New sports streamer looks to end endless Googling for sports | Digital Trends

New sports streamer looks to end endless Googling for sports | Digital Trends

Warner Bros. Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav Jeff Kravitz / Warner Bros. Discovery

We still have a million questions about the upcoming sports streaming service that combines the live options from the likes of Disney (as in the full ESPN family), Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery. Most important for what we’re currently calling the super sports streaming service will be a name. And a close second will be what it’s going to cost.

But we are continuing to get a few more details in drips and drabs, most recently from Warner Bros. Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav on the company’s fourth-quarter 2023 earnings call. Zaslav reiterated what Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch has already said, in that this new service isn’t expected to cannibalize from existing cable subscriptions and is really meant for the younger generation.

“We’re able to go after those that we’re missing,” Zaslav said. “We’re missing those subscribers. The traditional cable industry is missing those subscribers.”

Zaslav also said that the real goal of this new service is to help alleviate the biggest pain when it comes to streaming — figuring out which service a specific event may be on.

Basically, this new service wants to keep you from having to run a Google search to find a game.

“So today, when people are thinking ,’What channel should I watch? What channel is my sport on?’ you know, you’ll be able to go to this new product,” Zaslav said. “And if you if you love the baseball playoffs, you’ll watch all of them. And you’re not thinking, what channel is it on? Hockey?. You’ll watch all of the hockey playoffs right through the Stanley Cup. You’ll watch for basketball. You’ll watch all the playoffs right through to the championships.

“And you will never think or ever have to Google where is it.”

That would be huge for subscribers, if not a little dubious for the websites that reap the benefits from the confusion.

One other fairly big piece of news from Zaslav — though hardly unexpected — is that you’ll be able to bundle this new streaming sports service with your Max subscription. (Which may well explain why Max’s Bleacher Reports sports add-on extended its free trial.) That’ll almost certainly be the case with Disney’s streaming products, too.

“We believe this will provide a terrific consumer experience and will be a great business,” Zaslav said. “They couldn’t be more excited about it. We’ll also be able to bundle this product with Max. So we see this new joint venture as another potential driver of incremental growth for our business going forward.”

Editors’ Recommendations






How to enable Apple Music lossless audio on Apple TV | Digital Trends

How to enable Apple Music lossless audio on Apple TV | Digital Trends

Despite having spent hundreds of hours listening to lossless audio from Apple Music on my iPhone since the feature launched, I’ve done very little listening to the format via my Apple TV. Or at least, I thought I had done very little listening. As it turns out, I had done zero lossless listening via Apple TV, a fact that a video from Audioholics’ Gene DellaSala makes abundantly clear. Lossless audio is not turned on by default on that device.

Thankfully, the fix is easy and only takes a few clicks of your Apple TV remote. DellaSala’s video runs you through the steps, but I’ve reposted them here as a quick reference.

Unfortunately, these steps only apply to the three generations of the Apple TV 4K. Lossless audio from Apple Music isn’t supported on other Apple TV models.


Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Switch the Apple Music audio quality setting from High Quality to Lossless

To get lossless audio from Apple Music on an Apple TV 4K, follow these five easy steps using your Apple TV remote or the Remote app on your iPhone.

Step 1: From the Apple TV 4K’s home screen, open the Settings app.

Apple TV 4K: Home screen with Settings app highlighted.

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Step 2: Scroll down and select the Apps menu item.

Apple TV 4K: Settings menu.

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Step 3: Scroll down and select Music under the App Settings heading.

Apple TV 4K: apps settings.

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Step 4: Take note of the current setting for Audio Quality under the Audio heading.

If it says “Lossless,” you’re already getting lossless audio quality from Apple Music, congrats!

If it says “High Quality,” move on to the next step.

Apple TV 4K: Apple Music settings.

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Step 5: Scroll down and select Audio Quality from under the Audio heading.

Apple TV 4K: Apple Music audio quality settings.

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Step 6: Highlight, then select the Lossless option.

The check mark should move from the High Quality option to the Lossless option. If it doesn’t, select the Lossless option again.

To confirm that the change worked, use the back button to return to the Music screen. You should now see “Lossless” in the Audio Quality field.

Apple TV 4K: Apple Music audio quality settings.

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Now that you’ve got lossless audio for Apple Music enabled on your Apple TV, we should point out one small caveat for audiophiles. While the steps above ensure that you’re getting the best possible audio quality from Apple Music on Apple TV, lossless audio isn’t actually Apple Music’s top quality level.

Included with every Apple Music subscription is access to the service’s collection of “hi-res lossless” tracks. These tracks are streamed in 24-bit/96kHz or higher resolution, but unfortunately, the Apple TV 4K is currently limited to regular Apple Music lossless quality of up to 24-bit/48kHz.

As DellaSala points out, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with 24-bit/48kHz. In fact, in many circles this resolution is considered the entry level for hi-res audio. Still, if you want to hear the very highest quality from Apple Music, you’ll need to use a hi-fi or headphone DAC that’s compatible with iPhones or Android phones. These will let you decode hi-res lossless tracks from the Apple Music mobile app.

Editors’ Recommendations






The best speaker brands of 2024: JBL, Sonos, KEF, and more | Digital Trends

The best speaker brands of 2024: JBL, Sonos, KEF, and more | Digital Trends

Speakers are truly a dime a dozen these days. From every big tech manufacturer under the sun dipping its toes into the audio marketplace to super-boutique Kickstarter endeavors to whatever this is, there are thousands of speakers to choose from, and plenty more on the way. But considering the proliferation of at-home, on-ear, vehicular, and portable audio products, you may be asking yourself: Which speaker companies are truly the best?

We asked ourselves that question too, and after many long hours of research and testing, plus years of experience in the world of AV consumer tech, we’ve come up with this list of the best speaker brands on the market right now. For each name, we’ve provided a brief history, some notable products, and accolades, along with what we consider to be the best singular speaker (or pair of speakers) from each company.

JBL

Accessibility meets performance

The JBL Pulse 5 looks like a lava lamp. Derek Malcolm / Digital trends

James B. Lansing Sound (JBL) has seen a number of peaks and valleys in its many decades as a recognizable name in audio. With origins dating back to 1927, James Lansing and his business partner, Ken Decker, started in the radio business, producing drivers for at-home radio hardware. After a series of developmental collaborations with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s sound division, the tragic 1939 death of Decker in a plane crash, and a 1941 buyout from Altec Service Corporation (later changed to Altec Lansing), James Lansing left Altec in 1946 after his contract with the company ended, where he went on to found his own brand once more: Lansing Sound, and later JBL Sound.

Fast-forward 25 years or so to the ’70s, and JBL is bigger than ever. Sold to Harman International in 1969, the following year JBL would hit pay dirt with its legendary JBL L-100 loudspeakers, as well as its prolific line of professional studio monitors. Faltering a bit through the ’80s and ’90s, at least in terms of mass-market appeal, Samsung acquired Harman Kardon in 2017, which brought about a major resurgence for the JBL label.

When it comes to versatility, JBL is truly a jack of all trades and even the master of a few. Whether you’re an aspiring audio engineer, home cinema connoisseur, or the average listener who just wants a durable and weatherproof Bluetooth speaker that sounds great, JBL has reliable audio products that satisfy nearly every niche.

What is JBL’s calling card?

Portable audio, bar none. If you’re looking for a sleek, well-armored, and powerful-sounding Bluetooth speaker, JBL is the way to go. And two of our favorite JBL speakers in the portable category are the Charge 5 and Flip 6.

Engineered to deliver loud, articulate, pulse-pounding sound for both indoor and outdoor environments, the Charge 5 and Flip 6 are also long-lasting in terms of battery life, feature adjustable EQs that can be tweaked using the JBL Portable app, and are available in a number of different shell colors.

