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Articles Tagged:

audio

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TicPods Free are affordable true wireless earbuds with touch controls from Mobvoi

Now that multiple Android OEMs have launched phones without headphone jacks, consumers have had to reluctantly concede that true wireless earbuds need to be a thing. And they are, with some compelling options out there from the likes of Jaybird, Bose, and Zolo (by Anker). They're still by no means cheap, however, so it's exactly the right time for the TicPods Free from Mobvoi to enter the fray.

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Wicked Audio Endo review: The boring kind of cheap headphones

Bluetooth audio products take many forms at several price points, offering us the consumers multiple options to meet our respective needs. While some can go for the top-dollar, high-end items from Bose, others may need something under $100 or even $50. Affordable audio is potentially lucrative, especially when a customer can go find them at his or her nearest Walmart. Growing up, the only name of true note I knew in this particular market was Skullcandy, an edgy company set on providing decent-ish headphones and earphones that looked nice/cool, but didn't cost a whole ton.

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TIDAL is now compatible with Amazon Fire TV and Android Auto

TIDAL doesn't have many fans due to its high pricing and general impracticality, but perhaps today's two additions will sway you to reconsider. Jay-Z's music service now supports Amazon Fire TV and Android Auto --- an odd combo, but any additional support is good to hear about.

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Plex updates Chromecast interface with a fresh look, better slideshows, and more

It was a big deal some years back when Plex added Chromecast support. Google's Chromecast platform has only gotten more useful since then, and now Plex's Chromecast UI is getting an overdue revamp. The new interface looks nicer, but it also comes with functional improvements like better slideshow support and subtitle resizing.

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Noontec Zoro II Wireless review: Flawed, but great, Bluetooth headphones

Bluetooth headphones are everywhere these days. Most of them – many of which sit in the affordable range – provide passable, mediocre sound and varying degrees of battery life. Both are oftentimes better than the earphone counterparts, but it is difficult to get excited about these products in general anymore. The last time I enjoyed a pair of wireless headphones was when I reviewed the Phiaton BT 390, which continues to be one of my top recommendations for anyone needing something under $100, thanks to its impressive battery life and solid sound quality.

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SōLIS SO-3000 and SO-6000 review: Both great Chromecast speakers, but one is a questionable bargain

SōLIS is, in the grand scheme of things, a company new to the audio business. Centering around its oddly stylized name and its slogan "Leave no note unheard," SōLIS focuses on building hi-res audio products that do not necessarily break the bank. For some of us, that line sounds a bit familiar. The recent line of speakers, including these two, is aimed at wireless streaming aficionados. This market is currently dominated by Sonos and for good reason, but I like to see new players enter the field to test their hand.

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Google bought a U.K. sound startup specializing in haptics and turning surfaces into speakers last year

According to a recent article by Bloomberg, late last year Google sneakily picked up a U.K.-based startup called Redux that was working on some snazzy tech which can turn surfaces—like the screen on a phone or tablet—into speakers, and even provide more focused haptic effects. The precise date of the acquisition isn't certain, but according to Crunchbase, the deal was announced last August. 

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Google Home Max review: The best (and most expensive) smart speaker

The chances are almost 100% that everyone reading this has some way to access the Google Assistant. You might even have more than one Assistant device now that most phones released in the last few years have support and Google is handing out Home Minis like they're going to expire. The original Google Home has a respectable speaker for the size, and many people use it to listen to music. Yet, for anyone who's serious about their tunes, the Home and Home Mini just don't cut it. That's where the Home Max comes in. This smart speaker is not screwing around—it's big, heavy, and incredibly loud.

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LG announces Chromecast-enabled soundbar and Assistant speaker

Just having things around that make sound isn't good enough anymore. If your speakers can't stream from the internet or tell you the answer to "life, the universe, and everything" then why even have them? LG has announced two new speakers that check all the boxes. The SK10Y soundbar has Chromecast support, and the LG ThinQ Speaker is powered by Assistant.

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Google's new text-to-speech system sounds convincingly human

Get ready for the little person living inside your phone and speaker to sound a lot more life-like. Google believes it has reached a new milestone in the quest to make computer-generated speech indistinguishable from human speech with Tacotron 2, a system that trains neural networks to generate eerily natural-sounding speech from text, and they have the samples to prove it.

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