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.
While GoogleTV still hasn't really taken off, the idea of an Android-powered set-top box is still a good one if properly executed. Diamond Multimedia recently tried its hand at such an execution with the AMP1000 (Android Media Player), its first venture into the Android realm.
But, like with any new project attempt, there is plenty of room for failure. As we've seen so many times before, what seems like a good idea on paper can easily be a disaster in execution.
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.
Wireless headphones are a rapidly emerging market, thanks to the continually growing proportion of the population that own Bluetooth-enabled smartphones and tablets. On-ear wireless headphones, in particular, are picking up. We've reviewed several of these style of headphones, and found performance and price to vary wildly. You can spend $30 on a bargain-bin set of wireless headphones, or upwards of $400-500 for some of the name brand audiophile products out there.
Bluetooth connectivity is an increasingly common feature request in our ever-more smartphone and tablet-centric world. It has grown from the simple communication medium of the god-awful earpieces everyone hates you for wearing into a widely-used wireless audio standard. Portable speakers, cars, and headphones are all latching onto it. But what about your 2.1 system? I know I've always wished I could easily push music to my own stereo setup without messy PC software or dongle attachments.
My significant other likes to pretend the next car we buy will have TVs integrated into the headrests to keep our kids occupied on long trips. I can assure you, it will not - after all, that's an option that costs thousands of dollars, and is usually only offered on luxury cars (which we can't afford) and minivans (just no) as it is. But, as it turns out, it's not all that hard to one-up integrated TVs: you can slap on a sleek, adjustable headrest mount.
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.