By Jim Gresham on Dec 17, 2014
The market is crowded with Bluetooth speakers. Every time you turn around, there is someone selling another Bluetooth speaker. They are an excellent iOS device accessory and I recommend having at least one. Of course, they run the full range of prices and I have had my hands on cheap and expensive several hundred dollar models.
When choosing a speaker, it is important to decide what is most important to you. Do you need one small enough to throw in your bag or do you prefer a home theater style option that can shake the walls with crisp and booming sound? Divoom is on the lower end of the Bluetooth spectrum. Providing small packaged, portable Bluetooth speakers with a rugged edge is the niche market for the Texas based company, which sent them over for review. Read More
By Jim Gresham on Oct 3, 2014
There is an assortment of Bluetooth speakers on the market and almost any accessory maker thinks they should enter the flooded marketplace. With that attitude, your product should bring something a little different to the crowd. Truffol’s DuraSound exists somewhere between business professional and outdoor appropriate.
DuraSound has a very conservative, simple, rectangular design, with a flat matte finished front and back grill. This simple design with clean edges and finishes makes it suitable for the office. In contrast, the color-matched silicon bumper allows the device to be toted around for after hour drinks. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Sep 5, 2014
Modified Russian accessory vendor Feld & Volk, known for customizing iPhones with luxury parts like solid gold volume buttons, Friday on its Instagram profile published photos it claims show a rear camera with optical image stabilization for a 5.5-inch iPhone 6 version, along with an assortment of other claimed components such as the microphone, speaker and the power button with rubber seal.
Jump past the fold, give the images a quick look and join us in comments for an analysis. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Aug 28, 2014
A flurry of photographs of the allegedly leaked iPhone 6 parts published Thursday morning by French blog NowhereElse.fr hint at several design choices Apple engineers took in order to make the device more sleeker and thinner than its predecessor.
Internal and external components like SIM trays, the Apple logo, Home buttons, the internal speaker and vibrator motor all appear to be differently designed and engineered than the comparable parts found in the iPhone 5s.
The leaked parts suggest that the next iPhone will be offered in the same silver, gray and gold colorways as the iPhone 5s while featuring an improved vibrator, the embedded logo on the back and possibly an enhanced sound system. Read More
By Jim Gresham on Aug 24, 2014
I’m partial to having a speaker in almost every room of the house. There is no particular reason why and, after thinking about it, I am not really that into music. However it is nice to always have some jams going in the background. Thanks to Outdoor Tech, I can have music going in one room, but still hear it in the next. Or, if I am rocking out in the neighborhood pool, I am loud enough to get in trouble.
After meeting with Outdoor Tech at CES, I was really excited about both the Big Turtle Shell and the Turtle Shell 2.0. If you can recall, I reviewed the Turtle Shell gen. 1, and was pretty impressed. In fact, the Turtle Shell has not left my kitchen, except for a couple of roadie tours, for a complete year. I have access to a lot of gear, so it is definitely a credit to the product for any one to make it a full year.
I must admit, the Turtle Shell has been de-throned, in favor of the 2.0 version and the big brother, Big Turtle Shell. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Aug 7, 2014
After officially welcoming Beats to the family last week, Apple has now given the Beats by Dr. Dre range its own dedicated section on the Online Apple Store.
Found under the new ‘Beats by Dr. Dre’ section found under the Accessories link, the Beats sub-section has even gotten a prominent placement on the navigation bar at the top, joining other sections such as ‘All Accessories,’ ‘Apple Accessories,’ ‘Exclusives,’ ‘Now Trending,’ and ‘Gift Cards’.
The online store seems to be carrying the complete range of the popular Beats by Dr. Dre line of accessories and headphones… Read More
By Joe Rossignol on Jun 20, 2014
When I went to the Consumer Electronics Show last year, I was surprised at just how many companies in the iLounge Pavilion were showcasing wireless Bluetooth speakers. I’ve always questioned the purpose of these speakers, since I have a surround sound setup in my office or simply consider my MacBook Pro speakers to be good enough when I’m out and about.
