AirPods : Wireless earphones by Apple

AirPods : wireless earphones 

Product made by Apple

Photo Courtesy: https://www.macworld.com/article/3150771/headphones/airpods-features-specification-pricing-faq.html

The AirPods is Apple’s latest wireless earphones that are very convenient. They contain apple’s latest own custom designed chip called the W1 that helps optimize battery use and processes the Bluetooth connection as well as audio. It has up to 5 hours of usage time while the box to contain the AirPods has up to 24 hours worth of battery to charge the AirPods, 15 minutes of charging is equivalent to 3 hours of use. The Air Pods are immediately connected to your devices when it is taken out of the box and can be used straight a way with the box charging the AirPods the moment they are kept. The AirPods also have sensors to sense if it is in your ear or not so that it can play and stop when it is in or out of the ear respectively with the ability to use one or both of the AirPods at any one moment. The Airpods also has a voice accelerometer that recognizes when you’re speaking and works with a pair of beamforming microphones to filter out external noise and focus on the sound of your voice. AirPods provide rich, high-quality AAC audio and wireless charging. It also has sensors to detect your touch so that it can activate Siri with just a double tap, of which can be changed in settings so that the AirPods can do what you what when you double tap.

There are also some complains about the AirPods like the battery’s idle discharge being too high, people thinking that the AirPods can fall out and go missing when in use and the high price of SGD$238. The battery problem has been solve when Apple upgraded the AirPods’ firmware to 3.5.1 while the Airpods falling out is almost impossible as it is made to fit perfectly and for the high price, it is very worth the price that it cost.

AirPods
Photo Courtesy: http://www.ubergizmo.com/2016/09/airpods-will-work-with-non-apple-devices/

For more info of AirPods, Apple’s latest wireless earphones, click here to go to Apple’s website.

Razer Phone

 

 

 

The Razer Phone is a new device released by a well known company called Razer. They have one of the best gaming computers in the known world. Many gamers from around the world all want to have their hands on any Razer device, even me. You probably be asking yourself, whats the difference of the Razer Phone and a normal typical phone ? Well, the main audience that the phone targets are teenagers, normally gamers. Once more, you’ll be asking yourself why should I get it even though other phones can run games ?

Well, the phone is specially made for gamers, with high end specs, smooth screen and powerful stereo speakers. Some people who are not gamers also got the phone. Why ? Its because of some new camera features inside the phone. For example, Razer added a 2x zoom to an app after downloading the new patch. Furthermore, Razer claims that the image sensor produces less noise in dark places and clearer and thus, clearer shadows. Best of all, Razer says that users would find that this device takes better photos than before.

With so much competition in the market, and companies offering great screens and a whole lot of power for gaming, the Razer Phone should have quite a number of people already getting the device as its made by a well-known company called Razer, for those who did not know.

This device has a 5.7 inch display which packs the world’s first 120Hz refresh on a smartphone. Not only that, it also has Dolby Atmos-tuned stereo speakers which is located at both sides of the device in a rectangular shape. The Razer Phone is focused on two core elements which are the screen and sound. Because of the specs that the Razer Phone has, it has some strong advantages when it comes to visuals and audio and with plenty of power under the hood, it will easily beat other phones maybe, computers in terms of visuals and audio.

Currently, the Razer Phone sells at $700. Though the device is used more for gaming compared to taking photos, I still recommend this device to gamers out there in the world as this device would really put their gaming experience on a whole new level. Even though the Razer Phone is meant for gamers, it has some features which would please the non-gamers too.

I do recommend on getting the phone, even though its price is quite costly, I do believe that its worth getting it as there are more advantages compared to disadvantages. Personally, I would get this device as I find this not only convenient for gaming, but even more convenient to carry it around with you as the device is considered light.

