music player

The Sonos AirPlay 2 update is coming in July

The Sonos AirPlay 2 update is coming in July

Sonos is bringing AirPlay 2 to its speakers in early July, allowing its connected devices to be linked with Apple's own HomePod in multi-room systems. Launched back in late May, AirPlay 2 saw Apple expand its streaming system from its own hardware, allowing third-party speakers to be linked in multi-room configurations and remotely controlled, en-masse, from an iOS or macOS device.

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Apple HomePod stereo pairing: Hands-on

Apple HomePod stereo pairing: Hands-on

If one HomePod sounds great, how about two of Apple's speakers set up as a stereo pair? With the arrival of AirPlay 2 this week, right on the cusp of WWDC 2018, Apple finally delivers on music promises it made back when it first announced HomePod at WWDC 2017 last year.

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AirPlay 2 with HomePod stereo pairs and multi-room arrives in iOS 11.4

AirPlay 2 with HomePod stereo pairs and multi-room arrives in iOS 11.4

Apple has launched AirPlay 2 in iOS 11.4, adding HomePod stereo pair support along with multi-room audio streaming. The new version of AirPlay 2 comes along with launch dates for HomePod in three new countries - Canada, France, and Germany - bringing the total number of places you can buy the Siri-powered smart speaker to six.

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Spotify’s free mobile experience is about to get a lot better [Updated]

Spotify’s free mobile experience is about to get a lot better [Updated]

Spotify has made its streaming music service more tempting to free users, with a new Spotify mobile app that it hopes will keep listeners from jumping ship to Apple Music. The updated app includes more flexible access to the Spotify catalog of tracks, with more on-demand control, along with a way to potentially save considerably on how much data your phone is using.

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Spotify Car Player leaks: Voice-controlled 4G music streamer

Spotify Car Player leaks: Voice-controlled 4G music streamer

Spotify may be preparing to launch an in-car music system, with dedicated hardware that could allow for standalone streaming direct to the dashboard. The company announced earlier today that it was planning an event in New York City on April 24, though has been tight-lipped as to what its announcement might be.

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HomePod’s Siri limits raise questions about $349 speaker

HomePod’s Siri limits raise questions about $349 speaker

Apple's HomePod is taking a seriously different route than rival smart speakers, something the list of absent Siri features at launch only underscores. Currently up for preorder, and set to ship on February 9th, HomePod is being billed as "the ultimate music authority" by Apple, and the best way to consume Apple Music. However, that has some implications if you're expecting a clear Amazon Echo or Google Home alternative.

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HomePod is a sweet-sounding uphill battle

HomePod is a sweet-sounding uphill battle

Apple's HomePod was delayed, and all we got when it finally showed up was a new release date. Surprise bubbled around the announcement of the smart speaker's February 9 launch earlier this week, after Apple failed to use its extra time to address some of the more frequent criticisms HomePod faced when it debuted roughly eight months ago. No multi-room playback at release, no expansion to grudgingly accommodate third-party music services, and no price change from $349.

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Sonos’ Spotify Alexa support arrives ahead of schedule

Sonos’ Spotify Alexa support arrives ahead of schedule

Sonos, Spotify, and Amazon Alexa are finally best friends, with support being added to control playback by voice on the multi-room speakers. Sonos users with an Amazon Echo device, a Sonos One, or any other Alexa-powered gadget can now ask for playback from their Spotify account through the networked speakers.

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Apple’s HomePod delay is the right decision

Apple’s HomePod delay is the right decision

Apple may be missing the holiday shopping season by delaying its HomePod until 2018, but that decision could pay dividends if it makes Siri a better assistant. The smart speaker was due to launch in the US, UK, and Australia in December 2017, having been announced back in June alongside the iMac Pro at WWDC. Today, it conceded it will "need a little more time" before HomePod is ready for public consumption.

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Astell&Kern A&ultima SP1000’s octa-core CPU makes everything faster

Astell&Kern A&ultima SP1000’s octa-core CPU makes everything faster

Most consumers are probably content with the audio output of their smartphones when listening to streamed music. Audiophiles, however, won't settle for anything less and are often willing to pay the price for quality listening experience. They will definitely have to pay that price if they opt to get the new and oddly-named A&ultima SP1000 from Astell&Kern, because they will be paying nearly five times as much as an LG G6 that boasts of 32-bit Quad DAC and other premium audio features.

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Vinci smart headphones offer Alexa and standalone Spotify

Vinci smart headphones offer Alexa and standalone Spotify

Forget Apple AirPods: properly smart headphones should be able to stream your music all by themselves, not to mention throw in Amazon Alexa and act as personal DJ depending on what you're doing. That's the promise of Vinci, anyway, cutting the cord - physical or metaphorical - with your phone and instead using voice control and onboard smarts to stream from Spotify and other services. I tried a set out to see if headphones, not watches or eyepieces, really are the next big thing in wearables.

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Now Amazon’s Echo is besties with Spotify and Pandora

Now Amazon’s Echo is besties with Spotify and Pandora

Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo speaker has long been able to pull streaming music from a number of services, but now Amazon is allowing users to set their Spotify account as the default. The new functionality, confirmed by Spotify - one of the streaming options with Echo support - means that no longer do users have to specify which provider they want to hear a track or playlist from.

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