Apple iPhone X – What To Expect From The Apple Keynote

It’s the second week of September and for pretty much everyone interested in tech, even if they don’t like Apple products, it’s time for the Apple Keynote and the impending release of new products.

Expect iPhones, except iPads, expect Apple TV, expect Apple Watch – except everything, but do not assume it will happen. However, in the days building up to launch, we’ve seen plenty of leaks.

Whether you use Apple products or not, it’s difficult to get away from the event over in America. The first thing to note is that this Keynote is taking place in Apple’s brand new Steve Jobs Theater in Los Angeles. Nice touch if we’re honest.

What To Expect

So to the products in question – it seems from 9to5Mac’s report and Twitter users, that there will be THREE iPhones released. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, as well as an ‘anniversary’ product to celebrate over a decade of the iPhone, with the iPhone X.

Now this information comes from coding that has been leaked over the weekend leading up to the keynote, and we can see all three of these names mentioned. It’s not a surprise really, but it’s what else that was made almost public. Face ID, animated emojis (face recognition will also convert the face you pull into the emoji you intend!) and new wallpapers. Nothing special we would say.

However tell that to this guy…Mazen Kourouche. The first in line in Sydney, queuing up since Monday 11th September. Commitment.

He clearly loves his Apple products, and is pretty excited – but we’d be really excited for, and think is long overdue, is wireless charging with these devices. Samsung is already there and has been for a while.

A radical overhaul for the iPhone – which we think may include a full OLED screen with no bezel – needs to have what we’re desperate for – wireless charging!

Wireless Charging

The tech is here, the people demand it, and it’s all around you. Wireless charging in coffee shops, bars and restaurants, at airports – it is everywhere. Just not in an iPhone. Yet. We hope.

With Qi Charging, which is the standard almost around the world, we’d be surprised if Apple decides to go down a similar route as it did with the original Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch uses a tweaked version of Qi meaning it cannot be used with a standard Qi charger – and it may decide to do that once more to cash in with its own chargers and licences for their tech to third-parties. However, if it wants to join in the party, the hope is Apple decide instead to go with the global standard.

If it does, then why not check out the soundmaster UR411SI Bluetooth FM / DAB Clock Radio with Wireless Qi Charging. It’s an incredible looking unit and will solve all your needs to charge and then play audio at the same time via Bluetooth.

The UR411SI is perfect for bedside tables or study spaces, and if – just if – Apple do not release their own charger, it could be a wonderful addition in your home with your brand new Apple iPhone.

Don’t forget if your mobile already allows for wireless charging through Qi technology, then why not get one today!

Simply click on the image of the UR411SI, or the links in this article and order NOW online at BuyCleverStuff.

Apple iPhone 7: How To Integrate It In Your Home

This evening will see Apple stage their annual September “special event” – for most, the feeling is that it surrounds the announcement of the iPhone 7.

There have been countless so-called leaks and rumours relating to what this new Apple product will include, or more importantly not include.

With the murmurings suggesting a twin-camera on the rear of the smartphone, but most importantly the belief that we could be about to bear witness to the end of the headphone jack.

It is rumoured, and until this special event is done and dusted we can only say that, that the headphone jack will no longer be a feature.

Instead, Apple are believed to be providing either wireless Bluetooth ‘earpods’ or will have included earphones that will connect with a Lightning connection as the 3.5mm port will be missing to give the device an even slimmer profile (so your phone can slip even easier down the side of your sofa without you knowing!).

Apple bought the Beats headphone brand in 2014, and their wireless Bluetooth headphones have been heavily marketed by some of the world’s leading sportsmen and sportswomen, which have also played a major part in the idea that wireless headphones are on the way with an Apple product at some stage.

Regardless of this potential development, at BuyCleverStuff, we don’t see this as a major problem.

We’re almost sure that Bluetooth functionality will be included as a feature.

It’s been a feature in every iPhone since the very first release in 2007, and their commitment to Beats and their recent development of that range suggests it will remain, meaning integration of wireless audio in your home, we’re still here to guide you in the right direction!

