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bluetooth

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Brookstone releases two new speakers with Chromecast and Bluetooth functionality

Brookstone has been making wireless speakers for years, but only now is jumping onto the Chromecast bandwagon. The company has now released updated models of the Big Blue Studio and Big Blue Party speakers, both with added casting functionality.

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Jaybird X3 review: An improvement, but not a huge one

Wireless headphones are more important than ever as phones start (inadvisably) ditching the venerable 3.5mm headphone jack. Jaybird has been on the scene for a few years, making some of the most highly regarded wireless earbuds you can get. The Jaybird X2 are particularly popular, and have been coming down in price a lot. Earlier this year the company launched the Freedom earbuds, which didn't get such high praise.

What everyone wanted was a successor to the X2, and now we have that with the Jaybird X3. The design has been refined, it's got some cool new software features, the sound is nicer, and the launch price is more competitive.

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[Update: Developer clarifies how the setup works] AmpMe update now syncs multiple Bluetooth speakers from different manufacturers together to really irritate your neighbors

In my home, we have neighbors that love to be loud. People over almost every night, lots of banging, and music so loud that I can feel the bass in my chest. So along comes the latest update to AmpMe, an app that lets you sync together multiple Bluetooth devices. The app itself is not new, but the company behind it announced today that it now supports connecting speakers from different manufacturers into one sound system.

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[Deal Alert] Grab an Xperia X Compact ($279.99), Xperia XZ ($429.99), or a JBL Pulse 2 ($119.95) at B&H Photo

B&H is one of my favorite stores. It is always dependable, most of the time has very good prices, and customer service is great as well. They are running a DealZone sale on a couple of Xperia phones and a JBL Pulse 2 Bluetooth speaker, among other things. Hurry up, it's a flash sale that will expire soon.

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Onvocal's OV headphones have Amazon Alexa built-in, coming in January for $399

Amazon's Alexa voice control platform continues worming its way into more products today with the Onvocal OV Bluetooth headphones. The OV is like any other Bluetooth device in that it can communicate with the voice assistant built-into your phone, but there will be an app for OV that adds one-touch access to Alexa as well. That ability doesn't come cheap, though.

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Bluetooth 5.0 with improved speed, range, and capacity is now available

Back in June, the Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group) announced Bluetooth 5.0, which promised improvements across the board for this wireless protocol, mostly for the Low Energy (BLE) transfers: 2x speed, 4x range, and 8x broadcast message capacity. As more and more devices and things in our lives become connected, from the fridge to the lamp to the clothes we're wearing, this new version should make Bluetooth more reliable as a low-energy and universal communication and data transfer standard.

Now, the Bluetooth SIG has officially adopted Bluetooth 5.0 and explains one further advantage: the reduction of wireless interference with other technologies. It expects devices with Bluetooth 5.0 to start shipping in two to six months.

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[Update: Down to $34.99 today only] [Deal Alert] Jawbone Mini Jambox on sale for $39.99 at Best Buy ($90 off)

Bluetooth speakers have become a commodity in the last few years. You can get a cheap one for next to nothing on Amazon, but you still have to spend some cash to get a nice one. The Mini Jambox from Jawbone came out a few years ago, but it has solid reviews, and it's on sale at Best Buy today. You can pick one up for just $39.99, down from the retail price of $129.99.

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Bang and Olufsen's new headphones, the Beoplay H9, are up for pre-order at Amazon

The over-ear headphone market is a competitive place, with Bang and Olufsen (B&O), Bose, Plantronics, and Sony all vying to make the best cans money can buy. B&O's latest set, the Beoplay H9, are up for pre-order at Amazon with a shipping date of December 8.

The Amazon listing says the H9 are lightweight (although I wonder if that means they're lighter than the Bose's QC35, which are ridiculously light, as Rita said in her review) and, interestingly, has an intuitive aluminum touch panel, located on the right earcup. This allows changing music, volume, turning noise cancelling on or off, and answering or declining calls.

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[Deal Alert] JayBird X3 wireless in-ear headphones are $100 ($30 off) at Best Buy

By now, no one should really be surprised at all the sales coming in to our emails and mailboxes. Interestingly, headphones seem to be a bit popular this time around. Seeing as a lot of people will be or are traveling, that makes sense. In today's deal, we have the recently announced JayBird X3 wireless in-ear headphones for $99.99 at Best Buy, a savings of $30.

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V-Moda unveils a new line of fitness oriented in-ear headphones with both wired and wireless options

V-Moda is a brand that's admired by several of us here at AP. It has the reputation of delivering attractive headphones with excellent sound at a (somewhat) reasonable price. I reviewed its Crossfade Wireless headphones a couple of months back and thoroughly enjoyed them.

While the headphone manufacturer has focused primarily on over ear headphones in the past, it's shaking things up today by announcing three new fitness oriented sets of in-ear earbuds. They range from $100 to $170 with two wired models and one that is wireless.

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