Harman/Kardon Allure: Alluring Sound, Short on Features

Let’s get right to the point: The Harman/Kardon Allure 360-degree Amazon Alexa-enabled speaker ($249.95) is alluring, both aesthetically and aurally. It’s got an unusual Star Trekprop-like smoky opaque plastic topped design with an interior tube that lights up when sound emanates from its speakers, and it’s equipped with a circular array of speakers that delivers 360-degree sound with plenty of volume and bass.

Read the rest of this review on GearBrain here.

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Appliances Are Getting Smarter — But Is Anyone Buying Them?

Suddenly, it seems, the major appliance market is alive and well.

After several years of slow or flat growth, major appliance sales are projected to rise from 3 to 7 percent this year to an estimated 549 million units and 10 percent in revenue to $216 billion, with a 2 to 6 percent jump to a potential total of 570 million units in 2019, according to GfK.

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Sharp Now Shipping 8K TVs Overseas

After years of teasing at varying trade shows, Sharp has finally begun shipping the world’s first commercially available 8K monitor, the 70-inch, 7,680 by 4,320 Aquos LV-70X500E (€11,199).

Continue reading this post here.

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Consumers Ponying Up For Cutting-Edge Tech

Thanks to more informed and more demanding consumers willing to pay more to get what they want, CE sales revenue rose 3.2 percent to $967 billion in 2017, and is projected to rise another 3.9 percent to $1.014 trillion this year.

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6 Best Alexa-Enabled Speakers (Beyond the Amazon Echo)

A review roundup of the 6 best Amazon Alexa-enabled speakers on Techlicious, which you can read here.

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‘Ready Player One’: Good Movie, Bad VR Future-casting

Far be it from me to find fault with filmmaker-great Steven Spielberg or with author Ernest Cline. But as effective and entertaining as Ready Player One is, its depiction of what VR will be like 25 years hence is, conceptually, ridiculous.

Continue reading this post here.

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Review: D-Link 936L Wi-Fi Camera

There are two distinct reasons why you’d consider buying a Wi-Fi security camera for your home: either to alert you if someone enters your space while you’re away, or to act as sort of a nanny cam to let you watch (or spy) over those still at home when you’re not. Because of the lack of GPS geofencing technology — or a way to automatically switch on sensors to alert you about what’s happening at home when you’re not— lower-priced models such as the D-Link DCS-936L Wi-Fi security cameras ($69.99, discounted from $89.99) are more appropriate for the latter usage case scenario.

Read the rest of this review from GearBrain here.

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Flashback 1948: Ampex Unveils First Magnetic Tape Recorder

Our modern AV world arguably all stems from a single product: the Ampex 200A, the first successful commercial magnetic audiotape recorder, which debuted 70 years ago this month.

Read the rest of this post on Sound & Vision here.

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How did Xiaomi make such a great – and cheap – Wi-Fi security camera?

Wi-Fi security cameras usually come in two distinct varieties: either expensive ($150-$200) and a full-raft of features and options, or cheap (sub-$100) and – well, you get what you pay for in the end.

With its Mi Home Security Camera, somehow Xiaomi has managed to create not only an excellent high-end Wi-Fi security camera, but one that’s ridiculously cheap – just $40. Not only does the Mi offer usually pricy bells and whistles including 1080p video, night vision up to 33 feet, a wide 130-degree view and two-way microphone/speaker capability, and not only is it relatively easy to set-up and use, but it offers intriguing and handy features I haven’t run across before in my testing.

Read the rest of this review on GearBrain here.

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Party & Sporty: Sony Targets The Young & Active With New Portable Audio

Sony officially announced a new splash-proof wireless in-ear bud with both active noise cancelation, along with a new series of behind-the-neck Bluetooth sport earphones and colorful portable Bluetooth/NFC speakers with flashing LED trim, all aimed squarely at the young and active.

Continue reading this post here.

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