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Chromecast Audio tipped to rival Sonos on a budget

Chromecast Audio tipped to rival Sonos on a budget

Google is readying not one but two second-generation Chromecast media streamers for imminent launch, new rumors suggest, with one focused on music. While leaks earlier today indicated the new Chromecast would be a faster, more circular dongle than its stick-like predecessor, subsequent tipsters speaking to 9to5Google suggest it's actually one of two products in the pipeline.

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New Amazon Fire TV gets 4K, Alexa and microSD

New Amazon Fire TV gets 4K, Alexa and microSD

From the outside, nothing really looks changed about Amazon's sleek second-gen Fire TV set-top box; on the inside, however, it's a very different story. The media streamer has had a complete revamp, gaining 4K resolution support in the process, as well as borrowing some of the chattier skills from the Amazon Echo.

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Amazon Game Controller revamped ahead of new Apple TV arrival

Amazon Game Controller revamped ahead of new Apple TV arrival

Amazon wasn't slow to position its Fire TV set-top box as a console alternative, and now there's a redesigned gamepad to address some player pain-points. Redesigned with no small degree of input from existing gamers and developers, the new pad has more precise buttons and longer battery life, among other improvements.

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Amazon Fire TV welcomes Alexa with $50 Stick voice remote bundle

Amazon Fire TV welcomes Alexa with $50 Stick voice remote bundle

Amazon is bringing Alexa, its virtual assistant from the Amazon Echo, to its Fire TV range, and celebrating with a new $50 bundle. Part of Fire OS 5, Alexa's presence means users will be able to ask for weather and traffic reports, ask for definitions and Wikipedia explanations, request tracks from Amazon Prime Music, and look up sports results.

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Amazon Fire TV looks set to get Echo’s Alexa

Amazon Fire TV looks set to get Echo’s Alexa

Amazon looks set to add Alexa voice control to its Fire TV set-top box, inviting over the digital assistant from Echo to read audiobooks and even do shopping. Although Amazon is yet to announce any such integration, signs of the upcoming functionality were spotted in the Fire OS 5 developer preview by AFTVnews.

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UE BOOM 2 speaker boosts volume, range and ruggedness

UE BOOM 2 speaker boosts volume, range and ruggedness

In a world where Bluetooth speakers are practically giveaway items, you have to do something special to command a $200 sticker, and Ultimate Ears believes it has the answer. The new UE BOOM 2 takes the cylindrical BOOM of 2013 and gives it a refresh, cranking up the volume by 25-percent while delivering a promised fifteen hours of wireless battery life.

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Apple TV isn’t promising Siri universal media search

Apple TV isn’t promising Siri universal media search

Siri may have taken up residence in the new Apple TV, but voice-controlled search isn't going to be a free-for-all. At launch, the set-top box will use Apple's digital assistant to go hunting through HBO, Hulu, Netflix, and Showtime, along with its own own iTunes catalog. However, the company has also confirmed that, rather than offering an open API which would allow any third-party developer to do the same, it will be working with services on an individual basis.

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Apple TV hands-on – Siri goes to the movies

Apple TV hands-on – Siri goes to the movies

What will it take for Apple TV to lose its "hobby" reputation? It might just be the new, fourth-generation Apple TV we saw today, and which I've spent a few minutes playing with in the aftermath of Apple's big iPhone 6s launch event.

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The new Apple TV puts Siri to the fore

The new Apple TV puts Siri to the fore

Apple has made Siri the star of its new Apple TV, putting the speech control system in charge of a deep search system. The new set-top box is controlled with Apple's updated remote, which includes a touchpad but also a microphone button that triggers speech recognition.

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B&O’s BeoPlay A6 is another would-be Sonos dethroner

B&O’s BeoPlay A6 is another would-be Sonos dethroner

Bang & Olufsen's Play series of more affordable, playful speakers has gained a new behemoth, in the shape of the fortune cookie-like BeoPlay A6. The unusually shaped speaker joins its smaller brethren in packing wireless for streaming from a computer or smartphone, including support for B&O's multi-location system.

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Siri-led Apple TV said bigger and more expensive

Siri-led Apple TV said bigger and more expensive

Apple's new Apple TV set-top box will add to, rather than replace, the existing model new rumors suggest, with the 4th-gen establishing a range ahead of cord-cutter plans. The new box is widely expected to be revealed at Apple's September 9 event in San Francisco, alongside the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, but new leaks indicate its much-discussed Siri control and other features will come at a cost.

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DirecTV 4K Genie Mini spreads UHD around the home

DirecTV 4K Genie Mini spreads UHD around the home

DirecTV has launched a new Ultra HD set-top box, the 4K Genie Mini, extending UHD content to more TVs around the home. Available as an add-on for those with DirecTV's existing Genie HD DVR, the new box is around the size of a paperback book and offers remote access to all the usual on-demand and DVR content stored on the main box.

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