There was a good bit of gadget news this week. The biggest news maybe coming Apple, who confirmed to TechCrunch that it has officially discontinued the HomePod; it's now focusing its efforts on the smaller and cheaper HomePod mini. Super Nintendo World, the much-hyped-about Nintendo-centric theme park, officially opened up in Japan. And in a weird twist of fate, Intel hired Justin Long, the former "I'm a Mac" guy, to create a bunch of commercials that make fun of Apple's Macs.
Of course, there were a bunch of actual new gadgets that were also announced this week. We've rounded up everything you need to know below.
Google Nest Hub 2
The Nest Hub 2 is the second-generation version of Google's 2018-released smart display, and it looks almost identical and costs exactly the same: just $100. The big difference is that the Nest Hub 2 can track your sleep — and there's no need to wear any kind of wearable. Google added a new radar sensor that (working in tandem with the other sensors) can measure your breathing and movement while you sleep. The Nest Hub 2 also has 50% more bass, according to Google. It's available for preorder right now and will officially launch on March 30.
Focal Clear Mg
The Focal Clear Mg is the company's newest pair of reference quality open-back headphones. They're the successor to its Clear headphones ($2,000), but despite costing over $500 less, the high-end French audio company claims that the Clear Mg are actually a big upgrade, thanks primarily to a new magnesium dome that help give the headphones "greater lightness, rigidity and damping." They will be available later this month.
HyperX ChargePlay Duo (Refreshed)
HyperX ChargePlay Duo is a popular charging station for wireless Xbox One controllers. The problem was that it hasn't been compatible with the latest controllers that come with the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. This week, the company released a refreshed version that fixes that as it works with both old and new controllers. It also comes with two 1400mAh rechargeable batteries. The ChargePlay Duo can wireless charge two controllers in just under three hours. It's available now.
Bluesound Pulse Soundbar+
The Bluesound Pulse Soundbar+ is a new Dolby Atmos soundbar that's very much a competitor to the Sonos Arc. It costs the same ($899) and has pretty much all the same connections and abilities; Bluesound is known for its ecosystem of wireless multi-room speakers, just like Sonos, so the Pulse Soundbar+ can easily be built out into a true surround sound system. It's available in either black or white finishes, although the later costs $100 extra.
Astell&Kern USB Dual-DAC Cable
Astell&Kern is one of the biggest names in portable hi-fi and it just announced its first ever USB DAC/Headphone amplifier. It features two DACs (both Cirrus Logic CS43198 MasterHIFI) which supports native DSD256 and 32bit/384kHz playback; according to the company, the dual DACs are paired with an independent analog amplifier to help the audio feel the live, warm and clear. The body of the USB DAC/Headphone amplifier is entirely metal, too, similar to the company's other portable hi-fi players. The best part? It can improve the audio of any smartphone with a USB-C jack — no headphone jack needed.
Sony PS5 VR Controllers
This week, Sony announced new VR controllers for the PS5. The look very similar to other VR controllers — having a distinct orb-like shape — but the cool thing is that Sony integrated them with same adaptive trigger technology that is also integrated in the PS5's standard DualSense controller. This means that like the DualSense controllers, the new VR controllers will also deliver haptic feedback and make you feel even more immersed in the game you're playing. Which, after all, is the main point of virtual reality. As of right now, there is no word on when these VR controllers (or the PS5's actual VR headset) will be released.