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The 8 Best Headphones in 2020 That Will Provide a Great Listening Experience

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Sennheiser HD 450BT

Are you looking for the best headphones in 2020? If so, you’ve come to the right article. For today, I am going to be talking about top-notch headphones that will surely help you enjoy your music even more.

Before We Begin

There are different types of headphones out there and one thing that people usually ask about this topic is: What is the best pair of headphones out there?

Well, that question is actually hard to answer because there are a lot of different factors to consider. The better question would be what is the best pair of headphones for you.

You see, a lot of us are seeking so many different features. Some would prefer using earbuds when they are working out. Some would prefer noise-canceling headphones as they commute to work. And there are those that want some headphones with an over-ear design that will help isolate the sound- providing a more immersive listening experience.

That is why before heading out there and choosing the best pair of headphones for you, it is important that you jot down your preferences so that you will narrow down your choices considerably.

To help you decide, here are some of the things worth considering if you intend to purchase some headphones soon:

  • Type: As mentioned earlier, there are three types of headphones you can choose from. There are earbuds or earphones that are small sound output devices that pretty much cover your ears perfectly. There are on-ear headphones that rest on your ears providing a somewhat immersive listening experience. And there are the over-ear headphones that do a good job of noise isolation. Of course, this is a matter of preference. Personally, I like over-ears simply because they inherently have some form of noise-canceling and it truly isolates sound within your ear space
  • Drivers: These are responsible for creating the sound that you hear. Earphones typically have 8mm-13mm drivers and over-ear headphones have 40-55mm. The on-ears sit somewhere in between. The bigger the driver, the louder the sound can get and the more punchy bass you will receive. Of course, the bigger the driver, the bigger the size of the headphones will be
  • Noise Cancellation: This is a feature that is present in both in-ear and over-ear headphones. There are two types: Passive and Active. Passive noise cancellation is where the headphones do a good job of removing as much noise from the outside as possible without enabling anything. Active noise cancellation is where you will enable a feature that will basically remove any external noise. The thing that you have to remember when it comes to active noise cancelation is that not all of them are created equally. There are those that do a good job of isolating the sound in your ear space and there are those that produce mediocre results
  • Wireless Connectivity: As more and more smartphones ditch the 3.5mm audio jack, Bluetooth headphones have become quite popular. If you are going to buy one, it is important that you look at the audio codecs it supports. Ideally, you want to go with a pair of headphones that either supports the aptX or the AAC codecs because they produce the best sound. Android phones will have no problems supporting both, but iPhones typically only support the AAC codec. Again, if you are shopping for a pair of wireless headphones, it is important that you look at the code that it supports
  • Smart Features: Do you constantly use Siri, Alexa, or Google’s voice assistant? If so, you’d want to go for wireless headphones that support the said smart features. They typically have built-in microphones that allow you to speak freely to activate the AI technology you want to use. In addition, the built-in mic also serves as a handy microphone for calls as well
  • Price: Back then, I would typically tell people to establish a budget first before buying but I am blown away by the fact that headphones these days need not be expensive to have all of the features that you want. For example, you can get an amazing pair of ANC headphones for less than $100. Before, such an item would cost you more than $300, but that is no longer the case today.

Best Headphones in 2020

For the purpose of this article, I will only recommend over-ear headphones because I’d assume that that’s what people want to buy in this day and age. That being said, let’s go on with our top headphones list, shall we?

1.Sony WH-1000MX3

Price: $250

Sony WH-1000XM3 Review

This is what I would consider as one of the best wireless headphones in the market. The Sony WH-1000MX3 has got it all. It is comfortable, its sound quality is superb, and it has active noise canceling feature that effectively removes any external noise while you are listening to your favorite music.

These things are so comfortable that you will barely notice them on your head. It has a nice black aesthetic so that it remains subtle even if you are wearing them at night.

Among the other wireless headphones on the market, this thing makes use of a USB Type-C connection which is pretty much a futureproof device at this point.

When it comes to audio, it provides lots of detail and it uses analogue amplification that will give that immersive sound experience that you are clamoring for.

To top it all off, this thing can last up to 30 hours on a single charge which is definitely one of the best out there.

The Sony WH-1000MC3 is, without a doubt, one of the best active noise-canceling headphones in 2020. Best of all, it has received a $100 price drop and is sold for just $250 at the time of writing, thus making this a killer deal!

2.Bowers & Wilkins PX7

Price: $400

Bowers & Wilkins PX7

Another amazing wireless headphones, the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 is hailed by many as ‘best-in-class’. But like I’ve said earlier, what others might deem as the best might not be for you, so you will still have to try this one out for yourself to test that claim.

Anyway, this is another pair of over-the-ear headphones that are quite comfortable to wear even for hours and hours.

It has a large 43.6mm driver and it has a lot of dynamic range which means that whether you are listening to songs that have a punchy bass or those that have zapping vocals, this thing can handle it without any issues at all.

Although this is a wireless pair of headphones, there is actually an included cable that you can use that will allow you to use this thing when wired to your smartphone or game console, for example.

Just like the recommendation above, the PX7 can last up to 30 hours on a single charge which should put your mind at ease.

In terms of codecs, the PX7 uses aptX adaptive so if your phone supports it, then you will get an unparalleled sound as a result.

Although it is on the pricey side, you can never go wrong with the Bowers & Wilkins PX7.

3.Sennheiser Momentum Wireless (2019)

Price: $315

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless (2019)

Sennheiser is a household name when it comes to portable audio products and this next one is definitely one of the best wireless headphones out there.

The Sennheiser Momentum Wireless was deemed by sound experts as one of the best headphones of 2019, but without the massive influx of new products this year, I think this remains to be the case today as well.

