Lemon’s new Bluetooth speaker harnesses the power of the sun for off-the-grid fun

Bluetooth speakers are a dime a dozen these days, especially at CES. Water resistance? Seen it. Microphone on board with Siri support? Nothing new here. But startup Lemon has added a nice twist for the beach bound with its new speaker, the California Roll, by incorporating a solar charging panel that allows you to keep the party going — even off the grid.

Lemon’s new speaker is far from the first of its kind — Eton has been successfully pumping out solar-powered speakers for years. But the California Roll does offer an intriguing form factor and a punch of sound in a very portable design. It also brings an updated feature set with all the trimmings you’d expect from a speaker hitting the market in 2017.

The speaker is carved into a familiar tubular design, with basic controls on one end that allow you to control functions like volume, Bluetooth pairing, and the onboard microphone. It has a pairing function that allows you to double down with two speakers for stereo sound. It also offers both a microUSB and 3.5mm analog input, as well as a USB port to allow the speaker to double as a charging bank — not exactly a revelation in the Bluetooth speaker segment, but adding in the solar charging functionality makes this a great option for music fans hitting the outdoors for extended periods.

The speaker is also water resistant with an IPX-7 rating, allowing it to be fully submerged in up to 3 feet of water for as long as 30 minutes. The California Roll will come in a variety of colors with both mesh and metal speaker screens.

When it comes to sound performance, we weren’t able to judge very well on the CES showroom floor, but it does get pretty loud and appeared to offer a full and punchy midrange in our limited aural introduction. The downside is the speaker takes up to seven hours to charge by the sun, and around half that from an outlet. However, while we were initially told the speaker couldn’t be charged during playback, the company has since reached out to let us know that isn’t the case, meaning it could theoretically be charging the whole time you play outdoors.

Lemon is expected to ship its new California Roll in March with a price point of $250. You can find out more by going to the company’s website.

Updated 2-1-2017: Clarified that Lemon has reached out and confirmed the speaker actually can be charged by solar power while playing, meaning it is much more versatile when it comes to battery longevity for outdoor use.

Product Review

Sennheiser brings audio perfection to wireless earbuds like no one else can

Sennheiser took its time entering the true wireless earbud market, and the results are what you’d expect from the storied audio brand. The new Momentum offer seamless operation, best-in-class sound, and a high price tag to match.

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.

Stop your PC's vow of silence with these tips on how to fix audio problems

Sound problems got you down? Don't worry, with a few tweaks and tricks we'll get your sound card functioning as it should, and you listening to your favorite tunes and in-game audio in no time.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Home Theater

Step aside set-top boxes, the best streaming sticks are tiny and just as powerful

Which streaming stick reigns supreme? We pit the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra against the Roku Premiere, Roku Streaming Stick+, and the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K to help you decide which one will be the best fit in your living room.
Home Theater

Boy dies after being electrocuted through his headphones

A 16-year-old Malaysian boy appears to be the latest victim in a growing list of people who have been electrocuted by their smartphones via their headphones. It's believed that a faulty charging cable is the culprit.
Product Review

AKG's signature studio sound goes straight to your head with these stunning cans

With gorgeous looks and great sound, AKG’s N700NC are a formidable entry into the wireless noise-canceling headphone race. We put them to the test to see if they can beat out the absolute best in the business.
Home Theater

Looking for the best 4K Ultra HD TVs you can buy? Here are five great options

If it's time to upgrade your old 1080p to a new 4K model but you don't know what to look for, fear not, as we're here with a list of the best 4K Ultra HD TVs to help make your buying process as easy as possible.
Home Theater

Here's how to pick out the best TV stand to enhance your viewing experience

This TV stand buying guide will cover how much space you need for equipment, how the stand manages cables, and the size of the stand you need as you look for a new model that fits in your home.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best wireless earbuds around.
Movies & TV

Sit down and watch some of the best stand-up comedy on Netflix

Feeling a little funny? There are hundreds of hilarious comedy specials out there, and you can't be expected to comb through them all. Lucky for you, we've compiled a list of the best stand-up specials on Netflix.
Movies & TV

Lose the torrents. Here's how to watch 'Game of Thrones' online (legally)

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on TV, but unless you're a cable subscriber, finding a way to watch isn't always easy. Check out our guide on how to watch online, whether you prefer using HBO, Hulu, or Amazon.
Home Theater

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.