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Wow, Wow, Wow

Wow, Wow, Wow
by Gary Woods

I love my iPhone, iPad and iPod but I'm not crazy about the sound I hear through those iconic little white earphones. Having spent a big hunk of my life as a musician and during that time putting in a lot of hours in studios I know what great sound is and those little ear buds ain't it!

To enhance my listening experience the nice folks from SRS Labs ( have come up with something called iWow 3D. This technology, which I first heard years ago, came from the Hughes Corporation as in Howard Hughes. The effect is generated by manipulating in-phase and out of phase audio thereby widening out the sound spectrum.

The effect is almost magical in that it takes audio coming out of speakers and makes the sound seem to come from outside the box. Let's say your speakers are 6 feet apart with this technology they sound 10 feet apart and give the music a surround quality.

Originally the effect came in a box which cost several hundred dollars and resided in a lot of major studios. It was used to mix many records and particularly by people who make music for games.

Over time the effect has been used in TVs for people who didn't want to bother putting 5 to 7 speakers around their room to give that immersive surround effect. And it has been used in computer speakers again to give a bigger sound.

Now SRS Labs has come up with a device which plugs into the iPhone, iPod and iPad giving your music a more natural immersive sound with deep, rich bass and it dynamically locates and restores audio details buried in the music.

I saw and heard the iWow 3D at MacWorld in San Francisco in January and bought it for $35. Evidently that was a show price because now on their website the same thing is going for $59.99. If you'd like to get more out of your music library this is an easy effective way to do it. Even at $60 I think it's a good price. Either that or you can bring all your music over to my studio and I'll re-mix it for you with the Hughes box. That should only run you about $100 per song.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc