The first smart speaker shower is coming

We’ve finally come to the point in technology where we will be showering under internet connected speakers and now we need to ask do we really want this?

As we continue to pad our homes out with more and more Smart technology. Kitchens are getting ‘Smart’ with AI-powered fridges, Wi-Fi connected washing machines, smartphone operated ovens to name but a few of the sci-fi appliances now part of our reality.

Kohler had some of the most surprising announcements at this year’s CES show. There’s the toilet that lights up in any colour you want and plays music out of in-built speakers. Then there’s the shower-head that not only sprays water but also plays music and connects to the internet and listens to your voice.

The ‘Moxie’ speaker features a built-in Smart speaker with an Amazon Alexa-powered voice assistant. It can be purchased as a full set with the shower-head or can be purchased and docked magnetically to your existing shower. The speaker has been specially tuned so that the sound can cut through the noise of the shower.

Using tactile controls and wireless charging it is simple to use even when fully drenched. They assure it’s totally waterproof with an IPX67 and the wireless charging should help abate most of the fears of shooting water through an electronic device onto your body!

Kohler’s touchless ‘Setra’ faucet for messy hands

Other devices revealed by Kohler show their push to transform entire houses into internet connected hubs appliance by appliance. A Wi-Fi connected water purifier is in the pipeline and another shower device will let its owners control their showers with the push of a button.

A touch-less kitchen faucet will help people getting their hands dirty prepping meals to keep their sinks clean. Oh, and did we mention an internet connected toilet with LED lighting, built-in speakers and a touchless flush? We did? Well, it bears repeating.

Kohler’s illuminated ‘Numi 2.0’ toilet

JBL’s solar powered headphones keep you charged all the time

JBL wish to free you from the worry of cutting your wireless listening short with headphones that charge on the go.

JBL are currently crowdfunding a potential game-changer in wireless headphones. Their ‘Reflect Eternal’ headphones will use solar charging technology to charge whilst you’re on the go or sitting in the sun so you’re not cut short – unless it’s a particularly cloudy day.

As headphones and earphones alike both move towards wireless options, battery life is becoming more of a question. Even with a new pair of headphones promising 100 hours of life, running out of battery haunts every one whose been listening to music with no time to stop and recharge.

They promise “endless playtime” thanks to it’s self charging capabilities which use Exeger Powerfoyle technology. The charging is super fast too. They promise that 1.5 hours outside a day equals 68 hours of playback whilst an extra half an hour will equal 168 hours of listening – based on lux values of at least 50,000 light.

Of course, if the sun isn’t out to shine then there is of course a USB charging option included to keep you listening. JBL’s 40mm drivers offer their signature sound that will keep most music lovers very happy.

JLB are currently running a crowdfunding campaign to see how people will react to the concept before producing it and releasing it to the masses. For £75 you can get yourself the Early Adopter Disciount at 40% off their target RRP. They expect to start shipping to the US and Germany next October.

Listen to Apple Podcasts now on Echo speakers

Alexa has given in and nearly a year after adding Apple Music to her music streaming database, she’s playing podcasts.

Get your favourite podcasts playing around the house from Amazon Echo speakers. Apple Podcasts are now streaming on Echo speakers and compatible with Alexa, so you can just say the word to start a podcast on your Smart Speaker.

Apple Podcasts are now accessible with any Alexa powered device, so that includes smartphones and non-Amazon smart speakers. Ask her to play a certain show and she can even rejoin your listening where you last left off, even it you were listening on another device.

You can set Apple as your default for Alexa to play podcasts when you ask her to. This means that, as long as the show you’re asking to play is on Apple Podcasts, she will play straight from there without needing to prompt the service.

Apple Podcasts are available on Echo speakers and all Alexa powered devices now.

The iPod Shuffle for Spotify now has Amazon Music

The Mighty is an MP3 player designed for Spotify users and they’re expanding their horizons with Amazon Music now available.

The Mighty launched in 2017 and will look familiar to people listening to music on the go in the first decade of the 2000s. After a Kickstarter campaign their MP3 player gave an alternative to smartphones to take the world’s biggest music streaming service out with them in a compact, simple player.

They have added Amazon Music to open the player up to even more keen listeners who don’t want to take a clunky smartphone to listen to their favourite tracks. The device lets you take over 1,000 songs downloaded from your Amazon Music account out with you.

It doesn’t have a data connection so it works purely by connecting to your streaming account on your phone and downloading the songs you want to listen offline on the Mighty player. The companion ‘Mighty’ smartphone app keeps track of all your downloads and how much space you have left.

Android users will have to wait until January for Amazon Music support, whilst iOS users can get streaming now. Spotify is available on both their Android and their iOS app.

