Next week is going to be a big week, with Apple (expect new Macs), Google (expect a new Pixel smartphone) and Samsung (expect new Galaxy smartphones) all hosting their own hardware events. But a lot of other companies must’ve got wind of it because, to get ahead of the news cycle, a bunch of them announced new products this week. Here’s what you need to know.
Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin (2021 Model)
Bowers & Wilkins released a new and improved version of its iconic Zeppelin speaker. The last iteration of the speaker, the Zeppelin Wireless, was released in 2015 and this new version keeps mostly the same look and feel, with the difference being that the new version is completely wireless — there are no analog connections — and it supports AirPlay 2 and comes integrated with Alexa (just like an Echo) for voice controls. It supports both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (AptX) streaming, and it’s able to be integrated in a multi-room system with other new Zeppelin speakers, B&W’s existing line of Formation speakers, as well as other AirPlay 2 speakers.
The new B&W Zeppelin is available today in either light or dark grey.
Bose SoundLink Flex
Bose announced a new affordable, rugged and ultra-portable Bluetooth speaker called the SoundLink Flex. It’s really water-resistant and durable — IP67 rated — and it’ll even float, in the event you drop it in the pool or tub. Bose promises incredible sound compared to other similarly-sized speakers, thanks to a custom transducer and dual-opposing passive radiators, too. It lacks Wi-Fi connectivity, meaning there’s no voice assistant, but you can sync it with other Bose speakers and soundbars that you have in your house (via a companion app) to give you the multi-room effect.
Soundcore, the audio division of Anker, announced its first pair of audio glasses: the Soundcore Frames. They’re more similar to the Bose Frames, as opposed to the Facebook x Ray-Ban Stories, because they don’t have any kind of built-in cameras or social component — they’re strictly sunglasses and eyeglasses with speakers built into each arm so they work like any pair of Bluetooth headphones. The difference with the Soundcore Frames (compared to the Bose Frames) is that the arms are detachable and you can swap them with different frames (there are 10 different styles) to get a different look.
Jabra Evolve2 75
The Evolve2 75 is what Jabra is calling a “hybrid headset,” meaning it is designed as a work headset with excellent call clarity (thanks to it boom microphone) and compatibility with Zoom and Microsoft Teams (and others). The boom microphone folds up into the right earcup so that they can be disguised as a regular pair of noise-canceling wireless headphones, too. Basically, they’ll designed for both work and play.
The Jabra Evolve2 75 is available now.
Tile Mate, Pro, Slim, and Sticker (Updated Models)
Tile announced next-generation versions of several of its Bluetooth trackers — specifically the Mate (keychain fob), Slim (card), Pro (smaller keychain fob) and Sticker (attachable button) — all of which are getting improved range and water-resistance, as well as updated designs. All of them (save for the Sticker) are gaining a new Lost and Found feature, which allows strangers to scan a QR code on the back of the tracker, get your contact information and thus return your item (and tracker) back to you.
All these next-generation Bluetooth trackers are available now.
Price: $25 — $35
V-Moda Hexamove Lite and Pro
V-Moda, the audio company best known for its DJ-approved Crossfade headphones, announced its first two pairs of wireless earbuds. There’s the Hexamove Lite ($130) and the Hexamove Pro ($180). Both pairs of wireless earbuds are basically the identical — same hexagonal shape and same sound — and allow you to customize them with different “shields,” so you can make them look how you want. The difference is that the “Pro” version come with swappable silicone earhooks and an optional wire neck strap, to give you a better fit and prevent you from losing them. The Pro versions also work with a companion that lets you tweak the EQ. Neither earbuds support wireless charging or have ANC.
Price: $130 — $180
Q Acoustics Concept Series
The British audio company Q Acoustics is best known for its high performing yet affordable bookshelf speakers, and it has brought that same mantra over to its home theater range. The new set of Concept speakers — Concept 30 (standmount, $1,299/pair), Concept 50 (floorstander, $2,999/pair) and Concept 90 (center channel, $999/ea) — bring over technologies from its high-end Concept 300 and 500 speakers, and put them in a more affordable package.
The new Concept home theater speakers will be available at the end of October.
Price: $999 — $2,999
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