It was a short yet eventful week in the gadget world. Sony gave us a first-look of its upcoming new virtual reality headset, the PlayStation VR 2. Spotify announced that any Premium subscriber could buy its sleek dashboard accessory (for the cool price of $90). And a host new MagSafe accessories were rolled out to new iPhone owners.
Here's what you need to know.
Sonus Faber Omnia
Sonus Faber, an Italian high-end audio company, announced its newest all-in-one wireless speaker: the Omnia. It's essentially a newer and more affordable of the company's $10,000 SF16 that was released in 2016. The Omnia has a similar shape and wood-and-aluminum design as the SF16, but it's smaller, less powerful (490 watts vs 1,400 watts) and lacks SF16's fantasy motorized arms (aka wings) that widen the sound stage. The good news is that at $2,000, the Omnia is quite a bit more affordable. Plus, it packs a lot more wired and wireless connectivity options so you can listen to music basically however you want.
Spotify Car Thing
Spotify announced Car Thing — its first-ever gadget and dashboard accessory for controlling Spotify in your car — in April 2021, but only a very small number of people who signed up for waitlist were able to get one. Now, almost ten months later, Spotify is making Car Thing available to anybody to buy. It costs $90 and you must be a Spotify subscriber for it to work for you.
Astell&Kern ACRO BE100
Best known for its beautiful portable hi-fi players, Astell&Kern has announced its first-ever Bluetooth speaker. To be clear, theAcro BE100 is a powered Bluetooth speaker. It isn't portable as it doesn't have a battery. And it lacks Wi-Fi connectivity, so there's no smart assistant support or multi-room capabilities. Instead, the Acro BE100 is meant as a beautifully-designed speaker that's easy to use (just connect via Bluetooth) and, as it supports aptX HD and Sony’s LDAC, it's able to stream higher-resolution audio compared to other Bluetooth-only speakers.
Acer Swift 3 and Swift 5
Acer announced its latest lightweight laptops. Both the Swift 3 and Swift 5 are decked out with the Intel’s latest CPUs (12-generation Alder Lake processors), more storage, an upgraded port selection and a new two-tone aluminum design. The Swift 5 is also significant because it is Acer's first laptop with a taller display that has a 16:10 aspect ratio. The Swift 3 and Swift 5 cost $850 and $1,499, respectively, and will be available in the US this June.
Plugable Graphics Adapters
Plugable announced three new graphics adapters designed to add multiple external displays to either your Mac or Windows workstation — and do so relatively affordably. There's the USB 3.0 and USB-C to Dual HDMI Adapter ($69), which adds two additional HDMI ports; the USB 3.0 and USB-C to HDMI Adapter ($63), which adds an additional HDMI port; and the USB 3.0 and USB-C to DisplayPort Adapter ($66), which adds an additional DisplayPort. All three new adapters are available now.
Price: $63 — $69