Posts tagged with: audio
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    We're eating our hats. We bet the house on OnePlus's whole "V2" reveal today to be on another version of the OnePlus Icons. Turns out that those classy little things won't get replaced anytime soon. Instead, we'll have to think standard. Or re-think what comes standard. The OnePlus Bullets (V2) are replacing the $15 Silver Bullets that are out of stock in its store right now. We could presume that these new "Best Buds for Life" will take the same or similar price point, but with these promo points, who knows where the startup will go... German audio firm LOFO helped OnePlus make these ...

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    OnePlus has been known to sell some miscellany at its will. Yep, even an iPhone case or two. But its main side business (a somewhat ironic term) has been selling earbuds. Sure, there's the generic "Silver Bullets" stuff you can get from almost anywhere, but then there's the OnePlus Icons. They're tagged at $50, have 11mm dynamic drivers touted to bring rich sound and a unique asymmetric design. But they're getting a little old at this point, so we suspect that a "V2" is going to be in place on August 25. Take a look at this cheesy YouTube teaser and see what you think. Okay, OnePlus, just ...

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    LG has announced that ESS Technology, which provided the digital-to-analog audio converters for the V10 and a Play module for the G5, will supply a Quad DAC system for the V20, to be launched next month. The manufacturer touts that the system is the first of its kind in smartphones and will deliver 32-bit sound to headphone listeners and sound recordists with half as much ambient noise as a traditional DAC would produce. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plans on putting ESS's work to use in creating a commercial campaign for the V20. Source: LG

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    Two Apple leaks in two days. One of them affirms one major change in how this year's iPhones will be delivering cabled audio to your lugs, the other is something completely new. We'll start there as Lewis Hilsenteger — because Unbox Therapy isn't the name on his birth certificate — detailed what could be the iPhone 7 Plus (or Pro) in an in-depth video tour. Hilsenteger said that he was shipped this non-functoning unit from Chinese audio hardware startup BeSound, one of the several sources that showed off a supposed manufacturer's mimic of the regular iPhone 7. On this kind-of Space ...

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    If you think you've got the iPhone 7's in-line audio situation figured out, just wait a minute. Really. It's how fast the rumor flows can change at times. If you've scrolled down a bit from our main page today, you would've seen this article talking about a dual-SIM iPhone 7 with a proper 3.5mm headphone port. Regardless of what you think of the former bit, that latter feature has been something that was counted as highly unlikely this year. But rumors be funny things. This little number from Macotakara out of Japan actually came from the leftover chatter out of Computex in Taiwan, where ...

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    Let's talk about audio. How our phones handle music and media is often overlooked for more impressive visuals. Playing games or streaming films looks better on camera. Video game performance can be used to rank phone performance, as most apps really don't tax our gadgets that severely. "Benchmarking" often means looking at artificial test designed to grade CPU and GPU power with scores relative only to how other devices complete the same artificial test scenario. Audio is a bit different though. From listening to music, playing games, or watching films, audio is a vital usage for many ...

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    Let's talk iPhone audio once again. Because the headphone jack just wasn't enough. Through NowhereElse.fr, we see this example of what is said to be an Italian-manufactured accessory case for the iPhone 7. Two things strike out in this design: number one, the four speakers adorning each corner of the device and; number two, the rearranged ports for the camera equipment on the back. It's amazing how both changes make way for the other in the slightest of ways. That vertically-aligned port layout is similar to the one found on the iPad Pro and would be better suited than a horizontal layout ...

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    HTC made some significant changes to the BoomSound hardware on the HTC 10. The One M7 introduced us to the joys of front facing stereo speakers on a phone, and the One M8 and M9 continued that design. The 10 shifts things around though. Likely a necessity to include the fingerprint sensor on the front face, we no longer have true stereo playback. Instead the top speaker, which doubles as the phone call earpiece, produces most of the high pitched and mid range audio, while a bottom firing speaker fills in the lower mids and bass. It's an interesting experiment to be sure, and there's been ...

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    That picture up there? With the LG G5-ish dual-camera port? And also that Smart Connector? That's supposedly an iPhone 7 Plus. And despite our suspicions of it, a Japanese site covering Apple believes that picture and another one are showing off real (potential) changes. A second picture that we're talking about features CAD renders of some spartan iPhone 7 shells — with due notice to those reserved antenna lines — as leaked from Taiwanese manufacturer Catcher Technologies and picked up by nowhereelse.fr. Editor-in-Chief Steve Hemmerstoffer has also put up a cleaner take on the ...

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    One of the least talked about things on a smartphone is its audio output. Don't get me wrong, people do talk about it. But compared to camera, battery life, and other considerations, audio output is one of those "nice-to-haves" rather than a necessity. Sure, we love our front-firing speakers, but at the same time, we'll happily accept a rear or bottom firing speaker if the rest of the hardware is up to snuff. We might ding it in the review with a sentence or two, but that's about the extent of it. OEMs have started to push superior audio in some of their smartphones. Deals with companies ...

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    Audio is a mission critical feature for many smartphone consumers. Listening to music, podcasts, movie and game audio, or simply taking phone calls, good audio hardware can make a huge difference in how you might enjoy those various audio activities. While we're looking to cover the audio hardware in our phones with more in depth testing, it's also important to look at what audio devices you're connecting to your phone. Picking a good pair of ear buds can be almost as important as selecting which phone will drive those ear buds. Headphones are an incredibly personal purchase. What one ...

