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Alpine Unveils 9-Inch Aftermarket Head Unit With Floating Design At CES

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Alpine HALO9 iLX-F309 in-dash system

Many of today’s newer cars come with huge infotainment screens (like the Lexus LC 500 with it’s 10.3″ dash-mounted screen). But if you’ve got an older car and want that big screen experience, you’re pretty much out of luck, as most single DIN and double DIN radios only give you so much space to work with.

Alpine Electronics came up with a unique solution to this common problem with their new 9-inch iLX-F309 in-dash system, which they debuted at CES this week. This AM/FM/audio/video receiver uses a 1-DIN chassis for installation, with a 9-inch touch screen “hovering” in front of the vehicle’s dash, allowing the oversized screen to be added to a variety of vehicles without the need for custom installation.

Installation of the Alpine iLX-F309 sounds like a breeze, as described here:

The 9-inch screen is attached to an adjustable mount connected to a 1-DIN chassis. Once installed, the screen and mount are fixed to the chassis for a sturdy installation. The screen hovers over or in front of the dash while its rear housing tapers off cleanly at the edges for a thin, modern silhouette. At its default position, the screen’s sliding mount is pushed out, sitting at a 90-degree angle and the bottom of the screen is centered with the 1-DIN chassis.

At this point, the screen can be angled at select positions to assist during installation, help with visibility, or move it away from other items on the dashboard. The screen can be positioned 20 mm back from its default position, to move it closer to the dashboard. It can be moved up or down 30mm from its default position and can be tilted up/down at a maximum of 45-degrees, depending on the position of the up/down location.

The iLX-F309 has a suite of entertainment features sure to please the most discerning of techies, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth streaming audio, HD Radio, SiriusXM, Alpine TuneIt App integration, AUX, HDMI, and rear camera inputs, and more. The system doesn’t include a CD or DVD slot.

If you’re interested in getting the Alpine iLX-F309 for your vehicle, you won’t have long to wait, as the system will be available at authorized retailers in February, with a suggested retail price of $1,100.

What do you think of the Alpine iLX-F309 with it’s 9-inch floating screen?

Music

Libratone’s TRACK+ Wireless Headphones Keep The Chaos Out And The Music In

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Libratone TRACK+ Wireless In-Ear Earphones

When the Libratone TRACK+ Wireless Earphones were unveiled at CES earlier this year, I was intrigued by their Smart Noise Cancellation technology, which lets you control how much of the world you want to let in or out.

Now, active noise cancelling headphones are nothing new, and they’ve long been a must-have for frequent travelers like myself who want to “get away from it all” and just enjoy their tunes.

But Libratone has taken it a step further, with the TRACK+ offering 4 levels of adjustable noise cancellation so you can control how much you hear of the world around you. You can even let Smart Mode do it for you automatically, adjusting based on your environment and activity.

Libratone TRACK+ Wireless In-Ear Earphones

When the TRACK+ detects movement like running or a workout, it will automatically allow in slightly more ambient noise so you’re aware of your surroundings. Because let’s face it, the last thing you want is to get hit by a car or bike because you couldn’t hear them coming!

Similarly, when you’re sitting still in a loud place (like an airplane or train), the earphones will cancel the maximum amount of outside noise so you can focus on the music and nothing else. And in that respect, they work incredibly well.. assuming you read the directions.

You see, during my first testing session, I wasn’t all that impressed with the TRACK+, as there was too much ambient noise coming through, even on the highest noise cancellation (-20dB) setting. The problem? The eartips weren’t forming a perfect seal with my ear. Once I switched to a larger eartip (four different sizes are provided), the difference was night and day, with the outside world completely disappearing.

Libratone TRACK+ Wireless In-Ear Earphones

Since then, I’ve taken the TRACK+ on a few flights, on a train ride to New York, and even into a crowded Starbucks. And in every case, they performed amazing well, allowing me to focus on my music, movies, podcasts, and such without being distracted by the outside noise.

