Android Police

Audio Reviews

12

JBL Link Drive review: Google Assistant in your car still has rough edges

Google Assistant is everywhere these days: phones, tablets, speakers, Chromebooks, and more. The first Assistant devices for cars were unveiled earlier this year, and the first model from Anker launched in April. The other device, JBL's Link Drive, was announced at CES and seemed like it wasn't going to come out. Of course, JBL is no stranger to delays, and the Link Drive just became available recently. So, how is the JBL Link Drive? It's an almost identical experience to the Anker Roav Bolt, but with more hardware disadvantages and a higher price.

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22

Plantronics BackBeat 3200 review: Stable sports buds that hit all the right notes but one

While true wireless buds are easy to find in all shapes and prices these days, those that are made for exercising and built for stability aren't that many. Plantronics already dabbled in this segment last year with the BackBeat Fit 3100, which were good until you stepped into the wide open outdoors. Connectivity dropped between the two buds, making them nearly unusable in the environment they were built for.

Plantronics came back this year with a fix to this problem. The new Fit 3150 and 3200 use Bluetooth 5.0, offer a more stable connection, and don't have any issue outdoor.

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36

Razer Hammerhead True Wireless review: AirPods-style earbuds without a killer feature

I don't think it's a stretch to say the market for truly wireless earbuds is absolutely saturated at this point. Even beyond all the usual players - Apple, Anker, Plantronics, Jaybird, Sony, and others - there are thousands of white-label models from countless companies. Despite this, rubber-tipped earbuds still vastly outnumber Apple-style plastic-tipped buds.

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40

Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro and Air 2 review: USB-C, Qi, affordability, and all that jazz

There is no shortage of true wireless earbuds nowadays. Although new, this product category has taken the audio world by storm and appealed to most users thanks to a combination of convenience, portability, and longer listening time between charges. The first generation of products was expensive and riddled with issues, but with time, we're seeing more and more good affordable options, like Anker's Soundcore portfolio.

The company first dipped its toes in this market less than two years ago with the Zolo Liberty and Liberty+, but has since done what it's wont to do by releasing model after model across many price points and form factors.

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5

Libratone Track Air+ review: Solid sound and active noise-cancellation at a decent price

Until Sony's excellent WF-1000XM3 launched earlier this year, there was no viable true wireless earbud option with active noise cancellation. This is partly because in-ear audio products already isolate far better than on or over-ear headphones, negating the need for ANC, and partly because it's difficult to squeeze the necessary tech into such a small form factor.

This space has come on leaps and bounds in a few short years, however, and we can now expect even more noise-canceling earbuds to hit the market. Danish brand Libratone recently entered the fray with its Track Air+ model, and they boast an impressive feature set while managing to undercut the competing Sony model by some margin — £179 vs £229 in the UK.

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45

Nest Mini review: No need to wait for a freebie, it's worth your $50

The original Home Mini was a home run, delivering Google's then-new Assistant experience with both a tiny package and price. That legacy leaves the Nest Mini with big (small?) shoes to fill, and this little Nest-branded smart speaker delivers, raising the bar when it comes to the entry-level Assistant experience. But, there's no reason to replace a house full of Home Minis just yet.

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7

Plantronics BackBeat Fit 6100 review: Good, gym-friendly over-ear headphones

Along with three new true wireless earbuds, Plantronics introduced last month a new over-ear headphone model. The BackBeat Fit 6100 offer a unique proposition for gym goers and workout aficionados who don't like in-ear buds: they're over-ear cans made specifically to withstand sweat and exercise, but they suit your commuter lifestyle or desk job just as well. The $180 price is on the high side, though.

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6

Blue Yeti X is one of the best consumer mics available for under $200

The default hardware kit for most podcasters and live streamers consists of two widely known products: A Logitech webcam and a Blue Yeti microphone. The Yeti has become one of the most popular all-around mics on the market because it delivers high quality, versatility, and a distinctive look without breaking the bank. Blue is now launching a new member in the lineup called the Yeti X, taking everything from the original, but adding great lighting and powerful audio processing capabilities that will appeal to podcasters and a rapidly growing market of game streamers.

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4

Mpow's H5 noise-canceling headphones get the job done for 50 bucks

The active noise-canceling headphone market has been booming lately, with commendable options from the likes of Sony, Jabra, and Microsoft — not to mention Bose, which has practically defined the product category for years. If you want the best, though, you'll have to pay: it's not uncommon for high-end ANC cans to run $200 or more. Mpow's H5 noise-canceling headphones can't compete with the big guys, but at $50, they're not trying to — and they're probably just right for a lot of people.

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34

Plantronics BackBeat Pro 5100 review: Price and MicroUSB spoil these great true wireless buds

Plantronics dipped its toes in the true wireless earbuds market last year — with mitigated results. While it nailed the product's design and features, connectivity was an issue that you only noticed if you spent a lot of time out in the open. Now the company is back with a new range of true wireless buds and is hoping to fix that problem thanks to Bluetooth 5.0 and a new chip from Qualcomm.

The Pro 5100 are Plantronics' new premium offering, though in the true wireless earbuds space, they fall in the mid to high-end. And if you manage to forgive their MicroUSB charging port and slightly high price tag, they're quasi-perfect.

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