Sunday, February 18, 2018

JBL Boombox Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review

I enjoy spending time outdoors. Including music makes it even better. But since weather plays a factor, being waterproof helps. Up for review today is the JBL Boombox. As with the old school boombox, the JBL Boombox is portable to take your tunes on the go. Unlike the boomboxes of old, it’s also waterproof, so no worries regardless of the weather.

Features and specs:
General Specifications
Frequency response:  (50Hz-20kHz)
Signal-to-noise ratio:  80dB
Music playing time:  up to 24 hours (Varies by volume level and music content)
Weight:  5.25kg
Support:  A2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.6, HFP 1.6
Power supply:  20V/4A
Dimensions:  (H x W x D)254.5 x 495 x 195.5mm
Transducers:  4-inch woofer x 2, 20mm Tweeter x 2
Control and Connection Specifications
Bluetooth version:  4.2
Bluetooth transmitter power:  0-9dBm
Bluetooth transmitter frequency range:  2.402GHz-2.480GHz
Bluetooth transmitter modulation:  GFSK, 8DPSK, π/4DQPSK
Battery charge time:  <6 .5="" hours="" o:p="">
Battery type:  Lithium-ion Ploymer (74Wh)

The JBL Boombox came in a nice looking color printed box, with photos and features of the boombox. Opening the box revealed the product well protected in custom molded Styrofoam. Materials used in the construction was mostly plastic, with some rubber, cloth and metal. Quality of materials used was excellent, as was the fit and finish. The JBL Boombox is a premium product, and it shows! It is extremely well made, and feels very solid! The JBL Boombox should give years of use.

I love the design of the JBL Boombox, with its smooth lines and cloth wrap. On top are just a few buttons for controls. On the back under a panel that provides a tight water seal, are the connections for charging cord, as well as a micro USB service port, 2 USB ports and an analog 3.5 mm audio port. So it’s ready for any weather it may encounter. The IPX7 rating is good for rain, or small dips up to 3 feet.  So just don’t drop it in the pool.

The JBL Boombox is good for music, and more. Up in the mountains, but realized that you forgot to charge your phone? No worries, as long as you have a charger cord. The JBL Boombox has a built-in 20,000 mAh battery, which is huge! So it’s good for 24 hours worth of playing time, or a combination of play time and charging. Which brings us to the use of the USB ports – charging your cell phone or tablet. For music, the JBL Boombox has you covered via Bluetooth, or an analog 3.5 mm port. So for your older music devices, just make sure you have a 3.5 mm analog cable.

So far, I’ve been really impressed with the JBL Boombox. Having reviewed many JBL products in the past, I know what to expect from JBL and their quality. And the JBL Boombox holds true to their storied tradition. I was also pleased to see stereo tweeters and woofers, and I love the look of the two large passive radiators on each end. Add to that the ability to connect to another JBL wireless speakers through JBL Boombox is spades. The next question is how well does it sound?

To test the sound quality of the JBL Boombox, I threw a wide gambit of songs from different genre. From Pavarotti, to Foreigner, to ZZ Top, to Michael Jackson, New Order, Katy Perry, Christina Perri, and Mannheim Steamroller. The JBL Boombox got a serious workout, with the wide gambit of music I threw at it. In the spirit of the winter Olympics that we are currently in the middle of, I’ll put it this way. It would be like a figure skater landing double quads, or a snowboarder landing a 1620 on the half pipe. The highs, mids, and bass all performed amazingly.

With the music selection, I wanted to test vocals, instruments, and bass response. Vocals were silky smooth, very transparent to the source from my HTC One M9 Smartphone, and had nice texture and harmonics. Percussion was crisp and clean with good resolution, and dynamics. Flute was smooth with good air. Piano sounded very natural. The bass was tight and clean with punchy fast beats. And when the bass got deep, it still played clean and with authority. There was also good channel separation, providing a nice stereo aural imaging. The JBL Boombox had plenty of power, and only showed slight strain when it was played at max volume.

When it came to the Bluetooth performance, the JBL Boombox continued to impress.  Having a 2 story home with a basement, I really tested it's range.  I had it on the main floor, and walked around downstairs, and also walked all around upstairs, and never a hiccup.  So I decided to push it a little further and set it in the basement, and played it full blast.  Walking upstairs to the main problem.  And then walking all around on the 2nd floor...still not a single hiccup!  Now I was really curious.  Setting it outside at the end of my driveway, I started to walk down the street.  155 feet later, I lost the signal.  Amazing!

To sum things up, the JBL Boombox JBL nailed it! The JBL Boombox is built like a tank, is waterproof, easy to carry, and has enough power to play your tunes and charge your smartphone or tablet. And when it comes to playing your tunes, your music will come out loud and clear like you are used to it sounding, with excellent Bluetooth performance. And boy can it play loud! It has enough power to fill either your room, backyard, or campsite with clean sound. Based on its design, features, quality and performance, the JBL Boombox has earned our Editor’s Choice Award. If you like music, and the outdoors, you need to check out the JBL Boombox. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

ASUS Republic of Gamers Launches ROG Gladius II Origin

ASUS Republic of Gamers Launches ROG Gladius II Origin 

-- The new ROG Gladius II Origin is built to deliver top performance and comfort with ultra-accurate cursor movement and responsiveness --
Fremont, CA (February 15, 2018) — ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced that the ROG Gladius II Origin optical gaming mouse is now available in North America. Gladius II Origin is the third model in the Gladius Series and provides gamers with an ergonomic design to suit various grip styles. It features the highly regarded Pixart PMW3360 sensor with 12,000 dpi to ensure that all mouse movements are accurately translated into precise cursor actions. Uniquely designed rubber side panels on both sides of the mouse offer enhanced control during glide and lift actions.
Adjustable Design with Excellent Performance

ROG Gladius II Origin features an exclusive push-fit switch socket design that allows gamers to easily change switches in order to suit preferred click resistance and feedback. This feature also extends the lifespan of the mouse because worn or broken switches can simply be replaced. With pre-installed Omron switches rated up to 50 million clicks, and with an extra pair Omron switches for different click resistance, ROG Gladius II Origin offers customization options to suit the needs of any gamer.
ROG Gladius II Origin also features left and right mouse buttons that are separate from the body chassis, reducing the force required to initiate each click while delivering a more tactile feedback. Additionally, a DPI switch allows for on-the-fly sensitivity adjustments, and an Alps scroll wheel encoder provides crisp scrolling action.
ROG Gladius II Origin arrives with a detachable-cable design and includes two cable types, as well as a padded ROG pouch for protection and convenience. The additional cable eliminates the need to unplug the main cable from the computer, so gamers can simply put their mouse in the pouch and go.
ASUS Aura Sync and ROG Armoury Software

With three lighting zones, ROG Gladius II Origin lets gamers customize color and lighting effects, and also synchronize the lighting of the mouse with other Aura Sync-enabled devices for a coordinated gaming setup. Additionally, gamers can use the intuitive ROG Armoury software to customize lighting effects, adjust performance and surface calibration settings, program and map buttons, create profiles and more.
ROG Gladius II Origin is available now at Amazon and other leading resellers at an MSRP of $99.99. Please contact your local ASUS representative for more information or visit us at ASUS ROG for additional product details.

ROG Gladius II Origin
Connectivity Technology Wired (USB 2.0)
Tracking Optical
Tracking Resolution 12000 dpi
Tracking Speed 250 ips
Tracking Acceleration 50 g
Switches Omron D2FC-F-K (50M)
Additional Omron D2F-01F switches included
OS Support Windows® 10
Windows® 8
Windows® 7
Dimensions 126 x 67 x 45mm (L x W x H)
Weight 110 g without cable
Contents 1 x ROG Gladius II Origin
1 x 2-meter braided USB cable
1 x 1-meter regular rubber USB cable
2 x Omron switches
1 x ROG pouch
1 x ROG logo sticker
1 x User documentation
Note Compatible switch list for ROG switch socket:
  • Omron D2F Series switches: D2F, D2F-F, D2F-01, D2F-01F
  • Omron D2FC Series switches: D2FC-3M, D2FC-F-7N, D2FC-F-7N (10M), D2FC-F-7N (20M), D2FC-F-K (50M)
¹ Specifications, content and product availability are all subject to change without notice and may differ from country to country. Actual performance may vary depending on applications, usage, environment and other factors. Full specifications are available at

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

TRENDnet launches Powerline adapters delivering fast and stable PoE+ connectivity

