Tag Archives: Bluetooth

How to Set Up Bluetooth in an Older Car (or a Newer, Fussier Car)

Maybe you bought a brand-new phone; maybe your phone just went through a major OS update. Either way, the result is the same: you can’t connect it via Bluetooth to your older car anymore, which means you’ve lost the ability to rock out, enrich yourself with podcasts, or make hands-free calls.

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Upgrade to BÖHM Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones For $68, Today Only

Upgrade to BÖHM Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones For $68, Today Only
BÖHM Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, $68

We see deals on Bluetooth earbuds almost every day, but if you prefer on-ears, this highly rated BÖHM headset is marked down to an all-time low $68, today only on Amazon.

That modest price tag includes 18 hour battery life, a built-in microphone, and yes, even active noise cancellation. I can’t say I’ve tried them myself, but their 4.3 star average would indicate that they sound pretty good too.

Just note that this is a Gold Box deal, meaning this price is only available today, or until sold out.


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Logitech’s Bluetooth Audio Adapter Turns Any Pair of Speakers into Wireless Ones

Logitech's Bluetooth Audio Adapter Turns Any Pair of Speakers into Wireless Ones

If you have a great pair of bookshelf speakers or even computer speakers, but wish you could stream music from a phone, a laptop, or another device without rearranging wires, Logitech’s Bluetooth Audio Adapter is for you. It’s tiny, affordable, and makes any set of speakers you plug it into Bluetooth and wireless.

For about $27 at Amazon, Logitech’s Bluetooth Audio Adapter can turn just about any set of speakers into Bluetooth ones. That’s a huge deal if you have an audio setup that you love, or invested good money into, but you want the good sound your quality speakers offer but have laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other audio sources in your home that aren’t connected to them. Just connect the audio adapter to your receiver or your speakers via 3.5mm or RCA, power it up, and you have a new Bluetooth audio device in your home.

Put the adapter into pairing mode, and pair it with any other Bluetooth devices—your laptop that’s not connected to your stereo, your iPad or Android tablet, your friend’s phone (who’s over to visit and wants to play you his new favorite track), your spouse’s computer, whatever you want. Think of it as a more universal approach to technologies like AirPlay, Google Cast, or even a non-geeky approach to DLNA. Pretty much everyone understands Bluetooth, and you don’t need to download a special app or use a special tool to make this puppy work.

Of course, if you’re already a DLNA master and don’t need another gadget, or you’d prefer a Chromecast audio for your in-home streaming needs, you may not need something like this—but even for the money, the convenience, simplicity, and broad cross-platform, cross-device support just can’t be beat.

Bluetooth Audio Adapter | Logitech


Everyone Can Save $30 on an Amazon Echo, Today Only

In spite of all the snark when it first launched, the Amazon Echo is actually pretty great, and everybody can save $30 on theirs for a limited time, including non-Prime members.


As we reported earlier, it’s actually still possible to save $50 on an Echo if you’re approved for an Amazon Store Card (which you should probably have anyway), but if you don’t feel like signing up for a new credit card, this is still a solid discount. [Amazon Echo, $150]



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Send deal submissions to Deals@Gawker and all other inquiries to Shane@Gawker.

Go Wireless For Up To 20 Hours at a Time With These Cheap Bluetooth Headphones

Go Wireless For Up To 20 Hours at a Time With These Cheap Bluetooth Headphones

We see no shortage of deals on wireless earbuds (seriously, I get like 10 in my inbox every day), but what if you prefer on-ears? These Audiomax Bluetooth headphones boast 20 hours of battery life, Apt-X encoding, and a 3.5mm port when you need to plug in, all of which are rare or non-existent features on entry level wireless earbuds. [AUDIOMAX Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 On-Ear Headphones with Passive Noise Cancelling Technology and Built-in Microphone, $45 with code BULELHW5]


More Deals


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Why Automakers Still Can’t Get Bluetooth To Work

J.D. Power is out with its latest Vehicle Dependability study, and while unbearable voice-recognition systems continue to be an issue, Bluetooth problems are now at the top of the list.

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Make Any Headphones Wireless with This Rechargeable DIY BluetoothBox

Instead of buying expensive Bluetooth headphones, you can turn any old set into wireless cans. Instructables user FuneLab shows you how, with his DIY BluetoothBox.

You can buy good headphones for even $20, but most will be wired. Bluetooth is definitely more convenient, even if it isn’t quite as high quality. The BluetoothBox is a tiny device with a standard 3.5mm audio jack for any headphones, and a microUSB port to charge it. On a single charge, it will last for about six hours, which is comparable to most Bluetooth headphones. Just plug in your favorite headphones and you’re good to go.

