Smart Speaker

Sonos’ CEO just responded to the legacy speaker fury

Sonos’ CEO just responded to the legacy speaker fury

Sonos has tried to stem the tide of bad press around its controversial plan to leave behind old hardware, after news that it would be ceasing support for some of its earlier connected speakers left the company's loyalest fans fuming. Legacy Sonos products - including the original Play:5 - would no longer get updates from May, the company had warned earlier in the week. Now, the company's CEO says, the plan has evolved a little.

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Belkin Soundform Elite combines a Hi-Fi speaker with a wireless charger

Belkin Soundform Elite combines a Hi-Fi speaker with a wireless charger

Accessory maker Belkin is probably best known for its chargers, cables, and power banks but now it is dipping its toes into a brand new market. It partnered with audio brand Devialet to develop a new audio accessory that doesn't simply connect to a speaker but is a speaker in its own right. And something more up Belkin's alley, the Soundform Elite Hi-Fi smart speaker also doubles as a wireless charger to boot.

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Sonos Recycle Mode bricks still usable devices to trade up to a new one

Sonos Recycle Mode bricks still usable devices to trade up to a new one

As much as we'd love to keep holding to consumers electronics as much as we could, there are times when they just can't move forward any longer. Usually, that takes years of regular use but some manufacturers often give people reasons to upgrade to a new model sooner rather than later. And what better way to do that than by rendering a device completely useless the way Sonos is doing now with its so-called Recycle Mode.

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Echo Dot 3rd-gen drops to 99 cents, but there’s a catch

Echo Dot 3rd-gen drops to 99 cents, but there’s a catch

If you're looking to dive into the world of smart speakers, Amazon has a fairly attractive deal on offer. It's dropped the price of the 3rd-generation Echo Dot down to 99 cents, and while we're used to seeing the Echo Dot offered on the cheap, Amazon doesn't typically cut the price this low. As with most offers that sound great on the surface, though, there's a catch to go along with this deal.

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Galaxy Home Mini IR blasters will turn the speaker into a universal remote

Galaxy Home Mini IR blasters will turn the speaker into a universal remote

The smart speaker market is in a bit of flux. From Canalys' latest numbers, it does seem to be growing and yet, at the same time, other brands are left in the dust of Amazon's lead. It might not be an opportune time for Samsung to finally launch its long-overdue Galaxy Home smart speaker, especially considering how Bixby is practically dead in the water. If, however, the Galaxy Home Mini does launch soon with this feature, it could have an advantage no other smart speaker has.

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Google smart speakers can now play pre-recorded bedtime stories

Google smart speakers can now play pre-recorded bedtime stories

Google has introduced a new tool called 'My Storytime' that enables parents to read stories to their children even if they're in a different location. The feature works with the new My Storytime website, where adults can upload audio recordings of themselves reading a story. When requested, a Google smart speaker will play this audio, enabling distant parents to stay connected with their kids in a unique way.

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Amazon Echo smart speakers’ sales surpass Google Home by a wide margin

Amazon Echo smart speakers’ sales surpass Google Home by a wide margin

Smart speakers were, at a time, the hot thing in the tech market but they've become so common now that you almost don't hear much about them in between product launches and privacy scandals. You might be surprised then, that they have apparently grown by almost 45% since the third quarter last year. And, depending on which team you're rooting for, you might be surprised or not that Google is the biggest loser in that market.

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I’ve given smart speakers as gifts before – I won’t do it again

I’ve given smart speakers as gifts before – I won’t do it again

Black Friday is coming but the holiday shopping season isn't waiting for its traditional kick-off, though while tech deals may be everywhere you look, there are some gadgets I won't be putting into my cart. Smart speakers and, more recently, smart displays have become a go-to gift for many over the past few years, but in 2019 they may not be quite so warmly received.

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iOS 13.2.1 rolls out to stop bricking HomePods

iOS 13.2.1 rolls out to stop bricking HomePods

Just when you thought the nightmares of broken iOS 13 updates are finally over, along comes iOS 13.2. Admittedly, the set of owners affected by a bug that can brick HomePods may be significantly smaller than those that beset iPhone users in the past few weeks. Still, it's a rather stressful experience for owners causing Apple to actually pull out the update before quickly replacing it with iOS 13.2.1 just two days later.

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Sonos Trade Up coaxes old speaker owners into an upgrade

Sonos Trade Up coaxes old speaker owners into an upgrade

Sonos has launched a trade-in program for some of its earliest products, offering a discount on new connected speakers for those willing to recycle their older models. Initially three of Sonos' devices are eligible for the new Sonos Trade Up program, in some cases dating back all the way to 2004.

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Galaxy Home Mini makes an appearance, bigger Galaxy Home still MIA

Galaxy Home Mini makes an appearance, bigger Galaxy Home still MIA

There have always been doubts about Bixby's long-term viability but Samsung seems pretty convinced it will always be part of its future. But while the AI-powered assistant continues to be present in some Samsung phones, those are the only places you'd find Bixby. These days, a smart assistant is almost always in need of a smart speaker and, once upon a time, Samsung promised one as well. That could still happen but the unexpected and silent presence of the Galaxy Home Mini might be a reminder not to hold our breaths for it.

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Spotify’s Google Home Mini promo is back: Here’s what you should know

Spotify’s Google Home Mini promo is back: Here’s what you should know

Around this time last year, Spotify decided to run a promotion in which it handed out Google Home Mini speakers to Premium Family subscribers. That promotion is back this year, but this time around, Spotify is expanding eligibility. Not only are Family plan subscribers eligible to receive a Google Home Mini, but those on individual Premium accounts are eligible as well.

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