Photo Courtesy: https://www.google.com.sg/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwi71aOqq7vYAhUJS48KHY6ZAycQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gsmarena.com%2Frazer_phone_spotted_on_uk_website_with_4000mah_battery-news-28014.php&psig=AOvVaw3l1qQgj85fjS8uOoPk9jVp&ust=1515053242716314

Photo Courtesy: https://www.google.com.sg/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fd1urewwzb2qwii.cloudfront.net%2Fsys-master%2Froot%2Fhd5%2Fh95%2F8909767770142%2Frazer-phone-gallery-1500×1000-9.jpg&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.razerzone.com%2Fsg-en%2Fmobile%2Frazer-phone&docid=FDSxvoSjSaxphM&tbnid=xoE7X4M5Y-McBM%3A&vet=10ahUKEwitqr_mrrvYAhWMOY8KHTXpBOgQMwiVASgAMAA..i&w=1500&h=1000&safe=active&bih=613&biw=1366&q=Razer%20Phone&ved=0ahUKEwitqr_mrrvYAhWMOY8KHTXpBOgQMwiVASgAMAA&iact=mrc&uact=8

 

Sony MDR-1A

The Sony MDR-1A is the successor of the discontinued MDR-1R, a so-called “premium” version of this product. People liked the previous model as it is known for being extremely comfortable. The MDR-1A is better, thanks to some improvements.

The design of the earcup is different but, it’s still keeping that exquisite design, adding on softer padding and cushions that are slightly angled to fit your head better. The design on the MDR-1A is a bit more textured compared to the MDR-1A.

One of the biggest design changes is the earcups rotation, the way that its facing in the opposite direction. Why would I mention that ? Its because the headphones can rest with their pads down. Which is more convenient when its resting on your neck. Means that it feels more comfortable we are wearing it around our neck and not listening to them.

Without any cables attached to the headphones, the mass of the headphones would be 225 grams which is slightly lighter compared to MDR-1R which is 240 grams, which doesn’t matter as it is still considered lightweight for an over-ear model. There is also another small design change to the cable connector on the headphones. On the MDR-1A, the connector is replaced with a gold ring.

When you get the headphones, the company also provides you two standard 1.2 meter cables, one of them has a button inline remote and microphone. It adapts towards Android and Iphones. But if you are using Android, you can use the SmartKey app to customize the button controls.

The MDR-1A is for audiophiles-those people who wants to hear the sound as accurately as possible, so there’s no jacked-up bass. It’s also one of the most comfortable headphones around, so you can listen to it without weariness. If you coincidentally have the older version of this product, the MDR-1R, you can try to compare both products to see which is better in audio. If you switch back to the MDR-1R, you will tend to find out that the bass is thicker, muddier and less clear.

So, all of these so-called premium headphones, that you like really comes down to your own choices. Like I said before, the clarity of the audio can beat down so many other types of headphones not only that but its very useful headphone that is well-worth considering if you’re looking for headphones “worthy” for you. The price of the headphone is roughly S$250-S$300 range.

Honestly, I would buy this headphone as not many type of headphones are around in the world. Given that it has so much more advantages compared to other products in the world, that would convince so many people to buy this product. Even though it is expensive, I would still recommend to buy this product as it is worth it to me and hopefully, many other people as well.

 

 

Plantronics Voyager Legend

Plantronics Voyager Legend

Advantage: Smaller and lighter then other typical headsets. Very clear sounds can be heard from the headset and its design is very innovative and ingenious. It is very smooth so people feels good when they wear it.

Disadvantage: Its large boom mic arm is. Its tip do not form a secure audio zip.

Generally: The microphone is not for people who likes to keep up with the trend but is for people who love talking for its clear music quality and its comfortability.

 

Let’s kick off by talking about its design and its origin. Plantronics has been in the market since the arrival of the Jet Age and popular days of the Apollo space program. This event displays the company’s latest Bluetooth Headset, the $99.99 Voyage headset. It is definitely a famous name but created as a product after the Plantronics Voyager Pro Plus, and the Legend does the unexpected. Improved, it has a better quality, it is smaller, it is easier to wear and its battery life lasts longer. It is still incomparable to minute headsets but if clear sound quality is the main thing you want, then this will be the best headset for you .

