In the personal assistance arms race, the two real options for Android users are Google's Assistant and Amazon's Alexa, and both companies have realized that victory will require ubiquity—not as the final result, but as the means. To that end, each has opened its platform up for third-party hardware, and Sony's (un)imaginatively named LF-S50G takes advantage of Google's Assistant in the same way the first party Google Home does, seasoned with a few unique features like gesture controls and a clock.
At around $200, though, I don't think Sony's speaker is worth the extra cash for most people over the $130 Google Home, unless you have particular requirements. Read More
Those in the market for a Bluetooth speaker in the $100-200 range will surely have heard of Ultimate Ears for the company's popular BOOM 2 and MEGABOOM speakers. But if you're looking for a newer, more premium alternative, Logitech/Ultimate Ears has come out with the BLAST and MEGABLAST - not replacements for the BOOM series, but upmarket stablemates.
The main talking points of these two new speakers concern Alexa integration and superior sound. The $229.99 BLAST and $299.99 MEGABLAST sound very good, and they can get seriously loud when cranked all the way up. The charging dock is a nice touch, but it costs an extra $40. Read More
Bluetooth speakers are a dime a dozen these days, now more so than ever. Fugoo is not necessarily a brand you might find on the shelf at your local electronics retailer, but the company is certainly not new to us here at Android Police. Known for making impressive weather-proof devices that still have good sound, Fugoo is back with two new offerings for those who want waterproof, outdoor Bluetooth speakers. The first of these is the Style-S, the larger and more robust of the two — the Go will star in its own review to follow. Read More
When you hear the name Vizio, you usually would think of TVs. Perhaps some of you may even know of its soundbar product line. Whatever your knowledge of the likely-to-be LeEco-owned Vizio may be, we need to discuss this speaker. The Crave 360 is an odd thing that looks like an Amazon Echo, has Google Cast built in, and tries to be a viable Sonos alternative.
But does it succeed in its attempt at the latter? Not quite. However, it is still a nice-sounding, multi-room speaker that has a little bit extra that sets it apart from its run-of-the-mill cousins. Read More
Sometimes you want a speaker that can go with you. But other times, you want something loud and powerful for use at home, and oftentimes those speakers aren't one and the same — if it's small enough for travel, it's rarely powerful enough for home use. Conversely, if it's powerful enough to fill the house, it's not really suited well for travel. And of course, that all goes without mentioning the stylistic differences between speakers made for on-the-go use and those designed to spend most of their time on a shelf.
While I've spent the majority of my time with Bluetooth speakers designed for portability, today we're going to take a look at a super sexy bookshelf speaker made for use around the house or at the office: the $200 Fluance Fi50. Read More
When I reviewed the Ultimate Ears BOOM back in July of 2013, it quickly became my favorite portable speaker, and held that title all throughout last year. To this day, in terms of portability, form factor, and sound quality, I don't think you can get a better all-around package. Sure, there are more robust speakers (like the Fugoo speaker), and there are even speakers that sound better (like the Bose SoundLink Mini, which is amazing for the size), but when it comes to one do-it-all monster, the BOOM is it.
Naturally, when Ultimate Ears announced the MEGABOOM at CES, I had to jump in line to check it out. Read More