A recent outdoor event in which I only had my iPhone on me quickly changed my perspective. If you’ve ever tried listening to music through the iPhone speakers, you probably agree that the smartphone sounds pretty awful. Thankfully, I had packed an ultra-portable Bluetooth speaker in my backpack. It’s called the Divoom Voombox-Travel, and I offer a full review ahead… Read More
By Joe Rossignol on Jun 7, 2014
Father’s Day is in less than two weeks in many countries around the world. If your dad is anything like mine, he probably has a knack for everything related to cars and the latest tech gadgets. While we’re not here to provide tips on how to stock your dad’s garage with the latest car-related items, we did prepare this detailed roundup of Father’s Day accessories. So if your old man has an iPhone, iPad or Mac, or simply likes tech, check out some great gift ideas ahead. All prices are listed in US dollars… Read More
By Cody Lee on May 14, 2014
Jawbone yesterday released a significant firmware update for some of its Bluetooth speakers. The free update, which is specifically for the Mini Jambox, brings about several new features including Multi Play, LiveAudio, and more.
Jambox owners will probably be most interested in Multi Play, which enables you to wirelessly connect two of the bluetooth speakers for either double the volume, or to separate left and right channel audio for stereo-like playback… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Nov 12, 2013
The Bluetooth speaker is making its way as a universal speaker for all mobile devices. As I mentioned in a previous Bluetooth speaker round up just last week, it appears more companies are entering the Bluetooth speaker marketplace. Also, it seems fewer companies are producing dock based speakers. After Apple turned the iPhone dedicated aftermarket upside down by eliminating the 30 pin cable, fewer companies want to continue chancing a Lightning pin specific option. With the universal Bluetooth standard, not only does the company future proof their design, but all mobile devices will work effortlessly, thus preventing costly dedicated iPhone models.
ZAGG (you know them as one of the original iPhone skin companies) is also branching into the mobile media scene. No longer just the InvisibleShield company, ZAGG and their new subsidiary iFrogz are getting their hands dirty in a cross platform way. From skins to cases to audio, there is certainly a diversification for the company. I was able to review a new pair of their Bluetooth headphones a few weeks back and today, a closer look at the ZAGG Bluetooth speaker, should leave everyone begging for more.
The ZAGG Origin, which made its first splash at CES 2013, had escaped my radar until recently. With a streamlined design and hard hitting sound, I was excited to receive a review unit. Origin may look like it is just another part of the average Bluetooth line up, but a detachable companion speaker is the second part of a one-two punch to success… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Nov 8, 2013
We love music. For years, well before iPods, we took music everywhere. From records to CD’s, music is a part of every day life, especially with the invention of MP3 players and the subsequent iPod. However, these are personal devices with single use headphone jacks. Music is most fun when enjoyed with those around us, or at least without being tied down by a corded headset.
Setting music free, is the Bluetooth speaker. As a reviewer, it seems Bluetooth speakers continue to advance in popularity. Not only do I get asked to review them more frequently, but I seem to have more personal conversations about them too. Which one is best, more portable, louder, more clear, better battery and so forth. To throw a few out there for consideration, I rounded up four different models for your consideration… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Sep 24, 2013
British music gear company Marshall Amplification needs no introduction: the brand is practically synonymous with pro-grade music amplifiers, speaker cabinets, drums (via their Natal Drums acquisition) and more. Fittingly, Marshall’s personal headphones and earphones arm today launched a new personal wireless speaker.
I immediately fast-tracked it to the top of my shopping list. The stylish Stanmore speaker not only looks business dressed up in Marshall’s trademark design, it comes packed to the gills with useful connection options, including Bluetooth wireless, RCA input and the standard 3.5mm auxiliary input… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 26, 2013
Accessory maker Belkin back at January’s CES 2013 unveiled a handheld home theater system for Apple’s iPad, the Thunderstorm. The amplification system docks your iPad with integrated front-facing speakers and air channels for the powerful bass sounds. The speaker case was initially limited to older 30-pin iPad 2 and third-generation iPad devices. Today, Belkin announced Thunderstorm availability for iPads outfitted with Lightning I/O, namely the iPad 4… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Jul 4, 2013
True to its name, the Turtle Shell is weather resistant and can take a beating. Not all Bluetooth speakers can say the same. Designed by Outdoor Technology, the dust and shock proof unit is also water-resistant for those nights by the pool or occasional rainstorm.
