Music Television

Seiun Players lets you listen to a tune in hi-res audio

MP3 players and smartphones ushered in a whole new era of convenience for music lovers wanting to take their tunes with them wherever they go. But sound quality has been traded in for portable convenience because of the compression that’s done to the music.

Seiun Players are sleek high-resolution audio and, in the case of two models, 4K video players that its makers say offer much superior audio quality to rival devices on the market. Three models are being fielded: Seiun (pronounced Say-yune), Seiun Pro and Seiun Pro X. All three can play uncompressed hi-res PCM audio up to at least 192 KHz/24-bit and can upscale music that’s not hi-res to that same rate, according to the Indiegogo campaign.

While the entry-level model features only a 1.04-inch display and isn’t designed for video playback, the Pro and Pro X each have a 5.5-inch touch display and are built on the Android OS, adding access to hi-fi streaming services including Tidal and Deezer via the Google Play Store. The Pro and Pro X can play uncompressed hi-res PCM audio up to 384 KHz/32-bit. While Seiun Pro features a 720p-resolution screen and 32 GB of onboard storage, the Pro X offers 1080p resolution and 64 GB storage. The Pro and Pro X also each offer video output of up to 4K resolution, according to the campaign.


HearNotes offers hi-fi earbuds from out of the Bluetooth

Historically, enjoyment of hi-fidelity images has conjured up rooms with racks of equipment, speakers as tall as an NBA guard, and a deep seat that evokes memories of vintage Maxell commercials. But even audiophiles have not been immune to the demands that being on the go places on listening pleasure. There are many contenders among high-end wired headphones that cater to the discriminating listener, but most of the wireless products have been plagued by a range of issues, including that they’re often not truly wireless.

HearNotes has sought escape from the constraints of Bluetooth by tapping a dormant audio technology called Kleer. Kleer was developed expressly for the purpose of transmitting uncompressed hi-fi stereo music at low power. Beyond quality improvements versus Bluetooth, it claims better resistance to interference. However, because Kleer isn’t ubiquitous in smartphones the way Bluetooth is, the company has had to develop a tiny transmitter that plugs into the headphone jack. This also means that, unlike with some Bluetooth earbuds, you won’t be able to quickly switch into a phone call should one disturb your jam.

To minimize the inconvenience of transmitter, the company has created a little storage box that charges the transmitter and completely wire-free left and right earbud for about four hours of blissful listening. HearNotes has also put a good spin on the need for the transmitter, noting that it offers virtually universal compatibility, even with devices such as some MP3 players  and even old portable CD players that lack Bluetooth.