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Bluetooth 5 and What it Means for Wireless Speakers

Bluetooth 5 and What it Means for Wireless Speakers

It’s upsetting when you try to play your favorite tunes wirelessly but couldn’t go farther. One sad reason is that you start to experience intermittent wireless connection.

Wireless speakers usually have wireless connectivity at a limited operational range. Typically, the previous version, Bluetooth version 4.2 with low energy, only caters up to 33-feet. Going beyond this coverage is a huge concern for most wireless speaker manufacturers which are incorporating Bluetooth technology. Users and manufacturers alike, are hoping for an enhanced wireless connectivity that can go beyond this limitation. The improvements will surely give an optimal audio experience for everybody.

However, technology keeps on improving and has come with a roaring upgrade of its wireless connectivity.

Bluetooth 5 is revolutionizing the experience of Internet of Things (IoT). The technology boasts ubiquity with a faster speed, wider operational range, and more data broadcasting capacity. It expands the usefulness set from its previous Bluetooth versions. With the outstanding upgrades, Bluetooth 5 enables wireless speaker manufacturers to take advantage on interoperability, improvement of the wireless speaker’s performance, and unparalleled wireless connectivity.

Bluetooth 5 is an exceptional enhancement of the wireless technology. Let’s go through the features of Bluetooth 5 and what it means for wireless speakers.

Two Times Faster Speed with Increased Bandwidth

Bluetooth 5 promises twice the speed of connection with the ability to increase its bandwidth to 2 Mbps. It means that wireless speakers with Bluetooth 5 connectivity decrease the time required for data transmission. The faster the speed of connectivity of the wireless speaker, the more responsive and high-performing the device will be when it comes to transmitting and receiving data.

Wider Operational Range

Be amazed by Bluetooth 5’s 400-meter operational range with a 120-meter typical, realistic range. With a decreased bandwidth, the wireless speaker can achieve fourfold wider operational range with low energy. Bluetooth 5 can adapt to a variety of environments and can seamlessly cover an entire home, building or town. This enhancement assures a smooth, undistorted and uninterrupted wireless audio listening from wireless speakers with Bluetooth 5 technology.

More Data Broadcasting Capacity

Bluetooth 5 can broadcast messages up to eight times greater than its previous version Bluetooth 4.2 with low energy. This feature allows wireless speakers to efficiently transmit messages on the increasingly crowded 2.4 GHz band, with less broadcast time required for the completion of tasks. The enhancements also allow developers to build experience-based apps that can connect the physical and virtual worlds. This feature exudes a better entertainment for the users of wireless speakers that have a Bluetooth 5 technology.

What’s amazing with the latest Bluetooth version is that it can perform uncompromised wireless connectivity while maintaining a low power requirement. All these features along with enhanced interoperability and coexistence with different wireless innovations, keep on advancing the Internet of Things (IoT) experience by empowering fast and easy collaborations over the broad scope of connected devices.

These features are significant when considering open spaces and extensive coverage of transmitting and receiving data. You can imagine seamlessly listening to audio at a wider scope wirelessly. Interruptions and distortions are minimized for an optimal audio listening experience.

Check Out this Wimbledon Tennis Ball Speakers

If you love tennis and music, you better check out this Wimbledon tennis ball speaker. It’s tennis and Bluetooth speaker in one package. This Bluetooth speaker embodies tennis history as well as recycling of balls used in the last championship. What could get any better?

Wimbledon is the most senior tennis tournament in the world. Each year, several players take a chance in winning the Grand Slam event. As it unfolds its 140th anniversary, several big names make its own way of commemorating the tennis history. Just like how Google celebrated the event with a fun Google Doodle. But I guess nothing can beat on how hearO remembered the historical tennis event! They made portable speakers from of the 55,000 tennis balls used in last year’s Championships.

Estimated, 230,000 tennis balls go to waste after the tennis tournaments each year.

