What is Kodi, Why Do You Need It, and How Do You Get It?

What is Kodi, Why Do You Need It, and How Do You Get It?

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve probably heard the name “Kodi.” Perhaps you were wondering what it is. Kodi is free, open source home theatre software for your device or smart TV. However, it’s so much more than that. Do you need it? We think you’ll think so, once you learn more about it. How can you get it? And what can it do for you? That’s what we’re about to tell you.

Like Entertainment? You’ll Love Kodi

Kodi

Image: CC 2.0, by Yanki01, via Flickr

Kodi is a multi-platform home theatre PC (HTPC) application. Multi-platform means that it runs on just about any device. Windows? Yes. OS X and iOS? You bet. Linux? Raspberry Pi? It has you covered. And the home theatre part? We think you can figure it out.

What does it do? Well, just about everything. You can use it to play and view streaming media like music, video, TV, movies, and podcasts. In addition, you can use it to access common digital media files from storage. What’s more, various plugins allow you to access streaming media content from your subscription services. Want to watch movies from Amazon Prime Instant Video? Not a Problem. Furthermore, you can also access Crackle, Pandora Internet Radio, Rhapsody, Spotify, YouTube, and more.

If that’s not enough, later versions have a personal video recorder (PVR) front end for receiving live television. It also has an electronic program guide (EPG) and high definition DVR (digital video recorder) support. The software is highly customizable, with various plugins, skins, and themes. In addition, the app has support for your remote controls and powerful add-ons for various web services. There is also an extensive library of user-created add-ons.

So, the question isn’t whether you need it, but instead, how you’ve been getting along without it all this time.

Kodi Has a Wide Variety of Content

Kodi isn’t a content provider like Netflix or Hulu. However, the software makes it easy to bring together all of your favorite streaming media, and your own media collection, into one, organized, easy to use place. Just take a look at some of the things you can do with this software.

Movies

Kodi on television

Image: CC 2.0, by Ginny, via Flickr

The app supports all the most popular video formats, including streamable online media. In addition, it can easily import, browse and play movies from your own collection.

TV

The TV show library supports episode and season views of streaming TV shows. You can organize your TV shows with posters, banners, “watched” tags, show descriptions, actors, and more. You can even keep track of your progress through a series.

Music

Kodi

Image: CC0, by Geralt, via Pixabay.

Further, the music player can play both streaming music and songs from your collection. It supports numerous file formats, including mp3, FLAC, Wav, and WMA. In addition, it has support for cue sheets, tag reading, and smart playlists. You can manage your online and home music collection all from one easy interface.

PVR

Want to record live TV? You can do that, too! The software uses popular backends like MediaPortal, MythTV, NextPVR, Tvheadend, and others.

Photos

With this software, you can import your own images into a library, browse in different views, and even put together a slideshow. In addition, you can keep your photos organized, sorted, and filtered. And you can do it all with your remote control.

Customize Your Experience

Kodi has an extensive library of user-created add-ons that you can use to customize your experience. Some of these add-ons include support for streaming audio and video. There are also skins for changing the look and use of the interface. In addition, there are web interfaces that allow you to control your Kodi remotely. Game support? Got it. Want to watch foreign television? There’s an add-on for that, too. You can even create your own add-ons and upload them to the Kodi library. And there’s so much more you can do. Best of all, it’s all free.

Where Does the Kodi App Come From?

Kodi started out life as a homebrew (independently developed) media player application called Xbox Media Center (later XBMC). It originally ran on the first generation Xbox game console. But XBMC grew up. Now it is offered by the nonprofit XBMC Foundation.

How Can It Be Free?

Image: CC 2.0, by opensource.com, via Flickr

Kodi describes its software as “for the users and by the users.” This means that there is no highly paid software development team. All work is done by volunteers, for the love of a good product.

How can you help it to stay free and keep improving? We’re glad you asked that! The company is currently seeking volunteers to help with testing, quality assurance, coding, and localization. If that’s not your strength, you can help by writing documentation or creating add-ons. And if these ideas make your head spin, you can also help by donating, buying their merchandise, or even just spreading the word.

Where Can You Get a Kodi Download?

You can get the latest Kodi download from their website, Kodi TV. There are versions available for Windows, iOs, OsX, Linux, Raspberry Pi, and more.

Exodus Kodi and Other Controversies

Exodus Kodi was one of the most popular Kodi add-ons. It was a creation of a prolific developer who operated under the name “Lambda.” Exodus Kodi was a controversial add-on because it allowed users to access pirated movies and TV shows. Alas, Exodus created a controversy in the user community as well.

