JLab Open Sport earbuds hook onto any pair of glasses, priced very sensibly

Sony Linkbuds changed the way we perceive open-ear audio in a space dominated by TWS earbuds with superior ANC levels. Just as we were wondering what else could stir up the domain, JLab has caught our attention for good.

Their latest pair of open-ear audio earbuds completely revamp the perceived image of such similar earphones. With a design-forward shift in the open-ear and sports audio space, the JLab Open Sport is the perfect option to choose over the contemporary and bone conduction ones.

Designer: JLab
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So, what makes these otherwise ordinary-looking earbuds special? Well, they can attach to the user’s eyewear based on the activity in question, and of course, the user’s preferences. Versatility is at the core of these IPX4-rated earbuds, and that too at a very attractive price tag of $80. Stash them against the likes of Bose Sports Open earbuds, Aftershokz Open Run Pro, or the Sony Linkbuds. The flexibility to use them with your glasses or sunglasses for any number of situations is what makes them worth every penny. Also, worth considering is the 27.8 grams lightweight build which is less than the above-mentioned heavyweights.

They can adjust to any ear shape courtesy of the flexible earhooks or cling on to the temples of glasses/sunglasses/reading glasses with adjustable clips. This makes the Open Sport wireless earbuds ideal for the morning run, multitasking at the desk, or casual listening while on the daily commute. The modular buds boast a battery life of 7 hours that can be extended to 17 more hours in the case. Since these earbuds don’t create a seal, they let in ambient noises to keep you aware of the environment.

Multi-device connectivity is also not ignored with these earbuds as they can sync with two devices simultaneously. The case on these ones looks a little flimsy since it is not completely closed, and the earbuds could fall or be untethered from the housing with little force. Therefore, they are only meant for audio listeners who treat their possessions with much love and care. Other than that, the JLab Open Sport wireless earbuds are bang for the buck for any kind of audiophile!

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You can now buy Ticketmaster tickets on TikTok

TikTok has teamed up with Ticketmaster to help users discover events and buy tickets directly through the app. Creators such as music artists, comedians, sports teams and venues can search for relevant Ticketmaster events and link to them on their videos. The feature is only open to select creators at the outset, though more will gain access over time.

Demi Lovato, OneRepublic, Usher, the Backstreet Boys and WWE are among those who can use the feature at the jump. Event links will appear on the bottom left of the screen. Users can tap or click through to an in-app browser to buy a ticket.

Ticketmaster says the partnership with TikTok will help event organizers and creators reach more fans and potential ticket buyers. Along similar lines, Snapchat added a Ticketmaster Mini app in February to help users find events.

Earlier this week, it emerged that TikTok may be working on its own music streaming service. According to a trademark filing, the mooted TikTok Music service would allow folks to "purchase, play, share, download music, songs, albums, lyrics... live stream audio and video... edit and upload photographs as the cover of playlists... [and] comment on music, songs and albums."

You can now buy Ticketmaster tickets on TikTok

TikTok has teamed up with Ticketmaster to help users discover events and buy tickets directly through the app. Creators such as music artists, comedians, sports teams and venues can search for relevant Ticketmaster events and link to them on their videos. The feature is only open to select creators at the outset, though more will gain access over time.

Demi Lovato, OneRepublic, Usher, the Backstreet Boys and WWE are among those who can use the feature at the jump. Event links will appear on the bottom left of the screen. Users can tap or click through to an in-app browser to buy a ticket.

Ticketmaster says the partnership with TikTok will help event organizers and creators reach more fans and potential ticket buyers. Along similar lines, Snapchat added a Ticketmaster Mini app in February to help users find events.

Earlier this week, it emerged that TikTok may be working on its own music streaming service. According to a trademark filing, the mooted TikTok Music service would allow folks to "purchase, play, share, download music, songs, albums, lyrics... live stream audio and video... edit and upload photographs as the cover of playlists... [and] comment on music, songs and albums."

TWS earbuds with touchscreen case means you have all the info without checking your phone

True wireless earbuds have taken the gadget world by the storm, with starting price points really covering a larger segment of the audio listening accessories market. This has prompted most of the earbuds and headphones makers into developing their own versions of affordable and premium TWS earbuds.

All of the offerings on the market come with their dedicated app to take control of the ambient noise levels, ANC modes, or equalization levels. Important indicators like the remaining battery levels and the audio channel toggle are also mainstream in every TWS earbuds’ app. So, how does one differentiate among the sea of options that are more or less the same?

Designer: ZJ-DDG

The idea of developing these TWS earbuds lies in how we interact with the favorite music available on the internet. Things like the album art, artist bio, or the song lyrics. Sure, there are options like Spotify, Tidal, or Dezeer – but then you have to navigate to the particular app on the mobile device. The designer wants to break this stereotype with the D-TWS earbuds that come with a casing that’s more elaborate than other options on the market.

The geometrically designed chunky earbuds case has on-screen visualization to display the information such as audio playback time, switch audio, artist information and album art for a more inclusive listening experience. A scenario that immediately comes to mind is while being engulfed in work tasks on a PC, and listening to music. Sure, you don’t want to keep the music application open on your PC or phone all the time. That’s where this pair of TWS earbuds come in.

The earbuds case (designer denotes as BOX) shows the remaining battery levels, current audio playback and more options on the touch display. This way the user can choose the desired option without even touching their phone. Now, all of us know how distracting the smartphone’s notifications panel can be – eventually breaking the rhythm of work.

As soon as the earbuds are inserted inside the triangular case, the display turns off to preserve the battery and only shows the required information. Although the case is larger than what current TWS earbuds come bundled with, but then, avid music listeners sure can make that compromise!

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TikTok might be working on a music service

TikTok has helped users discover both current and past musical artists, and now it might be starting its own music streaming service. Parent ByteDance has filed a trademark application with the US Patent and Trademark Office for "TikTok Music," Insider has reported. The service would let users "purchase, play, share, download music, songs, albums, lyrics... live stream audio and video... edit and upload photographs as the cover of playlists.. [and] comment on music, songs and albums." 

ByteDance already has a music streaming app called Resso, but it's only available in India, Brazil and Indonesia. That app has some of the features mentioned in the trademark filing, like playlists, song-sharing and community interaction. On top of that, TikTok redirects users in Brazil to the full song on Resso, as Insider notes.

The trademark application was first submitted in Australia and then filed in the US on May 9th. It's not clear if it intends to base such a service on Resso, but it has to demonstrate that it will actually use the trademark before applying for it in the US — so it's not just a placeholder, according to Insider. The company also described said you could "live stream audio and video interactive media programming in the field of entertainment, fashion, sports, and current events," as other possible use cases. 

Snapchat will pay indie musicians up to $100,000 per month for popular songs

Snap has set up a new grant program to pay indie musicians behind popular songs on Snapchat. It created the Snapchat Sounds Creator Fund to "recognize emerging, independent artists for the critical role they play in driving video creations, inspiring internet trends and defining cultural moments," according to a blog post.

Starting in August, the fund will give artists who distribute music on Snapchat Sounds via DistroKid up to $100,000 in total each month. For now, the program is limited to 20 songs each month. The artists behind each of the songs Snapchat selects will receive $5,000. "We want to support the independent and emerging artists that are driving creation on Snapchat," said Snap's global head of music partnerships Ted Suh said. 

Artists need to be at least 18 years old to be eligible (or 16 if they have written consent from a parent or guardian). Snap says artists can't apply for a grant and it will decide recipients at its own discretion.

Snapchat started letting users attach music to snaps through the Sounds feature in October 2020. Creators have made more than 2.7 billion videos with music from Sounds and have accrued more than 183 billion views in total. The Snapchat Sounds Creator Fund seems like a reasonable way to reward musicians whose work has become a viral hit on the platform or helped creators to express themselves.

Snapchat will pay indie musicians up to $100,000 per month for popular songs

Snap has set up a new grant program to pay indie musicians behind popular songs on Snapchat. It created the Snapchat Sounds Creator Fund to "recognize emerging, independent artists for the critical role they play in driving video creations, inspiring internet trends and defining cultural moments," according to a blog post.

Starting in August, the fund will give artists who distribute music on Snapchat Sounds via DistroKid up to $100,000 in total each month. For now, the program is limited to 20 songs each month. The artists behind each of the songs Snapchat selects will receive $5,000. "We want to support the independent and emerging artists that are driving creation on Snapchat," said Snap's global head of music partnerships Ted Suh said. 

Artists need to be at least 18 years old to be eligible (or 16 if they have written consent from a parent or guardian). Snap says artists can't apply for a grant and it will decide recipients at its own discretion.

Snapchat started letting users attach music to snaps through the Sounds feature in October 2020. Creators have made more than 2.7 billion videos with music from Sounds and have accrued more than 183 billion views in total. The Snapchat Sounds Creator Fund seems like a reasonable way to reward musicians whose work has become a viral hit on the platform or helped creators to express themselves.

Electric guitar with a curved fretboard offers a much more ergonomic experience

Meet Curvo, a guitar that’s far from traditional. Although the knee-jerk term is to call Curvo an electric guitar, it is in fact, an electronic guitar that works using touch and velocity sensors sort of like a MIDI controller. The absence of strings, however, isn’t a feature but rather the consequence of a feature. You see, unlike any guitar ever made, Curvo comes with a radically curved fretboard that’s designed to make playing, jamming, and shredding much more comfortable without causing repetitive strain injury to parts of your palm, fingers, and wrist.

Designer: Ezra Feldman

“A guitar is somewhat of a ‘primitive’ instrument and the players have to maneuver themselves around the instrument in order to play – which can lead to the misuse of the instrument”, says Curvo’s designer, Ezra Feldman. “Over time this will result in injury.”

