I have been enjoying Bluewave's GET, a $129 bluetooth receiver, DAC and amp for using 3.5mm jack-style headphones with my IOS and Android devices.
The Bluewave GET beats the pants off my $22 Ribbon, at least when used with my old set of Westones. I love these old in-ear buds and didn't want to lose them. The audio quality when playing music is just light years ahead of even my favorite bluetooth headphone set, the B&O HP5.
The highest end audio protocols these guys offer APT-X variants are not Apple kosher, which is sadly where most of my music lives. Using AAC from my iPhone, and playing the same several songs over the same set of headphones, shows the GET simply pushes a lot more power to the earphones than the Ribbon. Giving them more juice opens them up a lot and everything gets far more detailed. The sound stage widens waaaay the heck up and the sound is simply better across the board. For any time I am earbud listening, the GET wins over the Ribbon hands down.
The GET + Westones are just better sounding headphones than the B&O H5. I like the B&O a lot, but they are less comfortable and do not sound nearly as good. Bluewave is supposed to release an app for the GET that will allow the same EQ-like tuning that the H5's app allows. I do enjoy being able to switch things up between podcasts and music. Battery life on the GET is 2x that of the B&O (10 hrs vs 5.)
My only complaint about the GET is that I find the volume wheel to be jumpy and I hurt my ears when I am not careful. Read the rest
Security research firm Armis has disclosed eight new Bluetooth vulnerabilities it collectively calls "Blueborne" that take less than 10 seconds to penetrate and take over device with Bluetooth switched on, without the user having to connect to a compromised device or take any other action. Read the rest
Bang & Olufsen's H5 Bluetooth, water resistant, in-ear buds are pretty damn great. For $220 they had better be. Read the rest
Aukey makes smartphone cables, chargers, battery packs, etc. I've tried quite a few things made by Aukey (some were sent for review and others I bought) and have always been happy with the quality. The bluetooth sports headphones made by Aukey are no exception (I bought them). The run about 4 hours on a charge and sound fine for my purposes (90% podcasts and audiobooks, 10% music). Most importantly, they are comfortable, unlike so many earphones I have tried. They are regularly $25, but you can get them for a limited time with the coupon code: 2CHBUTGF. Read the rest
A couple of weeks ago my teenage daughter took my beloved Grain bluetooth speaker into her room and I haven't seen it since. I bought the AmazonBasics Ultra-Portable Micro Bluetooth Speaker ($20) as a low-cost replacement. I've been using it in the kitchen, mainly to listen to podcasts and am very happy with it. The sound is deeper and louder than my phone's speaker, though not nearly as good as the Grain ($250). It's about the size of a hockey puck, and plays 10 hours on a charge (a micro USB cable is supplied). It also comes with a soft pouch, which I promptly lost. Read the rest
I recently installed Sena's SMH10R bluetooth audio system in one of my motorcycle helmets. Now, it is hard to ride without it!
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The $19 TrackR is a like a leash between your wallet and your mobile phone. It's a Bluetooth-enabled wafer of plastic that fits in your wallet or pocket. You pair it with your phone, and whenever the TrackR and your phone get separated both your phone and the TrackR start beeping.
The app also takes a GPS snapshot of where your wallet was at the moment of separation in case you didn't hear the alert. Tap a button within the app to make your wallet "ring" in case your looking for it around the house or in the dark. The technology works both ways, which means your wallet can beep to alert you that you're leaving your phone behind. Works with your iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, new iPad, iPad mini and the new iPod Touch.
Yesterday, I met with Scott Hawthorne (left) and Chris Herbert (right) of Phone Halo, the 5-person company that designed the TrackR. They demoed the TrackR and I was impressed with how well it works. At $19, it seems like a good deal. They said the battery life is 1.5 years.
Scott and Chris kindly left a sample unit with me, which I plan to start using. I'll review it after I've had it for a week or two.
The TrackR will be available in the US and internationally as soon as the FCC and CE approve it (it uses low-power Bluetooth). You can pre-order one on Indiegogo for an estimated April delivery. Read the rest
Aliph's Jawbone Icon is much like its last in-ear bluetooth headset, but now comes with 'dialing apps' and a set of amusing voices to tell you about incoming calls and what-have-you. The new designs are welcome, but not as nice as the Jawbone Earcandy, to my eye--vivid colors are gone in pursuit of a jewelry-like look. Read the rest