Archives For Audio


First spotted via FCC filings in February, it looks as if Jawbone’s unannounced Big Jambox is nearing release. Presumably the Big Jambox is exactly that – a larger version of the original, that continues to provide both Bluetooth speaker and speakerphone capabilities. Best Buy’s cached product listing reveals Jawbone’s update clocks in at $299.99 and 2.8 lbs. While I appreciate my orinal Jambox as a mobile accessory, at this size and weight, without AirPlay capabilities, I’d probably opt for another Sonos Play:3 in lieu of a Big Jambox. However, if you find yourself more intrigued than I, it shouldn’t be too long before a release date and color palette will be formally announced.

(Thanks, Adam!)


The latest Jawbone Insiders survey appears to foreshadow a Jambox smartphone app:

Imagine if there was an app for your smartphone that added features and controls for your Jambox…

Jawbone is floating all sorts of features from the proposed app including audible sports scores, firmware update notifications, reading of text messages, and email & Facebook notifications. Given Apple’s iOS lockdown, some of this functionality doesn’t seem as likely on the iPad or iPhone as it would on Android devices.

Of course, the Jambox is a compact and stylish Bluetooth accessory that already connects to one’s handset (or other devices) as both an audio speaker or speakerphone. Pricing seems a bit steep, retailing for $200, which is why I opted for a $130 refurb. I’ve been relatively pleased with its performance, but don’t always remember to plug it in for charging — and would appreciate any Jambox 2 include a dock of some sort as iHome provides with the iW1. And it’s one reason why I voted for the potential smartphone app to include a battery indicator.

Sirius XM 2.0 Comes To iOS

Dave Zatz —  December 12, 2011 — 10 Comments

The promised SiriusXM 2.0 experience looks to have arrived. At least on iOS platforms, such as my iPhone. While the satellite radio provider has always provided access to a broad range of programming, they’re now delivering the sort of end-user control typically provided by online streaming services like Pandora or Slacker. SiriusXM’s first cut is also online, versus the airwaves, but rumor has it upcoming automotive radio hardware will be similaly equipped – leveraging Internet connections via car or cellphone in some way. And it’s these types of digital features that extend their competitive edge (for a fee) over traditional terrestrial radio.

Regarding the features themselves, as you can see above, “Start Now” is the headliner which allows you to join a radio show in progress… yet listen from the beginning. Likewise, “TuneStart” means you’ll join a Channel mid-song. Perhaps most compelling are the new abilities to pause programming and skip tracks, both backwards and forwards. Although, there does appear to be a limit of skips per channel within a given time frame.

Now that we’ve concluded giving thanks for family and turkey, the time is upon us to give thanks for retail indulgence. We’re not entirely convinced it’s truly is better to give than to receive, but we know how to kill two birds with one stone by gifting oneself. So regardless of gadget beneficiary here are a few compelling deals of the day running under $100:

Barnes & Noble Simple Touch Reader ($79)

A mere two weeks ago, Barnes & Noble’s compelling e-reader would have run you $139. Yet, they dropped the price to $99 upon the introduction of Amazon’s competing Kindle Touch. And today, brick & mortar locations are hawking the Simple Touch for just $79. Not only is it $20 cheaper than Amazon’s touchscreen e-Ink offering, it’s also ad-free. Beyond that, the Simple Touch Reader features better ergonomics due to the sculpted rear and physical page turn buttons… with more panache than Amazon manages. Possible downsides are the cream colored trim of this special edition that may show grime and of course many prefer Amazon’s ecosystem.

Slingbox SOLO ($99.99)

Slingbox SOLO hardware has been around for sometime. And while I wouldn’t mind a more compact form featuring integrated WiFi, it’s still probably the best placeshifting experience money can buy. As a quick refresher, hook a Slingbox up to your home DVR or set-top box to stream that video around the house or around the world to a variety, including desktop web browsers and smartphones ($30). The SOLO retails for $180 and can often be had for less… but we’ve never seen it for a low of $100 as it is today and tomorrow at Best Buy and Continue Reading…


Within the next few weeks, Logitech intends to join the AirPlay fray with their aerodynamic Air Speaker.

At its most basic, when talking audio, Apple’s wireless streaming protocol is conceptually similar conceptually to Bluetooth — beam your music from one device to another. However, as AirPlay rides ones wireless network, it’s not limited to the same short distances as Bluetooth (~30 feet) and more complex interactions are supported. From Apple:

AirPlay does more than just stream your music to external speakers. It streams information about your music, too. Song titles, artists, album names, elapsed and remaining time, and album artwork all appear on AirPlay-enabled speakers with graphical displays. For the ultimate sonic panorama, you can stream your tunes to more than one room simultaneously, so you’ll never lose the beat, no matter where you are in the house.

We anticipate the Logitech Air Speaker will land at a similar price point as the recently released iHome iW1 ($300, reviewed here). Unfortunately, Logitech’s solution requires the speaker to be tethered to power at all times with no indication of a rechargeable battery. On the other hand, for those streaming and/or controlling AirPlay audio via an iPhone or iPad, Logitech kindly provides a “hideaway” dock for Speaker configuration… and iOS device charging.

Logitech has yet to release pricing or itemize the Speaker’s sonic capabilities, but their Amazon listing provides a few more nuggets of info: Continue Reading…