Read our full reviews of the JBL Charge 5 and JBL Flip 6

What’s the best JBL speaker?

While “best” is always relative to the listener, we’d like to recommend a JBL speaker that we feel is one of the best-sounding and coolest-looking of the brand’s current lineup, and that’s the JBL L100 Classic.

A design introduced back in the company’s 1970s heyday, the modernized L100 is a faithful homage to the original speaker’s aesthetic, complete with retrofitted cabinetry and the iconic Quadrex foam grille (available in black, burnt orange, and dark blue).

An audiophile’s dream come true, the L100 Classic bookshelves present a mesmerizing soundstage, with robust low frequencies, incredible midrange and high-range performance, and a physical design that is going to draw plenty of jaw-drops from all your hi-fi friends (especially when they figure out how much you spent on them).

Bowers & Wilkins

Speakers tailor-made for audiophiles

Bowers & Wilkins 700 Series
The Bowers & Wilkins 700 Series tower speakers Image used with permission by copyright holder

The formative years of Bowers & Wilkins, a royal name in the world of hi-fi, can be traced to an electronics shop opened by John Bowers and business partner Roy Wilkins. As the company began designing custom intercom equipment for schools and churches, John Bowers jumped on the audio-development train and never looked back.

Stepping away from consumer tech retail, Bowers founded the official B&W Loudspeakers LTD label in 1966. Operating in a production facility behind the main storefront, the release of the 1967 P1 speaker would place B&W on the map.

These days, B&W is the go-to brand for developmental reference, meaning all the other big hi-fi names are designing their products against the high standards already set by B&W. With professional studio monitors set up at both Abbey Road Studios and Skywalker Sound, and partnerships with major European car companies including Jaguar, Volvo, McLaren, Maserati, and BMW, B&W delivers flagship designs and performance for residential, commercial, and vehicular listening spaces.

Oh, and let’s not forget to mention that B&W also produces some pretty awesome soundbars and headphones, too.

What is Bowers & Wilkins’ calling card?

B&W is best known for incredible lifestyle designs, backed up by true, high-end audiophile performance. From the company’s 600 Series up to the formidable 800 Series Diamond lineup, B&W puts painstaking detail into every single one of its cabinets, drivers, and tweeters, resulting in loudspeakers that deliver un-compromised home audio.

Arguably, the 700 series is one of the brand’s more price-accessible speaker families (ranging from the low $1,000s to $4,000), touting such features as a solid body housing for the Carbon Dome tweeter, dynamic soundstaging for home cinema, and dedicated music sessions, and a multitude of floor standing and bookshelf designs in brilliant finishes.

What’s the best Bowers & Wilkins speaker?

For the best in B&W, look no further than the industry-lauded 801 D4 tower speakers.

Available in four alluring finishes and backed up by 40 years of developmental genius, the 801 D4 employs Matrix bracing and armored Turbine Heads for the midrange cones, all in the name of decreased resonance, which means accurate soundstaging beyond your wildest dreams.

And at $35,000 a pair, you can either buy the greatest pair of speakers ever made or matriculate at a four-year university for a semester or two. The choice is yours, dear listeners.

KEF

Decades of intuitive engineering meet the wireless age

The KEF R3 bookshelf speakers in Indigo Matte color.
The KEF R3 Meta bookshelf speakers. KEF

KEF is another British brand that delivers an arresting blend of style, performance, and versatility, netting plenty of industry recognition and a dedicated following of fans the world over. With roots dating back to 1961, company founder Raymond Cook, an electrical engineer, started KEF on the campus of Kent Engineering & Foundry (where KEF gets its moniker).

Aspiring to bring generation after generation of innovations to the world of speaker technology, KEF has spent just as much time researching and testing new ways to improve upon existing loudspeaker peripherals as they have on actual production.

With breakthroughs and other noteworthy finds being published in some of the most revered audio publications, including the Institute of Acoustics and the Audio Engineering Society, KEF’s analytic backbone is a driving force across all its product categories, from wireless hi-fi to groundbreaking flagship tower and bookshelf designs.

What is KEF’s calling card?

Effectively bridging the gap between ultra-high-end performance and accessible pricing, KEF is a dominant force in both the passive and powered speaker markets, but it’s the latter where the brand truly dials in its gravitas. Their innovative Uni-Q speaker design and frequency-absorbing MAT metamaterial technology deliver beautifully accurate sound.

Have you heard of the KEF LS50 Wireless II? Available in black, red, gray, and white, these wireless bookshelf speakers deliver one of the best-sounding and most flexible streaming-audio experiences you’ll ever come across.

Featuring AirPlay 2 and Google Chromecast compatibility, as well as wired connections for TVs, turntables, and other A/V components, along with 24bit/384kHz, Room Ready, DSD256, and MQA file support for all the richest listening sessions, the KEF LS50 Wireless II is the wireless hi-fi option we all wish we had.

What’s the best KEF speaker?

That’s a tough call. Seeing as we’re pressed for an answer, we’re going to put our money on the showstopping KEF LS60 Wireless, another amazing pair of wireless hi-fi speakers.

Sold in dark blue, white, and black finishes, these beautiful tower speakers take everything we already know and love about the LS50 Wireless II and expand each set of amazing features. The LS60 Wireless tower speakers are capable of connecting to Wi-Fi, AirPlay 2, Chromecast, and Bluetooth, and the KEF Connect app gets you additional access to Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, Amazon Music, and other top-notch streaming platforms. You’ll also be able to decode PCM files up to 24bit/384kHz, along with the ability to listen to MQA and DSD formats.

Yes, KEF makes bigger and more powerful (and more expensive) passive loudspeakers for home cinema and wired audio applications, but it’s the wireless category where KEF shines brighter than most — at least in our humble opinion. Thus, we’ll call the LS60 Wireless the best KEF speaker in our books.

Klipsch

For our at-home concerts and blockbusters

Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-1400SW seen with other Reference Premiere speakers.
Klipsch Reference Premiere lineup. Klipsch

Klipsch is a decades-vetted audio titan that kills it year after year, especially when it comes to rock-solid speakers designed for decibel-heavy music and cinematic tentpole flicks. If you’re a Metallica diehard or an action movie fanatic, whether you opt for a stereo setup or a full-surround package, Klipsch is going to be your best friend.

Founder Paul W. Klipsch was a locomotive engineer who enjoyed tinkering with speakers on the side. During his graduate studies at Stanford University in the 1930s, one of Paul’s peers suggested that speakers sound better when positioned in the corner of a room. Building upon this inspiring proclamation, Paul went to work designing the revered Klipschorn (an iconic Klipsch driver staple to this day) that was officially patented in 1945.

Only one year later, Mr. Klipsch went into the audio business under the Klipsch & Associates moniker, manufacturing the first wave of Klipschorn speakers in Hope, Arkansas, with assistance from a nearby cabinetmaker and the helping hands of Baldwin Piano Company. Teamwork makes the dream work, kids!

Fast-forward nearly 80 years and Klipsch is still thriving in the audio marketplace. Revitalizing some of the brand’s classic designs for the modern age, a Klipsch system can handle any sound challenge you throw at it, and at prices that our wallets and purses can handle, too.

What is Klipsch’s calling card?

With Dolby Atmos as the mightiest surround sound codec, especially in terms of floor-to-ceiling immersion, speaker companies have been at war to see who can deliver the greatest Atmos experience.

And whether that’s by way of towers and bookshelves with top-firing drivers or a complete surround sound kit to check off all your Atmos needs, Klipsch offers some of the most powerful, accessible, and versatile Atmos-ready speakers and systems on the market.