Each Wimbledon Tennis Ball speaker is housed in a retained original tennis ball shell. The shell acts as the speaker’s protective skin that absorbs vibration. It also features a Fibonacci grill pattern that optimizes sound production the better way. At the bottom of the speaker, you can find one button for power and pairing purposes. It uses technology from France.

The hearO tennis ball speaker began making its way to fame through Richard Moss’ (CEO, Rogue Projects) Kickstarter campaign last year, 2016. But since the tournament is here, it’s a hit again!

This portable speaker is currently being sold on their website at about $78 each. The package includes a USB cable, charging cable and a tin case inspired by the classic tennis ball tin cans.

It has also launched some special editions of this Bluetooth speaker. There are certain speakers signed by tennis household names like Andre Agassi, Pat Cash, Roger Federer and Pete Sampras.

Brookstone Sponsors Youtuber The Fitness Marshall to Market New Speaker Line

Workouts are more fun and invigorating with dynamic dance moves and powerful, upbeat music.

Brookstone sponsors YouTuber ‘The Fitness Marshall’ to market their new speaker line, the Big Blue Party Indoor-Outdoor Wireless Speaker. The product developer and specialty retailer has partnered with the rising YouTube sensation, Caleb Marshall aka ‘The Fitness Marshall.’

Kiran Smith, Brookstone’s Chief Marketing Officer, said that they’ve been sharing and dancing with his videos at work. She then expressed the idea that shared viewing of YouTube videos was going to be a big part of wireless audio marketing.

The video features the song ‘Turn Your Body’ by Sia and stars Caleb and his ‘Back-Up Booties,’ Haley Jordan and Bria McCarty. Their cardio dance routine entitled, ‘Sia – Move Your Body | The Fitness Marshall | Cardio Concert,’ was shot at the New York City Central Park with the Big Blue Party Wireless Speaker’s powerful 360° sound.

The 72-Watt Big Blue Party Indoor-Outdoor Wireless Speaker has four specially angled drivers that surrounded the entire dance routine with an omnidirectional, full-range stereo. This speaker gives off thundering bass from its subwoofer and its passive radiator. You can even see them feel the music as they danced to the lively beat.

Brookstone’s Audio Category Merchant, Chris Netterwald, expresses his appreciation for their product and having The Fitness Marshall use the wireless speaker for their workout.

“What I love most about our Big Blue Party outdoor speakers is how often I see them out in the wild at track meets, lacrosse games and anywhere people are gathered outside, and having The Fitness Marshall use it in an outdoor workout in Central Park is just awesome.”

Caleb joined YouTube since 2014 and had been posting cardio dance videos on his YouTube channel, ‘The Fitness Marshall.’ The rising YouTube sensation has already reached more than 900,000 subscribers and over 152 million views.

The Fitness Marshall wants to make people feel confident about themselves and sweat while being carried away with the beats. Everyone can actively participate and dance their hearts away in their live cardio concerts or their YouTube videos online.

WaterProof IP Standards & Wireless Speakers

I’m sure that in your search for a great wireless speaker, you read about IP ratings over and over again. Maybe you know that once it has such rating, it’s waterproof or maybe even shockproof. It allows you to use it outdoors, whether at the beach or the camping site. An IP-rated wireless speaker is a must-have especially if you’re a music enthusiast and an outdoor lover as well.

But what about the numbers? What does IP really mean? What are the IP-standards? What are the limitations of the rating? This article will answer all those questions and tell you all about the IP-standards in wireless speakers.

IP is defined as Ingress Protection rating or International Protection rating. The IP rating shows the degree of protection provided by wireless speakers against factors that may harm the speaker. These factors include dust, water, accidental bumps and shocks.

It’s always written with an IP first and then followed by two digits or one digit and a letter. The first number after the letters (IP) signifies the protection against solid objects. The next digit indicates the protection against liquids. If a certain wireless speaker has a water-only rating, it’s written with the letter X like IPX4, IPX5 or IPX6.

