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Amazon Echo Spot release date, price and features

By | September 27th, 2017|Categories: TechRadar|

Update: We've spent some time with the Amazon Echo Spot, and you can read our early impressions in our in-depth First Look. So far, the Spot appears to be a fun, versatile, video-capable addition to the Echo family.

See Spot run! Sorry, not that kind of spot. Amazon has a new device, the Amazon Echo Spot, a tiny smart alarm clock/speaker with a screen. 

The Echo Spot was unveiled during a surprise press event in Seattle on September 27.… Read the full article

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Google may be ready to unleash a Google Home ‘Max’ with stereo sound

By | September 27th, 2017|Categories: TechRadar|

Google Home is about to get a lot bigger, according to tips from two sources speaking to 9to5Google. Maybe it’s ready to raise a family, and just can’t deal with the smaller space of the current Home.

The new smart speaker is currently being called the Google Home “Max,” though that will likely change when (and if) it’s officially unveiled at Google’s upcoming October 4 event.

Unfortunately, we don’t know much about the Google Home Max other than the fact that it (probably) exists, will be higher-end than the current Home, and that’ll feature stereo sound. 

But that feature alone likely means Google intends for it to serve as an alternative to the Amazon Echo, which just received a second-generation update earlier today. 

For Amazon, the leak of the Max probably feels like a little more salt rubbed in the wound in the wake of the recent news that Google cut off YouTube access for Amazon's video-focused Echo Show.… Read the full article

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The Weekly Update – McIntosh Goes Portable, Rocky Mountain Soars Into View

By | September 27th, 2017|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , |

McIntosh announces the portable MHA50 DAC/AMP.

Inboxes were all a flutter this week with the news of an upcoming portable DAC/AMP from McIntosh. The MHA50 will retail for around $700US and is somewhat akin to earlier efforts in this category by Oppo and Meridian. With inputs capable of handling iDevices and Android options, the direction here towards the growth sector of personal and mobile audio is clear.

In a bit of ironic twist for audiophiles (but almost a must have for the rest of the populous), the device can also serve as a bluetooth source for wireless headphones.… Read the full article

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Amazon’s Echo Show can no longer show YouTube videos

By | September 27th, 2017|Categories: TechRadar|

Amazon’s Echo Show — the Alexa-powered device that displays videos as well as spouting friendly banter — is now showing quite a bit less than it used to thanks to Google. 

Not so very long ago, you could watch YouTube’s entire library on the diminutive device, but if you try that today, you’ll get a terse statement from Alexa saying that, “Google is not supporting YouTube on Echo Show.”

So, what gives? There’s apparently a bit of a spat going on over Amazon’s use of the device and YouTube videos.… Read the full article

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McIntosh’s New MHA50 Portable Decoding Amplifier

By | September 27th, 2017|Categories: Audiostream|

Why am I covering the release of the new McIntosh MHA50 Portable Decoding Amplifier? A few reasons; 1) McIntosh is one brand that sells itself because it has the best brand recognition in the industry (think blue glow), 2) Most people like to buy things that they find attractive (there’s nothing wrong with that, even in hi-fi), and 3) We tend to ignore these 2 very important things.

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Amazon Echo Spot is a mini Echo Show with a 2.5-inch screen

By | September 27th, 2017|Categories: TechRadar|

Amazon had one last surprise at its surprise event in Seattle today, and that's the Amazon Echo Spot. 

Think of it as a cross between the Amazon Echo Dot and Amazon Echo Show. It's tiny with a 2.5-inch screen that lets you watch live from a camera feed and video flash briefings, while also displaying information such as the weather and reminders to pick up your dry cleaning. 

The Spot is like a smart alarm clock with all the perks of a connected device with a display.… Read the full article

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Amazon Echo Plus has a smart home hub built inside

By | September 27th, 2017|Categories: TechRadar|

Amazon is supercharging its smart speaker lineup with the Amazon Echo Plus, a new Echo that also acts as a smart home hub.

The new speaker will have hundreds of smart home partners available for it, letting you control smart lights, plugs and other devices right from the speaker. As a bonus, the Echo Plus will ship with a Philips Hue light bulb while supplies last.

A simple command of "Alexa, discover my devices" will have the Echo Plus searching, identifying and connecting to compatible smart home products.… Read the full article

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Analog Corner #56

By | September 27th, 2017|Categories: Analog planet|

The ad for the tag sale read “Former member of ’60s rock group selling LP collection and vintage instruments,” so of course I took the bait. I arrived early, or so I thought—there were already 30 folks ahead of me. I stayed anyway: You never can tell what sloppy seconds will yield—and perhaps they were all there for the other stuff.

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Aqua tease Formula xHD update

By | September 27th, 2017|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , |

A little vague and a somewhat brief – that’s the news from Italian digital audio manufacturer Aqua Technologies who this week have announced the forthcoming availability of the xHD – an update to their flagship Formula DAC.

The xHD update will see the same in-house developed R2R modules but marshalled by all new firmware code running on a nearby Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA).

Via Facebook and email newsletter, Aqua assert that This update has required significant optimization of code for the main FPGA of R2R ladder DAC which has improved sound quality.”

The update will also see a brand new USB board that marries a (second) ‘re-clocking’ FPGA to an upgraded XMOS receiver chip: the xCore XE216.… Read the full article

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All-new Amazon Echo arrives, packing bigger audio and a smaller price

By | September 27th, 2017|Categories: TechRadar|

At an exclusive event in Seattle, Amazon has announced a brand-new Amazon Echo smart speaker. 

Revealed to a select bunch of technology journalists, with TechRadar in attendance, the speaker is a big update on the original Amazon Echo

It has a 2.5-inch woofer in it, a dedicated tweeter system and has been given a new decor with six shells available. There are even wood veneer ones. 

It is also smaller, too, which means that it's not as expensive as the original Echo.… Read the full article

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