TRENDnet launches Powerline adapters delivering fast and stable PoE+ connectivity
Powerline and Power over Ethernet make a powerful networking combination
TORRANCE, Calif. – Feb. 6, 2018 -- TRENDnet® (, a global leader in reliable SMB and consumer networking and surveillance solutions, has announced the launch of its Powerline 200 AV PoE+ Adapters, models TPL-331EP and TPL-331EP2K. These Powerline adapters allow you to easily add PoE+ support to your existing Powerline network.
If your home is not already prewired with Ethernet cabling, adding it may be very timely and costly. With TRENDnet’s new Powerline 200 AV PoE+ Adapters, a PoE connection can be made through your existing electrical power outlets. The TPL-331EP and TPL-331EP2K deliver Powerline 200 networking and PoE+ support to connected devices such as IP cameras, wireless access points, and VoIP handsets.
"Powerline is convenient because it provides a wired connection through your home’s existing electrical system, eliminating the need to run Cat-5e cables that can be both time consuming and come with a heavy cost," said Evan Davis, senior manager of solutions engineering at TRENDnet. "With PoE readily available through Powerline network adapters, users can easily plug a camera or other PoE device in without worrying about PoE injectors, or wires for power and network connectivity."
TRENDnet’s Powerline 200 AV PoE+ Adapters have a range of up to 300m (984 ft.) over existing electrical lines, and adapters are pre-encrypted for your convenience. Unlike other TRENDnet Powerline adapters, the Powerline 200 AV PoE+ Adapters have no power save mode, ideal for camera applications and other systems that would otherwise go into hibernation or standby mode.
TRENDnet’s Powerline 200 AV PoE Adapter, model TPL-331EP, and the Powerline 200 AV PoE+ Adapter (2 Pack), model TPL-331EP2K are now available online on the TRENDnet Store, and nationwide via our distribution and retail partners.
Powerline 200 AV PoE+ Adapter, TPL-331EP
  • Powerline 200 networking over existing electrical lines
  • PoE+ output port for connecting PoE devices over a Powerline network
  • Encrypted adapters auto-connect out of the box
  • Cross compatible with Powerline 1200, 600, and 500 adapters
  • Two Powerline adapters are required to start a network
  • Product page:
  • MSRP: USD $34.99
Powerline 200 AV PoE+ Adapter, 2 Pack, TPL-331EP2K
  • Includes two TPL-331EP adapters – each adapter supports a single PoE+ connection
  • Powerline 200 networking over existing electrical lines
  • PoE+ output port for connecting a PoE device over a Powerline network
  • Encrypted adapters auto-connect out of the box
  • Cross compatible with Powerline 1200, 600, and 500 adapters
  • An existing Powerline network is recommended
  • Product page:
  • MSRP: USD $64.99

About TRENDnet
TRENDnet is a global provider of award-winning networking and surveillance solutions to small and medium-sized business and home users. Building networking solutions since 1990, TRENDnet enables users to share broadband access, multimedia content and networked peripherals for true anywhere connectivity. TRENDnet's diverse product portfolio includes Wireless, Internet Cameras (IP Cameras), Switches, Power over Ethernet (PoE), Fiber, Gigabit, Home Automation, Network Video Recorders (NVR), Keyboard/Video/Mouse (KVM), Print Servers, Powerline, NAS Media Servers, Multimedia Accessories, and more. To learn more about TRENDnet, please visit

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

ASUS Launches Blue Cave

ASUS Launches Blue Cave 

-- Dual-band AC2600 router for smart homes combines Intel® WiFi technology and comprehensive family security in a unique compact design --
Fremont, CA (January 30, 2017) — ASUS today launched Blue Cave, a high-performance AC2600 Wi-Fi router based on Intel’s latest connected home technology that's built to meet the demanding needs of modern smart homes. Blue Cave is an easy-to-use, innovatively designed router featuring family-friendly features like easy PC-free network setup and control, via the intuitive ASUS Router App for Android and iOS devices.
It's built to cope easily with the increasingly complex and bandwidth-heavy demands of smart home networks, offering superb multi-device performance powered by the Intel® Home WiFi chipset, comprehensive commercial-grade security with ASUS AiProtection, and out-of-the-box IoT integration with Amazon Alexa and IFTTT.
“Combining years of ASUS experience in wireless innovation and Intel’s connected home technology, Blue Cave delivers ultrafast WiFi speeds throughout your home,” said Tenlong Deng, General Manager, ASUS Networking and Wireless Devices Business Unit. “Not only is it powerful with easy to use control features, its eye-catching design without external antennas blends perfectly with any décor.”
ASUS Blue Cave 
Elegantly Designed WiFi for Smart Homes

Blue Cave combines ASUS engineering expertise and Intel’s home Wi-Fi technology to deliver ultrafast AC2600-class concurrent dual-band WiFi speeds throughout the home, ensuring smooth 4K UHD video streaming and gaming, and fast file downloads. With Intel’s latest technology, the router has more than enough capacity to handle the simultaneous data demands of multiple devices found in today’s smart homes plus dedicated bandwidth for software and security features.
“Consumers are bringing more connected devices into their homes and need a network that can keep up now and in the future,” said Dan Artusi, Vice President and General Manager, Intel’s Connected Home Division. “We are collaborating with the industry to transform home connectivity and unleash a new era of smart home experiences. With a unique, eye-catching design, ASUS Blue Cave is a great example of an innovative solution based on Intel technology that fits into lifestyle aesthetics while delivering top performance.”
Blue Cave has a strikingly compact design that fits anywhere. Blue Cave's unique styling and powerful performance are both made possible by ASUS’ sophisticated WiFi engineering. Internal antennas are often a compromise: they allow a cleaner external design, but they can be prone to performance-sapping interference. In Blue Cave, the location and orientation of the four fully-optimized antennas relative to each other and to the internal circuitry was engineered to deliver the best possible WiFi signal in all directions.
Ultimate Protection for the Whole Family