This contraption is one of the best headsets created these days. Its well-respected design makes it more bulky than its rivals such as Motorola Elite Silver, Jawbrone Era, or even Plantronic’s own M55. It is beautiful compared to Jedra Supreme. Compared to the Supreme, it has a great feel made from plastic. Although its ear loop is wide , but it provides maneuver in easy touch. The ear loop’s bottom poses a robust power.

I feel that generally this product is very worthwhile the deal and a very good option for buying. It costs only $99.99  so the more you should buy it.

Photo courtesy of: https://www.cnet.com/products/plantronics-voyager-legend/

Plantronics BackBeat 500

What you see on top is the Plantronics BackBeat 500. This headphones are one of a kind, something that everyone needs.

Lets talk about why this headphone is a need-to-have. Plantronics BackBeat 500 is a bluetooth headphone, this allows people who easily forget about bringing the cables a solution ! It cost around $75-80 only! Plantronics BackBeat 500 headphone sounds great even for its affordable pricing. Plantronics BackBeat 500 has a long battery life, lasting for 18 hours after you charge it ! By buying this product, you can get a free carrying pouch allowing it to be more portable. There is even a DeepSleep mode which helps your headphone to conserve power when you are not using it. 

 

There are also some disadvantages about this headphone. Since it is dark coloured, the headphone will show some scratches over time, making it look old. It is also not as comfortable as the step-up BackBeat Sense(another product by Plantronics) 

To me this headphone is a really good one, it is affordable with lots of advantages about it like : DeepSleep mode and it being bluetooth. Also the product has cushions on it makes it more comfortable when wearing the headphones. The design is also solidly built with mostly thick matte plastic, soft faux-leather which also allows it to look slick despite its cheap price. 

 

From the pictures above , you can see the inner and outer parts of the headphones . These ear cups are just right for your ears and smaller ear cups makes it less bulky, allowing it to be portable. Its cushion and ear cups allows Plantronics BackBeat 500 to be comfortable though its cheap price.

The battery life is the best ! Able to survive for such a long time (18 hours) and even having a DeepSleep mode which would not allow Plantronics BackBeat 500 to lose any significant amount of battery. 

This product is the best out of all the affordable products, sounds great, light, portable and even feel great when you wear it. 

photo courtesy of : http://www.androidpolice.com/2017/04/14/plantronics-backbeat-500-review-budget-headphones-new-challenger/

https://www.cnet.com/products/plantronics-backbeat-500/review/

 

 

 

Corsair Void Surround

Corsair’s products have been ergonomic and eye catching. The Corsair Void Surround is no different. One of the 5 Void headsets on sale, the Void Surround has a few things the other Voids don’t.

To start off, imagine a peripheral device that can be used on pretty much anything that is up to date. That is the Void Surround. It is able to be used on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC and even on mobile devices, if they have a 3.5 mm audio jack. The versatility of this headphone is one of its strengths. However it is still able to be used on older platforms, some however might require an adapter.

Another feature is a Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound, by using the USB Dolby Headphone adapter. What does this mean? You can have surround sound while playing your favourite games on console. So if you want to experience The Last of Us or Uncharted with surround sound to have the best experience possible, this is also a good pick.

The microphone and the frame is not to be underestimated. Corsair teamed up with a few designing experts from BMW to make an ultra-iconic and ultra-comfortable design. The ear cups are ear-shaped and fit around your ear instead of rubbing against them. This itself allows a long lasting gaming marathon without fatigue kicking in very quickly. The icing on the cake for comfort is that the ear cups have memory foam microfibre wrapped around it.

The microphone itself has a program called InfoMic. On the tip of the mic, there are two lights, one to notify you about battery life, microphone mute condition and some settings. Unlike most other headphones, the buttons to toggle mute, adjust volume or swapping presets are not on the cords. Instead of making the cords look slightly weird, with that little bulge,  the buttons are on the ear cup to make it more comfortable and efficient to use and there is no need to fumble about to find that bulge.

