The Amazon Echo and its integrated assistant Alexa have seen a lot of success and popularity over the past year, and now more companies have been tempted to build their own iterations of the product. Some, like Lenovo, have decided to nearly copy the entire idea, from the form factor to the Alexa integration. The result is the Lenovo Smart Assistant Speaker.
It's a cylindrical tower, much like the Echo, with a speaker grille at the bottom and what seems to be a rising control panel with volume and trigger buttons and an array of 8 360-deg far-field microphones with noise suppression that can pick up voices from up to 5m away. Read More
Levitating speakers are the novelty item of the past couple of years. You can find a new one on Kickstarter every month or so and Amazon has a collection of them for sale, some of which are shaped like the Death Star for an added cool effect. The magic, if you consider it that, is due to electromagnets that keep the speaker hanging in mid-air above its main station and without it falling.
At CES, LG will show off its own take on the levitating speaker: the PJ9. The announcement article isn't very clear on some details, but it lets us know that the PJ9 will have a battery that lasts 10 hours after which the speaker will drop down to charge wirelessly. Read More
One of the finest $200 Bluetooth speakers out there is the UE Boom 2. I own one and it is a benchmark device that I use to compare any speaker in a similar price range that is sent to me for testing. Few sound as good as it does, and none also boast all the other great features the speaker offers. Those features include an eye-catching design, long battery life, a waterproof and shockproof body, and Google Now voice integration. Read More
B&H is one of my favorite stores. It is always dependable, most of the time has very good prices, and customer service is great as well. They are running a DealZone sale on a couple of Xperia phones and a JBL Pulse 2 Bluetooth speaker, among other things. Hurry up, it's a flash sale that will expire soon. Read More
Looking for a last-minute stocking stuffer or white elephant gift? No worries, we've got your back covered here at AP – check this deal out. JBL.com has the JBL Go Bluetooth speaker on sale for just $20, which is half its retail price. It's available in a plethora of colors (yes, I know what a plethora is) and ships free and will arrive in plenty of time for Christmas.
The Go is the smallest speaker in JBL's lineup, but according to its reviews on Amazon (4.5 stars), it still packs quite the punch. It's portable, sports five hours of battery life, and sounds pretty good – what else could you want in a $20 speaker? Read More
What's waterproof, great sounding, affordably priced, and shaped like a flying saucer? The UE Roll Bluetooth speaker, which is currently on sale at BestBuy for $45, the lowest price I've seen for it yet.
The Roll is an awesome little device, with a surprising amount of punch for its size and a form factor that makes it easy to carry in a backpack or purse. I reviewed the Roll 2 earlier this year and was very impressed. It's one of my go-to speakers any time I travel due to its impressive sound, portability, and durability.
The model on sale today is the first gen Roll, but it's nearly the same device as the Roll 2. Read More
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The Braven BRV XXL is the largest, loudest, heaviest, and most rugged speaker I've ever tested. It's so powerful that it literally shakes my house when played at full volume. Of all the gadgets I've used over the years, it is perhaps one of the least practical, but that doesn't change the fact that I absolutely love it. Read More
Google Cast has been pretty heavily in the news in the past couple of weeks. We had the new JBL Playlist speaker followed by Vizio's SmartCast Crave 360 and Crave Pro, all of which come with Google Cast capabilities built-in, then we got the Chromecast Preview Program announcement, followed by news of Sony's speakers finally getting multi-room and Hi-Fi audio support. Now there's another speaker joining the fold: the Onkyo NCP-302.
Behind that sexy name lies one of the most interesting Google Cast speakers we've seen to date. We knew Onkyo was a Google Cast partner (it has been listed on the site for a few months already), but we didn't expect it to come out swinging with its first product. Read More
Vizio has been teasing its new Google Cast speakers for several months and they're now finally, officially official. The new SmartCast Crave series has two speakers and they both look positively badass with a satin aluminum grille, but I have to say I'm mostly smitten by the 360.
The Crave 360 has a tubular shape reminiscent of the Amazon Echo, and uses it to blast tunes in 360 degrees. It's meant to be a portable and stationary speaker in one, with an 8h battery life and a wireless charging base that you can pluck it on and take it off whenever you feel like bringing it to the garden, park, balcony, or just moving it around the house. Read More
With Bluetooth speakers so common these days, it is pretty easy to find one that fits in almost every price bracket. One of the more popular ones that I see around my hometown is the UE Roll line, due in no small part to its portability and water resistance (Colorado folks like to go outside, what can I say). The Roll 2 brought some improvements, including a longer range and louder output than its predecessor, but it maintained the utter simplicity that makes this speaker iconic. Coupled with the UE Roll app, you can set up an alarm, adjust EQ settings, remotely power on the device, and connect up to three phones to it. Read More