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
Although the prevalence of high-quality pairs of Bluetooth speakers is increasing in the online marketplace a simple search reveals that there still is a gap between budget “toy” speakers and real audiophile quality speakers. Enter Dayton Audio and their MK402BT speakers. For $98/pair you get a high-quality set of Bluetooth speakers with emphasis placed on sound quality and an outstanding feature set.
The drivers used in this design play a large role in this small speaker. The 4″ woofer is rated to play down to 60 Hz and still retain vocal clarity.… Read the full article
In 2015 SVS Prime Bookshelf Speakers made our list of Best $500/pair passive bookshelf speakers so when SVS told us they were releasing an active wireless speaker system, of course, we stood up and took notice. SVS is known for their amazing subs and quality speakers at reasonable prices and this new system looks to follow suit. The new SVS Prime Wireless Speaker System can be set up in a variety of ways from a single active speaker, to a pair which includes an active and wired passive, to two active speakers for a multi-room home audio solution.… Read the full article
The remarkable growth of Google’s presence in the American home continues with the release of the Google Home Max, a $400 Bluetooth-and-WiFi-connected speaker, powered by the company’s Google Assistant technology.
Home Max expands upon Google’s 2016 release of Google Home, a smaller, more affordable speaker designed to compete with Amazon’s Echo, which uses that company’s Alexa personal assistant technology. On the other end of the spectrum from the Home Max is Google’s Home Mini, a much cheaper and smaller speaker that also uses the Google Assistant technology.… Read the full article
RBH Sound has just introduced their first portable Bluetooth speaker which aims to prove good things can come in a small package. The RBH Sound Sidekick personal Bluetooth speaker connects to any Bluetooth device so you can stream your music to it, or you can insert a Micro SD card which supports both MP3 and WMA audio formats. Making the Bluetooth connection is simple and the Sidekick remembers your device once connected. Sidekick is controlled by easy to read top mounted buttons for adjusting volume, play/pause, on/off or taking a phone call via a single button control.… Read the full article