Smart Speakers

Sonos beat Google on patents: How Nest speakers will suffer

Sonos beat Google on patents: How Nest speakers will suffer

Google and audio company Sonos have been in a long-standing legal battle over patent infringement. After two years of lawsuits and countersuits and a preliminary ruling in favor of Sonos last year, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) has fortified that Google did, indeed, use Sonos's patented audio streaming features and has issued an order that could potentially ban all Google products violating the patents from being imported into and sold in the US (via The New York Times).

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Alexa Together caregiver service goes live with remote assist and 24/7 help

Alexa Together caregiver service goes live with remote assist and 24/7 help

Amazon has officially launched its Alexa Together service, a new subscription-based option for caregivers and anyone who wants to keep tabs on the vulnerable people in their life. The new service revolves around Amazon's IoT devices and its Alexa voice assistant, enabling caregivers to see when their elderly parent, for example, gets up in the morning, pop in for quick chats, and more.

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HomePod mini gets new colors in time for the holidays

HomePod mini gets new colors in time for the holidays

While we had a pretty good idea of what to expect going into today's Apple event, Apple kicked it off by giving us an update on the HomePod mini. As it turns out, the HomePod mini is about to get new models in several different colors. While there don't seem to be any changes from a hardware standpoint, these new colors give prospective buyers options aside from the standard white and space gray models.

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Sonos Beam (Gen 2) Review – Dolby Atmos magic

Sonos Beam (Gen 2) Review – Dolby Atmos magic

Sonos' original Beam wowed with just how much home theater audio it packed into its tiny footprint, and now the Beam (Gen 2) is adding Dolby Atmos to the mix. A little more expensive at $449, and a lot smarter inside, this new Beam sees Sonos double-down on targeting an audience that wants surround sound but doesn't want to be surrounded by speakers. There, with some qualifications, the surreptitious soundbar succeeds.

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Sonos Beam (Gen 2) adds Dolby Atmos and HDMI eARC support

Sonos Beam (Gen 2) adds Dolby Atmos and HDMI eARC support

Sonos has revealed its newest soundbar, with the next-generation Beam (Gen 2) keeping the compact footprint but adding Dolby Atmos support and more. The updated version follows on from the larger Sonos Arc, with HDMI eARC support and 3D audio from a single box, though at a much more attainable price.

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Sonos is considering its own voice assistant: Here’s what we know

Sonos is considering its own voice assistant: Here’s what we know

Sonos is exploring the potential of its own voice assistant, offering an alternative to Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant, with one big advantage over its existing voice control feature. Sonos speakers launched in the past few years have distinguished themselves by including support for either Google or Amazon's voice tech, user-selectable rather than preconfigured like most smart speakers.

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How to switch to Amazon Alexa’s new Echo voice

How to switch to Amazon Alexa’s new Echo voice

Amazon's Alexa has a new voice option, and if you've wanted something new in your conversations, switching to a different sounding assistant could do the trick. The company quietly rolled out the new Alexa voice earlier this month, and changing over is straightforward.

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Alexa users can now tell Shaq what to do with new voice option

Alexa users can now tell Shaq what to do with new voice option

Amazon has added two new celebrity voice options to its Alexa assistant: Shaq and Melissa McCarthy. With these new options, Alexa users will get responses from the personal assistant in the voice of either celebrity, the latest additions in its line of novelty voice options. Amazon previously added Samuel L. Jackson's voice, which remains available.

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You decide if Amazon makes these Diane von Furstenberg Echo Dots

You decide if Amazon makes these Diane von Furstenberg Echo Dots

Amazon is adding a new project to its Build It crowdfunding system, with a set of Echo Dot x Diane von Furstenberg smart speakers customized by the famous designer. Launched earlier this year, Amazon Build It is an opportunity for the retailer to test the water for more unusual products, gauging consumer demand before giving them the green light for actual production.

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Sony LSPX-S3 wireless glass speaker keeps audio weird

Sony LSPX-S3 wireless glass speaker keeps audio weird

Sony revealed a new sort of speaker this week that keeps the entire experience strange with wirelessness, light, and glass. The Sony LSPX-S3 is a "wireless glass sound speaker" that works with an organic glass tweeter. Using this tech, the speaker is said to deliver "clear and powerful high tones" as well as a "widespread sound with uniform volume dispersion."

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HomePod audio OS 15 beta reportedly causes overheating and damage

HomePod audio OS 15 beta reportedly causes overheating and damage

Beta software is labeled "beta" for a reason. They are often distributed only to people willing to test software for bugs and are willing to take the risk using potentially unstable software. Of course, some beta versions are in a better state than others but that doesn't remove the chance of a bad release wreaking havoc on devices. That is the unfortunate reality that owners of some HomePods are now facing after what they claim to be a rather buggy HomePod Software 15 beta caused smart speakers to overheat and, in some cases, fry the logic board beyond repair.

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Apple HomePod is no longer available, but owners need not worry

Apple HomePod is no longer available, but owners need not worry

Devices come and go, no matter how popular or how loved. Sometimes older devices are replaced by newer models, but there are also times when they are completely retired instead. The latter is the case for the first Apple smart speaker, the much-delayed HomePod that the company announced would be discontinued. Supplies of the full-sized speaker have finally gone out of stock but, while it can no longer be purchased from direct channels, nothing really changes for those who already own one, at least not yet.

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