Google's inexpensive Chromecast is already popular for streaming audio from sources like Play Music and Pandora to your television, but now it looks like the company wants a more specific approach for music. To that end Google has announced "Cast for audio," an audio-only version of the system that streams directly to connected and certified speaker systems, no extra hardware required. The first compatible speakers should reach the market in the spring of this year.
When asked which speaker company I think offers the biggest bang for the buck, the answer is pretty easy: it's either G-Project or Soundfreaq. Both are great companies, and each offers a lot of speaker for the money. They both target very different sets of users, however, so I don't really feel like they easily cross paths in the market. For example, Soundfreaq makes killer "around the house" speakers - they're not necessarily designed for ultimate portability, and they don't have a super robust look or feel to them.
I love Soundfreaq speakers. They offer big sound in a small package, generally look pretty damn good, and are always very reasonably priced. I reviewed the Double Spot a few weeks ago, which is probably my favorite Soundfreaq offering to date – it's a killer little speaker for $150. BUT! If you want it for fewer dollars, now's the time to buy. For the next two weeks, Stack Social is selling this mid-century modern speaker for $112, which is 25% off the normal price.
Today's Amazon Gold Box deal of the day can help anyone in need of a portable Bluetooth speaker save quite a bit of money. Creative Labs' Airwave speakers are currently reduced down to just $29.99. This is a savings of $70 off the MSRP. That's right, 70%. You don't see discounts like that often (or at least not as often as we'd like).
The Airwave is available in five colors, but only three are going for $29.99: a grey that looks pretty black, a blue that looks kinda purple, and black & white.
Touch of Modern's site is a place where only the cool gadgets are allowed to hang out, and to do so they have to offer some sort of a discount. In the corner of the room there are currently three Braven speakers all vying for attention, and they're discounted by up to half.
At the high end, we have the Braven 710. This speaker is discounted from $169.99 down to $99.99 - $20 lower than Amazon's going price.
Vizio's pulled the curtains off two new Portable Smart Audio speakers that are powered by Android 4.4. What makes them special are the touchscreens embedded into the front of each device. Instead of having to pair them with a phone using Bluetooth, users will be free to stream music directly from the likes of Spotify and Pandora or enjoy video from Netflix or YouTube. Think of each version as a bulky tablet that doesn't need to rest in your lap, one with speakers that you won't leave you reaching for earbuds.
If you read our Nexus 5 Voltron-style review, you know that one of the Nexus 5's only real failings is its tiny, tinny speaker. To quote Mr. Ruddock: "It doesn't get very loud, the quality is pretty gag-worthy." A few XDA-Developers members decided to investigate the actual hardware on the speaker, leading Adam Outler to conclude that at least some units were affected by a manufacturing defect. He decided to fix this problem the XDA way: by cracking the phone open and poking holes in it.
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.
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.