Check out the link below for step-by-step instructions, a materials list, downloadables like schematics and 3D printing files, any any other instructions you might need. Fair warning, this isn’t a project for someone who isn’t good with electronics. If it seems daunting, head to your local hackerspace so that experienced DIYers can help you out.

BluetoothBox for Stereo Headphones and Speakers | Instructables

Moto Hint Review: ​The First Bluetooth Headset I Wasn’t Ashamed to Wear

Moto Hint Review: ​The First Bluetooth Headset I Wasn't Ashamed to Wear

Bluetooth earpieces have always stuck out. I mean they’ve literally stuck out of your ear. Perhaps they’re not as much of a fashion faux pas as Google Glass, but there’s definitely a stigma about them. To combat the cyborg look, some wearable manufacturers are building smartwatches, but Motorola also has a backup plan: a tiny, handsome earbud that can act like a personal assistant.

Moto Hint Review: ​The First Bluetooth Headset I Wasn't Ashamed to Wear

What Is It?

It’s an itsy bitsy teenie weenie Bluetooth headset—basically the entire thing fits inside your ear. It pairs more or less seamlessly with Motorola’s already very good voice-control software on the new Moto X, allowing you to do stuff with your phone while it’s still in your pocket/purse/backpack/bathroom floor. Did you see the movie Her? Remember the earpieces they wore to interact with their digital assistants? This is basically the beta version of that. But with a less robust (and less sexy) operating system.

Who’s It For?

It’s for people who have secretly wanted the utility of a hands-free Bluetooth headset but couldn’t bear the stigma of wearing one in public. I mean, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all, but come on, those things make you look like an asshole. Realtalk. While it’ll work with any Bluetooth-capable phone (which is basically every phone) it’s especially designed to work with Motorola’s latest and greatest.

Moto Hint Review: ​The First Bluetooth Headset I Wasn't Ashamed to Wear


From an engineering point of view, it’s really damn impressive. It packs in a speaker, a touch-sensitive panel, dual noise-canceling microphones, a battery, and an IR proximity detector into something that’s the size of a thimble and weighs only 6 grams (or 0.2 ounces). You can even trick out the Hint with backplates made of different materials, like canvas, wood, and leather, so you can match it to your Moto X though Moto Maker.

Motorola couldn’t cram a very large battery in there, though: Indeed, there’s just a 46 mAh cell inside the Hint’s diminutive chassis. To put that in perspective, that is exactly 1/50th (yes,fiftieth) of the size of the battery in the Moto X. So, to help you get through the day, Motorola also built a rather clever carrying case that doubles as a portable charging station.

Moto Hint Review: ​The First Bluetooth Headset I Wasn't Ashamed to Wear

Drop your Hint into the little docking port inside the case, plug in a standard micro-USB cable, and you’ll actually be charging two batteries at once: the 46mAh cell inside the Hint, and a second 150mAh battery in the case that holds an additional 2.5 charges worth of electricity. Simply pop the Hint out of your ear when it’s running low, and into the little slide-out cubby on the Charging Case once again. When you close the case, an LED light at the top begins to pulse so that you know it’s working.

The case, too, can be customized to match your earpiece and phone (though I’m not sure if there’s a wood variant). It’s easy on the eyes, definitely pocket-sized, and convenient.

Moto Hint Review: ​The First Bluetooth Headset I Wasn't Ashamed to Wear

Using It

You pair the Hint with your Moto X pretty much like you’d pair anything else. It’s a simple process and thankfully it worked on the first try (which isn’t always the case with Bluetooth audio devices). Once paired, you can choose to set the Hint as a "trusted device" which means that when the Hint is connected to your phone you can bypass your lockscreen. In other words, if you have the Hint in your ear (not in your pocket), you’ll be able to skip straight to your homescreen as soon as you turn on your phone. Definitely handy. To save power, the Hint uses a proximity detector to tell if it’s actually in your ear, and switch to standby mode whenever you take it out. But when it’s in your ear, it’s constantly listening.

At least, it is if you’re using a Moto X.

You don’t have to have a Moto X in order to use the Moto Hint. The Hint uses a standard Bluetooth protocol for audio which means it will pair and work with any smartphone that supports it (yes, even iPhones). It will work just like a regular Bluetooth earpiece. You’ll be able to use it for all your calls and it will still be discreet and good-looking, and maybe that’s all you really want anyway—a smaller, more attractive earpiece. That said, you’ll be missing some of the banner features like being able to interact with your phone via Moto Voice and the Hint constantly listening for your command.

Moto Hint Review: ​The First Bluetooth Headset I Wasn't Ashamed to Wear

What’s it listening for? Glad you asked. You may remember that the Moto X smartphone also has an always-listening feature where you can program a wake-up phrase of your choice to instantly unlock the phone and allow you to immediately issue a voice command. Originally mine was, "Miiister Anderson…" a la Hugo Weaving, but I’ve since changed it to, "Hi there Jenny." I’m not totally sure why. Regardless, assuming you’re using the Hint with a Moto X, it uses the same wake-up phrase, and then you’re free to control your phone no matter whether it’s in your pocket, on your car dashboard, or wherever else you might have stuffed the damn thing (ahem).

A few examples of things you can do:

  • Voice dial a contact or receive/ignore an incoming call with a simple phrase.
  • Send an SMS text or a WhatsApp message.
  • Ask for turn-by-turn driving/walking/biking directions.
  • Update your Facebook status.
  • Ask it to translate a word or phrase into another language.
  • Tell it to play some specific band/song/album.
  • Find out your upcoming calendar appointments.
  • Ask it any number of random questions you’d ask Google ("How old is LeBron James?")

When it works, it works really well and is generally very convenient. For example, just yesterday I lost track of time and was scrambling to pack up my suitcase and meet some friends before heading to the airport. We hadn’t picked a restaurant yet. I was able to rush all around the apartment like a chicken with its head cut off, while still receiving text messages and calls and coordinating with my friends. Or two days ago, when I was walking around a new city, I was getting turn-by-turn walking directions piped straight to my ear while looking around and enjoying the scenery.

Moto Hint Review: ​The First Bluetooth Headset I Wasn't Ashamed to Wear

As for how discreet it is, I wore this thing for three solid days (when I wasn’t swimming, showering, or charging it)—walking down the street, in stores, at restaurants. I was waiting for someone to ask me about it—daring them, even. But nobody seemed to notice. Not once. Maybe they didn’t want to ask me about it because they thought I was deaf in one ear and didn’t want to offend, but honestly, I think it’s so small that it just barely registers. Then again, I was a bit self-conscious about talking to it when surrounded by people. I’d do it walking down the street, but I’d typically wait until any potential cyborg-hunters were a safe distance away.

It comes with a few different sized gel-attachments to make sure it fits snugly into different-sized ears. I found that the pre-installed medium size was the best fit overall, but even so, after a while it did become a bit uncomfortable in my ear. When this happened I would just pull it out of my one ear and pop it into the other, and that gave my ear the break it wanted and solved the comfort issues. It’s not ideal, but it isn’t too awkward. Getting it to fit in your ear just right is very important, because if it doesn’t really get in there it can be pretty hard to hear.

Actually, that leads me to the first strike against it. In my experience, the Hint has very inconsistent volume levels. Some things it says will be relatively loud and easy to hear, and then for other things it just kind of whispers. Seems like a software issue that could be ironed out. More annoying is when you’re trying to issue a voice command and it doesn’t seem to be able to hear your voice over its own sounds. It was particularly problematic when I was playing music: I was shouting my key phrase over and over, but it just didn’t register. This same thing happens with the Moto X, even playing relatively quiet audiobooks with Audible, so I’m thinking it may be a software issue.

And even at max, the Hint really doesn’t pump out as much volume as a traditional Bluetooth headset. I really struggled to hear what it was saying over the sounds of light traffic or even a cranked-up A/C in my car. Pushing it further into your ear helps, but watch out: When you tap the touch-sensitive panel on the back it activates Moto Voice just as if you’d uttered the wake-up command. Or deactivates it just as you were trying to hear whether the Hint had properly interpreted you. Or ends your call, which is a special kind of annoying.

Moto Hint Review: ​The First Bluetooth Headset I Wasn't Ashamed to Wear

On the positive side, you can start a call on your phone, then simply pop the Hint into your ear and the call will seamlessly transfer to the earbud. Take it out in the middle of a call, and yep, your call is right back on your phone. Pretty slick, but doesn’t happen quiiite as fast as you’d want, so you’ll miss a few seconds of what the other person is saying while waiting for it to switch over.

There are some other places where improvements need to be made on the software side. For instance, Google is making a push to make Hangouts the default messaging app in Android, but Moto Voice doesn’t really integrate with Hangouts yet. That means that if you’ve already switched over to Hangouts you’re left out of a lot of the text messaging goodness, which is one of the banner features. It will beep when you get a new text, but it won’t read it to you or say who it’s from. You have to say your wake-up phrase and then, "What’s new?" and then sometimes it will read it. Annoying.

Also, when sending a text (or an email), you dictate the message, and then it will ask, "Do you want to send this?" but it doesn’t read your message back to you. So you have to pull out your phone and make sure it heard you correctly before you confirm, which pretty much defeats the purpose. In general, don’t expect too much: Moto Voice (and Google Now/Search for that matter) still has trouble with natural language. You really have to memorize commands in order to get it to do what you want. It’s still ahead of Siri in this department but it’s way behind Windows’ Cortana. We hope Google will up its game very, very soon.