Blue Cave incorporates ASUS AiProtection, the first commercial-grade security for home networks. AiProtection, powered by Trend Micro™, is free for the life of the product, and protects every connected smart device on the network, including IoT devices.
Blue Cave incorporates Advanced Parental Controls, allowing users to keep a watchful eye on the family’s internet usage, and decide how much internet time or what apps each family member is allowed. State-of-the-art parental controls let users block specific categories of mobile apps and websites — and apply these settings to all devices belonging to a family member — while allowing free access to the rest of the internet.
ASUS even expands that protection to other devices as Blue Cave includes a year's free Trend Micro™ Mobile Security package for two mobile devices and Trend Micro Titanium Antivirus+ for two Windows based PCs. Redemption instructions are included in the box. This offer is available until December 31, 2018.
Smart Home Ready

Blue Cave is a smart router for smart homes. It offers out-of-the-box support for IFTTT and Amazon Alexa, so users can easily integrate Blue Cave into a smart home to make their lives easier. For example, a user could just tell Alexa to suspend the Wi-Fi during a family dinner to prevent interruptions, or use IFTTT to get an automatic email notification when children arrive home. Blue Cave enables endless possibilities for smart living.
ASUS Blue Cave is available now at a suggested MSRP of $179.99 USD at AmazonFry'sNewegg and other leading retailers in North America. Please contact your local ASUS representative for further information or visit us at ASUS North America. Watch the story behind Blue Cave at ASUS-YouTube and learn more about our class leading Router App here.

  ASUS Blue Cave
Antennas 4 x Internal dual-band antenna
Operating Frequency Concurrent dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz
WiFi Data Rate 802.11b: up to 11Mbps
802.11a/g: up to 54Mbps
802.11n: up to 450Mbps
256QAM (2.4GHz): up to 800Mbps
802.11ac (5GHz): up to 1733Mbps
Network Standards IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11ac, IPv4, IPv6
Memory 128MB flash & 512MB DDR3 RAM
I/O Ports 1 x Gigabit WAN port
4 x Gigabit LAN port
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 port
Software AiProtection, Amazon Alexa skill and IFTTT support, ASUS Router App, AiCloud 2.0, Airtime Fairness, Traffic Analyzer, Guest Network, VPN Server/ client, IPTV support, Mac OS Backup
Controls WPS button
Reset button
Power button
DC Power Adapter AC input: 100V~240V(50~60Hz)
DC output: 19V with max. 1.75A current
Package Contents RJ-45 cable
Quick Start Guide
Power adapter
Dimensions 6.3 x 6.3 x 3.1 in
160 x 160 x80mm (W x H x D)
¹ Specifications, content and product availability are all subject to change without notice and may differ from country to country. Actual performance may vary depending on applications, usage, environment and other factors. Full specifications are available at
About ASUS
ASUS is one of Fortune magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies, and is dedicated to creating products for today and tomorrow’s smart life. Our comprehensive portfolio includes Zenbo, ZenFone, ZenBook and a range of IT devices and components, along with AR, VR and IoT. ASUS employs more than 17,000 people worldwide and over 5,500 world-class R&D talents. Driven by innovation and committed to quality, the company won 4,385 awards and earned approximately US$13.3 billion of revenue in 2016.

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

beyerdynamic to present FOX Microphone at NAMM: The professional USB Studio Microphone for Music Recordings, YouTube Videos and Podcasting

beyerdynamic to present FOX Microphone at NAMM:
The professional USB Studio Microphone for Music Recordings, YouTube Videos and Podcasting

Farmingdale, New York - January 24, 2018 - beyerdynamic, a premier leader in audio technology, announced today that they will be displaying their brand-new FOX USB-C microphone at the 2018 NAMM Show, which is ideal for music recordings, YouTube videos, Podcasting and more.   FOX combines a microphone, preamplifier, AD converter and headphone amplifier – making it the easiest and best solution for in-studio, at home, or on-the-go recording.   

Studio-quality microphone technology
The beyerdynamic FOX features a high-quality microphone capsule, as found in professional studio microphones around the world. This large-membrane condenser microphone provides high sensitivity compared to common dynamic microphones. This means that even quiet sounds and the finest nuances can be captured perfectly. The cardioid polar pattern shields against rear-incident noise, providing ideal protection against background noise. The elastic suspension on the microphone capsule prevents structure-borne noise – eliminating footsteps and fret noises. The microphone capsule’s high quality is no accident: beyerdynamic has more than 90 years of experience in developing and constructing a wide variety of microphones. beyerdynamic has been responsible for the audio quality of countless music, sound and television productions. The new FOX provides beginners with access to the results of this extensive wealth of experience.