Producing “Stuff you probably want” is the pride and driving mantra for this group of easy going devs. The pyramid triangular design and bold colors give Turtle Shell a unique design that is modern and appealing. When using it in the office, several passersby stopped just to comment on the aesthetic and one of my office mates even took it home for a party. But, according to Outdoor Tech, inside is the last place you should be using their wireless boombox… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jun 5, 2013
Earlier this year, sound engineering company THX filed a lawsuit against Apple alleging patent infringement. The studio, which was founded by Star Wars creator George Lucas, claims Apple is using its speaker technology in its iOS and Mac products without a license.
The iPad maker is, of course, no stranger to patent litigation. It just suffered a huge blow yesterday in its ongoing battle with Samsung, and it’s involved in countless other frivolous suits. So it’s no surprise that reports claim it’s trying to settle this complaint out of court… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Apr 11, 2013
Having reviewed different ranges of audio accessories for iOS devices, until now, I had yet to review a portable wireless speaker set. There are plenty around, but none of them ever piqued my interest. Unless my wife started asking about them, I would not have considered owning a wireless speaker considering I have a pretty serious home system and a pair of nice headphones.
After spotting the Braven 600, I figured why not give it a shot. It seemed like a well-built option, considering the price. Braven is a company with which I was not immediately familiar, but when I opened the box, I was quite surprised at the well-packaged speaker. It’s a perky little thing, for the size, and it is a nice addition to my current line up. Follow me past the fold for the full details… Read More
By Cody Lee on Apr 3, 2013
When it comes to portable Bluetooth speakers, the Jambox is by far my favorite. It may not be the best-sounding, or give you the most bang for your buck, but I love its build quality and design, and the fact that Jawbone issues regular updates.
In fact, it just rolled out an update today for its Big Jambox line, bringing its firmware to version 2.0. The update features new AAC support for iOS 6.1, which will provide better audio streaming with less dropout, and improved battery life… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 10, 2013
I’ve always been a huge fan of video games, ever since my earliest days, and the Atari 2600 was my first childhood gaming console (yup, I’m that old). After seeing the other day this 35 years old system finding a new life by becoming a retro-inspired iPhone speaker dock, it immediately brought back fond memories of gaming sessions shared with my friends after school.
A fan tore a broken Atari 2600 apart, making a few clever changes to turn it into an app-enhanced stereo speaker dock. The Atari dock will recharge an iPhone or iPod touch while allowing you to listen to your music or an FM radio. The mod also features six equalizer settings, comes with a remote control of its own and has a 3.5mm jack to connect other audio sources… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Mar 9, 2013
We all cup our hands behind the iPad when trying to hear our favorite music or videos. I often found the speaker on iPad to be lacking and I even backed a project on Kickstarter last year trying to remedy this problem. Unlike the product I backed last year, the Sabine is anodized aluminum to match Apple’s design aesthetic. Additionally, aluminum is a more reflective surface and amplifies sound at a much higher rate. Today, I take a look at 7decibels’ Sabine final production prototype… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 27, 2013
The next iPhone is very likely just a few short months away so little wonder that slowly but surely first pieces of the puzzle are beginning to surface.
iOS hacker iH8sn0w today tweeted that future-generation iOS gadgets could add a new 128GB model, twice as much as today’s top-of-the-line iPhones, iPads and iPods.
And on Friday, the usually credible iLounge posted a bunch of interesting tidbits pointing to a fifth-gen Pad with iPad mini-like design and a 13-megapixel back camera being the star feature of the iPhone 5S, among other goodies.
That’s all hearsay, but now a leaked part has come our way, purportedly representing a speaker assembly for future-generation iPhones… Read More