music player

Sonos PLAY:5 (2015) Review

Sonos PLAY:5 (2015) Review

The Sonos PLAY:5 is special. First of the streaming music company's all-in-one speakers, its launch in 2009 marked a shift to the plug-and-play simplicity that Sonos is now known for, without sacrificing the sound quality that music lovers demanded. Since then, new and more affordable models have lured in a fresh generation of wireless fans, while products like the PLAYBAR have tackled home theater audio, but it's taken until now for the granddaddy of the range to get its big revamp.

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Pioneer XDP-100R is another hi-res portable music player

Pioneer XDP-100R is another hi-res portable music player

Consumer electronics company Pioneer wants to take on the Walkman, even after the venerable Sony brand is itself trying to get back its footing in the market now almost obsoleted by smarpthones. It has just announced the upcoming availability of its XDP-100R, a standalone Portable Music Player or PMP. And like many PMPs that are trying to view for attention in a smartphone-obsessed world, like Neil Young's Pono or the most recent generation of Sony's Walkman, the XDP-100R is trying to sell the idea of high resolution audio as its killer feature.

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Sonos PLAY:5 reborn as $500 smart speaker: Hands-on

Sonos PLAY:5 reborn as $500 smart speaker: Hands-on

It's been six years since Sonos launched the original PLAY:5, the first all-in-one speaker for its streaming music platform, and now it's time for the second-generation. In the intervening period products like the PLAYBAR - which attempts to create surround sound from a single speaker - and the PLAY:1 - with its tiny footprint - have given the company plenty of opportunity to refine its processes.

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New iPod touch 6th-gen packs iPhone 6’s A8 heart

New iPod touch 6th-gen packs iPhone 6’s A8 heart

Apple has introduced the iPod touch 6th-gen, faster and with higher resolution cameras front and back, along with new colors for all of its iPods. The new iPod touch is priced from $199, keeping its 4-inch display but now powered by an Apple A8 processor that, the company says, will run graphics 10x as fast as its aging predecessor. Meanwhile, there are new fitness features along with, of course, support for Apple Music.

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Sonos boosts Spotify playback with Android beta

Sonos boosts Spotify playback with Android beta

Sonos and Spotify have long been a popular pairing, and now a new beta unlocks features like Spotify Radio, genres, and moods through the Sonos Controller. The beta, launching for Android users today but expected to roll out more broadly over the next few weeks, builds on Sonos' existing, rather rudimentary integration of the Spotify catalog, which currently allows users to navigate their playlists as well as search through all albums and artists.

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Sonos 5.2 beta boosts PLAYBAR & adds multi-user streaming

Sonos 5.2 beta boosts PLAYBAR & adds multi-user streaming

Sonos has pushed out a new beta for its streaming music platform, promising to add a new degree of musicality to its Playbar soundbar, as well as adding multi-account support for streaming services and improvements to the Android app. Sonos 5.2 isn't expected to go public until later in 2014, but Sonos has opened it up as a public beta today. Perhaps the most useful change for those living in a Sonos-equipped home or office, but not wanting to give shared access to their Spotify or other streaming account, is the news that you can now register multiple accounts under different logins.

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Sonos for Android Wear will put controls on your wrist

Sonos for Android Wear will put controls on your wrist

Sonos is testing Android Wear support for its whole-home music platform, allowing wearers of smartwatches running Google's platform to quickly control playback. The new functionality would mean listeners could access play/pause controls as well as skip tracks forward and back from their wrist, and is currently being trialled for participants of the Sonos Beta program who also have an Android Wear device such as the Moto 360.

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Korg Volca Sample turns iPhone into mobile studio

Korg Volca Sample turns iPhone into mobile studio

Korg has revealed a new addition to its Volca range of modular, iPhone and iPad-friendly electronic instruments, with the Korg Volca Sampler promising easier real-time recording and tweaking of sound clips and vocal snatches. The sampler can be used in conjunction with the initial three Volca units - the Keys, Bass, and Loops - or as a standalone system, with motion sequencer recording for its various physical knobs and buttons, and battery power plus a speaker for on-the-move playing.

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Aether Cone streams Rdio and Stitcher as launch nears

Aether Cone streams Rdio and Stitcher as launch nears

Aether's unusually-shaped Cone speaker, a streaming music player that promises smart curation of tracks, will launch with Rdio and Stitcher as sources, the start-up has confirmed. Revealed back in March, the distinctive speaker prioritizes machine learning rather than active control over playlists, with Aether promising to learn the listener's preferences and tailor what's streaming to suit.

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