Google introduced the Assistant SDK back in April, making it possible for third parties to build the digital companion into their devices. Sure enough, at IFA 2017 in Berlin back in August, the first Google Assistant-enabled speakers were announced, due to hit the market this fall. There are now several different options from a range of manufacturers, and they cover various use cases and price points.
Other Google Home alternatives with better speakers have also been announced by the likes of Sony and Panasonic. For those on a tighter budget there’s also the Zolo Mojo from Anker. And before that has even gone on sale, Google itself launched the Google Home Mini. Read More
The Pixel Buds mark Google's first foray into personal wireless audio. I won't make you wait: it's not gone well. Read More
The Jensen brand might evoke a lot of nostalgia for many of you, but the company isn't stuck in the past. One of its recent forays into modern audio tech is the JSB-1000, which was announced earlier this year, and is its first Chromecast built-in speaker. But that's not the only notable feature of the JSB-1000. For the past few months, the JSB-1000 has been blaring in my kitchen as part of my whole-home Chromecast speakers + Google Homes setup and it has quickly become an integral part of our daily lives. I love the JSB-1000, but each time I think about its current price and competition, I put a question mark around my recommendation of it. Read More
Noise cancelling headphones rank high on my list of essential items to bring on a flight. By dampening the sounds of crying kids, chatty passengers, and the dull throbbing roar of the jet engines, NC headphones can transform a miserable travel experience into a tolerable one.
The headphones pictured above are the JBL Everest Elite 750NC, and I'm pretty impressed with them. With an MSRP of $299 and a current street price of $229 they aren't cheap, but they deliver in the critical areas of noise cancellation, comfort, and sound quality, which helps to justify their lofty price. I've got a couple of small issues with the headphones, but you can decide for yourself if they are significant enough concerns to keep you from considering a pair. Read More
When JBL announced the Playlist more than a year ago, I was immediately smitten. I had heard nothing but good things about JBL's speakers, I had even quickly sampled the Xtreme and Charge 3 at a local store and barely managed to walk away without throwing my money at the salesperson. So the idea of that sound with Chromecast built-in was, to say the least, enticing.
Fast forward months of delays where the speaker was nowhere to be found and only available for pre-order in the UK (and maybe some other European countries) and I could have forgotten about the Playlist... Read More
Anker is best known for its external battery packs, many of which we've featured here on Android Police. Lately, however, the company has been expanding into the Bluetooth speaker market; its mission is to provide quality sound at an affordable price. With this product, the SoundCore Boost, Anker is promising impressive bass performance. Guess what? This speaker does great in that regard, given its size and price.
Where the SoundCore Boost loses me, however, is in the rest of its fidelity. Read More
You know how they say big things come in small packages? Never has that saying been as true as it is with the Polk MagniFi Mini. From the moment I opened the box to this very second, this soundbar keeps on blowing my mind with how good it is. Impressive sound? Check. Plethora of options? Check. Chromecast built-in and Google Home compatibility? Check. Small form factor that could fit in front of many/any TV? You betcha. I could easily end this review here, but I'll do my job and write a few thousand words below... while listening to some music. It'll make the task more enjoyable. Read More
You all know how I feel about Bluetooth audio products by now, especially my opinions about the inverse relationship between portability/convenience and sound quality. It's true that most of my Bluetooth audio reviews here on AP have been negative, however, what I have today completely blew my expectations. I know, I know, I'm not supposed to judge anything before I actually get it and test it, but I'm jaded, so I was very surprised here.
Meet the Phiaton BT 390, an extremely competent pair of Bluetooth headphones that pack very good and balanced sound, and even amazing battery life, into a foldable, portable body. Read More
Fully wireless earbuds are almost certainly the future of in-ear audio. Apple's Airpods, for all the controversy around them, have kicked an entire industry into high gear trying to capitalize on their various shortcomings. One such competitor is Jaybird, now owned by Logitech, whose products we've given high marks in the past, particularly their X series of Bluetooth headphones. Jaybird headphones, though, have been of the wired-wireless variety, using a cable to keep the two earbuds attached to one another. The X2 and X3 were some of our favorite Bluetooth earbuds ever for their comfort, audio quality, and durability - Jaybird did quite a job with them, wire and all. Read More
I've grown jaded to the Bluetooth speaker market lately, but I always hop on the chance to review a new one in the admittedly futile hope that it will exceed my general expectations of the product segment. I get really excited when I'm pitched something that has a truly unique aspect to it — and no, I don't consider durability or weatherproof-ness to be unique anymore. But do you know what I really dislike? When something has a lot of promise, both in premise and presentation, but falls flat on its face, so to speak, in most areas.
This is the Divoom Timebox Mini, a little speaker/smart alarm clock that seriously excited me when I heard about it. Read More