If a wireless speaker has protection against solid and liquid objects, it’ll be written with two numbers following the letters IP. For instance, if it has a 6 solid protection rating and 5 liquid protection rating, and then it’s rated with an IP65 rating.

For rare instances where the solid and liquid protection is the same such as a 6 solid and a 6 liquid rating, it’ll be rated as IP6.

Here are the levels of solid protection rating and their limitations:

LevelSize of the Object it can ProtectWhere’s it protected from?
1>50mmProtected against large surface of the body
2>12.5mmProtected against fingers and similar objects
3>2.5mmProtected against gears, thick cables, etc.
4>1mmProtected against objects as small as screws
5Dust protectedDoesn’t entirely protect any amount of dust but can prevent a sufficient quantity that may harm the speaker
6Dust TightProtected totally against dust ingression

Here are the levels of liquid protection rating and their limitations:

LevelAmount of Water ProtectionWhere’s it protected from?
1Dripping waterProtected from vertical drops of water
215-degree tilt dripping waterProtected from vertical drops of water when tilted at 15 degrees from its standard position
3Water spraysProtected from water splashes with an angle up to 60 degrees
4Water splashesProtected from splashes of water from any direction
5Jets of waterProtected from water projected by a jet (6.3mm)
6Strong water jetsProtected from water projected by a 12.5mm water jet
7Up to 1m depth water immersionProtected from water even in harmful quantity and 1m water submersion
8Beyond 1m depth water immersionProtected from water conditions like continuous water submersion. There may still be water entering the speaker, but it won’t harm its parts.
9Protected from high-pressured water and steam cleaning

We hope this article helps you understand about the IP standards and helps you choose the best wireless speaker with an IP rating that fits your lifestyle and taste.

A Wireless Speaker Made out of Concrete

Sure, you’ve seen lots of wireless speakers of different forms and designs. But the new wireless speaker from Master & Dynamic isn’t the typical wireless speaker you see on the market. The Master & Dynamic MA770 wireless speaker is a speaker that’s made of concrete! Yes, concrete, that construction material for building houses.

The Master & Dynamic MA770 wireless speaker is the first speaker from the company, and they didn’t take it lightly. It weighs 35 pounds, so it’s not as portable as you think it is since it’s wireless. Its dimensions are 16 x 20 x 10 inches. It’s meant to stay in your home and give you an awesome audio experience. The speaker with a housing of a molded piece of concrete is made in partnership with the architect, David Adjaye.

Looking at the speaker’s design, it looks like a sculpture with its angular and sloping design. The front part looks like a typical square. But when viewed at an angle, you can notice a large base that slopes upward which goes thinner on the upper section. When you’re looking at the back part, you can see an angular shape with a tiny rear opening.

The front of the MA770 holds controls for power, volume and source input with a metal grill protection that magnets the base which you can optionally remove if you prefer a cleaner look.

Why did the company use concrete? They explained that the propriety concrete material provides less resonance with a higher dampening of vibrations compared to wood or plastic. It helps provide a more authentic sound while making sure you have a robust wireless speaker that lasts for a long time.

The Master & Dynamic MA770 wireless speaker comes with two Kevlar woofers (4 inches each) and a titanium tweeter (1.5 inches). It’s powered by a 100-watt class D amp.

So you can expect a booming audio production with this concrete wireless speaker.

When it comes to wireless connectivity, the Master & Dynamic MA770 wireless speaker is built with Chromecast and Bluetooth. For non-Bluetooth audio sources, you can use the wired auxiliary input. The Master & Dynamic has claimed that this is the first wireless speaker that utilizes multi-room audio for stereo pairing.

The Master & Dynamic MA770 wireless speaker is ready for shipment by June 23 for a cost of $1,800.00. It’s also ready for pre-ordering.

Sound Heroes, a Bluetooth Speaker in the Shape of a Humanoid Robot

Brace yourselves for a Bluetooth speaker that’s going to blow your minds away. It’s dubbed as the ‘speaker of the future.’ Get ready for the Kalium’s Sound Heroes AD’OM Bluetooth speaker as it takes your music experience to a whole new futuristic level.

