bluetooth speakers ▪ August 20

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 ▪ July 31

AAPL: 121.30

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bluetooth speakers ▪ July 8


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

bluetooth speakers ▪ June 3


Apple has issued a rare recall notice on one of its products today: the Beats Pill XL portable Bluetooth speaker sold in Apple Stores and various other retailers. The voluntary recall cites a situation in which the battery can overheat and become a fire hazard. Apple purchased Beats Electronics and Beats Music for some $3 billion in 2014. The current Beats Pill XL hardware has remained the same since Apple purchased the speaker company. Press release below:

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bluetooth speakers ▪ February 27

Sengled’s Pulse LED light system is definitely a product I never thought would be a thing. The Pulse series is a system of LED lights with built-in speakers. Yes, you read that correctly. It’s something I never thought would need to exist. That being said, because it was so unique I figured it would be worth checking out and to my surprise, it’s actually pretty cool…

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bluetooth speakers ▪ January 23

AirPlay isn’t dead as a wireless speaker standard, but it’s not exactly healthy: many models have been discontinued, and new releases have all but stopped. Having previously gone all-in with AirPlay, Danish designer speaker maker Libratone is now rolling out updated versions of its circular Loop, tube-shaped Zipp, and triangular Live systems that augment AirPlay rather than ditching it. The new Libratone Loop ($500) modestly tweaks the prior version to add Bluetooth 4.0 support — a feature that radically increases Loop’s compatibility. Though its high price tag will continue to keep this model out of reach for most consumers, long-awaited and substantial discounts on the prior-generation models (Loop here, Zipp here, Live here) may bolster their appeal.

Having tested the new Loop, my personal feelings are mixed: I applaud Libratone for consistently releasing speakers that look distinctive, working both as design objects and audio systems, but the MSRPs remain somewhat hard to justify given the sonic performance…

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