This week, Sonos had a big win against Google as a judge ruled that they infringed on a number of its patents when creating their smart speakers. They’re where more leaks of Bose’s upcoming QuietComfort headphones. And Netflix is adding spatial audio support, giving iPhone owners yet another reason to invest in AirPods Max or AirPods Pro. A bunch of new cool gadgets were announced, too.
Q Acoustics M20
Q Acoustics announced a wireless music system consisting of two bookshelf-sized powered speakers. The all-new M20 isn’t as big or as expensive as the company’s recent Q Active 200 speakers, but it does carry over some similar features, such as Point to Point (P2P) cabinet bracing technology and support for high-resolution audio (up to 24bit/192kHz). Maybe most importantly, it houses both wireless (via Bluetooth 5.0)and analog connections (via optical and minijack) so you can easily stream music or connect it directly to your TV or turntable. There’s no built-in Wi-Fi or HDMI connection.
Jabra Enhance Plus
Jabra announced a different kind of wireless earbuds. The Enhance Plus look like traditional wireless earbuds, but they are designed to help people with hearing loss; there’s a companion app that allows you to tweak settings like noise reduction and ambient sounds. The Enhance Plus are not as permanent, powerful or expensive as traditional hearing aids, so they are more of an entry-level option. The other cool thing is that, if you want, use can use them as traditional wireless earbuds to stream music or answer calls. They will be available later this year
Devialet Phantom II Sage Green
Devialet didn’t announce a new speaker. Rather, it announced a new finish for one of its existing speakers. The Phantom II (previously named the Phantom Reactor), which is essentially a smaller and more affordable version of the company’s flagship Phantom I (previously named the Phantom Premier), is now be available in a sage green finish; it was previously only available in either white or black. Devialet is only making 1,000 of these sage green speakers and they cost $1,600 a pop, which is $200 more than the same speaker in either white or black. It’s also worth noting that Devialet makes the Phantom II in two models, 95dB and 98dB, and the sage green model will only available in the more powerful 98dB model.
Dell 14 Portable Monitor (C1422H)
Dell announced its first portable monitor designed to work with your USB-C laptop. The 14-inch monitor (C1422H) has a 1080p display, slim bezels and weighs less than two pounds. It also just looks like the perfect companion to your laptop. There are two USB-C ports, both of which can transmit power and video, and the monitor supports passthrough power so you can change your laptop through the monitor when connected to power. When not connected to a power source, the monitor will draw power from your laptop. (The Verge has more on the story, below.)
Xbox Stereo Headset
Microsoft announced a wired version of the Xbox Wireless Headset headset that it released several months ago. The Xbox Stereo Headset looks basically identically its wired counterpart, but it requires you to connect it directly to your Xbox controller (old school style). The good news is that it costs $60, which is $40 bucks cheaper than its wireless brethren.
Audio-Technica’s just announced ATH-M50xBT2 wireless headphones are a new and improved version of its 3-year-old ATH-M50x. The new cans have faster USB-C charging and add support for Alexa voice commands. Most importantly, they now support multi-point pairing over Bluetooth, so you can connect them to your smartphone and computer and it’ll automatically switch between sources depending on which device you’re listening to. Other than that, they look and sound just like their predecessor.
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