This is an interesting and quirky product from Sony. The company has created a wireless speaker that also functions as a lamp, designed to look like an old gas lamp.
The clear upper glass tube houses the light whilst acting as the tweeter. In fact it has over 30 settings for brightness so there is one for every mood including a candle mode which flickers.
The body of the unit houses a 35mm driver which pushes out the midrange whilst the glass tube vibrates thanks to three actuators and disperses sound in a 360-degree motion, filling the room, whilst the optimised passive radiator provides the low end notes.
The speaker has 8 hours of battery life, supports NFC and Bluetooth connectivity, LDAC for high-resolution audio and direct Spotify link. It costs £550 but its party trick is seamlessly blending technology into the surroundings, as for the price there are probably better speakers and cheaper candles.
At Google’s Launch Night In, the team revealed a number of new products including the new Pixel 5 smartphone and Google TV. However, one of the more intriguing products of the night was and is the Nest Audio speaker.
Building on Google Home, and Nest Mini (aka Google Home mini), the new Nest Audio 75 percent louder and has 50 percent stronger bass than the original Google Home. It is larger than the original, but has a slim profile so it won’t be obtrusive wherever it is placed.
Fitted with a 19mm tweeter for consistent high frequency coverage and clear vocals and a 75mm mid-woofer that really brings the bass, this smart speaker is a music lover’s dream, as evidenced by Mark Ronson in the launch event enjoying Amy Winehouse’s Valerie.
One thing that was an issue with previous Google speakers is that the assistant would come in at the same volume that you were last listening to music, which can be quite upsetting when asking what the weather is going to be like early in the morning. Google has come up with a solution to that – Media EQ, enabling Nest Audio to automatically tune itself to whatever you’re listening to: music, podcasts, audiobooks or even a response from Google Assistant. And Ambient IQ adjusts the volume of Assistant, news, podcasts and audiobooks based on the background noise in your home, so you can hear the weather forecast over a noisy dishwasher.
If you own multiple Google speakers around the house, the music can be moved into each room that is being occupied or if you like sound emanating through the entire house, you can group the products to create a house filling sound system.
Nest Audio comes in five colors: Chalk, Charcoal, Sand, Sky and the all-new Sage coming in at £89.99, however, only chalk and Charcoal can be pre-ordered now.
Having owned the JBL flip 2 for a number of years, it got used pretty hard, mainly at full volume at student pre-drinks gatherings. It had a few drinks spilt on it and unfortunately a few issues cropped up. The charging port stopped working and then after getting that fixed, recently one of the speakers blew. Thankfully, I wasn’t sitting in a silent room for long as I got hold of the newer and slightly larger JBL Pulse 2 Bluetooth speaker.
JBL has updated the Flip model with the Flip 3, but I chose to go with the Pulse 2. Being ever so slightly larger and with LED lights I had to give it a go. Thankfully, now most of JBL’s Bluetooth speaker line-up is splashproof there isn’t much need to worry about the odd drink spillage or splash by the pool.
The LED lighting is pretty gimmicky and it can be turned off when you want to prolong battery life and use it only as a speaker. But at a party or on the beach it can add to the drama – allowing the user to choose between a number of modes or use JBL’s colour prism lens to copy your favourite colour and let the speaker portray it. So far, every time I have tried to use the colour prism option it hasn’t worked.
JBL Connect Can’t be bothered to walk over to your speaker to change the light sequence? Just download the app and change the style of lighting from equalizer all the way to fireflies. The app will also alert you when any updates are available as well as offering tutorials to using the speaker and connecting another speaker. That’s right, you can have a surround sound system by connecting multiple speakers and if your friends can’t decide what music genres to play – the speaker will support up to three simultaneous connections.
With no date in sight for voice assistant integration at the moment, it is only something spoken of in whispers whereby you can ask Siri or Google to play your favourite songs without having to lift a finger. If you are looking for a brilliant splashproof speaker that doesn’t break the bank, don’t waste any time and get it from the JBL store for £169.99 and available in either black or silver.
SPECS: Transducers: 45mm x 2 Amplifiers: 2 x 8W Input connection: AUX/Bluetooth Frequency response: 85Hz – 20kHz Battery: 6000mAh prividing up to 10 hours Dimensions: 84.2 x 194.4 x 84.2mm
In the market for a bluetooth speaker? look no further. JBL have the answer with their speaker known as the Flip 2.
Like most modern gadgets, the Flip 2’s packaging is minimal, the box simply contained the speaker and its sturdy neoprene carrying case. Upon further inspection, the carrying case held the charger and instructions to the bluetooth speaker. To be fair JBL could have done without the instructions. It’s that easy to use. Press the on/off button on the side of the speaker, hit the bluetooth button and pair with your device and bang! you are ready to go.
I am one of those difficult people who decided to run an Android phone whilst all my other tech is an Apple product. This tends to bring about connectivity problems. The JBL Flip 2 has had no problems whatsoever, seamlessly connecting to my phone, Macbook and iPad.
What is great about this little speaker is that you can stand it up or lie it down depending or where you want to place it. six inches in height and crafted in beautiful metal and white rubber, it is very easy to mistake the design as part of the new Apple Mac family which is a compliment in its own right.
Another trick it pulls out of the hat, is that this speaker is also a speakerphone, great for an office or simply if you don’t want to hold your phone to your ear as you go about your business.
Testing it with two tracks, Outkast’s Rosa Parks and Muse’s Symphony part 3 where both tracks offer completely different levels of bass, treble and mid tones, the Flip 2 worked wonderfully for such a small speaker. At the beginning of Rosa Parks, there is a faint beat which is normally lost on headphones and some speakers however the JBL worked wonderfully. This speaker sounds a lot larger than it actually is and can compete with some of the top end speakers out there.
The downside that I have found with this speaker, is the battery life. It lasts 5 hours which is great but depending on the volume that figure may drop. I have found if you can plug it just do that and leave the wireless playing for when you really need it.
So go try it out and I can assure you, you will not be disappointed.
the Boast is something that apple should have created in the first place. a designer performing his first kickstarter has designed and created ‘the boast’. this is a sound reflector for the iPad 2 and new iPad. it helps push the sound from the rear speakers to the front where you want it.
The Boast is held on to your iPad with safe neodymium magnets. Each of the magnets connects to the internal speakers, providing more than 10 times the pull required to hold the Boast in place securely. Since there are two magnets, aligning the Boast for optimum performance is simple.