What you have here is a gorgeous pair of headphones that sit over your ear and provides that level of comfort unlike any other. They are so comfortable that you do not want to remove them from your noggin.

It has superb active noise canceling capabilities and it uses the aptX codec of your smartphone for amazing sound output.

The only thing that is holding this back is that its battery life is quite mediocre. At 50% volume and without the ANC enabled, this thing can last up to 17 hours. Increase the value a bit and turn on the ANC and you will have less than 12.

It could have been rectified if it had a 3.5mm headphone cable you can use but it doesn’t support that either which is a bummer.

But hey, if you want amazing sound quality and great comfort, the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless (2019) is still very easy to recommend.

4.Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700

Price: $400

Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700

Some Bluetooth headphones are pretty hard to pair up with your portable device, but not this next one.

The Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 is expensive but for all of the right reasons. It has a stylish yet sturdy form factor. It is comfortable to wear even for hours on end. And, its sound output is definitely top-notch.

It has one of the best active noise-canceling features among the ANC headphones that you can find on the market. So much so that I will advise you not to enable the feature when you are walking down the street as you can literally not hear anything from your surroundings.

While it produces amazing sound by default, I am just saddened by the lack of EQ settings. It would have elevated this product even more if it had it but hey, I guess some compromises have to be made.

If you value punchy bass, the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 will not disappoint.

5.Beyerdynamic Amiron

Price: $620

Beyerdynamic Amiron

Typically, headphones favor one part of the frequency curve. There are those that offer a great lower frequency response. There are those that value the crispness of the mids or vocals. And there are also those that handle the treble really well.

However, if you are like me and want a pair of headphones that can support the entire frequency range, then the Beyerdynamic Amiron has got you covered.

This is one of the more balanced sounding headphones on the market. They sound fantastic no matter what genre of music you intend to listen to.

They are also quite comfortable and although this doesn’t have ANC, it does have a relatively good passive noise canceling nonetheless.

The only thing that might put you off from getting these headphones (well, aside from the price) is that it only uses a wired interface. There are 3.5mm, as well as 6.3mm cables in the box.

6.Plantronics BackBeat Go 810

Price: $45

Plantronics BackBeat Go 810

As mentioned earlier in the article, price is no longer a huge consideration when shopping for headphones. In fact, you can get a good wireless pair of headphones that don’t break the bank and this next one will surely be quite appealing to you.

The Plantronics Backbeat Go 810 is a wireless pair of headphones that can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth. It does so really well and you can pair it with your device quickly and easily.

It has 40mm dynamic drivers that produce a warm, more balanced sound. This is perfect if you are listening to music from all types of genres.

This thing has a very impressive wireless range. You can be 100 feet away from your device and it would still not cut off, which is unparalleled for a budget wireless headphones.

While it has active noise canceling, it is not as good as the other headphones on this list but hey, at least it is there if you want to enable it.

7.Sennheiser HD 450BT

Price: $200

Sennheiser HD 450BT

People who want a pair of headphones with a minimalist design will love the Sennheiser HD 450BT.

As you can tell by the product’s name, it is a wireless pair of headphones that make use of the aptX codec for amazing sound quality.

True enough, it produces a more well-rounded sound, so whether you want to feel the kick of the bass or the melody of the vocals, this thing can handle them very well.

This is also an active noise-canceling headphone but its implementation is not as good as the other options on this list.

Its battery life is good though as it can last up to 24 hours with the volume set at 75%.

8.MPOW H10

Price: $70

MPOW H10 Review 2020

The last pair of headphones on this list is also a budget offering. The MPOW H10 is quite popular on Amazon and that is because it is cheap but offers some of the features that are found in more premium models.

The MPOW H10 is comfortable despite it having a plastic exterior. It has active noise canceling and for the price, it is actually pretty solid.

The sound quality is okay. It favors more on the lower end of the frequency curve but it does a good enough job not to drown out the highs and the mids.

For a pair of wireless headphones this cheap, I am surprised by its impressive battery life. It can last up to 30 hours and it has fast charging so you can give it enough juice to last you a considerable amount of time.

Its downside is its build quality, but for what you are getting for $70, I wouldn’t really complain.

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Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo- The Battle of the New ‘Smart’ Speakers

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Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo

Smart home speakers are not as popular as mobile phones, but in my opinion, it actually should be.

You see, companies are slowly rolling out smart home devices so that your life will be so much easier given the convenience of having them.

That being said, I am going to be talking about the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo speakers because they are the ones that are at the forefront when it comes to smart home speakers. Which of these should you choose? Read on to find out!

Design

For those of you who do not know, Google Nest Audio is actually the Google Home speakers that were released just about a year ago. It seems that Google wanted to use a new moniker to denote that this particular thing can ‘nest’ your other smart home devices.

The Amazon Echo, on the other hand, refers to the medium-sized Bluetooth speaker that the largest online retailer sells. The company is set to release a new version of this device soon, so it would be interesting to see how well it performs.

Even though the new version of the Amazon Echo hasn’t arrived at our doorstep yet for an official review, this is not to say that we can somehow speculate what it can offer, especially considering that the company has provided us with some really good information about it.

With all of those out of the way, let’s talk more about the design first. The Google Nest Audio takes on a more cylindrical approach in that the speaker itself has a higher height than the Amazon Echo.

For that reason, you are getting a 75mm woofer and a single 19mm tweeter. Google touts the Google Nest Audio as a better sound solution compared to its original Google Home Speaker because of the changes.

