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 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. Read More
Many things come to mind when I think of smart home accessories: speakers, locks, displays, TVs, or maybe wall plugs. The list continues to grow each day it seems, but here comes Anker with a car charger that, while itself not unique for the company, features Alexa as a defining feature. Don't want to fork over the money to get Assistant in your car? Here's the next best thing... kinda. Read More
With phones getting as expensive as they are, you'd have to be nuts not to get a case to protect your investment. A base model Pixel 2 is nearly $700 out the door, with the 128GB Pixel 2 XL going into four-figure territory. But even after you've made the decision to spend a few bucks on a case, you might be wondering which one in particular you should buy. Read More
Truly wireless earbuds are fast becoming a crowded space, and it's getting tougher to discern who the big players really are, and who's just the latest to try and cash in on the next trend in personal audio. Enter the Zolo Liberty+.
Zolo is the audio sub-brand of Anker, the company famous for its battery packs, chargers, and mobile accessories. The Liberty+ are its second true wireless earbud, following up on the original Liberty. The Liberty+ feature a charging case with a larger battery (up to 48 hours of additional playback), an uprated wireless radio with support for Bluetooth 5.0 (though Bluetooth 5.0 doesn't really do anything to improve the experience), and "graphene-coated" drivers, which I'm going to take Zolo at its word on being a desirable product feature. Read More
The headphone jack is dead, or so we're told by OEMs, but the selection of wired USB Type-C headphones is still woefully inadequate. If you aren't interested in all the problems associated with Bluetooth audio, you're pretty much forced into the donglelife. But Essential just launched two new pairs of USB Type-C powered headphones, including the Earphones HD. Although the HDs aren't bad, for $100 it's tough to recommend them unless you absolutely can't use a dongle. Read More
Just ahead of this year's CES, Mophie announced a massive 22,000mAh battery capable of spitting both 30W USB-PD over Type-C and 100W over a standard AC outlet, all in a relatively dinky 7.5" x 4.5" x 1.1" package. It even had what looked like a swanky gray fabric shell, so our interest was certainly piqued. The only real potential drawback we noted at the time was the price. $199.95 is pretty serious cash for a 22,000mAh battery.
Since then, the battery has been marked down to ~$125 on Amazon. Now that I've had a chance to play with one for a while, I can say that it's a great battery, but depending on your use case it might not be a great value. Read More
It's sad, but the headphone jack is being included on fewer and fewer phones every year. Ever since Apple started the trend of relying on one connector with the iPhone 7, Google, HTC, Motorola, and more companies have all released flagship devices without the 3.5mm jack that all of us knew and loved. Read More
$250. That is what a pair of Bose's take on the truly wireless earbud will set you back, and you won't exactly look stylish for your decision. Like the original, cable-linked SoundSport Wireless, the newest wireless earbuds from Bose aren't lookers, and they're damn expensive. Here's the thing: they do the truly wireless thing very well, and they sound great doing it.
I loved the original SoundSport Wireless, but my one real gripe was the cable between the buds: it rubbed against my neck in a kind of annoying way, and I yearned for a true wireless take with a similar design. Read More
Google has now released three versions of the Google Home, each with its own unique size and price point, but none of them are portable out of the box. Untether them from their power cords, and you'll be left with an interestingly-shaped paperweight (well, the Home Mini actually somewhat resembles one).
Those of you looking for a mobile Home have probably run into this: Ninety7's LOFT battery base for the original Google Home. Ninety7 is no stranger to these battery bases, having made the similarly-priced VAUX, a base with a more powerful speaker for the Echo Dot. But at $49.95, the LOFT isn't cheap, and it doesn't add better speakers like the VAUX does. Read More