Qualcomm says your next wireless speaker system will be smarter, faster and sound even better thanks to its new QCS400 series System-on-a-Chip (SoC). Its new chips will appear in the next generation of wireless, smart speakers, soundbars and A/V receivers designed by various well-known brands. Although Qualcomm has long provided the guts to many of our favorite gadgets and low-cost speaker systems, this time around the chip-maker says it’s taking particular interest in sound quality. And that should be music to the ears of anyone that has ever been stuck listening to the wretchedly tinny sound coming from too many portable speaker systems today.… Read the full article
Fluance is a Canadian-based audio brand that produces high
end home audio, music systems and high-fidelity turntables. Their new Ai40 hits the sweet spot between price and performance. The original price of the Ai40’s came in at $299 which then dropped to $199. At $199 the Ai40 is a significant level up on $100 powered Bluetooth speakers, yet can hold its own against the $300 tier.
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Fluance uses high-performance drive units, advanced enclosure technologies, highly-refined crossovers, and engineered wood cabinets to achieve all new standards in sound performance and technological design excellence.
KEF’s LS50 Wireless all-in-one speaker system has been hugely successful for the British loudspeaker manufacturer, and it recently took home the EISA (European Imaging and Sound Association) award for Best Wireless Loudspeaker of 2017-2018. For $2,200 per pair, the LS50 Wireless offers world-class sound from a compact package that includes a built-in network streamer, Bluetooth receiver, digital-to-analog converter, and amplifier. Now KEF is hoping to bring its wireless speaker concept to a wider audience with a miniaturized speaker system called the LSX.… Read the full article
Atlantic Technology has announced its first smart speaker, the $499 Gatecrasher 1. The Massachusetts-based loudspeaker manufacturer says that the Gatecrasher 1 is the first in what will be a series of smart multi-room wireless speakers from the company. The Gatecrasher and its stablemates will play music via both Wi-Fi and bluetooth connections, and is compatible with Alexa voice control via an automatic firmware update which is now available.
The Gatecrasher 1 is a self-contained 2.1-channel system, featuring a separate 2-inch woofer and 3/4-inch dome tweeter for the left and right channels.… Read the full article
Roku has come a long way since I bought my first Netflix-streaming box in 2009. The company has maintained its position as the top seller of digital media players, even in the face of fierce competition from the likes of Apple and Amazon. The first Roku-branded smart TVs arrived in 2014, priced at the low end of the market. Built by Chinese manufacturers Hisense and TCL, these sets offered a better user interface than other smart TVs from major manufacturers such as Samsung, LG, and Sony.… Read the full article
We’ve had our eye on the Prime Wireless Speaker System from SVS since company president Gary Yacoubian showed off early prototypes at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. Now the powered Primes are ready for prime time, and available for preorder for $600 per pair. SVS brought the production version of the Prime Wireless to Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver, along with a new streaming amplifier called the Wireless SoundBase ($500), which is designed to deliver high-quality power and streaming music to any pair of passive loudspeakers.… Read the full article
Not long after announcing its new Citation 500 tabletop smart speaker ahead of the IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin, Harman Kardon has unveiled an entire lineup of Citation speakers with voice control, multi-room streaming, and other smart technologies. Harman Kardon says that its new Citation Series of smart speakers (named for the company’s classic series of audio components first introduced in 1963) represents “the next generation of home speakers.” The eight-strong range of feature-packed, wireless products includes four tabletop smart speakers (of which the Citation 500 is the largest), a smart sound-bar, a pair of wireless surround speakers for multichannel applications, and a powered subwoofer.… Read the full article
Cambridge Audio is known for building high-performance, high-value electronics that sit comfortably in the sweet spot between mass-market junk and high-end esoterica. (I used a Cambridge integrated amp in my bedroom system for many years before selling it to my friend Chris, who is still enjoying it nearly a decade later.) Lately though, the brand has been pushing the boundaries of its comfort zone, expanding into new territory. As 2018 marks the company’s 50th anniversary, Cambridge has recently released its new high-end Edge series of electronics, with new Edge speakers expected to follow soon.… Read the full article
There is currently a preponderance of single powered Bluetooth and WiFi speakers on the market like the RBH Soundkick ($129), or the Oppo Sonica ($299), but a simple Google search shows a lack of decent budget powered Bluetooth speaker pairs out there. Sure, you can get a Disco Jam pair of active speakers from Walmart for $99, but like mopeds, they’re fun to ride, but do you really want to have your friends catch you on one.
It doesn’t mean they aren’t available, in fact we reviewed the Edifier S2000 Pro Bluetooth Powered Speakers recently and found them to have fantastically detailed sound with gorgeous cabinetry for $400/pr. … Read the full article
Polk Audio is very hush hush about the features of their new smart speaker that will be available just in time for summer for $199. With an announcement of their new smart speaker only a month away from the shipping date everything better be ready to go! The new smart speaker will be called the Polk Assist and will feature the Google Assistant built in for hands-free help around the house, music streaming and control of your smart home devices. The Polk Assist will also have Chromecast built in so you can group multiple Chromecast-enabled speakers and sound bars for multiroom playback from compatible audio apps including Pandora, TuneI, Google Play Music, iHeartRadio, NPR and Spotify.… Read the full article