Kodi pirate

Image: Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

In February 2017, Torrent Freak reported that some users confronted Lambda about their work, and threatened to expose their identity. However, because of the controversial nature of some of Lambda’s work, they preferred to stay anonymous. A short time later, Lambda added malicious code to the Exodus add-on. According to Lambda, the malicious code was a countermeasure against the people threatening to expose them. Eventually, after public outcry, Lambda removed the offending code and retired.

Some have expressed concern about the possibility of using its add-ons to illegally access copyrighted material. The XBMC Foundation strongly condemns using it for this purpose.

Learn More at Kodi TV

Want to learn more about this exciting new technology? You can learn everything you want to know and more at their official website, Kodi TV. In addition, you can check them out on your favorite social media platforms: FacebookGoogle+Twitter, and Youtube.

 

Featured image: screenshot, by Kodi, via Kodi.Tv

Best Linux Distros and Where You Can Find Them

Best Linux Distros and Where You Can Find Them

Although you may not know it, Linux has been around for a few decades. Linux distros, based on the Unix operating system, are the different operating distributions of Linux. These distros are built around the heart of the Linux kernel. They are the foundation of the operating system and customized to create various types of desktop environments.

The vast majority of Linux distros have a specific use-case in mind. For instance, the Linux Ubuntu operating system was created for new Linux users. It is easy to use and customize. Another distro, Arch Linux, is for more advanced users. These users prefer to use the terminal application to install software packages and type in other commands.

So let’s take a look at some of the more popular Linux distros. We will discuss who can benefit most from them, and where you can find them.

What is Linux?

Linux is an operating system like Windows 10, Chromebook OS, and Mac OS X. Just like other operating systems, Linux manages the conversation between your laptop or desktop hardware and software. If you didn’t have an operating system, your software wouldn’t work properly.

You might be surprised to learn that Linux is in a lot of places. Your phone runs on Linux. Some of the software in your car is Linux based. Smart refrigerators and Roku devices use Linux as well. Linux runs many of the servers and systems you use on a daily basis. And the penguin is cute. So there’s that.

Why Use Linux?

Easily the most frequently asked question people want to ask is “Why use Linux?” It’s a different operating system, with a different environment, and a different user experience. There are a few reasons users might want to switch, but let’s take a quick look at just two of the big hitters.

First, Linux is stable. If you are constantly battling a slow computer or fighting viruses, those and other concerns are not as prominent with Linux. Linux distros have grown to become known as one of the most reliable and efficient operating systems.

Second, it’s free. You heard right, F-R-E-E. You can install any Linux distro on as many computers as your heart desires, and you’ll pay nothing. No additional costs, no licensing fees, no server or software fees, it’s entirely free.

Linux Distros

As previously mentioned, there are many different types of versions and distributions of Linux. Here are some of the more popular Linux distros and where to find them.

Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a great Linux distro for beginners. It is easily accessible and provides the security and stability that the Linux OS is known for. Every six months a new version of Ubuntu is released, which offers updates and general maintenance as needed. You’ll also have access to LTS (Long Term Support) versions, which are available every other year.

ubuntu linux distros

Image CC by 0, by osde8info, via Flickr

The LTS versions offer up to five years of general and security updates, which means you don’t have to worry about upgrading your Linux operating system every six months. This is especially nice since the standard releases are only supported for one year.

Ubuntu also has its own flavors available that use different environments. One example is Lubuntu, which is a “light” or minimal version of Ubuntu. Lubuntu is designed to create less strain on your system resources than other operating systems.

If you think Ubuntu is the right OS for you, you can find the Ubuntu Linux OS download here.

Linux Mint

linux distros mint desktop

Image CC by 0, by Marco Castellani, via Flickr

Linux Mint operating system is another great option if you’re new to the Linux OS. It’s especially useful for those that prefer to switch from a Windows PC or Mac. The Mint version of Linux also provides a great deal of customization.

Users will find switching to Linux Mint from Windows or Mac straightforward since it comes with a lot of options for the software these operating systems provide. For instance, in place of Microsoft Office, Linux Mint users will have LibreOffice, a free alternative to the office suite.

Mint comes in many different versions and varieties, the most popular being Cinnamon. This version of Linux Mint lets users change and customize menus and the appearance of certain windows. Users will also have support for most media formats, which will allow you to play music and video files right away.

Linux Mint operating system is an excellent option for newer users who like to have the option of customizing their experience. You can find the Mint distro of Linux here.

Linux Tails

If you are concerned with privacy, Linux Tails might be the Linux operating system for you. This Linux distro emphasizes privacy and security, all while maintaining a user-friendly interface. Tails is an operating system that aims to protect your identity and conceal your location as much as possible.

