November 2018
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The future of headphones: touchscreen displays and integrated streaming

By | November 19th, 2018|Categories: TechRadar|

What’s next for headphones? It may seem like a moot question. Surely we just want better audio, comfier cans, and better value across the board. Is there anything a pair of headphones could do that could actually change the way we listen to music?

At the premium end of the headphones market, often what distinguishes models comes down to styling or brand loyalty – anyone can spot your Beats Studio 3 headphones at about 50 paces – as much as slight variations in what frequencies are drawn out of your tracks.… Read the full article

Tidal has arrived on Amazon Echo speakers

By | November 16th, 2018|Categories: TechRadar|

If you have an Amazon Echo speaker you can now stream music directly from Tidal, giving you more listening options than ever before. 

The streaming service, which is owned by Jay-Z, is designed to provide listeners with hi-fidelity audio, promising a level of sound quality equivalent to CDs. 

It's now the first streaming platform to take advantage of Amazon's Music Skills API, an initiative that makes it possible for services to add in support for Alexa themselves – in the past, companies like Spotify and Deezer had to rely on Amazon to enable Alexa support. 

No FLACs given

To use Tidal on your Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Plus you'll need to enable the dedicated Alexa skill – you will of course need a Tidal subscription as well.… Read the full article

Dolby’s new headphones put a home theater between your ears

By | November 14th, 2018|Categories: TechRadar|

Dolby’s days of being an audio tuning company are over – today, the company introduced its first pair of consumer-facing headphones, the Dolby Dimension. 

These new over-ear headphones are designed to enhance your TV viewing experience and, according to Dolby, bring the cinema home to you.

What Dolby’s doing to make that happen is that these wireless headphones feature active noise-cancellation and support up to eight Bluetooth connections at a time. This means you can connect them to your phone, your smart TV, your computer and your tablet, and cycle between them.… Read the full article

Should I buy the Sennheiser GSP 600 gaming headset?

By | November 14th, 2018|Categories: TechRadar|

If you like a bit of variety when it comes to gaming, you may be struggling to find a headset that suits your consoles, handheld devices, and PC. Sennheiser is one brand that comes up frequently when you search online for gaming headsets, and its $249.95 (£219.99 / AU$399.95) GSP 600 model is designed to work with PC, Mac, and any console with a 3.5mm jack input. 

Why do you need a gaming headset in the first place? One reason is that they can provide a more immersive gaming experience than your TV or laptop’s built in speakers, which don’t always do games justice in terms of audio quality.… Read the full article

Apple’s selling refurbished HomePods at a discount

By | November 14th, 2018|Categories: TechRadar|

If you love the Apple HomePod but not its $349 price tag, you'll be pleased to know that you can now get your hands on a refurbished model through the Apple website with $50 off.

Now selling for $299 on the refurbished section of the store, the pre-owned HomePod is available in space gray or white to US customers, with a limited quantity available to purchase. 

Apple's Certified Refurbished products have been used and returned to the store, after which they are put through a "rigorous refurbishment process" to ensure they meet the company's "high standards".… Read the full article

JBL launches its premium PartyBox Bluetooth speakers in India

By | November 13th, 2018|Categories: TechRadar|

JBL unveiled its newest musical accompaniments, the PartyBox 200 and the PartyBox 300 speakers, at a high-profile launch party in Bangalore on Tuesday.

The speakers feature Bluetooth connectivity to play music wirelessly using smartphones and tablets, a USB input option for thumb drives and a 3.5mm audio jack. 

Both speakers come with two 6.5-inch woofers and three 2.5-inch tweeters and are compatible with mics and guitars. Using the built-in light feature users can also choose one of three lighting options- Meter, Pulse and Party. 

Users can also wirelessly connect up to two PartyBox speakers using True Wireless Stereo via Bluetooth, or wired via one RCA port to another.… Read the full article

Should I buy the RHA S500u / RHA S500i headphones?

By | November 8th, 2018|Categories: TechRadar|

If you’re looking for a pair of budget wired earphones, then you may have already come across British audio company RHA – and in particular, the RHA S500u and S500i in-ear headphones. 

Although wireless and true wireless headphones are all the rage at the moment, there are some instances where wired simply works better. Without the annoyance of dodgy Bluetooth connections, it’s easy to see why many of us haven’t cut the cord quite yet. 

Not only that, but wired headphones have historically delivered a better standard of audio quality than their wireless counterparts, as it’s more difficult to deliver hi-res sound over a Bluetooth connection. 

That’s not to say wired headphones will always give you a better listening experience; in fact, as technology advances, wireless headphones are beginning to compete with and even outperform them in terms of quality – but not yet in terms of price. 

So, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly, no-nonsense pair of in-ear headphones, wireless may just be the way to go, and the RHA S500u and S500i models could be a great place to start.… Read the full article

Xiaomi launches AirPod rivals for those on a super-tight budget

By | November 7th, 2018|Categories: TechRadar|

Are you desperate for some Apple AirPods but don't have a spare $159 (£159 / AU$229) lying around? Today could be your lucky day, with the news that Chinese tech company Xiaomi has launched a pair of AirPod clones that cost just $29 based on current conversion rates.

Named the 'AirDots', the true wireless in-ears look to share many of the same features with the AirPods, including support for Bluetooth 5.0, tappable controls on the casing, and a portable charging case.… Read the full article

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Spotify Connect speakers to get free tier streaming – if developers get on board

By | November 6th, 2018|Categories: TechRadar|

In a boon to those of us without Spotify Premium accounts, the globally popular music streaming service has made it possible to access free tier streaming through compatible Spotify Connect speakers – even if nobody is planning to implement it.

Spotify Connect refers to speakers that can link up to the Spotify app on your smartphone, through Wi-Fi rather than a less reliable (and proximity-dependent) Bluetooth connection.

Those who pay £9.99 / $9.99 / AU$11.99 for a Spotify Premium account can already stream music through Spotify Connect speakers.… Read the full article

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Denon releases luxe new headphones, the AH-D9200s

By | November 6th, 2018|Categories: TechRadar|

Denon is well-known for making high-quality audio devices and accessories. Its latest pair of headphones, the AH-D9200s, look to be no exception. 

Handcrafted from Japanese bamboo, each pair is unique thanks to the patterning of the wood, which adds an organic touch to these high-tech headphones while also acting as natural dampeners to produce a warmer sound. 

The inclusion of 50mm nanofibre drivers, built to be lightweight but sturdy, means that the new headphones should give truly accurate sound.

Built with comfort in mind, the AH-D9200s feature a lightweight aluminum headband as well as soft leather ear-cushions, so you should be able to use them for long periods of time without feeling any discomfort. 

Luxury at a price

The new headphones come with two detachable cables (although it's worth noting they aren't Bluetooth-enabled, so don't abandon your cables); a 3m silver-coated cable with 6.3mm jack for listening at home, and a shorter 1.3m cable with 3.5mm jack to hook up to portable players like your smartphone.… Read the full article

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