audio

Devialet Phantom gets a big price cut, more power via software update

Devialet Phantom gets a big price cut, more power via software update

Devialet, the French company behind the Phantom speaker we reviewed a couple years ago, has just announced a new speaker software update called Phantom Elevate. The new Elevate update brings new features to the powerful speaker, not the least of which is a boost from the original 750W to a higher peak capacity of 1200W.

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Audio-Technica ATH-M50xRD limited red and gold edition now available

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xRD limited red and gold edition now available

Audio-Technica is now shipping a special red and gold version of its ATH-M50x headphones. The special version is called the ATH-M50xRD, and it offers an attractive, almost velvety red color with subtle gold trim, the combination of which contrasts well with the black headband and ear cups. The headband itself includes thin writing in gold.

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Google Assistant can now identify any song playing around you

Google Assistant can now identify any song playing around you

Google Assistant now has the ability to identify any song that is playing around you, pitting it against the music ID app Shazam. How does it work? Exactly as you'd expect. If there's a song playing nearby that you like but can't identify, simply ask Google Assistant, "What song is this?" The AI will take a listen and, after a few moments, tell you the song, artist, and provide a link to a streaming version.

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Android Bluetooth Fast Pair released – one tap connect

Android Bluetooth Fast Pair released – one tap connect

Google really, really wants you to use Bluetooth headphones. So much so that they've gone and made a new process for connecting their smartphones to audio devices. This is called Fast Pair, and it's not just limited to the Google Pixel 2. Users with any Android device running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and forward with Google Play Services 11.7+ can make this bit of magic happen.

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Pandora Featured Playlists give users Hipster Brunch and more

Pandora Featured Playlists give users Hipster Brunch and more

Pandora has launched a new feature that gives it a bit of Spotify flavor, and they come in the form of Featured Playlists. These playlists are assembled around various musical themes, such as 'Hipster Brunch,' giving users a fast way to play various music targeted at a particular circumstance or time of day. Many of these playlists are joined by a related radio station, making them available to everyone.

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Sennheiser Ambeo 3D / VR audio recording earbuds now available

Sennheiser Ambeo 3D / VR audio recording earbuds now available

Earlier this year, Sennheiser introduced a headset that features microphones built into each ear piece. This design enables the headset to record 3D audio that sounds natural to the human ear, a type of recording known as binaural audio. Now, several months later, Sennheiser has announced the shipment of this headset, giving everyone a relatively cheap way to record 3D sound.

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808 Audio XL-V smart speaker arrives with Alexa next month

808 Audio XL-V smart speaker arrives with Alexa next month

808 Audio has just launched its first smart home device, the 808 Audio XL-V. This smart speaker is cylindrical with a tower design and, most importantly, it has Alexa built-in. As with other Alexa devices, 808's new smart speaker allows users to ask for the weather, request that it play music, tell them the news, answer questions, and more.

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Phiaton BT 150 NC neckband earbuds block almost all ambient noise

Phiaton BT 150 NC neckband earbuds block almost all ambient noise

Phiaton has launched a pair of neckband-style earbuds that are able to block out the majority of ambient noises, making them a great choice for anyone who needs noise-cancelling headphones with a lightweight and portable design. Called the BT 150 NC, these earbuds boast Bluetooth 4.2 alongside 12mm drivers and the ability to block up to 95-percent of ambient noises.

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Sennheiser HD 660 S headphones are refined with lifelike audio

Sennheiser HD 660 S headphones are refined with lifelike audio

Joining its new high-end earbuds, Sennheiser has announced the launch of its HD 660 S, a pair of open-ear dynamic headphones tailored toward the higher end of the listener spectrum. This model, as with the new IE 800 S, doesn't come cheap, but it does match demanding audio needs including studio use or just casual listening.

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Sennheiser IE 800 S earbuds are made for audiophiles on the go

Sennheiser IE 800 S earbuds are made for audiophiles on the go

Sennheiser has made a new pair of earbuds specifically for audiophiles who need high-quality sound in a portable size. The Sennheiser IE 800 S builds upon the company's classic IE 800 model, bringing with it better acoustics including a refined bass. The audio quality is joined by the maker's Comply memory foam ear tips.

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NuForce BE Free8 Untethered Earbuds Review: the rise of AirPods competitors

NuForce BE Free8 Untethered Earbuds Review: the rise of AirPods competitors

Truly wireless earbuds -- the kind that feature two small ear pieces without a cable between them -- were popularized by AirPods, and now competitors are popping up all over the place. Among those competitors is Optoma and its newly launched NuForce BE Free8. Unlike its recent BE2 Bluetooth earbuds, which have a cable, the BE Free are two simple ear pieces alongside a charging case.

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Amazon made its own iPhone dongle, beating Belkin in price

Amazon made its own iPhone dongle, beating Belkin in price

Last year, Apple removed the standard 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7, a "courageous" move, but one that has put us in a world where dongles are now the norm. With Google's new Pixel 2 smartphones also ditching the 3.5mm jack, the era when we could charge our devices and use wired headphones at the same time is quickly coming to an end. Fortunately Amazon is here to rectify the situation, at least for iPhone users, with a dongle that slightly undercuts Belkin's new solution in price.

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