Audio & Speakers
Former Sennheiser engineer and celebrated audio designer Axel Grell is the creative & technical force behind his eponymous audio brand and their true wireless headphones known as the TWS/1. These compact buds feature 10mm drivers, ANC, and a proprietary noise-cancelling technology called NAR. SBC, AAC, LHDC, aptX, aptX HD and aptX adaptive codecs are supported. Battery life is 6 hours plus 29 more with the aluminum charging case.
Sony’s WF-C500’s make it easier to get a pair of Sony XB buds in your ears. Being equipped with the brand’s XB “Extra Bass” technology, the streamlined, true wireless design thumps; and does so for up to 10 hours on a charge. 10 more hours of playback is stored in the charging case. With the Sony mobile app, users are able to make custom adjustments to bass & EQ.
High-end hi-fi brand Technics just dropped 2 new wireless earbud models. The EAH-AZ60 and the EAH-AZ40 TWS. The 60 boasts 8-mm drivers, LDAC codec and hybrid noise cancellation while the 40 features a 6mm dynamic driver. Both have acoustic control chamber and harmonizer technology. Battery-life ranges between 4.5- 7 hours with the charging case providing up to 25 hours of playback.
With the launch of the new Motif ANC, Marshall adds Active Noise Cancelling to its growing lineup of wireless buds. They offer customizable ANC through the Marshall app with a one-tap transparency mode; 4 hours playback on a full charge with 20-hours total from the charging case. A 15-minute quick charge gives them a full-hour of playback.
Designed to integrate seamlessly into your home audio system, the Bose Smart SoundBar 900 is the brand’s first Dolby Atmos equipped sound bar. Its feature set includes a DMI eARC, Apple AirPlay 2, and multi-room Wi-Fi connectivity plus support for Google Assistant & Amazon Alexa. Pairs with existing Bose components & subwoofers. Available in black or white with a metal grill & glass-top capacitive touch-control display.
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Released more than 20 years ago, the original Bose QuietComfort headphones set the standard for noise-cancelling performance. The latest iteration of these iconic cans is the QuietComfort 45, which boasts 24-hour battery life, industry-leading ANC technologies, and an ambient noise feature called Aware Mode for safety & convenience while connected. Legendary Bose sound? Absolutely. And control buttons on the ear cups let you toggle easily between tracks, modes, volume & calls.
Equipped with 3D audio, headtracking, and ANC, Yamaha’s YH-L700A launches as the brand’s flagship wireless headphone. Aimed at the AirPods Max crowd, these over-ear, true wireless cans boast 34-hour playback and stunning 3D sound field audio. There are seven 3D modes, for movies, gaming, background music, and more. Headtracking technology optimizes sound as you move through different environments and physical states.
All of the brand’s best features & tech come together in the Klipsch T5 II ANC earbuds. These true wireless buds boast Bragi Ai that enables users to create custom gesture controls, like answering calls with just a nod. Dirac’s HD Sound technology optimizes digital audio for improved clarity across all frequencies. Klipsch is offering a McLaren Edition as well.
Bang & Olufsen is back with another first. Their Beoplay EQ Earbuds are the brand’s first to feature Active Noise Cancelling technology. The flagship buds feature a dedicated ANC chip, while a separate chip handles bluetooth—making for flawless connectivity. Battery life is 6.5 hours with 2 additional full charges from the case. Available August 19.
Taking direct aim at Apple AirPods, Nothing—a brand created by OnePlus founder Carl Pei—has just unveiled its noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds called simply “Ear 1”. The pods are equipped with 11.6mm drivers and offer 5.7 hours of playback & up to 34-hours using the charging case. They also offer Qi wireless charging for a pretty remarkable price. On sale on August 17th.
The Cinema 1200 soundbar from Klipsch is the brand’s first soundbar speaker to feature Dolby Atmos. The 54-inch long soundbar also boasts 1200 watts of power & includes a wireless subwoofer plus a pair of surround speakers for a cinematic & deeply immersive 5.14 surround sound experience.
Sony’s Dolby Atmos-equipped HT-A9 surround sound system is comprised for 4 identical wireless cylindrical speakers that can be placed anywhere in the room & use internal microphones to recognize obstacles like walls, and echo, then self-adjust to optimize audio. A small control box drives the 4 speakers, it connects via wi-fi & is compatible with both Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant.
Sony’s LSPX-S3 is a tabletop Bluetooth speaker with a truly unique design. It features an organic glass tweeter with three actuators to emit full 360º sound. A 46mm driver provides bass & mids for rich, room-filling audio. Internal lights sync to music, a built-in mic enables calls, and battery life is up to 9 hours.
101 decibels is loud for a home speaker, especially when you consider a live rock show will hit about 115dB. But there’s more to the Kube4 all-in-one audio system than loud volume. Designed in partnership with SoundHub, it’s a portable wi-fi & bluetooth speaker that supports AirPlay 2.0, Spotify Connect, and uses the Kube app to deliver a full-range premium audio experience. It has a waterproof rating of IPX5 for indoor-outdoor versatility and with 40-hours of battery life, it’ll keep the soundtrack pumping all weekend long. A funded Kickstarter.
Built into an actual Pelican brand hard case, the DemerBox DB2 Indestructible Speaker blends a heavy-duty & waterproof design with premium-quality bluetooth 5.0 audio. It offers a solid 40-hours of battery life, dry internal storage, and its on-board USB port lets you charge other devices while it plays. 6 DemerBoxes can be linked at once.
The new Beats Studio Buds are packaged in a much smaller form than the brand’s previous earbuds, making them much more workout-friendly. An IPX4 rating for water and sweat resistance backs that up. The smaller looks doesn’t mean smaller sound though—they’re fitted with newly designed high performance 8.2-millimeter drivers. Available in red, black or white.
Brooklyn-based audio brand Grado Labs has once again upgraded its flagship Prestige headphones. With the addition of a powerful and intelligently-tuned 44mm driver, the all-new X Driver delivers their best, most advanced audio experience yet. The new model also features improved cables and a more cushy headband. Available now.
With its beach-friendly waterproof design and pocketable size, Sony’s SRS-XB13 speaker makes a cool companion for hot summer days. With an IP67 rating for dust- and water-proofing plus a UV-coated finish, it’s built for all-weather outdoor action. Shorter than a common 12-ounce can, it is also very packable; with a webbing strap loop for lashing it to your pack or carrying around your wrist. Battery life: 16 hours. Available in a range of colors.
Designed for everyone from beginners to professional producers, the OXI ONE is a digital sequencer & MIDI controller that empowers you to make music with nearly unlimited creative control. It’s based around a performing keyboard with incredible connectivity, including, central & peripheral bluetooth wireless. It’s got 4 fully configurable sequencers, 32 track capability, loopers, arpeggiators, harmonizing with 150 different chord variations & so much more, making it a powerful modular component for live or studio use. A funded Indiegogo.
Designed for Apple users, Belkin’s Soundform Connect dongle is a smart little nugget that transforms any powered home speaker into an AirPlay smart speaker that can cast using newer iPhone, iPad, Macs, and Apple TVs running iOS 11.4 or later. Robust controls allow you to customize the experience through multiple speakers and rooms using the app or Siri.