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
Taking a step away from fitness-oriented audio, I have recently spent some time with Phiaton's BT 150 NC noise canceling earphones. This is aimed at traveling professionals who want to have great noise canceling without breaking the bank. Phiaton manages that with the $150 BT 150 NC, all while providing very good sound quality and comfort. Read More
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. Read More
The thought of having a personal assistant right in your ears is an exciting prospect, which is why many of us were so hopeful for the Pixel Buds and even Bose's QC 35 II. Ahead of both of those, however, was the OnVocal OV, a pair of neckbuds that came equipped with Alexa. If you're tied into the Amazon ecosystem, then this would be quite appealing. Read More
After the Google Home was announced, it was only a matter of time before Google, like Amazon, made it possible for other brands to create their own Assistant-enabled speakers. We've already reviewed the TicHome Mini, a small portable alternative to the Home Mini, and today we're taking a look at JBL's line-up of Google Homesque speakers: the Link series. In this review, I will focus on the portable IPX7-rated cylindrical Link 20 and the larger stationary Link 300. However, my Android Police colleague Jeff has also had the Link 10, 20, and 300 for a while so I'll add his thoughts on the Link 10 and mention his personal comments on the other two as well. 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
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
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. Read More
Atari is, without a doubt, one of the most iconic companies in the video game industry. Pong was one of the first arcade games ever, the Atari 2600 computer was wildly popular in the late 70s and early 80s, and the 1985 Atari ST was fairly successful. However, the company began to falter in the 90s, and the poorly-sold Atari Jaguar was the last nail in the coffin. After that, Atari Corporation merged with hard drive manufacturer JTS Corp, who later sold the Atari brand to Hasbro in 1998.
Atari has since joined the ranks of Polaroid and RCA as a brand name passed around different companies, with the original Atari Inc. 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