music player

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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Devialet’s Gold Phantom packs 4,500W of French ear-melting power

Devialet’s Gold Phantom packs 4,500W of French ear-melting power

If you thought Devialet's oddball Phantom speaker was extreme, get ready to slap on some ear protection for the new Gold Phantom. Squeezing more power into the same curvaceous body, Gold Phantom is the French company's most potent standalone speaker to-date, but it promises more than just potential hearing damage.

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Hale, hearty, and horny: Sonos and Apple study tests if music matters

Hale, hearty, and horny: Sonos and Apple study tests if music matters

Could listening to Beyoncé make food taste better, streaming Slipknot make you more frisky, or slapping on Paul McCartney's greatest hits make your kids do chores? Turns out the answer might be yes to all three, with Sonos bankrolling a scientific study into the effect of music on home life.

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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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Chromecast Audio tipped to rival Sonos on a budget

Chromecast Audio tipped to rival Sonos on a budget

Google is readying not one but two second-generation Chromecast media streamers for imminent launch, new rumors suggest, with one focused on music. While leaks earlier today indicated the new Chromecast would be a faster, more circular dongle than its stick-like predecessor, subsequent tipsters speaking to 9to5Google suggest it's actually one of two products in the pipeline.

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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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