Wireless

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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WallJax is a floating wireless charging shelf for your wall

WallJax is a floating wireless charging shelf for your wall

Wireless charging is upon us, and if you've finally picked up a device that supports the technology, you're likely in want of an adequate charging base. No one wants an ugly wireless charger sitting on the end table -- something embedded would be a better choice, as would a charger that doesn't, upon first glance, actually look like a charger. WallJax is one such example.

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New Millennium Falcon, Tie Fighter wireless Bluetooth speakers debut

New Millennium Falcon, Tie Fighter wireless Bluetooth speakers debut

Just in time for Episode VII: The Force Awakens — well, actually, with plenty of time before the movie the hits theaters — a new pair of Star Wars-themed wireless speakers have arrived courtesy of iHome. Available from ThinkGeek starting today for $60 each are the Millennium Falcon and Tie Fighter speakers, both supporting Bluetooth and the ability to stream music from 30 feet away. And when you're not blasting the Star Wars soundtrack through them, they can even be used as a speakerphone for calls.

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Verizon LTE-U trial targets death to deadspots in 2016

Verizon LTE-U trial targets death to deadspots in 2016

Verizon is kicking off LTE-U trials in the US, testing out how using unlicensed 4G spectrum could fill in gaps in its traditional LTE network. The pilot, expected to run until the end of the year, will use Samsung LTE-U femtocells - each will create a bubble of LTE service to which smartphones can connect, and be bridged with Verizon's official network.

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V-MODA Crossfade headphones: wired and wireless “virtually identical”

V-MODA Crossfade headphones: wired and wireless “virtually identical”

The folks at V-MODA have revealed a set of over-ear headphones which they suggest will have virtually identical sound whether wired or wireless. These headphones work with Bluetooth for wireless listening up to 33-feet (10 meters) away from the sound device, while wired listening is provided by a high-quality audio cord included in the box. These headphones have been "rigorously tested and tuned" with an antenna for smartwatch Bluetooth performance with Apple Watch and Android Watches of all sorts.

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Parrot Zik 3 headphones add wireless charging to touch control, Bluetooth

Parrot Zik 3 headphones add wireless charging to touch control, Bluetooth

At IFA 2015 in Berlin, Parrot has announced the latest iteration of their upscale, high-tech headphones, the Zik 3. While the new model looks almost identical to last year's Zik 2, right down to the bright orange color option, the Zik 3 adds wireless charging to features list. Also sticking around are the impressive touch panel controls on the right side, noise cancellation, and wireless audio playback via Bluetooth. New colors and overstitch designs are introduced, adding to the headphones' premium look and feel.

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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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Philips Izzy challenges Sonos in multi-room music

Philips Izzy challenges Sonos in multi-room music

Philips has just announced a pair of multi-room speaker offerings, the Izzy BM5 and Izzy BM50. Aimed at keeping all aspects of music playback simple, from connecting multiple units to controlling each individually, the Izzy units let users hear music from a number of sources, including mobile apps and CDs, without the need for a WiFi connection. Only a single speaker need to connect to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, and then Izzylink handles getting audio to all the units in the house.

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Behold, ASUS’ monstrous Crown of Thorns router

Behold, ASUS’ monstrous Crown of Thorns router

Nobody ever said that home networking kit couldn't be terrifying, and ASUS clearly took that to heart. The company's latest wireless router, the ASUS RT-AC5300, takes "world's fastest WiFi" as its primary boast, but we can't get past the intimidating looks.

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Intel’s Skylake war on wires: Charging, displays, more

Intel’s Skylake war on wires: Charging, displays, more

Goodbye rats' nest of cables: hello Intel 6th-gen Core. Not satisfied with putting more grunt, better graphics, and lower power consumption into its latest chips, Intel is declaring renewed war on cables and ports with Skylake, envisioning a brave new world of no wires for displays, charging, or docking your laptop or tablet.

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How wireless carriers are trying to get into your car

How wireless carriers are trying to get into your car

The car business is changing at a rapid rate, due in no small part to more technology integration. Companies like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are all vying for control over the car business, reasoning that people are in cars, desiring of services, and with their networks, they can provide it. For years, T-Mobile and AT&T have made their play for the car industry by partnering with carmakers and delivering in-car Wi-Fi. T-Mobile, for instance, provides in-car Wi-Fi for Audi, allowing users who want to pay each month the ability to have a built-in Wi-Fi experience from within their vehicle. AT&T offers similar options with its own contracts with carmakers.

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Coin 2.0 adds NFC but there’s a catch

Coin 2.0 adds NFC but there’s a catch

Would-be payments disrupter Coin has announced Coin 2.0, the second generation of its connected card, adding NFC but potentially pushing back deliveries for some still waiting on the first. As before, Coin 2.0 can register multiple credit, debit, and other cards, and has a built-in display to cycle between them while in the store. However, whereas swiping to pay through a magnetic reader was the only way to actually complete the transaction before, now contactless payments are supported.

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