The Mighty Vibe player costs $85.99 and is currently on sale for just $79.99.

Get these wireless earbuds have 100 hours of play time for just $74.99

Wireless headphones that last for a day are usually enough to keep you going but what about REALLY long trips? Will 100 hours cover you?

Discord Sound have created a pretty phenomenal game changer for wireless music listeners with their HUB earphones. Their Hi-Fi powered wireless earbuds offer 100 hours of listening time thanks to a power bank built into their compact case.

Their amazing charge time is matched by how quickly they can charge with super fast charging. Once they’re drained just 15 minutes of charging can make for 3 hours more battery time and power. They have 8 hours of play time with a full charge and up to 12.5 full charges from the charging case means you’ll never be caught short.

They’re waterproof so you don’t need to worry if you get caught out in the rain. With a built-in microphone you can take hands-free calls and use your voice assistant from your connected device all with ease.

The Hub has an IPX5 rating, which means it meets a stringent standard of water resistant performance after multiple rounds of rigorous lab testing. You can even take them in the shower if you don’t want to be without your music when you wash.

Right now with deal on The Next Web you can get a whopping 70% off the HUB earbuds. That’s an incredible reduction from their standard price of $250 to just $74.99. Take advantage and get a wireless listening experience like no over.

Get money off Bose’s best noise-cancelling headphones

For the first time you can get money off of Bose’s latest and greatest noise-cancelling headphones with amazing sound and wireless connections.

You can now get $50 off of Bose’s Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, the current flagship cans from the renowned audio makers. It’s the first time the price has been cut for this new and powerful personal-noisemaker.

You can get them for just $349 now here.

These headphones feature a very unique Bose Augmented Reality system for an unparalleled listening experience. It’s a first-of-its-kind experience for your ears that helps you stay connected with the world around you whilst remaining firmly in your own listening experience.

The 700 models come with microphones so you can power your voice assistants simply and take calls without the need to take your phones off. They offer wireless Bluetooth connections to your devices so you don’t need to worry about the faff of wires.

They’re touch sensitive so you can manage your listening and phone calls by simply touching your ear cups. With up to 20 hours of wireless battery life they’re a great accompaniment to your day whether you want to shut the world out or let it in whilst still listening to music in great quality.

  • Keep your phone in your pocket and your head up to the world with easy access to voice assistants for music, navigation, weather, and more
  • Confidently take a call or speak to Alexa in any environment, with an unrivalled adaptive four microphone system that isolates your voice from surrounding noise
  • Personalize your environment with 11 levels of noise cancelling: control distractions or let ambient sound in
  • Access Alexa with the push of a button, or use the wake up word. Carrying case 8.6 x 7 Width x 2.4 Depth inches
  • Optimised for the Google Assistant. Access your voice assistant with a simple button press
  • Listen comfortably for hours : a streamlined, lightweight stainless steel headband and angled ear cups make for a perfect fit
  • Get up to 20 hours of wireless battery life and time based power information
  • Stay connected to the world without reaching for your phone. Intuitive touch controls on the ear cups keep everything simple
  • Alexa speaks English and Spanish

Iconic artist session brand COLORS launches their own headphones

COLORS are expanding from their unique and renowned pastel, minimalist live session shows into their own branded hardware.

In a surprise move, COLORS have launched a limited edition range of Bluetooth-enabled wireless headphones. The company has teamed up with Danish audio manufacturers AIAIAI to create a high-end pair of headphones.

The headphones are based on AIAIAI’s TMA-2 modular headphones, with a ‘COLORS’ inlay on the headband. Beyond the inlay there’s very little unique to the appearance of the headphones. They come in a matte black finish with vegan-leather, over-ear cushions.

COLORS’ very own sound engineer helped to create the unique sound design of the TMA-2 COLORS Edition cans. They feature a 40mm driver with a powerful neodymium magnet, Japanese voice coil, and an ultra lightweight diaphragm.

The COLORS crew do say that they worked with the Danish team “to configure their own dedicated sound setting preset” for a taste of COLORS own “signature smooth tone and audio balance”.

The headphones are available in limited edition for €249 and will be shipping in “mid-December”.

First the headphone jack, now Apple may get rid of ALL iPhone ports

An Apple analyst is predicting that Apple are developing an iPhone without ports for release in the next few years.

Ming-Chi Kuo is a respected Apple analyst who has made correct predictions for their developments over the years. His latest investor note has some interesting things to say about what he reckons to be the future of iPhones as 2020 and 2021 approach.

Kuo reckons that in 2021 Apple will launch their very first iPhone with no ports or inputs at all. They’ve already ditched the headphone jack in favour of lightning-supported aux connections and Bluetooth connected devices. This iPhone would see the lightning port abandoned as well, for replacement with wireless charging and totally wireless device connections.

