audio

Braven XXL Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review

Braven XXL Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review

Bluetooth speakers are usually a mixed bag. If you want something portable enough to slip in your pocket, chances are you have to accept middling sound quality. If you've got space in your backpack, then you can step up to decent audio reproduction, but typically there will be a compromise on battery life. And then there's the Braven XXL.

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JBL Reflect Aware C Earphones now shipping

JBL Reflect Aware C Earphones now shipping

For many years, your options for connecting headphones to your mobile phone were either a headphone port or Bluetooth. Things are changing today with consistent rumors that Apple will ditch the 3.5mm headphone port and use its lightning port for headphones. Android users will get a similar capability via headphones that connect to the USB-C port like these JBL Reflect Aware C Earphones.

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Philips Nitro audio line uses LED lights to show the music

Philips Nitro audio line uses LED lights to show the music

Philips has a new line of audio products called Nitro, and the line presently has three products in it: the NTX400 tower speaker, the HX50 headphones, and the HX10 earbuds. All three items are unique because of the colorful LED lights embedded in them. When you listen to music, these LEDs illuminate and keep pace with the music, making your tunes visible for yourself and anyone else who’s around to enjoy.

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Urbanista Seattle headphones let you share your music

Urbanista Seattle headphones let you share your music

Swedish company Urbanista has announced a new pair of headphones called “Seattle.” The Seattle headphones have an on-ear foldable construction with a fairly plain design and, in the case of three out of four models, a single-color scheme. The company hails this as Scandinavian minimalism, and it does hold its own sort of appeal compared to the myriad of complex, flashy alternatives. The headphones are designed for modern users, and as such has an integrated microphone for taking calls, as well an interesting social feature.

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Amazon patents noise-blocking headphones that turn off with a keyword

Amazon patents noise-blocking headphones that turn off with a keyword

Last month, Amazon was granted a patent for a pair of noise-cancelling headphones that listen for a specific keyword in order to suspend the noise-cancelling feature. They could, it seems, be set up with something like your name as the keyword, causing the headphones to suspend the noise-cancelling aspect whenever someone nearby says your name. The headphones can also listen for specific noises or patterns of noises — a car horn, perhaps, for extra safety while jogging.

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Plex music libraries can now be streamed on Sonos speakers

Plex music libraries can now be streamed on Sonos speakers

Plex has announced support for Sonos speakers, allowing users to browse their Plex music library directly from the Sonos app and play whatever audio they’d like. It’s good news for those who use Plex to organize and access their media libraries, and it represents yet another option Sonos users have. Says Plex, Sonos users also have the option of accessing their music library remotely from whatever (connected) location they're in.

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Samsung Gear IconX wireless earbuds launch with in-ear fitness tracking

Samsung Gear IconX wireless earbuds launch with in-ear fitness tracking

Samsung's newest addition to its Gear line has begun hitting the shelves: the IconX wireless earbuds. We were impressed when we got our hands (ears?) on them back in early June, with high-quality audio maintained even over a Bluetooth connection. But the IconX, which Samsung bills as "truly cord-free earbuds," do much more than just audio output; they're also a fully functional fitness tracker and heart rate monitor.

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ZEEQ Smart Pillow will stream music and monitor your sleep

ZEEQ Smart Pillow will stream music and monitor your sleep

It seems like everything is getting smart today from watches to phones and now even our pillows. A new pillow has turned up on Kickstarter called the ZEEQ Smart Pillow and it has the ability to do all sorts of things while you are sleeping. Before you doze off the pillow can play your favorite music to lull you to bed.

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Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless speaker launches in white

Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless speaker launches in white

Bowers & Wilkins has announced the upcoming launch of its Zeppelin Wireless speaker in white, complementing the black option it launched several months back. The white color is more contemporary in nature and goes better with certain types of decor versus the black model. Says the company, it made this color model “to appeal to palette purists and design enthusiasts who prefer a more neutral color tone."

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Audible Channels launches with original podcasts and more

Audible Channels launches with original podcasts and more

Audible has launched a new on-demand service called Channels, something it is offering to Premium members for free and on its own for $4.95/month for everyone else. The service focuses on exclusive and original content -- it's basically a podcast service to complement Audible's long running audiobook service. Content is split up into channels based on category, such as “20 Minutes of Relaxation,” “Meow! For Cat Lovers,” “Front Row Comedy,” and more.

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Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless headphones have 30-hour battery life

Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless headphones have 30-hour battery life

Sennheiser has introduced a new pair of headphones called the Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless. This model features wireless connectivity and is aimed at the “discerning business traveller,” according to Sennheiser. Users will get up to 30 hours of run time on a charge, as well as a tunable listening experience facilitated by Sennheiser’s CapTune app. The user can also enable an adaptive noise cancellation feature called NoiseGard.

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Xbox One background music arrives August 2

Xbox One background music arrives August 2

In January, a tweet suggested that we’d see background music support arrive for the Xbox One this summer, and now we finally have a date: it’ll arrive on August 2 with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, according to Microsoft. The Anniversary Update will bring changes to both the Xbox One and the Xbox app on Windows 10; in addition to the background music support, owners will see Language Region Independence and more.

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