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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
Jaybird is a known quantity in the athletic earbud space: all of its products sound good and fit great. That continues to be true of the company's latest offering, the Vista true wireless earbuds. While there's not much surprising here, the Vista deliver where it counts, and despite some minor quibbles, are absolutely worth the asking price for the right buyer. Read More
A couple years back, Ultimate Ears released the Wonderboom, a squat little speaker that delivered great sound at a good price. With some attractive color pairings, and big, easy-to-use controls, there was a lot to like about the speaker, though there was also clearly still room to grow. Now UE’s ready with its follow-up, launching the Wonderboom 2 earlier this summer. Read More
Regardless of the form factor, connectivity, and any other specs, the idea behind most audio headsets is that the sound should pass by your eardrum. That makes sense — after all, that's how we all hear. Bone conduction headphones challenge that idea. They use a magical technology to bypass your eardrums altogether.
The result is headphones that are comfortable to wear even if you dislike the feeling of lodged in-ear buds or the weight and pressure of over-ear headsets. They also keep your ears open for maximum awareness. Whether or not this is a product you need is up to you, but if you're in the market for bone conduction headphones, AfterShokz's new Aeropex is an excellent option thanks to its comfort, stability, and sound quality. Read More
Adding a soundbar is one of the quickest, easiest, and potentially most impressive upgrades you can make to your television, supercharging your entertainment experience with rich, room-filling sound. And while there's no shortage of options out there, supporting tons of extra audio channels or external subwoofers, we’re only now starting to see really smart, connected solutions emerge.
The JBL Link Bar is just such a marriage, wedding Android TV smarts with a 100W soundbar. So instead of just upgrading your TV to sound a whole lot better, it offers a shot in the arm for aging legacy sets that lack built-in streaming or smart-home features of their own. Read More
The selection of "truly wireless" earbuds is truly staggering these days. They've gone from being crazy expensive status symbols to the norm, with surprisingly cheap models available. But even at $100, mid-range options like the Optoma NuForce BE Free6 still need to make some compromises to hit that price. You get good sound, decent battery life, and USB Type-C charging, but I had some serious problems when it came to fit, and there's no app for updates or other functionality. Read More