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Sonos has big news August 30th: Is it Alexa voice control?

Sonos has big news August 30th: Is it Alexa voice control?

Sonos is holding a press conference in New York City on August 30, and though the streaming speaker company is tight-lipped on what we might see, some sort of voice-control update sounds likely. The company confirmed the event in an invitation to media today, prompting speculation that it could well be a partnership with Amazon that sees Alexa gain a new home inside the company's PLAY speaker line-up.

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Hulu is axing free streaming (but don’t panic)

Hulu is axing free streaming (but don’t panic)

Hulu is ending its free service and will demand viewers cough up a monthly subscription to watch its streaming shows, though a deal with Yahoo may soften the blow somewhat. Since it launched in 2006, Hulu has offered both free, ad-supported viewing and paid subscriptions, though unusually the latter does not necessarily guarantee no commercials in your stream.

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There’s a new Samsung Gear VR to play nice with Note 7

There’s a new Samsung Gear VR to play nice with Note 7

Samsung isn't just launching a new phablet today, but introducing an updated version of its Gear VR virtual reality headset, complete with a new connector and a more immersive experience. The new Gear VR picks up where the existing, Oculus-powered model leaves off, with the Android smartphone docking in a bay at the front and lending its processing power and display to 360-degree photos and videos along with games and apps.

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Netflix blames confused customers not rising prices for Q2’s failings

Netflix blames confused customers not rising prices for Q2’s failings

Netflix fell far short of its goals for subscriber growth in Q2 2016, blaming customer confusion around price rises for missing its 2.5m target. The streaming video service had predicted adding 2.5m users worldwide in the three month period, but confirmed today that only 1.68m were added, as churn - the number of people canceling their service - proved greater than Netflix had expected.

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Now Amazon’s Echo is besties with Spotify and Pandora

Now Amazon’s Echo is besties with Spotify and Pandora

Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo speaker has long been able to pull streaming music from a number of services, but now Amazon is allowing users to set their Spotify account as the default. The new functionality, confirmed by Spotify - one of the streaming options with Echo support - means that no longer do users have to specify which provider they want to hear a track or playlist from.

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Devialet’s Gold Phantom packs 4,500W of French ear-melting power

Devialet’s Gold Phantom packs 4,500W of French ear-melting power

If you thought Devialet's oddball Phantom speaker was extreme, get ready to slap on some ear protection for the new Gold Phantom. Squeezing more power into the same curvaceous body, Gold Phantom is the French company's most potent standalone speaker to-date, but it promises more than just potential hearing damage.

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Sonos iPhone lock screen controls added plus 3D Touch

Sonos iPhone lock screen controls added plus 3D Touch

Sonos is finally answering one of the biggest requests from users of its streaming speakers, and embracing Apple's 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in the process. Ditching its standalone remotes in favor of its smartphone apps made a lot of sense - who wants to spend a couple hundred dollars on a dedicated touchscreen remote, when you have a far slicker one in your pocket already - but they did make adjusting things like volume and track a little more time consuming since you needed to unlock your phone and load the app first.

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This is Xiaomi’s Mi Box, the new Android TV superstar

This is Xiaomi’s Mi Box, the new Android TV superstar

Android TV hasn't quite managed to clamber aboard the hype-train yet, but if any company can light a fanboy fire for the set-top box platform, it's Xiaomi. The Chinese firm - and outspoken VP Hugo Barra - brought the Xiaomi Mi Box along to Google I/O this week for its first public outing, complete with 4K Ultra HD resolution and a pair of very different controllers.

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With Nomads for Gear VR, Oculus embraces new age of film

With Nomads for Gear VR, Oculus embraces new age of film

When going to the movies involves strapping a virtual reality headset to your face, you have to be delivering more than the local IMAX, but Oculus is confident a new golden age is almost upon us. Released today, Felix & Paul Studios' Nomads app for the Gear VR takes what has, until now, been a fairly gaming-focused device and turns it into an anthropological safari.

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Fluance RT81 Turntable Review – Your retro gateway

Fluance RT81 Turntable Review – Your retro gateway

The current music industry pivot back to vinyl maybe have been exaggerated by the media, but it still warms my record-collecting heart to see so many new options available for those who enjoy listening to LPs. This includes a fresh crop of turntables being built by companies outside the mainstream of traditional platter-spinners like Sony, Technics, and Numark.

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The Netflix fix for bill-shock is better streaming control

The Netflix fix for bill-shock is better streaming control

Intentionally reducing the quality of the video you're watching may sound strange, but Netflix's new granular control over bandwidth could very well save you from cellphone bill-shock. The streaming video company has come through on its promise to give Netflix app users more flexibility in the bitrate at which they watch movies and TV shows, after being criticized by some for chewing through too much of their data allowance.

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Amazon Prime Music graduates for full Sonos streaming

Amazon Prime Music graduates for full Sonos streaming

Sonos' streaming speakers are gaining another source of tunes, with Amazon Prime Music graduating from its beta on the popular audio players. The support had begun trials in October last year as Amazon and Sonos worked out the kinks, with the 1m+ tracks Amazon offers to listeners as part of their annual Prime subscription able to be added to Sonos playlists and mixed with music from other sources.

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