Gadgets: Newfangled audio in old-style wrapper

  • Updated: November 10, 2012 - 5:33 PM

McAire, $3,000, www.mcintoshlabs.com

While Apple, maker of the Macintosh computer, has reveled in bringing us the new, the audio company McIntosh has gloried in electronics that keep to the tried and true. But the two worlds have collided with a McIntosh audio dock called the McAire, which incorporates Apple's wireless AirPlay system.

AirPlay allows the McAire to connect wirelessly to any Apple product sharing the same Wi-Fi network. Devices can also be connected to the dock by USB cable.

The sound quality is very good, which can be a bit of a problem because the flaws in highly compressed recordings are easy to hear.

Like most McIntosh gear, the McAire has considerable heft -- 31 pounds of it -- with a 25-watt amplifier, two 4-inch woofers, two 2-inch midrange speakers and two ¾-inch tweeters.

It features old-school McIntosh styling, with a black gloss faceplate housing two blue VU meters and showing the brand name in glowing green. But as McIntosh aficionados are used to hearing, it's going to cost you. The McAire lists for $3,000.

PHOTOS BY IPHONE,

BETTER LIGHTING BY LED

Klyp case, www.manfrotto.us

If one LED light for your phone camera is good, are 24 better?

If you are serious about taking photos with your iPhone, then perhaps so. Manfrotto, the camera accessories manufacturer, has produced a new case for the iPhone 4 and 4S that lets you snap on auxiliary LED lights and a tripod.

The Klyp case, as it's called, is a pretty standard slip-on case with a rubbery "soft touch" exterior and feltlike liner.

The stars of the system are the lighting arrays, either a 12-LED light suitable for close-up photos and macro shots, or a 24-LED lamp that can comfortably light head-and-shoulders shots.

The LED arrays are a huge improvement over the single-LED flash built into the iPhone. The built-in flash has a tendency to overlight photos harshly and leave your subjects with glowing red eyes.

The 24-LED array has a dimmer switch to adjust how much light it puts out. The quality of the light is neutral, but it may benefit from a diffuser, which, in a pinch, you could probably make from tissue paper.

NEW YORK TIMES

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