Linux Tails achieves privacy by directing network traffic through its Tor network This network is explicitly designed to protect data and prevent it from being analyzed. While these security measures are exceptional, it gets even better. You’ll have all the security the Linux Tails distro has to offer but still have the ability to use the operating system with its clear and simple UI.

This Linux distro isn’t for everyone, but for those that are concerned with privacy and all the dangers that come along with not having enough security, Linux Tails is the right option. You can find the Linux OS download of Tails here.

CentOS

The CentOS Linux distro is an offshoot of the enterprise version of Red Hat Linux that many companies use today. While this version of Linux isn’t ideal for a daily desktop, it’s great for a server. The build focuses on stability. Instead of providing constant updates like Ubuntu and Mint, CentOS offers ten years of support from the initial version release date.

Since CentOS is so reliable, it’s a great option if you’re looking to stand up a server. If you need an everyday Linux distro to use on your machine, CentOS is probably not the way to go.

If you’re looking for a steady, reliable Linux distro to use as a server, CentOS is precisely what you need. You can find CentOS here.

Linux Elementary

The Elementary Linux distro is a great operating system for Mac users wanting to make the jump to Linux. Known for its stability, Linux Elementary greatly resembles the MacOS desktop, meaning Mac users will feel comfortable making the change.

linux distros elementary

Image CC by 0, by okubax, via Flickr

With an easy-to-use menu and the ability to customize their preferences, users will find Linux Elementary intuitive and straightforward. The operating system doesn’t come with a lot of additional bloatware so users won’t feel overwhelmed. It does come with everything users need via an App Center, providing software downloads and upgrades with the click of a button.

If you think Linux Elementary is the Linux distro for you, you can find more information and download it here.

Steam OS

Last on our list is a Linux distro for the gamer in all of us. Typically, gamers refrain from using Linux since there are few games available on the Linux platform. While there has been some growth in recent years, things didn’t really change until Steam OS hit the market.

Steam OS is designed specifically with gamers in mind. Kernel tweaks and performance enhancements are a part of this Linux distro. It supports gamepads, GPUs, and other hardware gamers find necessary.

While the Steam OS Linux distro isn’t your typical operating system, it is an excellent option for those that enjoy gaming, specifically with Steam. You can download this Linux distro here.

Which One is Right For You?

As you can see, there are many different Linux distros available, but what we’ve covered barely scratches the surface. There are a variety of options available, and if the ones listed above don’t fit your needs, then take a look at some of the other options. You’re sure to find something that will work for you.

Featured image: CC by 2.0, by MuseScore, via Flickr

Using a Roku: How to Finally Cut the Cord on Cable

Using a Roku: How to Finally Cut the Cord on Cable

It seems to be standard for almost everyone to cut the cord on their cable TV providers and use a Roku or similar TV streaming device these days. The term “cut the cord on cable” is used by many people.

It means to stop subscribing to cable TV service providers and use a TV streaming device. The thing is, “cut the cord on cable” is a cheap way to get your fix for all of your favorite TV episodes, movies, news, local channels, and more. Here is more information on how to “cut the cord on cable” and use a Roku stick instead. And the many benefits of doing so.

Why Cut the Cord on Cable and Use a Roku Instead

image of roku box and stick, to cut the cord on cable

Roku streaming sticks are easy to use. Image CC by 2.0, by Bago Games, via Flickr 

There are many benefits of “cutting the cord on cable” and using a Roku stick instead. If you think you won’t be able to get the same TV shows and movies you did with the more expensive cable or satellite TV providers, you are wrong. There are a lot of TV streaming services you can get a whole lot cheaper than what you are or were paying for services like DirecTV, Dish Network, and Xfinity.

You can get it, or Netflix, Hulu, Youtube Red or regular free Youtube, and more for a lot cheaper. Don’t forget about Amazon Video because they are inexpensive as well. Almost all of these TV streaming services cost under $10 per month. Also, you don’t need all of them to get the TV shows and movies you already enjoy.

Using a streaming set-top box is like only paying for the things you watch instead of paying an outrageous cable bill every month for channels you may not even be watching much, if at all.

What is Roku TV

A Roku TV is more expensive but it is a nice option to have.

Roku TV is a nice option for easy streaming. Image CC by 2.0, by Michael Sheehan, via Flickr 

You have more than one option when it comes to using Roku. You can use a Roku box that hooks up to your TV and Internet. Another option is to get a Roku streaming stick that does the same thing but it is a lot smaller than the box, or you can buy a TV with Roku built into it. This is called Roku TV. With all three of these, you will be ready to enjoy watching your favorite TV shows and movies as soon as you connect the box or streaming stick to your TV. Then, connect it to the Internet and create a Roku account where you can choose the channels you want to watch.

