The holidays are over, and CES is upon us. In tech this is usually the time where we get to see what the future looks like for a number of different industries. New products both crazy and inspirational (and some both) are shown off in Las Vegas every year, and every year there are always new gadgets that point to what the future could be. In the realm of audio, the gadget that’s been catching plenty of attention this year is the Boomstick. This little dongle is basically a DAC, but for less money. It also works in a slightly different way but the end result is the same: plug the Boomstick into your device then your headphones into the Boomstick, and enjoy better sound regardless of the headphones.
DACs are digital-to-analog converters that take electrical signals and turn them into sounds that your ear can hear. It’s no secret that phones and laptops don’t have the highest of quality DACs, so audiophiles really looking for quality have had to invest in better, external DACs and a better pair of headphones. However, Boomcloud 360 thinks that’s too complicated a process and they have a new plan, which begins with the Boomstick. Using special algorithms the dongle fine tunes the signal being sent to it and optimizes it for the headphones that are plugged in. This means that any pair of headphones you have, from the ‘buds that came with your phone to your favorite pair of over-ear cans, can get a noticeable boost in sound quality.
Why not just invest in lossless streaming? After all, that was the direction that the music industry appeared to be going in over the past two years. What makes this easier? In the eyes of Boomcloud 360, the answer is that it’s all about the algorithms. For lossless music to work, it needs to be easily accessible to everyone and easy to produce. So far it doesn’t seem to be either of those and only people who truly care about sound even know what it is. Most people see no problem sacrificing quality for the convenience of MP3s. Boomcloud 360 wants to change all of that with their algorithms. Anything that can produce sound can benefit from them, making movies, music, and games sound that much better.
Currently the company only has the Boomstick available for pre-order in silver or black for $99, but don’t be surprised to see headphones and speakers that incorporate their algorithms in the future. The Boomstick plugs in via the standard 3.5mm connection and has a single button that lets you switch between BOOM modes (which seem to be like EQ profiles). It charges via micro USB and should last you around 14 hours before you have to plug it in for a charge. Is the Boomstick the beginning of the future for audio? Or is this concept just a passing fad? What do you think?