Audio, Sound & Speakers News - Page 1

The latest and most important Audio, Sound & Speakers news.

Follow TweakTown on Google News

Razer BlackShark V2 Pro wireless gaming headset now available for PlayStation 5 and Xbox

Kosta Andreadis | Apr 11, 2024 1:29 AM CDT

We reviewed the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro in 2023, concluding that "as a wireless gaming headset, it excels in all areas, from sound quality to the on-ear preset options to the build quality and comfort." Today, Razer is introducing a new headset version designed specifically for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series console hardware.

Razer BlackShark V2 Pro wireless gaming headset now available for PlayStation 5 and Xbox

The original Razer BlackShark V2 Pro was compatible with PlayStation hardware; however, as Xbox uses its own specialized wireless protocol for audio, you'd need this new version of the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro so you can switch from PC to Xbox and back again without skipping a beat. So, for full compatibility, you'd want the new Razer BlackShark V2 Pro for Xbox, available now with an MSRP of $199.99 USD.

Interestingly, Razer has announced that the audio has been tuned for "competitive console gaming," so the out-of-the-box sound profile might differ from the PC-first version we reviewed. The new sound profile was created in collaboration with esports pros like Hakis (Alliance) and Shotzzy (OpTic Gaming).

Continue reading: Razer BlackShark V2 Pro wireless gaming headset now available for PlayStation 5 and Xbox (full post)

ASUS announces ROG Strix XG27UCS: 27-inch 4K 160Hz gaming monitor for just $449

Anthony Garreffa | Mar 19, 2024 7:35 PM CDT

ASUS has unveiled two brand new ROG gaming monitors, both in 27-inch size but differing resolutions and refresh rates, and they're both not overpriced.

ASUS announces ROG Strix XG27UCS: 27-inch 4K 160Hz gaming monitor for just $449

ASUS has designed both of the new ROG gaming monitors to be clutter-free, with an interesting design tweak that lets gamers use a stand on the monitor to hold their smartphone. Both of the new gaming monitors also feature USB Type-C connectors, which can be used to charge your USB-C devices.

The first is the ASUS ROG Strix XG27USC, which features a 27-inch panel with a native 4K resolution and super-smooth 160Hz refresh rate. If you want to run 4 K at 160FPS or more, you'll want to make sure you've got a high-end graphics card, so first off, you'd want NVIDIA's flagship GeForce RTX 4090, if not, the RTX 4080 SUPER or RTX 4080 at a minimum.

Continue reading: ASUS announces ROG Strix XG27UCS: 27-inch 4K 160Hz gaming monitor for just $449 (full post)

Two Apple AirPods 4 models now expected to arrive in September or October this year

Oliver Haslam | Mar 18, 2024 1:45 PM CDT

If you're in the market for a new pair of wireless earbuds but have been waiting to see what Apple's plans are, you might have to wait until September or October. That's according to a new report by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.

Two Apple AirPods 4 models now expected to arrive in September or October this year

Gurman was writing in the weekly Power On newsletter when he said that Apple is expected to put two new fourth-generation AirPods into mass production in or around May, and based on that he then expects them to be ready for market in September or October.

The new AirPods 4 are expected to feature a new design to aid an improved fit in the ear while improving sound quality is also thought to be a key feature. There will also be an update to the existing charging case as well, adding a USB-C port and removing the Lightning port that has been there for years.

Continue reading: Two Apple AirPods 4 models now expected to arrive in September or October this year (full post)

This impressive knock-off AirPods case has a touchscreen borrowed from an old Apple patent

Oliver Haslam | Mar 15, 2024 7:15 AM CDT

Apple patents tons of ideas all of the time and even incentivizes its employees to apply for patents as well. But not every patent turns into a product that you will eventually buy in the Apple Store, and a lot of them never do. One patent that has so far not launched first surfaced back in 2021 and allowed for a new AirPods case with a touchscreen display on the front. Now, it seems while Apple didn't launch such a thing, someone else did.

