In-car voice recognition still has some way to go before it replaces buttons, dials, and good old fashioned manual programming. However, a few automakers are taking the lead in creating in-car interfaces that are easy to use. Among our favorites are Acura and Honda, Infiniti, Mercedes, and now--thanks to the launch of the Microsoft Sync system--Ford. Check out our roundup of cars you can talk to with a good chance of being understood.
When Yamaha shipped me its itsy-bitsy NX-A01 speaker cube last August, I had only two complaints: It needed to include Bluetooth; and it needed the option of being battery powered. Lo and behold, Yamaha got its act together and created the NX-B02, a taller, less tofu-looking, completely wireless speaker based on the NX-A01 design.
The Yamaha NX-B02 includes a stereo pair of 1.75-inch titanium cone drivers, along with the coolest little fluttering bass port I've ever seen (watch the NX-A01 First Look to see what I mean). You also get a standard 3.5mm line-input, Bluetooth 2.0+… Read more
There are two kinds of people in the world: people who use the cheap, nasty, uncomfortable, crappy-sounding earbuds supplied with their phone or MP3 player, and people who upgrade. If you fall into the first group, stop reading now and go back to your musical purgatory. For people in the second group, the Jays BlueStreamer 2 is a widget weighing less than half an ounce that lets you use your favorite headphones with your Bluetooth phone.
Charge the BlueStreamer via USB, pair it with your phone, plug in the 3.5-millimeter jack of your favorite headphones and start tappin' those … Read more
The moment the Cowon Q5W portable video player hit my desk, I knew I would be in for a long review. After legions of iPod fans called foul when Apple failed to deliver a high-capacity touch-screen video player last fall (a 16GB iPod Touch just won't cut it for some folks) Cowon's long-promised 60GB Q5W seemed like the perfect cure. The Cowon Q5W is no mere PVP, however, considering that Cowon saw fit to infuse it with a treasure trove of coveted features such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, composite video output, MSN Messenger, and even GPS navigation.
So why … Read more
HP's products have never been known for their fashion sense, but some extra-curricular coaching from Gwen Stefani may be paying off. Its new Bluetooth Laser Mouse isn't going to set Milan on fire--was this the best they could do for its name?--but remember who we're talking about. It's Hewlett-Packard.
So HP might deserve a little more credit for adding a tiny bit of flair, kind of like the way you compliment an acquaintance for wearing jeans instead of Dockers for the first time. The specs aren't too shabby either, according to Chip Chick, with … Read more
Every year, we CNET Editors approach CES with a mixture of excitement and some underlying, stress-induced dread. The show is always a lot of work--and spending five days in the dry Vegas climate when accustomed to San Francisco's damp (cigarette smoke-free) air almost guarantees coming back with a cold--but at least we have some shiny new gadgets to look forward to seeing. And yet CES 2008 just didn't quite deliver in the MP3 and PVP category...or several others, apparently.
Don't get me wrong: Senior Editor Donald Bell and I saw plenty of cool gear. However, most … Read more
Another CES is in the bag, and we've successfully fled Las Vegas for San Francisco. Though fewer new cell phones debuted at the show than in the past couple years, we can say that the 2008 show was all about quality over quantity. Also, when compared with the last couple of years, we had some serious competition for the Best of CES award in the cell phones and smartphones category. But after it was said and done, the Motorola Rokr E8 took that prize. Its innovative morphing keyboard gave it the needed mojo to lap the Sony Ericsson W760 … Read more
A source within Qualcomm has confirmed that the company quietly acquired Open Interface North America in December of 2007. Founded in 2000, Open Interface North America (OINA) is an embedded Bluetooth software developer that has provided Bluetooth software for companies such as Sharp, Sprint, Motorola, and LG. One of OINA's most recent accomplishments was a new Bluetooth streaming audio codec named Soundabout Lossless, which promised a dramatic improvement over the prevalent A2DP Bluetooth audio standard.
Despite its widespread adoption, the current Bluetooth audio standard (A2DP) isn't pretty. The lackluster audio quality currently achievable using Bluetooth is fine for noisy applications such as car audio or wireless workout headphones, but degraded Bluetooth audio has kept the technology from crossing over into the world of high-end audio and home theater components. With any luck, 2008 will be the year that the A2DP Bluetooth audio standard gets pushed aside by a superior audio codec called SoundAbout Lossless.Watch the Qualcomm Soundabout Lossless video on CNET TV.
Motorola has unveiled the Motorola S9-HD stereo Bluetooth headset, a successor to the Motorola Rokr S9 Bluetooth Active headset from last year. Like the S9, the S9-HD hangs behind the head with the player controls on the side, thus maximizing your freedom of movement while on the treadmill or the track. The S9-HD has a nice bonus though--it now comes with high-definition sound with SRS WOW HD and improved earbuds to block out more noise. It has a rated battery life of six hours of play time and weighs about an ounce overall. Not too sure about the pricing or … Read more