Billed as the Reference Dolby Atmos lineup, buyers have their pick of multiple speaker configurations, from the bite-sized 5.1.4 satellite package to one of the biggest and hardest-hitting 7.2.4 arrangements you’ll find on digital and brick-and-mortar shelves today.

What is the best Klipsch speaker?

We were geared up to feature a Reference series tower or pair of bookshelves for our best Klipsch laurel, but that’s when we remembered the perfect rating we gave the Klipsch’s The Fives when we reviewed them. Representing a unique and excellent-sounding alternative to the modern soundbar, The Fives connect to your TV through either HDMI ARC, digital optical, or analog outputs, but there are also phono, USB, and 3.5mm auxiliary connections.

And in terms of sound quality, the results are through the roof. The Fives offer up one of the richest and most pulse-pounding stereo soundstages you’re going to find, totally negating any Dolby or DTS surround codecs that a soundbar may try its best to decipher, while ultimately delivering only two-thirds or less of the intended sound experience.

Yes, we were just championing the unbelievable pairing of Klipsch speakers and Dolby Atmos, but trust us — Klipsch’s The Fives are the soundbar surrogates your TV, game systems, and Netflix subscription wish you would buy. But if those aren’t big enough for you, stay tuned for our reviews on the latest versions of their similar The Sevens and The Nines.

Read our full review of Klipsch’s The Fives

Fluance

The audiophile’s best-kept secret

Fluance Signature HiFi 2-Way Bookshelf Surround Sound Speakers.
Fluance Signature Bookshelf Surround Sound Speakers Image used with permission by copyright holder

Fluance has only been around for 20 years or so, but in just two decades, the Canadian company has produced some of the greatest turntables and speakers for prices that may make you ask yourself, “Is this too good to be true?” (Hint: The answer is no).

When founder Deepak Jain launched Fluance in 1999, the man had one goal: to design audio peripherals that would deliver the kind of sounds normally relegated to live performances alone. You see, Deepak loved live music and would frequently go out of his way to see whatever local artists were rocking the dive bars and other noteworthy venues of Niagara Falls, Canada.

So when you buy a Fluance product, whether that’s a record player or a wireless system, you’re getting audio that’s tailor-made to get you as close to the onstage artist as possible, minus the sweaty mosh pits and many a buzzed uncle.

What is Fluance’s calling card?

Outside of masterful turntables, Fluance is perhaps best known for its Signature Series, the top-shelf choice for the company’s bookshelf, bipolar, and tower speakers, with an array of color options for each.

Featuring everything from Neodymium tweeters for articulate high-frequency reproduction to expertly crafted cabinetry for decreased resonance and acoustic precision, when you buy a Signature speaker from Fluance, you’re taking home an audio product built for an enduring sonic experience like no other — and the prices are seriously affordable.

What is the best Fluance speaker?

This was another tough call, because, on the one hand, the Fluance Fi70 is one of the coolest wireless speakers we’ve ever seen, but it’s a pretty niche product that might only appeal to a certain range of audiophiles and style-mongers.

In keeping with Fluance’s thing for quality and affordability, we’d like to put Fluance’s HFSW Signature HiFi Bookshelf speakers at the top of the heap.

Whether you plan to use them as front or rear speakers for a Fluance surround system or as a dedicated set of hi-fi stereo speakers for your lauded vinyl listening room, you’ll have all of the amazing engineering that goes into the Signature series at your disposal. We’re talking Neodymium tweeters, rigid glass fibers for the midrange cones, and a sonic profile more akin to the deliverables of a tower speaker than a 12.8-inch-tall bookshelf, and they come in at an affordable $200.

SVS

Come for the subs, stay for everything else

SVS 3000 Micro subwoofer
SVS 3000 Micro subwoofer Image used with permission by copyright holder

What isn’t there to say about SVS? Founded in 1998 by a group of audio engineers in their garage (technical innovation has an uncanny knack for emerging in garages), the SVS team was initially intent on designing subwoofers and loudspeakers that delivered the kind of performance and value that wasn’t effectively being captured by the audio marketplace at the time (at least in SVS’ opinion).

Jumping ahead two-plus decades, SVS is still kicking down our doors and rocking our LFE dreams with a sonically superior plethora of bookshelf and tower speakers, wireless audio, and, you guessed it, gloriously seismic subwoofers. And you’re getting all of these options (and more) at undeniably aggressive prices.

To drive it all home, let us lean on the million-dollar words of Digital Trends Editor at Large, Caleb Denison: “How am I getting sound this good at this price?”

What is the SVS calling card?

Subwoofers, baby. All day, every day.

It’s the first major tab on the SVS site, and it’s the speaker niche the brand has always been renowned for. SVS subs are designed for precision, profound output, and sleek and modern finishes, as well as seamless handshaking with your other speakers. While we’re sure SVS would be happy with you buying all SVS gear, these are subwoofers that will sound great with pretty much any other brand on this list.

Starting with the 1000 Pro Series and climbing all the way to the top of the hierarchy for the 16-Ultra Series, nothing screams SVS like the royal rumblings of a pulse-pounding sub.

What is the best SVS speaker?

SVS is going to take home the gold for one of its wireless products — specifically, the SVS Prime Wireless Pro Powered Speaker System.

Rocking a 200-watt Class D amplifier, the SVS Prime Wireless system is streamable audio like you’ve never heard before.

Sometimes the “smart speaker” label is enough to turn an audiophile away, but we implore you to give the SVS Prime Wireless the benefit of the doubt. With its 200-watt Class D amplifier, 24-bit/192kHz DAC for the finest audio streaming you’ve ever heard, and a medley of wire-free and cabled connections, this is a smart speaker built like a passive hi-fi workhorse.

Give it a go — you won’t be disappointed. Well, maybe except for the DTS Play-Fi app’s small list of limitations, although we’re betting this is something everyone can look past.

Read our full review of the SVS Prime Wireless Pro Powered Speaker System

Sonos

Laying down the red carpet for whole-home audio

Sonos Era 300, beside a turntable.
The new Sonos Era 300 speaker. Sonos

And last, but certainly not least, we come to Sonos — user-friendly, lovely sounding, competitively priced, ever-expandable, and infinitely customizable Sonos.

With a success story that will bring a tear to any entrepreneur’s eye, Sonos’ four founders — John MacFarlane, Tom Cullen, Trung Mai, and Craig Shelburne — placed their bets on four major insights based on the groundbreaking rollout of the Internet as we know it, a tetrad of principles that spelled success for the Santa Barbara collective:

  1. The internet is a moldable tool.
  2. Computer circuitry and other hardware peripherals were becoming evermore cost-friendly.
  3. Based on what developers were buying, digitization was reaching a new zenith.
  4. Networking protocols at the highest levels would trickle down to the zip-coded broadband of today.

Collectively, all of the above means that the dawning of the Internet era meant software developers could have a field day with web-connected tech. The world just wasn’t expecting these four horsemen to be audio pioneers, too.

What is the Sonos calling card?

All together now: Wireless. Whole. Home. Audio.

From its fully portable devices to its dedicated Class-D amplifiers and chest-thumping subs, Sonos harnesses the power of your Wi-Fi network as the lifeblood of its arsenal of audio. Once connected and paired, Sonos creates a mesh network for its hardware that allows you to tie all of your TV sound, music, radio, and podcasts together into one easy-to-use platform.

With the Sonos app at the helm of the operation, you can create custom groups for all your speakers, play the same song on all of your networked speakers at once, adjust bass and treble for individual components, listen to Sonos’ excellent curation of Internet radio services, and so much more.

And with amazing technology like Sonos Trueplay, your speaker or soundbar will calibrate itself based on the listening environment you’ve placed it in.

Here’s another inspiring tidbit from our very own Caleb Denison: “Sonos did for audio what Apple did for iPhones.” Yeah, that about sums things up.

What is the best Sonos speaker?

We haven’t called out an excellent soundbar yet, and what better way to award the category than through the Dolby Atmos-inspired engineering of the loud and mighty Sonos Arc?

Yes, Sonos makes much less expensive soundbars that do a great job of making your TV sound better than it has in years, but the Arc is built for so much more. Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant (and its own new Sonos Voice Control), the Arc doubles not only as a smart home controller for all of your home’s web-connected cameras, lights, and window blinds, but also as a standout replicator of a full Dolby Atmos system.

Does it sound exactly like a full Dolby Atmos configuration? No, but it’s damn close. Simulating Atmos sound is no walk in the park, and compared to other soundbars that take a stab at the feat, the Sonos Arc comes out on top. That’s not to mention that you can combine the Arc with a Sonos Sub and a set of rear surrounds, such as the game-changing new Era 100 or Era 300 speakers, for an immersive spatial audio experience.

The only other thing we could possibly ask for is HDMI-switching (only an HDMI output), but that’s because we love the convenience of wiring all of our devices into one A/V brain, and perhaps we’ll see this addition on a new generation of the hardware.

Read our full review of the Sonos Arc

Honorable mentions

A set of MartinLogan ElectroMotion speakers set up in a living room.
The MartinLogan ElectroMotion series. Image used with permission by copyright holder

MartinLogan

The king of the electrostatic driver, MartinLogan has built up a prestigious reputation over the years. Touting an iconic look, the brand’s ElectroMotion series harnesses the power of the electrostatic transducer, as opposed to the traditional cone design utilized by most speaker companies. But what does this unique technology actually do?

For one, the transducer allows the ElectronMotion series to achieve accurate high-frequency distribution without cutting out other parts of the soundstage. In a way, you can think of the transducer as a midrange driver and tweeter as a single package. And in terms of bass, the ElectroMotions are also equipped with dual 8-inch woofers, filling out the sound spectrum in rich and exciting new ways, and additional speakers can be added for a full surround system. But these futuristic-looking speakers will cost you, ranging from $2,500 to $4,000.

Polk

Similar to a JBL or Klipsch, Polk has a big presence in the audio marketplace, across multiple product categories. Looking to outfit your car with a dynamic audio system? There’s a Polk solution for that. Looking for an awesome set of home theater speakers or dedicated hi-fi bookshelves? There’s a Polk solution for that, too.

And with Polk, not only are you getting expertly made speakers, soundbars, and other sound peripherals, but you’ll be paying some affordable prices for these items, too.

Sonus Faber

And for our “money is no object” pick, there’s Sonus Faber. Owned by the prestigious McIntosh Group, if Italian-styled hi-fi is what you’re after the ultra high-end, multi-award-winning Sonus Faber family is the speaker brand for you. Ultra-boutique and divinely engineered, Sonus speakers look amazing and sound simply unbelievable.

Whether you’re shopping for their much more affordable wireless all-in-one system, at roughly $2,000, or want to net yourself a set of the beautifully crafted Il Cremonese floor standers at a gasp-worthy $62,000, you’re guaranteed the best with every Sonus Faber purchase.

Editors’ Recommendations






This 65-inch QLED TV just had its price slashed under $500 | Digital Trends

This 65-inch QLED TV just had its price slashed under $500 | Digital Trends

Vizio

If you want to get a QLED TV for your living room or bedroom, you don’t have to spend $1,000 if you take advantage of today’s TV deals. In fact, you don’t even have to shell out $500 with Walmart’s offer for the 65-inch Vizio MQ6 Series 4K QLED TV. From an already affordable original price of $498, it’s down further to $398 for savings of $100. This bargain will surely draw a lot of attention from shoppers, so you’re going to have to finalize your purchase before either stocks run out or the discount expires.

Why you should buy the 65-inch Vizio MQ6 Series 4K QLED TV

The Vizio MQ6 Series 4K QLED TV features QLED technology on its 65-inch screen, which solves the problem of inaccurate colors for traditional LED TVs through the use of quantum dots. In our QLED versus OLED comparison, the advantages of QLED TVs like the Vizio MQ6 Series 4K QLED TV include much more intense brightness, longer life spans, absolutely no risk of screen burn-ins, and lower costs in terms of price per inch of screen size.

In addition to the quality of the Vizio MQ6 Series 4K QLED TV’s display, it offers support for Wi-Fi 6 for better internet connectivity. This allows the QLED TV to better function as a smart TV, as it runs on Vizio’s SmartCast platform. You’ll be able to watch streaming shows without interruption, and you’ll have contact access to free channels through Vizio’s WatchFree+ service. The Vizio MQ6 Series 4K QLED TV also supports AMD’s FreeSync Premium, for gamers to enjoy smooth gameplay with their console or PC.

You don’t need to use up all your savings when buying from QLED TV deals because there are fantastic offers like Walmart’s $100 discount for the 65-inch Vizio MQ6 Series 4K QLED TV. It’s already relatively cheap compared to other QLED TVs of its size at its sticker price of $498, so you’re going to get amazing value at its lowered price of $398. You’ll have to hurry with your purchase though, because if you delay and try to check again later, you may already be too late to enjoy savings for the 65-inch Vizio MQ6 Series 4K QLED TV.

Editors’ Recommendations






Kanto Ren active speakers with HDMI take aim at your TV room | Digital Trends

Kanto Ren active speakers with HDMI take aim at your TV room | Digital Trends

Kanto Audio

The Canucks at Kanto Audio are at it again, announcing the addition of another new set of powered speakers to its lineup. The Kanto Ren are a 100-watt pair of active speakers that, in a first for the company, offer HDMI ARC connectivity.

After unleashing its new Ora Desktop reference speakers a few months back and then announcing their cousin, the Ora4, at CES 2024 last month, the Canadian speaker maker has set its sights on TV connectivity with the Ren, a $600 set of compact powered speakers that can be connected to your TV with HDMI ARC and be controlled with an included remote or with your TV’s remote, with the help of CEC. The new connectivity makes the Kanto REN an intriguing soundbar alternative.

But, of course, that’s not all the Kanto Rens can do. In line with its other speakers, the powered bookshelf speakers offer all kinds of connectivity options, including Bluetooth 5.3 that supports SBC and AAC codecs, as well as USB-C and optical inputs that can support a resolution of up to 24-bit/96kHz for high-resolution playback from sources such as computers, digital audio players, network streamers, smartphones, and more.

The back and inputs of the Kanto Audio REN powered speaker.
Kanto Audio

For the more analog inclined, the Kanto Ren also have RCA line-in and a 3.5mm input for connecting things like turntables, DVD players, and other devices (you will need a turntable with a built-in preamp or an external phono stage, though). The REN also features a dedicated subwoofer output for adding extra bass to the proceedings, and if the aforementioned Ora review is any indication, that extra bass will be just booming.

Driving the Kanto REN speakers is 100-watts of Class D amplification with 200 watts of peak power to the speaker’s 1-inch silk dome tweeters and 5.25-inch mid-woofers. Kanto says the speakers will deliver “clear highs, detailed midrange, and impressively powerful bass.” They’ll also feature a couple of sound modes for TV watching — Vocal Boost for lifting dialogue,and Night Mode that will balance out any peaks and lows in the audio volume so as to not wake your household up when there’s an explosion in the action movie you’re watching.

With six colors — black, white, cream, green, brown, and orange — the Kanto Ren powered speakers will retail for $600 and be available in July. If you happen to be in Bristol, England, this weekend however, ,you can check them out at the Bristol Hi-Fi Show.

