernet Cable

Packing Quality: 5 Stars







Appearance:

The Air 200 is a very well put together piece of equipment, nicely finished in glossy piano white casing with a matt silver band around the speaker grill. The unit is slightly bigger than tha Air 100, pretty heavy & feels solid when held by ones hand, with a conveniently placed slot for ones hand to secure holding it. The speaker grill is a fixed type & is slightly shiny grey in colour which neither looks bland nor flashy, pretty understated & functional. The top side of the curved unit has 5 rubberised buttons on the left side numbered 1-5 to store the preset internet radio channels. The top right side has another 5 rubberised buttons which operate the following: Bluetooth, Analog Input, Volume – /+ & Power.
The buttons are nicely textured to touch & a breeze to operate. The card remote is a little compact piece with all the features of the buttons on the main unit with the addition of being able to switch between 10 preset channels & an addition of a mute button. Adjusting the bass level is also possible with the presence of -/+ buttons. All the buttons are not back lit like the ones on the main unit. I doubt that the remote would see much use as most end users would use their mobile devices to control the Air 100 or end up using the buttons on the unit itself. The remote build quality though sticks out as a sore thumb in comparison to the main units high build quality. But then the remote wont be used as much as one would be using ones mobile device to do the needful, hence its going to be pretty much unused.







The back panel of the Air 200 houses the following in a little recessed area of the back:

Power Cord Port
Ethernet Cable Slot
LED which flashes orange/green when in use
Bass Level Knob
A micro USB port for servicing the unit
3.5 mm auxiliary pin slot
Stereo RCA Input

The Air 200 is essentially a ported cab design with the port being cleverly integrated into the hand grab recess.




Overall the look of the Air 200 is simple & understated.

Build Quality: 5 Stars

Bluetooth/Air Play Pairing:

Bluetooth pairing was effortless & quick. One can start playing music pretty much instantly from ones mobile devices, which is always good for one who is wanting a fuss free operation.
When you power on the Minx Air, an LED on the back flashes orange and green. To set up AirPlay, you have to connect to the Minx Air’s temporary Wi-Fi hotspot. Once you do, you type 192.168.1.1 into your browser, select your Wi-Fi network’s SSID from the list, and type in your password and click Apply. The Minx Air will save the configuration, and your own PC will see the Minx Air hotspot disappear, meaning that it should automatically reconnect to your existing home network. If all is well, you’ll be able to select the Minx Air from your iOS device. This setup is functional, Cambridge Audio makes available a free Minx Air iOS app, which I tested using an iPhone 5. The app lets you control the device as if the iPhone were a remote, as well as find and store Internet radio stations from a selection of over 20,000. It also includes something you can’t get via the front panel or hardware remote: 10 DSP presets for modifying the speaker’s frequency response curve.
Connecting via the RCA inputs does take about 30 seconds for the music to play but that’s pretty much acceptable for one to sit back & enjoy the music.

Listening Impressions:

Straight out of the box, one is impressed with the big sound coming from its size. It goes pretty loud as well without distorting itself out of breath. Unlike the Air 100, it does not get uncomfortable to hear at high volumes but makes you pump the volume further up. A big sound is delivered pretty much effortlessly & you start enjoying the music at higher SPL’s like crazy.

The addition of a 6.5” woofer does the trick here in giving the 2 X 4” BMR drivers breathing space & letting the bigger woofer do the muscle work in regard to reproducing the LF’s. It digs deeper with the bass but also gives the mids enough space to shine. The highs are decent but not fully extended. It aids in allowing one to hear music fatigue free, for longer duration of time. What surprises one is the bass from these speakers, especially when we heard ‘The Robots’ by Kraftwerk & ‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk. One can further pump up the Bass with the help of the bass level knob at the back of the unit, but I found it to perform best with the level at 12 o’clock position. Bass freaks can pump it up further to their liking. The kick Drum in ‘Jump’ by Van Halen was well fleshed out & tight, giving a feel of good depth is always rewarding experience. The guitar tone of Stevie Ray Vaughn was captured rather well along with the tight bass line & SRV’s vocals came out rather nicely to boot. Devin Townsend’s ‘Daddy’ sounded layered with a perfect blend of the guitars & vocals with the background fader coming through clearly. The Air 200 clearly shines in revealing details in the recordings.

