bluetooth speakers Stories June 29

AAPL: 94.40

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With schools about to break up the the summer holidays, now would be a great time to line up some activities to keep them entertained – and Bose has come up with an interesting-looking option. The BoseBuild speaker is a $149 Bluetooth speaker that kids build themselves from prefabricated parts. Instructions are provided by a companion iOS app.

The build itself looks pretty basic, but there are a whole bunch of activities along the way that teach kids how a speaker works – from the fundamentals of how sound is created through to frequencies and waveforms …

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bluetooth speakers Stories January 29

AAPL: 97.34

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Naim Audio isn’t a household name outside of audiophile circles, but this British company has for many years made some of the most respected amplifiers in the business. Naim long had an informal partnership with Linn, and if the standard audio system fitted to Bentley’s ultra-expensive cars isn’t good enough for you, the optional audio upgrade is to a Naim system. You’ll also find it available through the Apple Store.

The company is notoriously conservative when it comes to new technology, refusing to even consider making a CD player for most of the 1980s, relenting only in 1989, when it felt the technology had developed sufficiently to allow it to deliver the quality it sought. It’s therefore no surprise that Naim has waited so long to launch its first wireless speaker system, the mu-so – nor that it has done the job properly when it finally did so.

The price is also no great surprise …

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bluetooth speakers Stories December 4, 2015

AAPL: 119.03

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At the start of the week we saw Apple officially pull the plug on Beats Music after using it as the foundation for Apple Music which includes a streaming radio station dubbed Beats 1 as a salute. On the hardware front, Apple is totally marching forward with the headphone and speaker business it acquired after buying Beats for $3 billion a year and a half ago. The first totally new product to come from Apple under the Beats brand is the recently announced Beats Pill+ ($195, reg. $229), a portable Bluetooth speaker that recharges over Lightning like iPhones and iPads.

The Pill+ marks Apple’s first real step back into the speaker business since briefly entering it in with the iPod Hi-Fi from 2006 to 2007; aside from color variations and wireless models, all other Beats hardware has been designed before the Apple move. Still, Apple’s new portable speaker resembles previous versions of Beats hardware more than you might expect from the iPhone maker in 2015. There’s even a companion Pill+ app for both iOS and Android. And even though this is clearly a Beats-branded product and not purely Apple, there’s something for fans of both to like, but is it the best speaker in its class?

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9to5toys 

bluetooth speakers Stories August 20, 2015

AAPL: 112.65

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If you want a Wi-Fi-based multi-room audio system, you so far haven’t had many alternatives to the market leader, Sonos. Other manufacturers offer their own solutions, but generally only in a handful of products. That looks set to change as Yamaha today announced that its MusicCast system will be supported by more than 20 products, with pricing starting from $250. That includes all but one of its 2015 receivers, reports CNET.

Unlike Sonos, MusicCast supports five different lossless audio formats, including Apple Lossless, FLAC and WAV. It’s controlled by an iOS app, which can stream both your own music library and services like Spotify, Pandora and Rhapsody. Support for Apple Music seems likely further down the road …  expand full story

bluetooth speakers Stories July 31, 2015

AAPL: 121.30

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bluetooth speakers Stories July 8, 2015

We’ve reviewed a great many Bluetooth speakers over the years – I half-suspect Seth has built an extension to his home out of them. I’ve generally not been tempted myself. If I’m at home, I’m either streaming to the hifi in the living-room, or playing through the (wired) B&W MM-1s in my office. If I’m out & about, I’m listening through my B&W P5 headphones.

But there are times when you get chatting with friends about music and you all try to listen to an example on the iPhone speaker, and that doesn’t really cut it. A very portable speaker with a decent enough volume level for a few people to hear would be handy.

While I’m generally pretty fussy about sound quality, this scenario isn’t enough to justify investing in anything expensive, but this one looked the part and for $55 (down from $99) it seemed worth a listen …  expand full story

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