We have a whole host of Bluetooth ceiling speaker systems available that can be used by connecting your Bluetooth device. Whether it’s an iPhone or any other mobile/tablet device that features a Bluetooth transmitter (check your device’s manual, but it is almost as-standard nowadays).

Whether it is a simple to install single wireless Bluetooth ceiling speaker, which can also be waterproof in design.

If you’re looking for something to pair up with and have a control panel keypad on your wall (Systemline E50 – with radio or Systemline E100 – without radio), or perhaps you’d like a system that has varying sizes of speakers to choose from which plays wireless from your Bluetooth device and can be set up across two zones/rooms.

We also have a great range of Sonos streaming set-ups with fantastic Q Acoustics Q Install ceiling speakers should you wish to use your device’s Wifi connection.

Whatever you make of tonight’s Apple event and their new releases, at BuyCleverStuff, we’ll be on hand to help you integrate your audio and visual in your home in the best way possible.

To watch the Apple event tonight click here: apple.co/live (Check requirements below for watching on your chosen device)

Requirements: Live streaming uses Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) technology. HLS requires an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with Safari on iOS 7.0 or later, a Mac with Safari 6.0.5 or later on OS X v10.8.5 or later, or a PC with Microsoft Edge on Windows 10. Streaming via Apple TV requires an Apple TV (2nd or 3rd generation) with software 6.2 or later or an Apple TV (4th generation).

Power It, Pair It, Play It: Lithe Audio Bluetooth Ceiling Speaker

Power It – Pair It – Play It. The Lithe Audio Bluetooth Ceiling Speaker quite simply hits the nail on the head.

An audio solution that BuyCleverStuff have, in the past, struggled to find an answer for; this standalone, wireless, Bluetooth ceiling speaker, that only needs power and your device, to deliver outstanding audio to fill any room in your home with ease.

Introducing the Lithe Audio Bluetooth Wireless Ceiling Speaker

We’ve been on the lookout at BuyCleverStuff for a while for a unit such as this, that we could be truly confident in – and this impressive 6.5″ ceiling speaker, with built-in Bluetooth amplifier, finished with a smart slimline grille (which can be painted over to match your ceiling colour) ticks all the boxes.

The chief designer at Lithe Audio shares the same ethos as us, saying: “We work forwards from what our customer needs are, and not backwards from what the technology allows. Everything we sell must be simple and intuitive to use for everyone, from the developer to the whole family.”

Let’s give you a small taster of what to expect – and then we’ll dig a little deeper – watch below:

So where do we start? 50 watts RMS of power. Check. Kevlar woven woofer cone. Check. 1.2″ titanium directional tweeter. Check.

That’s a fair amount of power for a single speaker, but with the lightweight, strengthened Kevlar material, supported by a neat rubber-edged surround, the Lithe Audio Bluetooth Ceiling Speaker handles even the heaviest of bass should you push it.

Whilst at the other extreme, the finer details are there to be heard, just as Lithe Audio state, with “pin sharp clarity”. We really could try and expand on that statement, but we just can’t – this speaker will speak for itself when installed.

Talking of installation, one question we at BuyCleverStuff are always asked is how easy is it to install, and will an electrician be needed to install it.

With the Lithe Audio Bluetooth Ceiling Speaker, you are supplied with transformer and mains plug, and if you want just a simple installation, that is all you need plus a hole cut out in your ceiling.

If you are not confident with this though and have an electrician installing lights already, it can be a lot easier to leave a professional to install it, and it won’t take long to put in place. It is also able to be connected to a lighting circuit if you wish, but again that would be best left to an electrician to install.

Another great feature is its ability to connect to an external source, such as your television for example. You will require connection of an RCA lead for this into the speaker, but it will still deliver the same high-level audio quality.

Why stop at just one speaker though? If you want a second speaker for those slightly larger rooms to really fill it with audio, a passive speaker (same specification minus Bluetooth) can be run alongside with an inclusive five metres of speaker cable to connect them together.

The 3mm thin discreet magnetically attached grille completes the speaker to give it a neat finish which, if painted over, will be almost invisible within whatever room you install – whether it’s in your lounge, kitchen or bedrooms.

