Posted Mon Oct 16, 2017 at 09:55 PM PDT by Steven Cohen
We've compiled the latest gear news, including the latest VR headset from Oculus, new audio products from Focal, and the arrival of Plex Live TV streaming for Roku.
From product announcements and streaming app updates to general industry news and recent gear trends, keeping up with the latest tech news can be a daunting task. With that in mind, we're here to offer you a roundup of some of the latest gear and consumer electronics news that you may have missed.
For this edition, we're covering the Oculus Go virtual reality headset, new speakers and headphones from Focal, and the addition of Plex Live TV streaming for Roku devices.
So, without further ado, here's a rundown of some of the latest gear and tech news:
Oculus has detailed its first standalone virtual reality headset, the Oculus Go. Unlike most other VR headset models, the Oculus Go does not require an additional smartphone, PC, or game console to work. Instead, the device has its own integrated display and CPU.
The Oculus Go features a fast-switch LCD screen with a WQHD resolution of 2560X1440. In addition, the headset offers a super lightweight form factor that uses adjustable straps and a new soft, breathable fabric for the facial interface. Optimized 3D graphics and spatial audio support are integrated as well, along with built-in speakers. Likewise, the device includes a 3.5mm headphone jack for private listening. A motion controller similar to the Gear VR model will also be included.
Apps designed for the Gear VR will be compatible with the Oculus Go as well, and the best of the company's mobile VR content library will be available to users on launch day -- offering access to over 1,000 VR games, social apps, 360° experiences.
An exact release date and more detailed specs have not been announced yet, but the Oculus Go is set to arrive in early 2018 with a starting price of $199.
French audio company, Focal, has announced the latest additions to its audio lineup. The new products include the Kanta floor-standing loudspeaker and the Clear open-back headphones.
The Kanta floor-standing speakers will join the Focal Classic Home Audio collection and are designed for music lovers. The compact 3-way speakers combine the company's Flax sandwich cone speaker driver system with its Beryllium tweeter, all housed within a new cabinet. Pricing is not currently listed, but the Kanta speakers are set to be available this month. Here's a full rundown of specs per Focal:
- Type 3 way bass-reflex floor standing loudspeaker
- Drivers Two 61/2‘’ (16.5cm) Flax woofer with NIC motor 61/2‘’ (16.5cm) Flax midrange with TMD suspension and NIC motor 11/16’’ (27mm) ‘IAL3’ pure Beryllium inverted dome tweeter
- Sensitivity (2,83V/1m) 91dB
- Frequency Response (+/-3dB) 35Hz - 40kHz
- Low Frequency Point (- 6dB) 29Hz
- Nominal Impedance 8Ω
- Minimum Impedance 3.1Ω
- Recommended Amplifier Power 40 - 300W
- Crossover Frequency 260Hz - 2,700Hz
- Dimensions (H x W x D) 441/64 x 1825/32 x 1241/64 (1,118 x 477 x 321 mm)
- Net weight (with front grille) 77.2lbs (35kg)
- Packaging dimensions (HxWxD) 4939⁄64 x 2711⁄64 x 1617⁄32’’ (1,260 x 690 x 420mm)
- Total weight (including packaging) 88.2lbs (40kg)
Meanwhile, Focal has also announced its new Clear reference circumaural open-back headphones. The headphones feature a new generation full-range 'M'-shape Aluminum/Magnesium dome speaker driver along with a frameless copper voice coil with a diameter of 25.5mm, a proprietary 75-micronthick suspension capable of high elongation, and 20mm memory foam ear cushions covered with a perforated microfibre fabric. Here's a full rundown of specs per Focal:
- Type Circum-aural open-back headphones
- Impedance 55 Ohms
- Sensitivity 104dB SPL / 1mW @ 1kHz
- THD 0,25% @ 1kHz / 100dB SPL
- Frequency response 5Hz-28kHz
- Loudspeaker 1.6" (40mm) Aluminum/Magnesium 'M'-shape dome
- Weight 0.99lb / 450g
- Cables provided 3m balanced cable (XLR 4-pin) 3m unbalanced cable (1/4" TRS jack) 1.2m unbalanced cable (1/8" TRS jack) 1/8" jack to 1/4" stereo jack adapter
- Hard-shell carrying case provided 9.8"x9.4"x4.7" (250x240x120mm)
The Clear Headphones will be available this month for a suggested retail price of $1,500. And in addition to the company's new Kanta loudspeaker and Clear headphones, Focal also recently released the Sib Evo 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos system (full review here).
Plex has announced the expansion of its live OTA TV streaming feature for Plex Pass users to the Roku platform.
With Plex Live TV and DVR, users can now watch and record high definition, over-the-air TV broadcasts from a supported digital tuner and antenna through Plex's intuitive and customizable program guide. The feature supports channels in more than 70 countries, including shows from all major US networks like ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and CW, as well as local programming, news, and sports (encrypted channels currently not supported). In addition to newly added support for Roku products, Live TV streaming through Plex is also available through the company's Android TV, Apple TV, and iOS apps. To use the feature, customers will also need a digital antenna and a supported TV tuner, including models from HDHomeRun, Hauppauge, AVerMedia, DVBLogic and more (complete list here).
Plex Live TV for Roku devices is now available through a beta release with support for all Plex Pass users set to arrive soon. The Plex Pass service starts at $5 per month or $40 per year, and customers can also sign up for a lifetime membership for $120.
Beyond new Plex Live TV support, Roku also recently unveiled its latest streaming lineup, including the Roku Express, Roku Express+, and Roku Streaming Stick models, along with the new 4K HDR Roku Streaming Stick+, and a cheaper price point for the Roku Ultra.
The latest news on all things 4K Ultra HD, blu-ray and Gear.