On the other hand, the Amazon Echo, in my opinion, has better sound quality. That is thanks to its two 20mm tweeters and a huge 76.2mm woofer. Its design is more spherical but I am pleased (and surprised) that Amazon was able to include two tweeters on its Bluetooth speaker implementation.

At the base of the Amazon Echo is a blue light ring that changes the way it emits light depending on the current usage.

Both of these Bluetooth speakers are offered in various colors so you have different options to choose from.

Sound Quality

Amazon Echo

If you look at the design of both speakers, you could make a case that the Amazon Echo wins this round when it comes to pure sound quality. Its two tweeters compared to the single tweeter on the Google Nest Audio, provides it with a much better chance of delivering mid-high sound frequencies.

This is not to discount the fact that Google has some tricks up its sleeves because its AI technology is smart enough to adjust the sound quality on the fly when needed.

Both of the speakers have an adaptive sound feature wherein if it detects that the ambient noise is loud enough, it increases the volume of whatever content you are consuming at that moment to compensate. This is using both of the speakers’ microphones. The volume should normalize to the last known level after it detects that the ambient sound has quieted down.

Of course, this is only my opinion after looking at the spec sheet because I will have to get my hands on these things before I can give my honest opinion. But, my initial assessment would be that the Amazon Echo delivers better sound compared to the Google Nest Audio.

Smart Features

Google Nest Audio

To be able to provide you with ‘smart’ features, both the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo are equipped with processors that can handle just that.

The Google Nest Audio comes with the company’s TeraOPS A53 processor which is a quad-core chip that boasts of better performance compared to the company’s previous Bluetooth speakers.

On the other hand, Amazon’s own speaker is equipped with the AZ1 Neural Edge processor that, according to the company, should be more responsive to voice commands compared to previous versions.

It is hard to say who wins this round. You see, Amazon has Zigbee hub integration which means that your connected smart home devices have better compatibility with the said speaker because of this.

However, we all know that Google’s AI technology is so advanced (and even more accurate) than Alexa, so it could potentially provide you with better features overall compared to Amazon’s Bluetooth speaker.

Of course, I cannot truly say which one wins this round until I get to review these wireless audio solutions. In that case, stay tuned for more.

Availability

The Google Nest Audio will be available on October 5, while the Amazon Echo will not be released until later this month (October 22). That being said, both of these speakers will retail for $99.99, so stay tuned for our official product reviews to help you know which one you should ultimately choose for yourself.

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Apple iPad 8th Generation Review- An Iterative Upgrade

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Apple iPad 8th Generation Review

When it comes to ease of use and convenience, people like getting Apple’s products because of its more streamlined approach to everything. Sure, there is a lot to tinker on Android but that is also precisely the reason why the user experience, at least for the layman, is not as great.

That being said, the 8th generation iPad was just released after the new iOS 14 update was launched. But, if you already have a 6th or 7th generation iPad, should you upgrade to the new one?

Design

Apple iPad 8th Generation Review 2020

There is this saying that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well, although I would have liked to say that here, I just don’t think that that approach applies here.

You see, the design of the 8th generation iPad is identical to its predecessor. As in everything about its aesthetics are similar which means that if you want to imagine what the new iPad looks like, all you have to do is look at the 7th gen variant.

Like all things, it can be a good thing or a bad thing. It is a good thing because that familiar design should feel right at home, especially for people that already own an iPad. It is bad because, in this day and age, more and more mobile devices have slimmer bezels and the new iPad still has those atrociously huge ones.

Don’t get me wrong, there are practical uses to having large bezels as it allows you to hold the tablet better when using it in landscape mode, but if you are watching online content, you can’t help but be bothered by the huge sides.

There are two versions of the 8th generation iPad and that is one with WiFi only and the other one having LTE. Its dimensions are 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29. The only difference between the WiFi and the LTE versions is that the latter is a bit heavier at 495 grams compared to the 490 grams of the former.

Thankfully, Apple didn’t remove the headphone jack but if you are going to utilize its built-in speakers, you are better off using a good Bluetooth speaker instead.

Display

Apple iPad 8th Gen

The 8th generation iPad has a 10.2-inch Retina Display with a resolution of 2160 x 1620 and 264 pixels per inch or PPI. It has a good peak brightness at 500 nits, though you can still experience some problems when you are outside and the sun is shining brightly.

You can utilize the Apple Pencil on this device and it is also quite accurate as well (just keep in mind that it is sold separately).

What I love about iPads, in general, is that their displays provide you with crisp and clear details. Whether you are working on your documents or perhaps watching your favorite movies and TV shows, they do not disappoint.

Specs and Performance

  • CPU: A12 Bionic
  • GPU: Apple GPU (4-core graphics)
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 32GB/128GB
  • Display: 10.2-inch Retina IPS LCD Display, 2160 x 1620, 4:3 aspect ratio, 500 nits brightness, 264 PPI
  • OS: iPadOS 14
  • Cameras: 8-megapixel (back), 1.2-megapixel (front)
  • Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 AC, Bluetooth 4.2
  • Battery: 32.4 Wh

So, if the 8th generation iPad has an identical design to its predecessor, what has changed here? Well, I am glad you asked. The only notable difference here is that the new model comes with the A12 Bionic chip and that’s pretty much it.

While you could be unhappy with the change, the new CPU actually beats its predecessor by a lot. By using Geekbench 5, single-core scores are about 60% higher than the 7th gen iPad and about 100% better in multi-core tasks than the previous model.

Granted that the said benchmark is relatively old, you couldn’t argue that the new processor is indeed way better than its predecessor.

Even when you are just using the tablet the way it should be used, you can really tell the difference. This is more evident if you are going to play some games

Now, do not worry about the 3GB of RAM because the iOS ecosystem is quite streamlined and efficient that you normally wouldn’t need more than that.

