Fad Gadgets: Earin M-2 earbuds, Gecho synth and Stylophone Gen X-1

Gecho mini synthesiser


Tiny synths with a stripped-back aesthetic are all the rage these days, and the Gecho scores highly on the geek-o-meter by resembling a circuit board which you prod with your fingers. It’s unusual in that it uses built-in mics to pick up ambient sounds and transform them into soundscapes, which you then shape accordingly. Despite a profoundly irritating Kickstarter video pitch, it’s effortlessly reached its funding target – an indication of the quality of the idea.

For more visit the website here.


The natural successor to wireless headphones is the wireless earbud,a sleek device that sits in your ear with no trailing wires. The Earin M-2 connects via Bluetooth to your phone, and (rather incredibly for something that size) gives you touch control over starting, stopping and skipping tracks. The only downside is the fear of mislaying them; say what you like for headphone cables, but at least you know where the headphones are. Maybe the price (north of £200) will prompt owners to take special care.

Find out more at the Earin website.


This is the second reinvention of the Stylophone, the 1960s electronic instrument that has the acoustic charm
of a wasp trapped in a biscuit tin, in the last five years, with synth-y additions like filters, delays and effects to enhance the monotone of the original. This X-1 version (£60) has a “sound strip” to give you something extra to fiddle with, but it’s still mainly about stabbing at a metal surface with an annoying stylus, and wincing when it slips.

Check out the website for more info.

Rhodri Marsden