Ben PattersonSenior Writer, TechHive

Ben has been writing about technology and consumer electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, where he covers smart speakers, soundbars, and other smart and home-theater devices.

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Google will switch on mandatory two-factor authentication for Nest accounts this month

If you haven’t already locked down your Nest account with two-step authentication, Google will do it for you starting in May.

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Rumors point to a new Sonos Playbar with Dolby Atmos, plus refreshed Play:5 and Sub

Is a new HDMI-equipped Playbar finally about to happen?

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Pricey smart water valves are worth the investment, LexisNexis survey says

Not only should homeowners consider investing in smart water shut-off valves, insurers should offer incentives for installing them, according to the report.

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Polk Audio’s $250 Signa S3 soundbar boasts Chromecast audio support

The new 2.1-channel soundbar from Polk Audio can be grouped with other Chromecast-enabled speakers.

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Ring PAR38 Smart LED Bulb review: A bright, weatherproof outdoor bulb for folks in the Ring ecosystem

This affordable Alexa-enabled bulb is well suited for illuminating driveways, backyards, side entrances, and other outdoor areas.

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Ring A19 Smart LED Bulb review: Ring dips its toe into traditional smart bulbs

This new A19 smart bulb plays nice with Ring doorbells, security cameras, and motion-sensing lights, but it lacks the advanced features that some other smart lighting systems offer.

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Hey Google sensitivity setting arrives for Google Home and Nest devices

The new setting helps solve the problem of Google Assistant either not hearing its wake word, or accidentally thinking it did hear it.

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Plex adds free TV shows and movies from Crackle

Plex users can now stream free (albeit ad-supported) movies and TV shows such as "Captain Phillips," "Patriot Games", "Hell’s Kitchen," and more.

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Listen to free audiobooks from your local library on your Sonos speakers

Sonos speakers now work with Libby, a free app that lets you borrow ebooks and audiobooks from your local library branch.

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6 things to know before buying your first robot vacuum

Robot vacuums are one of our favorite smart appliances, but the labor-saving gadgets need more help than you might think.

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Sonarworks’s SoundID Listen software aims to wring better sound out of your headphones

The just-released software for Windows and Mac customizes and (hopefully) improves the audio your headphones deliver, based on a personalized profile.

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Google Assistant is getting better at recognizing your voice

A more involved Voice Match training process should help Google Assistant identify your voice with greater accuracy.

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JBL Bar 9.1 review: This 5.1.4 soundbar boasts truly wireless surround speakers

For once, the wireless surround speakers on JBL’s first Dolby Atmos-enabled soundbar are, in fact, truly wireless.

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Apple Music app lands on Samsung smart TVs

Samsung is the first manufacturer to get the Apple Music app on its smart TV platform.

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How to create a movie and TV show watchlist using Google Search

Google’s new watchlist feature lets you select the streaming video services you're subscribed to, as well as filter recommendations by genre or what’s available for free.