It should also go without saying that the included cameras are just there for show and they do not really do anything special, so I don’t think that covering them is warranted here.

Apple iPad 8th Gen Review

Verdict

Sure, the new 8th generation iPad doesn’t bring a lot to the table, but its new processor is leaps and bounds better than its predecessor. Does that justify buying the new one? Probably not, especially if you already own the 7th generation model.

However, if you own an older iPad and you want better performance across the board, then you could probably spend your money to get one.

My gripe here is that there are only two storage options to choose from. You can get the 32GB variant for only $329 but in this day and age, 32GB is not a lot of storage space.

If you want more storage, you will need to spend an additional $100 premium just to get the 128GB model. In fact, I would go on to say that you should be buying this particular model compared to the 32GB variant. I just don’t like that the company is gouging you another $100 ($429 in total) just to get one.

The 8th generation iPad is disappointing in a lot of ways and its only redeeming quality is its new processor. It would have been nice if there is a redesign or that the lightning cable is changed to USB-C, but there is just not a lot of things to talk about here.

Therefore, I should say that the 8th generation iPad is just an iterative upgrade. Whether you want to buy it or not is entirely up to you.

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Amazon Echo Studio Review- The Bigger ‘Echo’ Speaker That Competes

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Amazon Echo Studio Review

Amazon, the biggest online retailer in the world, has created its own AI implementation in the form of the Amazon Alexa.

It is actually quite polished and it can go against Apple’s Siri and Google’s own AI. That being said, the company has released some ‘Echo’ speakers that not only act as Bluetooth audio devices but as smart devices as well.

Today, I am going to be reviewing the Amazon Echo Studio. Does this thing really have what it takes to compete with the others?

Design

One of the biggest criticisms of Amazon’s Echo speakers of the past is that although its smart features are okay, their sound output leaves much to be desired. As a way of addressing the issue, Amazon has built the Echo Studio.

The Amazon Echo Studio is pretty big. It is 8 inches in height and 7 inches wide so this is indeed a pretty hefty audio solution. In fact, I would go on to say that this is one of the biggest Bluetooth speakers on the market.

Its design is pretty much akin to the Amazon Echo speakers of old. You get a fabric mesh design that encapsulates the speaker itself with all of its button controls situated at the top of the device.

You also get a blue ring light that will pretty much add to the aesthetic appeal of the unit. The microphone is also placed at the top and it is always on ‘listening mode’ so that whenever you want to interact with Alexa, it can do so at a moment’s notice.

Although you cannot see it, the Amazon Echo Studio is actually powered by a subwoofer, a tweeter, and four mid-range speakers that are mounted at the top and the sides. This thing is a beast as it can output 330 watts of power when needed, which is ample enough even for home cinema setups.

Audio Performance

Amazon Echo Studio Review 2020

The Amazon Echo Studio is quite a powerful Bluetooth speaker. No matter what genre of content you’d like to consume, this thing can output the necessary sound to make your viewing experience more immersive.

I am usually keen on an audio solution’s performance when it comes to playing music and I am happy with the Echo Studio’s prowess.

Although it favors the lower frequencies more than the mids and the highs, it does so without drowning the latter two, which is something that you normally do not see on large Bluetooth speakers.

An interesting feature that the Amazon Echo Studio has is its support for 3D Audio. You will need to sign in to your Amazon Music HD account before you can get a hold of this feature and it is the only platform that supports the Echo Studio’s 3D Audio. Amazon did mention that it will hand out support for other streaming platforms at a later date though.

So, how is the speaker’s performance on that front? Well, I am not really sure what to think about it as I have mixed feelings about the said feature.

3D audio is meant to provide a more immersive listening experience but I can hardly tell the difference between traditional Hi-Res audio and this one.

I guess you could say that for tracks that have a more melodic tone that you can discern a 3D audio-enabled track from a regular track, but other than that, non-audiophiles can hardly tell the difference.

To be fair, the said feature is still not polished yet, so expect it to improve in the years to come.

The Amazon Echo Studio also has seamless integration with the Amazon Fire TV Stick, though it does support all other streaming services like Netflix and Hulu as well.

You are also given the option to link up another Amazon Echo Studio speaker so that you can have them work in tandem to provide you with even better sound. I do not have a second unit though, so I cannot really tell anything about this. But, the feature is there if you want to get another unit.

Features

Amazon Echo Studio

Aside from 3D audio, the Echo Studio also acts as a control hub for your smart devices. You can use Alexa to turn off your lights at a specific time of the night or you can have it play your favorite track if you want. The possibilities are endless.

Do keep in mind that while it should support most of the smart home devices that you can buy on the market, there are some products that do not play ball. 

For instance, some smart locks can only be supported using Apple’s Siri, so you cannot control that using this device.

You can also link up a second Echo Studio speaker if you have one and you can use both of them to provide you with an even more powerful and more immersive listening experience.

You can control the speaker’s features by manually tapping on the buttons at the top of the device or by downloading its companion app.

Conclusion

Amazon has finally solved the issue of the Amazon Echo speakers of the past by giving you a relatively large speaker that can do a lot of things.

The Amazon Echo Studio has support for 3D audio, but you will need to have an Amazon Music HD account to get a hold of the said feature.

You can also use the speaker to control your smart home devices which is pretty nice. The microphone is always on listening mode so that you can call Alexa’s attention at a moment’s notice.

Normally, I would expect a product like this to cost more than $300, but the Amazon Echo Studio actually costs just $199. I guess getting another one is not too far out of the equation, eh?