With a Roku TV, the Roku is already on the TV, so all you need to do with this is connect to the Internet and create your Roku account to start enjoying your favorite shows and movies. Admittedly, a TV that has this streaming device built into will be an expensive purchase at first. However, it is a one-time payment and the only thing you pay out every month is your services for your TV channels and movies like Netflix or Hulu or similar cheap services.

A Roku TV is easier to use. However, the box or a streaming stick is cheaper. So, if you are trying to save money all the way around, not just with your TV shows and movies, you should go with the box or the Roku streaming stick.

How to Use a Roku Streaming Stick

It is easy to hook the streaming stick up to your TV.

Roku streaming stick is the easiest choice. Image CC by 2.0, by Mike Mozart, via Flickr

Using a Roku streaming stick is one of the easiest things you can do when it comes to the streaming device. All you do is plug it into the back of your TV and connect everything to your home Wi-Fi. Then, create a free Roku account, choose your free and cheap TV streaming services and channels, and start watching and enjoying your favorite TV shows and movies. However, both the box and the streaming stick plug right into your TV, so they are essentially the same thing.

The only real difference between the two is the size and the price. The box is a little bit cheaper, approximately $10 less expensive than the stick. You can go to a store like Walmart and pick up the box for around $60 to $70 one-time payment. You can pay a little bit more for the stick and a lot more if you want a new TV with it built in.

The only reason for buying the Roku TV is if you already need a new TV. If you already have an excellent working TV, it is recommended to pay the one time $60 or $70 for the box or a little more for the stick. Then, choose the streaming services you think you and your family will enjoy the most.

Sign up for your account with the streaming service or services you are choosing. Add your free and cheap channels to your Roku. Now, you are well on your way to enjoying free (or a whole lot cheaper) TV shows and movies to your heart’s content!

About Roku Channels

Not only can you find very inexpensive channels on the Roku website but there are free TV channels and movie channels that even come with your free account with this service.TV and movie channels like Crackle and a few others come included with the Roku. There are also local TV streaming channels like Sling TV, US TV Now, Playstation VUE, and more. Some of these are free to use while others give you the option to pay for a monthly upgrade for even more local TV channels and movies.

Some sports fans wonder if they can still watch their favorite sports on it if they decide to “cut the cord on cable.” The answer to this is YES! Many of these streaming services and channels have sports channels included with them.

How Much Money Can You Save?

You can save a lot of money by switching to a Roku.

Save money with a Roku. Image CC by 2.0, by Pictures of Money, via Flickr

Many people often wonder how much money they can save if they “cut the cord on cable” and go with a Roku. The answer to this is about $1000 or more per year. That is a lot of savings every year. Think about what you can do with an extra $1000 or more per year if you aren’t paying for cable anymore! It is amazing!

So, are you convinced to “cut the cord on cable” yet? It is as easy as calling your cable or satellite service provider to cancel your subscription. Keep your Wi-Fi and go to the nearest Walmart or similar store to pick up your Roku box, streaming stick, or your new Roku TV.

Then, come home, choose your streaming services like Sling TV, Netflix, Hulu, or more, connect everything to your home Wi-Fi. Create your free Roku account and your account with your new streaming service provider. Choose your channels and movies. Sit back, relax, and watch TV as long as you want.

What is Binge-Watching TV?

If you have never heard of binge-watching TV, you will soon discover what it is all about with your new TV streaming device! Once you have all of this, you should calculate what your monthly and yearly savings will be after “cutting the cord on cable” for good! You might be surprised how much money you can save. Not just every month, but every year as well! Not only will you be happy with your new way to watch your favorite TV episodes and movies, but you will be happy about saving money too!

 

Featured Image: CC by 2.0, by Mike Mozart, via Flickr 

 

Is Hulu Free Actually Free Anymore? Here’s the Scoop!

Is Hulu Free Actually Free Anymore? Here’s the Scoop!

The pressing question is, “can we get Hulu free anymore?” Inquiring minds want to know. Hulu had bloomed in popularity because they bring us all the TV shows we love, but can’t get on Netflix, at one click. But, you used to be able to get Hulu, “Hulu Plus,” and even a free trial of Hulu — can you anymore? Well catch you up on the greatest aspects of this service, and answer all the questions you have about Hulu free.

Many people turn to online sites that allow us to watch television. And everyone likes to get stuff “free,” though nearly nothing is really free anymore. Usually, to get something free, you are paying for it in information or watching advertisements.

Still, we ask ourselves; in a world where free isn’t really free anymore, is Hulu free?