Sound quality wise, it is still something to look up to. With 50mm neodymium drives and the aforementioned Surround Sound, listening experience are both gaming and music are equally good. Due to its strong drivers, the bass is strong and its pirmary focus. It also has a very wide dynamic range. The mid-range and high-end might not be on par with the bass’ quality, they are regardless still very good and decently clear.

So, if you want a gaming headset that looks nice, have quite a good sound quality and have a microphone that updates you about its status. This is one of the best choices. The surround sound is an ad-on that quite some people will like, giving more immersion to those epic singleplayer games and campaigns. With a price of 115SGD, this headphone is a good deal for its price.

Photo Link

Monstercat Best of 2016

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The annual mix for Monstercat is out, with 2 and a half hours of songs altogether, this album has a good number of songs. Out of the 40 songs, I will only review 10 of them. They are in no order.

Noisestorm – Antihero

Using the same formula as Heist last year, the trap song has a catchy start with Arabic-sounding buildups and using horns for a good portion of the starting melody. The drop is somewhat good, but it can surely be better.

Marshmello – Alone

A big hit in the electronic charts, undoubtedly Alone will be in the Best of 2016. With additional vocals, the song is generally good. A good buildup and melody helps it very well. The drop is also well produced. The vocals are quite good and fits the theme of the song.

Muzzy – Crescendo (featuring MYLK)

Part of the 5 Year Anniversary songs, Muzzy has shown what he has been doing. With one of the best vocals in the album, this is further complimented with a good mix of styles by Muzzy. The drop is somewhat bouncy and the buildup is intense. This is one of the best song produced by Muzzy.
Vicetone – Nevada (Featuring Cozi Zuehlsdorff)

Vicetone has made on of the best songs this year. With simple, slick and catchy synths and melody, with out any vocals, this will already be a well produced song. Ever since her inception last year in The Girl, the songs that she is starred in has beautiful vocals. Undoubtedly, this is one of the hottest songs on Monstercat this year.

Feint – Words (Featuring Laura Brehm)

The same formula is used twice, and it worked twice. In Words, Feint has produced a song with intense beats and still sound very melodic. Laura’s vocals are unbelievably good this time round, even though it is more intense than last year’s We Won’t Be Alone.

Pegboard Nerds and Grabbitz – All Alone

What could be considered a ‘dream collaboration’, when you have two of the most recognised artists to collaborate. With good vocals by Grabbitz and both artists producing the melody, it is a masterpiece by default.

Dirty Audio – Gorilla Glue
With an ominous start and a good drop, this is one of the better trap songs this year. Both parts are well produced and catchy. As compared to the ‘legendary’ trap songs on Monstercat, this is on the better end of the stick.

Rogue – Nemesis

To put simply this is Rattlesnake VIP. With the ‘pots and pans’ in the drop and reusing some sounds from Rattlesnake, this is a catchy song. A worth successor of Rattlesnake, this song is no doubt Rattlensnake 2.0, but better than a reskin or remake.

Hellberg – Synchronize (Featuring Aaron Richards)

An underrated song, but nevertheless a very good one. It is very well made, smooth and melodious. Aaron Richards’ vocals are well done and the lyrics are well thought-out. The well choreographed and touching music video is just the icing on the cake.

Richard Caddock, WRLD, Nitro Fun, Slips & Slurs & Subtact – Break The Silence

More is better in this scenario. With Richard Caddock doing the lyrics and vocals, WRLD and Nitro Fun doing melody and synths. Slips & Slurs and Subtact should be doing the bass and adding some of their signature sounds into the mix. This is very diverse and able to fit the styles of everyone in the track.

Noisestorm

Marshmello

Muzzy

MYLK

Vicetone

Cozi Zuehlsdorff

Feint

Laura Brehm

Pegboard Nerds

Grabbitz

Dirty Audio

Rogue

Hellberg

Aaron Richards

Richard Caddock

WRLD

Nitro Fun

Slip & Slurs

Subtact

Photo Courtesy

Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

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When one thinks about a premium noise-cancelling headphone, products from Bose, Sony and Sennheiser might first come to the mind. However, those headphones costs an arm and a leg. Plantronic’s BackBeat Pro 2 offers similar quality, but is much cheaper.

