The best price for a speaker

Amazon’s Next-Generation Echo-Dot and Echo Dot Kids: Wi-Fi Enablers for an Eero Smart Home

Amazon announced a slew of new devices today, including the next generation of some of the company’s favorite Alexa-enabled speakers, the Echo Dot, Echo Dot with Clock and Echo Dot Kids, as well as an upgrade to the Echo Studio.

The company is adding Eero mesh technology to at least two of their products, so they will double as wi-fi extenders for their existing Eero system.

New sensors in both products let you improve your interactions with your smart home, while an accelerometer lets you use the power of a tap to do things like control your music, dismiss timers or end a call. The devices will let you see what you want to see faster, while also giving you quicker access to information. The new echo dot with clock benefits from higher density dot technology, so you will still see the time, but now you will be able to see information like the weather, calendar events and the name of a song or artist.

If your kids dig the adorable Panda and Tiger designs of the Echo Dot Kids, they are going to love the newest additions of the Owl and Dragon. Yup, they’ll still get all the fun of using Alexa, including jokes, facts and songs, while parents can sit pretty knowing parental controls are holding strong. You can choose to set daily time limits on the kids on the dashboard, and they will be able to filter explicit content as well.

A two-year guarantee is included with the purchase of a Kids+ subscription, which gives them access to ad-free books, games, videos, songs and dedicated kids skills.

Next-Generation Voice Assistant: Where Do We Stand? What Do We Need? Where are We Going? How Do We Want to See It?

The spatial audio processing, which is a big hit with Apple users, is also now available on the echo show 15 and the hope is to get it on other compatible devices soon. We were already impressed by the great sound quality on the original Echo Studio, and we’re eager to see how the improved spatial audio sounds this time around.

There will be a switch on the new devices to turn on and off the microphone as well as the ability to view and destroy voice recordings. Which is great for anyone who worries that Big Brother is hanging out with Alexa.

There are other voice assistants with an uncertain future. Google made a similar move in October, when part of its cost cutting restructuring plan de-emphasized the program that puts Google Assistant into partner devices like smart speakers. As companies lay off thousands of employees, there are two reprioritizations. It may not be the end of an era entirely, but it is clear that companies do not prioritize their voice assistants when facing an economic downturn.

Unravelling Mastodon on Facebook, Twitter, and the Arc & Beam (and Sonos Five, or How to Renew a Sonos Smart Speaker)

If you’re prone to getting lost in the woods, Apple would like you to know that it will soon have your back. Recently the company has made a big push into emergency response tech. At its iPhone 14 announcement event in September, Apple touted its new ability to locate people outside of cellular or Wi-Fi reception range. The service, which Apple calls Emergency SOS via Satellite, is launching later this month.

The prototype stretchy sheet is not a final product. LG is developing the tech for South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy. It’s a long way off, but the plan is to finish the government project by the year 2024. The stretchy screens could be used in consumer devices if everything goes well.

This week on WIRED’s Gadget Lab podcast, WIRED security editor Andrew Couts joins the show to unearth Mastodon—how it works, what the vibes on the platform are like, and whether it will ever come close to recreating the controlled chaos that is (or was) Twitter.

The Ray is a low cost version of the Arc and Beam and is designed for beginners. It sounds impressive for its small size, though lacks support for Dolby Atmos surround sound and HDMI connectivity like the Arc and Beam.

Both of the companies test and clean certified refurbished products before selling them. Sonos also includes the original accessories and cables, along with a one-year warranty and a 45-day money-back guarantee. The Geek Squad-certified refurbished products at Best Buy have a 90-day warranty. Best Buy Elite and Totaltech members can return them for an extended return window, though you have less than 15 days to do so.

That said, it is a great buy if you want an excellent-sounding Sonos speaker you can pick up and take into your garage, living room, patio, or any other room in your home. It also comes with features like IP56 weatherproofing and support for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s AirPlay 2, not to mention seamless integration with other Sonos devices.

The Sonos One emits rich, detailed sound, but lacks a microphone. The compact smart speaker also features good voice microphones, integrates with existing Sonos systems, and supports a wide range of music services.

The Sonos Five starts at $549 and is currently not on sale. You can buy a set of two in a new condition for less than one price from Best Buy, B&H Photo, and the internet retailer Sonos. Sonos is additionally selling a Turntable set, which includes the Sonos Five and a Pro-Ject T1 Phono SB Turntable, for $948 ($50 off).

If you buy the Sonos Arc SL, which doesn’t have a microphone, it is $50 cheaper than if you buy it at a convenience store. You will have to be a member to buy it.

The Sonos Five replaced the Play:5 music speaker in 2020 but is actually nearly identical to its excellent-sounding predecessor. It shares the same six custom-designed drivers inside, so it should offer the same high-quality listening experience as the Play:5, which was ideal for large rooms or parties. There are not many noticeable differences. Compared to the Play:5, Sonos says its successor offers increased memory and processing power, as well as a new wireless radio. There are also all-black or all-white options. Most other speakers in the Sonos lineup offer some kind of support for Amazon’s voice assistants, but the Sonos Five does not.

The Beam and Arc offer more features and qualities, but the soundbar lacks a lot of them. It has good sound quality for its size, but it lacks a sense of being in a movie due to the lack of support for surround sound. In addition, it lacks HDMI connectivity, so you’ll have to connect it to your TV with an optical audio cable, and works with only infrared (IR) remotes.

The sound of the Sonos Move is similar to the One, but with slightly more volume. Unlike the One, however, you don’t need to find the right spot in your home for it to hear it well, given it’s better at distributing sound throughout a room. It sounds good no matter where you are, in the living room or at the park.

During Sonos’ Q1 2023 earnings call, CEO Patrick Spence expressed the usual optimism about his company’s financial performance, sales momentum, and upcoming product roadmap. This man is fond of the word flywheel. But he also took clear jabs at Big Tech competitors, including Amazon, Google, and Apple, for barely putting up a fight in recent months.

“I just feel like there’s others that are probably questioning their investments in this area, and we are investing in four new categories. We are going to raise the bar in our existing categories. I mean, we’ve got a lot going on,” Spence added.

Sonos Sound Bars, Speakers and Soundbars: How to Beat Wall Street in the Early Stage of the Covid Pandemic

Do you know more about upcoming audio products from Sonos, Amazon, or Google? I’ve revealed multiple Sonos products before their official announcement. The upcoming Optimo speakers are included with the Roam, Ray, Sonos Voice Control and Sub Mini.

Trusted sources make this reporting possible, and if you have more to share on what’s ahead, you can message me confidentially and securely with Signal at 845-445-8455. You can get in touch by email at [email protected] or through social media.

Discounts on Sonos products over the holidays helped the company deliver strong earnings and beat Wall Street expectations for the Q1 fiscal quarter. This was the first time that Sonos had been able to offer those promotions in three years; the multi-room audio leader struggled to keep its speakers and soundbars in stock during the covid pandemic, facing the same supply chain woes that reverberated across the tech industry.

But the deals were back this time — even if some of them just returned Sonos products to their former pricing. The company put more emphasis on bundles that boost the number of customer households. Each household has an average of 2.98 products. Sonos sees a $5 billion revenue opportunity if it can successfully convert single-product customers to the multi-device lifestyle.

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