This impressive knock-off AirPods case has a touchscreen borrowed from an old Apple patent

Counterfeit Apple accessories and devices are nothing new of course, and the United States says that it deals with hundreds of thousands of counterfeit AirPods reaching its shores every year. But there's so far been nothing quite like this.

The fake AirPods case was posted to the X social network by leaker @lipilipsi and spotted by MacRumors. There's a video that shows the touchscreen in use with various different kinds of information displayed when swiping from side to side.

Continue reading: This impressive knock-off AirPods case has a touchscreen borrowed from an old Apple patent (full post)

Apple's iOS 18 update could make AirPods Pro a real alternative to traditional hearing aids

Oliver Haslam | Mar 11, 2024 5:45 AM CDT

If Apple follows its usual release cadence we can expect it to announce a slew of new software updates in June during the WWDC event and then make them all available to the public around September time. We've been hearing tidbits about what those updates could have to offer with the iPhone's iOS 18 a particular focus. Now, a new report has added further fuel to the fire and it drags the AirPods Pro wireless earbuds into the mix, too.

Apple's iOS 18 update could make AirPods Pro a real alternative to traditional hearing aids

According to the report, Apple's AirPods Pro will gain a whole new feature as part of the iOS 18 release, Specifically, it's thought that a new hearing aid feature is on the horizon and that it will only be available in conjunction with the AirPods Pro. However, it isn't yet clear whether that feature will only be available on the latest USB-C 2nd-gen AirPods Pro.

The news came via the paywalled version of the Power On newsletter shared every week by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The newsletter was reported on by 9to5Mac.

Continue reading: Apple's iOS 18 update could make AirPods Pro a real alternative to traditional hearing aids (full post)

Your HomePod now learns which music streaming service you prefer after installing this update

Oliver Haslam | Mar 8, 2024 10:45 AM CST

Apple's HomePod and HomePod mini have a new software update available that makes the smart speakers capable of learning where you like to listen to your music and then use that information for future listening sessions. The new feature, which is part of the HomePod Software 17.4 update, is available to all HomePod owners.

Your HomePod now learns which music streaming service you prefer after installing this update

Previously, HomePod owners could use the Home app on their iPhone, iPad, or Mac to choose which music streaming service would be used when they asked their speaker to play music. Streaming music services like YouTube Music, Pandora, TuneIn, and others were all supported but the process required manual intervention whenever the default service needed to be changed. That's no longer the case as a result of this new software update. Spotify is of course a notable exception here because the Swedish streamer has chosen not to add support for HomePod streaming.

According to the software's release notes, Siri will now learn a user's preferred streaming media services, removing the need to include its name when making the request for music to be played.

Continue reading: Your HomePod now learns which music streaming service you prefer after installing this update (full post)

Apple's first HomePod with a display isn't coming until next year at the earliest

Oliver Haslam | Feb 26, 2024 10:45 AM CST

Apple currently sells the second-generation HomePod and the HomePod mini as its only smart speaker models, but there is constant talk of a third option being added to the lineup. Rumors of Apple working on a HomePod with an iPad-like display attached have been flying for years, and now a new report again adds new fuel to that fire. But there's a big catch - the new model isn't likely to arrive in 2025.

Apple's first HomePod with a display isn't coming until next year at the earliest

That's according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman who was writing as part of the weekly Power On newsletter for Bloomberg. Gurman says that Apple continues to work on a HomePod that has an iPad-like display attached to a robotic arm that can move, while the device would combine an Apple TV, FaceTime, and a smart speaker. Apple has also reportedly looked into whether it should launch a smart display, like an iPad, that can be magnetically attached to a wall. It isn't yet clear which route Apple will take, however.

Gurman says that he doesn't believe that Apple's progress suggests that it will be able to launch any of these new products imminently, either. Apple has reportedly been indecisive about what it should do in the smart home space for years, but development does remain underway Gurman suggests that nay new HomePod with a display is unlikely to arrive until 2025 at the earliest.