BackBeat Pro 2 is in basic, a premium headphone made more affordable. Unlike its competitors, it is not as aesthetically pleasing in terms of mass. Compared to its predecessor, Plantronics has cut both the size and weight by quite a bit. Though it costs lesser, its sound quality can compete with other premium headphones.

The noise-cancelling is not as good as some Bose headphones, it muffles ambient noises without making a hissing noise. The headphone boasts sensors that will pause and resume your music when you take off and put on. The headphone does not give the user any fatigue from the sound or how it fits on your head. It works well both indoors and outdoors, though if you are outside, your ears might get steamy.

However, the identity of a Plantronic headphones lies in its ability to receive calls. On the left earcup, there is a ring to adjust the volume of music or the caller’s voice, a button to activate and deactivate the microphone. On the right earcup, there is a mute button which is helpful when there are unneeded background noise that the people from the other end does not want to hear.

The headphone has a 24 hour battery life at a moderate volume levels. It comes with a cable and a case, which essentially means it can also be a wired headphone. If you pay an extra 50 dollars, you will receive a hard case instead.

Overall, the BackBeat Pro 2, is a cheaper high end headphone with a quality that is as good as other high end headphones.However, as compared to Bose’s QuietComfort 35, the QuietComfort 35 has a slightly better noise cancelling. Same goes with the sound quality. The price of the BackBeat is 360SGD.

Photo Courtesy : https://www.cnet.com/products/plantronics-backbeat-pro-2/review/

Razer Hammerhead Pro V2

RAZER HAMMERHEAD PRO V2

Do you dislike using headphones for gaming or find them really uncomfortable? Then, the Razer Hammerhead Pro V2 might suit you if you’re the type that prefer earpieces.

The Hammerhead Pro V2 is an improved version of the previous Hammerhead Pro model sharing similar design features of its predecessor.

The Hammerhead comes with 2 variants, the Hammerhead Pro V2 with an in-line microphone and remote and Hammerhead V2 without the microphone and remote. I will be reviewing the Hammerhead Pro V2.

What’s inside?             

When you first purchase a Hammerhead Pro V2, it comes with an audio jack adapter for older models of PCs that still use the 2 audio jacks so that you can utilize both microphone and use the earpieces at the same time.

It also comes with 3 pairs of different sized ear tips, small, medium and large. There is also a user manual that comes with it that tells you everything you need to know about the earpieces.

There is also case which contains the adapter and extra eartips that can be used to store your earpieces when bringing it out. It is quite durable and is quite compact so you will not have much trouble putting it in your bag or pocket.

 

 

 

 

 

Design

The first thing that stands out from the Hammerhead Pro V2 are the ear tips. Instead of the generic one tip, it has 2 tips instead, the smaller tip is connected to the bigger tip. If it scares you, you need not worry as it is actually quite comfortable to wear and you would hardly notice it there.

The only complaint i have so far is that when using the other ear tips, the metallic bit of the earpieces are quite annoying when it touches your ear though I have not faced that problem with the regular earpieces.

The wires are also flat which makes it much easier to fold and less likely to get tangled. This makes it much easier to bring it outside.

Audio Quality

The sound quality of the Hammerhead pro V2 is quite decent, though it is more bass over clarity, making it more suited towards bass heavy music like EDM (Electronic Dance Music). For gaming, it is quite immersive due to the background-noise cancelling and I had no incident where audio tearing happened or were sounds unclear.

Microphone

The Hammerhead Pro V2 comes with an in-line microphone and remote. The microphone quality is decent where people listening to me talk can hear me clearly with no issues. The remote is able to control the volume output of the earpieces which can be useful when outside.

