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GadgetMatch Giveaway: Win a Denon Heos 1 Wireless Speaker

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We gave away portable Bluetooth speakers earlier this month, so why not another one? But this time, it’s larger and smarter.

For this week’s Scavenger Hunt, we have the Denon Heos 1 Wireless Speaker!

The latest gadget we’re raffling off to a lucky reader is a smart wireless speaker, which connects via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. It also has a full-size USB port for direct playback from a portable storage device like a thumb drive.

We’re also throwing in a battery base called the Heos 1 Go Pack, which delivers six hours of playback time. This allows you to take the Heos 1 anywhere you want!

To join, all you have to do is follow the mission brief below:

Step 1: Share this post and tag three friends

Share this post on Facebook, tag three of your friends, and make sure to tag GadgetMatch as well.

Use the following caption: “Join the GadgetMatch Scavenger Hunt and win a Denon Heos 1 Wireless Speaker!”

Share this post

Step 2: Like, Follow, Subscribe

If you haven’t yet, subscribe to us on social media. Just click on all four links below.

Like GadgetMatch on Facebook

Subscribe to GadgetMatch on YouTube

Follow @gadgetmatch on Instagram

Follow @gadgetmatch on Twitter

Step 3: Complete and submit the entry form

Anyone, anywhere in the world can enter.

You have until noon of October 23 (Taiwan time, GMT+8) to submit your entries. Only one entry per person will be allowed. Winners will be picked live on our Facebook page next Monday, October 23 at 8PM (Taiwan time, GMT+8).

CLOSED

Join the next Scavenger Hunt!

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Accessories

Petpuls activity tracker monitors your dog’s wellbeing

Available now on Indiegogo with a special early-bird price

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It is without a doubt that dogs are one of the most beloved pets. Like all living beings, they too need affection and proper care. However, pet owners know it can be hard to take care of their furry friends sometimes. Thankfully, there’s a new product that simplifies monitoring of a dog’s well-being for owners.

Petpuls is a recently-launched activity tracker on Indiegogo. It monitors a dog’s physical and mental well-being. Yes, this activity tracker built-in to a collar monitors it all thanks to a proprietary AI technology. This AI technology tunes in to a dog’s bark and recognizes five emotional states: happy, sad, anxious, relaxed, or angry.

While this technology won’t let your dog speak to you like the way Dug does in the movie Up, Petpuls ensure an accuracy rate of more than 80% for this technology. After all, the algorithm behind Petpuls uses a database of more than 10,000 bark samples from 50 dog breeds of 4 different sizes.

Aside from tracking a dog’s emotional state, Petpuls also tracks physical activities. The collar houses a built-in accelerometer that calculates the number of calories burned. Those who are wondering just how active their dog is can now easily do it with Petpuls.

On the mobile app, owners can register their dogs to create a unique profile within the Petpuls community. Owners can set the name, breed, gender, weight, age, and more of their dogs within the app. There’s also a “pet favorites” feature to keep track of a dog’s favorite food, toys, as well as canine best friends.

Availability of Petpuls activity tracker

Petpuls is available on Indiegogo for an early-bird price of USD 79. For that price, owners are getting the activity tracker along with an eco-friendly interchangeable collar. Those who missed the Indiegogo campaign may avail it on Amazon for USD 99. It will ship to eager dog owners in late August 2020.

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Huawei Freebuds 3i review: A pleasant surprise

Huawei knows how to cancel noise

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Taking these TWS earphones from smartphone manufacturers for a spin sometimes feels like a chore. Especially so when most of them look like the AirPods. Such is the case for me with the Huawei Freebuds 3i. However, using it for about a week, and I can say it’s such a pleasant surprise.

That stem design

Now, don’t get me wrong. While I have warmed up to it and it’s more common to see people with these earphones sticking out their ears, I still, personally, am not a fan of this look.

But if it’s there for a reason, then I can’t complain much. Such is the case for the last TWS pair I reviewed. That used the stem as the primary touch area for the controls. In the Freebuds 3i, it’s different.

The stem on the Freebuds 3i lets the mic be closer to the user’s mouth. This is perfect for picking up your voice when you’re in calls — be it voice or video.

Naturally, I tried it on a few calls and asked the people on the other line how I sounded. They said I came off loud and clear. The only problem was my speaking voice, but that had nothing to do with the Freebuds 3i and more with just me being me.

A truly active noise cancellation

This is the feature that truly surprised me the most. The moment I put the earphones on, I immediately felt the effects of the active noise cancellation.

I didn’t even know it had the feature when I first took it out of the box. I just knew it did right when I had both earphones on. That’s how good it is.

Huawei says they used a triple-microphone system to achieve noise cancellation of up to 32db. That along with the in-ear design helps drowning out the noise.

This is in contrast to its elder sibling the Freebuds 3 which handles noise cancellation using the Kirin A1 chip. The Freebuds 3 also uses an open-fit or open-ear design which is why its noise cancellation relies more on the chip.

Huawei also shared a review guide showing how the Freebuds 3i can cancel more noise than the Sony WH-1000XM3 and the AirPods Pro in certain situations. Based on what I can recall from my time with the Sony WH-1000XM3, that thing is on a league of its own when it comes to noise cancellation. But the Freebuds 3i, I’m surprised to say, isn’t too far behind.