We haven’t mentioned bathrooms there, and there’s a very good reason .There’s an IP44 rated version of the Lithe Audio Bluetooth Ceiling Speaker, designed with this environment in mind, featuring a polypropylene woofer cone instead of woven Kevlar, so your speaker will withstand any splashes and moisture over time, yet still produce fantastic audio.

All of the above points we can vouch for, because as we do with any product that we have available on our website, we rigorously test it in house before we decide to offer it to our customers.

Amit Ravat, co-founder of Lithe Audio, explained the journey that he, and co-founder, Wesley Siu, undertook in producing this range of Bluetooth Ceiling Speakers: “We brought the product to market to solve a problem we encountered, we are both avid music listeners and in researching the ceiling speakers for our own homes, found it was virtually impossible to retrofit ceiling speakers in a existing property without major cost or disruption. All other systems required speaker cables run though walls or additional amplifiers or transmitters installing. Neither of which we wanted or could physically do.

“It quickly dawned on us in a world of digital streaming and Bluetooth wireless connectivity and our experience of lighting though our other company, Retrotouch, there was a simple solution; fully integrated Bluetooth wireless ceiling speakers with the amplifiers, transmitters and high quality speaker in a single,easy to install unit.

“We quickly realised our product would enable ceiling speakers to be fitted in properties new and old at an affordable cost and with quick and mess-free installation. Simply put, customers just ‘Power It, Pair It, Play It’

We could not agree more, which is why you can now purchase the brilliant Lithe Audio Bluetooth Wireless Ceiling Speakers, with free Next Working Day Delivery in the UK (if ordered before 3pm Mon-Thurs), direct from BuyCleverStuff.

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Featured BuyCleverStuff Demonstration Showroom Products

As part of our BuyCleverStuff Demonstration Showroom, we selected a number of different products to install that give as good a sense of what to expect if installed in your kitchen or bathroom.

With the sheer range of products we have to purchase over on our main website, it was a tough choice to decide, but over the coming weeks and months we will be showcasing as many products as possible through videos posted online, so keep checking back here and at BuyCleverStuff.co.uk.

If you are thinking of visiting us to see the products fitted and installed, but we have a product in stock that is not installed that you would like to view, we are more than happy to demonstrate this for you.

Below is a short guide of the products we have installed and how they look in our demonstration showroom:

SoundMaster DAB2035A simple under cabinet radio with FM and DAB/DAB+ radio available. Finished in silver with brushed steel effect, it complements most other kitchen appliances you may have. Stations can be preset and it features useful functions such as calendar, alarm and cooking timer, all of which are displayed on the front LED panel.

 

SoundMaster UR2040Similar to the DAB2035, the UR2040, which comes in both silver or white, incorporates Bluetooth technology to pair with your smartphone or tablet to play audio from these devices. With handy LED under cabinet light to allow you to carry out quick kitchen tasks with ease in dim lighting, and double the amount of available presets for radio compared to the DAB2035.

 

SoundMaster UR2170For some, having the ability to play their CD collection is a major factor in their kitchen audio solution, which is why the UR2170, in silver or white, is the perfect answer. With similar radio functions to our other under cabinet offerings in our showroom, all three give you an idea of what potentially you can do to solve your kitchen audio headache.

 

VSKTV102B Flipdown TVOur smallest screen size in our range of Flipdown Kitchen TVs is the Visua 10″ Flipdown Kitchen TV with DVD Player.

Simple to install, with Freeview TV tuner,  and features additional connections for HDMI, USB and even SD Card slot.

Available in three colours, in Matt Black (as seen in our showroom), Gloss Black and also Gloss White.

 

VSKTV133P Flipdown TVSleek and stylish in design, this larger Visua screen provides a superb viewing experience through its LED Backlit 13.3” LCD Panel. With a host of useful input connections, it is adaptable for other sources, and comes with built in multi-region DVD Player; without doubt our most functional Flipdown Kitchen TV on offer at BuyCleverStuff.

 

SOVOS 15" Flipdown TVFor those looking for an even bigger screen to drop down from under their cabinet, this 15″ model from SOVOS ticks that box. Whilst it may not have the additional features our other units have, which its previous model had, the demand for a screen of this size was overwhelming and gives you, our valued customers, the widest range of Kitchen Flipdown TV sizes available.

