Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sonos Unveils SUB Wireless Subwoofer


Sub Wireless Subwoofer
Sonos is best known for wireless audio devices like networked speakers or connecting gadgets that turn your stereo or home theater system into a wireless audio system that can play music from your computer or mobile device.

The company typically hasn't dabbled in audio components, preferring either adapters, systems, or self-contained speakers like the Sonos Play:3. But Sonos is changing that with the Sonos SUB, its first wireless subwoofer.

Since subwoofers are the most power- and space-intensive components of speaker systems, they were left out of Sonos speaker systems - until now. The SUB accesses the same wireless network as other Sonos products, like the Play:3 and ZonePlayer 100. Since subwoofers are specifically for bass response, it's intended to work with other speakers or satellites connected through a Sonos device, adding extensive bass to the system. By just plugging the SUB into a power outlet, it can connect to other Sonos-networked speakers, producing a full audio system without cables.

The SUB has two drivers that face each other in an open cabinet, reducing the vibration of the subwoofer itself by having each driver's movement cancel the other's out while two acoustic ports channel the sound outward. It uses two class-D amplifiers to power the drivers, and weighs in at a solid 36.3 pounds.

As a Sonos device, the SUB only works with Sonos wireless music network devices. While it's wireless, it doesn't work with Bluetooth, AirPlay, or other wireless speaker standards not developed by Sonos.

The Sonos SUB ships in mid-June and will be available for $699.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Samsung Unveils New Wi-Fi-equipped Wireless Optical Disk Drive

Wi-Fi Equipped SE-208BW
On Friday, Samsung announced a new Wi-Fi-equipped wireless optical disk drive that allows users to stream multimedia and files from CDs and DVDs to mobile devices and computers.

Dubbed as Smart Media Hub, the SE-208BW also has a dedicated app for Apple’s iPad and iPhone devices, and supports Mac desktop computers as external storage.

The SE-208BW wireless optical disk drive supports several reading and writing capabilities for burning discs directly from an iPad, iPhone or Mac, including 24X CD-ROM, 24X CD-RW, 8X DVD reading and 8X DVD±R, 5X DVD-RAM, 6X DVD+R Dual Layer, 6X DVD-R Dual Layer, 8X DVD+RW, and 6X DVD-RW.

The external device can also help connect to a broadband modem via Ethernet and use it as wireless access point; Samsung even claims that it is capable of being a Wi-Fi repeater.

With a USB port, the SE-208BW is DLNA-compatible and can connect to an external hard drive with Dynamic DNS support to use the attached drive as file server.

In addition to being an external disk reader/writer, the SE-208BW has wireless access point and repeater functionality to connect the drive to an Ethernet LAN cable. Doing so will turn the disk drive into a wireless media hub, which you can use to share content on the discs wirelessly. It can also act as a signal booster to amplify WiFi signals and widen connectivity range in homes.

Samsung has yet to announce the pricing details but the SE-208BW wireless optical disk drive will expectedly be available early 2012.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sonos introduces its Play:3 Wireless Music Device

Sono play:3
Sonos has updated its line of high-end wireless audio home systems with a new, relatively affordable model aimed at expanding its audience. The Play:3 will set you back $300, $100 less than the Play:5 (formerly known as the ZonePlayer S5), which is a step forward but you'll still want a couple of these to enjoy the full benefits of the Sonos system: easily setting up a multi-room system with access to a wide range of streaming music services.

The Sonos Play:3 can wirelessly access your local music collection or connect to streaming services including, Mog, Napster, Pandora, Rdio, Rhapsody, SiriusXM Internet Radio, Spotify, Stitcher SmartRadio, TuneIn, and more. Of course you'll have to pay for whatever service you are subscribed to separately, but Sonos syncs up all of your accounts and organizes them in one easy-to-use menu on the free Sonos Controller app, available for Android, iPhone and iPad.

The Play:3 features three Class-D digital amplifiers and three drivers--one tweeter and two 3-inch mid-range drivers, as well as one passive, rear-firing bass radiator. The cabinet has volume and mute control and it measures up 5.2 x 10.5 x 6.3 inches (132 x 268 x 160 mm) while weighing in at 5.7 pounds (2.6 kg).

Besides its multi-room capabilities (up to 32 simultaneous streams) and quality sound, one nifty feature of the Play:3 is that it will detect when it's been turned vertically and switch from stereo to mono output. You can also pair it with another Play:3 and set them to play the dedicated left or right channel for some extra power.

Newcomers who don't have a Sonos set-up already will need to spend a bit extra for the Sonos Bridge, which connects via Ethernet to your home network and enables the wireless stream of audio throughout the house. The Bridge used to retail for just under $100, but Sonos is dropping the price to $49 with the release of the Play:3.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

SoundCast publicizes OutCast 3.4 Wireless Speaker System

Soundcast Systems publicized the OutCast 3.4 multi-room, multi-source wireless speaker system with subwoofer.