Kalium Labs wanted to create a wireless speaker that outshines every other wireless speaker in the market, and I guess they really did a great job of it. This Bluetooth speaker is sure to be on the ‘cool’ camp’s side with its futuristic design and features. The speakers are on the chest of the humanoid speaker.

The Kalium Labs Sound Heroes Bluetooth speaker’s futuristic design looks like a cool polygonal humanoid robot. It reflects the hype of what modern technology is and really should be.

The Sound Heroes is tall, but because it’s made of ABS plastic, it’s lightweight. You can choose from 10 colors, either with a premium matte or metallic paints. Choose from deep space gray, mistic black, electric blue, yellow, Bordeaux red, military green, heat white or black and toxic white or black.

You can choose from two sizes, the Prime and the Premium Sound Heroes that differs not only by size but also with their features. The manufacturer planned to come out with human-size in the future unlocked at $1 million.

The Prime is 17.7 inches (45cm) tall and weighs 6.6 pounds (3kg). Its maximum output is 20W with a frequency range of 120 – 20000 Hz and a voice coil impedance of 8 Ohms. It connects wirelessly with its Bluetooth connection and features RGB LED lights that dance to the rhythm of the music. The built-in 6000 mAh battery lasts up to 6 hours with all the features used. Standby time is 48 hours.

Meanwhile, the Premium Sound Heroes is 28.3 inches (72 cm) tall and weighs 12.1 pounds (5.5kg) with a maximum output of 60W. It has a frequency range of 120 – 20000 Hz and a voice coil impedance of 10 Ohms. It connects wirelessly with its Bluetooth connection and also features RGB LED lights that dance to the rhythm of the music. The built-in 8000 mAh battery lasts up to 8 hours with all the features used. It has a 60-hour standby time.

The Premium size is where the wireless charger and Wi-Fi range extender are available. It also features a built-in subwoofer and a smoke dispenser. The built-in subwoofer has a frequency range of 100-16000 Hz and a 10 Ohms voice coil impedance.

Aside from its Bluetooth connection, it also features a wireless charging dock and a 30m Wi-Fi extender range. What’s even more awesome with the Premium Sound Heroes? It has a smoke dispenser that’ll definitely leave your visitors in awe.

You can download the Kalium Sound Heroes application in your smartphones to control the ambient light colors, make it talk with a variety of voice synthesizer and set it up as an alarm clock.

The Kalium Sound Heroes is ready for delivery by October with estimated prices of $100 (prime) and $240 (premium).

Apple to Launch New Voice Activated Speaker to Compete with Alexa

Rumors ain’t rumors anymore! Apple has officially launched their new voice activated speaker that’ll compete with the Alexa and Google’s wireless speakers. As Apple held its Annual World Wide Developers Conference last June 5, 2017, in San Jose, California, they’ve confirmed the rumors and introduced the speaker, HomePod, the new sound of home. It’s an impressive audio and intelligence in one speaker. This speaker is unlike other smart speakers that compromised their sound performance.

The Apple’s HomePod intelligent speaker with its virtual assistant program, Siri, is set to listen and respond to voice commands by just saying, “Hey, Siri.” You’ll get its attention and respond to whatever you’re saying.

It can play music, answer your queries, give information. It updates you with the latest weather forecast just like other voice-activated smart speakers from Amazon and Google. It can hear your voice commands even when you’re across the room and even if the music is played at a maximum volume.

Aside from the voice command, it’s also touch-sensitive. It responds to your touches at the top of the speaker. Tap the top panel of the speaker to pause or play a track and adjust its volume. The top panel also features a LED waveform that indicates if Siri is listening.