 

E100 SystemlineWe have a range of in wall amplifier systems, but the latest E100 from Systemline is the next step in style and functionality. With integrated Bluetooth and amplifier (a development from the E200 predecessor), this touch panel also comes with built in FM and DAB / DAB+ radio. Combined with high quality 6.5″ Qi65CB Ceiling Speakers, this system is perfect not just in kitchens and bathrooms (IP54 rated), but around the home.

 

Mando In Wall Bluetooth ReceiverWhilst we do a range of double gang sized in wall panel systems, sometimes our customers look for a simple, single gang, Bluetooth only solution, which is exactly what the Mando BT In Wall Bluetooth Audio Receiver provides. Built in Bluetooth receiver and amplifier with 3.5mm front facing jack input for any other sources you may want to use, all able to fit neatly in a single gang back box. Available in different coloured fascias, featured black, white and grey, and also with smaller 2.5″, and larger 6″, ceiling speakers.
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S-Box Pop-up Kitchen Power PointS-Box Pop-up Kitchen units are fantastic products that can help your kitchen’s space saving problem with a space-creating answer; if it’s finding a home for your keys, spice rack, a handy place for your knife box or other kitchen utensils. For our showroom, we chose two to incorporate in our worktop; first, the Pop-up Kitchen Power Point with USB Port. Perfect for extra power in your kitchen space and great in our demonstration showroom in case you “pop-up” yourself to see us, it’s a power point for you to charge your mobile devices via the power socket or twin USB port as you take a look at our other products.

 

S-Box Pop-up 19" Kitchen TVOur second S-Box Kitchen Pop-up Solution is the Pop-up 19″ HD Ready Kitchen TV with DVD Player. This gives us the chance to show just how impressive S-Box solutions are. If you thought before you could not have a larger screen beneath your cabinet, why not have one come up from your worktop instead? With Nicam Stereo Sound Speakers, Freeview, DVD and HD Tuner built-in, we could not help ourselves but have one installed to show you how to really solve an audio visual problem in your kitchen.

Pitch Illuminated Bluetooth Bathroom MirrorIf you are looking for a simple, functional, Bluetooth Bathroom Mirror, the Pitch from Tavistock is just that. Controlled by hand swipe sensor beneath the mirror to switch on the illuminating LED edge strip, Bluetooth receiver to enable you to pair your Bluetooth smartphone or tablet and heated demister pad to keep your mirror fog-free.

 

BT550 Bluetooth Shower SpeakerA simple, yet effective Bluetooth Bathroom Shower Speaker which features the great sound quality you come to expect from SoundMaster, for those who are restricted from having ceiling speakers, would struggle installing a Bluetooth Bathroom Mirror in such a room, or just require something to fit safely within their shower – available not just in silver/grey but also green and blue, and at a fantastic low price.

 

19" Silver Infiniti Waterproof TVRelax and unwind in your bathroom, but never have to miss your favourite television show again whilst you do with this 19″ Silver Waterproof Infiniti TV by TechVision. Again, a very simple product to install and really complements other style elements in your bathroom such as taps and other fittings as you can see from our showroom image. It comes with ceiling speakers to fill your bathroom with audio and comes complete with splash-proof remote control.

 

Tenor Illuminated Bluetooth Bathroom Radio MirrorCombining everything you could want from a Bluetooth Bathroom Mirror, the Tenor Illuminated Bluetooth FM DAB Bathroom Radio Mirror really does have a lot to shout about. FM and DAB radio with Bluetooth connectivity plays audio through high quality built in stereo speakers with 20 Watt amplifier, and the ability to connect to an external stereo ceiling speaker if preferred, together with multiple recess options when installing; it makes this Bluetooth Bathroom Mirror from MIER an obvious choice to display in our demonstration showroom.

 

KB iSelect 5" Bluetooth FM DAB Ceiling Radio SystemWe know from our feedback when customers come to us that there are many options to choose from with the KB iSelect. In order to be able to demonstrate every function of this Ceiling Speaker System, we have chosen to install in our showroom the KB iSelect FM / DAB Radio & Bluetooth model. Through our switch system installed in our showroom, we can operate the KB iSelect through 2.5″, 5″ and also 6″ ceiling speakers in order to demonstrate roughly what you would expect to hear depending upon your choice of ceiling speaker.

