GW-264 -- Kenwood KSC-SS10, Kenwood HD10GB7, Seagrand XR003 X-REX

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The Hottest Gadgets and Gizmos from Japan
Issue No. 264
Monday December 11, 2006
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Name: Kenwood KSC-SS10
Category: Car audio
Price: 24,990 yen per pair
Release date in Japan: Already available

The Gist: For car audio fans this week comes Kenwood's
"KSC-SS10" satellite speakers. They're already available
in Japan for around 25,000 yen per pair.

The SS10s take a unique approach to installation, in that
they need not replace the stock speakers of your automobile.
Adding aftermarket speakers to your car typically meant
finding the parts that would fit your specific car's make
and model. No more; the SS10s do not use fittings specific
to any make or model of car. As a result, they can be
installed as "add-ons" to your car's stock speakers.

In terms of sound quality, the SS10s offer a hybrid
oscillation panel with PP and "Binchotan," a traditional
Japanese charcoal. According to Kenwood, use of the latter
ingredient allows for speedy and undistorted sound, because
Binchotan is harder and contains more natural ingredients
than carbon alone.

The frequency response of the speakers is from 120Hz to

More info:
Name: Kenwood HD10GB7
Category: Portable audio
Price: Open Price; estimated around 40,000 yen
Release date in Japan: Already available

The Gist: Also from Kenwood is a new portable audio player
with a 10GB hard drive. The "HD10GB7" is billed as the
"World's Smallest Hard Drive Player," and one look at a
product image and you'll agree. It isn't much bigger than
a box of matches, with dimensions of 66 x 44 x 17mm.

The 10GB7 is Kenwood's newest in their "Media Keg" line of
portable audio players. The Media Keg series has always been
focused on high audio quality, and despite the small size of
the 10GB7, it retains all of the same features as its bigger
brothers. The "Clear Digital Amp" reduces noise in audio,
and there's even a "Clear Digital Power" source such that
there's no interference from the player's battery during
playback. "Supreme" will also interpolate frequencies that
may have been lost during the MP3/WMA audio compression
process. It can interpolate frequencies as high as 22kHz,
which allegedly brings it close to the quality of the
source. Even the chassis of the player is an "Advanced
Ground Chassis" that improves audio quality by intensifying
the grounding of the circuitry and making sure the left and
right halves of the player are symmetrical.

At the end of the day, though, you may not notice. The
10GB7 features support for MP3, WMA, and WAV audio files,
where WMA DRM10 is supported. You can use "Napster to Go,"
the fixed-cost download service recently launched in Japan
by Napster Japan. There's also a 1.5" organic EL color
display. Things get even more interesting with the "Multi
Control Key" for controlling many of the device's navigation
and playback functions, USB Host support, and JPEG still
image playback. The battery life isn't too bad either --
you'll get about 24 hours out of MP3 files and 20 hours
from WMA files. A full recharge takes about 4 hours over USB.

More info:
Name: Seagrand XR003 X-REX
Category: Portable audio
Price: 1GB: 17,800 yen, 2GB: 22,800 yen
Release date in Japan: Already available

The Gist: It goes without saying that different people want
different things, and that's especially evident in the world
of portable audio players. So while some may reach for
Kenwood's player with for its small size and high quality
audio, others will reach for Seagrand's new
"XR003 X-REX" player.

Battery life is the name of the game for the XR003. The
XR003's battery life blows the pants off virtually every
other portable audio player we've ever seen, be it flash-
based, hard drive-based, or even CD-based. It offers a
stunning 168 hours -- or 7 full days -- of
continuous playback time. It seems a bit maniacal, but
it's true. Even better is the fact that a full recharge
takes a mere 4 hours. According to the company, even if
you use the player for 5 hours every day, you won't need
to charge it for an entire month.

Unfortunately that's really where the fun of the XR003 ends.
You'll find nothing more than standard features, such as
MP3/WMA playback, DRM9 support, preset and customizable
equalizers, SRS WOW, pitch adjustment, FM radio, and
voice recording. If you're the sort of person that
absolutely cannot stand to recharge your various electronics,
look no further than the XR003.

More info:


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Written by: Liam McNulty
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