Plug-and-play, no complicated assembly
One of the great strengths of the beyerdynamic FOX is its simplicity. Microphone recordings normally require a preamplifier and an AD converter as well as a microphone. If you then want to listen to the recording, you’ll need a DA converter and headphone amplifier or loudspeakers. Not so with the FOX: A USB cable, a computer and a pair of headphones like the DT 770 are all you need to make first-class productions quickly and easily. The engineers at beyerdynamic have managed to fit all the components you need for professional recording into the compact FOX. Integrated Cirrus Logic converters offer up to 24 bit at a sampling frequency of 96 kHz – that means sophisticated studio quality.  However, set-up is still remarkably simple: a single USB cable links the microphone to a computer, the headphones plug directly into the microphone.

Range of functions and scope of delivery for an immediate start
The beyerdynamic FOX combines a microphone, preamplifier, converter and headphone amplifier – and is still accessible and easy to use. An adjuster on the front controls the volume for the powerful headphone amplifier. Another adjuster sends the microphone signal to the headphones, giving you instant control. A button on the back of the microphone regulates the gain and enables use of the FOX for especially loud sources. A mute button makes it easy to, for example, cut the sound of a cough during live online transmissions. Beyerdynamic supplies the FOX with a range of accessories for immediate use. A pop shield prevents disruptive popping noises when talking, a base allows you to position the microphone on a table or lectern, and a clamp allows you to mount it to a microphone stand. An orange USB cable sets an additional highlight, as well as a thread adapter 5/8-3/8, which is also included.

Studio quality on the move
Another advantage of the ultra-compact beyerdynamic FOX is the system’s portability. Instead of requiring a microphone, preamplifier, converter and a variety of connecting cables, the compact microphone and USB cable are all you need for perfect recordings when on the go. FOX is even compatible with mobile devices on iOS and Android with the right adaptor. This makes it easy to record with the highest sound requirements anywhere and with minimal effort.

FOX will be available from spring 2018 in many music specialist stores and in the beyerdynamic online shop at The recommended retail price is EUR 179. Follow the FOX to find out about pre-orders and special sales promotions.

About beyerdynamic
Over 90 years of experience in developing audio electronics, beyerdynamic GmbH & Co. KG, Heilbronn, Germany, stands for innovative audio products with top sound quality and ground-breaking technology.  All our products are developed in Germany and are manufactured mainly by hand – from hi-fi headphones to stage microphones to conference and interpreting systems.

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

New KENWOOD Amplifiers and Subwoofers Add Installation Versatility

New KENWOOD Amplifiers and Subwoofers Add Installation Versatility

New mono-block amps pair with Hi-Res Audio amplifiers and multimedia receivers

LONG BEACH, CALIF., January 18, 2018 (MEDIAWIRE) – – With the release of new Hi-Res Audio amplifiers, KENWOOD has introduced a series of subwoofer and mono-block amplifiers that both complement the new products and provide better integration options for system designers. Two subwoofer amplifiers, a powered subwoofer, and a versatile woofer that can be had with or without an enclosure make up the 2018 offerings.

With an MSRP of $450, the KENWOOD eXcelon XR601-1 is a single-channel power amplifier that is rated at 600 watts at two ohms. Its more powerful partner, the KENWOOD eXcelon XR1001-1, rates 1,000 watts at two ohms and carries an MSRP of $650. Both feature speaker-level and low-level inputs, include a bass control knob and are scheduled to ship this month.

The new KSC-PSW8 amplified subwoofer features an eight-inch driver and 250-watt max amplifier in an enclosure suited for simpler installs under a truck’s rear bench seats. MSRP for the KSC-PSW8 is $350 and it will also ship this month.

For custom installs, the KENWOOD eXcelon XR-W804 handles 300 watts RMS through its single four-ohm input. It features a new, evenly dispersed spider to improve durability and an oversized diaphragm for lower frequency response. Despite the larger diaphragm, the speaker is designed to fit into a standard 8-inch subwoofer opening. Shipping this month, the XR-W804 has an MSRP of $180. It will also ship as the KENWOOD eXcelon P-XW804B in a down-firing, vented subwoofer enclosure with an MSRP of $230.

“Integration is the driving force of our industry,” said Tony Mercado, marketing manager for the KENWOOD brand. “As we build products to fit more vehicle applications, it only makes sense that our subwoofers and subwoofer amplifiers follow suit. Our new, low-profile amplifiers carry the same look as our Hi-Res Audio amplifiers, giving installers more system design options, whether the intent is show or stealth.”