The sound stage is wider than the Air100 & sense of space is better achieved over the Air 100, which sounds a little congested in comparison to the Air200. The Air 200 belts out music at high volumes rather well & keeps going at full tilt without breaking into a sweat. Like the Air 100, the Air 200 rewards when well recorded music is played, poor recordings get exposed but not as brutally as in the case of Air 100.
Plug in an external source CD/DVD/BDP via the RCA Inputs, stream your music/internet radio via your mobile device wifi or wired through the ethernet port from a desk top & you are ready to rock! Playing at high volumes is the Air 200’s forte, as it just begs to be played LOUD!! I just love the Air200 for what it does, its a beast!


Sound Quality: 4.5 Stars

http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/produc…eakers/air-100

Verdict:

Given a choice, I’d go with the Cambridge Audio Minx Air 200 over the 100 & am sure most would too if they don’t feel the pinch of coughing up the additional 10K difference between the two models.   for the Cambridge Audio Minx Air 200. The only fly in the ointment being its price

Retail Price: Rs.39900/- (OUCH!!!)

Introducing IPN Headsets in India

Blog_image_IPN

Introducing IPN headsets from The Netherlands!

With class topping features like 400 m operating range, 3 party conference & ECO Dect technology, these wireless headsets are an intensive workstation application tool for the enterprise segment.

IPN Headsets brings a new era in quality and functionality to the headset market. The brand covers wired and wireless headsets which have been developed in line with state-of-the-art noise cancelling technology and ergonomics. In addition to product innovation, design is also a characteristic feature of the IPN Headsets range .

IPN also has a wide range of corded headsets as well which come in direct connect & QD cable options.
They are built to sustain the extremely harsh operating conditions of contact centres, but also are economical to own and maintain in the long run.

Types of Music

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Music they say, is an extended language of conveying emotions. But with so many varieties, how sure are we about what genre suits our mood the best. Go on and read:

 Alternative – Alternative Music is music that doesn’t fit in to the mainstream genre. Presently, alternative music generally defines rock music that is an offshoot of the several spinoffs of rock music during the 80s like punk-rock, college rock, indie rock and etc. Like rock, alternative music uses guitars, bass and drums. The major difference is the sound of the instruments.
Blues – Blues is a style of music and how it is played. Classic blues instruments included the guitar and harmonica. Other instruments included in blues are, drums, bass guitar, piano, trombone, trumpet and saxophone. The most important instrument used in blues music is the human voice. For a lot of people, vocals are what make music so great to listen to. Everything else is accompaniment.

Classical – Classical music were written when forms such as the symphony, concerto, and sonata were standardized. The instruments used in most classical music were largely found in an orchestra like stringed bows(Violins/Cellos/Double Bass), woodwinds(flute, clarinet, oboe and bassoon), brass(trumpet, French horn, trombone and tuba), percussion(cymbals, triangle), keyboard, guitar, together with a few other solo instruments (such as the piano, harpsichord, and organ).

Country – Country music  is an American style of popular music, developed from the folk music of the rural southern USA and first known as Hillbilly music. Until the 1920s it was performed largely at home, in church or at local functions, on fiddles, banjos and guitars.

Dance – Dance music is music composed specifically to facilitate or accompany dancing. It can be either a whole musical piece or part of a larger musical arrangement. In terms of performance, the major categories are live dance music and recorded dance music. By 1981, a new form of electronic dance music was developing. This music, made using electronics, is a style of popular music commonly played in dance music nightclubs, radio stations, shows and raves. Disco became influenced by computerization. Looping, sampling and seguing as found in disco continued to be used as creative techniques within Trance music, Techno music, and especially House music.