 

Various Custom SwitchesThree-way and volume control switches are available to accompany a wide selection of our systems, control audio from room to room and also level of volume. This is just a small selection of switches which we have installed as examples to control the vast array of ceiling speaker systems, audio mirrors and visual products in our demonstration showroom, but if you have a particular colour and finish to your switches at home, we can custom match to complement the switches you already have either in your home or plan to have fitted at the end of your build.

 

iStoneShowroomSuitable to use with all iPad Mini models (1st-4th Generation), you can now control and play your music, and other applications that you may have incorporated in your home with ease thanks to this fantastic in wall solution that can expand beyond just being a ceiling audio solution, available to order now from BuyCleverStuff.

Compare: What Differences Between E100 and E200?

With the arrival of the new Systemline E100 DAB+ / FM / Bluetooth music system, where does that now leave its predecessor the E200?

On the face of it there seems to be little real difference, but to make it easier for you to understand just what one and the other do and what stands them apart, here’s a simple venn diagram to illustrate:

Systemline E100 and Systemline E200

 

Main Standout E100 Features

  • Helpful, colour-coded speaker cable to aid with installation

Two seven metre lengths of speaker cable come inclusive of the pack, one green and one blue, which are highlighted within the instruction manuals to help with connecting and wiring ceiling speakers.

  • Larger OLED Screen

With the E100, the in wall panel features a clearer and more defined OLED screen compared to the matrix style screen of the E200 together with a larger screen.

  • IP54 Rated

It has been cleared to be fitted within a bathroom, outside of Zone 2, and with condition of silicone sealant around the unit. If fitted correctly, it can be a welcome addition to any bathroom.

  • Inclusive remote control

Another development with the E100 compared to the E200 is the inclusive remote control to switch between preset radio stations, volume up and down, mute and of course turning the system on and off.

  • DAB+ Radio

DAB+ Radio differs from standard DAB in that it support AAC+ audio codec and provides higher quality audio than just standard DAB.Reception is also more robust through DAB+ transmitters. It also allows for installation internationally if DAB+ is the standard digital radio frequency used, which it commonly is, meaning it is great for holiday homes or properties if planning to move abroad.

  • Self-contained into one UK double gang back box

Needing to run network cable elsewhere to the E200’s amplifier hub, and RCA cable to the separate Bluetooth Receiver could be problematic at times, however now this has been overcome with the E100 by bringing together those components for one simple in-wall solution. You will require a double gang back box that is slightly deeper than normal.

  • Integrated Bluetooth

Following on from the point that this in wall panel is self-contained, it must be stressed about not having to rely upon the QED uPlay Plus Bluetooth Receiver as is found with the E200. If installing multiple E100 systems in the home, you can rename the Bluetooth receiver to identify which particular system you are pairing up with, such as “Lounge”, “Kitchen”, “Bathroom etc. – an extremely useful feature.

  • 18W Per Channel

20% more power per channel compared to that of the E200’s amplifier, meaning more sound to fill your space.

Systemline E100 Bluetooth FM / DAB+ Radio System & 6.5″ Qi65CB Ceiling Speakers
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Main Standout E200 Features

  • DAB Radio

It is the generic standard of Digital Audio Broadcasting in the United Kingdom, and the E200 is designed to receive DAB transmissions only – not DAB+. DAB Radios are not forward compatible with DAB+, and whilst DAB+ stations and transmissions may one day be more prevalent in the UK, it is not at this moment thought to be rolled out as standard owing to the cost of new transmitters and sheer number of current DAB radios that would be made redundant.

  • Separate Bluetooth Receiver & Hub

As the in wall panel is not integrated with Bluetooth receiver or amplifier hub, it does mean they need to be sited away from the panel in the wall. The QED uPlay Plus Bluetooth Receiver is also preferred to be installed within the room in order to perform the required pairing procedure outlined in its instructions.

