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Sony’s Powerful New Soundbar Simulates an Entire Surround Sound System

 7.1-channel HT-ST5 sound bar

Sony just revamped a huge chunk of its audio lineup, and its highest-end new offering is the 7.1-channel HT-ST5 sound bar. It blasts 380 watts of sound faceward using nine speakers divided into seven channels and a wirelessly synced subwoofer. Even though the speakers are all lined up in a row, Sony claims the sound bar’s proprietary audio technology can make it sound like channels are coming from your sides and even behind you. Soundbars, of course, have been doing (or at least attempting) this for years by either bouncing sound off of walls or through fancy digital signal processing (DSP). I’m guessing Sony’s going with the latter based on the driver configuration. The system supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD audio sources, and components can be connected to it…

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WD My Passport Wireless Adds 2TB to Your Phone Without the Cloud

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With cloud services in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, rest assured you can still expand a device’s storage without putting anything online, springing for the 4-petabyte model, or even using a microSD card. The WD My Passport Wireless is a portable storage hub that can connect to up to eight devices at a time, allowing you to offload and access data as well as stream video from the drive. There’s no cloud-based access to your content, so you’ll need to be in close proximity in order to access or offload files to the drive. The My Passport shows up as a Wi-Fi access point for your phone, tablet, laptop, smart TV, or Wi-Fi camera. Once connected, the files on the drive are accessible via the My Cloud app…

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Sony’s Latest Smartphone-Hugging Camera Lets You Swap Out Lenses

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Sony has never been afraid to get a little crazy. Over the years, the company has made OLED displays you wear on your face, Luke Skywalker binoculars that record 3-D video, tablets that fold up into burritos, and car stereos that transform into Walkmen. At its most interesting, Sony makes products born out of a Willy Wonka/Dr. Seuss/The Jetsons brainstorm, except these products have names like WDX-RLXT1B instead of The Electrick Fizzlefozz. And now, like a gift from a parallel universe, there’s a new Sony product with pure sass coursing through its veins. The Sony ILCE-QX1 is a follow-up to last year’s QX10 and QX100 smartphone-mountable cameras, and this one has—get this—an interchangeable lens mount, a 20-megapixel APS-C sensor, and a pop-up flash. Like its fixed-lens predecessors, the QX1 comes…

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The Galaxy Tab S – Light and Bright

galaxy tab s

WIRED Beautiful high-resolution AMOLED displays. Absurdly thin and light. Expandable storage via MicroSD slot. Multi Window mode is a useful extra, as is SideSync if you own a Galaxy phone. Solid battery life. TIRED TouchWiz UI means there’s a bit of bloatware in the mix. That same plastic dimpled backing as the Samsung Galaxy S5 (although it does look better on these tablets). Samsung makes a lot of different kinds of tablets. In fact, Samsung makes so many tablets that it’s hard for one lineup to stand out amongst the company’s offerings, let alone the competition. But with the 8.4-inch ($400) and 10.5-inch Galaxy Tab S ($500), Samsung has managed to stand out quite a bit. They’ve also done it without resorting to ridiculous gimmicks. These Wi-Fi-only tablets are incredibly…

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Pocket Kick – Jazz in Your Pants

SoundfreaqMiniSpeaker

WIRED Awesome sound for something slightly bigger than your laptop’s power brick. Bluetooth 4.0, works with almost any device. Over ten hours of battery life per charge. Button controls on the side for when your phone is out of reach. Rubber ring around the grille keeps it from moving around as it vibrates. Has a mic and works as a speakerphone. TIRED Does fine with classic rock, jazz, and mellower vibes, but it won’t bring out the nuances in your Merzbow MP3s. It wobbles when you tip it vertically, and it only really works well while sitting horizontally. Play button functions like a one-button remote on a smartphone, and can trigger the occasional pocket dial. I’m crazy for portable Bluetooth speakers. They’re practical, they’re cute. They’re the type of gadget…

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