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Category: #AudioGear (Page 1 of 4)

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How to Fix Audio Level Problems in Windows 10


Windows 10 includes a custom volume mixer, which sounds like a great idea on paper—who wouldn’t a way to control the volume of individual apps? It’s incredibly useful when you need to dial back your game audio a bit so you can hear your guildmates on Discord (or the YouTube video you’re listening to in the…

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The Article Was Written/Published By: David Murphy on Lifehacker, shared by Kaitlyn Jakola to Gizmodo

How to Pair Two Amazon Echo Alexa Speakers for Stereo Sound

Like Google Nest audio products, two Amazon Alexa smart speakers can be linked together as a stereo pair! It’s a great way to easily upgrade the audio experience from just a single Amazon Echo device. Here’s how to do it!

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Christian Cooper

New “soundbeaming” technology claims it can broadcast music to your brain without headphones

Stereogum explains this eerily dystopian sci-fi device from Noveto Systems:

SoundBeamer 1.0. Developed by Noveto Systems, the product reportedly creates a personal sound bubble that allows you to hear 3D audio while continuing to observe other sounds in the space. According to Noveto, the product’s sensing module locates and tracks your ear position, creating sound pockets in your ears by sending ultrasonic sound waves.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Thom Dunn

Nest Audio will become a home theater speaker for your Chromecast

bd2ac8c0-25b8-11eb-baff-4f352008baddYour Nest Audio speakers might well double as home theater speakers before long. As Android Police reports, Google has confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that Nest Audio integration with Chromecast is coming. While the company didn’t delve into spe…

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AfterShokz Aeropex Mini Promise a Smaller Set of Bone-Conducting Headphones

A set of Aeropex Bone conducting headphones.AfterShokz

If you’re looking for bone-conducting headphones, we consider the $160 AfterShokz Aeropex among the very best examples available. One of the set’s few problems is the size, thanks to a large band designed to accommodate a wide variety of heads. The new $160 AfterShockz Aeropex Mini promises to offer a better fit, and you can buy them today.

We still like the original AfterShockz Aeropex, and the company isn’t taking them off the market. But for some people, the band is just a little large, and that can be a problem. The new Aeropoex Mini feature a 9.5 mm shorter frame for a snug fit.

A side by side comparison of the AfterShokz Aeropex and Aeropex MiniAfterShokz

Bone Conduction headphones should make running and bicycling a better experience. You get to listen to music and maintain situational awareness. That’s because they have an open style that let sound in so you can hear what’s around you.

But the larger band featured in the original Aeropex can lead to discomfort; instead of a snug fit, you get a pair of headphones that can bounce off your neck and shoulders depending on the size of your head. For some, that’s no big deal—until you wear a shirt with a collar and the band gets trapped in it. The Aeropex Mini shaves a little off headband to provide that missing snug fit.

A man wearing the AfterShokz Mini headphones and a bike helmet.AfterShokz

You can put them on and go for a run without worrying the Aeropex will bounce up and down along the way. The company announced them back at CES 2020 and promised it would release them in Q2 of this year. That time has come and gone, and we never saw that happen. Now the new set is finally ready.

Like the original Aeropex headphones, the Mini set uses Bluetooth 5.0 to connect and are IP67 water resistance rated. That’s good enough for exercise, though you wouldn’t take them for a swim. And since only the band is smaller, AfterShokz promises the same eight hour battery life.

You can buy the $160 Aeropex Mini from the AfterShokz site today or from Amazon, and if you do prefer something a little larger, you can still get the original Aeropex too, which also comes in more colors.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Josh Hendrickson

AfterShokz OpenMove Review: A Perfect Entry Point for Bone Conduction Headphones

AfterShokz OpenMove on fitness modelAfterShokz

If you haven’t tried bone conduction headphones yet, you should: they’re an excellent way to listen to music or the spoken word while keeping aware of your surroundings. AfterShokz is probably the best-known vendor of these gadgets, and it has a new mid-range set of Bluetooth headphones: the OpenMove.

This set is the cheapest currently sold by AfterShokz, but still a bit outside of impulse buy range at $100. But it’s a notable improvement over the pair I’ve used for years, the Trekz Titanium, thanks to a few design tweaks and some solid design choices. If you don’t need more advanced features, particularly swim-proof water resistance, it’s an excellent purchase for anyone interested in the category.

Why Bone Conduction?

Before we get into the review, a brief primer. Bone conduction headphones let you listen to your audio while keeping your ears clear, able to hear the sounds around you without any impedance.

Aftershokz Openmove earpadMichael Crider

This is particularly useful while exercising—cycling or jogging near a busy road can be dangerous while wearing conventional headphones. Ambient sound heard through microphones isn’t enough (and it sounds like crap if you’re moving fast enough to get a breeze, anyway).

The OpenMove, like all bone conduction headphones, rests a vibrating transducer pad between the front of your ear and your temple, leaving your ear canal clear. It sends vibrations directly into the tiny bones of your inner ear, bypassing your eardrum itself and letting you hear everything around you with almost no interruption.

