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Amazon Echo Dot (4th gen) review: Alexa’s new small budget ball

Smart speaker ditches puck shape but keeps solid sound and function with or without LED clock displayAmazon’s fourth-generation Echo Dot has evolved from its predecessors’ puck-like appearance into a small ball, shaking up the idea of what a small smart speaker can look like.The new Echo Dot is priced the same as the last one, costing from £50, although it will be frequently available at a discount at various retailers, and looks like the full-sized £80 Echo hit with a shrink ray. Continue readi...
Tags: Amazon, Gadgets, Technology, Alexa, Amazon Alexa, Smart Speakers


Sonos Roam review: the portable speaker you’ll want to use at home too

Cheaper wifi speaker has Bluetooth plus Google or Alexa for great indoor and outdoor musicSonos’s new smaller and cheaper Roam portable speaker is one that won’t end up relegated to a drawer collecting dust as it sounds great at home too.The £159 Roam joins the much bigger and heavier £399 Move as the second of firm’s battery-powered models and proves itself as one of the best options in a saturated market. Continue reading...
Tags: Google, Gadgets, Technology, Bluetooth, Wifi, Alexa, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Smart Speakers


Google Nest Hub (2nd gen) review: wearable-free sleep tracking smart display

Radar-based gesture and sleep tracking turns top smart assistant into a great alarm clock tooGoogle’s second-generation Nest Hub smart display now comes with radar-based sleep tracking as it attempts to keep Amazon’s Alexa at bay.The new Nest Hub costs £89.99 on launch, which makes it cheaper than its predecessor and slightly undercuts competitors of a similar size. Continue reading...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Gadgets, Technology, Alexa, Alphabet, Google Assistant, Smart Speakers, Google Nest Hub


Sonos delivers a near-perfect portable speaker with the new Sonos Roam

Sonos has a new speaker that starts shipping later this month, and it’s a significant departure from the company’s usual offerings in a number of ways. The all-new Sonos Roam is a compact, portable speaker with a built-in battery and Bluetooth connectivity — but still very much a Sonos system team player, with wifi streaming, multi-room feature, voice assistant support and surprisingly great sound quality. The basics Priced at $179, the Sonos Roam is truly diminutive, at just over 6 inches, by...
Tags: Reviews, Apple, TC, Gadgets, Spotify, Technology, Hardware, Bluetooth, Tech, Computing, Speaker, Sonos, Qi, Airplay, Assistant, Wireless Speaker


The Giant $400 Google Home Max Smart Speaker Has Been Discontinued

Debuting back in 2017, the Google Home Max was a hi-fi alternative to the original Google Home smart speaker, promising better sound but still providing access to Google Assistant. It was big, kind of pricey at $400, and from our testing, not as loud or booming as you’d expect, so Google has done what Google does best…Read more...
Tags: Google, Gadgets, Science, Audio, Speakers, Tech, Consumer Tech, Google Home, Smart Speakers, Google Home Max, Google Home Max Smart


Amazon Echo 2020 review: the best-sounding smart speaker under £100

Thumping bass, great sound and new spherical design propels Amazon to top of the pileAmazon’s fourth-generation Echo Alexa smart speaker is a complete redesign in form and audio, with the popular device transformed into a ball of sound.The Echo costs £89.99 and is Amazon’s mid-range speaker, sitting above the £49.99 Echo Dot and below the £189.99 Echo Studio. Continue reading...
Tags: Amazon, Gadgets, Technology, Amazon Alexa, Echo Alexa, Smart Speakers


You Can Jailbreak the HomePod Now, but Maybe Just Get a Different Speaker

While you’ve been able to jailbreak iPhones and iPads for years, the same couldn’t be said for HomePods. Until now. If you’re so inclined, you can now jailbreak the first-generation HomePod via the latest Checkra1n update. Yay, I guess?Read more...
Tags: Jailbreak, Gadgets, Science, Consumer Tech, Smart Speakers, HomePod, HomePods Until


HomePod mini review: Apple’s smaller and cheaper smart speaker

Small, spherical speaker packs a sonic punch for its size but is only for those all-in on Apple’s ecosystemApple’s HomePod mini is finally here – the iPhone maker’s attempt to break the Amazon Echo-Google Home duopoly and put itself back into the voice assistant race.The HomePod mini costs £99 and sits below the full-sized HomePod costing £279. Continue reading...
Tags: Apple, Gadgets, Technology, Smart Speakers, Amazon Echo Google Home, HomePod


