Today's vast array of devices for listening to music means that it is increasingly difficult to decide what to listen to or which audio player should be used to play favorite tunes. A new company has unveiled a device that aims to simplify the process. Aether's Cone speaker learns what music a user likes over time and plays it without any fuss.
The Cone is similar in concept to the recently-launched Bang and Olufsen BeoSound Essence, in that it aims to strip away any decision making and fiddling with devices and instead replace them with automatically selected music to meet the users tastes, and which is controlled with a simple and minimalistic interface.
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Aether promises that the Cone will learn not only what sort of music you like, but when and where you like listening to it. By tracking time and location in addition to musical tastes, it should be better able to select what the user would like to listen to at any given moment from its online library of over 20 million tracks, Internet radio stations and podcasts (which the Cone accesses over Wi-Fi).
To begin playing music or skip to a new track, users just need to turn the front-facing dial. Playback can be paused by tapping the button at the center of the cone, and a specific track can be requested with voice instruction after pressing and holding the center button.
The device itself has a black and copper finish and is designed to be placed and left on a shelf or table. At 6.3 x 6.3 x 6 in (16 x 16 x 15.2 cm) and 2.9 lb (1.3 kg), the wireless speaker is very portable and has a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery that gives 8 hours of continuous playback, making it ideal for moving around the house.
The Cone features a 3-inch woofer plus two tweeters, which are powered by a digital I2S 2.1 channel 20 W audio amplifier. It is compatible with iOS 7+ or Mac OS X 10.9+ Mavericks, and also works with Airplay.
The Cone will be available around the second quarter of 2014 and will retail from US$399.
The video below provides an introduction to the Aether Cone.