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Latest by Kris Wouk

pioneer udp lx500 player cedia elite

Pioneer’s new Elite UDP-LX500 is a UHD Blu-ray player for the audiophile set

If you’re looking to buy a new Ultra HD Blu-ray player but want to make sure it offers the highest-quality audio available, Pioneer’s new Elite UDP-LX500 universal disc player may be for you, as it offers the highest standard of UHD playback available, and can play your SACD and DVD audio discs too.
denon 800 series amplifier network player cd

Hi-fi meets whole-home audio in Denon’s new 800 series amplifier and players

If you’re looking for the classic look and feel of a hi-fi system, but want the modern conveniences of whole-home audio, Denon’s 800 series may be perfect for you, with an integrated amplifier, a network audio player, and a CD player that can take your favorite music and pump it through your entire home.
earin m2 true wireless earbuds ifa 2018 1

Kickstarter success story Earin’s M2 true wireless earbuds now available in U.S.

Swedish startup Earin is a true Kickstarter success story, not only launching what were at the time the world’s first true wireless earbuds, but staying afloat as its many competitors sank. The company is back with the Google Assistant-powered Earin M2, now available online.

Hands-on with Sennheiser’s new Momentum True Wireless earbuds

It was only a matter of time until Sennheiser took on other companies with its own spin on true wireless earbuds. That day has come with the release of the new Momentum True Wireless earbuds, along with the GSP 550 gaming headset, both of which are making their debut at IFA 2018.
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Hands-on with Sennheiser’s seriously impressive Ambeo virtual surround soundbar

Sennheiser first showed off its Ambeo 3D virtual surround soundbar at CES at the beginning of the year, but now that we’ve had more hands-on time with it at IFA, we’re more impressed than ever, and convinced that it might be the best virtual surround soundbar we’ve encountered to date.
sony srs xb501g speaker

Sony’s latest portable speaker brings Google Assistant to the party

If you’re looking for a smart speaker but can’t get enough bass, Sony’s new SRS-XB501G might be for you, with impressive battery life, Google Assistant built-in, and the ability to take the speaker just about anywhere thanks to weatherproofing and Bluetooth connectivity.
jaybird x4 pricing availability

The Jaybird X4 wireless in-ears are even tougher than previous models

We liked the Jaybird X3 wireless earbuds enough that they are still among our favorites, but with the new X4, the company has taken in-ears that already had a reputation for being tough and made them even tougher, as they're now waterproof in addition to being sweatproof.
ultimate ears boom 3 megaboom pricing availability

The Boom 3 and Megaboom 3 aim to make great speakers even better

If you're looking for the power to pump up the party in a portable package, Ultimate Ears' Boom and Megaboom 3 speakers have been among the best options for years now, and with the new Boom 3 and Megaboom 3, which boost the bass and bring a visual overhaul, they're better than they've ever been.
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JVC will begin shipping Roku TVs, likely by the end of the year

Roku TVs are a great option if you want an all-in-one entertainment solution without shelling out big bucks, and now you'll have even more options, as Roku has announced that JVC will begin producing its own Roku TV models, which will likely begin shipping by the end of the year.
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Riva Audio’s Concert and Stadium are smart speakers with an emphasis on sound

When we've gotten our hands on speakers from Riva Audio in the past, we've been impressed, so we expect that to remain the case with the company's new smart speakers, the Concert and Stadium, both of which are the first third-party speakers to feature the complete Alexa communications suite.

2018 TVs from Samsung, Panasonic are getting HDR10+ via firmware updates

A firmware update released for 2018 TVs from Samsung and Panasonic adds support for the HDR10+ standard, which brings HDR10 closer to Dolby Vision by adding support for dynamic metadata to each frame. This means the manufacturers' decision not to include Dolby Vision support will be less of an issue.
rha cl2 planar wireless magnetic in ears 1

RHA’s CL2 Planar are the world’s first wireless planar magnetic in-ears

We’ve seen planar magnetic in-ear headphones before, such as the Audeze iSine series. But while they might technically be in-ears, they’re anything but compact. RHA’s new CL2 Planar use a different form factor, making for the most compact planar magnetic design ever released. Even better, they’re wireless.
skullcandy venue crusher 360

Kill the noise and crank the bass with Skullcandy’s new Venue and Crusher 360

Skullcandy is mainly known for its more affordable, but with its latest outings the company is eyeing the higher end, with the new noise-canceling Venue wireless headphones and the Crusher 360, wireless headphones with a haptic engine that makes sure not only do you hear the bass, you feel it.
Samsung QLED

Samsung may launch its first 8K TVs this year, but will the U.S. get them?

Samsung has announced that it plans to launch two ranges of 8K TVs, complete with a 120 Hz refresh rate and “next-gen” HDR. One range is set to debut in 2019 while the other could launch later this year, but maybe not in the U.S. A banner displayed in Berlin suggests the TVs may be unveiled at IFA.
lg tone platinum se ultra platium

LG’s Tone series of wearable audio gear gets smarter with Google Assistant

It seems that Google Assistant is coming to everything, from smart speakers to soundbars, and now it’s coming to LG’s popular Tone series, specifically in the new LG Tone Platinum SE in-ear headphones, launching along with the LG Tone Ultra SE, which features an external speaker.
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Google has a new Chromecast on the way, but don’t expect a major leap forward

An FCC filing by Google shows that the company is planning to release an updated model of its Chromecast streaming hardware, but you might not even notice to look at it. This is a minor update, albeit one that may be welcome if you’ve been having issues with Wi-Fi connectivity.
amazon fire tv review 3rd generation 2017 062