Neither the Freebuds 3 nor the Freebuds 3i is necessarily better than the other, although we might see the dual-mic plus in-ear approach in future TWS earphones from Huawei given that their partner TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) will no longer be allowed to source tech and equipment from the US.

Bass-biased 

Not sure if this is a coincidence or not, but the Freebuds 3i is now the second TWS earphone I’ve tested who’s tuning appears to be leaning more towards bass. Another common denominator is that they’re priced below PhP 7,000 (around US$ 143).

It’s great if you prefer bass but compared to the Freebuds 3, it just doesn’t feel like you’re getting the same sound quality. Which is understandable considering the price difference.

The Freebuds 3 sound clearer, brighter, and warmer and you can clearly hear all the sounds. This is in contrast to the Freebuds 3i which seem to favor low-tones more.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the Freebuds 3i sounds bad. They just don’t sound as good as higher tier TWS earphones, which is fine. The Freebuds 3i is perfectly enjoyable and is certainly better than its more affordable counterparts.

I listened to everything from the pop track “Fanfare” by TWICE to the heavy rock sound of “Mighty Long Fall” by One OK Rock and was very pleased with how these tracks sounded.

Easy to pair, easy to use

Like with many other first-party TWS earphones, the Freebuds 3i will be automatically detected by the phone nearest to it as soon as you flip the lid open. This means pairing is instant and easy.

Naturally, you’ll have to go the usual pairing route if you’re using this with a phone from another brand. This means long-pressing on the button next to the USB-C port to enter pairing mode, and then going into the connectivity settings of your phone to complete the pairing. Not as straightforward, but works just as well.

There are two ways to control the earbuds. First is to double tap on either earbud. Second, is to touch and hold. Touching and holding turn noise cancellation on and off for either earbud.

Double tapping the left bud is set to “Play/Pause” by default while the right bud is set to “Next Song.” You can change this on the Huawei AI Life app with the action options being as follows:

  • Play/Pause
  • Next Song
  • Previous Song
  • Wake Voice Assistant

Curiously, there’s no action set for a single tap. Adding that would have given users the option to set all actions above a set motion for control. Instead, you can only choose to at a time. It’s a puzzling choice.

Like any TWS earphone worth its salt, it also has wear detection. This means the music is automatically paused when you take them off and resumes when you put them back on.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

At PhP 5,990 /SG$ 168 (US$ 123), the Huawei Freebuds 3i is a pleasant surprise. Price-wise, it’s in direct competition with the Galaxy Buds+, and those buds have absolutely nothing on the Freebuds 3i’s noise cancellation.

If you’re looking for TWS earphones with near top-tier noise cancellation but don’t want to spend north of PhP 7,000, then this is easily one of the better options. There’s room for improvement but you’re getting quality earbuds for what you’re shelling out.

It has a solid build, a bass-leaning tuning, and pretty darn good noise cancellation. It’s not bad. Not bad at all.

SEE ALSO:
Huawei Freebuds 3 review: Best value wireless earbuds
AirPods 2 vs Galaxy Buds+ vs Freebuds 3: A TWS earphones battle!
6 reasons why you should switch to wireless earbuds

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Sony WH-1000XM4 noise-cancelling king now official

‘The best just got better’

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The Sony WH-1000XM4 is now official. Sony’s best-in-class noise-cancelling over-ear headphones just got a refresh and the improvements further make shine an already polished device.

What’s new?

Multiple device pairing

This has been one of this headphones’ weaknesses and it has finally been addressed. You can now connect the Sony WH-1000XM4 to two devices simultaneously.

When a call comes in, your headphones will know which device is ringing and connect to it automatically. You’ll also be able to quickly switch your headphones to either of the two devices in a single tap.

Superior sound

Every iteration of these headphones already sound amazing. But that didn’t stop Sony from elevating the listening experience even further.

The ever-reliable QN1 is still here for noise-cancellation but it’s now paired with a new Bluetooth Audio SoC. It can sense and adjust to music and noise at over 700 times per second.

It now also has Edge-AI, DSEE Extreme which more accurately rebuilds audio lost during digital compression for a full fidelity experience. The 360 Reality Audio feature is now also making its way to these headphones. It lets listeners enjoy a custom immersive musical field that is perfectly optimized for each individual user.

The WH-1000XM4 also supports Google’s helpful new Fast Pair feature that lets you easily locate where you left your WH-1000XM4 by ringing them.

Speak-to-chat

Previously, you had to cover one of the ear cups to disable the noise-cancelling for a short period. Now, you only have to speak and the headphones will recognize your voice,

automatically stop your music and let in ambient sound so you can conduct a conversation without removing your headphones.

What’s been carried over?

As mentioned, the superior sound and noise-cancelling are still here but enhanced. The simple and sleek look has also been retained. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

The battery life also remains the same which is a good thing. You get up to 30 hours overall and the quick charging function gives you up to 5 hours of wireless playback from 10 minutes of charging.

The headphones also still know if you’re wearing them or not. It stops the music when you have it off and resumes playback when you put them on.

Lastly, it still has support for Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa for your personal voice assistant.

Pricing and availability 

The Sony WH-1000XM4 will come in Black and Platinum Silver.

In Singapore, it will be available at selected retail shops and online stores starting August 7,2020 at a retail price of SG$ 549.

SEE ALSO: Sony WH-1000XM3 Hands-on: As good as advertised

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