bluetooth

Windows Phone 8.1, released yesterday through the Preview for Developer program, sure has a lot of new features. We tried to document most, if not all, of those in our colossal review/overview of the OS, but as suspected some items will fall through the cracks.

Reader of the site Nicholas M. brought to our attention that 8.1 not only has independent volume levels for Ringer + Notifications versus Media + Apps, but also a separate volume slider for headphones. We looked into the finding and also discovered that there’s a fourth volume slider, one for Bluetooth.

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It could be argued that music is an international language for human expression; happiness, love, anger, joy, envy, fear – it can all be expressed through the wonderful world of music. The Windows Phone that you carry around in your pocket is the gateway to that music, whether you use Xbox Music, Spotify, Rdio, or Beats Music.

Today, we are going to look at a pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones by SOL REPUBLIC, whose controls actually play well with the Windows Phone OS.

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If you are in the market for Bluetooth stereo headphones for your Windows Phone, you may want to take a gander at the Mpow Bluetooth 4.0 Foldable Headphones.

The foldable headphones are well built, have strong audio quality and priced in the neighborhood of $35 are very budget friendly. We recently took the Mpow headphones out for a test drive and found them to be solid performers when paired with a Windows Phone, PC or tablet.

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Windows Phone 8.1 is still far off from being made available to the general public, but Microsoft has managed to get the operating system through Bluetooth SIG certification. What this means for consumers is they'll have ability to take full advantage of Bluetooth 4.0 in the next major update. The listing was filed on January 31st and is a sign of what's to come in Windows Phone 8.1. 

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Update: It appears the sales price for the JBL J55 Headphones is $29.95 while supplies last.  

Update 2:  The $29.95 sales price was the door buster price.  The sales price has jumped to $49.95, while remaining supplies last.

Day Eleven has arrived for Microsoft’s 12 Days of Deals promotion with the savings spotlight being cast on the JBL J55 On-Ear Headphones.  It may not be as exciting of a deal as yesterday’s free AT&T Nokia Lumia 1520, but if you are in the market for a Bluetooth speaker, it could save you a few bucks.

As with all the 12 Days of Deals specials, the sale begins at 7am PST/10am EST.  We expect the first twenty customers at participating Microsoft Stores (US/Canada) and the first one hundred online customers should be able to pick the JBL Headphones for a steal of a price.  After the initial door buster deals are gone, the headphones will be priced at a considerable savings while supplies last.

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Developer Jimmy Engströ​m has managed to build an API to control a Silverlit (www.silverlit.com) remote control car. Using Bluetooth, the Windows Phone is able to control the toy just like any supported controller. It's pretty neat, but of course not really useful for the average consumer (unless you happen to have a Bluetooth controlled car stored away somewhere).

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Nokia's Bluetooth headphone setup, currently codenamed 'Guru,' looks like it might be released under the official name BH-121, according to FCC documents showing a device similar to a previously leaked rendering. Additionally, at least one retailer in the Czech Republic is already listing the BH-121 on their sites with an availability date of December 16 and a retail price of 1050 CZK (about $54.00).

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We’re a few weeks away from Nokia World in Abu Dhabi. We expect to see a handful of new smartphones running Windows Phone and even a tablet running Windows RT. We’ll have a pair of boots on the ground bringing you the latest from the event, but it’s always fun to see news trickle out ahead of the event.

We suspect we’ll be seeing a lot of devices taking advantage of some Bluetooth magic, like the Nokia Treasure Tag. But the Bluetooth fun doesn’t stop there with Nokia, read on to learn about some changes coming to the platform.

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There has been some confusion surrounding Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy (LE) and high-end Lumia Windows Phones. Nokia Australia recently stated that the hardware won't support the upgrade. Shortly thereafter, Nokia PR in Germany confirmed that all Lumia Windows Phones will indeed support Bluetooth 4.0 LE.

Now, Nokia Australia has backtracked on what was previously said, reaffirming what we originally believed to be the case - high-end Nokia Windows Phones will support Bluetooth 4.0 through a system update.

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Nokia is expected to unveil quite a few new devices next month in UAE for what may be their final Nokia World. Whether it is the Lumia 1520 or their tablet, the rumored Lumia 2520, Nokia is sure to have a great show.

One of those items due for release will be the Bluetooth charm called ‘Treasure Tag’. The item will reportedly work with Bluetooth 4.0 LE devices and allow users to track things like keys, bags or whatever it is attached too. NFC will be on board too for quick and easy pairing. As the Verge reported earlier this summer, the device will have a button on it to ID phones that it is attached to and its battery should last 6 months while always being on.

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According to Microsoft’s support forums, a user complained that his Surface RT running the latest version of the company’s Windows 8.1 Consumer Preview was seeing an extreme power decrease while in standby mode. The user also noted that a driver known as “Microsoft UART V2” seemed to be causing the issue.

Microsoft’s support team contacted the user and requested he try switching his Bluetooth to on to save battery life. Right away, this seems to be an odd solution; turning on your Bluetooth radio should decrease your device’s battery life – not improve it. That being said, as soon as said user turned on his Bluetooth radio, his issue disappeared.

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If you're looking for a neat Bluetooth headset for your Windows Phone, the Nokia Luna Headset should be on your short list. Especially seeing that the Microsoft Store is offering the Luna for $19.99 (regularly $59.99).

The Luna features a unique cradle that doubles as a charging base and portable charger. When docked, the Luna's maximum standby time jumps from 35 hours to 60 days. Additionally, the Luna has NFC support to let you tap to pair the headset with your Windows Phone. Granted your Windows Phone needs to have NFC as well.

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Nokia is looking to launch a proximity sensor accessory for Lumia Windows Phones, according to sources familiar with company plans. The Verge reports that Nokia will release a "Treasure Tag" that will combine Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC to track items of possession from a Windows Phone. The tag will pair with a smartphone through NFC and can then be attached to keys, etc. with a supplied loop strap. 

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The upcoming Nokia Amber update for Windows Phones is also set to include Bluetooth 4.0 support for Lumia 720, 620 and 520 Windows Phones. According to a leaked slide, Nokia will be explicitly introducing low energy capabilities and support for hardware and accessories. This information came to light from a press event in Hong Kong.

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While a review of the Blackberry Mini Stereo Speaker may sound like it's better suited for our friends over at Crackberry.com, the tiny Bluetooth speaker works rather well with our Windows Phones.

The Mini Stereo Speaker is compact, has very good audio quality and has decent battery life. While the mini speaker works great as a external speaker for listening to music, it may not be very practical as a hands-free solution for your Windows Phone.

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Finally! a quality sounding Nokia Monster headset! - My exact thoughts as I listened to a track straight from my own Lumia 920 paired to Nokia's Monster branded headset only a few moments before.

Here are MWC Nokia have announced a slew of accessories, mostly focussing arround the wireless charging being offered with the new Lumia 720 and 520. However there are also a few of the older accessories on show for us to try out, and despite the purity pro headset winning an award at CES, we haven't yet put the cups over our ears - that changed today.

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Justin Angel, Principal Engineer for Windows Phone experience at Nokia, has released a new Bluetooth SDK for Windows Phone 8 that enables developers to take advantage of connectivity with MindWave portable EEG headsets. Said devices can pair with a Windows Phone to display readings in both data and chart form for users to look through.

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Bluetooth accessory for HTC Windows Phone owners?

HTC could be building a portfolio of official accessories for its Windows Phone 8 family of smartphones if a recently published video is anything to go by. Nokia has unveiled a number of extras that future customers can purchase to further enrich the Lumia Windows Phone experience. Through the inclusion of wireless charging and NFC, the company can offer a collection of products that stand out.

It looks as though the Taiwanese manufacturer is deciding to go down a similar route in attempt to increase profit margins on the platform. With the Beats Audio for marketing, HTC can make use of the popular brand to push forward media accessories, including Bluetooth devices and headphones.

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This will prove to be good news for those who were slightly disappointed to see Nokia’s new Lumia devices were only going to support Bluetooth 3.1. According to a listing on Bluetooth.org, both the Lumia 820 and 920 support Bluetooth 4.0.

Bluetooth 4.0 allows for the transfer of information from super low power devices. The reason it’s a big deal is that it will allow for things like workout monitors, everything from a pedometer to a heart rate monitor.

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