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Reviews

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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86

Nvidia Shield TV (2019) review: The best Android TV box for pretty much everyone

Nvidia's Shield TV has been Android nerds' streaming box of choice for going on half a decade, and for good reason: it's got ample power, plenty of features, and software that's always up to date. Now, the company has introduced two new versions with a bit of a twist. The base model, this tube-shaped guy right here, fills a role that's decidedly niche: a premium Android TV box (cylinder?) that does everything you'd want a streamer to do and nothing else, for a price that's high-end but not too high-end. I'm not sure how many people are looking for exactly that, but I'm confident anybody who is will be thrilled with this year's Shield TV.

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10

Anker PowerPort Atom III review: With chargers, all you need is 'fine'

Power accessories are important because they can be dangerous, but they really just fall into three broad camps: legitimately unsafe, odd, and fine. The best you can hope for is for an adapter to meet its specs as defined without doing anything wrong, hazardous, or suffering any incompatibility issues — in other words, the best chargers are just "fine." In that fine tradition, the $40, gallium nitrite-powered, Type-C, 60W, Anker PowerPort Atom III perfectly meets our expectations.

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14

Wyze Plug review: Turning you on to quick and easy home automation

No one wants to go broke while upgrading their house to become a smart home, and that's a big part of what's made Wyze hardware so appealing: straightforward functionality at a just-can't-be-beat price. Following the launch of Wyze Sense security sensors and the Wyze Bulb earlier this year, the company's smart home offerings are now joined by a solution for controlling existing appliances: the Wyze Plug.

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44

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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20

Nuki Opener review: A smarter intercom to complement your smart lock

With smart locks becoming more readily available and more reliable, many customers have made the switch and streamlined entrance to their homes. If you're a house owner, that and a garage opener are likely all you need, but if you live in an apartment building, things become more complicated. What good is a smart lock if you can't get into the building or gate in the first place? Intercoms are the next obstacle to overcome.

Nuki, a smart lock brand aimed at the European market, recently released the Opener, an intercom add-on to control entrance to your building from your phone.

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8

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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137

Galaxy Watch Active2 review: Dancing on the grave of Wear OS

There's no denying that Apple makes the best all-around smartwatches, especially if you care about fitness, so Android-compatible watches continue to battle for second place. The most recent entry from the Wear OS camp is the fifth-gen Fossil Q, and while that watch is a decent step up from every other device with the same software, it still hasn't addressed some of the platform's core problems poor fitness tracking, degrading app library, and so on.

Samsung's new watch is a follow-up to the Galaxy Watch Active, which was (by most accounts) the best overall smartwatch for Android devices.

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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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