Update eliminates requirement for physical network connection, Sonos Bridge
Sonos has started to implement a change to the wireless networking used by its speaker system, eliminating the need for a physical connection. The previously-announced update will now allow for speakers to connect to an existing Wi-Fi network, instead of the wireless mesh network created between the speakers.
Curved Soundbar designed to have same curvature as Samsung UHD televisions
Samsung has revealed two more products ahead of this week's IFA show, this time pertaining to home audio. The M3 is the latest in Samsung's rival multiroom system to Sonos, following the M5 and the M7, while the Curved Soundbar is designed to match the same curvature and style as the manufacturer's curved UHD televisions.
Speaker doubles as a tablet stand, but offers weak bass, one control button
Bluetooth speakers aren't only for listening to some music at the park or on a long bus ride, but can also be built with tablets in mind. While some manufacturers craft speakers with a shape that is specifically molded to hold a tablet and offer little use otherwise, others have caught on to a better design. Life n Soul have attempted such a configuration with the BM211 Virtual Surround Sound Bluetooth speaker. Would it give consumers flexibility to have a speaker suited for tablets and everyday use, or would they be left with another single-use sound device? Find out in our review.
LG Music Flow Player app streams music from networked audio sources to speakers
LG is attempting to take on Sonos in the networked speaker market, with the launch of a new range of speaker components. The LG Music Flow collection consists of three Music Flow Speakers, a Sound Bar, and a Network Bridge, with a central Music Flow Player app for Android and iOS able to control all of the devices and manage the user's music library.
Desktop 2.1 stereo speakers offer affordable, clear sound, but need more punch
Desktop computer speakers sit in a weird area of limbo: many consumers have forgone the era of desktop listening for the privacy and versatility of headphones. Others see their usefulness in work spaces, when large surround systems or wearing a pair of headphones for hours isn't an option. What about consumers looking for a budget set of speakers that can be used in a number of spaces, without sacrificing on sound? Desktop users could have a possible solution with the Logitech Z213 multimedia speakers. Does the $30 speaker set warrant consideration, or is the money better spent towards a more expensive set up? Find out in our review.
Offers good sound, low price, but speaker is held back by battery, digital signal processing
Bluetooth speakers offer a wealth of choices for consumers, with sound and price often coming down to the main factors for a purchase. Sound needs to fit the requirements of the user, from those that seek crushing bass or a balanced spectrum. Trying to find the middle ground between what consumers can afford and what sound they want can be a difficult equalibrium to reach. But can a good balance of price and sound be found in the sub-$100 market? Yes, with the $70 Logitech X300 mobile wireless speaker. But does the sound stack up to speakers more than twice the price, or are consumers taking too much of a hit to save some cash? Find out in our review.
New speaker models for home use in five configurations, including bookshelf and on-wall units
Harman has released a new set of loudspeakers called the Reference Series under its Infinity brand. The new lineup includes five types of speakers, in nine different configurations, to fit the needs of consumers. Each of the speakers are powered by the company's transducer technology, called the Ceramic Metal Matrix Diaphragm (CMMD).
Four audio devices including Bluetooth speaker and in-ear headphones start at $150
Samsung is jumping into the premium audio market in North America with four new consumer offerings for headphones and Bluetooth speakers. Samsung launched the Level line of audio products today, aiming for high quality sound, portability and style. The Level Over, On and In give consumers options based on the type of style headphone preferred, while the Box speaker allows music to be shared with others.
Core unit utilizes 360-degree sound with three different jackets for style
It's rare to find a Bluetooth speaker that can cover a large array of needs. Generally, speakers are wrapped in a desktop-convenient device for a small increase in sound, or made compact enough to be carried around in lieu of headphones. But what about consumers that are looking for a rugged and waterproof speaker that can handle just about anything while pumping out 360-degree sound? Unfortunately, options were severely limited. A new speaker, the Fugoo, hit the market this year that makes good on all of those promises and then some. Check out what we think about it in our review.
Pioneer announces Dolby Atmos-enabled Elite speakers, Elite SC series receivers
Pioneer has announced a new dedicated line of Dolby Atmos-enabled Elite speakers and Elite SC series of home theater receivers. Dolby Atmos technology was first established for cinema use, and the collaboration with Pioneer aims to offer a multi-dimensional sound experience. Dolby's partnerships will not stop at Pioneer, with Dolby Atmos branded Blu-ray and streaming video services to be launched this fall.
