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Gadgets

It's the music that we choose

STILL TALKING - Enrico Miguel T. Subido - The Philippine Star

Low bit rate MP3s and hyper-compressed files will be the death of audio appreciation. It’s true: a correct and proper way to appreciate music doesn’t exist. If a song hits you and you like it regardless of its fidelity, then you like it. Simple as that. But pieces of a song get lost when the music is put through too many machines, too many times. What if there was a way to hear it the way the artist really intended you to? Wouldn’t that track become even more special?

There are many solutions for improving the quality of an MP3. Downloading MP3 editing software, tweaking equalizer settings, and adding filters will surely improve sound quality. But I already know that a lot of you out there in Digital Land have been turned off by the whole idea after having read the previous sentence.

A simple tip for keeping sound quality high would be to download MP3s with higher bit rates — like say, for example, files that are 320kbps and up. Another would be to encode at the highest bit rate that your converter allows (like when you want to rip CDs into your computer.) These bigger files will sound considerably better than 64, 128, and 256kbps ones.

Yet another solution would be to invest in a quality sound player. “Invest” sounds like you’ll have to spend a fortune, but not necessarily. Audio docks are somewhat de rigueur nowadays, considering how many people enjoy their music using portable music players. And because they have grown in popularity, so too have improvements in audio reproduction, speaker technology, impedance, decibel ratings, and affordability.

Almost all popular audio brands have created an audio dock for use with mobile music players; but this is not exclusive technology. This allows brands like Samsung to come up with high quality audio docks that reproduce sound well, and are available over a variety of price ranges. Here’s a quick look at their locally available audio docks (and just before we get into it — all the following devices are compatible with all Galaxy devices, iPod, iPhone, and iPad):

Samsung DA E-550 And Samsung DA E-570

The entry level models of Samsung’s new audio docks, the 550 and the 570, are stylish and functional. They share the same specs: 10 watt power output, two-channel, dual docking (for Galaxy devices and Apple devices), phase plug type speakers, and Bluetooth connectivity. But the best thing about these is that while they are essentially the same inside, they look completely different, giving users the option to choose the style most suited for them. The 550 has a “horn” shape which looks fun and funky while the 570 has a more reserved and traditional box shape. Having the 550 and 570 both as entry level units was a great move by Samsung because it offers two different styles for the same price.

Taking a considerable step up from the 550 and 570 is the 650, maxing out at 40 watts and featuring a 2.1 audio channel. The two speakers are complemented by a subwoofer integrated into the speaker’s body, with a rear port for pushing more air out and delivering more bass. The cones of these speakers are a hybrid of glass fiber and a plug-type, which makes them durable and volume crack-free. Bluetooth and Samsung’s patented AllShare connectivity make listening to music a snap, while touch controls on the body are a nice addition. And the 650 can also be synced to a Samsung SmartTV using the SoundShare option to be the audio source for files played over AllShare. And it has an auxiliary headphone jack. It’s a Spartan feature, but it gets the job done.

Samsung DA E-750

This thing is nice. It can do everything the other three docks can do, and it has the best sound. It’s also the most expensive, but for a reason. Maxing out at 100 watts and also featuring a subwoofer, the 750 doesn’t only sound good, but it looks good, too. Its sleek, high-gloss mahogany wood finish is elegant, without being presumptuous. It looks like a classy piece of furniture. But the best thing about the 750 is the vacuum tubes that power it, resulting in a warmer, more natural sound compared to regular transistor-type devices. The bass and the highs on the 750 are extremely well balanced and matched to perfection. And it is compatible with AirPlay technology, making connectivity with the device that much easier. The retro look of the 750, with the vacuum tubes visible through a small clear pane on the unit’s top side, definitely makes it a charmer. And let’s not forget: it sounds excellent.

“As audio is an integral part of the overall home entertainment experience, we’re proud to provide consumers around the world with superior sound quality that can be enjoyed in the home,” says Amby Navarro-Molina, Sasmsung Electronics Philippines Corporation (SEPCO) Product Marketing Head.

Samsung’s wireless solutions for great audio enjoyment are a step towards better music appreciation. Encountering things like lo-fi MP3s and poor bit rates negatively affect the music experience. But it’s a good thing that there are devices that aim to curb this problem. We don’t know how MP3s will improve or worsen over the years, but the aim is to make things sound as good as possible. And it still remains that music is an important part of our existence. 2D from the band Gorillaz says it best: “And if time’s elimination, then we’ve got nothing to lose. Please repeat the message: It’s the music that we choose.”

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For more information about Samsung’s audio docks and other products visit www.samsung.com/ph.

E-mail me at [email protected].

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Follow me on Twitter @_stilltalking.

AMBY NAVARRO-MOLINA

AUDIO

BLUETOOTH AND SAMSUNG

BUT I

DIGITAL LAND

MUSIC

SAMSUNG

SOUND

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