Tag - Speakers
Every day, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our MacNN Deals store. Since the typically sunny summer is just around the corner, today's selections are all portable Bluetooth speakers, including two classy audio devices clad in leather and wood, another that's weather-sealed, and one that offers volume with a solid bass.
Two companies have introduced changes to the way iOS users can interact with their products. Ultimate Ears is updating the UE Boom 2 and UE Megaboom speakers with voice integration, while Sonos has updated its iOS Sonos Controller app to give it lock screen controls that can be used from the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, as well as other additions that take advantage of the iPad's multitasking abilities.
We've talked about rugged, waterproof speakers before, and what we've come to find is that, usually, the most impressive speakers we've seen tend to be the ones that come in at higher price points. Today, we're checking out a more reasonably-priced speaker, the Aquatune 5712, to see how it holds up against its pricier competitors.
Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our own MacNN Deals store. Today's selections are all speakers of varying kinds, with some able to be used outdoors in wet areas thanks to waterproofing, and one that performs double duty as a lamp for your bedroom or office.
Hey there, Amber here. As most of you know, I review a lot of audio equipment here on MacNN, primarily Bluetooth speakers and various types of headphones. Dozens, in fact, in the little-over-a-year that I've been writing here, and no, I don't have a wall'o Bluetooth like Mike and Charles say I do. Despite not having a testament to short-ranged wireless speakers in my home, I think that what I do have gives me a bit of perspective for what makes a Bluetooth speaker good, and I thought I'd pass this information along to you, in an effort to help you pick out a product that works for you.
So, you're in the market for a speaker, but you want one that can go places that most speakers can't, like out in the rain or in the shower -- but you're not willing to drop hundreds of dollars on a bulky waterproof speaker. No worries, friends, as iHome came up with the iBT15, also known as Drop+, a small, versitile Bluetooth speaker with an IPX5 water-resistant rating.
We love Bluetooth speakers, but there's generally a problem we have with them. Either they're a solo speaker, or you're expected to buy a second, usually rather expensive speaker and go through the arduous task of pairing them together for great stereo sound. But what if there was a better way to go about it? What if there was a set of Bluetooth speakers that worked in tandem without being expensive and uncooperative? Well, now there are: Introducing iHome's iBT11, also known as iHome's Split. We've spent some time with them -- see what we thought about the Split in our full review.
Your phone isn't loud. Your iPad isn't loud. Your MP3 player might not even play music without speakers or headphones plugged into it. So what are you to do when you want to show someone a video or your new favorite song, but they can't hear it over the rest of the noise in the room? Well, you could always reach for iHome's iM54, a rechargeable mini-speaker designed to always be on hand.
Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a modest tube about the size of your typical energy-drink can, that puts out sufficient volume to provide a wireless soundtrack of music for an intimate gathering, or double as an on-the-fly conference call speaker. Sometimes, however, you need to go large, and for that the company offers the Megaboom, a bigger speaker that offers even more volume for when you need more people to hear the music. How big is too big for a speaker like this? How loud is too loud? We had a listen to the Megaboom and rated its highs and lows in our review.
If you want to be really harsh about it, Apple's Keynote presentation software might only be better than Microsoft PowerPoint because fewer people use it. We are all so used to sitting through PowerPoint presentations that we recognise the software no matter how fancy the speakers get. Keynote seems newer and fresher just in comparison. Only, there is a huge amount of power behind Keynote and this is only increasing.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE