LAS VEGAS – At CES this week JBL announced the new Link 500 voice-activated, multi-room speaker at the top end of the Link line. Link is JBL’s Wi-Fi-enabled, voice-controlled line of speakers, all with Google Assistant built-in. Besting it’s smaller sibling, the Link 300, the new 500 adds a second woofer and second tweeter and boosts the total output to 60 watts. We recently discussed the Link product line on Mac Geek Gab 685 and it’s the first set of speakers that makes me think someone could have multi-room audio from a company other than Sonos. Supporting both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the Link has some options many smart speakers don’t, including portability: the Link 10 and 20 both have batteries that can power them each for hours of synced, wireless playback. The JBL Link 500 is available today for preorder for US$399.95, and is expected to ship on February 1.
I’ve been a fan of JBL’s portable Pulse bluetooth speakers since the first one was released three years ago. The reason? Cool lighting effects, full sound and, of course, Bluetooth wireless portability. With the Pulse 3, though, the game steps up to a whole new level. Whereas its predecessors were covered by a mesh with a low-resolution display of lights, the Pulse 3 sports a clear, plastic enclosure and hi-res LEDs that really (finally?) give it that true Lava Lamp-of-the-future look. You can customize the light effects with your iOS or Android device, giving you full control over both your audio and visual experience. Additionally, the Pulse 3 is now IPX7 waterproof, has a 12-hour battery, and supports JBL’s new Connect+ allowing you to sync your audio with up to 100 devices simultaneously. Wanna truly light up your pool party or just enjoy the visuals while listening to your favorite tunes? The JBL Pulse 3 will be released this spring, MSRP of $199.95
Pepcom at CES 2017 was packed with cool tech gear, so Dave Hamilton, Bryan Chaffin, and John F. Braun join Jeff Gamet look at some of the products they liked. There’s an Apple Watch band that knows if you’re drunk, ubiquitous wireless charging, and more.