• chevron_right

      Do you really need shiny new tech for Christmas? The answer is ‘no’ / TheGuardian · 6 days ago - 09:00

    If you are tempted to ask Santa for the latest smartwatch or phone, think again

    This Christmas, many Apple enthusiasts will be mulling over whether to shell out almost £800 for a new iPhone 15 , while some commuters will be thinking of putting the new Bose QuietComfort Ultra headphones on their list, although at £450, Santa will need to be feeling generous.

    But is it really necessary to keep on updating our phones, laptops, smartwatches and headphones as new models hit the market? The simple answer is no.

    Continue reading...
    • chevron_right

      Bose QC Ultra earbuds review: top-class noise cancelling with audio upgrade / TheGuardian · Monday, 13 November - 07:00

    New immersive sound and better Bluetooth update for comfortable and popular earbuds

    Bose’s commuter favourite QuietComfort earbuds have been given an upgrade, setting the standard with best-in-class noise cancelling and new immersive audio features.

    Costing £300 (€350/$300/A$450) the QC Ultra earbuds are £20 more than the excellent QC Earbuds II they effectively replace, rubbing shoulders with the best in the business from Sennheiser, Sony and Apple.

    Water resistance: sweat resistant (IPX4)

    Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3 (SBC, AAC, aptX Adaptive)

    Battery life: 6 hours (up to 24 hours with case)

    Earbud dimensions: 17.2 x 30.5 x 22.4mm

    Earbud weight: 6.24g each

    Charging case dimensions: 59.4 x 66.3 x 26.7mm

    Charging case weight: 59.8g

    Case charging: USB-C

    Continue reading...
    • chevron_right

      Bose QuietComfort Ultra headphones review: supreme comfort and noise cancelling / TheGuardian · Monday, 6 November - 07:00

    Commuter favourite gets premium upgrade with immersive sound and better Bluetooth – but huge price tag

    Bose’s latest top of the range headphones break new ground with a more premium look, advanced connectivity, immersive spatial audio and a supremely comfortable design. And a hefty price tag.

    The QuietComfort Ultra headphones cost an eye-watering £450 (€500/$429/A$649) making them the most expensive Bose models to date, replacing the previous top-of-the-line £350 NCH700 from 2019 . They join the ranks of ultra premium headphones alongside Apple’s £500 AirPods Max and B&W’s £599 Px8.

    Continue reading...
    • chevron_right

      Sony confirms “PlayStation Q,” a handheld device for streaming PS5 games / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 24 May, 2023 - 22:44

    Amid a plethora of game trailers, Sony dedicated a single minute of its more-than-an-hour-long PlayStation Showcase livestream on Wednesday to reveal two new hardware products.

    The most buzzworthy of these is surely Project Q—that's the internal name, as the final name is still pending. Whatever it is called in the future, Project Q confirms a long-standing rumor: It's a new PlayStation handheld.

    The device will be focused on streaming; Sony says it will allow users to stream any non-VR game from a local PlayStation 5 console using Remote Play over Wi-Fi. In fact, it won't be able to play games on its own; it's all about the streaming functionality.

    Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

    • chevron_right

      Fairphone’s user-repairable headphones will offer spare parts through its app / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 11 May, 2023 - 20:57 · 1 minute

    Fairphone Fairbuds XL explosion

    Enlarge (credit: Fairphone )

    Today, Fairphone, a company known for making smartphones that are meant to last , revealed its take on a user repair-friendly set of wireless, over-the-ear headphones. Like its smartphones, Fairphone's Fairbuds XL have a modular design with Fairphone promising easy spare parts access. However, Fairphone's currently unsure how long it will have parts for the cans in stock. And Fairphone is pulling back from its typical five-year warranty for phones, opting for two years, due to uncertainty around real-world longevity.

    Modular parts for the Fairbuds XL , which in true Fairphone fashion won't be sold in the US, include a headband cover that pops off to reveal the actual band, a cable connecting the speakers, and left and right speaker modules that allow users to replace a failed driver or wonky buttons.

    As of this writing, the 11 modular parts aren't listed for sale, but The Verge reported a replacement battery will cost 19.95 euro, while ear cushions will cost 14.95 euro, and the three headband parts will be 19.95 euro for each. Most of the headset's electronics components, like the Bluetooth 5.1 module, reside in the left and right speaker parts, but Fairphone may start selling spare printed circuit boards, buttons, and microphones if demand warrants, The Verge said.

    Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

    • chevron_right

      Dealmaster: Top headphone deals for Presidents’ Day / ArsTechnica · Friday, 17 February, 2023 - 17:12 · 1 minute


    (credit: Jeff Dunn)

    Whether you want to enjoy higher-fidelity music or are looking to cancel out ambient noise, the Dealmaster is here with deals on some of the top headphones on the market.