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    Apple Music's at 11 million subscribers. Spotify's at 30 million subscribers? Subscribers? More like scrub-scribers. If you come to any conclusion about how the streaming music arms race is going so far, it's that it's a three-player game (if you count in Pandora) in a game with too many horses. Take Jay Z's Tidal. You know, the thing that Kanye sorta kinda lives in. The service's star-power clout — backed by exclusive content from an all-star roster of Alica Keys, deadmau5, Madonna, Daft Punk, Jason Aldean, Jack White and others — paired with a focus towards high-quality 1411kbps ...

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    LG is putting press releases on autopilot all the way through the day it launches its newest smartphones and we're eating up every word of them. This time around, the chaebol has re-upped its agreement with Bang & Olufsen and is integrating B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen enhancements into the LG G5, the smartphone that will come to light this Sunday. We don't know how far this "collaboration" goes for the G5. On its site, B&O PLAY is currently offering headphones and speakers to consumers, but may be providing a DAC to LG in this business-to-business case. Perhaps that DAC ...

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    The iPhone 7 — and iPhone 7 Plus, let's not forget —may get a few new holes torn into it, thanks to the theoretical, but much ballyhooed loss of the 3.5mm headphone jack. It's been assumed by most talking heads that the jack would be long gone before the new handset would be out in September, but there's been a mess of possibilities raised as to what that large component would be replaced with. A super duper DAC? Noise cancellation? Will the EarPods come with a Lightning connection or a wireless one? Two Barclays analysts report in a research memo that the smartphone will receive ...

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    When discussing media creation from our mobile devices, the advances in camera sensors, lenses, and video options takes the majority of focus. It’s the sexier side of the conversation, seeing that over a short period of time our phones have leapt from standard definition video and single digit megapixel stills, to UHD video and 12+ megapixel images. However we’ve also been seeing (and hearing I suppose) some subtle but important advances in audio capture. What was a novel feature a couple years ago, most many mid-range, most flagships, and even a few entry level phones now employ ...

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    What's it take to make a pair of Bluetooth headphones exciting? Well, a good first step is launching them alongside some highly anticipated smartphones at a widely publicized press event and giving a sample to everyone in attendance. But free swag is a momentary thrill; making the excitement last takes an authentically impressive product. The Moto Pulse bluetooth headset is just that. I've been using it as my primary audio accessory for a solid week, and in that time I've gotten to know its highs and lows – in every possible sense. With the Pulse, Motorola has crafted a solid set of ...

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    I recently wrote a piece on the things I'd still like for iOS to do before I'm ready to fully commit and move from my One M9 to an iPhone. Most of those things were features I'd essentially just like to see ported over from Android, but if that's the case, why wouldn't I just stick with what I have? I mean, if Android already has the features I want like custom launchers, tight Google integration, and gesture typing, what sense would it make to switch to a totally different platform? Well ... the iPhone has some pretty sweet accessories. Cases I'll be honest, I don't use cases. I'm ...

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    A good audio experience is one of the biggest deciding factors for me when I’m looking into buying a new smartphone. “Does it have front-facing speakers?” “How loud do the speakers get?” “What about earpiece sound quality?” Especially given how much music I listen to and how many YouTube videos I watch with my friends and coworkers on a daily basis, having loud, clear sound no matter where I go is important to me. Ever since the One M7, HTC has become sort of a household name when it comes to smartphone audio. Its BoomSound speakers are louder than just about anything else ...

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    As fun as it can be to marginalize and criticize them, smartphones are magical pieces of technology. From something as benign as an iPhone to a device as futuristic as a G Flex, today's pocket communicators are modern miracles of miniaturized intelligence. As I say at the top of every Weekly podcast, these real-life tools are the manifestation of many childhood dreams, mine included ... and it's incredible to stop and think about just how complex they really are. All of which makes it doubly frustrating when these supposedly "smart" devices screw up so spectacularly. Here's five ...

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    The modern world of smartphone audio is perhaps best summed up by country-music singer Loretta Lynn: we've come a long way, baby. For much of the decade or so that smartphones have existed, the devices have been plagued by underwhelming audio performance, a symptom of too-small speakers paired with anemic software drivers, permitted only to suckle the tiniest bit of energy from an already power-strapped system. With very few exceptions, audio has been the afterthought, not the focus, of the smartphone industry. Thankfully, that's started to change in recent years. As smart devices have ...

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    Last week, we told tales of wireless audio at wineries, sang the praises of our friends at Sonos, and promised a HiFi system to folks willing to listen to the latest episode of the Pocketnow Weekly podcast. Over the past week, we've enjoyed watching the responses come in, and we've been especially heartened to see only a few attempts at "beating the system." Thanks for reinforcing our belief that there really are very few "tools" out there. The logistics are now complete, the numbers have been drawn, and the revels are just beginning for our lucky winner. Please join us in ...

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    This past Black Friday, I wasn't scrambling for deals at a local Best Buy or Wal Mart; I was recovering from too much turkey and taters. I was enjoying my convalescence from overindulgence at a local winery, whose tasting room featured a sound system of impressive bass and volume. That stereo equipment, I was later to learn, was a Sonos wireless HiFi system: a stereo apparatus that allows one to stream music from internet sources like Pandora, Spotify, iTunes, and a whole host of others to a big 'ole speaker, and control it via an iOS, Android, PC, or Mac device. It's a little slice of the ...

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    Something interesting happened to me early this year: I started hating my iPod. It was a second-generation 16GB iPod Touch, running the most recent version of iOS that was available, and it was a heinous pile of garbage. It crashed constantly, the battery life was sub-par, and its infamous soft-metal casing was scratched beyond belief, despite having lived a relatively sheltered, case-protected life. Plus, I hated carrying around two devices when I didn't have to. Granted, this attitude is somewhat at odds with my Twitter moniker, but "Captain2Phones" does not equal ...

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