An issue though, whenever the microphone hits against the fabric of your shirt, the person listening to you will be able to hear the ‘thud’ sound. But it is not a major problem.

Conclusion

In conclusion, The Hammerhead Pro V2 is a mid tier in-ear headphones that is decent for playing games however there are probably better options out there.

In general it is not a bad earpiece, it just lacks the bang for the buck as it’s pricing is around S$120 at retail price. If you’re interested in listening to music or you’re more of a casual gamer, this earpiece might be for you.

 

image courtesy of:

Razer

Game Hypermart

Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear

Image result for sennheiser momentum in ear

While many Sennheiser’s in-ear headphones look ordinary, this however is very well crafted. Being the first in-ear headphones to enter Sennheiser’s Momentum series, this earphone definitely lives up to the premium quality of the other models.

DESIGN & FEATURES

The Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear is available in 2 different colours, black and a semi-red version, where the main parts of the earphones are red. Both of them have a nice matte glossy finish on the housing which helps bring out the already sleek, stylish looking design.  The earphones bodies are however made out of plastic despite looking metallic. On the opposite end of the ear tips are circular shaped metal pieces where the Sennheiser logo sits on.

The wire coming out of the housing is put through a loop sticking out of the back metal piece on the back, which not only helps prevent the wire from being twisted or breaking at the top end, but also gives it a unique look. It is also worth noting that the earphones have flat wires, reducing the chances of it tangling. Going further down, there is a movable stopper to keep the wires nice and tidy.

Image result for sennheiser momentum in ear

The Momentum In-Ear does have an in-line remote located on the right cable, which has three buttons to carry out various things like answering or ending a call and of course controlling the volume. One nice thing to note is that since different phones uses different signals for special functions such as starting voice control, Sennheiser has cleverly worked around it by having two separate models, one for the iOS fans and the other for the Android fans. In short, this means that if you use the correct models, you should be able to use various controls your phone allows, such as enabling voice control. Sadly, not every Android phone is compatible, but the more popular ones like the Galaxy series by Samsung and some others are.

You may have noticed that the Momentum In-Ear has relatively large housing which sticks out quite a bit but I have found that this actually makes it much easier to grab and remove compared to regular earphones.

Apart from making it look fantastic, Sennheiser seemed to put as much effort in making the carrying case. The carrying case that comes with the earphones is square in shape with red stitches around the zip and has the Sennheiser logo on one of the sides. When you first open the case, you are greeted with a hard plastic piece in which the earphones are twirled around, along with a few pairs of ear tips in many sizes, from really tiny to huge ones. I must say that even though the case looks splendid and actually feels especially well made, it seems a bit too large for my liking.

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COMFORT

Having used the earphones for a couple of months now, I can say that comfort is not a problem. The earphones fits nicely and tightly into the ear and it also helps that it comes with multiple ear tips with varying sizes. I could barely feel earphone when I used  it as it is fairly light and compared to most earphones which has a straight housing, this pair however has a body which curves in a direction away from your ear, avoiding any extra contacts with it which could be annoying for certain people.

PERFORMANCE

The Momentum in-ear drivers produce pretty good sound for its price at around 130SGD, creating superb bass at a level that you might not expect from a mid-range earphone and when it is combined with the good treble and sound clarity, this pair of earphone generates excellent lively music. Sure, it may not compare to other immensely ‘bassy’ earphones or those high-end $300 ones, but at 130SGD, it was more than I expected. The treble and bass is pretty heavy but not that strong to a point that it muffles other sounds so you would be able to hear every detail of the instruments playing along with the vocals.

FINAL VERDICT

At around 130SGD, the Sennheiser Momentum in-ear headphones produces sound that could potentially match up to other slightly more expensive earphones out in the current market. Being very well designed both aesthetically and ergonomically, I would definitely recommend anyone to pick these up if this is the price of earphones you are looking for.

Images Courtesy Of:

http://en-de.sennheiser.com/momentum-headphones-in-ear

http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/reviews/sennheiser-momentum-ear-review-shrunk-chic/