    If you're an Apple user, the Apple AirPods Max or the AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) are easy to pair to your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or MacBook. Though more expensive than competing options, Apple's AirPods line has received strong praise for audio fidelity, noise cancelation performance, and features like spatial audio and solid battery life. On the Android side, Samsung users are starting to see some of these features in the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro . Platform-agnostic users may want to look at the Bose 700 headphones, which deliver a terrific noise-canceling headphone experience, or Sony's affordable WF-C500 earbuds.

    Top deals for noise-canceling headphones

    Apple AirPods Max for $500 ( $550 ) at Amazon : Known for their tight integration with Apple's hardware ecosystem, Apple's AirPods Max make it easy to connect to devices without making you fumble with Bluetooth settings. The headphones offer good audio and noise-canceling performance and a comfortable experience for those who like to listen to music throughout the entire workday. Apple's fabric-covered earcups aren't as supple as leather options, but they also don't make your ears sweat.

    Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

    • chevron_right

      Second-generation AirPods Pro use new H2 chip, enhanced noise cancellation and spatial audio features / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 7 September, 2022 - 17:49

    Second-generation AirPods Pro use new H2 chip, enhanced noise cancellation and spatial audio features


    CUPERTINO, Calif.—The first major update to Apple's AirPods Pro in-ear headphones are on the way, and they'll bring better noise canceling, personalized sound-staging, and 33 percent longer battery life, the company says.

    The earbuds look exactly the same as their predecessors, but they offer some improvements nonetheless. The new H2 chip facilitates enhanced noise cancellation that Apple says is twice as powerful as the previous AirPods Pro. A new adaptive transparency mode can also offer more dynamic tuning with what it allows in. Personalized spatial audio will also help listeners tune the sound to their ears.

    Things should also sound cleaner across the range of pitches with a new "low-distortion" driver. Lastly, on the audio front, voices should be clearer in calls and through transparency modes thanks to Conversation Boost. There will also be smaller silicone tips to fit a wider range of people.

    Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

    • chevron_right

      Earbud review: Google Pixel Buds Pro fall well short of their $200 price / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 28 July, 2022 - 17:00 · 1 minute

    All four new color variants of Google's Pixel Buds Pro.

    Enlarge / All four new color variants of Google's Pixel Buds Pro. (credit: Google)

    Google announced the Pixel Buds Pro earlier this year as an apparent upgrade to Google's impressive 2020 earbud refresh . "If you liked Pixel Buds 2, you'll love Pixel Buds Pro" was likely music to the ears of anyone who had been charmed by Google's audio-redemption plotline.

    Ahead of their retail launch today, with nearly a week of Buds Pro testing, I learned that these new $199 earbuds do not do what the AirPods Pro did for the original AirPods. While some aspects have improved, others have regressed—so it's tough to recommend Buds Pro over the competition.

    At least the Bluetooth connectivity is better

    When they debuted, Buds 2 stood out in an increasingly competitive portable-audio fray (and ran circles around Google's first stab at the segment in 2017 ). They're still my daily drivers thanks to their impeccable sound balance, attractive aesthetics, comfortable fit, solid battery life, and nifty egg-shaped case. I still recommend them to Android smartphone owners—or, in a pinch, the $99 Pixel Buds A , which nearly match the 2020 version in features and audio quality. (As a longtime Buds 2 owner, I'll continue to compare the new Pixel Buds Pro to those earbuds for the rest of this review.)

    Read 20 remaining paragraphs | Comments

    • chevron_right

      Sony finally releases a 4K monitor you might actually want / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 28 June, 2022 - 23:16

    Sony InZone monitor

    Enlarge / Sony's InZone monitors use a "low-depth tripod stand" to provide more room for other peripherals, Sony said in its video announcement. (credit: Sony/YouTube )

    Known for everything from TVs to cameras and smartphones, Sony is getting into gaming peripherals, it announced Tuesday. Sony's new InZone brand will include a pair of monitors, plus wireless and wired headsets aimed at PC and, naturally, PlayStation gamers.

    Sony's first consumer monitors in ages

    Sony isn't likely a name you think of when going PC monitor shopping. It hasn't made consumer monitors since the early 2000s, though it has continued to sell expensive, chunky professional monitors for broadcast and production. That changes with the flagship Sony inZone M9 and its sibling, the InZone M3 .

    The M9, never to be confused with the Samsung M8 4K smart monitor announced in March, is a 27-inch 4K HDR monitor with a 144 Hz refresh rate. Its most interesting feature, however, is its LED backlight with full-array local dimming (FALD), which—along with VESA DisplayHDR 600 certification and 95 percent claimed DCI-P3 coverage—is particularly appealing for HDR users.

    Read 17 remaining paragraphs | Comments