Those planning on hitting the gym will be pleased to know that they have a splash-proof IPX4 rating, that the earbuds are sweat-proof, and the included sport fins allow you to run on the treadmill without concerns about them falling out. And thanks to the ANC, you can drown out those grunting meatheads and focus on what you’re there to do.

Overall, there is a lot to like about the Libratone TRACK+ Wireless Earphones, and I’d highly recommend them to anyone who’s looking to drown out some of the outside chaos. At $199, they’re not to cheapest option out there, but they’re well worth it. These wireless eadbuds offer high quality sound, 4 levels of adjustable noise cancellation, long battery life (8 hours), and a sleek, minimalist design. Seriously, what more could you ask for?

Visit www.libratone.com to learn more about the TRACK+ earphones.

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How Cool Is This

This Is The Gravity-Defying Death Star Speaker You’ve Been Looking For!

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Star Wars Levitating Death Star Bluetooth Speaker

Unbound from the laws of gravity, Plox is bringing the might of the Empire to your home with the Official Star Wars Levitating Death Star Speaker. Amaze your friends and yourself as your Death Star speaker delivers 360 degrees of uncompromising sound for up to five hours on a single charge.

The gravity-defying orb combines 360° Bluetooth sound projection with an out-of-this-world levitation system using Plox’s force technology. This exclusive Star Wars collectible is the Death Star you’ve been waiting for.

This is a great sounding speaker that any Star Wars fan would want. Sadly, this model does not come with the planet-destroying super laser. Hopefully, they can add this to their later models. For now, you can only ‘blast’ some cool tunes.

The Empire’s ultimate weapon can now be yours. May the force be with you!

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Music

Enjoy Untethered Music With The JBL E55BT Wireless Over-Ear Headphones

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JBL E55BT Wireless Headphones

It’s easy to get sticker shock when you’re shopping for a pair of premium Bluetooth headphones, as a quality set of cans will typically set you back around $300. But that’s not the case with JBL’s new E-Series wireless headphones, which bring the signature sound of JBL right to your ears, without breaking the bank.

We recently had a chance to test out their top-end JBL E55BT wireless over-ear headphones, which come in at a very reasonable $149.95, and we were rather impressed with them. They’ve got a sleek design (and comes in 5 stylish colors), are super comfortable, deliver great sound quality, and have a 20-hour battery life.

Style-conscious buyers will be happy, as the JBL E55BT’s are definitely sharp, especially if you opt for one of the brighter hues like red, blue or teal. As far as fit and comfort goes, I found them to be second to none, with generous cushioning in the headband and earpads that allowed me to wear them throughout the day without any sort of fatigue. That’s huge in my book!

JBL E55BT Wireless Headphones

But where these headphones really shined was in the audio department. Equipped with 50mm drivers, these E55BT are perfectly balanced, with excellent bass performance, and crisp, clear highs. I listened to all kinds of different tracks with them, and everything sounded great. The whole frequency range is very detailed and spacious, with good separation and such. Really impressive for this price point.

The E55BT also has built-in music control buttons on the right ear cup, which offer convenient management of music and calls. That’s right, you can take phone calls while using these headphones, though the built-in mic isn’t the greatest. Using the detachable audio cable (which has an inline remote control and microphone) is a much better option if you have to make a hands-free call.

During my time with the JBL E55BT headphones, I never had them run out of juice (or even have the warning come on for low battery), and I used them quite a bit. So I have no doubt that they do indeed live up to their 20-hour battery life. Furthermore, they can be recharged to full capacity in just two hours, so you won’t have to go without your tunes for too long.

JBL E55BT Wireless Headphones

Overall, I was rather impressed with the JBL E55BT headphones, and I found them to be a big step up from the sub-$100 wireless headphones currently on the market, delivering a high-quality audio experience at an affordable price. So if you’re ready to say goodbye to those pesky wires once in for all, order yourself a set of JBL E55BT headphones.. You won’t be disappointed!

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