Moto Hint Review: ​The First Bluetooth Headset I Wasn't Ashamed to Wear


The size is really incredible. The Hint is tiny, discreet, and even when you do notice it, it’s a pretty slick little gadget. The charging case is really well-engineered and it looks good, too.

Being able to do a lot with your phone without even having to pull it out is a pretty big deal and there are times when it’s genuinely extremely convenient.

No Like

Unpredictable volume levels in the earpiece. It struggles to hear you when there’s much ambient noise, and it can’t hear you at all when you’re listening to music or an audiobook. But don’t even bother listening to music with it, because the audio quality isn’t great anyhow. Callers generally understood me pretty well, but I struggled to hear them if there was any ambient noise.

Having to take it out of your ear to charge it every three hours or so is kind of annoying, though I appreciated the break.

It needs work understanding natural language.

Because it’s basically invisible it makes you feel like a crazy person when you’re walking down the street shouting, "Hi there Jenny. HI there Jenny! HI THERE JENNY!!!"

Moto Hint Review: ​The First Bluetooth Headset I Wasn't Ashamed to Wear

Should You Buy It?

Maybe, but there are some big ifs. If you have a new Moto X, then it’s pretty cool how it can leverage Moto Voice. If you’re the sort of person who uses (or wants to use) a Bluetooth headset anyway, then the tiny form factor of the Hint could definitely be very appealing. If your job/lifestyle/fetishes could really benefit from being able to interact with your phone without touching it (I don’t know, maybe you’re a pastry chef and you’re constantly covered in flour), then, yeah, maybe. But remember, it costs $150, which is pretty steep for a Bluetooth headset.

For most of us, the Hint is a cool little luxury item. Could it be the first step toward a product that we’ll come to think of as a necessity? Actually, I think there’s a pretty decent chance of that. It has a lot of forward-thinking ideas, but the software just isn’t quite there yet. It feels like a beta. If you’re looking to fall in love with a Scarlett Johansson-voiced artificial intelligence — or even a Jarvis-like robotic butler — you’ll need to wait quite a few more years. [Motorola]

HandyLock Locks Your Mac When You Walk Away, Unlocks When You Return

OS X: HandyLock is a utility that makes sure your Mac is locked and password protected every time you get up and wander away from it. It uses your phone—or any other Bluetooth device—as a "key" and when it’s out of range, the app will lock your screen for you, automatically.

At my last job, it was pretty common for people to prank each other when they left their computers unlocked—an embarrassing email to the entire team or a new wallpape—it was all in good fun, but it’s important to remember to lock your computer with a password anytime you get up and walk away, whether you’re in the library and running to the bathroom or at the office and heading to a meeting. If you’re short on memory or just want an app to do it for you, HandyLock is perfect. Download the app, give it a password (it can be used in conjunction with your default screensaver or password protection—think of it as a second layer), and then set up Bluetooth from inside the app.

The video above, from our friends at Tekzilla shows you how it’s done. Any Bluetooth device will work, and you can select it from the built-in menu. Pair it, and the app will ask you to place it where it normally lives, either on your desk or in your pocket, so it can calibrate itself. Then, you can play with the sliders to determine when HandyLock will auto-lock your computer based on Bluetooth signal strength. You can even set the app to start on login and hide itself so people won’t just disable it.

Once it’s all set up, just run it, walk away from your computer, and watch it lock itself. Walk back, and it’ll unlock so you can get back to work. HandyLock is free, and you can download it at the link below.

HandyLock | Netputing

The Best Useful Tablet Accessories

The Best Useful Tablet Accessories

Your tablet—whether it’s an iPad, Android tablet, or a Microsoft Surface—is probably great on its own, but a few well-placed accessories can make it even better. There’s a lot of useless ones out there, but let’s make a list of the best ones that are actually useful at what they do.

We’ve talked about the best, actually useful phone accessories already, so it’s time to talk tablets.We’re all inclusive here—if your accessory is device-specific, submit it anyway. Whether it’s a case, keyboard, stylus, dock, or whatever, let’s build a list of gear that can help you be more productive, have more fun, or work more efficiently with your tablet. Here’s how to submit your suggestion:

  1. Include a photo of the accessory!
  2. One item per comment, please! Let’s keep it simple and easy to read—if you have multiple tablet accessories to talk about—and we hope you do—add them as separate comments!
  3. Try not to repeat! If you see someone who’s already posted the item you wanted to suggest, click the star to give it a boost, then reply to their comment with why you think it’s awesome!
  4. Tell us why you love it. Why is this accessory attached to your tablet? How is it useful, and how do you use it? Whatever it is, sound off!

So then, let’s begin! We’ll get you started with some of our favorite tablet accessories and gear, but we’re really interested in yours. Fire away!

Title image by Stanisv (Shutterstock) and Hitdelight (Shutterstock).