Bixi is one of those so-called smart devices that actually serves a useful purpose. It goes beyond that, though, because this small-and-very-portable touch-free controller can be used inside your home’s kitchen (when your fingers may be covered with gunk from cooking), on the dash of your car or truck (when you shouldn’t be taking your eyes off the road to stare at a controller), or even on the handles of your bicycle (where trying to use a phone app directly could be catastrophic)—whenever and wherever you want control of an app, smart device, or an entire smart home system. In fact, the people behind Bixi say it is already compatible with more than 300 apps or devices. Some of Bixi’s less obvious uses are as a snooze alarm, a game pad, or in combination with other Bixis as...
Connected health technology, tracking devices, biometrics, and anything else remotely related to a cough, cold, or sleep disturbances abound at CES 2017. Some look pretty suspect, while others appear to have some actual scientific merit behind them. NeuroMetrix was exhibiting the company’s Quell Wearable Pain Relief Technology. Here’s how NeuroMetrix tells it: “Quell combines neurotechnology to treat chronic pain with a sophisticated app to personalize and control therapy, while tracking progress.” At first glance, Quell looks like it’s a standard TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) device in a fancy leg wrap. But it’s quite a bit different than the little zap-happy, stick-on electrodes TENS users will be familiar with.
The PW Soundbar, the latest addition to Paradigm’s PW (Power Wireless) portfolio, is a svelte, 9-driver, 3-channel model that uses the DTS Play-Fi platform to stream music from sources ranging from Tidal, Spotify, and TuneIn Radio to high-res music files stored on a computer or NAS drive. With Play-Fi’s latest update, it can also serve as the hub of a wireless 5.1 channel surround system.
Based on ELAC’s Uni-Fi, which Mark Fleischmann liked when he reviewed it in 2016, ELAC’s Discovery Z3 Zone Music Player places that speaker’s core design in a compact box that connects wirelessly to your home’s Wi-Fi network.
I’m a huge fan of household robots; but one of the biggest negatives about the current generation of domestic robots is the expense—if you want something that is more than just a curiosity, that is. Robot vacuum cleaners from Roomba, the pioneer of the robot vac industry, can suck as much as $900 from your bank account. While I think most of the models are definitely worth the money, the difference between something being worthy of the cost and being in a price range that most people can afford is oftentimes a gap not easily closed. It’s affordability—combined with its connectivity—is what makes the new lawn-mowing robot from Robomow so exciting.
The Dish Anywhere app has expanded beyond mobile phones to the TV on Fire TV sticks and media players. The app can access a Dish Hopper receiver’s live TV, guides, and DVR. Users can start recording or set up scheduled recordings.
Arcam expanded its rSeries of products with the release of the new rPhono phono stage preamplifier. The new executive-sized component resides in a stylish aluminum case with the sole function of allowing vinyl lovers to enjoy their collections regardless of hardware combination or configuration. To ensure maximum compatibility and optimal matching regardless of cartridge type, rPhono offers a huge variety of adjustments.
For the company’s 55th anniversary, KEF created the LS50 Wireless, a complete active music system sharing the acoustic features of the company’s vaunted LS50. The LS50 Wireless features so many inputs and options for enjoying your music, it is a veritable Swiss Army Knife of versatility, but with audiophile, 192kHz/24-bit performance.
Without a doubt, one of the benefits of attending CES is getting to listen to audio systems that reside way outside the realm of what is considered normal. Walking the hallways of the Venetian, it isn’t uncommon to pass suits demonstrating six-figure electronics and speaker systems. But when you enter the realm of mid-five-figure, cost-no-object, premium electrostatic headphone designs, then even the most jaded among us will stop to take a listen. Launching into this rarefied air and going after the title of “world’s ultimate headphone” is HIFIMAN’s new Shangri-La, a headphone system featuring virtual zero distortion and lightning fast response.