Gadget Show Live day two - sound, vision and tech tourists

Tech for our ears and eyes is in abundance at Gadget Show Live as the event opened to the masses

03 Apr 2013


More than 80,000 tech-hungry consumers are expected to head to the Birmingham NEC for Gadget Show Live over the coming few days.

2) We First Saw LG's 84inch Ultra HDTV At CES, But The Picture Seems Even More Impressive From Gadget Show Live

Luckily we're still hanging around and are willing to fight our way through the crowds to give you the lowdown on what's going on.

David Bowie's classic track Sound and Vision currently features on a TV ad, and tech for our ears and our eyes is in abundance at the show.

Pioneer launched a new speaker dock, while we also checked out wireless speakers at Samsung and Jabra, a slick soundbar at Sonos and the next generation of 4K TV at the LG stand.

Ultra HD creates the 'wow' factor

At 84 inches, LG's Ultra HD TV was pretty hard to miss when you walked past the tech giant's stand - it stood there all vast and colourful, posturing like the biggest bloke in the bar.

And do you know what? It was.

The TV was rigged up to a gaming chair which superbly demonstrated its sharpness and its vast scale. The blurb said "four times the resolution, four times the wow" and it certainly was jaw-dropping to look at.

Ultra HD, also known as 4K, offers four times the 1920 x 1080 of existing Full HD TV panels and was the biggest thing at this year's International CES, where it was widely touted as the future of vision.

Get smart with LG TVs 

LG was also showing off its latest range of smart TVs. Smart TVs connect to the web so you can browse Facebook and watch iPlayer as well as checking out regular TV shows.

We took a closer look at the LA860, and were given a guided tour of the funky Magic Remote, which features motion control and speech detection.

We were shown how the TV could scour the web for info on the Gadget Show by merely pressing a button on the remote and saying 'Gadget Show' - pretty slick, we had to admit. 

LG LA860


Looking cool with the Sonos Playbar

An epic TV deserves some epic sound, and it doesn't come much better than Sonos.

Over on the Sonos stand the vibe was understated and hip - slender, curvaceous speakers booming out the right tunes and well-dressed tech experts with encyclopaedic product knowledge.  

After a while standing around tapping my foot, trying to look cool I gave up and sauntered over for a closer look at the Playbar - a soundbar which is just as stylish as the Sonos Gadget Show stand.

If you want to bring immersive Hi-Fi sound to your living room whether watching TV or streaming music from streaming services including Spotify, the Playbar could be the answer. The slender black bar contains nine speakers, comprising mid woofers and tweeters.

A single optical cable is all it takes to connect Playbar to your TV, while you can control sound with the Sonos app or a remote control. For those wanting to create a 5:1 home theatre experience, just pair Playbar with the Sonos Sub and a pair of Play:3s.

John MacFarlane, CEO, Sonos, said: "Playbar will change everything about the sound experience in your living room, bringing together amazing HiFi sound for your TV and wireless access to the world's music in a radically simple way."

Dock your sound

Pioneer introduced us to its new X-SMC00 speaker dock range in Birmingham.

As well as boasting an iPod dock, the device is available with a Bluetooth option to allow wireless streaming of tunes from your phone or tablet.

The addition of a USB port also means you can connect your iPhone 5 or iPad mini to the dock. 

Pioneer X-SMC00

Geoff Loveday, product executive at Pioneer, said: "After the success of the 2012 X-SMC range, we wanted to bring back a new and improved model. Smaller, with a range of colours and the option for wireless music with the Bluetooth model, the X-SMC00 is the ideal dock for anybody looking to expand their home listening experience."

Wireless sound with a simple tap

While we're talking about sound we also had a look at the Samsung DAF-60 wireless speaker. The portable speaker has a sleek, retro vibe with shiny silver dials and lines smoother than 'gorgeous George' Clooney.

It really does look cool, but the best thing about it is you can stream your music via Bluetooth in one simple tap thanks to NFC. Enjoy your favourite tunes without a wire in sight by tapping your NFC-enabled phone against the speaker.

You can also pair it up with Bluetooth manually, but the process isn't quite as slick as NFC simple tap.

Music is your solemate 

We also had a look at the wireless speakers and headphones on the Jabra stand.

We gave the Revo Wireless headphones a run out and very snappy they were too. Once we'd finished listening to tunes through them they folded into a neat little package - perfect for slipping in your bag once you get to work.

They feature high-def Dolby Digital Plus, while you can use in-line controls to skip tracks and take calls. Meanwhile, the Solemate speaker was also on display, with wireless features that mean it's good for blasting out tunes wherever you are. As Jabra says, "party on the beach or dance in the kitchen". 

Jarba Solemate Speaker

Craig Nicholas, Marketing Director EMEA Consumer Products, said: "We're very excited to be exhibiting at the Gadget Show Live for the first time, giving UK tech fans a chance to get hands-on with our new MUSIC range." 

Evolve your TV

Samsung was also showing off its Smart Evolution Kit, a hardware add-on that gives last year's TVs a 2013 facelift.

Samsung's 7000, 8000 and 9000 2012 Smart TV models can be easily upgraded with this year's features by slotting the Evolution Kit into the TV's back.

The Evolution Kit brings to your old TV faster browsing and the latest upgrade of the Smart Hub interface among other features.