Easy listening Easy listening is a broad style of popular music and radio format, evolving out of big band music, and related to MOR (middle-of-the-road) music as played on many AM radio stations. It encompasses the exotica, beautiful music, light music, lounge music, ambient music, and space age pop genres. The range of lounge music encompasses soft rock music-influenced instrumentals, modern electronica (with chillout, nu-jazz and downtempo influences), while remaining thematically focused on its retro-space-age cultural elements. Easy listening is broad and may include instrumental arrangements of popular music designed for playing in shopping malls. A good deal of easy listening music was pure instrumental with no vocal parts, which was called lounge music.

Electronic – Electronic music is any music produced or performed primarily using electronic instruments in a unique, non-generic fashion, such that the focus of the music is on the electronic aspects. Electronic instruments include are not limited to the use of synthesizers, samplers, drums machines, and filtering techniques.

Hip Hop/Rap – Hip hop music is an American musical genre that developed as part of hip hop culture, and is defined by four key stylistic elements: rapping, DJing/scratching, sampling (or synthesis), and beat-boxing. Rapping is a vocal style in which the artist speaks lyrically, in rhyme and verse, generally to an instrumental or synthesized beat. Beats, almost always in 4/4 time signature, can be created by sampling and/or sequencing portions of other songs by a producer. They also incorporate synthesizers, drum machines, and live bands. Rappers may write, memorize, or improvise their lyrics and perform their works a cappella or to a beat.

Instrumental – Instrumental music intended to be performed by a musical instrument or group of instruments. Usually no vocals and singing are involved.

Jazz – While jazz music may be difficult to define, improvisation is clearly one of its key elements. In jazz, the skilled performer will interpret a tune in very individual ways, never playing the same composition exactly the same way twice. Depending upon the performer’s mood and personal experience, interactions with fellow musicians, or even members of the audience, a jazz musician/performer may alter melodies, harmonies or time signature at will. The instruments used in marching bands and dance bands became the basic instruments of jazz. Music instruments including woodwinds, saxophones, guitars, brass instruments, drums, keyboards, and band instruments types.

New Age – New Age music is music of various styles intended to create artistic inspiration, relaxation, and optimism. It is used by listeners for yoga, massage, meditation, and reading as a method of stress management or to create a peaceful atmosphere in their home or other environments, and is often associated with environmentalism and New Age spirituality. New Age music is defined more by the effect or feeling it produces rather than the instruments used in its creation; it may be electronic, acoustic, or a mixture of both. New Age artists range from solo or ensemble performances using classical music instruments ranging from the piano, acoustic guitar, flute or harp to electronic musical instruments, or from Eastern instruments such as the sitar, tabla, and tamboura.

Pop – Pop is a term that originally derives from an abbreviation of “popular”. Pop music is usually understood to be commercially recorded music, often oriented towards a youth market, usually consisting of relatively short, simple songs utilizing technological innovations to produce new variations on existing themes. Although pop music is often seen as oriented towards the singles charts, it is not the sum of all chart music which has always contained songs from a variety of sources, including classical, jazz, rock, and novelty songs. Pop music as a genre is usually seen as existing and developing separately. Thus “pop music” may be used to describe a distinct genre, aimed at a youth market, often characterized as a softer alternative to rock and roll.

R&B – Rhythm and Blues music, or R&B music, was originally termed “race music”. Today’s contemporary R&B music has a distinctly different sound than its forebears, focusing on pop beats and culture rather than the blues, gospel and jazz sounds of previous generations. R&B groups consisted of brass instruments and woodwinds, as well as drums, piano and vocals. These elements were common in jazz bands, but R&B musicians produced a heavier sound with a steady beat.

Rock – Generally rock is a modern music with a simple tune and a strong backbeat is played and sung loudly with the help of electric guitar, electric organ, electric bass or electric piano and drum.

Vocals – Vocal music is a genre of music performed by one or more singers, with or without instrumental accompaniment, in which singing (i.e. vocal performance) provides the main focus of the piece.

World – World music is a general categorical term for global music, such as the traditional music or folk music of a culture that is created and played by indigenous musicians and is closely related to the music of the regions of their origin.