Archive for the ‘Speakers’ Category

One of the most asked questions aimed at TheTechSpy is “What wireless speaker should I get for my phone?”. It’s a good question, of which has many answers, as over the last few years some interesting products have been released at various price points.

Of course, we have the likes of B&W, Denon and Bose up at the higher end producing some very tasty devices, but you pay for that class which some people just do not want to stretch to. To a certain extent we agree, as this is a product that is meant to be thrown in your case or bag, pulled out at impromptu situations with friends to enjoy music together and not always just to look stylish and pristine on your side table.

Last week we came across Blazar made by Beacon Audio, a cool little company that created a wireless speaker last year and like all good companies has improved on its design and taken it a step further. This device offers the best of both worlds….it looks cool in the house but is begging to be taking out and used on your travels.

This clever little speaker connects to any device with Bluetooth and can even pair the Bluetooth via NFC for those lucky enough to have it. It comes with a rechargeable battery which lasts up to 12 hrs and can even handle phone calls when you are listening to music with its in-built microphone.

Constructed of a single piece of aluminium, this speaker will not look out-of-place with most current setups. The speaker (if the $200k stretch goal is reached) will come with a beautiful leather carrying case to protect it which I don’t think any other manufacturer offers.

The guys have worked with some artists to bring you different versions of the unit with a little of that artist’s character, which give this an edge over most other speakers I have seen. Whether you use this to listen to music on the go, or watch a film on your tablet, the construction and design places it at the top end, but with a fairly mid range price of $124 (and $17 shipping internationally) for the silver version on Kickstarter.

We will see you on the pledge board! šŸ˜‰

Blazer

Blazer little jacket

 

 

It seems like not a day passes where another Apple compatible product is released, as companies scramble to profit from the design savvy consumer AppleĀ  produces for.

Logitech are pretty much ahead in this arena, but I have to admit they are on fire at the moment with some of the products they are releasing and seem to have their finger on the pulse.

Bring on the Logitech Z600. The sleek, Apple-esque, wireless stereo speakers for your desktop. These cool units house three drivers each and can hook up to smartphones, tablets or laptops over a Bluetooth connection. Logitech have kindly included a Bluetooth dongle for those who do not have this built-in to the electronic device they are using.

The speakers allow for 3 simultaneous connections to your devices and can easily switch between them when the command is sent. Volume is controlled via the right speaker with a touch panel at the top which allows you to glide your finger iPod style and a 3.5mm jack is housed at the rear for those devices without the ability to connect wirelessly. Along the back of the right speaker, you can also find the power and pairing button which are hidden nicely.

These speakers will not look out-of-place and are at the right size to sit on your desktop and look pretty cool. You may want to think of these as a cheap alternative to a multiroom system as they are cheap enough to buy and place in every room and then just stream music from your smart phone and confidently fill most rooms with good sound.

Released in August with a RRP of Ā£129.99 in the UK.

Z600

 

In the last few years BMW have been known for the fibre optic iDrive system, a screen in the centre console which not only can see the status of many aspects of the car, but also let you control a great deal of those aspects. This system has had its faults (As all BMW drivers will tell you) but it was still ahead of most of the competition.

Recent BMW’s have been arriving with the new updated versions of iDrive which include connected apps and more integration with our smartphones. This is a great move for the German car company as what we would all like is the API’s to be released so that developers could make their own apps to control/see parts of the car.

Today, BMW announced the updates to ConnectDrive which is a great step in the right direction. Apple’s Siri stepping straight in to control overall voice command and the addition of Samsung’s very own S-Voice, offering the option to Android users. These service will allow the user to dictate messages along with voice commands inside the car while on the move.

Along with this update, we also see a touch pad creeping onto the centre console which can be used instead of the infamous twist controller, this can be used to zoom in and out of maps. A USB connection will also not be required in order to access oneā€™s music library on an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch. iAP will make it possible to browse and select music using the BMW controller and screen via a wireless A2DP Bluetooth connection with the same functionality as with USB connection. We also now see updates across Navigation, web access and Real time traffic info, but BMW have said that they are moving towards having automatic collision notifications being as standard, so a call centre will know when an air bag is deployed and where you are.

The other cool update is the amount of 3rd party apps that are being accepted, this includes Pandora, TuneIn and Rhapsody and soon will include Android compatibility for all of you who do not own an iPhone.

Our cars are slowly catching up with the rest of the tech world, but are seriously lagging considering what we can do with most other devices in our lives.

Come on guys, there is so much more potential in these information/entertainment systems, open source them and let developers have a play, then we will see how advanced our cars can really be!

connecteddrive

 

 

UK radio specialist Pure have today unveiled its latest model, the Evoke F4 internet radio.

While its exterior looks like a retro radio, its interior has nothing retro about it. This cheeky little box offers radio via WiFi from DAB, internet and normal FM sources and can also be used along side Pure’s very own Jongo system.It also includes Bluetooth and a “Tag” button which can automatically pull up track information on a song playing on the radio.

Pure are really considering those trying to build a multi-room system by allowing you to construct the system slowly without the need of buying a costly whole system package. This unit will work as a standalone digital radio or as part of the Jongo set up which includes speakers like its Sonos competition.

The Evoke F4 is constructed with a real wood case and has an OLED screen to show all station information and weighs in just under 1.5kg giving it a nice retro well made feel.

The F4 allows you to record internet and DAB radio direct to a USB flash drive to listen to later and of course gives you access to all on-demand podcasts and programs.

The Pure Evoke F4 has one 7W 3.5″ speaker and has an optional battery pack that will keep you going for a continuousĀ  12 hours wireless use. The F4 goes on sale today for Ā£179.99 with optional Pure music subscriptions starting at Ā£4.99 a month.

Pure-Evoke-F4

 

 

 

 

When we think of this Danish company, we think of style, craftsmanship, beauty and most of all quality, as all of these are at the heart of Bang & Olufsen’s ethos. The passion they have is oozed out of every product they make, but this oozing comes at a price….and a hefty one at that.

The Beolab 14 is a 4 speaker surround sound system beautifully crafted from aluminium. Each speaker can be wall or ceiling mounted, or you can opt for the slender stands to proudly show off your investment. Even the subwoofer, which has been designed to look like a vase, displays style and sounds like a powerhouse with its 8″ bass driver. Along side the driver, you will find the integrated amp which reduces the amount of cables and equipment on show.

In total, this setup will pump out 840w of sound, meaning each speaker will individually pump out 140w, not shying away from the job at hand. This kit will hook up to other branded TV’s and A/V receivers which is normally quite rare with the luxury audio brands and will come in a series of colours to choose from in regards to the mesh grills.

Not only known for style, Danish B&O have worked hard to produce a great sounding setup in a small package to fit in most homes, but all of their hard work has to be paid for with 2500 of your hard-earned pounds. If you haven’t got a B&O TV to hook this up to, you will most probably want the 5 speaker setup, setting you backĀ Ā£2800.

Looks like money can buy you style….

Beolab 14