OutCast 3.4's technology lets you easily access and benefit from up to 3-sources of your favorite music in up to 4 separate areas of your home or business, indoors or outdoors.

The OutCast 3.4 has a powerful wireless broadcast range of up to 300-feet. Clear, precise transmissions easily travel through walls, doors, floors, ceilings and roofs. You could enjoy rich, multi-directional, uninterrupted sound anywhere and anytime.

Additional features include:

  • Tri-amplified, high-definition audio reproduction w/DSP
  • Long-range, interference-free wireless technology
  • Internal battery provides 10-to-20 hours of wireless music (+/- power level)
  • Easy to use backlit top panel keypad for control
You set the stage and command performance with the built-in smart control system. In addition to allowing 3-source music selection and control for your iPod/iPhone/MP3/PC or Mac personal music library, take advantage of Pandora, Rhapsody, iTunes, Radio, HD Radio, Cable Music and even legacy audio sources for the receivers' zone 2 output. Like magic, music you choose is sent to each Soundcast 3.4-equipped listening area (zone).

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Microsoft Arts-Up Wireless 3500 Mouse Series

Let's be honest, mice aren't the most exciting space in the technological industry. There are the few gems that make the average Joe do a double take, like the Arc Touch, but it's regularly the gaming category that tend to add all the spice and flare in the space. However, Microsoft is looking to tailor these navigational devices to fit your style with its 3500 Studio Series mice collection.

The 3500 mouse offers little in the way of a new form factor; it lacks any other buttons than the right and left click, and the button function on the scroll wheel. The device caters to both righties and lefties and the sides of the mouse have a soft rubberized texture. It connects to your PC via a wireless USB thumb stick, communicating with the mouse over a 2.4-GHz frequency. It does have plug-and-play capabilities, but for those who like to customize, software is available to adjust pointer speed and other options. The top of the mouse is really the highlight of the entire design, which can sport one of six illustrations by one of five artists commissioned for this project.

Microsoft held an unveiling event in NYC where artist Mike Perry gave a demonstration, creating several unique designs using white mice as his canvas. The other artists, who live as far away as Australia, were unable to attend, but their "pieces" were put on display in mice form and as portraits.

The Microsoft Artist Edition 3500 mice are currently available online for $29.99.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

TRENDnet 450 Mbps Dual Band Wireless N USB Adapter

Three-stream (3x3) Wireless-N routers capable of offering the new 450Mbps speed (as opposed to the 300Mbps of most N routers) have been available for a while (examples: the Linksys E4200 or the Trendnet TEW-691GR ). But unless you have a laptop with a built-in Intel 6300/5300 Ultimate N adapter, you can't take advantage of this faster speed until now.

Trendnet publicized that it is shipping, what it calls the first USB 3 x 3 Wireless-N adapters on the market: the 450Mbps Dual Band Wireless N USB Adapter (model TEW-684UB). The device lets you upgrade your computer to support the faster wireless speed.

Like most recent N devices, the adapter features advanced multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) antenna technology. Its antennas, however, can handle three streams, instead of two, and therefore generate a maximum wireless throughput of 450Mbps. The device is dual-band, meaning it can work with both 2.4GHz or 5GHz wireless networks, and integrates Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) that allows for connecting to wireless networks with the touch of a button.

Unlike most wireless adapters, which are shaped like a thumbdrive, the Trendnet TEW-684UB is much larger, about the size of a mini router and requires a separate USB cable to connect to a computer. This design means it's better suited for desktop computers than laptops. Apart from 450Mbps wireless networks, it's also compatible with existing regular 300Mbps and lower speed Wireless-N routers.

The 450 Mbps Dual Band Wireless N USB Adapter TEW-684UB is available with a three-year warranty. The cost is estimated to be around $80.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Verizon Wireless participates in National Cell Phone Recycling Week

It's National Cell Phone Recycling Week.  Verizon Wireless is contributing with drop boxes in stores throughout the United States, free printable mailing labels, and an eco-friendly trade-in program.

The Verizon Wireless Trade-In Program lets users determine if their wireless phones and tablets have value, and if so, they receive a Verizon Wireless gift card for trading it in.

Verizon Wireless offers several options for recycling.  HopeLine from Verizon collects devices and accessories at the company's 2,000 Communications Stores nationwide, or by mail, to help victims of domestic violence.  The collected phones are refurbished or recycled.

Verizon Wireless, through the HopeLine program, provides wireless phones and airtime to victims of domestic violence and cash grants to local shelters and nonprofit organizations that focus on domestic violence prevention, awareness and advocacy.

Since 2001, HopeLine has collected more than 8 million phones, has properly disposed of 1.7 million no-longer-used wireless phones, and has kept more than 210 tons of electronic waste and batteries out of landfills.