Online Video Streaming: Hulu Free

Hulu is an online video streaming site that launched in 2008. You can find your favorite movies there, but Hulu centers more on TV series. You’re able to use any device available to stream your favorite shows. With the use of your tablet, smartphone or TV, you can stream Hulu anywhere. You are able to watch all types of shows on Hulu; action, comedy, romance and more. If you’re into anime, you’ll find select shows and movies on Hulu and “Hulu Plus.” Hulu is becoming the most go-to site for television programs found on major networks, not including the CW and CBS.

Many people had Hulu free, and others Hulu Plus, though their model has changed in the last few years.

Hulu video streaming for free

The services Hulu provides are becoming more popular, like Netflix or Amazon Video. Of course, Hulu works by connecting to wireless internet services. By doing this, when they started, you were able to stream your favorite videos and shows for free on a trial basis. This makes traveling long distances, or a long flight more tolerable. Just plug into available internet services and enjoy! According to Hulu Press;

“Hulu is the complete TV experience for consumers, offering both live and on-demand programming and more consumer choice than ever before,” said Freer. “We are the only place that delivers award-winning content, ad loads less than half that of traditional television, with ads that are always viewable and always in a brand-safe environment — and we are leading the TV and advertising industries into the future.”

But, the Free trial on Hulu is a thing of the past

When they started out, new subscribers were able to get a 7-day free trial. You were allowed limited access to the site, with commercials, while choosing a plan. Hulu began to take catching up with the competition seriously, in 2016. That is when they dropped the free trial, and added other things.

Is it true “Hulu Plus” is no longer free?

Yes, it is true, they ended their 7-day free trial. And, actually, “Hulu Plus” no longer exists either. With competing companies, Hulu decided to move towards an all-subscription model. In 2016, Hulu joined a deal with Yahoo. That is when Hulu decided to phase out their free trial system. Why?

According to PCMag.com, “Hulu used to have a free tier with limited shows and advertising, but killed it in 2016. Now, the price is a flat $7.99 per month for its base content. Hulu used to call this tier “Hulu Plus,” but now it’s just Hulu.

They focused on building a subscription service that provided a more personalized experience possible for their viewers. Hulu Senior VP and Head of Experience Ben Smith said in a statement, “As we have continued to enhance that offering with new originals, exclusive acquisitions, and movies, the free service became very limited and no longer aligned with the Hulu experience or content strategy.”

Hulu free is no longer available, but the services offered by the streaming service seem to make up for the low cost.

The Product Formerly Known as “Hulu Plus” – Is the pricing worth it?

To get or not to get, that is the question. When Hulu started, their basic package for $7.99 came with limited commercial interruptions. Some were fine with these interruptions. However, for $4 more you can get more content with no commercials – minus certain shows that have them due to streaming rights.

But what makes Hulu better than cable?

Cable television is very expensive these days. And a technician from whichever company comes to your home to install everything. Some companies charge for that installation, and even that can run into money not well spent. Additionally, if you don’t own a cable box you’re looking at spending $20-$30 a month. That adds up to a lot of money.

Whereas, if you were to sign up for Hulu today, you’d only be spending $7.99 a month. If you chose to sign up for Hulu with Live TV, you could completely skip the Cable TV, for only $39.99 a month. If you already have cable, you know that is a heck of a savings. With average US cable bills running $99.99 a month, that is only one third the cost.

Also, if you’re going on vacation or need to take a break, financially,  you can put your account on hold for up to twelve weeks. Can you do that with cable? We’ll cover more about Hulu with Live TV below. First, let’s talk about an exciting offer for Hulu and Sprint customers

Sprint Unlimited Plus Hulu, Plus Means Better!

Sprint users are in luck! All new or current Sprint users are able to sign up for Hulu on their smartphones. How does it work exactly? After you’re done signing up for your subscription you’ll get an activation link or code. By using the link or code, you’re able to complete any Hulu registration process.

Adding Hulu to your Sprint plan

Basically, enter your email address to create an account and log in to your current Hulu account. It’s that simple! Note, those who are already signed up for Hulu Limited Commercials, won’t have access to Hulu Live TV or add-ons. According to the Sprint FAQs page, your plan “includes the TV you love, with the Hulu Limited Commercials plan. Your Sprint Unlimited plan also includes a 10GB mobile hotspot so you can watch on the go, where you go. You’ll be able to watch the most popular next-day TV, original series, thousands of hit shows, movies and more.”

Sounds almost too good to be true, right?

Watching Hulu “Free” with Sprint Unlimited

After registering and activating your account, watching Hulu with Sprint is easy. Since the app comes on your phone already, you can take it anywhere. Stream your favorite shows and movies from the comfort of your home, car or wherever you get an internet connection.

There are, however, some exclusions at the moment. Sprint prepaid brands, any phones on seasonal standby, as well as Sprint corporate and business accounts are excluded. There is no information on when these types of exclusions will be allowed, till then it looks like Sprint users are limited. Hulu free is no longer available here either.

