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.
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?
iOS 14 is Finally Here- Everything You Need to Know
The iOS 14 beta was first introduced back in June 2020 but on September 16, Apple has released the final version of the ever-popular mobile operating system that is placed at the heart of your Apple iPhone.
Just like Android 11, iOS 14 can be construed as an incremental upgrade but there are some noteworthy improvements that you will surely love.
Today, I am going to go over everything you need to know about Apple’s new mobile operating system and find out what new features you might like using immediately.
When you swipe right on the homescreen a couple of times, you will be presented with a new feature called the App Library. Think of this as Apple’s implementation of an app drawer (that is a mainstay in Android Devices).
All of the applications that are found in the App Library are neatly categorized for your convenience. Here, you can find all of your folders and some app folder suggestions as well.
Apple understands that iPhone homescreens can get really cluttered, and so, the company has provided users with the ability to stack the same type of apps into a single folder.
Furthermore, depending on the time of day, the operating system can suggest certain apps that you might like to use at that moment.
For example, the OS might suggest that you use a music streaming app if you want to jog a couple of laps while listening to your favorite music.
Apple was heavily criticized for not giving users the freedom to add widgets to the homescreen. Well, that has changed in iOS 14.
Now, users have the ability to add any widgets that they like on the homescreen. Not only that but these widgets provide useful information right off the bat so that you can simply glance at the particular widget to find out the current weather conditions, for instance.
You can add as many widgets as you want and you can also resize them a little bit, though its implementation is not as extensive as the Android ecosystem.
People often use Siri as a means of enabling almost hands-free access to their iPhones. Well, in iOS 14, Siri is vastly improved- both in its AI technology and the things that it can do.
You can make use of Siri to craft messages for you, call specific people, translate foreign languages (more on this later), block possible incoming calls, and so much more.
In addition to what I’ve said, Siri also doesn’t take up the entire screen anymore. Instead, you can look for Siri in a small globe icon that is usually situated at the bottom of the display.
This feature was first implemented on iPads, but you can also enjoy picture-in-picture mode on your iPhone as well.
This allows you to play videos on the background while you are face timing someone which is pretty awesome.
Think of App Clips as Apple’s implementation of Android’s Instant Apps. Basically, you get a hold of some specific app features without actually having to download and install the said app.
For example, you can purchase a coffee from Starbucks just by scanning a particular code. This alleviates the need for downloading the company’s specific app just for the same job.
Not a lot of applications support this as of yet but expect that more and more of them will be supported in the future.
7.iMessage Has New Features
Apple’s Messages app has plenty of new features that you will really love using frequently. First is the ability to pin any important messages within a conversation. You can pin messages just by swiping a particular part of the conversation to the right. The pinned comment can be placed on your homescreen for convenience.
Aside from that, you now have the ability to reply to a specific message within the conversation via inline replies.
Have you ever used Facebook Messenger and you want to mute notifications from certain group chats but still want to get notified if your name is mentioned at any point in the conversation?
Well, that specific feature is also now available on the Messages app as well. This is a great feature if you want to mute notifications from your group chats but you still want to get notified if you’re ever given a special mention.
To mention any person within the chat group, all you have to do is use the ‘@’ symbol and a list of names should pop up. Just tap on the person that you want to shoutout and the app should do the rest.
Lastly, if photos are uploaded to the group chat, you can add an image overlay on top of it or you can add some cute emojis to make it more fun and lively.
Memojis are nothing new, but the iOS 14 introduces some new ones, including new headwear, hairstyles, stickers, and so much more.
Moreover, Apple has done a pretty good job of making Memojis even more expressive than ever before!
WatchOS 7 was released in the same window as iOS 14 and because of that, you can expect some integrations with Apple Smartwatches as well.
The new health app not only allows you to use your Apple Watch’s sleep tracking feature, but it also records some important data that you can use to relay to your physician to give you a general idea of your overall health.
10.Improved Weather App
The default weather app in iOS 14 also gets some major improvements, including the ability to give you notifications and more information about upcoming severe weather systems, improved forecast accuracy, precipitation readings, and so much more.
You can use your Apple Watch to help provide you with clear routes if you intend to use a bike to go to work. Although this doesn’t work in all cities all over the world, Apple intends to add support for more cities sometime in the near future.
12.Digital Car Keys
This unique feature not only unlocks your car doors but it can also be used as a means of starting your car’s engine as well.
Not all new cars are supported, however, so if you want to use this feature, make sure that you have a compatible vehicle.
In addition, when the u1 chip is released next year, you can also unlock your car doors without having the phone with you (but you will need an Apple Watch that is tethered to your phone for this to work).
You will find a new Translate app when you install the new update. The beauty of this application is that you can use its extensive features even when you are not connected to your home network.
This means that if you’re talking to your friend that doesn’t speak the local language, you can use the app to have things translated for you and you can also use its conversations feature so that the translated text can be spoken out loud for your friend to hear (and understand).
Furthermore, you can use your Apple Watch to do the same thing as well since it, too, has its own translate app.
Every time you fire up an application that sends or requires user data, that application must provide you with a heads up if they’re going to do those things. You are given the power to either provide access to that application or deny permissions.
In addition to that, you will see a colored dot that indicates whether your camera or your microphone is in use (green for the camera and orange for the microphone, respectively).
15.Set Default Apps
Apple has finally given you the freedom to choose your own default apps. At the time of writing, you can only set your default web browser and mail application, but the company is set to add support for more applications moving forward.