Stylish speakers feature compact design, high-end coverings, 360-degree sound
Two new Bluetooth speakers have been announced by Pioneer Electronics, focusing on ease of use and style. The XW-LF3 and XW-LF1 "Free Me" speakers feature a lightweight design with 360 degrees of sound. The Bluetooth units are small enough to be carried in a bag, but are made to stand out with their high-end look.
Yantouch Diamond+ LED Bluetooth speaker released
Yantouch has released a new portable Bluetooth speaker with an accompanying light system in its Diamond series, the Diamond+. Its neodymium Super Magnet speakers are located on the sides of the device for improved sound emissions, and include a 300 precent sound boost feature. The system's LED light show features 16 million colors to choose from, with users able to control the hues, brightness and saturation, and several light modes. Its "Music You Can See" light mode, for example, matches lighting based on a song's beats. Other modes include a "wash-wall" mood lighting and a white LED light for reading.
Samsung adds Spotify Connect support to Shape speaker range
Samsung has updated its Wireless Audio Multiroom range of home audio equipment to allow Spotify to run off multiple speakers simultaneously, bringing Samsung's multiroom speaker system in line with competitor Sonos. Applying to the Shape M7, Shape M5 and other audio products in the range, the added Spotify Connect support allows for music to be controlled through the Spotify app itself instead of through a dedicated speaker app.
Includes cabled shaker unit
iLuv has started shipping the TimeShaker Micro, a stripped-down version of the original TimeShaker clock released last year. The Micro strips out a Lightning dock, and also switches to a lower-contrast black-on-gray LCD display. As compensation though it adds Bluetooth streaming, and incorporates a USB port for charging. Sound can also be pumped in via an aux-in jack.
Librify to launch an invite-only e-book service, Target to act as retail partner
Social e-book platform Librify has announced the upcoming launch of a new membership based service. Offering access to a "book club-like" experience, e-books will be accessible via a membership subscription, or purchased individually. Members can access book club management features as well as social features that aim to help organize and promote book sharing with friends. Target's partnership is retail focused, and combines Librify's e-book offering with Target's "Club Picks", which will be elaborated upon during its unveiling at Book Expo America this week.
PA features three-channel mixer, 5 hour battery and multiple inputs
UK company Kitsound has announced the release of its newest portable speaker option, the Kingston PA Sound System. Going beyond the typical offerings from the company, including portable Bluetooth speakers and headphones, the Kingston PA draws inspiration from spontaneous Caribbean street parties and Jamaican DJs to aid to its functionality and design.
Speaker provides long battery life, good sound in the home and outdoors
Bluetooth speakers are important not for only adding a bit of punch to music from mobile devices, but also for providing entertainment in social situations. With the increasing frequency with which people are carrying around music on portable devices, it makes sense that listeners would be on the lookout for an equally versatile speaker. But is there a one-size-fits-all speaker that works for a single listener indoors or a gathering on the porch? Nyne throws its hat into the ring with the TT, a hardback book-sized speaker with a combined 20 watts of power. Would it be adequate for open use? Or is it another speaker only good at short distances?
Portable Sony Bluetooth speakers use ClearAudio+ processing
Sony has launched a pair of compact wireless speakers shipping in Europe in the near future. The Srs-X2 Wireless Speaker is billed as an audio device that is portable enough for use outside, while the SRS-X3, meant for home use, is a squarer device that shares the "definitive outline" design of its larger stablemates, the SRS-X9, X7, and X5.
Software update being tested could remove need for Sonos Bridge
Sonos is testing a software update for its wireless speaker system that removes the need for a physical connection to the home network. The software would allow for the system's SonosNet network to operate with one of the speakers accessing the local Wi-Fi network, and avoiding wiring either a speaker or the Sonos Bridge wireless networking device to a router.
Google Play Music app on Android can cast directly to Sonos speakers
Sonos is adding support for Google Play Music to its multi-room speaker system, the company has confirmed. While both Android and iOS will gain the extra support, users on Android will be able to control music playback from the Google Play Music app itself, and marks the first time the speaker manufacturer is allowing a third-party app to control the speakers directly.
