Amazon Outdoor Speaker deal of the day

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OK, these Yahama 6.5 inch all-weather speakers are not top of the line outdoor speakers and likely will lack a bit of bass when played softly, but if you are on a budget, they are a great deal.

Yamaha outdoor speakers are a good value across the product line but at $99 these are a good buy.

As with any outdoor speaker we don't recommend you leave them outside during extremely cold weather and if you can put them under an eve, do so. There are better high end outdoor speakers but the come at a price.

Turntables to make your speakers sound better...

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...when you're playing vinyl records that is. Of course better is relative. But if you're new to vinyl or have a basement full of your own or Dad & Mom's old vinyl, these reasonably priced turntables should help you get great sound without breaking your budget or having a cheap turntable ruining your often irreplaceable vinyl.

U-Turn Audio Orbit Turntable with Ortofon OM-5E Cartridge


This turntable from U-Turn Audio sports clean lines and ease of use with lots of color choices.


Pro-Ject - Debut Carbon DC (Blue)


This neat little package from Pro-Ject-Debut is similar in design and function to the U-Turn. A bit more money but includes a carbon tonearm designed to further reduce the effects of vibration.
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Which Amazon Echo is Best for Me?

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Which Amazon Each should you choose?

Amazon now has 3 versions of its popular Echo speaker, home automation, information hub, thingy. bluetooth speaker that does wi-fi streaming of Internet radio all on its own. But it also can hear your spoken commands to play songs or stations. Playing songs does require you have an Amazon Prime account however, and even that is a bit limited but still fulfilling considering the low cost and total return of an Prime account. But that is for another article, onto the choosing the best Echo for you.
Besides playing streaming music it can control your lights, thermostat, door locks, read you the news, tell you how your sports teams are doing, tell you the weather, and a lot more. Yeah, it's pretty difficult to classify this device. The original one is a

Here are three scenarios for consideration.

I listen to music and want the simplest solution for one room

This situation is easy. The original Amazon Echo is your best choice. It's a singular device that has touch-free (you can be across the room) interaction capability that lets you talk to it to chose a station on Pandora, iHeart Radio or Amazon music as well as others. It also will tell you the weather and do all the other cool Echo tricks.

I want to move around the house or yard or go to the beach

The Echo Tap would be your best choice here. With 9 hour battery life and all the normal Echo features you'll be free as a bird to listen and ask wherever you are. Be warned that the price of this freedom is you'll have to "tap" a button on the front of the Echo in order to get it to listen. This will be worth it given it's freedom to move and the neat charging station that comes with it. If you mostly listen to music and don't plan on a lot of interaction with the device, like obsessively asking Alexa questions, then this is your best choice.

You want the best music experience along with the power of Amazon Echo's Alexa

The only device of the three Echo's is the Amazon Echo Dot. This small, puck sized device has a speaker but it's not designed to play musics. But it does have something the other Amazon Echo's don't have, a 3.5mm audio out jack. This allows you to attach the Echo to any powered speaker or home audio system for a full stereo experience. Oh and it also has the 7 mic array as the original Echo so you can talk to it without touching it. Nice.

So that's it. Choose the Amazon Echo that's best for you and start your first experience into the world of intelligent devices. See below for a handy chart showing the key differences between the different Echo devices. If you found this helpful, please share, and thanks for reading!




Help, My Home Theater Speakers Don't Work

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Speakers don't often break, really, they don't. But when they do you're sitting there hurting without the music. Fortunately speakers are pretty simple things, there just isn't much to them. As often as not  if you're not hearing the music it's another link in the audio chain that's causing the problem. Let's examine the flow of the audio and music in a typical home theater system first.

 
Banana plugs

  1. We're going to assume that all the electronics are plugged in and receiving electricity. Right? Is your surge protector plugged in?
  2. In most cases the example above where the cable, blu ray player and TV all feed into (and out of in the case of the TV) AV Receiver via an HDMI port. Check these first.
  3. If any of your connections are via a RCA or Digital Optical Cable then you should check these next. 
  4. After securing all the cables check the to be sure all your speaker cables are plugged in, and not touching each other. If you wear glasses, use them please. It's easy to miss one strand of speaker wire hitting an adjacent terminal and shorting out you sound. Using banana plugs helps eliminate this problem. 
  5. If some of your speakers are working and others are not and the wires are correct then try swapping out the speaker from one side to the other to eliminate that it's the receiver that is malfunctioning. 
  6. If the speaker sounds muffled, or tinny then one of the drivers might be out. Here's where it gets tricky. It's generally easy to replace a speaker in a cabinet but unless you purchase it from the manufacturer you risk having distinctly different sound from that speaker.

This all assumes that we're looking at an all wired system. If your surround sound speakers are wireless surrounds or you're feeding the audio or audio and video via bluetooth from a phone or tablet, you'll need to check that source as well.

I know the check list above sounds basic but you cannot imagine the number of times someone has called me and one of the above was the culprit. 

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Wireless TV Speaker for Easier Listening

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If you are hearing impaired or just want to not disturb your partner while watching TV in bed at night a wireless TV speaker might be just the thing for you.

Although soundbars and sound bases sound great and can increase your ability to hear a TV from a distance, a Wireless TV speaker can sit next to you on your night stand or end table as you watch TV.

Best way to hear a TV in your bedroom at night

A portable, wireless TV speaker is often a better solution to hearing a television at night than a soundbar or even wireless headphones. Soundbars are too far away and the volume they need to be at may disturb your partner or other household members. Headphones can be uncomfortable and could wake you if you fall asleep with them on.

A portable, rechargeable TV speaker can sit in it's base by the TV and on your night stand at night offering clear, easier to hear sound without blasting out the entire house.

How do wireless TV speakers work?

Regardless of the technology used, the basic principal is a base unit takes the output from the television and sends it to the speaker across the room. If your TV is less than 30-40 feet from the speaker it will often be a bluetooth speaker, not that the technology matters that much.

Is my TV compatible with these speakers?

If your TV is less than 15 years old the answer is likely yes. You'll have either an audio in the form of a headphone jack or a pair of RCA plugs that can output the audio to the base unit.

What are the best TV wireless speakers I can get?

We could only find one pre-packaged TV audio solution we'd recommend if you're not technically inclined. That is the Serene Innovations TV portable speaker (pictured above). It does not require extra components and setup. If you have even a little savvy in the tech department you can hook up almost any bluetooth speaker using a bluetooth adapter like those shown below. It may also require some accessories.

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