If you are using the Airpods Pro and you are also using other Bluetooth devices as well, now you can switch between the said devices seamlessly thanks to an automatic switching ability.
Airpods Pro users can also enjoy the improved spatial audio feature which essentially provides you with an even more immersive listening experience.
If you’ve been using the same password in almost all of your accounts using an iPhone, iOS 14 introduces a new password monitoring system that will alert you to change passwords whenever it detects any data breach that could compromise your data.
The best thing that you can do is to use a password manager like LastPass so that you will only have to remember a single master password for all of your passwords.
How to Get the New Update?
So, which devices are supported? Well, any iPhone that is above the iPhone 6 is supported. This means that from the iPhone 6s to the newest Apple iPhone SE should receive a notification to download the latest update.
Apple Watch SE Review- The Apple Watch to Get for Most People
People would always assume that if a product comes from Apple that you need to spend quite a bit of money compared to its competitors. For the most part, that is actually true, but not for the product that I am going to review today.
In this article, I will be talking about the Apple Watch SE. Find out why I think this is the Apple Watch to get for most people.
The Apple Watch SE is set to be an entry-level smartwatch by Apple, but this is by no means a ‘cheap’ product as it does come with features that are also present in the Apple Watch 6, for example.
Its design is quite similar to the Apple Watches of old which is actually a good thing. The familiar look will make people who’ve owned those watches feel quite comfortable when using the newer model.
You basically have two size options to choose from (40mm and 44mm) and the screen is big enough so that you can utilize its functions more readily than other smartwatches that you can find on the market.
When you are going to buy this thing, you get to choose which strap you want to get along with it. The default strap uses nylon fiber which is not only comfortable but can also be used as a daily watch without getting ‘too gimmicky’.
The other option would be for you to get the ‘Solo Loop’ variant which is essentially a strap that conforms to your wrist- kind of like using a rubber band.
If you are going for the Solo Loop straps, it is important that you get the right fit as its fitting options are a bit limited. You have 9 choices to choose from but you will have to measure your wrist just right in order for you to get a relaxed fit.
Don’t worry, Apple’s website provides you with some guidelines to help you get the exact measurements.
Other than that, you have the watch crown situated on the right side of the watch which feels good whenever you use it.
One of the big differences between the Apple Watch SE and the Apple Watch 6 is that the former doesn’t have an always-on display. This is to be expected, given that this particular model is the more affordable one.
I have the 44mm version and its display has a screen resolution of 368 x 448 which should provide you with adequate screen real estate to enjoy the watch’s features.
The display is no slouch because its brightness can be turned up automatically whenever you are outside. In other words, outside visibility is not an issue at all.
The Apple Watch SE is perfectly suited for casual use and for those that want to have an active lifestyle.
Just like its bigger brother, this watch also has new activity-tracking options for functional strength training, core exercises, dance, and cool down. The last one is great for people to have an idea of how long they should perform static stretches after working out to provide their muscles with an optimal way to start recovery.
This smartwatch also has GPS and I’ve used it to calculate the distance after taking a couple of minutes to run. It is relatively accurate and I am pleased with it.
You do have a step counter to give you a rough estimate of how many steps you’ve taken during the course of the day. It is somewhat accurate, but there are more accurate watches out there.
It is interesting that the Apple Watch SE comes with the new WatchOS 7 preloaded which means that you do not have to do some manual updates once you receive the unit.
Keep in mind that because this watch is a stripped-down version of its more premium counterpart, there are no ECG and Sp02 sensors that can be found here, but that is a fair compromise, in my opinion.
One of the biggest features that I really love about the new operating system is the sleep tracking capability.
You can set a specific time when you usually sleep and if it is that time already, the watch will not only dim its display but will also make sure that notifications that you may receive at the specified time will not disturb your sound slumber.
Although the company doesn’t encourage you to completely believe in the results that the watch gives you (because this is not marketed as a bonafide medical instrument), I find it to be quite helpful nonetheless.
If the watch detects that you haven’t had enough sleep, it will provide you with some helpful tips to improve the quality of your sleep the next night which is pretty nice.
Another unique feature here is the hand-washing reminder. Every time you wash your hands, the watch will use its sensors and microphone to tell you if you’ve washed your hands for 20 seconds or not.
If you’ve finished earlier than the said time, the watch will notify you to continue. This ensures that you kill the Covid-19 virus, as well as other pathogens that might prove to be dangerous to your overall health.
The Apple Watch SE’s battery life is probably its biggest downside. It is rated to last up to 18 hours, but if you are using the GPS or the watch’s other features quite a lot, you will get less than that number.
It is also worth noting that charging time for this particular smartwatch requires 2.5 hours to complete. That is sad considering that the Apple Watch 6 only requires 90 minutes to be fully charged.
If you need to be using the watch’s features quite a lot, I suggest that you carry a hefty power bank with you at all times.
A lot of people love using Apple products because it has better integration with its ecosystem compared to other products on the market.
That being said, the Apple Watch SE is a great introductory product for people that want a smartwatch that does a lot of things.
It is a stripped-down version of its more premium counterpart but all of the useful features such as sleep tracking, more activity tracking, GPS, and others are present here, which means that it would still be a good purchase nonetheless.
And, at just $280, the Apple Watch SE is definitely what I would recommend for people that want a relatively affordable smartwatch with plenty to offer.
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