Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth? It's a question that most audiophiles have answered resoundingly when it comes to wireless sound: Wi-Fi, of course. Uncompromised fidelity (from the original audio source), more stable connection, fewer interruptions, and did I mention fidelity? In the last year or two, though, we've basically seen Wi-Fi speakers pushed into a corner of the market, as a niche product, while ever more ubiquitous Bluetooth speaker systems have taken the lead.
Since I reviewed the SuperTooth Disco, oh so long ago (I still had my Nexus One!), I've never found anything quite like it. It was loud, it was heavy, big, and frankly, a bit silly looking. It was also exceptionally good value for money. It's like that big, old pickup truck from the 70's - a modern substitute is really no substitute at all.
The Disco 2 has made some sacrifices when compared to its progenitor.
In an age where everyone wants wireless everything, we're slowly seeing more traditional products integrate Bluetooth and Wi-Fi into their feature repertoire, particularly since the start of the smartphone revolution. Today, we're talking about speakers. Specifically, some pretty crazy looking ones called the Spinnakers, made by a company called Edifier.
I reviewed Edifier's Prisma 2.1 BT speaker system in August, and was thoroughly impressed with what $130 got you in terms of raw sound.
As a parent, I'm terrified at the thought of my kids driving. We're still at least seven years away from that, but it's still something I think about almost daily. It's becoming all too common to hear horror stories of how someone lost of loved one due to things like using email, texting, or other cell phone usage while driving. I'm hoping there's a better solution than we have now before my babies get behind the wheel, but for those who are going through that very thing right now, Scosche has a solution.
Running out of juice in your smartphone or tablet is a part of life. An unfortunate part, no doubt, but it's something that we all have to deal with. As if a depleted battery isn't bad enough, we're not always in an ideal place to recharge, either. In order to combat this annoying quandary, I never leave the house without a portable charger. Having an extra battery that can quickly top off my tablet or phone at any given moment has saved me more times than I can count, and I think everybody should have one.
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.
At $400 (I know, I know - stay with me here), the Logitech UE900s are well out of many people's perceived reasonable price range for a set of headphones. Especially earbuds. But I'd like to remind everyone that there is a definitely a market for headphones at this level, and it's not just reserved for the well-to-do and audio geeks. The fact of the matter is, when it comes to sound, you can spend thousands of dollars to find the "ideal" system.
Back at IFA 2012, Logitech unveiled its new series of Ultimate Ears accessories. Among those were a couple of portable speakers: the Boombox and Mobile Boombox. I've spent the last few weeks using both, and have been quite impressed for the most part. Without giving too much away right off the bat, both units sound surprisingly good compared to Logitech's previous Bluetooth speakers (and the competition), and are priced pretty aggressively for the features offered.
It seems like headphones have become more of a fashion statement, most commonly demonstrated by the Beats-equipped youth that traipse around as if their $100 Bluetooth headphones are a premium product. They've become as much of a fashion statement as clothing, with a pricing system to match - that is, many of the more expensive fashionable brands are simply the same materials with a fancier name. Short story long, the focus isn't so much on sound and comfort anymore, but rather on panache.
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.