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The 8 Best Headphones in 2020 That Will Provide a Great Listening Experience

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Sennheiser HD 450BT

Are you looking for the best headphones in 2020? If so, you’ve come to the right article. For today, I am going to be talking about top-notch headphones that will surely help you enjoy your music even more.

Before We Begin

There are different types of headphones out there and one thing that people usually ask about this topic is: What is the best pair of headphones out there?

Well, that question is actually hard to answer because there are a lot of different factors to consider. The better question would be what is the best pair of headphones for you.

You see, a lot of us are seeking so many different features. Some would prefer using earbuds when they are working out. Some would prefer noise-canceling headphones as they commute to work. And there are those that want some headphones with an over-ear design that will help isolate the sound- providing a more immersive listening experience.

That is why before heading out there and choosing the best pair of headphones for you, it is important that you jot down your preferences so that you will narrow down your choices considerably.

To help you decide, here are some of the things worth considering if you intend to purchase some headphones soon:

  • Type: As mentioned earlier, there are three types of headphones you can choose from. There are earbuds or earphones that are small sound output devices that pretty much cover your ears perfectly. There are on-ear headphones that rest on your ears providing a somewhat immersive listening experience. And there are the over-ear headphones that do a good job of noise isolation. Of course, this is a matter of preference. Personally, I like over-ears simply because they inherently have some form of noise-canceling and it truly isolates sound within your ear space
  • Drivers: These are responsible for creating the sound that you hear. Earphones typically have 8mm-13mm drivers and over-ear headphones have 40-55mm. The on-ears sit somewhere in between. The bigger the driver, the louder the sound can get and the more punchy bass you will receive. Of course, the bigger the driver, the bigger the size of the headphones will be
  • Noise Cancellation: This is a feature that is present in both in-ear and over-ear headphones. There are two types: Passive and Active. Passive noise cancellation is where the headphones do a good job of removing as much noise from the outside as possible without enabling anything. Active noise cancellation is where you will enable a feature that will basically remove any external noise. The thing that you have to remember when it comes to active noise cancelation is that not all of them are created equally. There are those that do a good job of isolating the sound in your ear space and there are those that produce mediocre results
  • Wireless Connectivity: As more and more smartphones ditch the 3.5mm audio jack, Bluetooth headphones have become quite popular. If you are going to buy one, it is important that you look at the audio codecs it supports. Ideally, you want to go with a pair of headphones that either supports the aptX or the AAC codecs because they produce the best sound. Android phones will have no problems supporting both, but iPhones typically only support the AAC codec. Again, if you are shopping for a pair of wireless headphones, it is important that you look at the code that it supports
  • Smart Features: Do you constantly use Siri, Alexa, or Google’s voice assistant? If so, you’d want to go for wireless headphones that support the said smart features. They typically have built-in microphones that allow you to speak freely to activate the AI technology you want to use. In addition, the built-in mic also serves as a handy microphone for calls as well
  • Price: Back then, I would typically tell people to establish a budget first before buying but I am blown away by the fact that headphones these days need not be expensive to have all of the features that you want. For example, you can get an amazing pair of ANC headphones for less than $100. Before, such an item would cost you more than $300, but that is no longer the case today.

Best Headphones in 2020

For the purpose of this article, I will only recommend over-ear headphones because I’d assume that that’s what people want to buy in this day and age. That being said, let’s go on with our top headphones list, shall we?

1.Sony WH-1000MX3

Price: $250

Sony WH-1000XM3 Review

This is what I would consider as one of the best wireless headphones in the market. The Sony WH-1000MX3 has got it all. It is comfortable, its sound quality is superb, and it has active noise canceling feature that effectively removes any external noise while you are listening to your favorite music.

These things are so comfortable that you will barely notice them on your head. It has a nice black aesthetic so that it remains subtle even if you are wearing them at night.

Among the other wireless headphones on the market, this thing makes use of a USB Type-C connection which is pretty much a futureproof device at this point.

When it comes to audio, it provides lots of detail and it uses analogue amplification that will give that immersive sound experience that you are clamoring for.

To top it all off, this thing can last up to 30 hours on a single charge which is definitely one of the best out there.

The Sony WH-1000MC3 is, without a doubt, one of the best active noise-canceling headphones in 2020. Best of all, it has received a $100 price drop and is sold for just $250 at the time of writing, thus making this a killer deal!

2.Bowers & Wilkins PX7

Price: $400

Bowers & Wilkins PX7

Another amazing wireless headphones, the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 is hailed by many as ‘best-in-class’. But like I’ve said earlier, what others might deem as the best might not be for you, so you will still have to try this one out for yourself to test that claim.

Anyway, this is another pair of over-the-ear headphones that are quite comfortable to wear even for hours and hours.

It has a large 43.6mm driver and it has a lot of dynamic range which means that whether you are listening to songs that have a punchy bass or those that have zapping vocals, this thing can handle it without any issues at all.

Although this is a wireless pair of headphones, there is actually an included cable that you can use that will allow you to use this thing when wired to your smartphone or game console, for example.

Just like the recommendation above, the PX7 can last up to 30 hours on a single charge which should put your mind at ease.

In terms of codecs, the PX7 uses aptX adaptive so if your phone supports it, then you will get an unparalleled sound as a result.

Although it is on the pricey side, you can never go wrong with the Bowers & Wilkins PX7.

3.Sennheiser Momentum Wireless (2019)

Price: $315

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless (2019)

Sennheiser is a household name when it comes to portable audio products and this next one is definitely one of the best wireless headphones out there.

The Sennheiser Momentum Wireless was deemed by sound experts as one of the best headphones of 2019, but without the massive influx of new products this year, I think this remains to be the case today as well.

