Brace yourselves...summer is coming. (That's the saying, right? Yeah.) You know what that means: vacations, camping, time outside of the house, and other stuff. And you know what THAT means: your devices are going to need more juice than ever and you're going to need a way to blast some music while doing your thing outside.
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Happy Monday AP readers! What's this, you're not happy!? A bad case of the Monday blues? Well, had you been listening to some sweet tunes this morning while you were getting ready for work, you might be in a better mood now. If you need an inexpensive Bluetooth speaker to jam out with while you brush your teeth and shave your face (or legs, or back, or whatever else you shave), then you should check out this deal.
In its latest Gold Box Deal of the Day, Amazon is offering up to 80% off a number of Cambridge SoundWorks OontZ Angle Bluetooth speakers. Two models are up for grabs. One is a water and dust resistant device rated iPX-5. It can last for up to 15 hours of playtime and comes reduced from $129.99 to $34.99.
If you don't particularly plan to use this thing by the pool or on the beach, you can opt for the cheaper variant that's going for $19.99, down from a regular price of $99.99. With up to 12 hours of playtime from a single charge, it doesn't last quite as long, but again, you're getting this for nearly half the cost of the aforementioned option.
The Pal Bot is a wired speaker, not a Bluetooth speaker, which is probably why it's usually sold for only $30. It features a compact stereo speaker setup with a passive subwoofer crammed into its 4.8" tall body.
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.
Cast for audio utilizes the same simple interface and remote connection as Chromecast: simply tap the "cast" button on your phone, tablet, or browser tab, and the content will be sent over the local network to the speaker, at which point it pulls down the music directly from the Internet.
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. G-Project speakers, on the other hand, are built tough. They're made for outdoor use, to be thrown in a backpack, and to generally get beaten to death (not literally, of course).
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.
Both the black and wood grain speakers are available (the latter is my personal favorite), and shipping is free.
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. The pink and green models are not included. Color aside, each option can pair with a device using NFC.
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. At the opposite end, we see the Mira priced at $64.99, which also manages to undercut Amazon by $20. In between the two, there's the Braven 570, which sees the largest discount at $49.99, a 50 percent savings.
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.
The Portable Smart Audio line doesn't have the most memorable name, but consumers will have two options to pick from once these land on store shelves.