Includes USB charging, adjustable light levels
Soundfreaq has started shipping the Sound Rise, a new Bluetooth-based clock speaker. The device is relatively straightforward, for instance featuring built-in dual alarms, which can use separate weekday/weekend settings and a gradual volume increase, whether an alarm is toggled to FM radio, a connected device, or a chime. The speaker also includes a sleep timer which can be set in increments up to 120 minutes, and dimmable display brightness that can even be shut off completely.
Pair of Bluetooth streamers bring portability, bass to mobile device audio
Bluetooth speakers come in enough configurations that anyone should be able to find one to suit their needs. Be it a speaker to fill an entire room with sound that never moves from its spot on a shelf, or a small speaker clipped on a bag pumping out music on the go, there are tons of different units on the market to match an individual's tastes. Boomphones and id America each offer a speaker that may fit a niche for customers looking at small form factors with unique features. Which speaker will do the trick in our showdown -- Boomphones Pocket Speaker or the id America Touchtone?
M2 Bluetooth-enabled 2.1 speaker system offers room-filling sound, wirelessly
Kinivo has announced the availability of its M2 wireless speaker system, available for purchase online. The Bluetooth-enabled 2.1 speaker system is intended for home or office use, and includes two compact speakers with an active subwoofer. Its design features a black finish with copper accents on its volume controls. Able to connect to one's home entertainment system or workspace equipment, the speaker system can stream audio from any Bluetooth-enabled device, as well as any device that can connected through its auxiliary input. The M2 2.1 speaker system is priced at $70.
Units shoot for higher-than-CD audio
Audio gear maker JBL has announced two new wireless speaker systems, the Authentics L8 and L16. Both units support AirPlay, DLNA, and Bluetooth 3.0 streaming, as well as direct input via phono, SPDIF, or 3.5mm jacks. Notably, the pair also use 24-bit, 96kHZ signal paths, enabling better-than-CD quality.
iLuv introduces SyrenPro wireless, weather-resistant speaker
Audio peripheral manufacturer iLuv Creative Technology announced yesterday its extension of its Syren line of speakers, with the addition of the SyrenPro. Equipped with new features such as 'TrueWireless Stereo,' the SyrenPro allows users to wirelessly pair two SyrenPro units to create a combined stereo sound system. Able to withstand outdoor usage, the SyrenPro has a weather- and UV-resistant body. Its Bluetooth capability includes voice prompts for easy pairing, and SyrenPro's aux-in port allows for connection to devices without Bluetooth.
Streaming speakers, home entertainment systems on show from Samsung
Samsung has laid out what it plans to show at CES next week, alongside its 105-inch curved Ultra HD television. The Shape M7 that Samsung launched in October will be accompanied by a smaller model, a Soundbar and Sound Stand, a home entertainment system with a Blu-ray player, and a component audio system for entertaining that offers 2,500W of audio power.
Win a Divoom Bluetune-Bean
The new year is closing in fast and Electronista want's to get the party started, so we've teamed up with Divoom to give away three of their Bluetooth speakers through the evening in our countdown to the new year. The year isn't over yet, so to get things started we have the Divoom Bluetune-Bean.
Day six of Apple's "12 Days of Gifts" features free "New Years Eve Mix" from Avicii
Apple's annual 12 Days of Gifts is on its sixth day, with today's offering being the "New Years Eve Mix" single from Swedish DJ Avicii. Each day's gift can be found by using Apple's 12 Days of Gifts app, available for iOS devices, and users can subsequently download the gift item directly from the iTunes Store. Normally priced at $5, the "New Years Eve Mix" single is accompanied by Avicii's music video for "Wake Me Up".
Jambox, Mini Jambox can have Liquipel coating applied for $50
Jawbone is giving customers the ability to make their portable speakers water-resistant, when extra protection via a hydrophobic coating is bought from its website. The Jambox and Mini Jambox now lists an option to add Liquipel 2.0 to the devices as a $50 extra, making the regular-sized version cost $200, and the smaller model $230.
New Wren V5BT's 3-inch throw drivers and four layer voice coils produce realistic bass
American audio company, Wren Sound Systems, is now shipping its latest speaker product, the Wren V5BT portable speaker. Powered by Intersil's classic D2 50-watt DSP-controlled class D amplifier, the V5BT is able to deliver room-filling sound in a compact design.
