By Richard Menta 4/20/03
Samsung has announced this week that their newest MP3 portable, the Yepp YP-55, will offer a unique feature, Surround Sound.
As we all know, Surround Sound uses multiple speakers that are placed around listeners to enhance audio delivery by addressing the sound spatially, offering a three dimensional feel for the music played. Of course, it is not practical for portable music products to carry around several speakers with them.
The Samsung Yepp YP-55
This is why various technological techniques have been developed to allow this effect to be simulated through the use of only two earphones. The technology works fairly well too. We described how some of this effect is achieved four years ago in our August 1999 article MP3 and 3D Audio, Perfect Together.
3D audio has it's limitations though. That particular article also did not discuss six channel surround, just some of the sound manipulating theories that could help improve music eminating from the cheap speakers most of us had on our PCs then. Cheap headphones are the biggest hinderance to good sound quality on portable units and these audio manipulation tricks attempt to compensate for some of that (as opposed to including better, but more expensive, ear-gear). The Yepp the YP-55 will utilize the technology created by SRS Labs' WOW surround sound simulator to achieve the effect.
The YP-55 comes in a 128MB version for $172 and a 256MB version for $205. Powered by a single AAA battery, the unit offers an FM readio with 20 presets and can record MP3s on the fly internally.
The company has not said when this unit will be available in the US. The new player does goes on sale in South Korea at the end of April, so it should hit the North American market by summer.
The 128MB Philips PSA MP3 player for the gym is available on Amazon
Other MP3 stories:
PROOF That File Trading Sells DVDs...Sort Of
Is Apple Buying Universal Music Good?
Arista looks to Copy-protect all CDs.