The Apple HomePod stands about 7 inches tall and 5.6 inches width. It’s made of mesh fabric and features a simple yet elegant design. You can choose from white and dark gray colors. It features the same A8 chip found in iPhone so it can adjust its sound performance depending on its setting. You can conveniently place it anywhere, and it’ll automatically sense and analyze the surroundings. It also produces the best sound quality for the environment.

When it comes to sound performance, you don’t get less with the Apple HomePod. It has a woofer with high excursion and custom amplifier that delivers a rich bass. It also includes an excellent motor that drives an unbelievable 20 mm diaphragm. It utilizes an advanced algorithm that allows the speaker to analyze the music playing and intelligently adjust its frequencies. Hear its great 360-degree surround sound with the seven-tweeter array that focuses the sound from narrow beams.

According to Apple, it’ll be available for shipment in December with a price of $349. At the conference, they also announced the most powerful Mac ever (as they say), the iMac Pro. It’s also scheduled for release in December with a price of $4,999.

Summerville, South Carolina Debates Installing Wireless Speakers In Downtown Parks

Town council members of Summerville, South Carolina debates installing wireless speakers in downtown parks. The people of Summerville would soon be accompanied by background tunes in the future.

DREAM has proposed to install a wireless speaker system throughout Hutchinson Square. By then, people would soon enjoy strolling downtown with ambient music throughout the day. Their idea is to provide music 10 hours daily, probably from 9 am – 7 pm or 10 am – 8 pm.

According to DREAM, the speaker system would also be used for special occasions.

The wireless speaker system would also be useful for live performances for events like Third Thursday.

DREAM is up for more projects this year, according to the executive director of the downtown organization, Michael Lisle.

Lisle addressed the proposal to the town council members during the parks and recreation committee meeting. He said that DREAM would initially install three speakers and would cover its cost. The wireless speaker system with anti-theft devices can be customized, and they’d install more speakers all over downtown if resources allow them. They’d also be camouflaged and mounted on poles. Moreover, Lisle suggested the possibility of town staff doing the installation. This concern was also discussed with Doyle Best, the parks and recreation manager of Summerville.

“We don’t want it to be something that is visually unattractive or out of step with the rest of downtown so we’d certainly like to camouflage it as best we can,” said Lisle.

However, the council members had mixed opinions on the project.

Mayor Wiley Johnson had some concerns about wireless speakers being mounted on poles and came up with the concept of setting them up on buildings. However, Lisle said that DREAM would have to get the permission of the building owners. He then said that it’d be a concern that they’ll look through.

Other council members like Councilman Walter Bailey was concerned about the disturbance that the background music might create among the residents. However, Councilwoman Kima Garten-Schmidt said that she had visited a town surrounded by ambient music, but it wasn’t domineering and causing disturbance to the locals.

“It was very soft and just very nice, mellow music and I really enjoyed it, so I’m anxious to see how it would work here,” Garten-Schmidt said.

The other councilmen would want to observe how it’d sound like in nearby towns that implemented the concept. Councilman Aaron Brown proposed for a trial period of six months and that DREAM would come with other options, maybe with regards to the duration of music plays.

Garten-Schmidt initially made a motion about the discussion. Councilwoman Christine Czarnik made the second motion as in agreement with the idea.

Johnson, Bailey, and Brown still have uncertainties about the proposal. With Bailey further saying,

“You got somebody deciding what kind music you’re going to listen to if you’re in that area for 12, 15 hours a day…maybe I want to listen to my own music or no music. I think it’s intrusive,” he said. “It’s just another noise, and we’ve got enough of that…I would vote against jumping right into it now.”

The town council meeting dismissed and opted to put the idea on the shelf.

How does Bluetooth Technology Work?

Smartphone, television, headphones, laptop, speakers, and other devices have a Bluetooth connection. For simple users, Bluetooth works by pairing two devices without having the need to attach any wires. You can even match two gadgets with Bluetooth at a sufficient distance unlike the infrared connection devices used back then.