What you have here is a gorgeous pair of headphones that sit over your ear and provides that level of comfort unlike any other. They are so comfortable that you do not want to remove them from your noggin.

It has superb active noise canceling capabilities and it uses the aptX codec of your smartphone for amazing sound output.

The only thing that is holding this back is that its battery life is quite mediocre. At 50% volume and without the ANC enabled, this thing can last up to 17 hours. Increase the value a bit and turn on the ANC and you will have less than 12.

It could have been rectified if it had a 3.5mm headphone cable you can use but it doesn’t support that either which is a bummer.

But hey, if you want amazing sound quality and great comfort, the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless (2019) is still very easy to recommend.

4.Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700

Price: $400

Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700

Some Bluetooth headphones are pretty hard to pair up with your portable device, but not this next one.

The Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 is expensive but for all of the right reasons. It has a stylish yet sturdy form factor. It is comfortable to wear even for hours on end. And, its sound output is definitely top-notch.

It has one of the best active noise-canceling features among the ANC headphones that you can find on the market. So much so that I will advise you not to enable the feature when you are walking down the street as you can literally not hear anything from your surroundings.

While it produces amazing sound by default, I am just saddened by the lack of EQ settings. It would have elevated this product even more if it had it but hey, I guess some compromises have to be made.

If you value punchy bass, the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 will not disappoint.

5.Beyerdynamic Amiron

Price: $620

Beyerdynamic Amiron

Typically, headphones favor one part of the frequency curve. There are those that offer a great lower frequency response. There are those that value the crispness of the mids or vocals. And there are also those that handle the treble really well.

However, if you are like me and want a pair of headphones that can support the entire frequency range, then the Beyerdynamic Amiron has got you covered.

This is one of the more balanced sounding headphones on the market. They sound fantastic no matter what genre of music you intend to listen to.

They are also quite comfortable and although this doesn’t have ANC, it does have a relatively good passive noise canceling nonetheless.

The only thing that might put you off from getting these headphones (well, aside from the price) is that it only uses a wired interface. There are 3.5mm, as well as 6.3mm cables in the box.

6.Plantronics BackBeat Go 810

Price: $45

Plantronics BackBeat Go 810

As mentioned earlier in the article, price is no longer a huge consideration when shopping for headphones. In fact, you can get a good wireless pair of headphones that don’t break the bank and this next one will surely be quite appealing to you.

The Plantronics Backbeat Go 810 is a wireless pair of headphones that can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth. It does so really well and you can pair it with your device quickly and easily.

It has 40mm dynamic drivers that produce a warm, more balanced sound. This is perfect if you are listening to music from all types of genres.

This thing has a very impressive wireless range. You can be 100 feet away from your device and it would still not cut off, which is unparalleled for a budget wireless headphones.

While it has active noise canceling, it is not as good as the other headphones on this list but hey, at least it is there if you want to enable it.

7.Sennheiser HD 450BT

Price: $200

Sennheiser HD 450BT

People who want a pair of headphones with a minimalist design will love the Sennheiser HD 450BT.

As you can tell by the product’s name, it is a wireless pair of headphones that make use of the aptX codec for amazing sound quality.

True enough, it produces a more well-rounded sound, so whether you want to feel the kick of the bass or the melody of the vocals, this thing can handle them very well.

This is also an active noise-canceling headphone but its implementation is not as good as the other options on this list.

Its battery life is good though as it can last up to 24 hours with the volume set at 75%.

8.MPOW H10

Price: $70

MPOW H10 Review 2020

The last pair of headphones on this list is also a budget offering. The MPOW H10 is quite popular on Amazon and that is because it is cheap but offers some of the features that are found in more premium models.

The MPOW H10 is comfortable despite it having a plastic exterior. It has active noise canceling and for the price, it is actually pretty solid.

The sound quality is okay. It favors more on the lower end of the frequency curve but it does a good enough job not to drown out the highs and the mids.

For a pair of wireless headphones this cheap, I am surprised by its impressive battery life. It can last up to 30 hours and it has fast charging so you can give it enough juice to last you a considerable amount of time.

Its downside is its build quality, but for what you are getting for $70, I wouldn’t really complain.

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Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo- The Battle of the New ‘Smart’ Speakers

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Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo

Smart home speakers are not as popular as mobile phones, but in my opinion, it actually should be.

You see, companies are slowly rolling out smart home devices so that your life will be so much easier given the convenience of having them.

That being said, I am going to be talking about the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo speakers because they are the ones that are at the forefront when it comes to smart home speakers. Which of these should you choose? Read on to find out!

Design

For those of you who do not know, Google Nest Audio is actually the Google Home speakers that were released just about a year ago. It seems that Google wanted to use a new moniker to denote that this particular thing can ‘nest’ your other smart home devices.

The Amazon Echo, on the other hand, refers to the medium-sized Bluetooth speaker that the largest online retailer sells. The company is set to release a new version of this device soon, so it would be interesting to see how well it performs.

Even though the new version of the Amazon Echo hasn’t arrived at our doorstep yet for an official review, this is not to say that we can somehow speculate what it can offer, especially considering that the company has provided us with some really good information about it.

With all of those out of the way, let’s talk more about the design first. The Google Nest Audio takes on a more cylindrical approach in that the speaker itself has a higher height than the Amazon Echo.

For that reason, you are getting a 75mm woofer and a single 19mm tweeter. Google touts the Google Nest Audio as a better sound solution compared to its original Google Home Speaker because of the changes.