The New Amazon Echo Is Round (Also It Sounds Good)

It’s round. That’s the story, folks.Read more...
Tags: Gadgets, Science, Review, Commerce, Amazon Echo, Alexa, Consumer Tech, Smart Speakers, Amazon Echo 2020 Review


A Pandemic-Induced Bankruptcy Killed the HAL-9000 Smart Speaker

If you need another reminder that it’s an especially risky time to back crowdfunded products on sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, Master Replicas Group, who introduced a smart speaker version of the HAL 9000 computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey, is shutting down, and unless a minor miracle occurs (space babies?)…Read more...
Tags: Gadgets, Science, Crowdfunding, Tech, Bankruptcy, Indiegogo, Props, Replicas, Consumer Tech, Smart Speakers, Hal 9000, Master Replicas Group


The HomePod Mini Is Here and Hey, It's Real Small and Round!

Were we surprised that Apple announced a HomePod Mini today? Absolutely not. The stream of leaks suggesting Apple had planned a HomePod refresh has been steady and strong—hell we even had a last-minute leak this morning. And as suspected, the HomePod Mini made its official debut at today’s iPhone event—and it’s only…Read more...
Tags: Apple, Gadgets, Science, Siri, Consumer Tech, Smart Speakers, HomePod, HomePod Mini, Apple 2020 Iphone Event


Google's Nest Audio Is the Best Sounding Smart Speaker You Can Get for $100

After buying Nest back in 2014, Google has been repositioning all of its smart home products under the brand, and that includes its smart speakers. One of the last holdouts to be upgraded as a Nest was one of the company’s first smart speakers, the 4-year-old Google Home. But the new Google Nest Audio sounds like it’s…Read more...
Tags: Google, Gadgets, Science, Audio, Speakers, Tech, Smarthome, Consumer Tech, Google Assistant, Google Home, Smart Speakers, Google Nest Audio


Bypass Siri With This Stick-On Smart Speaker That Brings Google Assistant and Alexa to Your iPhone

The three most popular AI-powered smart assistants are all available on the iPhone, but only Siri can hear and acknowledge your voice requests while the phone is locked. For Alexa and Google Assistant, you have to be actively using your iPhone and have the Amazon or Google apps open to access them. That’s a…Read more...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Gadgets, Science, Siri, Tech, Smartphones, Alexa, Consumer Tech, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Smart Speakers, Smart Assistants, Popsockets, Talksocket


The Sonos Arc is an outstanding soundbar, on its own or with friends

Sonos has been releasing new hardware at a remarkably consistent and frequent pace the past couple of years, and what’s even more impressive is that these new releases are consistently excellent performers. The new Sonos Arc soundbar definitely fits that pattern, delivering the company’s best ever home theater sound device with performance that should convert even diehard 5.1 traditionalists. Basics The Sonos Arc is a soundbar that’s designed to integrate wirelessly with your Sonos home ...
Tags: Reviews, Apple, Google, Amazon, TC, Gadgets, Hardware, Tech, Speaker, Lg, Oled, Playbar, Sonos, Hdmi, Alexa, Airplay


Futurama's Bender Turned Into a Belligerent Smart Speaker That's Still More Useful Than Siri

If you’re going to put a smart speaker in your home that disregards your privacy and functions only to rake in profits from you in any way possible, it might as well be a disembodied interactive version of Futurama’s Bender instead of Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant. “Bite my shiny metal ask me anything.”Read more...
Tags: Google, Gadgets, Science, Siri, Tech, Futurama, Hacks, Bender, Siri Alexa, Smart Speakers, Smart Assistants


Sonos debuts new Arc soundbar, next-generation Sonos Sub, and Sonos Five speaker

Sonos has introduced a trio of new hardware today, adding three new smart speakers to its lineup, including the Sonos Arc soundbar that includes Dolby Atmos support, as well as Sonos Five, the next version of its Sonos Play:5 speaker, and a third-generation Sonos Sub. All of these will require the new S2 app that Sonos announced it will release to customers starting on June 8, which will introduce higher-res audio, a new UI and more. The new Sonos Arc retails for $799, while the Sonos Sub ...
Tags: TC, Gadgets, Hardware, Tech, Speaker, Playbar, Sonos, Operating System, Alexa, Consumer Electronics, Soundbar, Dolby Atmos, Smart Speakers, Sonos Sub, Play:3, Sonos Beam