Bluetooth helps us share audio, photos, and other files easily from one device to another. It also helps us listen to music, send music to the speaker, play games with another person and more without wires cluttering around. But how does it work? For sure, it’s no magic trick. There’s explanation as to Bluetooth works the way it works.

Bluetooth, technically, is a short-range wireless communication and uses radio waves that allow us to toss cables. For this article, we’ll take a wireless speaker and a smartphone (audio source) with both having a Bluetooth connection as an example as to how Bluetooth works. A device with Bluetooth connectivity has software and hardware components.

The hardware part equips a chip with an antenna that sends and receives signals at a particular frequency. The software part then interprets the incoming Bluetooth signals. It sends them to the other device in a way that the device can read and understand it. It uses a particular frequency-hopping pattern. The Bluetooth website cites:

“Bluetooth operates in the unlicensed industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) band at 2.4 to 2.485GHz, using a spread spectrum, frequency hopping, full-duplex signal at a nominal rate of 1600 hops/sec”.

The usual hopping pattern of 79 frequencies is in a pseudorandom order in the ISM band. Its communication between two Bluetooth devices is called a piconet, a network of devices.

In wireless speakers, the phone’s Bluetooth connectivity sends signals to the wireless speaker in a way that it can immediately understand the message. It’s simple connection. In this scenario, the smartphone becomes the ‘master, ’ and the speaker becomes the ‘slave.’ The speaker acts out whatever action is done in the smartphone such as skipping tracks.

When two devices are set to pair using Bluetooth, one of them becomes discoverable by the other device. In this case, the wireless speaker is discoverable by the phone. Once your phone has found the speaker, it’ll appear on your scanned devices. You can choose to connect with that device. Once they’re paired, they’ll immediately know how to connect based on their unique address inside their respective signals.

Always remember that Bluetooth can only cover a short range of distance. Usually, wireless speakers can play music via Bluetooth up to 33 feet (10m) distance from the Bluetooth audio source.

A paired wireless speaker and smartphone allows you to play music without the need to plug wires. There’s no question that Bluetooth amazingly works for our own advantage. That’s why more and more devices are equipping their gadgets with Bluetooth technology.

Who doesn’t like a carefree wireless connectivity anyway? Bluetooth does its job better than the other wireless connectivity methods. So, why not?

Apple’s New Siri Voice Activated Speaker Coming Soon

Siri, Apple’s personal digital assistant, is rumored to have a speaker of its own very soon! If this is true, then it’ll be a great competitor for the Amazon Echo and Google’s Home. Siri has been the first voice-controlled assistant, but with the emergence of Google and Amazon’s speaker, its down to third place. Apple’s new Siri speaker might be their chance to be on top again.

News circling the net produced by a couple of insiders said that the speaker is in the process and might be revealed at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2017 happening on June 5-9. It has been rumored that Inventec will be manufacturing the said speaker. It’s a Taiwan-based OEM that also produces Apple’s AirPods. It’s said that they have been finalizing the design and it’ll be ready for the WWDC.

Some insiders describe it as a better speaker with excellent acoustics performance. It’s said to run on an iOS version. The speaker is rumored to work with some Beats technology and AirPlay functionality. Some are expecting that it might have a touch panel display.

With its design, there are many speculations on what it’ll look like. One known leaker, Sonny Dickson, said that its shape is like a Mac-Pro concave top. Someone from Apple gave a hint that it’ll be a fat speaker.

One possible feature included on Apple’s new Siri speaker is facial recognition.

In connection with the facial recognition, the smart speaker may detect the user’s emotions. It may also have the capability to connect with a variety of third-party apps.

Price? Since Apple hasn’t confirmed its existence, there’s no certain price range yet. But as with the Echo and Home, price ranges from $50-$180. The Apple speaker might be priced a little bit higher.

Some are predicting that June will be the releasing month, some on September. But whenever it is, if it’s true, I’m sure a lot of Apple fanatics will be anticipating with its upcoming release in the market. Just keep your eyes on the upcoming WWDC.

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