On the other hand, the Amazon Echo, in my opinion, has better sound quality. That is thanks to its two 20mm tweeters and a huge 76.2mm woofer. Its design is more spherical but I am pleased (and surprised) that Amazon was able to include two tweeters on its Bluetooth speaker implementation.

At the base of the Amazon Echo is a blue light ring that changes the way it emits light depending on the current usage.

Both of these Bluetooth speakers are offered in various colors so you have different options to choose from.

Sound Quality

Amazon Echo

If you look at the design of both speakers, you could make a case that the Amazon Echo wins this round when it comes to pure sound quality. Its two tweeters compared to the single tweeter on the Google Nest Audio, provides it with a much better chance of delivering mid-high sound frequencies.

This is not to discount the fact that Google has some tricks up its sleeves because its AI technology is smart enough to adjust the sound quality on the fly when needed.

Both of the speakers have an adaptive sound feature wherein if it detects that the ambient noise is loud enough, it increases the volume of whatever content you are consuming at that moment to compensate. This is using both of the speakers’ microphones. The volume should normalize to the last known level after it detects that the ambient sound has quieted down.

Of course, this is only my opinion after looking at the spec sheet because I will have to get my hands on these things before I can give my honest opinion. But, my initial assessment would be that the Amazon Echo delivers better sound compared to the Google Nest Audio.

Smart Features

Google Nest Audio

To be able to provide you with ‘smart’ features, both the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo are equipped with processors that can handle just that.

The Google Nest Audio comes with the company’s TeraOPS A53 processor which is a quad-core chip that boasts of better performance compared to the company’s previous Bluetooth speakers.

On the other hand, Amazon’s own speaker is equipped with the AZ1 Neural Edge processor that, according to the company, should be more responsive to voice commands compared to previous versions.

It is hard to say who wins this round. You see, Amazon has Zigbee hub integration which means that your connected smart home devices have better compatibility with the said speaker because of this.

However, we all know that Google’s AI technology is so advanced (and even more accurate) than Alexa, so it could potentially provide you with better features overall compared to Amazon’s Bluetooth speaker.

Of course, I cannot truly say which one wins this round until I get to review these wireless audio solutions. In that case, stay tuned for more.

Availability

The Google Nest Audio will be available on October 5, while the Amazon Echo will not be released until later this month (October 22). That being said, both of these speakers will retail for $99.99, so stay tuned for our official product reviews to help you know which one you should ultimately choose for yourself.

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Apple iPad 8th Generation Review- An Iterative Upgrade

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Apple iPad 8th Generation Review

When it comes to ease of use and convenience, people like getting Apple’s products because of its more streamlined approach to everything. Sure, there is a lot to tinker on Android but that is also precisely the reason why the user experience, at least for the layman, is not as great.

That being said, the 8th generation iPad was just released after the new iOS 14 update was launched. But, if you already have a 6th or 7th generation iPad, should you upgrade to the new one?

Design

Apple iPad 8th Generation Review 2020

There is this saying that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well, although I would have liked to say that here, I just don’t think that that approach applies here.

You see, the design of the 8th generation iPad is identical to its predecessor. As in everything about its aesthetics are similar which means that if you want to imagine what the new iPad looks like, all you have to do is look at the 7th gen variant.

Like all things, it can be a good thing or a bad thing. It is a good thing because that familiar design should feel right at home, especially for people that already own an iPad. It is bad because, in this day and age, more and more mobile devices have slimmer bezels and the new iPad still has those atrociously huge ones.

Don’t get me wrong, there are practical uses to having large bezels as it allows you to hold the tablet better when using it in landscape mode, but if you are watching online content, you can’t help but be bothered by the huge sides.

There are two versions of the 8th generation iPad and that is one with WiFi only and the other one having LTE. Its dimensions are 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29. The only difference between the WiFi and the LTE versions is that the latter is a bit heavier at 495 grams compared to the 490 grams of the former.

Thankfully, Apple didn’t remove the headphone jack but if you are going to utilize its built-in speakers, you are better off using a good Bluetooth speaker instead.

Display

Apple iPad 8th Gen

The 8th generation iPad has a 10.2-inch Retina Display with a resolution of 2160 x 1620 and 264 pixels per inch or PPI. It has a good peak brightness at 500 nits, though you can still experience some problems when you are outside and the sun is shining brightly.

You can utilize the Apple Pencil on this device and it is also quite accurate as well (just keep in mind that it is sold separately).

What I love about iPads, in general, is that their displays provide you with crisp and clear details. Whether you are working on your documents or perhaps watching your favorite movies and TV shows, they do not disappoint.

Specs and Performance

  • CPU: A12 Bionic
  • GPU: Apple GPU (4-core graphics)
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 32GB/128GB
  • Display: 10.2-inch Retina IPS LCD Display, 2160 x 1620, 4:3 aspect ratio, 500 nits brightness, 264 PPI
  • OS: iPadOS 14
  • Cameras: 8-megapixel (back), 1.2-megapixel (front)
  • Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 AC, Bluetooth 4.2
  • Battery: 32.4 Wh

So, if the 8th generation iPad has an identical design to its predecessor, what has changed here? Well, I am glad you asked. The only notable difference here is that the new model comes with the A12 Bionic chip and that’s pretty much it.

While you could be unhappy with the change, the new CPU actually beats its predecessor by a lot. By using Geekbench 5, single-core scores are about 60% higher than the 7th gen iPad and about 100% better in multi-core tasks than the previous model.

Granted that the said benchmark is relatively old, you couldn’t argue that the new processor is indeed way better than its predecessor.

Even when you are just using the tablet the way it should be used, you can really tell the difference. This is more evident if you are going to play some games

Now, do not worry about the 3GB of RAM because the iOS ecosystem is quite streamlined and efficient that you normally wouldn’t need more than that.