Editors’ Recommendations






YouTube TV brings a bit of India to the service with Zee Family | Digital Trends

YouTube TV brings a bit of India to the service with Zee Family | Digital Trends

Zee Family is now available on YouTube TV for $15 a month. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

YouTube TV is still limited to the U.S., but it just brought a big piece of the world to the streaming service. The Zee Family add-on brings a number of channels from a range of Indian dialects to the service. It costs $15 a month and has a free seven-day trial.

It’s not the first non-English package available on YouTube TV — there’s a separate Spanish plan that’s been around for some time. But while the Spanish plan (that’s it’s name, actually) doesn’t require you to buy anything else, Zee Family is an add-on, so you’ll need at least the base plan to get it.

But Zee Family isn’t just a single channel. It covers a number of Indian dialects, from Hindi and Punjabi to Telugu, Marathi, and more. And there’s one available in English, too. Here’s everything you get once you add Zee Family:

  • Zee Tamil
  • Zee TV USA
  • Zee Keralam
  • Zee World
  • Zee Talkies
  • Alpha ETC Punjabi
  • Zee Telugu
  • Zee Classic
  • Zee Channel: &TV
  • Zee Marathi
  • Zee Bangla
  • Zee Bollywood
  • Zee Cinemalu
  • Zee Kannada
  • Zee Anmol
  • Zee Punjabi
  • Zee Cinema

While YouTube TV doesn’t regularly release subscription numbers — it most recently said it had more than 8 million subscribers — you have to imagine that international options like this will only help increase the number of subscriptions even more.


Perfect for watching NFL, NBA, and more, you can score 50% off your first month of live TV with Sling TV.

In addition to the numerous YouTube TV tips and tricks that are out there, you’ll also find that it’s one of the only ways to watch any sort of live TV in 4K resolution.

YouTube TV is available on every major streaming platform in the U.S., from Roku and Amazon Fire TV (those are the two biggest), to Apple TV, Google TV, and various smart TV systems. It’s also available on phones and tablets, and you can watch in a web browser, too. YouTube TV (and YouTube proper) also is the only place to get NFL Sunday Ticket for the 2024 season.

YouTube TV’s base plan costs $73 a month. The Zee Family add-on is available now in your YouTube TV membership settings.

Editors’ Recommendations






Sonos Sub Mini vs. Sonos Sub: Which boom should you buy? | Digital Trends

Sonos Sub Mini vs. Sonos Sub: Which boom should you buy? | Digital Trends

Sonos is a well-respected brand in the home and portable audio markets. It is known for it’s range of Wi-Fi-connected speakers, soundbars, amplifiers, and, the topic of this article, subwoofers.

In 2012, Sonos introduced its first subwoofer — the Sonos Sub. Its unique design set it apart from other subwoofers, and since then, two more generations of the Sub have been released. The latest version, Gen 3, has a glossy finish instead of a matte finish like the previous models. While the Sonos Sub is great, its price tag of $799 and weight of over 35 pounds may not be suitable for everyone, especially those who want a powerful bass without spending so much.

That’s where the Sonos Sub Mini comes in. Released in 2022, the smaller Sub Mini offers a cylindrical design and is far more lightweight than its older brother. It’s also quite a bit cheaper, too, at $429. But does it match the Sub when it comes to sound quality? Do I need the big guy, or will the Sub Mini do the trick for my needs?

Let’s compare both the Sonos Sub Mini and the Sonos Sub (3rd Gen), weighing in on key criteria like design, performance, and price, to help you decide which Sonos subwoofer is the one for your home.

Design

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Sonos has always been cutting-edge when it comes to speaker design, and the Sonos Sub was an eye-popping addition when it was introduced to the company’s lineup over a decade ago, with Sonos maintaining the same core aesthetic ever since.

The third-generation version of the Sonos Sub is 15.3 inches wide, 15.8 inches wide, 6.2 inches deep, and weighs 36.3 pounds, and it’s available in glossy white and black finishes, which some owners and reviewers have complained attracts attention to things like greasy fingerprints. That said, there’s really no reason to touch the thing once it’s placed, so this is kind of a non-issue.

Iconic since the Sub’s inception, the Gen 3 model also features a rectangular cutout in the middle of the woofer, which is where the Sub’s inward-facing drivers are located. More than an eye-catching stylistic choice, the cutout is also used to cut down on unwanted cabinet vibrations.

That said, there’s still no getting around the fact that the original Sub model is much bulkier and heavier than the Sub Mini.

Measuring 9.1 inches deep, 12 inches tall, and weighing 14 pounds, the cylindrical Sub Mini is more lightweight, compact, and far easier to relocate than the Sub. We also love the circular perch at the top of the Mini, which can be used to seat lamps and other home necessities that can help the Mini blend with your decor. And for distortion reduction and force cancellation, the Sub Mini also uses the same centralized cutout as the larger model, with the shape of the void replicating the spherical style of the Sub Mini’s outer shell.

The Sub Mini is available in matte white and black finishes, which, unlike the glossy Sub, matches the matte finish of other Sonos speakers that you’d pair it with, like the Ray, Beam, and Arc soundbars. And while you won’t be able to tuck the Mini under a couch, it’ll definitely be a lot easier to relocate if you want to move it into a different room or just shove it out of the way when you’re vacuuming.

Both Sonos Subs also feature an Ethernet port, an AC power input (with included cord), and an NFC pairing button for quick Wi-Fi connectivity.

As mentioned, Sonos often comes out on top when it comes to design, and the Sub Mini honors many of the original Sub’s geographic fundamentals while also reducing the bulk. That being said, we’ll award a point to the Sub Mini for its fresh, modern design.

Winner: Sonos Sub Mini

Setup and networking

Remember the days of having to install a Sonos system with software on your home computer? Well, back in 2012, that was a requirement for adding any and all Sonos hardware to a Sonos ecosystem. Thankfully, those years are behind us, and adding both the Sonos Sub and the Sub Mini to your Wi-Fi through the Sonos app is as easy as can be.

And thanks to the inclusion of an NFC pairing button on both the third-generation Sub and Sub Mini, connecting to Wi-Fi is simply a matter of launching the Sonos app, pressing that NFC button, and confirming the link-up in the Sonos app.

Both the third-gen Sub and Sub Mini are also equipped with wired Ethernet ports, which allow you to plug both Subs into your router for a wired network connection or to use either Sub as an Ethernet bridge for other components if you choose to connect them to Wi-Fi.

Once you add a Sub to your network, using Sonos’ Trueplay feature is recommended. This feature automatically adjusts the Sonos Sub to deliver the right amount of output based on the environment in which it’s placed. However, the Trueplay feature is only available for iOS devices. Although the quick-tuning function of Trueplay is now available for some Android-based devices with certain Sonos speakers, neither of the Subs supports this feature. If you’re an Android user, you can use a friend’s iPhone to activate a Trueplay calibration, which will be saved to your Sonos equipment. Alternatively, you can manually adjust your sub’s sound settings through the Sonos app’s built-in EQ.

These days, most homes are equipped with dual-band routers that deliver both 2.4GHz and 5GHz networking options, and you’ll be able to use either set of Wi-Fi frequencies for both the traditional third-gen Sub and the Sub Mini. This is especially convenient for earlier Sonos Sub (Gen 1 and Gen 2) owners who are used to having to connect to a 5GHz band, as the older hardware couldn’t run off a 2.4GHz connection.

Perhaps the only advantage the Sonos Sub has over the Mini, in terms of setup, is that you can add multiple Subs to a single-room setup for even more immersive, balanced low-end sound. The Sub Mini is limited to one. However, as far as overall setup and networking, they’re both a cinch, so we’re going to call this category a tie.

Winner: Tie

Performance

A white Sonos Sub next to a couch.
Sonos

Rating the overall sound quality of both Sonos subs was maybe the toughest side-by-side of this woofer war, considering both peripherals use the same core Sonos tech to deliver pulse-pounding low-end. But as they say, the devil is in the details, and we’ve got plenty to offer, considering we’ve taken both the Sub products for a spin.

Right out of the gate, we’ll go on record saying that most folks will adore the type of rumble created by the Sub Mini. With the power of Class-D amplification and two 6-inch woofers that fire against each other, the audible result isn’t going to take the roof off your house, but it will certainly add nuance and presence where it may have been lacking. That’s whether your Sub Mini is linked up for a Sonos surround configuration (i.e., a Sub Mini plus Beam soundbar plus two of the now-discontinued One SLs, or one of the latest Era 100 or Era 300 speakers), Sonos stereo (such as two One, Five or Era speakers linked together), or just one Sonos speaker.

We also love that Sonos carried over the regular Subs’ iconic force-canceling feature, which fires the drivers against each other to reduce unwanted distortion and vibrations. Everything from rock and hip-hop tracks to movies and TV shows will benefit from the extra blast that the Sub Mini delivers, and thanks to the smaller cylindrical design, it’s also easier to fit the Mini into space-starved locations.

But when it’s both precision and power you’re looking for, especially if your home theater is rocking hardware like the Sonos Arc, the larger Sonos Sub may be the better way to go. And while the Gen 3 Sub utilizes the same Class-D power and inward-firing drivers as the Sub Mini, there’s slightly better frequency response overall, more volume, and a squared-off design that makes it easy to tuck underneath furniture like couches and end tables.

While the Sub Mini certainly gets the job done when it comes to bringing the bass, there’s no beating the unbridled boom of the Sono Sub, and that’s disregarding the price factor (we’ll get into that in a minute).

Winner: Sonos Sub

Versatility

Sonos Sub Mini
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Sonos recommends the larger Sub be used in a medium- or large-sized room, with ideal pairing to the Sonos Arc, Beam, Playbase, or Playbar soundbars, the Sonos Amp, and the Five, Play: Five (Gen 2), or Play:3 speakers. In terms of the Sub Mini, the company recommends the smaller woofer for small to medium-sized rooms, ideally paired up with the Beam, Ray, One, One SL, and Play:1 speakers or the Sonos Amp.

When you consider all the specs, these suggested configurations make a ton of sense. And while most homeowners and apartment dwellers will be more than satisfied with the ample output of a Sonos soundbar/Sub Mini combo, those that prefer the bigger drive of the larger Sub will likely be linking the heavier woofer up to Sonos hardware like the flagship Arc, especially for immersive surround experiences like Dolby Atmos.

Yes, you can use the Sub Mini for a simulated Dolby Atmos configuration, too, but if you’re thinking about scoring Atmos sound on a small scale, you’ll need at least the Sonos Beam (2nd Gen) to even take advantage of the codec, and you should be prepared for a weaker Atmos simulation overall. And let’s be frank: If you’re thinking of buying a big Sonos soundbar, you should spend the extra $320 to pair it with the bigger Sonos woofer.

And here’s something else to chew on: As mentioned above, you can only use one Sub Mini at a time. Sure, for most Sonos owners, one Sub is plenty, but the Sonos Sub allows you to run up to three woofers in the same zone. For the real surround sound devotees out there, there’s no beating a 5.1.2 or 7.1.2 Atmos setup, a feat one can actually achieve with a Sonos Sub, but not the Sub Mini (at least not right now). Additionally, if you combine a Sonos Arc or Beam (2nd-gen) with a Sub and the new Dolby Atmos-capable Sonos Era 300 speakers, you can great up to a 7.1.4-channel surround sound system.

To that end, we’re awarding a point to the Sonos Sub.

Winner: Sonos Sub

Price and warranty

The Sonos Arc, Sub, and One SL speakers set up in a living room.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Sonos Sub Mini and third-gen Sonos Sub can be purchased through Sonos directly, online retailers such as Amazon, and brick-and-mortar/online outlets like Walmart and Best Buy.

The Sonos Sub Mini sells for $430 and comes with a full one-year warranty. The third-gen Sonos Sub sells for $749 and includes the same one-year warranty.

You can also find both Sonos Subs bundled with other Sonos hardware, like this Sonos Sub Mini Home Theater Completion Kit and this Sonos Sub Premium Immersive Set with ARC.

If we’re speaking purely in terms of affordability, though (and we are), the Sonos Sub Mini wins this one.

Winner: Sonos Sub Mini

The bottom line

While we always try to avoid a draw (because there’s always something that leads us to favor one product over another), this is one of those situations where we have to grant this as a stalemate between the Sonos Sub Mini and third-gen Sonos Sub.

The Sub Mini is perfect for smaller homes, delivers excellent low-end punch, can be used with a number of Sonos peripherals, and is much more affordable than the third-gen Sub while still packing a punch, which is the big bonus here. But for those looking for as much power as possible without sacrificing sound quality, the Sonos Sub delivers the bigger thump for bigger surround sound items (such as the Dolby Atmos-equipped Sonos Arc), along with a range of EQ options and other features, for a few hundred dollars more than the competition. It really comes down to your room and needs in this case, so the best Sub is based on that — they’re both great.

Winner: Tie

Editors’ Recommendations






Sonos Beam vs. Sonos Ray: Which soundbar is best for you? | Digital Trends

Sonos Beam vs. Sonos Ray: Which soundbar is best for you? | Digital Trends

When it comes to wireless speakers, Sonos consistently lands on best-of lists for performance and reliability, including our own best speaker list.

Sonos has been around for more than two decades. While the company originally cemented its reputation with its Wi-Fi-connected hi-fi speakers, it has also branched out into subwoofers and, yes, soundbars so that you can invest in some sweet, room-filling sound for your much-loved living room TV. When it comes to the company’s soundbars, two of the most popular options are the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) and the company’s most affordable soundbar, the Sonos Ray.

Which Sonos soundbar is right for you? We’ve compared both models, weighing in on key criteria like design, sound quality, and price, to help you determine which of the two Sonos devices is best for you, your needs, and your budget.

Design

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

The Sonos Beam is available in black and white finishes and measures 25.6 inches wide, 2.7 inches tall, and 3.9 inches from front to back, and weighs 6.2 pounds. Swapping the fabric grille of the previous Beam generation for the tougher plastic covering found on the Sonos Arc, the Beam is equipped with four elliptical midwoofers, three passive radiators, and a single center-facing tweeter. In terms of power and performance, the Beam uses five Class-D amplifiers to run the show, meaning it has a fair bit of power.

The Sonos Ray also comes in black and white and is clearly the smaller soundbar of the two, measuring 22 inches wide, 2.79 inches tall, and 3.74 inches from front to back, and weighing 4.29 pounds. A plastic grille covers the entire front of the soundbar, with flared edges adding a sharp but stylish look to the chassis. In terms of audio peripherals, the Ray features two high-performance midwoofers, a single tweeter, and four Class-D amps to power everything.

The Beam and the Ray can be controlled with the Sonos app, but each soundbar also features a set of top-facing buttons for playback controls and track skipping. Both the Beam and Ray are relatively compact and can also be placed on top of a stand or wall-mounted.

While the design category may not be as much of a factor for certain buyers, the Sonos Beam definitely looks like the stronger soundbar, but it’s not like the Ray pales in comparison — it’s just the smaller of the two. But with the additional speakers and power for the extra dollars, this one kind of comes down to your pocketbook and the power you need for the space you have, so we’re calling it a draw — you’ll be good whichever one you decide on.

Winner: Tie

Connections and controls

In terms of actual inputs, the Sonos Beam and Sonos Ray are similar, except for one major category: the audio connection between the soundbar and your TV.

