When smartphone companies started removing headphone jacks from their products, a lot of people were angry because then, they cannot use their favorite pair of headphones.
Fortunately, wireless headphones have come a long way and although they use compressed audio data, a lot of manufacturers have made their products so much better when it comes to wireless sound.
If you are looking for a great pair of cans, read further to find out the best wireless headphones to buy right now.
Best Wireless Headphones (August 2020)
Sony’s last greatest pair of headphones, the WH-1000XM3, is still good even to this day but apparently, the company has recently released its successor, the Sony WH-1000XM4.
This pair of headphones is amazing and it just improves upon the award-winning design of its predecessor.
First of all, the overall sound quality of these things is amazing. I thought that the XM3 had it all, but I was just blown away by the sound that these cans produce. It offers a dynamic sound and while it favors a bit on the lower frequencies, the good thing is that it doesn’t drown out the mids and highs.
These things are quite comfortable thanks to its plush leather earcups. You could wear them for hours and you will never notice that they are on.
Its active noise-canceling feature is made even better as it completely blocks all external noise. Of course, I would advise you not to use it when you are walking down the street, but it is quite a useful feature if you are studying in public places, for example.
It can last up to 30 hours on a single charge and since it uses USB-C, its charging time is reduced considerably.
These headphones also have a feature that whenever it detects that it was removed from your head, it will automatically pause the track you’re listening to.
All in all, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is one that I would consider to be the best out there.
2.Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700
Bose also produces some amazing noise-canceling headphones and if the price of the previous recommendation is too expensive for you, the Noise Canceling Headphones 700 from Bose is your next best choice.
This is a pair of over-ear headphones that also have a class-leading active noise cancelation feature and the great thing about this is that it is automatically enabled if you use the headphones for making calls.
Aside from its sleek and comfortable design, the Headphones 700 provides a fun and lively sound thanks to its 40mm drivers.
Where this falls short is in its battery life as it is rated to last only a maximum of 20 hours (even shorter if you enable all of the features).
But, despite its short battery life, the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 is the next best thing from what Sony has to offer.
3.Jabra Elite 45H
For people that want a little bit more oomph in the bass department and also want a pair of headphones that don’t break the bank, the Jabra Elite 45H is an appealing proposition.
Unlike the previous headphones, this is an on-ear pair of cans which means that it sits directly on top of your ears. It might not be as comfortable as the others if you have a relatively large head, so do bear that in mind.
Anyway, these things are perfect for people that often listen to bass-heavy music. This advantage is also considered a negative to some, especially for people that want a more natural sound.
These things can easily pair with your Android smartphone or even an iOS-enabled device and the good thing is that it can also integrate with Alexa and Google’s AI as well.
If you do not like the default sound, you can also use its companion app to tweak its EQ settings, though its punchy bass will still be noticeable despite tweaking the lower frequency slider.
However, if you want a relatively inexpensive pair of wireless headphones the Jabra Elite 45H is a pretty good choice.
4.1More Stylish True Wireless Earbuds
If you prefer using earbuds because of their smaller form factor, then turn your attention toward the 1More Stylish True Wireless Earbuds.
For just $80, you are getting an AptX-enabled pair of wireless earbuds that offer amazing sound quality for a relatively low price.
For the uninitiated, the AptX codec that your smartphone uses just makes it so that the audio quality of these earbuds are much improved over the default SBC codec.
It has an impressive battery life of 6.5 hours and they are quite comfortable in that you are given three different-sized ear tips for a much more secure fit.
The charging case enables you to use these things for a maximum of 24 hours which I believe is one of the best at this price point.
Sony is always one of the best companies when it comes to true wireless sound and the Sony WF-1000XM3 does not disappoint.
Whereas the previously mentioned WH-1000XM4 are over-ear headphones, these are actually the company’s active noise-canceling earbuds.
Despite their smaller stature, the XM3s provide an amazing depth of sound. Everything from the lows, the mids, and the highs are all there and not one frequency overpowers the other which is kind of amazing from a pair of earphones.
