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The best smart speakers 2019: which one should you buy?

By | April 19th, 2019|Categories: TechRadar|

There was a time when many of us weren't sure whether the 'smart home' would really take off, but then smart speakers came along and everything changed. 

Smart speakers now dominate the smart home market. According to the latest stats, they're now owned by one in six Americans, while over the pond in the UK, ownership has doubled in six months, with a smart speaker occupying 10% of all households. It's (kinda) official: Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant are as important to most households as pets.… Read the full article

Newly leaked Pixel 3a renders apparently confirm a May launch date

By | April 19th, 2019|Categories: TechRadar|

It's fair to say we've seen a fairly extensive series of leaks for the upcoming mid-range Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL, but we've now got a fresh set of renders showing off the phones in advance, as well as another hint about the launch date.

The pictures, obtained by Android Headlines, show the two phones inside simple cases, so they don't actually reveal too much about the handsets – from the front they look pretty much as you would expect them to.… Read the full article

Bad bots are responsible for a fifth of all web traffic

By | April 19th, 2019|Categories: TechRadar|

Yes! You heard it right, about a fifth of all website traffic now comes from malicious bots. This makes it roughly 20.4% of web traffic daily. This automated traffic is responsible for offensive attacks on websites, APIs and mobile apps; the financial sector (especially banking) being the worst.

According to Distil Research Lab’s Bad Bot report, hundreds and billions of “Bad Bots” requests were found. Moreover, they also enable large scale malicious activity like web scraping and competitive data mining.… Read the full article

Only a week left to get a free Google Home with BT fibre broadband deals

By | April 19th, 2019|Categories: TechRadar|

Sometimes a special offer hangs around for so long that you forget that at some point it has to come to an end. That's exactly what has happened with BT Broadband's current fibre deals. It started handing out free Google Home smart speakers at the start of April, but that little perk is finally coming to an end next Thursday.

BT is currently offering the pretty persuasive incentive of a FREE Google Home (worth £129) with its Superfast fibre 1 package.… Read the full article

How the all-digital Xbox One paves the way for gaming beyond PS5 and Xbox Two

By | April 19th, 2019|Categories: TechRadar|

There’s a new Xbox on the way – and it’ll be here before E3 2019. No, we’re not talking about the Xbox Two, or whatever Microsoft’s next-gen machine is going to be called. Instead, we’re on about the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition.

Yep, you read that correctly – all-digital. As in, no discs. No physical media. All download. 

Scary, isn’t it?

No. Of course it isn’t – we’ve been staring down the barrel of the gun named “discless future gaming” for years now, and Microsoft has made the jump at a time when gamers are finally ready to accept it.… Read the full article

AXPONA Part 4 from Chicago with ATC

By | April 19th, 2019|Categories: Audiostream|

ATC has really dug out their niche within the pro community. When asked on a recent hi-fi panel I attended at Capital Studios in Los Angeles, two out of the four self-proclaimed audiophile recording engineers confessed to ATC endpoints in their home stereos.

AXPONA Part 4 from Chicago with ATC

By | April 19th, 2019|Categories: Audiostream|

ATC has really dug out their niche within the pro community. When asked on a recent hi-fi panel I attended at Capital Studios in Los Angeles, two out of the four self-proclaimed audiophile recording engineers confessed to ATC endpoints in their home stereos.

The Stiletto 15 Emerges – Vinnie Rossi Launches A Loudspeaker! – AXPONA 2019

By | April 19th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , |

Vinnie Rossi Stiletto 15

Absolutely shocking! Vinnie Rossi debuts a new open-baffle speaker that does so well to find the absolute truth in the music, that each recording we demonstrated with carried along with it the recording engineer’s unique personality. Vinnie’s new Stiletto 15 loudspeaker gets out of the way, imparting nothing of itself in coloration. It delivers stunning levels of detail from top to bottom. For a first foray into loudspeakers, Vinnie certainly has come in like a seasoned professional.

When it came to speaker design, I know Vinnie Rossi had to take the abilities of his own electronic components into concern.… Read the full article

Pioneer UDP-LX500 universal disc player REVIEW

By | April 19th, 2019|Categories: AV Hub|

Silver machine

From UHD Blu-ray down to video CD, Pioneer’s LX500 premium-level disc player spins the lot with pride.

Our full review is below, or you can read the original magazine pages as PDFs by clicking right >>>

Time moves on. First DVD players, then Blu-ray players and now Ultra-HD Blu-ray players, went from expensive and rare to mere commodity items. My favourite premium brand of disc spinners (and that of many others), Oppo Digital, has now unaccountably decided to stop making them.… Read the full article

Music Man Ball Family Reserve Axis

By | April 19th, 2019|Categories: AV Hub|

Music Man takes a workhorse guitar up a level (or five). Words by Steve Henderson.

Note: This piece first appeared in Australian Guitar #132Subscribe to our print edition here!

Our friends at Music Man have sent us a real treat for this review: a Ball Family Reserve Axis – a beautiful presented twin humbucker solidbody with a gorgeous figured maple top. The Axis series has been around, in various renderings, for a couple of decades now and, from its origin, it was meant to be a straight‑ahead rock machine (thanks Eddie!) without the distraction of multiple switches and knobs.Read the full article