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) has a DC power port, an Ethernet port, a Join button, and an HDMI ARC/eARC port. The Ray has the same power and Ethernet connections and a Join button, but instead of HDMI ARC/eARC, the Ray is equipped with a digital optical connection.

In the grand scheme of things, the Ray’s digital optical connection will still provide a solid signal path from your TV to the soundbar but will deliver less overall bandwidth, which translates to no hi-res playback or Dolby Atmos (more on that later).

Both the Sonos Beam and Ray can be controlled with the Sonos app and your TV remote. And while they are comparable in many ways, one of the standout control differences is that the Ray doesn’t have a mic built-in, which means it doesn’t support the Google Assistant, Alexa, or Sonos Voice controls that the Beam does. That’s not necessarily a huge deal if you add at least one voice-enabled Sonos speaker to your setup, like a pair of Sonos Ones as part of a surround configuration or even an Echo or Google Home device, which will bring voice control to the Ray setup. All that fuss, however, is what’s holding the Ray back from being the more complete package that the Beam is.

Winner: Sonos Beam

Setup

Setting up any Sonos component is a relatively straightforward task that only requires the Sonos S2 app (for iOS and Android devices), power, and a Wi-Fi connection. However, if this is the first Sonos speaker you’ve ever purchased, you’ll be tasked with creating a free Sonos account before setting up your soundbar.

Similar to other Sonos hardware, once you’ve downloaded the app, confirmed your credentials, and plugged in either your Beam or Ray, the Sonos app will automatically begin searching for new devices on your home network. Once your soundbar is plugged into your TV, you’ll also be asked to program your TV remote to work with the soundbar (with instructions provided in the app).

Over the years, Sonos has always worked a little more efficiently with iOS devices, and if you’re setting up your Beam or Ray with an iPhone or iPad, you’ll be able to use Sonos Trueplay to calibrate the soundbar based on its listening environment (Trueplay isn’t available for Android devices).

Winner: Tie

Sound quality

Sonos Ray seen stacked on top of a Sonos Beam Gen 2.
The Sonos Ray stacked on top of a Sonos Beam (Gen 2). Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

From the ground up, the Sonos Beam is engineered to deliver a bigger and more immersive home-theater-style sound. Like the Sonos Arc, the Beam’s HDMI ARC/eARC connection gifts the soundbar with much higher bandwidth. This is why the Beam is capable of decoding a number of hi-res audio formats, including Dolby Atmos.

And that’s the other big perk of the Beam: Atmos compatibility. Keep in mind that, unlike the Arc, which is equipped with top-firing drivers, the Beam’s main driver array focuses more on ear-level surround listening, with Atmos virtualization as a secondary consideration. But if you’ve been wanting a soundbar that can unpack some of the gravitas that is an Atmos-encoded movie or song, you could do worse than the Sonos Beam.

Beyond the Atmos accolades, though, the Beam sounds incredible — even without a dedicated subwoofer. The low end is bold but not overbearing, and the mids and highs come through sharp and clear. Ultimately, the total soundstage isn’t as wide as the kind of coverage you’ll get with bigger bars like the Arc, but for around $450 less, the Beam is certainly a much more cost-friendly alternative to a traditional surround system.

So how exactly does the Sonos Ray stack up against the Beam? Well, as the lack of passive radiators, fewer drivers, and fewer amplifiers may suggest, the Ray is the softer-hitting soundbar of the two. In fact, price-wise, the Ray really belongs more in an entry-level soundbar category rather than the mid-sized tier of the Beam.

Sure, the Ray is smaller, but while it’s only outfitted with a digital optical connection (which removes any chance of hi-res playback or Atmos), it’s not a weak soundbar. Thanks in part to the flared ends of the front grille, the Ray is able to create a much bigger soundstage than looks would lead one to believe. And while bass, mids, and treble are all a bit reduced when compared to the Beam, the Ray’s sound is still rock-solid and on-par with something like Sonos’ One lineup.

When buying a Sonos product, you’re also investing in a world of expansion options. Whether you want to add additional speakers to a second room or want to group two speakers and a subwoofer with your Beam or Ray to create a full surround system, how you choose to add components is entirely up to you.

If your budget allows it, we’d actually recommend adding the Sonos Sub Mini to your Sonos Ray to up your bass game in your living room.

Winner: Sonos Beam

Price

The Sonos Beam retails for $429 and includes a one-year limited warranty. The Sonos Ray sells for $279 and also comes with a one-year warranty.

Throughout the year, you may find that both soundbars drop in price, and if you’re interested in bundling multiple Sonos items together, the company sells the Beam and Ray as part of several different speaker packages.

Winner: Sonos Ray

The verdict

Sonos Beam Gen 2.
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

For only $150 more than the Sonos Ray, the Sonos Beam is the bigger and better Sonos soundbar, hands down, and is built to deliver a more robust home-theater experience for small- to medium-sized rooms. If you can stomach the extra cost, this is your pick.

This isn’t to say that the Sonos Ray is a bad soundbar. In fact, if you’re working with a limited amount of space and simply want to bypass the tinny output of your TV speakers, the Sonos Ray is one of the best entry-level soundbars on the market.

But alas, one soundbar must take home the grand prize.

Winner: Sonos Beam

Editors’ Recommendations






The [redacted] bits are the best part of Fubo’s sports streamer lawsuit | Digital Trends

The [redacted] bits are the best part of Fubo’s sports streamer lawsuit | Digital Trends

Fubo

Fubo has poked the bear. Three bears, actually, in filing a federal antitrust lawsuit against an upcoming joint venture (known as a JV for obvious reasons) that sees Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery teaming up for a new sports streaming service that is planned to launch this fall.

At first glance, the lawsuit (and its accompanying press release) seems like an offseason Festivus airing of grievances.

“The vertically integrated media companies have engaged in a yearslong campaign to block Fubo’s innovative sports-first streaming business, resulting in significant harm to both Fubo and consumers,” the press release opens. The lawsuit itself has much the same tone as the opening paragraphs that set the stage. And it’s hard not to look at Fubo like it’s the little guy trying to punch up, without a possibility of actually landing a shot.

Not helping matters is when Fubo refers to itself as “a leading virtual MVPD.” That’s short for multi-channel video programming distributor. Whereas cable and satellite are traditional MVPDs, the “virtual” part means that you don’t need any additional infrastructure and can do it all with existing hardware like a phone, tablet, or computer. And in any event, Fubo isn’t anywhere close to leading in 2024. It ended the third quarter of 2023 with 1.477 million subscribers, up 20%t year over year. But it has yet to ever break a million and a half. (Fubo announces its fourth-quarter 2023 numbers on March 1, 2024.)

Meanwhile, YouTube TV (which doesn’t give precise subscriber numbers) recently eclipsed 8 million subscribers. Hulu With Live TV last reported 4.6 million subs. Sling TV is No. 3 at 2.12 million subscribers. So, no. Fubo isn’t anywhere close to leading anything, and it never really has been. But that’s also its point — that its competitors have used their positions to unfairly keep Fubo from gaining any more traction than it has, both in terms of subscribers and revenue. (The company hopes to have positive cash flow in 2025.)

Was Fubo unable to compete? Or was it kept from being able to compete?

And to be clear, Fubo isn’t suing YouTube TV or Google, or Sling. Hulu is included, as is ESPN, because their corporate entity is Disney, which is one third of the joint venture at question.  ESPN also plans to have its own standalone streaming subscription sometime in 2025.)

The really important stuff in this lawsuit isn’t the bluster. It’s not Fubo pretending it’s far bigger than it is. It’s not Fubo whining that it was going to offer a skinny bundle — that is, fewer channels and thus a lower price — that focused on sports, only for that to never really materialize, at least over the long run.

