Speaker

Silence keyboard clicks when using Bluetooth audio devices with BluetoothNoClicks

I use Bluetooth audio devices just as often as the next guy — whether it’s a pair if AirPods or Bluetooth headphones for personal music consumption or taking a phone call, or a simple Bluetooth speaker to keep the party raging.

As much as I love the convenience wireless audio transmission for these purposes, one thing that really annoys me is the pecking and popping of my keyboard on these Bluetooth devices when I’m typing a text message reply or searching the web.

LG is rolling out its 2021 soundbar lineup with built-in AirPlay 2 support

A promotional image showing LG's 2021 soundbar with AirPlay 2 support

Korean consumer electronics maker LG has launched its soundbar lineup for 2021 with built-in support for AirPlay 2, Apple's device-to-device media streaming technology.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS:

AirPlay 2 is supported across all of LG's 2021 soundbars. Dolby Atmos and DTS:X surround systems are also supported. The soundbars work with Google and Amazon assistants as well.

LG's 2021 soundbars have AirPlay 2 built-in

As per the announcement on the LG website, the new soundbars deliver a premium audio experience and convenient control along with eco-consciousness designs and packaging.

“The new lineup offers high-quality audio, easy connectivity, smart functionality and stylish aesthetics with a modern look designed to complement LG’s stunning TVs and works well with any décor,” the company notes.

The 2021 lineup is compatible with Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for hands-free voice and playback control. With AirPlay 2, Apple customers can stream, control and share their favorite music and other content directly from their iPhone, iPad or Mac.

The new soundbars also support LG TV’s AI Sound Pro feature.

Audio from the TV is played through the soundbar via TV Sound Mode Share, delivering the superior audio processing power of AI Sound Pro on the more capable speakers of the new soundbars. LG’s soundbars now offer all of the same sound modes as its latest TVs, allowing users to easily switch between the soundbar and the TV using the TV remote.

Other notable features of the new 2021 LG soundbar lineup include support for the Dolby Atmos and DTS:X surround audio formats, in addition to Dolby Vision compatibility via 4K pass-through, Meridian Audio tuning and the latest Meridian Horizon technology.

Some of the models are Hi-Res Audio certified for lossless playback at 24-bit/96kHz.

Compared to the original version, AirPlay 2 improves buffering while adding support for multi-room audio and streaming audio to stereo speakers. AirPlay is accessible on iOS, iPadOS and macOS devices through the Control Center, the Home app and the Siri assistant.

Image credit: LG Electronics

HomePod mini vs Amazon Echo: Which should you buy?

HomePod mini vs Amazon Echo

Apple introduced a tinier version of its popular HomePod called HomePod mini. This smart speaker is not only smaller in size, but also in price as compared to its parent. Both of these features put the HomePod mini more in the running as a direct competitor to the Amazon Echo.

Whether for yourself or a gift for a loved one, you might be trying to decide between the two (or three including the Amazon Echo Dot). To help, we have a comparison of HomePod mini versus Amazon Echo. Hopefully this will help you pick the best smart speaker for your home or someone else’s.

Servicing HomePod mini without AppleCare+ is only $20 cheaper vs. buying a new one

If you don't have optional AppleCare+ extended warranty for the HomePod mini, Apple will charge you a fee of $79 per an out-of-warranty repair of the new $99 Siri-powered speaker — which is only $20 cheaper vs. buying a new one. Apple announced the new HomePod mini a month ago in an effort to widen the addressable market for its smart speakers. The full-size HomePod wasn't updated last month and continues to retail for $299.

Sonos S2 operating system upgrade, for compatible speakers only

Sonos' wireless speaker system is receiving the Sonos S2 operating system update this month. It will bring "new features, usability updates, and more personalization moving forward... to enable higher resolution audio technologies for music and home theater." But, not all Sonos products will receive the benefit. More concerning, if you have a collection of mixed compatible speakers, you may need two apps to enjoy your hardware.