ZAGG’s Origin wireless speaker combo [review and giveaway]

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

 

Some entry level Bluetooth speakers to consider

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

 

UE BOOM wireless Bluetooth speaker review: built for rugged use and convenient mobility

By Lory Gil on Nov 2, 2013

Apple’s recent launch of the iPhone 5c has created an industry of new cases and accessories to compliment the colorful look of the plastic-backed phone. If you want your 5c to really stand out, match it with a colorful accessory.

The UE BOOM from Ultimate Ears came out long before the iPhone 5c was a glint in an Apple designer’s eye. However, the wireless Bluetooth speaker looks like it was made just for the colorful new phone. The two were meant to be together… Read More

 

Want: Marshall’s Stanmore wireless speaker

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

 

Jawbone introduces new ‘Mini Jambox’ Bluetooth speaker for $179

By Cody Lee on Sep 4, 2013

First there was the Jambox. Then there was the larger, aptly-named Big Jambox. And today Jawbone announced the Mini Jambox. The mini is the company’s third entry into the portable Bluetooth space, helping round out the Jambox line.

But don’t let the ‘Mini’ name fool you. It’s actually not that much smaller than the original Jambox, with virtually the same height and width. In fact, the only dimension you’ll notice a difference in is depth—they’ve shaved about 1/3 of it off… Read More

 

Turtle Shell, a go-anywhere Bluetooth boombox

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

 

The Braven 600 portable speaker is on point

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

 

Big Jawbone Jambox update improves streaming to iOS devices and 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

 

Petite Square: an elegant, powerful wooden bluetooth speaker

By Cody Lee on Jan 21, 2013

If you’re in the market for a wireless Bluetooth speaker, you won’t have to look far to see some good options. There’s the Jawbone Jambox and the Beats Pill, and countless other offerings from the likes of Logitech, JBL and Bose.

But what if you want something more elegant-looking? Like maybe perhaps with a vintage wooden enclosure? Then your options become a lot more limited. Luckily, we’re adding another one to that list today with the Petite Square… Read More

 

The Boombot Rex is a durable speaker with Siri support

By Cody Lee on Dec 7, 2012

When it comes to iPhone-friendly speakers, there’s no shortage of choices. There’s the Jawbone Jambox, the Beats Pill, and countless other options. But when it comes to durable speakers that you can take with you anywhere, the choices are a lot more limited.

In fact, you might even say there’s a gap in the market for such a product. And the Boombot REX ultraportable speaker is hoping to fill that gap… Read More

 

Tales of a connected home: how iOS is changing modern living

By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 23, 2012

I’m a huge proponent of using technology to make my life easier, especially around the home. Technology for the home has been around for quite some time in the form of home automation systems, lighting, and so forth. Unfortunately, such systems have been extremely pricey in the past, or overly confusing to setup and maintain.

Enter the smartphone.

Smartphones, and in particular the iPhone, have served as a great equalizer over the past few years. I can do things with my phone that I never would have dreamed of just a few years ago, and it gets better with each passing year.

Inside, I’ll reflect on some of the cool things that I’ve been able to accomplish lately with my iPhone, along with videos and links to articles that cover the subjects more in-depth. Have a look… Read More

 

Can the Big Jambox replace my office stereo system?

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 17, 2012

In the last month or so, I’ve been on a minimalism tear. For example, I traded in my 27″ iMac for a MacBook Pro with Retina Display. I also decided to get rid of my 2011 MacBook Air.

As it turns out, I rarely used the MacBook Air, because it was just too slow to get any real work done. The iMac was a beast, but it wasn’t portable, which caused many of my files to fragment between multiple devices. I decided it would be best if I just had one powerful, yet portable machine to get all of my work done. It just so happened that the MacBook Pro with Retina Display was the perfect device to meet my needs.

To go along with these changes, I decided it was time to rid myself of my old antiquated component audio system. I have a Pioneer receiver coupled with Pioneer speakers. It’s a 5.1 audio system that’s incredibly heavy, a birds nest of wires, and power hungry to boot.

I needed something smaller, totally devoid of wires, and easier on the power consumption — all without sacrificing too much in the way of sound quality. Obviously, the highly regarded Jawbone Big Jambox was on my short list of devices to choose from, but was it up to the challenge of completely replacing my traditional stereo system? Read More

 

Prisma Bluetooth speakers add big sound and class to your desktop

By Jim Gresham on Aug 21, 2012

I wouldn’t call myself an audiophile, not even if I was stretching my imagination, but I do have a set of speakers in almost every room in the house. Circa 1997, I bought a pair of portable desktop speakers, which have held true for 15 years, but it is time for a change. Technology has adapted and changed, but my old speakers have not.

To increase the savvy of my sound and look, Edifier sent over their Prisma E3350BT 2.1 BT Audio System and, I must say it is quite an impressive package. In fact, the system boasts a 2008 CES Design and Engineering honor and has received updates throughout the past few years… Read More

 

The EDGE.sound pumps music in a stylish way

By Jim Gresham on Jul 21, 2012

Confidently utilizing Kickstarter to fund their project, CUBEDGE announces its upcoming elegant and eco-friendly Bluetooth speaker for enabled devices. Combining sleek aesthetics with sound quality, the goal is to produce the EDGE.sound, a lightweight and portable speaker accessory that also pushes excellent audio.

In addition to listening to favorite tunes, EDGE.sound can also be used to place wireless phone calls and charge in the sun with an optional solar dock… Read More

 

iOS 6 beta 3 brings new AirPlay feature to Apple TV

By Cody Lee on Jul 18, 2012

On Monday, Apple seeded the third beta of iOS 6 to developers. The update includes bug fixes, added stability and a handful of new features.

Apparently, among those additions is a new AirPlay feature for the Apple TV. In iOS 6, users will have the ability to stream audio from their set-top boxes to external AirPlay-enabled speakers… Read More

 

Jawbone outs Big Jambox, a bigger, louder Bluetooth boom box

By Christian Zibreg on May 1, 2012

I like accessories Jawbone makes. Last year, I had a chance to test-drive their wireless portable speaker system, the Jambox, and to say that I walked away pretty much impressed would be an understatement.

As for the original Jawbone headset, it’s still widely regarded as one of the best Bluetooth headsets available.

The recently released iPhone health bracelet dubbed Jawbone Up also stirred up quite an interest, even with certain reviews have not been so favorable.

The latest from Jawbone is Big Jambox, essentially a blow up version of the original Jambox. This badass speaker system is a dream come true for party-goers as it provides more oomph, offers greater personality and promises more bang for your buck than its $200 predecessor… Read More

 

Zooka is a wireless portable speaker for your iPhone and iPad

By Jake Smith on Feb 13, 2012

Kickstarter is a wonderful platform where anyone with an idea can pitch it to earn funding, and then put the idea in development. We’ve shown you many cool projects out of Kickstarter before. Today, we have a new wireless speaker that sure deserves your funding.

Patrick Triato has created a new wireless speaker concept called the Zooka. The Zooka uses Bluetooth to allow you to stream your iPhone or iPad’s audio directly to it… Read More