Here’s what Fubo really is alleging: Fubo says the defendants sold their programming to its competitors at a lower price than Fubo was offered, or that it was required to do business in a way that kept it from being able to compete.

The details are myriad and complex. Read the full lawsuit if you really want to see how tangled all of this has become — and that’s just for the smallest of the virtual MVPDs. But the details we’re able to see in the lawsuit also are incomplete. Parts of the allegations are redacted. Things like what Fubo is being required to pay for certain content. Or what channels it’s being forced to carry, or what percentage of a particular viewership it’s being required to serve certain channels to.

I have no idea if any (or all) of that is legal. I have no idea what a “fair” price would be for Fubo to pay for, say, ESPN. Should Disney be required to charge YouTube TV and its more than 8 million subscribers the same as it charges Fubo and its 1.4 million subs? At what point does the usual give-and-take in a major business deal cross a line?

And all this, mind you, over a joint venture that doesn’t launch until this fall — and as yet doesn’t even have a publicly known name.

It’s clear that Fubo has been banking on what it believes are unfair practices for a while now. It’s also very likely that it’s playing the part of David against the defendants’ Goliath. We’ll just have to see how the story plays out.

But for now, much of what a judge and, potentially, a jury would need to get anywhere close to a decision remains hidden behind those black bars. It’d be good to remember that before merely repeating what any of the companies has to say about the lawsuit.

Editors’ Recommendations






The 8 best TV deals from LG, Sony, Samsung, and more | Digital Trends

The 8 best TV deals from LG, Sony, Samsung, and more | Digital Trends

If you’re ready to get a great TV, there’s no reason to break the bank, as at their most basic a TV is no more of a screen than any other. And as such, just as we are able to find great tablet deals, we are able to find deals that push TVs down to incredibly low prices. Yet, at the same time, advanced TVs — including the best TVs — are also able to be bought at a winning price if you look hard enough. Here, we’ve collected the best TV deals across a spectrum of quality levels, capabilities, and brands, of which all of the best TV brands are represented.

Insignia 50-inch Class F30 LED 4K UHD Smart Fire TV — $230, was $300

Insignia

Insignia’s low cost TV just got even cheaper. It’s got the standard LED display that you’re probably used to if you last bought a TV some years ago, but also has a 4K resolution, smart capabilities, and a large 50-inch screen. In other words, this is a fantastic way to upgrade or replace your aging TV for about the same cost (or less) than you paid for it. If you’re wanting a TV, but don’t want to pay too much, this is a no-brainer.

Hisense 70-inch Class A6 Series LED 4K UHD HDR Smart Google TV — $480, was $520

Hisense Class A6 Series LED 4K UHD Google TV product image with bball.
Hisense

For a large screen TV at a fraction of the expected cost, check out this TV from Hisense. It has everything you need to get the modern TV experience, including a gaming mode, HDR and HDR10, a 4K AI upscaler for older content, and a special sports mode. This sports mode automatically changes the screen’s settings to accommodate sports programming without you having to fiddle with each option. Additional bonuses like the included voice remote, DTS Virtual X, and the ability to connect directly to the TV with Bluetooth headphones and speaker make this TV easily go head-to-head and achieve victory over any other TV under $500.

Toshiba 75-inch Class C350 Series LED 4K UHD Smart Fire TV — $520, was $800

Toshiba C350 Series Smart Fire TV 4K
Amazon

If you’ve been thinking about getting a Fire device for streaming from your TV but also just want a new, nice TV, you should consider this one. The big things that make this TV stand out from others that are adjacent to it in quality and capabilities are; its large 75-inch screen, Apple Airplay support, its Alexa voice remote, and its affordability.

Samsung 85-inch Class TU69OT Crystal UHD 4K Smart Tizen TV — $1,000, was $1,300

The Samsung TU69OT 4K Smart TV on a media cabinet in a living room.
Samsung

At a price point that makes it a clear rival to all of the best TVs under $1,000, this Samsung TV offers a premium view and smooth colors. One of the words that you should notice in this TV’s name is “crystal” which denotes a couple of things. First, its crystal processor, which is the TV’s 4K upscaler, a by-now expected quality of a 4K TV. Next is what is referred to as the TV’s “PurColor Crystal Display”. This display technology creates smoothness in the represented colors, reducing artifacts in the upscaling process and other problems associated with sub-4K content. You’ll also appreciate this TV’s recommendations, which give appropriate suggestions to you based on your viewing history from both streaming services and live TV. The Samsung TU69OT works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple AirPlay2.

TCL 65-inch Class QM8 Series Mini-LED QLED 4K UHD Smart Google TV — $1,100, was $1,300

TCL 2024 QM8 4K mini-LED TV.
TCL QM8 Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

We’ve been enamored with the QM8 ever since we got our hands on it. It’s unique in that it has mini-LED backlighting (think good contrasting), an uncommon feature for TCL TVs. When you combine this with its ability to display in 4K at 144Hz or 1440p at 240Hz, you have an incredibly smooth experience with seductive shadows. One thing nearly every look at the QM8 has praised, though only lightly so in our TCL QM8 review, is the price. Even in normal times, with no discount, the QM8 is highly competitive with much more expensive TVs and the contrast makes it fell more like an OLED than an LED.

Sony 55-inch Class Bravia XR A75L OLED 4K UHD Smart Google TV — $1,200, was $1,600

Sony Bravia A75L OLED 4K TV.
Sony

While you won’t see this exact model, you will certainly see a Sony Bravia XR TV in our collection of the best OLED TVs. The “XR” comes from the TVs’ Cognitive Processor XR technology, which helps compute the big four in TVs: contrast, black detailing, color gamut, and brightness levels. If you’re sneaking around in the shadows in a stealth game, for instance, you’ll super appreciate this TV’s tech. In fact, this TV features a nice Auto Low-Latency Mode, an all-encompassing game menu, and has extra features when combined with a PS5. It should come as no surprise, then, that when you look at the best TVs for gaming, you see more Sony Bravia XR TVs. So, get this one while it is on sale for such a reasonable price.

Samsung 65-inch Class S94BD OLED 4K UHD Smart Tizen TV — $1,280, was $1,600

The Samsung S94BD on a home screen.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

First things first, the Samsung S94BD TV is highly similar to the highly-acclaimed S95B, so much so that you will be forgiven if you fail to distinguish them. As such, this is going to be one of the best OLED TVs you can get on a bargain at the moment. Visually, you’ll be taken in by the combination of the screen’s 8.3 million self-lit pixels and pantone-validated colors (including the dreaded 448 C). Then, the TV’s processing introduces the illusion of depth in a very realistic manner. And, of course, any depth is just an illusion as the S94BD is what Samsung calls “LaserSlim” at only 1.6 inches at its thickest.

TCL 98-inch Class S5 Series LED 4K UHD Smart Google TV — $2,000, was $3,000

TCL 2024 S5 LED TV.
TCL

A large TV, fantastic real-customer reviews, and a solid discount. Those are the appeals of this TV, which has a 120Hz refresh rate and motion rate 480 with MEMC frame insertion for incredibly low frame tearing and a smooth experience when watching action-packed scenes and sports programming. If you know about HDR, you’ll know that there are many forms of it, and the S5 seems to have access to a ton of them; HDR10+, HDR10, and HLG included alongside Dolby Vision IQ. When combined with deep learning based AI color optimizations, you’re going to love what this TV puts out. And its not just in the visual department that this TV puts out greatness. Modern TVs are known for producing tinny sounds due to their thin structures, but the S5 has a built-in subwoofer, giving it an edge for those of you that don’t want to fool with the wire-laying hassle of setting up surround sound.

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