As just mentioned, the Sony WF-1000XM3 comes with the company’s QN1e HD noise-canceling processor that not only effectively removes external noise but it does so in a way that is easy on the battery.
Speaking of battery, these things can last up to 6 hours with an additional 18 hours when you include the charging case.
Although you get nice touch controls, it would have been great if you had the option to quickly and easily adjust the volume, but this is just a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things.
6.Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Wireless Headphones
With a very comfortable design, the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 is one of the best wireless headphones on the market. Seriously, if you really value a comfortable pair of cans, you should look into this, stat.
Aside from its class-leading design, you also get a great sounding pair of headphones. No matter what genre of music you are listening to, it can easily handle them with aplomb. In fact, I would go on to say that this is one of the audiophile-grade headphones you can buy on the market.
The PX7 is also lauded for its consistent connectivity to your smartphone or mobile device. It not only connects quickly and easily but it also stays connected for a longer period of time
Just like the Sony headphones mentioned above, these cans can also last up to 30 hours, provided that you do not put the volume at full capacity.
I do have a minor complaint about these headphones. I like those headphones that can swivel so that I can easily rest them on my chest. Sadly, these things do not have that, so from an ergonomic standpoint, it is a bit of a bummer.
But, the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 provide you with a full depth of sound and comfortable design unlike any other.
7.Sennheiser HD 4.40
If you want another solid pair of over-ear headphones that are easy on the wallet, the Sennheiser HD 4.40 is another great choice.
Among all of the headphones on this list, this is one of the only headphones that come with NFC which means that you can easily pair it with your device without any problems.
Aside from producing an overall balanced sound, these things are quite comfortable to wear for prolonged periods of time.
Its default sound is balanced but with its EQ settings, you can favor more bass or the higher frequencies if you want.
The only thing that’s missing in this equation is that these headphones do not come with active noise-canceling, although its secure fit kind of provides you with passive noise canceling anyway.
8.JBL Reflect Flow
If you want a pair of earbuds that you can use in the gym, then the JBL Reflect Flow is the one that I would recommend.
These things provide deep and powerful bass that does so well enough that it doesn’t drown out the mids and the highs.
It has a very secure fit so whether you are doing your cardio runs or if you are lifting weights, these things won’t budge at all.
The Reflect Flow also has a feature known as the ‘ambient mode’ which lets some external sound in so that you do not have to remove the earbuds when someone is talking to you, for example.
These things can last up to 10 hours with an additional 20 from its huge case (which can be a negative for some).
But, if you want a pair of TWS earbuds that you can rely on in the gym, look no further than the JBL Reflect Flow.
9.Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless
There are some people out there that value sound quality more than anything else when it comes to buying headphones. If you are part of the demographic, then I recommend the Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless.
Apart from its retro design, the Momentum 3 provides stellar sound across the board. Nothing gets drowned out or muddied and its warm tone is actually pretty good. You can listen to any type of music and if you are not happy with the EQ setting, you can tweak it to your liking by using its companion app.
Although this does have an active noise-canceling feature, it is mediocre at best, at least, when compared to the likes of Sony and Bose wireless headphones.
Still, with a pretty retro vibe and amazing sound quality, I can still wholeheartedly recommend the Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless.
10.Apple Airpods Pro
Although a bit pricey than other TWS Earbuds, the Apple Airpods Pro provides excellent connectivity and overall sound.
Unlike the non-pro version, the Apple Airpods Pro has a much more secure fit thanks to the pointed ear-tip design. You get 3 silicone ear tips to choose from for a more secure fit.
These earbuds also come with active noise-canceling and it is actually pretty good for a standard pair of earphones.
The only thing that I do not like about this thing (well, aside from the price) is that its battery life is mediocre at only 4.5 hours. Still, that can be rectified by its charging case that can hold up to 19.5 hours of extra battery.
Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo- The Battle of the New ‘Smart’ Speakers
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Apple iPad 8th Generation Review- An Iterative Upgrade
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.
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.
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.
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.
Amazon Echo Studio Review- The Bigger ‘Echo’ Speaker That Competes
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?
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.
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.
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.
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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