Ah, the good old days, when every phone, MP3 player, Walkman, and toaster included a pair of pack-in earbuds. These days you're lucky if you get a damn power adapter (just ask the folks over at Nintendo). If you're still using the ancient headphones that came as a freebie in you Nexus One or a long-forgotten iPod, then take a gander at this Sennheiser set over on Amazon. The MM30G, complete with in-line music controls and a mic, is $50 off of the retail price for a cool $24.99.
Sennheiser is one of the better audio brands, especially if you want good sound at a reasonable price - the kind that your audiophile uncle begs you to buy instead of Beats or Monster. Read More
As expected, Samsung has taken the lid off the Gear VR headset at this year's IFA in Berlin. The concept behind the company's attempt at virtual reality consists of pairing a Galaxy Note 4 with a bulky head unit, using the handset to supply both the display and the power. The product comes from Samsung, but its software has been created by Oculus. An early-access beta version is set to become available for eager techies and developers later this year.
Just as the name suggests, the Innovator Edition is not intended for general consumers. Samsung wants to get this hardware into the hands of early adopters and developers so that they can get to work. Read More
This is a story you've heard before - Samsung has announced another smartwatch. Not content with its current bevy of smartwatch offerings, the South Korean manufacturer has introduced the Gear S, a new Tizen-powered watch with a curved display that Samsung says "enhances the smart wearable experience."
The watch has a 2.0" SAMOLED display at a 360x480 resolution, a 300mAh battery, a dual-core processor, and a handful of sensors including an accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, heart rate monitor, barometer, and sensors for ambient light and UV. Like some of Samsung's other watches, users can also make and receive calls from the device. Read More
Rumors are flying about Samsung's plans for the virtual reality headset market. Just a week after Engadget's last unconfirmed report on Samsung's VR device, there's a new post that sheds quite a lot more light on the subject. First of all, Samsung and Oculus VR (makers of the Oculus Rift and recently acquired by Facebook) are sharing technology to improve each other's products. And secondly, Samsung's device uses a dock for your phone, which then becomes the primary display for the device.
If that seems a little odd do you, you're not alone. Assuming that this really is the direction that Samsung is going, the "headset" would be more a of a head-mounted dock, albeit one with some extra hardware and software tricks thrown in. Read More
I get the feeling that Samsung often makes hardware just to be sure they've got something ready, on the slim but possibly lucrative chance that an upcoming hardware market explodes. The Galaxy Note, the Galaxy Gear, the Gear Fit, the Galaxy Beam - all of them slightly crazy niche products following a trend. If Engadget is to be believed, you can add a virtual reality headset to the mix. A Samsung VR headset, similar to the Oculus Rift but intended for use with Samsung phones and tablets, is rumored for production later this year.
Why? At this stage in Samsung's corporate development, it might be more appropriate to ask, "why not?" Engadget's sources claim that Samsung wants to beat Oculus owner Facebook and Sony's project Mobius to market, besting them on price and banking on the strength of the Galaxy brand. Read More
Many earbuds and headsets these days come with basic volume up and down buttons that let you manage volume levels without having to pull out your phone. It's nice functionality, but it's also a bit boring out of the box. That's why you will want to install the latest version of the Degauss Headset Control Center. This app raises the bar when it comes to controlling music playback. Not only can you customize what happens when you press each button, you can set actions for when you double-click, triple-click, quadruple-click, and, yes, quintuple-click them.
Headset Control Center doesn't just control music. Read More
We all use our smartphones differently. Some people rely on them for web browsing and apps, some for texting, and many of us still resort to making calls, you know, when we have to. Even within those categories, several patterns emerge and certain habits and practices have been developed. Many of us have long since abandoned using wired headsets for calling, but a lot of people still prefer them to keeping Bluetooth headsets charged or holding a 5-inch phone against an ear. Unfortunately, these simple wired accessories can also be plagued by bugs like anything else, and both the Nexus 4 and 5 seem to suffer from a pretty big one. Read More
I've reviewed several sets of Bluetooth earbuds. With each one, there are things I would change about the design. On some, the buds are huge. Others forgo the massive bud size in exchange for a remote/receiver that needs to be "worn." Why can't someone just build a set of BT earbuds that look and feel like wired buds? is the question I find myself asking with each new headset.
Then I got my hands (and ears) on the Plantronics BackBeat GO. Without giving too much away up front, this headset is a breath of fresh air in a market filled with "I guess I can make these work" solutions. Read More
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 188.8.131.525 and packing a few minor, yet very much needed fixes and enhancements.
Among the changes in 184.108.40.2065 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. Read More