Hulu Channel Lineups and Subscriptions: Hulu with Live TV

Like mentioned above, cable is expensive these days, especially if you want to watch certain networks, movies or television shows. Even when using a DVR system, you’re looking to spend large amounts of money to achieve this. If you are addicted to your cable, your best bet is to go with Hulu with Live TV.

Sure it’s $39.99 a month, but in the long run, you’re saving money to watch live television. This subscription will cover your local, regional and standard cable networks. Not to mention, you get up to 50 hours worth of DVR recording time. (If you’re not looking to spend $40 a month, you also get DVR with the basic package.) Even with the cheaper versions, you still have access to your favorite shows.

Have a large household, look into getting the Hulu’s add-on packages. You get more hours for DVR recordings, and Unlimited Screens packages. However, some regional and local channels might be limited due to where you live.

Free Movies Online, a Thing of the Past

It was sad to see Hulu free disappear. However, you’re still able to stream favorites such as Law and OrderFamily Guy, and South Park just to name a few. There are no hidden fees, no extra equipment, and no cable guy to come install anything when signing up for Hulu. All you need is your phone, tablet, Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV device or a Samsung Smart Tv for streaming. It’s also nice to know that you can cancel at any time without any extra costs. Even the streaming quality is pretty nice. Hulu with Live TV comes in HD quality.

For your viewing pleasure, Hulu Free no longer

Hulu with Live TV is a great replacement to cable television, and Hulu’s lower tiers make a great addition to your current streaming services. For just $7.99, that’s a deal you don’t want to pass up. You save money in the long run and it’s a great investment in entertainment.

So, what will you be watching today?

 

Featured Image: CC by 0, by ADMC, via Pixabay

Best Bluetooth Earbuds on a Budget: What’s Right for You?

Best Bluetooth Earbuds on a Budget: What’s Right for You?

With so many options on the market today, and at so many price points, how do you know which ones are the best Bluetooth earbuds? Better yet, how do you know which ones aren’t worth the money at all?

One of the most annoying things about wired headphones is the wire itself. It becomes tangled and twisted and can be a huge pain. If you find dealing with wired headphones annoying, it might be time to make the switch to the best Bluetooth earbuds. Perception is that these headphones still cost an arm and a leg, but there are plenty of options available on a budget.

There are plenty of options available on the market today for the best Bluetooth earbuds under 50 dollars. This article will discuss some of the best cheap Bluetooth earbuds available, comparing battery life, quality, comfort, and appearance. Hopefully, one of the headsets listed below fit your needs.

Who Needs Bluetooth Earbuds?

bluetooth earbuds on table

Image: CC BY 2.0, by Karl Baron, via Flickr

The earphones listed here are some of the best cheap Bluetooth earbuds you’ll find on the market. These Bluetooth earbuds are ideal for people who aren’t worried about high-level sound quality. These headphones don’t cost a lot of money, can make and receive phone calls, and work like they’re supposed to with little fuss.

Something to remember is that because most of these Bluetooth earbuds are under $50, most of the cost goes into the technology behind them. As a result, you miss out on other functionality. Things like build quality, sound drivers, and other features won’t match the level of sophistication you find in more expensive Bluetooth earbuds.

So keep in mind that you’re going to get what you pay for, as we review some of the best Bluetooth earbuds under $50.

The Best Bluetooth Earbuds

picture of right earbud with blurred background: best bluetooth earbuds under 50 dollars.

Image: CC BY 2.0, by Faruk Ates, via Flickr

The following seven earbuds are the most affordable Bluetooth earbuds on the market.

Skullcandy Ink’d Bluetooth Earbuds

Some of the best cheap Bluetooth earbuds available come from Skullcandy, a company well-known for its high-quality headsets. These Bluetooth earbuds come with two pairs of ear gels, along with a micro USB charging cable. You’re definitely getting your money’s worth with these Bluetooth headphones. They offer a quick recharge time and noise canceling capabilities.

Of course, it’s important to remember that even though these Bluetooth earbuds boast about their noise canceling feature, you’re not going to get the quality you would get with a pricier pair. Still, for the name brand and quality you get, you can’t beat the price for these Bluetooth earbuds.

Brainwavz Blu-Delta Bluetooth Earbuds

 Brainwavz Delta Black IEM In Ear Earbuds Noise Isolating Earphones Remote Headset Apple iPhone & Android

Image via Amazon

While Brainwavz may not be the most recognizable name on this list, they do produce a quality Bluetooth headset. Brainwavz Blu-Delta Bluetooth earbuds are noise isolating, and feature a high-fidelity sound provided by its 4.0 aptx technology.