  • CAT5 Network Cable Required

CAT5 Network Cable is required to connect the in wall panel to the amplifier hub. It is able to run at a standard wiring of 5m, of which is included within the basic pack, or the ability to run a length of 10m non-standard wired CAT5 network cable is possible. Whilst there is directives as to how to wire a non-standard cable, it can be quite difficult and not to mention expensive, which is why at BuyCleverStuff we are able to provide this non-standard 10m Cat5 Network Cable ready-made to make your installation easier.

  • Line Out: Perfect For Sub Zone Setup

This is the main consideration for selecting the E200 over the E100. With line out featured on the amplifier hub, you can effectively set up sub zones for other areas of your home by connecting to another system via line in. To be able to control Bluetooth across two rooms via the E200 gives the ability to do more with the system compared to that of the E100 which is without this line out.

  • 15W Per Channel

17% less power per channel compared to that of the E100’s amplifier, however, you will still have a significant amount of audio filling your room at this rating, and it must be taking into account that creating sub zones with the E200 means it can do more as a system going forward should you which

Systemline E200 Bluetooth FM / DAB Radio System & 6.5″ Qi65CB Ceiling Speakers

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Main Standout Features of Both Systems

  • FM Radio

The ability to receive FM Radio comes as standard with both systems.

  • Two lengths of seven metre speaker cable

Whilst it is standard with both the E100 and E200, the only varying difference is that with the E100 system it is colour-coded to help with installation.

  • Audio line in

Useful if needing to connect any other external source you may want to link up.

The Systemline E200 can also be used with an external iDock which can be fitted alongside the in-wall panel and connected via CAT5 instead of choosing the Bluetooth option. However, it must be noted that use of any Apple device within the iDock must feature a 30-pin connection. As 30-pin connections by Apple are now not produced, we do not recommend this route, considering Bluetooth is the cheaper, and simpler, route to follow. If you do require any more information, see our related post on 30-pin connections.

Should you require any further help, or have any more questions about these systems, how to go further with the E200 as a sub zone option, or any other query surrounding our available Systemline E Series systems email: Expert@BuyCleverStuff.co.uk

Compare: Apple Lightning & Apple 30-Pin Connectors

The Apple Lightning Connector is the newest connector found on the iPhone 5 onward (including iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and models released in September 2015), iPod Touch (5th generation) onward, iPad (4th generation) onward, iPad Mini, iPod Nano (7th generation), and Apple Pencil. The connector was changed to the Lightning Connector from the 30-Pin Connector.

Apple’s 30-Pin connector was common to most Apple mobile devices (iPhone (1st generation), iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, 1st-4th generation iPod Touch, iPad, iPad 2, and iPad 3) from its introduction with the 3rd generation iPod in 2003 until the Lightning connector was released in late 2012.

So what does this mean?

Well it means a lot, first thing to know is that Lightning Connector is not compatible with the old 30-pin connector as found on most Docking Stations. Plus the new Lightning Connector is a digital only output, meaning it simply can’t be adapted to fit in an old 30-pin connector. It is useful as the cable can connect either face up or face down.

Official Lightning connectors contain an authentication chip, meaning it is difficult for third-party manufacturers to produce compatible accessories without Apple’s approval.

Apple however offer a solution, currently at a cost of £25 Apple offer DAC Lightning to 30-pin Adapter to get around the problem (as well as other connectors for USB, HDMI, VGA and SD cards).

At the moment. our Apple iPhone / iPod Docking Stations are not compatible with the new iPhone 5 or new generation of iPod devices, however we are working with our manufactures and suppliers to look into a solution.

If you already have a Docking Station then at the moment the only solution is to purchase a Lightning to 30-Pin Adapter, this adapter is attached to the bottom of the iPhone or iPod and will allow you to use in an old 30-Pin Connector Docking Station. We recommend only using official Apple adapters to use when converting from 30-Pin.

What are my other options?

Apple’s range of iPhones, iPods, and iPads now feature Bluetooth functionality and can connect effortlessly with speakers that feature built-in Bluetooth receivers.

By using this feature, it allows you to control your device and not be restricted from using it when otherwise out of reach when docked.

More so is the importance of using Bluetooth now as, with our experience, docking stations that are not compatible with the newer Lightning connections and are reliant on adaptors

(Image: Flickr/randychiu)