Gear Live's love affair with Sonos is no secret - we love the product dearly, and with today's introduction of the Playbar, it's grown even more. With the Sonos Playbar, the company is effectively entering the home theater space, providing a soundbar that's capable of pumping out massive sound through its nine drivers (size mid-range drivers and three tweeters.) Simply connect it to your television through optical TOSlink, and you are ready to go.
The Playbar isn't just a typical soundbar speaker--it's a Sonos product, and that means it ties right in to the Sonos ecosystem. You can use it to play music streamed from your iTunes library, streaming music subscription services like Rdio and Spotify, Pandora, and many more.
It gets better, too. Sonos says you can pair the Soundbar with the Sonos SUB and/or a couple of Play:3 or Play:5 units for a full-on 5.1 surround sound experience. It'll be expensive, but it leaves us salivating. You can pick up the Sonos Playbar next month for $699, and it's available for pre-order right now.
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Iconic electric guitar maker, Fender, has announced the new Squier Strat. It includes USB and iOS integration and is now available in the Apple Online Store for $199.95. The Squier Strat goes perfectly with music apps like GarageBand for iOS and also works with OS X. Check out some of the features, and a video, after the break.
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It's not just the Beats Executive on-ear headphones that are new from Beats Audio, as the company has also released it's own portable Bluetooth speaker: the Beats Pill. Yes, it's a pill-shaped speaker, likely a play on the fact that it's part of the Beats by Dr. Dre line, and doctors prescribe pills. Anyhow, cheesy concept aside, the Pill brings 12 watts of power across four 1-inch drivers into it's contoured frame, made up of metal grilles and soft-touch plastic. The rechargeable battery can pump out up to 7.5 hours of tunes, and offers NFC support for easy pairing with Bluetooth devices that support the standard (including the upcoming Lumia 920, HTC devices, and all Android Jelly Bean NFC smartphones--the iPhone doesn't have NFC support at this time.) A microphone is also built-in, allowing the Pill to also work as a speakerphone, and a physical audio input lets you connect devices that don't support Bluetooth as well. You can pick up the Pill Bluetooth speaker for $200.
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With the move to cloud and digital content that's taken the world by storm, older technologies have fallen by the wayside. The problem, though, is that there are still plenty of great pieces of content that are relegated to VHS, film reels, cassette tapes, and records. Today in my Ask Andru column, we have a question from Janine, a kindergarten teacher who wants to know how to convert her books on cassette over to a digital format. Let's jump into it.
Q: I listen to your show and really enjoy all your tips. I teach Kindergarten and have many books on cassettes that my students love listening to. Some of the cassettes are getting a bit worn. So I thought I could convert them over to CDs instead of buying new books with CDs. Do you have any suggestions on what would be the best way to do this that is affordable?
The fine folks at Tinh Tê have managed to snag what appears to be a new, redesigned pair of the iconic Apple earphones. The alleged iPhone earphones appear cone-shaped, perhaps so they may fit snugly in the ear canal. Good news to all small-eared readers out there: this redesign would probably keep them from popping out while bumping to music, or running with the Nike+ app. If the redesign turns out to be true, they would be a welcome addition to be included with the next-generation iPhone. All the rumors are pointing to a September 12 Apple iPhone announcement. Thanks to Google translate, it is understood that the earphones are more compact than previous models. According to the reports, the sound quality is much improved and the bass is significantly louder. Video after the break!
Read More | Tinh Te
You probably know by now that we're big fans of Jawbone and the Jambox speaker. Previously, you had a few color combinations to choose from, but couldn't really make it your own. That's all set to change though, as the company is set to begin allowing customers to choose between 9 different cap colors and 13 different colors for the speaker grill. There won't be any additional charge for the color remixing, so the Jambox will continue to sell for $199. Do note that the Big Jambox doesn't apply, and will remain available in its three color choices. With all that out of the way, who's down for a little gold and orange?
The Monster iSport Immersion headphones are in-ears that are targeted towards those with an active lifestyle. They stay in your ears while you run, job, bike, hike, swim, surf, and more. The iSport Immersion headphones are also waterproof, sand proof, and sweat proof, so they're ready for all your extreme sporting needs. If they get dirty or sweaty, you can simply throw them in the washing machine (seriously!) and they'll come out good as new. They're available in black and blue, as well as a special yellow Livestrong version as well. You can pick up the Monster iSport Immersion headphones for 28% off.
In this episode we give you a look at the Jawbone JAMBOX. The Jambox is a Bluetooth loudspeaker that can connect to any Bluetooth-enabled device like a smartphone, PC, Mac, or tablet. Once paired, the JAMBOX can then function as your speaker for audio, as well as hands-free phone calls. It's small, light, compact, and stylish - but the best feature of the JAMBOX is that it offers great sound. It's available in multiple colors and designs, including a model that helps Charity: Water. We open up the Jambox and give you a look at it in this episode! You can pick up the Jawbone JAMBOX for 28% off.
Step aside, Bluetooth, as Koss has just unveiled a new line of headphones that stream music wirelessly over Wi-Fi. The new headphone line is called Striva, and they access audio channels delivered from the Internet that you organized and choose using the MyKoss.com dashboard interface. In addition, you can also use any device that has a headphone port. You just plug in the CAP (content access point) and the headphones can then tune into music from devices like smartphones, tablets, etc.
To start, there'll be two Striva models on the market--the over-ear Striva Pro ($450 USD,) and the in-ear Striva Tap ($500,) both of which include touch-sensitive gesture-based technology that lets you switch channels and manage volume by using swipes and taps. Check out a video explaining it all below.
We show you the Plantronics Gamecom 780 7.1 surround sound PC gaming headphones in this episode! Powered by Dolby technology, the Gamecom 780 delivers 7.1 surround sound with Dolby Headphone and Dolby Pro Logic IIx. The speakers in the earcups are 40-millimeter and provide thumping bass and immersive stereo sound. For chat and in-game communication, there's a built-in noise-canceling microphone that eliminates background noise so that the people you're playing with can hear you clearly, and for those times when you want silence (or when you want to remain stealthy,) there are volume controls and a microphone mute switch right on the earcups. One other nice touch is the swiveling earcup joints that make for easy storage. You can pick up the Plantronics GameCom 780 on Amazon for $79.
Big thank you to GoToMeeting and JackThreads for sponsoring the show - be sure to check them out! GoToMeeting with HDFaces provides rich, super-simple collaborative virtual meetings. As for JackThreads, we've got exclusive invite codes that give you $5 to use towards anything you'd like on the site.