Some reviews suggest the Brainwavz Blu-Delta has trouble isolating sound in noisy spaces, but remember that you’re paying less than $50 for these earbuds. This may be an area you have to sacrifice. If you’re looking for some of the best cheap Bluetooth earbuds, you can’t go wrong with a Brainwavz Blu-Delta wireless headset.

Photive PH-BET50 Bluetooth Earbuds

Photive PH-BTE50 Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Sports Headphones with Built-in Microphone

Image via Amazon

Some of the best Bluetooth earbuds for running, the Photive PH-BET50 wireless headset is an excellent fit if you exercise regularly. The Photive earbuds are sweat-proof, so you won’t damage them while you’re out for your daily run. With your earbuds, you’ll get a user guide, a cord clip, a micro USB charging cable, and different sized ear tips.

Of course, like many of the Bluetooth earbuds on this list, users have reported some problems with the Photive PH-BET50 earbuds. The most common complaint is that after a few months, the earbuds quit producing sound. However, at less than $50, these are some of the best Bluetooth earbuds you can get on the cheap.

iFrogz Audio Impulse Wireless Headset

iFrogz wireless earbuds offer fantastic sound quality in comparison to some of the other Bluetooth earbuds on this list. These earbuds provide drivers that focus on giving end users an incredible sound experience. It will have you wondering how they can cost less than $50.

Included with the iFrogz Audio Impulse Bluetooth earbuds are a starter guide, an audio jack cable with a mic, and a micro USB charging cord. These earbuds are great for workouts since they are resistant to sweat and can withstand harsh conditions. Based on the quality of these Bluetooth earbuds and the low price, it’s easy to see why these are on the list of best cheap Bluetooth earbuds.

Aukey Latitude EP-B40 Wireless Earbuds

woman racer running down hill: find the best bluetooth earbuds for running

Image: CC BY 2.0, by Paul dobson, via Flickr

Here’s another headset you can add to the list of best Bluetooth earbuds for running. The Aukey Latitude EP-B40s are sweat resistant and offer a great sound via the aptx codec. Along with the earbuds, you’ll get a user manual, a carrying pouch, three pairs of ear hooks, three pairs of ear-tips, and a micro USB charging cable.

Aukey boasts a long-lasting battery, saying that it can go without a charge for up to eight hours of continuous usage. Like many on this list, there are a few drawbacks to the Aukey, with some saying that it has a poor connection if you pair the earbuds with more than one device. Even so, the Aukey Latitude EP-B40s are an excellent option for you if you’re looking for some of the best Bluetooth earbuds for less than $50.

iClever Bluetooth Headphones

iclever earbuds image from Amazon Wireless Headphones, iClever Sport Headset Ultra Comfy Fit, Noise Cancelling, Waterproof Bluetooth Headphones Wireless Earbuds for Gym, Workout, Running – Black

Image via Amazon

The iClever Bluetooth headphones are the first to provide users an 8mm dynamic speaker. Along with your iClever Bluetooth earbuds, you’ll get a pair of running headphones, earbuds for iPhone X, and a micro USB charging cable.

iClever says that its wireless headphones will last up to 10 hours of playing time, all while providing noise cancellation and waterproof earbuds. Some folks have found trouble with the amount of time it takes to charge the headset, but even so, you’re getting a great set of wireless earbuds.

Anker Soundbuds Life

Anker bluetooth earbuds

Image via Amazon

Anker’s Soundbuds Life are perhaps some of the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds you can get for under $50. These earbuds are thin and sturdy and capable of handling any type of activity. If you’re using a device with Bluetooth 4.1 technology, you’ll find that Anker’s Bluetooth earbuds provide high quality and sound.

Because of their light weight, your Anker Soundbuds Life won’t fall out of your ears. The water and sweat resistance also make them among the best Bluetooth earbuds for running. The additional tips that come with the earbuds will help keep them securely in place. Along with the different sized ear tips, your Anker Soundbuds Life comes with a micro USB charging cable and a shirt clip.

Offering up to seven hours of continuous play, along with a robust sound experience, the Anker Soundbuds Life earbuds might just be the best Bluetooth earbuds you can get on a budget.

The Choice is Yours

earbuds laying on wood table: best cheap bluetooth earbuds

Image CC0, by jklugiewicz, via Pixabay

Hopefully, some of the information about the best Bluetooth earbuds on a budget have helped you make a decision about which ones are right for you. As you can see, there is no shortage of options available on the market today. You have a wide range of features and qualities from which to choose. Of course, only you know what works best for your needs, so use these reviews to make an informed and educated decision.

Of course, if you’re an audiophile, or find the need for a great music experience, the headsets on this list may not work for you. But if you are merely looking for a reliable set of cheap Bluetooth earbuds, you can’t go wrong with any of the options on this list.