Crescent-shaped Boomerang Wireless Audio Dock released
Favi Entertainment has launched its latest mobile accessory, the Boomerang Wireless Audio Dock. A Bluetooth and NFC-enabled speaker, the Boomerang can pair with a mobile device from up to 33-feet away, or rest on the outside edges of a device to create a portable home-theater experience. Its expansion sleeve design is adjustable, accommodating desired viewing angles as well as varying sizes of devices, with its curved shape allowing for wearing around the neck. The Boomerang can play audio for up to ten hours, and is available in two sizes: the original Boomerang, which has two 6-watt speakers, and the Boomerang Mini with two 4-watt speakers. Featuring up to ten hours of audio play, both Boomerang speakers are available in a variety of colors. Currently available for pre-order, the 6-watt Boomerang dock is priced at $80, and the 4-watt Boomerang mini is priced at $60.
Series branded as Immaculate Wireless Sound
Bang & Olufsen has introduced its first wireless speakers, taking advantage of the 24bit/96kHz WiSA standard. The lineup can be used as separate modular components, or as a complete set comprising the compact BeoLab 17 bookshelf speakers, the BeoLab 18 floorstanding columns, and the BeoLab 19 subwoofer. Electronista attended the company's Manhattan launch event to hear if the new set fulfills its promise of "Immaculate Wireless Sound."
Tries to bridge gap between quality and portability
Many Bluetooth speakers are marketed as "portable" these days, but that definition is often a stretch, to put it mildly. Just because something can technically be picked up and moved doesn't mean you can fit it into a bag or luggage. Nude's Move M, though, is one of those speakers that tries to be authentically portable; we'll put it to the test to see if that's true, and if it holds up as a speaker in general.
Apps can configure SoundTouch presets with Internet radio, specific albums
Bose is taking on Sonos by making a version of its SoundLink speakers that are designed for home use. The SoundTouch range of wireless home audio speakers consists of three speakers that all connect over an existing Wi-Fi network, and are able to pull audio from song libraries on the local network as well as over the Internet.
Sonos speakers go on sale before official announcement
A new speaker from audio producer Sonos has apparently gone on sale without being officially announced by the company. The Sonos Play:1, having been last seen visiting the FCC early last month, has been sighted on retail store Target's shelves, with the Play family speakers shown to be available in black and white enclosures.
Lots of sound in a compact package
Portable Bluetooth speakers can sometimes feel as if they're a dime a dozen, at this point. Here at MacNN and Electronista, we seem to get word of new ones launching several times a week -- it's reached a stage where it's simply impractical to cover everything. The Mini Boom is a natural exception, since both Logitech and Ultimate Ears are well-known names. In our review, though, we'll see if there's anything that genuinely separates it from the competition, or if it's simply riding on brand recognition.
Speaker competes with Bose Wave, Sonos systems
Samsung has introduced the Shape M7, a wireless speaker that can be used alone or synced with other M7s placed throughout a home. The system integrates a single subwoofer alongside stereo silk-done tweeters and two midrange speakers, built from a combination of carbon nanotubes and paper.
Balanced Mode Radiator drivers replace tweeters in Cambridge Audio speakers
Cambridge Audio has launched a new range of speakers for the home, one which it claims is an "entirely new approach" to speaker design. The Aero range uses Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR) drivers with conventional cone drivers, similar to the ones used in its Minx speakers, rather than the usual tweeters employed in more traditional designs.
Speaker set uses Lightning, 30-pin, or USB 'Korus Wands' for streaming
Core Brands has announced the immediate online availability of the Korus portable wireless speaker system for high-fidelity audio playback from iPhones, iPads, and computers. Two models are available: the V400 for smaller areas, and the V600 for larger areas. Up to four speakers can be combined into one system, with the ability to separate speakers to use independently at any time.
Win a Minx Go portable Bluetooth speaker
Since 1968, Cambridge Audio has been in the business of making amplifiers, tuners and later CD players. Fast forward to 2013, and the company has taken on building speakers for both the budget-minded and the most discerning audiophile looking for the best of the best. On the consumer end of the scale is the Minx wireless speaker range. The Minx Go Bluetooth speaker is the smallest of the bunch, but promises to offer "big music anywhere." Electronista has one to give away to our readers.
