MacDirectory Magazine

Fall-Winter 2008 (#39)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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124 MacDirectory PROFILE UPBEAT AUDIO > REVOLUTIONIZE YOUR IPOD Love your iPod but hate the way compressed music sounds? So did Linda Langs, managing partner and chief marketing officer at Upbeat Audio . Upbeat Audio was started in 2005 because, as Langs told MacDirectory, "We just wanted to create some wonderful little pocket amplifiers…so we were looking for a way to give a little added power to iPod as well as…enhance the sound." Three years later, it is safe to say Upbeat Audio has more than met their original goals. Not only do the company's Boostaroo and Boostaroo Revolution products amplify sound enough to eliminate background noise, they also give you more clarity, increasing volume without distorting the pure sound of the music; and, as an added bonus, can save you up to three hours on your charge. The response to these two products "has been tremendous," said Langs, "and best of all, the success is cross-generational. Seniors love the fact that they can hear music at a comfortable volume, and younger users love the way the units open up the sound on their iPods. As the word has gotten out, in fact, even businesses have gotten in on the act." Examples of Upbeat Audio's products being used by businesses include installations in school video systems, hospital rooms, and kidney dialysis areas. A smaller installation and portability is what drove usage in the schools, while use in hospitals came about so that patients, many of whom are seniors with hearing difficulties, can listen to music or watch TV at a volume that is comfortable for them, without disturbing others. This last application has proven to be popular enough that Upbeat Audio has recently come out with a new product for wireless headphones that gives users sound separation. Langs explained, "Many seniors have trouble separating dialogue from background noise and music when they are watching television. With this new enhancement, dialogue will be "pulled out" so that it is automatically louder than the background noise. But it isn't just seniors who fight with background noise. Motorcyclists, among others, also struggle with being able to hear while driving. So how does Upbeat Audio answer their needs? By offering up to six models to choose from. In the case of the Boostaroo, this includes a three-way stereo splitter that's both AC and USB powered, along with a regular battery powered version. Providing two times the amplification, it works with NASCAR scanners, GPS, laptops and other media. Boostaroo Revolution provides four times the amplification and has a special circuit that "demultiples" the compression of MP3 and MP4 music formats, creating a rich surround sound effect that "makes it feel like you're on the stage with the band." Langs said. It offers two splitters, a feature that is popular with motorcyclists, as it grants both the driver and the passenger access to whatever music is playing. Boostaroo Revolution's added volume makes it your best choice for headphones. It has the power to drive high end head- phones – yet can be used with earbuds at a lower volume. The stereo splitter also allows users to save up to three hours on their iPod charge, since the Revolution is used to power and drive headphones. As an added bonus, Revolution is also much smaller than the Boostaroo, making it ideal as an iPod accessory. By focusing on the pure quality of the sound, Boostaroo and Boostaroo Revolution enable users to have increased listenability – without having to turn the sound way up. This not only protects your hearing, Lang said, but also your sanity. "Parents and college roommates have used this when gaming systems are being played and they don't want the games heard all over the house." So whether you need extra help to hear your TV or just want to round out the sound of your iPod or video games, check out Boostaroo and Boostaroo Revolution – it may be the only gift your iPod will want this holiday season. WORDS BY JONE DEVLIN

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