While instances of injury with guitarists is rather rare, Feldman does have a point. The guitar was designed primarily around the fact that it required a straight fretboard with taut strings hovering over it. Remove the strings and you’ve removed the one barrier that’s stopping you from making the guitar more ergonomic. With the strings gone, Feldman was allowed to curve the fretboard, allowing your hand to move much more freely in an arc shape, so your elbow and wrist don’t have to do much of the work. This shifts the movement to your shoulder, reducing the strain on your wrist and your fingers from having to stretch and contort in weird shapes while you play.

Without strings, the Curvo is free to be a much more unique instrument. Rather than relying on electromagnetics and acoustics, Curvo uses sensors to detect which ‘string’ you’re pressing with your left hand, and strumming with your right. sensors built into the entire length of the guitar pick up on a variety of cues, from which string you’re pressing to how hard you’re pressing it. On the right side, velocity sensors capture the intensity of your picking or strumming, as well as which strings you’re plucking away at. All this data is then used to generate audio that corresponds to what you’re playing. Another major benefit of not having strings? The Curvo doesn’t need any sort of tuning, and always stays in tune no matter what.

However, to retain the kind of control you’d get from an electric guitar, the Curvo also comes with a set of knobs on the right to modulate effects and volume.

The way Curvo is constructed is different from your average guitar. While most guitars use wood or composites, Curvo uses Airsonic carbon fiber (like the one found on LAVA MUSIC’s guitars). It also uses soft plastic all along the fretboard, almost mimicking Roli’s Seaboard, and actually allows you to adjust the curvature of the fretboard depending on your own personal anthropometrics and your comfort level. For example, people with shorter arms will need higher curvature as compared to people with longer arms.

Given its electronic nature, Feldman also seized the opportunity to unlock Curvo’s true potential by making its sound infinitely customizable. Just like an electronic MIDI keyboard can pretty much play any sort of sound, Curvo can be programmed to play any sort of sound style too. Its app gives you access to a massive sound back and effect rack, while even letting you remotely adjust your guitar’s tuning to suit your needs. Moreover, you can even record music right to the app, create layers, and produce full-fledged tracks right on your phone!

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Old-time gramophone meets minimalist, modern design in stunning turntable

I’ve been telling myself for years that for Christmas, I’ll get myself a vinyl player. I still haven’t settled on which player to get for my living room although I already have plans as to where to put it and what records I will be getting first. Every time I see a new turntable design, I make up my mind that’s the one I’m going to get. Well, I still don’t have one but this new device from Fennessy might just be my next window shopping or maybe even an actual purchase.

Designer: Fennessy

The strangely-named Fennessy Donut i5 is a well-designed turntable that banks on the classic look of a gramophone with a built-in speaker. It is not portable at all unlike other turntables that we’re now seeing in the market as it is 5.1 foot tall and is 66 pounds heavy. What stands out really is the “bugle” or the old-school gramophone design that is on top of the donut. There is no hint of any donut-like design anywhere in the device though.

Strange name aside, you get a turntable with three sound sources. The bugle itself has a 10-watt, 1-inch tweeter while underneath it, you get a 40-watt, 6.5-inch midrange driver and also a 60-watt, 8-inch woofer. So on paper at least you get a fantastic-sounding device unlike the hollow sound that some of the cheaper turntables have. It is powered by a microprocessor-controlled DC motor at either 33⅓ or 45 RPM with a belt-driven system.

Even though it’s a huge piece of furniture, you still have a minimalist design that can fit in with your living room aesthetic (well, if you have one). It is also minimalist in its functionality as there is just one know that can control the power, volume, and input switching of your device. It doesn’t have any output so while you can stream music from any Bluetooth enabled device, there is no way for you to connect the vinyl player to any other speaker.

The Donut i5 is available in various colors like orange, yellow, chocolate, red velvet, dragon fruit, avocado, matcha, and other hunger-inducing colors. You get a black wooden base and fabric grille as well. There are also special editions like the Van Gogh, Marilyn Monroe, and Quicksand designs.

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Apple Music counters Spotify with live sessions in spatial audio

Apple is no stranger to exclusive tunes, but now it's using them to more directly challenge its rivals. The company has launched an Apple Music Sessions series that, much like Spotify Sessions, revolves around live performances from big-name artists at in-house venues. Not surprisingly, Apple is wielding its technical clout to reel you in — every song is available in spatial audio, and videos of the performances are available if listening isn't enough.

The initial sessions cater to country fans, with Carrie Underwood and Tenille Townes playing favorites and covers in Apple's Nashville studio. Upcoming releases will feature the likes of Ingrid Andress and Ronnie Dunn. There will be releases for other genres, so don't worry if you prefer live music without a twang.

There's no mystery to the strategy here. As with Apple's other exclusives, ranging from early iTunes Originals through to recent spatial audio offerings, this is all about giving you a reason to either switch to the service or stay hooked. The company just isn't shy about its main competition this time — it's hoping to draw in some Spotify converts, or at least keep Apple Music fans from jumping ship.