Amazon’s next piece of hardware could turn your Fire TV into a DVR

Amazon continues to push its business in different directions, so it shouldn’t really come as too much of a surprise that the company is reportedly working on a new piece of hardware that would take on Tivo by adding DVR-style functionality to its Fire TV streaming devices.
soul electronics run free pro bio

Soul Electronics’ new earbuds act as your personal running coach

Soul Electronics is no stranger to fitness-focused earbuds, but its new Run Free Pro Bio use a new gait-analysis technology to measure exactly how you run and what you need to change, effectively packing your own personal running coach into the form factor of a set of earbuds.
samsung hw n950 n850 dolby atmos soundbars

Samsung’s Harman buyout could prove its worth in new Dolby Atmos soundbars

In 2017, Samsung bought out audio powerhouse brand Harman, which itself owns a ton of major audio brands. Now it seems that purchase may be paying off, as Samsung is launching two new Dolby Atmos-enabled soundbars that can make for maximum immersion without taking over your room with speakers.
sony dmp z1 digital music player sonydmpz1

Do you need an $8,000 gold-plated digital music player? Sony made one anyway

If you're looking for the ultimate in luxury when it comes to your digital music player, Sony's new DMP-Z1 may be just the thing for you, with "audiophile-grade" sound quality and a gold-plated volume knob to let everyone around you know you take your music extremely seriously.
beem united beactiv s100 wireless earbuds

Beem United’s latest wireless earbuds track your heart rate during workouts

Beem United is launching the second product in its BeActiv line of fitness-focused earbuds, the BeActiv S100, which builds on the foundation laid by the previous earbuds but adds an integrated continuous heart rate monitor to make them a perfect companion for your daily workout or run.
Amazon Fire TV 2

Amazon update for older Fire TV devices helps keep you safe from malware

In June, some users of older models of Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick devices found themselves targeted by malware. While this is still a risk depending on how you use your device, new security measures rolling out as part of the latest software update will help keep you safe.
Bose QC 35 II

Firmware update brings Alexa to Bose’s QuietComfort 35 II wireless headphones

Last year, Bose released the QuietComfort 35 II, an iteration of its popular headphones that integrated Google Assistant, the first headphones to do so. Now another voice-powered virtual assistant is available on the headphones in the form of Amazon Alexa, thanks to a recent software update.
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I only watched free streaming services for a month, and I didn’t miss much

For one month, I decided the only movies and TV shows I would watch would be those found on 100 percent free streaming services like Crackle, Tubi, and Pluto TV. As it turns out, you can find a whole lot of entertainment online only without spending so much as a dollar.
hadoro paris custom carbon fiber airpods

Wish your AirPods were as tricked out as your car? Hadoro can make that happen

Do you love Apple’s AirPods so much you wish you could spend even more on them? Hadoro Paris can help, with its redesigned take on the iconic earbuds that replaces the cheap plastic casing with an incredibly light, incredibly strong carbon fiber shell and matching case. Insanely high price included.
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Roku makes free movies and TV shows even easier to find

Roku’s streaming devices offer up a ton of free movies and TV shows, but they’re scattered across different streaming services and can be hard to find. The new “Featured Free” section ties together shows and movies across various services, making it easier than ever to find something to watch for free.
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What is DTS:X?

Object-based audio seriously raises the immersion level of your favorite movies with the addition of height channels in addition to standard surround. DTS:X is one of the two most popular object-based audio standards in use today. Here's everything you need to know about this awesome technology.
yamaha musiccast bar 400

Yamaha’s new MusicCast soundbar lets you add speakers for more immersive sound

Yamaha’s new MusicCast BAR 400 soundbar doesn’t just let you easily trade up from your TV’s built-in speakers, it also lets you add optional MusicCast 20 or MusicCast 50 rear surround speakers to make for a more immersive experience, whether you're watching a movie or listening to music.
denon avr x3500h

Denon debuts new A/V receiver with Airplay 2 and support for Amazon Alexa

If you’re looking for a new A/V receiver for your home theater and want to make sure it’s not immediately out of date, Denon’s new 7.2-channel AVR-X3500H might be just the thing for you with all the standard features plus support for Apple Airplay 2 as well as control via Amazon Alexa.
klipsch reference speakers 2018 redesign

Klipsch gave its flagship Reference speakers a complete redesign for 2018

Klipsch unveiled a redesigned version of its popular Reference model speakers for 2018, but its more than a modern cosmetic upgrade, with updated components, new audio enhancements, and even a few new features that make them worth a look, even if you weren’t planning on upgrading your speakers.
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Looking for a new TV? Vizio’s 2018 lineup is sure to have something for you

Earlier this year, Vizio unveiled it's 2018 TV lineup, which included a surprise in the form of the P-Series Quantum. Here's a rundown of what those TVs have to offer and which one might be the best for you based on your needs and the size of your living room -- as well as your budget.
Amazon Echo Spot Review

Crank up the bass with Amazon Alexa’s new hands-free EQ adjustments

Your music listening on Amazon’s Echo and other Alexa-powered devices just got easier, as a new feature lets you use Alexa to cut or boost the equalization by up to 6 decibels, simply by using voice commands like “Alexa, turn up the treble” or “Alexa, reset the equalizer."

Will Samsung’s massive MicroLED TVs make their way into homes next year?

Samsung showed off its massive 146-inch “The Wall” MicroLED display at CES 2018, and now it the company will reportedly bring thinner, likely somewhat smaller MicroLED TVs to the luxury home market starting next year, at a price it says won’t be as high as people might assume.
Walmart Green Monday

Walmart’s planned Netflix competitor will reportedly be part of Vudu

It seems that everyone wants to launch a streaming service these days, and Walmart may be next, as the company is reportedly considering a lower priced, Vudu-branded alternative to services like Netflix, though the company has yet to confirm any official plans to launch such a service.