For more information on select models and features, visit

About JVCKENWOOD USA Corporation
JVCKENWOOD USA Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of JVCKENWOOD Corporation and is a leading developer of imaging, home and car entertainment, and navigation products for the consumer market, two-way radio communications systems for public safety, private industry and amateur users, and video equipment for the broadcast and professional markets. For detailed information, call JVCKENWOOD USA at 1-800-950-5005 or visit us at, and

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

New KENWOOD Flagship Multimedia Receivers Provide Premium Features Tailored to a Driver’s Music Media Preferences

New KENWOOD Flagship Multimedia Receivers Provide Premium Features Tailored to a Driver’s Music Media Preferences

Topline trio lets users prioritize DVD, navigation or streaming media

LAS VEGAS, January 10, 2018 (MEDIAWIRE) – KENWOOD’s top eXcelon multimedia receiver lineup consists of two models that feature significant improvements from last year, as well as a new model that defines the current culture of portable media content. The DNX995S (MSRP $1,500.00) features DVD playback and onboard navigation by Garmin™, accessed through a 6.8-inch, high-definition capacitive touch screen with anti-glare / anti reflection coating and viewing angle adjustment. Favoring drivers who would rather use their phone-based navigation through a connection to the multimedia receiver, the DDX9905 (MSRP $1,100) offers the same feature set without navigation. And for those who fully embrace no-disc digital media, the new, mech-less DMX905S (MSRP $850.00) provides a larger 6.95-inch standard-definition screen thanks to the lack of a DVD transport, without navigation.

All three models carry a feature set centered on expanding the driver’s smartphone-based entertainment and information apps. They include compatibility with Apple CarPlay™ (for iPhone® users) and Android Auto™ (for Android-based smartphone users), which enable safe use of smartphone navigation and entertainment apps through the KENWOOD receiver. Streaming music service TIDAL™ and SiriusXM® Satellite Radio are now accessible through Apple CarPlay. Android smartphone users can access the Google Assistant™, letting users get answers to questions, manage their schedules, make calls and control connected smart devices with their voice. They can also connect to Android Auto wirelessly, letting them leave their phones in a pocket or bag rather than use the phone’s USB cable to connect it to the KENWOOD receiver.

Smartphone compatibility also extends to other apps. With the KENWOOD WebLink® platform application on a connected smartphone, users can access and control their Waze™ navigation, YouTube™ and Yelp™ accounts on the KENWOOD receiver display screen, as well as see the latest weather. KENWOOD WebLink works with a wired or wireless connection on the three flagship models, for both iOS and Android. Also part of the KENWOOD WebLink experience is NextRadio, a service that provides artist information, song titles and album art when listening to traditional AM/FM Radio.

In addition, two KENWOOD features empower passengers to participate in the in-vehicle entertainment. KENWOOD Remote allows source selection, volume control and system equalization changes from a Bluetooth®-connected smartphone, and KENWOOD Music Mix lets up to five passengers play streaming or stored music from their Bluetooth-connected smartphones to create an ongoing music set.

The flagship trio is designed to work as a standalone audio upgrade, connecting directly to two sets of speakers with internal amplification, or function as the center point of an audiophile system replete with separates, amplifiers and subwoofers. All include built-in HD Radio® are Sirius XM Satellite Radio-ready, connecting to the SiriusXM Connect SXV300 satellite radio tuner (sold separately). They will also control popular streaming services Pandora Radio® and Spotify® directly from the receiver interface. Three sets of gold-plated RCA-style connectors send five-volt signals to add-on digital signal processing or amplifiers. Each is capable of Hi-Res Audio playback, and audio is tailored with an on-board, 13-band equalizer with digital time alignment.

Driving safety on the flagship models is implemented with two camera inputs, one of which is a dedicated rear-camera input that shows the rear view when the vehicle is put into reverse gear. Vehicle status can be monitored from the multimedia display with the addition of the ADS idataLink Maestro, a separately-sold interface that connects to the vehicle data bus to provide battery voltage, vehicle diagnostics and other information. Each model also includes connectivity to KENWOOD’s proprietary DRV-N520, a high-resolution dash camera and safety system that records incidents based on user settings. The DRV-N520 is controlled through the KENWOOD receiver, and its footage can be reviewed on the receiver’s display.

“Our flagship models represent the best technology and user experience we have to offer,” said Tony Mercado, marketing manager for the KENWOOD brand. “However, we recognize that our best must align with how our customers consume content, and give them a feature set that fits their preferences. Expanding our topline choices to three receivers lets our KENWOOD eXcelon retailers and their customers build a premium, personalized in-vehicle experience.”

For more information on select models and features, visit

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Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 Annual Editor's Choice Awards

2017 is about to end.  It has been another amazing year for us at Stereowise Plus.  There have been many great products that have come across my desk this year.  Most have been great, and some exceptional.  The best have earned our Editor's Choice Award.  Below is a list of this years' Editor's Choice Award recipients, and a link to their review.  Check them out!