Marshall's New Itty Bitty Smart Speaker Packs Big Sound

Marshall’s latest smart speaker is an unusually small boy. How small? The new Uxbridge Voice, which is integrated with Amazon Alexa, measures a mere 5 by 6.6 by 4.8 inches.Read more...
Tags: Gadgets, Science, Alexa, Marshall, Consumer Tech, Amazon Alexa, Smart Speakers, Uxbridge Voice


Google Nest Mini review: better bass and recycled plastic

Upgrade keeps what is good and improves sound for Google’s smallest, cheapest smart speakerThe second generation of Google’s smallest smart speaker gets a new name, more eco-friendly, a little smarter and more bass.The £49 Nest Mini replaces the Google Home Mini as part of a revamped and renamed line of Google smart home products under the Nest brand, pushing its predecessor to a clearance price of only £19. Continue reading...
Tags: Google, Gadgets, Technology, Smart Homes, Alphabet, Google Assistant, Google Home, Smart Speakers, Google Home Mini, Google Nest Mini


Sonos Move review: brilliant sound now portable

Wireless smart speaker with 10-hour battery, room-filling sound, wifi and Bluetooth is not your ordinary portable speakerSonos has finally made a portable wifi and Bluetooth speaker that sounds great – but it’s not quite what most will have imagined.For years Sonos has made some of the very best wifi speakers, recently adding optional voice assistants from Google and Amazon. But they have never been truly wireless, needing to be plugged in and on your home wifi network. Continue reading...
Tags: Google, Gadgets, Technology, Digital music and audio, Smart Speakers


Amazon Fire TV Cube review: great smart TV box, irritating smart speaker

Top-end smart TV box can’t quite live up to the promise of the voice-controlled TV commanderThe Fire TV Cube is Amazon’s attempt to combine a smart TV streaming box with an Alexa-powered smart speaker, producing a small black box that doubles as an Echo device.The Cube doesn’t look like anything else. The combination of shiny and matt black plastic makes it stand out at first, but the 86mm-wide and 77mm-tall cube is small enough not to be distracting sitting next to your TV. Continue reading...
Tags: Amazon, Gadgets, Technology, Smart Homes, Alexa, Amazon Alexa, Smart Speakers, Amazon Fire TV Cube


Sonos acquires voice assistant startup Snips, potentially to build out on-device voice control

Sonos revealed during its quarterly earnings report that it has acquired voice assistant startup Snips in a $37 million cash deal, Variety reported on Wednesday. Snips, which had been developing dedicated smart device assistants that can operate primarily locally, instead of relying on consistently round-tripping voice data to the cloud, could help Sonos set up a voice control option for its customers that has “privacy in mind” and is focused more narrowly on music control than on being a gen...
Tags: Google, Amazon, TC, Gadgets, Hardware, Tech, Ceo, Computing, Ikea, Machine Learning, Sonos, Snips, Assistant, Consumer Electronics, Virtual Assistant, Variety


Echo Dot with Clock: Amazon's cheap Alexa alarm clock replacement

Adding a screen for the time transforms the Echo Dot into the best bedroom smart speakerAmazon has a new twist on its popular cut-price Echo Dot smart speaker, now setting its sights squarely on your beleaguered bedside alarm clock with a new LED display embedded in the side.The Echo Dot with Clock is one of those true Ronseal products - it says what it does on the tin. It is literally the same as the excellent third-generation Echo Dot, but is only available in white and has a white LED display...
Tags: Amazon, Gadgets, Technology, Smart Homes, Alexa, Amazon Alexa, Smart Speakers


Is someone eavesdropping on your Smart Speaker?