Continue reading: Apple's first HomePod with a display isn't coming until next year at the earliest (full post)

AirPods Pro or AirPods Extreme? Apple almost went with the latter, new report claims

Oliver Haslam | Feb 23, 2024 2:15 PM CST

The Apple AirPods Pro wireless earbuds are among the best on the market, but they almost had a completely different name. According to a new report, Apple almost chose to call the AirPods Pro something much more exciting during development but the idea was ultimately canned.

AirPods Pro or AirPods Extreme? Apple almost went with the latter, new report claims

MacRumors reports that in the months leading up to the AirPods Pro launch in October 2019, Apple pondered changing the name to AirPods Extreme. Without citing a specific source the report says that the AirPods Extreme name was suggested by at least one member of Apple's leadership team before it was decided that AirPods Pro branding would be a better option. Many employees reportedly objected to the AirPods Extreme name, perhaps because Apple already used that branding - for the 2003 launch of the AirPort Extreme router back in 2003.

Ultimately, Apple chose the AirPods Pro name which was probably the better option. The Pro and non-Pro naming convention is one that Apple customers are familiar with across the Mac and iPad lineup, not to mention the iPhone. With the launch of the AirPods Max, having the AirPods Extreme might make them appear to be a better product than the wireless headphones Apple sells - a complication given the fact the AirPods Max cost more than twice as much.

Continue reading: AirPods Pro or AirPods Extreme? Apple almost went with the latter, new report claims (full post)

Key AirPods and HomePod chief to leave Apple as audio team gets a reshuffle

Oliver Haslam | Feb 20, 2024 2:30 PM CST

When you think of Apple you probably think of the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and the Mac, but the company could previously have been described as a music company. Between iTunes, Apple Music, and of course, the iconic iPod and then iPod touch, the company has been involved in audio for decades. Now, one of the people responsible for some of its audio products and features is set to leave the company.

Key AirPods and HomePod chief to leave Apple as audio team gets a reshuffle

That man, Gary Geaves, was the company's longtime vice president in charge of acoustics, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports. Now, people familiar with the matter, say that he is stepping down from the role and that he will be replaced by his deputy, Ruchir Davé.

The group that handles Apple's acoustics projects has around 300 people in it, the report says, and it's part of the company's push into audio products via the HomePod and AirPods. It also has its fingers in other products via their audio features including the new Apple Vision Pro.

Continue reading: Key AirPods and HomePod chief to leave Apple as audio team gets a reshuffle (full post)

Future USB-C AirPods Max could miss out on Adaptive Audio features

Oliver Haslam | Feb 20, 2024 12:45 PM CST

Apple was again recently rumored to be ready to refresh the impressive AirPods Max headphones in 2024, with the switch away from Lightning to USB-C thought to be the main change. There is no suggestion that the new headphones will feature any design changes this year, however, although rumors have hinted that there might be new colors to choose from, too. But a new report has suggested that potential buyers might miss out on a feature that otherwise might have been expected to be present.

Future USB-C AirPods Max could miss out on Adaptive Audio features

That report comes via MacRumors and is based on a post by the Weibo user Instant Digital with the claim being that the new AirPods Max will "definitely" launch in 2024 but that they won't have Adaptive Audio features.

Adaptive Audio is actually a feature that encompasses three desperate features, all designed to offer new audio capabilities. Adaptive Noise Control, Personalized Volume, and Conversation Awareness are all included. Adaptive Noise Control is designed to automatically adjust the active noise cancelation technology based on ambient sound to ensure that specific types of noise are blocked out, for example. Conversation Awareness lowers the volume of the audio being placed and enhances the voice of whoever is speaking to you, while Personailixed Volume adjusts the overall volume based on the surroundings.

Continue reading: Future USB-C AirPods Max could miss out on Adaptive Audio features (full post)