JBL Spark, Pebbles speakers added to lineup with unique features
JBL has added a pair of new speakers to its lineup. The new JBL Spark brings a unique megaphone-like shape in its design, which has the flexibility to be hung on a wall, or stashed in a shelf, or laid on a couch. The JBL Pebbles are a new set of plug and play speakers that are powered over USB by a desktop or notebook that also incorporate built-in cable management.
Harman Kardon launches new headphones, portable speaker
Harman Kardon has introduced its new Soho folding headphones and a new portable wireless speaker system dubbed the Onyx. The new headphones offer its most compact on-ear design yet, and come in three colors, white, black and camel. The new Onyx portable wireless speaker system incorporates a built-in battery, but still delivers 60W of power through four matched speakers. As with the rest of Harman Kardon's lineup, the new products are aimed at audiophiles.
Portable speakers available in varying sizes and colors
Design-focused audio company, Nude Audio, has announced the global release of its debut collection of four portable speakers in the 'Move' line. The speakers' design are intended to compliment popular sports fashion aesthetics, and are named akin to clothing size standards. The 'Move S' is the line's smallest speaker, able to fit into one's pocket, and available in both Bluetooth and wired versions. 'Move M' is able to produce more bass, and 'Move L' offers the ability to fill a room with a full sound. Each speaker is equipped with a bright carrying cord and durable silicone sleeve. Retailing between $30 and $100, the three Bluetooth speakers and one 3.5mm wired speaker are expected to be available in late August 2013.
Supports daisy-chaining via 3..5mm jacks
Speaker maker Soundfreaq has announced the Sound Spot, an upcoming portable Bluetooth model. The unit's lithium-ion battery can run for up to seven hours without a recharge. One notable difference is that the speaker includes a USB port, which can be used to charge any USB-equipped device, even when the speaker is running on internal power.
Logitech targeting Z600 at MB Air, Ultrabook users
Logitech has rolled out its latest set of Bluetooth stereo speakers, the Z600. The speakers have been targeted at MacBook Air and Ultrabook users, although they will work with any Bluetooth A2DP-enabled device including smartphones and tablets. The new speakers utilize Logitech’s easy-switching technology, allowing users to pair up to three devices at the same time – users just need to press pause on the device streaming music, and play on one of the other paired devices.
New dock tries to cover all the bases
The market for iOS speaker docks is sharply divided these days, and it's all Apple's fault. By switching to the new Lightning format last fall, it forced accessory makers to cater either to the broadest market of Apple devices -- which still use 30-pin connectors -- or the bleeding edge. Soundfreaq's Sound Step Lightning is of course aimed mostly at new hardware, but also takes something of a shotgun approach by including Bluetooth, USB, FM, and auxiliary inputs to boot. In our review, we'll see if the Sound Step holds up in terms of quality, not just support.
Supports older Apple hardware via USB port
Soundfreaq has announced the Sound Step Lightning, a new speaker dock. The unit takes its name from a Lightning port compatible with the latest generation of Apple mobile devices. Significantly, though, it also accepts input via Bluetooth, a stereo cable source, or 30-pin Apple devices connected through USB. The USB port can charge any connected device. Playback is controlled with capacitive touch buttons, an IR remote, or connected hardware.
Top-end iDL100 docks two Lightning devices at once
Peripheral maker iHome has announced three new FM radio alarm docks, all equipped with Lightning docks for later-generation Apple devices. The standard model is the iDL45, which also has a secondary USB port that can be used to play and charge older Apple devices with 30-pin connectors. Some other features include time sync, EQ controls, programmable snooze lengths, and dual alarms with custom day and time settings.
Premium speaker set uses high-end material in construction
Audience today announced that it is now shipping the ClairAudient "The ONE" single-driver speaker set. The new model is the smallest in Audience's ClairAudient speaker lineup, at just seve inches high by 5.5 inches wide by seven inches deep. The ONE is tailored for desktop music listening, compact high-end stereo systems and surround-sound home theater.
Killer Concepts takes shot at loud yet compact Bluetooth speaker
Headphones and portable speakers are, for my money, still the best uses of Bluetooth, at least when it comes to audio. There are other options, like connecting to a full-sized stereo or car system, but in those cases there are often equally convenient alternatives with better fidelity. It's when you're traveling somewhere that fidelity takes a back seat to qualities like compact size, or minimizing wires. On the surface the RocksteadyXS seems to fit that bill; we'll put the hardware to the test in our review.