ITy Bytes 16 August – JBL Link Bar, IKEA and Sonos, Jura coffee; Netgear Wi-FI 6; Mophie charges Apple

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ITy Bytes 16 August – in this edition,

  • JBL Tunes in with Tune 120TWS,
  • JBL Link Bar finally here – yes really after waiting a year,
  • IKEA and Sonos – no Allen key required,
  • JURA claims coffee breaks sending business broke,
  • NETGEAR gets serious about AX (WI-Fi 6) routers – huge range,
  • Mophie does Apple,

ITy Bytes 16 August is a short, curated collection of news you may like to know

JBL Tunes in with Tune 120TWS

These days it is all about that Bass! Well for $149.95 JLB Tune 120TWS will send you to heavy metal heaven. And for a limited time, you get a free JBL Go 2.

Key features

  • 5.8mm drivers with JBL Pure Bass tuning
  • True wireless (BT 4.2 SBC codec talks concurrently to each bud)
  • Hands-free stereo calls with Voice Assistant support
  • 4-hour playback and 12-hour charge case with two hour charge time
  • 73g (pair)
  • 96dB SPL and 20Hz-20kHz frequency response
  • Black, white and blue

Marcus Fry, Brand Activation Director of AUNZ at HARMAN says,

“The popularity of true wireless headphones is getting bigger every year. We want to stay ahead of the trend and have introduced Tune 120TWS to do exactly that. Suited for every-day use, you can now enjoy music with crisp audio with an on-trend look anywhere you go.”

JBL Link Bar finally here – yes really after waiting a year

On 27 August 2018, we wrote about a unique concept –putting Android TV into a soundbar effectively making any connected TV a very smart one. Well the JBL Link Bar.

The Australian Website is here. The promise is that it will be in stores for Father’s Day.

Here is what we know. The $599.95, 100W Dolby Audio, Link Bar has 2 x 20mm tweeters, and 4 x (44 x 80mm) racetrack drivers. That sounds like a 2.0 system. Frequency response is 75Hkz to 20kHz, and optional wireless, 250mm, 300W Sub-woofer JBL SW10, frequency response 35-120Hz is an extra $399.95 although early reviews suggest you may not need it. It is 1020 x 60 x 93mm x 2.5kg.

Ports: Optical in, Aux-in, Bluetooth 4.2, Ethernet (and Wi-Fi), 3 x 4K HDMI inputs and a 4K Passthrough HDMI ARC. It can be wall or shelf mounted and has a full remote. It does not have a TV Tuner – ordinary free to air still uses the TV OS. All the Android TV OS apps are here, and more of the TV channel streaming apps are coming.

You buy this to add Google’s Android TV OS and all its apps to your existing smart or dumb TV. You can read more here, but I find it very easy to use, very intuitive, and updates are via Google. It also adds Google Assistant and Chromecast to the Link Bar. We are not sure if it supports all Google Assistant functions – indeed any that don’t require Voice Match are fine. It is a clever if niche product. If you really want to add rocking 5.1 sound, the JBL Bar 5.1 is our long-term favourite.

IKEA and Sonos – no Allen key required

IKEA Australia has unveiled the highly anticipated SYMFONISK collection, in collaboration with Sonos, before it is available to buy in-store and online from 27 September 2019.

ITy Bytes 16 August

SYMFONISK Table Lamp with Wi-Fi Speaker: $269: Combines light and sound into one product to de-clutter the home with fewer devices and cords. The table lamp looks to challenge the traditional high-tech aesthetics and design without compromising on the sound quality.

SYMFONISK Wi-Fi Bookshelf Speaker: $149: Easily blends into the home and doubles as a shelf that holds up to 3kg with the bracket.

Accessories including the wall bracket ($20), sound remote ($20) and speaker hook ($10) are also available.

The future: IKEA’s exploration of sound is part of a bigger journey towards smarter homes. SYMFONISK will join IKEA Home Smart, the new collective name for the range of smart products from IKEA.

IKEA does not make review units available so you will need to listen for yourself.

JURA claims coffee breaks sending business broke

Innocent 15-minute coffee breaks are costing Australian businesses much more money in lost time than they realise. But offices with a coffee machine claw back some of that valuable work time and make workers happy.

ITy Bytes 16 August

On average, according to JURA’s ‘Best Coffee Machines For Office’ Calculators, coffee breaks are costing businesses with ten employees over $10,000 and 270 hours in lost time every year. 

While the small company statistics may be scary – for larger companies with 50 employees, coffee breaks can cost the business an average of $46,000 and 1,350 hours in lost time each year! In this case, the cost of a JURA coffee machine would pay for itself within only a couple of months of use.

GadgetGuy has been impressed with Jura automatic coffee machines and calculates that you can make a barista quality black coffee for under 50 cents a cup – a saving of $2.50 from your local coffee shop.

We are currently testing the fully automatic Jura E8 at $2099 that is more than suitable for a 120-15 person office and has the milk capacity to deliver both heated portions and froth – perfect for cappuccino, latte macchiato and flat white.

NETGEAR gets serious about AX (WI-Fi 6) routers – huge range

Wi-Fi 6 is here, and it is sufficiently faster and better – enough to justify throwing every old router out.

NETGEAR has released its RAX120 (12-stream), RAX80 (8-stream) and RAX40 (4-stream) Wi-Fi six routers and they are ‘smokin’ (figuratively, not literally.

GadgetGuy has reviewed the RAX80 awarding it a 4.5-out-of-5, and we are looking forward to the  RAX120 soon. We also have a tutorial on Wi-Fi 6 that will help you to decide to junk your old router.


Why go Wi-Fi 6?

GadgetGuy has proven that for most large Aussie households, you are better with ‘V8’ grunt and range extenders than several mesh routers. These routers support the uber-fast Samsung Galaxy S10 (or later) AX speeds as well as stream 4K effortlessly. They are 100% compatible with previous Wi-Fi, upgrading to a Wi-Fi 6 router now will ensure that your network is good for years to come.

David Watkins, director, Intelligent Home Group for Strategy Analytics says, “While previous Wi-Fi has been largely about improvements to speed, Wi-Fi 6 promises several other benefits such as lower battery consumption, increased capacity and reduced latency. The enhanced capacity of Wi-Fi 6 will ensure that consumers experience great performance across all their devices even as those devices demand more data from ever richer media services.”

Mophie does Apple

Apple iPhone 8+ uses 7.5W Qi charging, but it can use up to 25W charging via the Lighting cable (see our tests here, so it needs specific chargers to work. Available from Apple stores and online.

  • Wireless charging pad ($62.95): Features a smooth, polished finish and will charge through cases up to 3mm thick.
  • Car Chargers: Made of premium anodised aluminium, both models safely recharge iPhone, iPad and AirPods.
  • USB-A car charger ($39.95) – single USB-A port with 12W charging output
  • Dual USB-A car charger ($46.95) – USB-A ports to deliver 12W charging output to two devices at once (24W total output)

Cables: Have a braided nylon exterior to reduce tangles and increase strength.

  • USB-A cable to Lightning connector (1/2m $31.95/46.95)
  • USB-C cable to Lightning connector (1/2m $31.95/54.95
  • USB-A cable to USB-C connector (1/2m $31.95/39.95)
  • USB-C cable to USB-C connector (1/2m $31.95/39.95)

ITy Bytes 16 August is a short, curated collection of news you may like to know.

ITy Bytes 16 August