Audiofly AF1120 IEM

Beyerdynamic Xelento Remote IEM

Blue Sadie Premium Over the Ear Headphones

Creative Sound Blaster KatanaX

Elite Screens Yard Master 2 Dual Outdoor Projection Screen

JBL Link 300 Voice Activated Speaker

Kingston DataTraveler Bolt Duo 64GB

Metra 2010 Ford Mustang Dash Kit

Nextbook Flexx 11A 2-In-1 Windows Tablet

Royole Moon 3D Virtual Mobile Theater

Sennheiser HD 630VB Hi Res Over The Ear Headphones

Ultimate Ears UE18+ Pro Custom IEM

Westone Signature Series W80 IEM

2017 was a great year for us at Stereowise Plus.  We appreciate the manufactureres allowing us to be part of their 2017, as well as our readers allowing us to be a part of their 2017.  It has been a great year of even better products.  We look forward to 2018, and invite you to be a part of it as well.  Happy Holidays from us at Stereowise Plus to you and your families.

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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Kingston DataTraveler Bolt Duo 64GB Review

Smartphones are so advanced now, we can use them for everything. Phone calls and text messaging is a given. They also have high speeds for internet browsing. Most also have built in cameras for photos and videos. But photos and especially videos, can take up a lot of space. With iPhones, storage in the phone tends to be a premium. Up for review today is the Kingston DataTraveler Bolt Duo 64GB.
Features and specs:
  • Extra space for more memories
  • Back up all those priceless photos
  • Shoot new pictures & videos directly to the Bolt
  • Easy to take with you using the included accessory
  • Apple® certified -- designed to be used with iPhones & iPads
Up to 8,000 photos
or 2 hours video
Up to 16,000 photos
or 4 hours video
Up to 32,000 photos
or 8 hours video
(1) Lightning®
(1) USB 3.1 Gen 1
Bolt - 40.7mm x 12.2mm x 7mm
Bolt with accessory - 65mm x 20mm x 11mm
Bolt - 7.2g
Bolt with accessory - 14.4g
Compatible with
iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6+, iPhone, 6s, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 7, iPhone 7+, iPhone 8, iPhone 8+, iPhone X

iPad (4th generation), iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad (2017), iPad Mini, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 4, iPad Pro (1st generation), iPad Pro (2nd generation)
OS Support
iOS 9.0 and newer
Memory type
Flash storage
2-year warranty with free technical support

The Kingston DataTraveler Bolt Duo 64GB came in a nice printed box with a door window to see the drive. Printed on the box were the specs. The Bolt Duo was made mostly of metal with an excellent built quality. Also included was a rubber keychain holder to protect it. It’s the quality I have come to expect from Kingston.

I loved the design of the bolt. Photos and video can take up a lot of space. Many iPhones don’t have a whole lot of built in storage. They also don’t have an expansion card slot. So Kingston’s Bolt Duo makes a ton of sense! The DataTraveler Bolt Duo connects to the lightning or USB 3.1 slot, and allows you to transfer your photos and videos onto the drive, and frees up all that space on your phone.  The idea of including a keychain holder so you can always have it with you and never worry about running out of storage space was pure genious!

Functionality of the Bolt was extremely simple! Just connect the Kingston DataTraveler Bolt Duo and you’re directed to the app store to download the needed app. Once it’s installed, organizing your media files just got a lot easier! Bolt allows you to transfer, capture and view. To transfer, all you do is press the transfer button, select the files you want to transfer from your iPhone to your Bolt Duo drive and then select if you want to delete those files from your phone once their transfer is complete. Or, choose not to delete them and just use the Bolt Duo as a back-up drive.

Bolt Duo also lets you capture photos or video directly onto your iPhone. There’s no need to capture them onto your phone and then transfer them to the Bolt Duo drive. You can just capture it directly onto the Bolt Duo drive. The last option is to view. This allows you to view all of the photos and videos that are stored on the Bolt Duo drive.

Performance of the Kingston DataTraveler Bolt Duo drive was stellar! Not only is the Bolt Duo drive a great idea, and made even better with the Keychain protective rubber holder, it performs awesome as well. Installation was extremely easy. The interface was so simple a child can use it, and the speed was very fast. Transferring photos, even a lot of photos, was very fast. Transfering video clips was slower than transferring photos due to file size, but it was still just a matter of several seconds, to a minute for a large video file.  Transferring multiple photos and videos at the same time could take a few minutes. Bottom line...speed is not an issue when transferring files with the Bolt Duo.

