A multicolored lamp that's controllable via an Android app isn't a new idea. Neither is a Bluetooth speaker, or a specialized USB device charger. But combining them all together seems like a pretty nifty approach, and more than 400 Kickstarter backers would seem to agree. The Luma lamp, which combines the features of the Phillips Hue and similar multi-color, connected lamps, a Bluetooth speaker, and a basic charger, has reached its $55,000 Kickstarter goal with almost a whole month left in the campaign.
Nothing says hip and sophisticated like a quirky piece of artwork that you can't afford and no one can understand. The only thing that would further situate you above your immensely jealous and inferior-feeling friends would be the addition of Mozart suddenly filling the air. When they ask where your Bluetooth speaker is hidden, you just smile and shake your head smugly, turning ever-so-slowly back to the Soundwall hanging above the fireplace.
Generally speaking, I consider Braven to be one of the top manufacturers of Bluetooth speakers. Its products are usually well-made and sound good, and its product catalog is fairly expansive for what it is (in other words, the company offers a speaker for most needs). Having spent time with past Braven speakers, I grabbed the 710 review unit expecting what I'd get. After using it for a while, however, I have to say I'm actually kind of disappointed with the 710.
It's Cyber Monday, and Newegg is known for selling nice tech, so let's cut to the chase here. The site has a sale going on, and while the vast majority of it has nothing to do with Android, a few niceties have managed to slip through. For starters, we have the LG G Pad 8.3, which is currently on sale for $279.99, and if you apply the coupon code CYBERMND16, that price will go down an additional $30.
Anyone looking to snag a portable Bluetooth speaker might want to head over to Tech.Woot, as the site is currently selling a refurbished Braven 570 portable Bluetooth speaker for $29.99. Sure, it's a used product, but considering that this device would normally set you back just shy of $100 (even on Amazon), today's deal lets you get the same speaker for one-third of the price.
Tech.Woot's offer will only last for thirteen hours or until all of the units are sold, and there's a limit of three per customer.
The amount of Bluetooth speakers on the market is mind boggling. Not only has every brand that ever made a speaker in the past throwing its offering into the arena, but the category has brought forth many new contenders as well, each of which claiming theirs is the "best." That's actually a silly assertion, as best is completely subjective. But I'm getting off topic.
The way I see it, finding the right Bluetooth speaker for you isn't all that daunting of a task.
When I was a kid, every Saturday my parents would to have cookouts and invite the rest of the family (and some friends) over. Almost everyone showed up week after week – my aunts and uncles, cousins, people my parents had been friends with for years, and many of the kids I was friends with from the neighborhood. Everyone knew that during the summer, my house was the place to be on the weekends.
Smartwatches are a young category. Superfluous at best and just plain dorky at worst, I've yet to see one that makes me say "wow, I've gotta have that." And if smartwatches have yet to receive their killer application, that's doubly true for the inevitable wave of cheap accessories that will try to cash in on the craze. Case in point: The Bem Wireless Speakerwatch.
This thing is a Bluetooth speakerphone strapped to a wristband.
Portable speakers and premium phone cases are two great tastes that taste great together, at least if you've got enough disposable income to afford both on top of your expensive smartphone. In a consolidation of the high-end accessory world, California-based case maker Incipio has purchased Braven, the Utah-based maker of a line of portable Bluetooth speakers.
Both companies tend to skew towards the higher end of the accessory market. Incipio likes to go for the low-hanging fruit of the iPad and iPhone (though they do have plenty of accessories for the more popular Android phone and tablet models) while Braven's Bluetooth speakers are device-agnostic in nature.
Bluetooth speakers come in at a variety of price points and corresponding quality levels. Some have more features, and others emphasize sound. But sometimes you see such a good deal that it almost doesn't matter what the speaker does. Woot has the Braven 600 Bluetooth speaker on sale today for just $34.99. It's a refurb, but you'll save a lot on a pretty good speaker.
We reviewed it last year and were happy with the device.