It should also go without saying that the included cameras are just there for show and they do not really do anything special, so I don’t think that covering them is warranted here.

Apple iPad 8th Gen Review

Verdict

Sure, the new 8th generation iPad doesn’t bring a lot to the table, but its new processor is leaps and bounds better than its predecessor. Does that justify buying the new one? Probably not, especially if you already own the 7th generation model.

However, if you own an older iPad and you want better performance across the board, then you could probably spend your money to get one.

My gripe here is that there are only two storage options to choose from. You can get the 32GB variant for only $329 but in this day and age, 32GB is not a lot of storage space.

If you want more storage, you will need to spend an additional $100 premium just to get the 128GB model. In fact, I would go on to say that you should be buying this particular model compared to the 32GB variant. I just don’t like that the company is gouging you another $100 ($429 in total) just to get one.

The 8th generation iPad is disappointing in a lot of ways and its only redeeming quality is its new processor. It would have been nice if there is a redesign or that the lightning cable is changed to USB-C, but there is just not a lot of things to talk about here.

Therefore, I should say that the 8th generation iPad is just an iterative upgrade. Whether you want to buy it or not is entirely up to you.

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Amazon Echo Studio Review- The Bigger ‘Echo’ Speaker That Competes

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Amazon Echo Studio Review

Amazon, the biggest online retailer in the world, has created its own AI implementation in the form of the Amazon Alexa.

It is actually quite polished and it can go against Apple’s Siri and Google’s own AI. That being said, the company has released some ‘Echo’ speakers that not only act as Bluetooth audio devices but as smart devices as well.

Today, I am going to be reviewing the Amazon Echo Studio. Does this thing really have what it takes to compete with the others?

Design

One of the biggest criticisms of Amazon’s Echo speakers of the past is that although its smart features are okay, their sound output leaves much to be desired. As a way of addressing the issue, Amazon has built the Echo Studio.

The Amazon Echo Studio is pretty big. It is 8 inches in height and 7 inches wide so this is indeed a pretty hefty audio solution. In fact, I would go on to say that this is one of the biggest Bluetooth speakers on the market.

Its design is pretty much akin to the Amazon Echo speakers of old. You get a fabric mesh design that encapsulates the speaker itself with all of its button controls situated at the top of the device.

You also get a blue ring light that will pretty much add to the aesthetic appeal of the unit. The microphone is also placed at the top and it is always on ‘listening mode’ so that whenever you want to interact with Alexa, it can do so at a moment’s notice.

Although you cannot see it, the Amazon Echo Studio is actually powered by a subwoofer, a tweeter, and four mid-range speakers that are mounted at the top and the sides. This thing is a beast as it can output 330 watts of power when needed, which is ample enough even for home cinema setups.

Audio Performance

Amazon Echo Studio Review 2020

The Amazon Echo Studio is quite a powerful Bluetooth speaker. No matter what genre of content you’d like to consume, this thing can output the necessary sound to make your viewing experience more immersive.

I am usually keen on an audio solution’s performance when it comes to playing music and I am happy with the Echo Studio’s prowess.

Although it favors the lower frequencies more than the mids and the highs, it does so without drowning the latter two, which is something that you normally do not see on large Bluetooth speakers.

An interesting feature that the Amazon Echo Studio has is its support for 3D Audio. You will need to sign in to your Amazon Music HD account before you can get a hold of this feature and it is the only platform that supports the Echo Studio’s 3D Audio. Amazon did mention that it will hand out support for other streaming platforms at a later date though.

So, how is the speaker’s performance on that front? Well, I am not really sure what to think about it as I have mixed feelings about the said feature.

3D audio is meant to provide a more immersive listening experience but I can hardly tell the difference between traditional Hi-Res audio and this one.

I guess you could say that for tracks that have a more melodic tone that you can discern a 3D audio-enabled track from a regular track, but other than that, non-audiophiles can hardly tell the difference.

To be fair, the said feature is still not polished yet, so expect it to improve in the years to come.

The Amazon Echo Studio also has seamless integration with the Amazon Fire TV Stick, though it does support all other streaming services like Netflix and Hulu as well.

You are also given the option to link up another Amazon Echo Studio speaker so that you can have them work in tandem to provide you with even better sound. I do not have a second unit though, so I cannot really tell anything about this. But, the feature is there if you want to get another unit.

Features

Amazon Echo Studio

Aside from 3D audio, the Echo Studio also acts as a control hub for your smart devices. You can use Alexa to turn off your lights at a specific time of the night or you can have it play your favorite track if you want. The possibilities are endless.

Do keep in mind that while it should support most of the smart home devices that you can buy on the market, there are some products that do not play ball. 

For instance, some smart locks can only be supported using Apple’s Siri, so you cannot control that using this device.

You can also link up a second Echo Studio speaker if you have one and you can use both of them to provide you with an even more powerful and more immersive listening experience.

You can control the speaker’s features by manually tapping on the buttons at the top of the device or by downloading its companion app.

Conclusion

Amazon has finally solved the issue of the Amazon Echo speakers of the past by giving you a relatively large speaker that can do a lot of things.

The Amazon Echo Studio has support for 3D audio, but you will need to have an Amazon Music HD account to get a hold of the said feature.

You can also use the speaker to control your smart home devices which is pretty nice. The microphone is always on listening mode so that you can call Alexa’s attention at a moment’s notice.

Normally, I would expect a product like this to cost more than $300, but the Amazon Echo Studio actually costs just $199. I guess getting another one is not too far out of the equation, eh?

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