I have yet to be disappointed by a Kingston product. I was pleasantly not surprised to see the tradition continuing with the Kingston DataTraveler Bolt Duo 64 GB drive. With multi-media getting more and more popular on our iPhones, the Kingston Bolt Duo drive makes for an excellent holiday gift. With an MSRP of $89, it is also a great value. Based on its design, features, quality, and performance, the Kingston DataTraveler Bolt Duo 64 GB drive has earned our Editor’s Choice Award.  Kudos to Kingston on another great product. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at

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Elite Screens Yard Master 2 Dual 120" Outdoor Projection Screen Review

When you want to entertain, watching a movie can be a lot of fun. But if you have a large group, that movie may need to be done outside, like in your backyard. If that’s your plan, you’re going to need an outdoor screen. Up for review today is the Elite Screens Yard Master 2 Dual 120” outdoor projection screen.

Features and specs:
Screen Material
·         WraithVeil Dual tensioned front/rear projection material
·         4K Ultra HD, Active 3D, and HDR Ready
·         Black masking borders enhance picture contrast
·         Available in the following diagonal sizes:
·         100", 120", 135", 150” and 180” in 16:9 format

Design and Operation
·         Assembles in minutes with no tools required
·         Corner pull-tabs make installation easier
·         Snap-button attachments on material 
·         Light-weight aluminum square tube construction
·         Single-piece frame system unfolds effortlessly
·         Detachable T-legs included
·         Stakes, rope, and support rings included for additional support and stability
·         Soft-padded carrying bag stores entire product for portability
·         Optional extension legs (ZOMS2-Legs) increase height by 27" - sold separately

Quality and Reliability
·         2-year manufacturer's warranty
·         3-year warranty offered through ENR-G program (Education, Non-Profit, Religious and Government)

The Elite screens Yard Master 2 Dual came in a basic cardboard box. Opening the box revealed the black vinyl bag the Yard Master 2 Dual is kept in. Opening the box showed the internal sections that separated the frame from the legs, and the internal dividers also separated each of the two legs. There was a separate bag that held the WraithVeil screen. Also included was some rope, stakes, and owners manual. Materials used in the frame was all aluminum. The quality of materials used was very good, as was the fit and finish. It’s the quality I have come to expect from Elite Screens.

I absolutely love the design of the Yard Master 2 Dual! The original Yard Master had multiple pieces that snapped into place. And the pieces were labeled with letters, and a diagram of how to put it all together. It worked well, but could have been simpler. New models are usually better than the previous generation. But not always. With the Yard Master 2 Dual, it is significantly better! The Yard Master 2 Dual comes in only 4 pieces; frame, two legs, and the screen.

Setting up the Yard Master 2 Dual is so simple. It’s just a matter of the following four easy steps:
1) unfolding the frame and locking the four corners into place
2) unfolding the two legs and locking them into place
3) attaching the two feet to the bottom of the frame
4) snapping the WraithVeil screen into place
And you’re done. It's that easy. Taking my time, it only took maybe 15 minutes to set up for the 1st time. But having done it now, it will only take 5 minutes from now on. And if there is a little wind, some tie lines and stakes were included to help stabilize it.

Sound simple?  It really is.  And I cannot emphasize enough how AWESOME it is!  There's really no small parts that you need to worry about losing. No labels on the different pieces that are required to put it together that can wear off or fall off, which would make it much more difficult to set up.  The Elite Screens Yard Master 2 Dual is truly a dream to use.  Unfold the frame, unfold and attach the legs, and snap the screen into place. And no tools to worry about. So simple! And the excitement with the family seeing that it's movie time...outside!.......priceless! And don't get me wrong.  The original Yard Master is a great screen, especially if you're on a tight budget.  But if you can manage to spend a little more...the Yard Master 2 is so worth it!

Not only was it very simple to set up, but it's performance was also very good!  The square metal tubing is very strong, and fits very solidly in place.  The snaps hold the screen material in place very well.  And once it is up and it's movie time, the WraithVeil screen material works extremely well!  Colors were very accurate with lots of pop and saturation.  Yellows popped, blues were warm, reds were nicely saturated and deep. The screen was very transparent giving an image that was true to the colors of the source material. Here's a great example of how well the colors looked with the Disney movie Up.

We all work hard for our money, and want to get the best bang for our buck.  In this regard, Elite Screens with their Yard Master 2 Dual didn't just hit a home run.  The hit the ball out of the park!  It's very well made, puts together very easy, and stores well in its carry bag.  And with its WraithVeil screen you have flexible viewing options of front and rear projection, and you are even 4K ready!  With a $454 MSRP for the 120" version, the Elite Screens Yard Master 2 Dual is a huge bang for the buck!  Based on its design, features, quality, and performance, the Elite Screen Yard Master 2 Dual has earned our Editor's Choice Award.  For more info and complete specs, check out their website at

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