A Worthy Upgrade

The OpenMove uses AfterShokz’s standard layout: a thin band, small pads for the transducers, volume up and down on the right “bulge” behind your earlobe, and a play/pause button on the left pad. There’s a USB-C charging port hidden behind a silicone cover on the right side. After having used the Trekz Titanium for years, I was able to pick it up instantly, but even newcomers should find little to no learning curve.

AfterShokz Openmove USB-C port and cableMichael Crider

The USB-C port is a huge upgrade here—I have kind of a thing about MicroUSB being used on new devices these days. It’s especially notable on this newer, cheaper model as the more expensive AfterShokz Aeropex uses a proprietary adapter cable.

Other design choices are a bit odd. The play/pause button has gone from a big finger-friendly triangle shape to a small bar, integrated with the decorative strip that runs down the side. It’s fine, but a little harder to find while I’m riding my bike. The package also included five pairs of stickers for placing on this strip, which I declined to apply—I’m not looking to turn heads with these headphones. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Aftershokz Openmove decorative stickersMichael Crider

Otherwise, the headphones are pretty much the same as I remember. The band feels a little stronger than the silicone one on the Trekz Titanium—it seems like there’s more sturdy metal in there. And I appreciate that three different equalizer settings are available via button commands, though no one’s buying bone conduction headphones for amazing audio quality.

The OpenMove are IP55 water resistant, which means sweat or rain, but not swimming. To get more powerful water resistance, you’ll need either the Aeropex ($160) or the standalone Xtrainerz ($150). (Only the latter is rated for full swimming immersion.) They seem to be improved in just about every way over the older AfterShokz Air—USB-C charging, Bluetooth 5.0, same battery life and water resistance—for $20 less.

Using the Headphones

Actually using the OpenMove is easy, once you’ve paired it the first time. Turn on the power, and it will automatically connect to up to two devices. The quality is acceptable, though nowhere near as clear as even a pair of cheap wired buds—but then that’s not the point. Because I mostly listen to audiobooks and podcasts, it serves my purposes quite well. I was able to have hands-free phone calls without issue.

The headphones are quite light and comfy, much more so than the old Trekz Titanium design, thanks to fully flat transducers that sit flush with your skin. I found myself forgetting that I was wearing them even hours after putting them on. The silicone-wrapped band feels like a quality pair of glasses. That said, it might be tricky to use them while wearing glasses or a mask, but it’s doable.

AfterShokz Openmove closeup on earMichael Crider

Sometimes, the OpenMove would die because the battery life is only six hours—not great when compared to the tiny batteries found in modern truly wireless earbuds. But thanks to that USB-C charging port, I was never in want of a cable for a quick boost.

If you plan to use bone conductive headphones around others on a regular basis (and you might want to because the ability to hear through your regular ears is addictive), be aware that they can be quite noisy.  People standing close to you, say, in a line at the bank, will be able to hear some of the sound they make. They’re not boom boxes, and less obnoxious than, say, full-sized open-back headphones. But I found myself lowering the volume when I had to be around others.

A Worthy Investment

I’ve gotten to the point where the OpenMove are my most-used set of headphones, outside of the full around-the-ear set I use when I’m at my desk. They’re that convenient and comfy. The ability to clearly hear what’s around me has only become more important as we’ve all had to contend with social distancing.

Aftershokz Openmove with phoneMichael Crider

Were I to change anything on this set, it would be a slightly longer battery life and a play/pause button. But those are relatively minor quibbles. If you’re looking to get into bone conduction headphones and you don’t need a set that’s completely waterproof, the AfterShokz OpenMove should be your first choice.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Michael Crider

How to Stop AirPods Automatically Switching between iPhone and iPad

AirPods and AirPods Pro now automatically switch between iPhone and iPad. If you put down your iPad and start a call on your iPhone, they’ll switch to your iPhone automatically. Don’t like this feature? Here’s how to disable it.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Khamosh Pathak

The Morning After: We reviewed Google’s new Nest Audio smart speaker

46be94e1-0b01-11eb-9fef-0fd4e1c3d09aIt’s finally time for Apple to unveil this year’s new iPhones. Invitations have gone out for the “Hi, Speed” event on Tuesday, October 13th at 1PM ET where we expect to see Apple introduce its first new devices with 5G and the A14 Bionic chipset. Ch…

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Holiday 2020: The Best Over-Ear Headphones

Anyone can appreciate a good set of over-ear headphones, especially music fans, students, and couples who are stuck working at home. But shopping for cans is pretty overwhelming thanks to fancy new features like Bluetooth and ANC. Worry not—we’ll explain the features that matter and help you buy a set of over-ear headphones.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Andrew Heinzman

Walmart Spilled the Beans on Google’s Next Smart Speaker a Week Early


Google isn’t expected to announce its next smart speaker until Sept. 30 during its Launch Night In event, but it apparently that hasn’t stopped Walmart from spilling the beans a week early.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Sam Rutherford

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