 

Featured Image: CC by 0, by StockSnap, via Pixabay

5 Things You Should Know About Bitcoin

5 Things You Should Know About Bitcoin

Cryptocurrencies have erupted over the past year.

 

These currencies are nothing new.

 

For years, people used these coins to trade goods and services (mostly illegal drugs) on the Dark Web in places like the late Silk Road.

 

Those days are gone, dozens of new cryptocurrencies emerge every day.

 

While many people rushed to purchase crypto when the Bitcoin price skyrocketed in November, most don’t understand the risk and many other factors.

 

As the price crashes, many people find themselves asking “wait, what is Bitcoin (BC) and how does it work?” It’s too late for some of them. Advocates will tell you now is the time to buy – but is it?

 

Here’s what you should know about the Bitcoin value, Ethereum price, and cryptocurrencies in general.

 

  1. What Is Bitcoin Exactly?

BC is what’s known as a cryptocurrency. Unlike traditional monies, BC and other cryptocurrencies are decentralized (well, kind of) through the use of technology called blockchain.

 

Blockchain is an interesting system created by a notorious – and elusive – figure named Satoshi Nakamoto. No one knows much about Satoshi or if he (?) really exists. It’s generally understood that Satoshi is, rather, a concept for the group of people who created blockchain.

 

Confused yet? It gets worse.

 

Blockchain is a series of blocks or digital records which are all linked in some way. Cryptography ensures these blocks stay secure through a special form of encryption.

 

Crypto-currency: get it? What is Bitcoin? A specific type of cryptocurrency secured using blockchain technology.

 

  1. Where Does Bitcoin Value Come From?

That’s a great question. Unfortunately, there isn’t one correct answer.

 

Crypto advocates will tell you that since BC is independent from the global dollar system, it’s value is determined by this decentralized network: users determine the value.

 

This is somewhat true, but what defines value?

 

In one sense, the only value that BC holds is as a method of exchange.

 

But what is being exchanged? Traditional fiat currencies which you’ve acquired through labor and other methods – all of which rely on the global dollar system for their value.

 

There are two ways to acquire BC and cryptocurrencies: purchase them with “real” money, or mine it. In order to mine BC, you need a heavy-duty computer system that solves complex puzzles (this is an over simplification).

 

Most people purchase BC with their country’s traditional currency. Although advocates tout crypto as a competitor to the global dollar system, these currencies are measured against fiat like the U.S. dollar. Plus, in order to purchase crypto, you need a standard bank account to transfer funds.

 

In fact, cryptocurrencies are very reliant on governments and economies for determining their number values. When governments impose regulations or large corporations announce they will accept BC, this makes the value fluctuate – and drastically.

 

  1. Beyond Just Bitcoin Price: Transaction Fees are Completely Unaffordable for Both Users and Businesses

If you’ve never purchased Ethereum, BC, Litecoin, or any other cryptocurrency, you may not realize how much it actually costs.

 

An average transaction fee costs $28 – average.

 

Want to upload fiat funds to your digital wallet? Pay a fee. Want to purchase BC with funds from your digital wallet? Pay another fee. Is it time to sell because the price skyrocketed? Yep, another fee.

 

Cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase charge a lot of money for moving even small amounts of monies. In many respects, this is holding back potential progress in the industry.

 

It’s almost impossible for businesses to offer cryptocurrencies as a payment method for this reason.

 

  1. Think Income Inequality is Bad? The Cryptocurrency World Isn’t Better

In the “real world,” 1% of the population control more wealth than the entire 99% combined. In the cryptocurrency world, 1,000 people control 40% of all BC. Keep in mind that it’s difficult to calculate exact figures for inequality so this is more of an estimate.

 

This inequality doesn’t help the argument that BC is “decentralized.”

 

Combined with other factors, those 1,000 people can drastically influence the value of cryptocurrencies. If all 1,000 decided to sell everything tomorrow, the price would plummet. This would leave folks who invested their last $500 (or sold their home to purchase BC) out in the cold.

 

  1. The Ethereum Price is Low, Could This Make You Money?

Perhaps. Ethereum is one of the up-and-comers of the cryptocurrency world along with BC Cash and Litecoin.

 

If the Ethereum price is low, you could buy a little, but don’t invest your life’s savings. At the time of writing this, Ethereum costs $530 – down about 40% for the month.

 

If you’re looking to make money in crypto, you’re better off buying something like Ethereum and riding it out. However, there are dozens of cryptocurrencies: nearly every state government and major company is developing their own.

 

Deciding which one to purchase is just as much – if not more – risky than the traditional stock market.

 

Invest wisely, just don’t lose your home.