Music System

Sonos One deal sees stereo pair match HomePod’s price

Sonos One deal sees stereo pair match HomePod’s price

The HomePod may be close at hand, but Sonos isn't resting on its laurels, announcing a deal that cuts the price of a pair of its Alexa-powered speakers to match Apple. The deal on a Sonos One duo also serves to highlight one of its rival's missing features, the ability to link two wireless speakers together and use them as a stereo pair.

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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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ION’s outdoor solar speakers blend in as they stream

ION’s outdoor solar speakers blend in as they stream

Outdoor speakers aren't new, but ION wants to make them a whole lot easier to install and use by cutting the cords completely on its new, solar-powered range. The ION Audio Tiki Sounds and Solar Stone Multi each pretend to be more humble garden fare - a tiki lamp and, well, a rock, respectively - but inside they have rechargeable batteries and Bluetooth for streaming.

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Sonos One Review: When Alexa is the DJ

Sonos One Review: When Alexa is the DJ

Smart speakers are big business now, and with Amazon's Echo and Google's Home dominating the market, Sonos had a choice: step up or slip behind. The Sonos One shows the connected speaker stalwart chose to play the game, and not just with one virtual assistant but as many as it can. Rather than making its own AI for the Sonos One, the $199 connected speaker aims to be friends with all of them.

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ROLI Lightpad Block M, NOISE update addresses some pain points

ROLI Lightpad Block M, NOISE update addresses some pain points

Creating synth music is almost one half actual music and one half stage performance. And the tools needed to create such music isn't exactly accessible, much less portable. When ROLI came out with its BLOCKS system, it was clear that the company was on to something. But as with any first gen product, BLOCKS experienced some growing pains. Now, ROLI is addressing some, though not all, of those with a second gen Lightpad Block M and the latest NOISE 3.0 update that promises to make creating music a more pleasurable experience.

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B&O BeoLab 50 speaker shows the Danes can’t resist luxe

B&O BeoLab 50 speaker shows the Danes can’t resist luxe

Bang & Olufsen may have flirted with more affordable speakers in its B&O Play range, but it couldn't resist the lure of its old ways: incredibly expensive, practically sculptural home audio kit. Welcome, then, the BeoLab 50, its latest loudspeaker for those who demand an aesthetic with their audio. Part 50s Danish lodge, part pipe organ loft, it actually packs a surprising amount of technology.

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ROLI BLOCKS Review: Modular music system has room to grow

ROLI BLOCKS Review: Modular music system has room to grow

ROLI has made a name for itself with weirdly tactile, expansively flexible musical instruments, and its ROLI BLOCKS promise to bring that to the mainstream. The British company built its reputation among electronic musicians for its rubbery-buttoned keyboards that allow for hitherto-unachievable levels of expression; problem is, even the smallest Seaboard RISE is $800. On paper, therefore, the much cheaper BLOCKS make perfect sense, but how do they hold up in practice?

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Sonos 7.0 arrives with full Spotify speaker control

Sonos 7.0 arrives with full Spotify speaker control

Spotify users with Sonos speakers can now control their whole-house music playback directly from the Spotify app, with a new update pushed out today. Sonos 7.0 allows you to spend less time in the company's own app and more time where your playlists live. When you hit play, you can now choose one or more of your Sonos speakers as the output, rather than just streaming through your phone.

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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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Crosley’s 2016 Record Store Day Turntable Review

Crosley’s 2016 Record Store Day Turntable Review

A special edition of the Crosley Cruiser portable turntable (read: vinyl record player) is sitting on our review bench today, Mickey Mouse-infused. This version of the Crosley Cruiser has a couple of images of the Disney mouse, both rolling pretty hard with his own stack of records as such. This piece of equipment has the same internals as you'd find on a classic Cruiser model, but here it has a limited edition set of images to adorn its exterior - and under the hood.

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Samsung squeezes Dolby Atmos into slim CES soundbar

Samsung squeezes Dolby Atmos into slim CES soundbar

Samsung has baked Dolby Atmos into its latest soundbar, kicking off CES 2016 with a fresh batch of music and movie focused audio tech. The HW-K950 Soundbar is Samsung's first model to include the Dolby "overhead surround" system, not to mention the first soundbar on the market to include a set of Atmos-compatible wireless rear speakers.

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BoomStick Review: $99 headphone upgrade

BoomStick Review: $99 headphone upgrade

For a while, it seemed like the bitrate war might prove some sort of salvation for audio quality. Turns out, though, that the average listener can't actually hear much difference beyond a certain point, and that's even if they're willing to pay for higher quality downloads and streams.

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