Is someone eavesdropping on your Smart Speaker? Are your smart speakers listening to everything — all the time.  Somewhat. But It turns out that some third-party apps or those don’t natively belong to Google or Amazon may be piggybacking in and eavesdropping.  According to researchers hackers ca...
Tags: Apple, Google, Amazon, Security, Gadgets, Technology, Bluetooth, Privacy, Audio, Siri, Sem, Spying, Surveillance, Hacking, Anonymity, Iot


The Nest Mini Is an Excellent, if Unnecessary, Upgrade

If it ain’t broke, and you manage to sell over 100 million units, don’t fix it. That best sums up the latest version of Google’s Nest Mini (formerly the Home Mini) smart speaker. If you’re in the market for a cheap smart speaker that will occasionally be used for listening to music, it’s still Google’s best bargain.…Read more...
Tags: Google, Gadgets, Science, Audio, Speakers, Tech, Smart Home, Consumer Tech, Smart Speakers, Google Home Mini, Google Nest Mini


Google makes moving music and videos between speakers and screens easier

Google today announced a small but nifty feature for the Google Assistant and its smart home devices that makes it easier for you to take your music and videos with you as you wander about the different rooms in your home. ‘Stream transfer’ as Google prosaically calls it, allows you to simply ask the Assistant to move your music to a different speaker, or — if you have the right speaker group set up — to all speakers and TVs in your home. All you have to say is “Hey Google, move the music to ...
Tags: Google, Gadgets, Tech, Companies, Chromecast, Artificial Intelligence, Speaker, Assistant, Google Cast, Google Assistant, Google Home, Smart Speakers, Google Nest Home Hub


Amazon is testing a Spanish-language Alexa experience in the US ahead of a launch this year

Amazon announced today it has begun to ask customers to participate in a preview program that will help the company build a Spanish-language Alexa experience for U.S. users. The program, which is currently invite-only, will allow Amazon to incorporate into the U.S. Spanish-language experience a better understanding of things like word choice and local humor, as it has done with prior language launches in other regions. In addition, developers have been invited to begin building Spanish-langua...
Tags: Apple, Google, Amazon, TC, Gadgets, Mexico, France, India, US, Tech, Spain, Canada, United States, Sony, Brazil, Philips


Amazon launches a certification program for Alexa skill developers

Developers building voice-enabled applications for Amazon Echo and other Alexa-powered devices will now have a new way to validate their abilities, with Amazon’s launch of a new AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Specialty certification. This is the first time Amazon has offered a certification program for Alexa developers, the company says. Certification programs are standard in the technology industry — and AWS already offers a training program and certifications of its own that allow organiz...
Tags: Amazon, TC, Gadgets, Tech, Bloomberg, Aws, Amazon Echo, Amazon Web Services, Alexa, Kevin Kelly, Amazon Alexa, Smart Speakers, Alexa Skill Builder Specialty, Alexa Developer Console, Alexa Every, AWS Certification and Education Programs


Review: The $199 Echo Link turns the fidelity up to 11

The Echo Link takes streaming music and makes it sound better. Just wirelessly connect it to an Echo device and plug it into a set of nice speakers. It’s the missing link. The Link bridges the gap between streaming music and a nice audio system. Instead of settling for the analog connection of an Echo Dot, the Echo Link serves audio over a digital connection and it makes just enough of a difference to justify the $200 price. I plugged the Eco Link into the audio system in my office and was...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Startups, Gadgets, Echo, Spotify, Pandora, Computing, Npr, Sonos, Amazon Echo, Microsoft Windows, Operating Systems, Streaming Services, Alexa, Don


Over a quarter of US adults now own a smart speaker, typically an Amazon Echo

U.S. smart speaker owners grew 40 percent over 2018 to now reach 66.4 million — or 26.2 percent of the U.S. adult population — according to released this week, which detailed adoption patterns and device market share. The report also reconfirmed Amazon Echo’s lead, noting the Alexa-powered smart speaker grew to a 61 percent market share by the end of last year — well above Google Home’s 24 percent share. These findings fall roughly in line with other analysts’ reports on smart speaker market sh...
Tags: Apple, Google, Amazon, TC, Gadgets, Echo, US, Siri, Tech, Smartphone, Smartphones, Artificial Intelligence, United States, Speaker, Sonos, Amazon Echo


Amazon Echo Show (2nd gen) review: Alexa's bigger, brighter smart display

The latest smart speaker with screen looks better, sounds great and has built-in smart hubThe new second generation Echo Show is bigger with a better display, but is size enough to keep Amazon ahead of stiff competition from Google?Since the original Echo Show launched last year the software has been refined, but the experience is broadly the same. The Show is a voice-first Alexa speaker, with touch interactivity as an additional input rather than the core experience. If you never wanted to touc...
Tags: Amazon, Gadgets, Technology, Smart Homes, Alexa, Amazon Alexa, Smart Speakers, Echo Show



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