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Category Archives: Audio

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Review: Belkin 3.5mm Audio + Charge RockStar

Jesse Hollington October 12, 2017

The removal of the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus last year caused no small degree of angst among tech enthusiasts; despite the fact that Apple included a Lightning to 3.5mm headphone adapter in the box, many raised the valid concern that this still didn’t provide a way to power, charge, or sync an iPhone while also listening to music. While Belkin was quite to respond to this need last fall with its $40 Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar, this initial solution left us a little perplexed, since instead of actually providing a 3.5mm audio jack, it simply offered two Lightning connectors, allowing you to connect power to one and using the Apple-supplied Lightning to 3.5mm adapter in the other — a functional but awkward solution. We suspect the usual arcane restrictions of Apple’s rather opaque MFi program were to blame for this rather kludgy approach, but whatever the reason, we’re definitely happy to see Belkin’s new 3.5mm Audio + Charge RockStar delivering what the original adapter should have in the first place.{/exp:char_limit}

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Google Explains Decision In Removing Headphone Jack On The Pixel 2

Tyler Lee October 8, 2017

It looks like the rumors were true because when the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL handsets were launched, Google decided that they would remove the 3.5mm headphone jack from them which has been an industry standard for the past couple of decades, if not more. It is ironic considering that when Apple did it, Google poked fun at them for doing so.

That being said for those wondering about Google’s decision to also remove the 3.5mm headphone jack, Google Pixel Community Manager Orrin has since posted onto the Support page explaining Google’s decision. “Moving to the USB-C audio port with Pixel 2 allows us to provide a better audio and digital experience, as we move towards a bezel-less future.”

He also points out that the headphone jack technically still exists on the phone, albeit in USB-C form. “The Pixel 2 still comes with a headphone jack but we have moved to USB-C, a standard that is becoming commonplace in the best phones and laptops of today.” We suppose he has a point, although this means more dongles/adapters (which Google is charging a lot for), or having to purchase wireless earbuds.

We guess it isn’t surprising that with the launch of the Pixel 2 handsets that Google has also introduced a pair of wireless earbuds with the Pixel Buds.

Google Explains Decision In Removing Headphone Jack On The Pixel 2 , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Mattel Cancels Their AI-Powered Speakers Over Privacy Concerns

Tyler Lee October 6, 2017

With companies like Amazon showing that there is a demand for smart speakers, it did not come as a surprise to see other companies follow suit. In fact earlier this year Mattel announced that they would be launching a smart speaker of their own aimed at kids, but a report from the Washington Post has revealed that the device has since been cancelled.

For those who are learning about this for the first time, the device in question was known as Aristotle and was created with kids in mind. However it seems that children’s health and privacy advocates petitioned that the company not launch it due to concerns about the privacy of children. It also drew the attention of Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) who reached out to the toy company to ask how they plan on storing and protecting the data it collects from its users.

Ultimately the company decided that they would not be releasing the product to the market. According to Mattel, they decided “not to bring Aristotle to the marketplace as part of an ongoing effort to deliver the best possible connected product experience to the consumer.” This is actually not the first time “smart” toys have raised some privacy concerns, like in Germany where the country banned a children’s doll over similar concerns.

Mattel Cancels Their AI-Powered Speakers Over Privacy Concerns , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Bowers & Wilkins PX Adaptive Noise Cancellation Headphones Launched

Tyler Lee October 5, 2017

If you’re looking for a new pair of headphones, especially those of the wired variety since more handset OEMs seem to be doing away with the headphone jack these days, you might be interested to learn that Bowers & Wilkins have recently taken the wraps off their latest pair of cans in the form of the PX.

These are a pair of wireless headphones and one of the key features of the headphones is that it features adaptive noise cancellation technology. This means that depending on the situation you are in, you will be able to choose from different noise cancelling profiles from the accompanying app. For example one of the profiles is “city” which will allow noise from traffic to come through the headphones so that you don’t get run over by cars.

They will also come with a feature that knows when you’ve removed the headphones from your ear and will pause your music, and puts them on standby when you put the headphones down which could help with conserving battery life. These aren’t exactly groundbreaking features since there are quite a few headphones that offer such features, but if you like Bowers & Wilkins for their sound quality and design, then perhaps the PX could be worth checking out although at around $437, they are pretty expensive.

Bowers & Wilkins PX Adaptive Noise Cancellation Headphones Launched , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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