Bluetooth speakers are rapidly becoming a thing that people, you know, buy. And because of that, a lot of companies have started making them. One of those companies has become the unabashed leader of the pack with a little device called the Jambox. But the Jambox is over a year and a half old. Competitors have started springing up, and some of them are actually quite awesome. And we know Bluetooth speakers aren't a "one size fits all" affair, so we're going to give you some of favorites in a variety shapes, sizes, and styles.
Satechi is known for offering good products for a good price. Recent examples: an awesome $30 portable Bluetooth speaker, a high-quality headrest mount for tablets, and a whopping 10,000mAh portable charger for just $50. So when the company announced some new lightweight Bluetooth headphones (creatively named "BT Lite Headphones"), it caught my attention.
With the promise of light weight, good features, and quality sound at $45, I cracked open the package with high expectations.
Skype, providers of one of the most popular IM and video calling clients available, deployed an update for the service's Android app today, bringing it up to version 22.214.171.1245 and packing a few minor, yet very much needed fixes and enhancements.
Among the changes in 126.96.36.1995 are more reliable connection with Bluetooth headsets, support for a wider range of headsets, and several key bug fixes. Here's the full change log:
What's in this version:
• More reliable connection with headsets
• More headsets supported
• No more random signing out
• Fixed green video on HTC devices
• Restored video quality on Nvidia-powered devices
While this is a relatively small update, it brings improvements that should give users a more pleasant experience with the app overall, and will definitely help functionality for those using HTC or NVIDIA-powered devices.
I am sort of becoming the Bluetooth speaker guy here at Android Police, and the more such products I review, the more I find I'm not impressed with a lot of the current market leaders. Most of all, I'm unimpressed with their price-to-performance ratio. So often, Bluetooth speakers overpromise with buzzwords like "amazing clarity," "deep bass," and "rich sound" (how the hell is sound rich?). I get tired of it, especially since most of these promises are meaningless, recycled advertising drivel that belongs on a late-night infomercial.
When it comes to speakers, cost can make a huge difference. Cheaper speakers tend to pack lower-grade materials, while more expensive ones tend to pack better. But every now and then, you'll find a true gem; a speaker that performs well above its price range. And luckily for me, the Satechi Swift is such a gem.
Portable Bluetooth speakers in particular are a dime a dozen, though the most well known is undoubtedly the Jawbone Jambox.
Ever since the Pebble Smartwatch got millions in funding from Kickstarter, other companies have been coming out of the woodwork in hopes of getting a smartwatch on your wrist. The Martian smartwatch is a slightly different take on the concept, though. These devices would be based mostly on voice commands over Bluetooth.
The video is clearly using a lot of Siri commands, which Android devices won't support. Since this is essentially a fancy Bluetooth device, all the voice commands that work through a regular Bluetooth headset on your phone will be available with Martian.
It's no secret that most of us hate cables. We want wireless sync and charging. Wi-Fi. Bluetooth. NFC. The list goes on and on. Why then, would we settle for earbuds that remain physically tethered to our device? We wouldn't. Unfortunately, Bluetooth earbuds aren't nearly as commonplace as their wired counterparts, and they oftentimes costs thrice as much (or more). Still, if you just can't stand the thought of using a wired set of 'buds, it's really your best (and only) option.
Yesterday, we featured a great deal on a stationary Bluetooth dock. Say you need something a bit more portable, though. What should you buy then? Heavens, can anyone save you from this crisis of audio need?! Well, yeah. And calm down. Here's a portable Bluetooth speaker from Best Buy. Today only, this Rocketfish SPX15 is available for $40, which is $60 off its normal MSRP and about $30 off its already-lower price on Amazon.
Android docks are thin on the ground, mostly because there's just too many phones and tablets for accessory makers to invest in developing them. Philips is the exception, and while their range of Fidelio docks have been well-received, they're also pretty expensive. On that note, you can pick up the Fidelio AS140/37, their mid-range Android speaker dock, for just $49.99 in Target stores. That's $60 off the suggested retail price, and more than $30 off of Amazon's price.
Arcade cabinet mods are certainly nothing new. Ever since the kids of the late 70s and early 80s grew up into the adults of the late 90s and early aughts, the internet has been filled with folks building wooden boxes around computers and joysticks. Today's example, though, uses an Android tablet and a Tatsunoko vs. Capcom fight stick for what might be one of the cheapest, easiest-to-replicate Arcade cabinets around.