Kuo says that Apple will “provide the completely wireless experience”, but says that they will only be doing it for their “highest-end model”. He is also predicting that in 2021 they will release a sequel to the iPhone SE 2 Plus without a home button, for an “all-screen design”.

His predictions also suggest that next year, in 2020, Apple will release 4 new iPhones. They will release a range of different sized smartphones offering 5G connectivity and varied camera setups. Their higher end 6.1 inch and 6.7 inch models will feature a triple-lens camera set-up.

Whilst these are just predictions, Kuo has become renowned worldwide for his accurate predictions about what Apple have in the pipeline.

Who needs a guitar amp with Boss’ new headphones?

Boss’ Waza-Air headphones are making guitar practising more personal with an amp simulator and effects module that slips right on your head.

There’s nothing more satisfying than cranking up the amp, slipping the strap over your head and striking out a chord that rings across your surroundings. But we’re not always in a position where the privilege of playing loud and proud is acceptable.

Boss have an answer for every guitarist who has thought; ‘damn I wish I could crank up my guitar right now’. Their upcoming headphones offer guitarists a Wireless Personal Guitar Amplification System, putting a true to life guitar playing sound in your eyes – just for you.

Using a gyroscopic sensor in the headphones they simulate space so the sound adjusts as your head moves. It creates a 3D space in which the amp simulation is coming from and reverberating around so it’s not just putting a guitar amp in your headphones; it’s putting a whole room of sound on your head.

Use the BOSS Tone Studio app to connect and customise your sound exactly how you want it. There are 5 amp types to choose from and control, and over 50 different effects to play with any sound you like. The large, custom 50mm drivers inside each can offer incredible sound quality for whatever the guitar tone you’re going for.

Connect your phone and play songs or audio files so that you can play along to music. With the app’s ‘Stage’ mode the Waza-Air headphones stream music in the backline alongside your amp so you can take to the virtual stage as you rock out.

The headphones are expected to be available in January and will set you back £378 / $400. Maybe it will make a good, late Christmas present. Here’s all it’s offering:

  • Over-ear guitar sound system with wireless connectivity, premium amp and effect tones, Bluetooth audio streaming, and sound editing via your smartphone
  • Advanced BOSS spatial technology and integrated gyro sensor deliver natural “amp-in-room” tone with 3D ambience and dynamic sound localization
  • Five unique amp types derived from the Katana stage amplifier series, including a full-range voice for bass or acoustic/electric guitar
  • Access over 50 customizable effects in the BOSS Tone Studio app
  • Integrated BOSS wireless technology provides exceptional sound quality with ultra-low latency
  • Easy-to-use controls for guitar volume and Bluetooth audio playback, plus instant access to six user-configurable tone settings
  • Large, custom-designed 50 mm drivers deliver premium audio quality with rich, full sound
  • Conforming earpads ensure optimum driver performance for uncompromised guitar tone
  • Wide headband provides comfort for long playing sessions
  • Durable construction with deluxe chrome-plated metal parts
  • Versatile two-way design folds down for compact storage or flat transport in a guitar bag pocket
  • Built-in rechargeable batteries with auto standby/wake function to conserve battery life
  • Up to five hours of play time with the headphones and up to 12 hours with the included WL-T Transmitter
  • Wirelessly edit, organize, and download tones with the BOSS Tone Studio app for iOS and Android mobile devices
  • Unique onboard tuner function with audible tones that guide your tuning; visual chromatic tuner also available in the BOSS Tone Studio app

    Download “BOSS Tone Studio for WAZA-AIR” for iOS
    Download “BOSS Tone Studio for WAZA-AIR” for Android

Amazon’s first battery-powered Echo speaker has launched

Amazon’s latest Echo speaker launch changes the game for the Smart Speaker that has defined an entire market of AI-powered music devices.

Amazon’s new smart speaker is called the Echo Input Portable Smart Speaker Edition. Beyond it’s catchy name, it offers the very first battery-powered Amazon Echo which means it works unplugged and can be taken around the house.

It boasts a 10-hour battery life of music playback and it resembles a typical Echo that has been squished down to a third of the size. It offers 360-degree sound and all the usual Echo features like voice activated Alexa control and music streaming.

It offers an Echo speaker that you can take around the house as you go room to room without needing to end your playback or reconnect. You can connect it to the Wi-Fi as usual.

You can also connect the Echo Input Portable Smart Speaker Edition to your mobile hotspot. This means that in theory it’s truly portable and can be used out and about, thought that’s not how Amazon have pitched it.

Currently the speaker is only available in India. It currently costs 4,999 rupees (roughly $70) for a special introductory price. It will be available for 5,999 rupees (roughly $84) once the offer is over.