Accessories

Huawei FreeBuds 4i review: “The” audio daily driver

An audio experience you simply can’t miss

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A great set of earphones becomes as integral to your everyday life as your preferred devices. Whether you like it wired or wireless, it’s simply something you can’t live without these days. From the early morning commutes to playing games with the squad, a daily driver like this comes in handy for all of those.

For the past few years, Huawei ventured into the wireless sound space much like their contemporaries. From the earphones and headsets to speakers, each iteration brings something new to the table. This is, what I felt, the Huawei FreeBuds 4i shapes itself up to be: something different, something more.

So, how much more does this new pair of TWS earphones bring to the table? For starters:

It comes in an oval-shaped charging case w/ an optional cover

Inside the box are a fast-charging USB-C cable and different earbud tip sizes

You have three colorways to choose from: Ceramic White, Carbon Black, or Red

Breaking down the full audio experience

As I was writing this, I went ahead and looked back at everything I said about the Huawei FreeBuds 4i the very instance I got my hands on it. I briefly touched on the audio experience, and even went out of my way to call it a great first impression — all things considered. After some more time using these wireless earphones, I have some more things to call out.

Enjoying the music every tone of the way

From my first impressions, I could already tell that these earphones were designed for you to listen to your music better. This isn’t just hearing the songs without any noise in the background, but rather for you to truly appreciate the songs you’re listening to. See, the Huawei FreeBuds 4i comes with two major audio enhancements: a dynamic 10mm audio driver and Active Noise Cancellation.

With the dynamic audio driver, I’m assuming that the music you’re listening to has some more explicit bass to it. Well, I wasn’t wrong but it was actually more than that the longer I listened to my playlist. When I was listening to most of the “pop” songs in my playlist, I could hear some level of depth to the tones and vocals. It’s those little intricacies that you only get to hear from a great set of headphones, to be honest.

However, the biggest selling point here is that sweet Active Noise Cancellation technology inside. Essentially, when it’s on, only your songs exist in your ears and not much else. It does a fantastic job blocking all background noise out, so you can immerse in your songs a bit longer. Honestly, it was a joy simply listening to all my songs with ANC on — especially early in the morning.

No delays with VODs, streams, and movies all the way through

In all honesty, this was the use case I was most concerned for because of my experience with my FreeBuds Lite. For some reason, I experienced some delay in my audio when I’m watching videos whether on YouTube or Netflix. For the longest time, it wasn’t a huge bother to me until I tried out the FreeBuds 4i and knew what I was missing.

Huawei included these low latency algorithms into the audio drivers that essentially remove lag between audio and video. While I was watching music videos and a KDrama on the side, it felt smooth to just see and hear the A/V sync like that. At least now, I wouldn’t laugh so hard when the audio is lagging behind.

Playing games and engaging in team comms

Where the ANC also shines in comes from, quite possibly, my 2nd most regular use case: gaming. In particular, I decided to play team-based games like League of Legends: Wild Rift and Call of Duty Mobile with full team comms. I’ve already touched on the ANC’s capabilities for rich, deep sounds, and it’s quite evident with games as well.

However, I’d like to touch on how the ANC helped out with team comms since I was sort of playing in a noisy environment. Essentially, apart from the ANC blocking out noise you hear, it also blocks out additional noise picked up by the microphone. In theory, it should project your voice in a clearer way.

I hopped on a Discord call on my phone, and my friends could tell the difference if I switched to wired earphones. They mentioned how they could hear the strong wind and my electric fan before switching to the FreeBuds 4i mid-game. Although, there were times they couldn’t hear me through my mic when I switched, but it didn’t happen regularly.

Define “daily driver?” for me please

Apart from the Active Noise Cancellation technologies, the FreeBuds 4i boasts 10 hours of continuous audio playback. Whether it’s a Spotify playlist or random YouTube videos, that’s quite a lot of nonstop audio banging in your ear. Actually, this is more of a battery life situation more than anything but it certainly stacks up.

What I love about the longevity of this accessory is that it still lasts long even if you charge for a few minutes. Within ten minutes of charging, I managed to use the earphones for a good 3-4 hours before running out of juice. That’s honestly quite long in itself, especially with the amount of songs and videos you can squeeze in at 50% volume.

With all the time I spent charging the buds, I managed to stretch my usage to 24 hours (yes, even in my sleep). This alone already made me believe that it fits the description of what a daily driver is all about. Plus, it charges quite fast while in its oval case, and its oval case also fully charges fast too (about an hour and a half).

Why the Huawei AI Life is a must-have

Like I mentioned before, I’m not a big fan of downloading additional software to make certain hardware work well. I mean, it just takes up more space on my phone that I would have needed for more photos and games. However, for the FreeBuds 4i, I installed the Huawei AI Life app to further maximize my use for it — and thank God I did.

See, if you’re not that big of a fan of using the gestures on the earphones, the AI Life app is where you need to go. In essence, it allows you to switch the ANC on/off, and you can even customize the touch gestures. Also, it even shows you the battery percentage of the buds and charging case. Honestly, I felt this added a bit more personalization to the FreeBuds 4i, something I was dying to experience.

Initially, I thought that you couldn’t change the gestures outright. I preferred having a gesture to play/pause songs and skip some of them — something the AI Life app covers. I genuinely think this is an app you should consider downloading if you plan to pick these earphones up.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

At PhP 3,599, the Huawei FreeBuds 4i provides an audio experience that you simply cannot turn a blind eye to. Apart from the simple yet fashionable aesthetic, it comes with a pair of TWS earphones that bring deeper sound quality for any use case. With its long battery life and quick charge capabilities, it’s something worth using every single chance you get.

While there were some hiccups along the way, it doesn’t ruin the audio experience entirely. With integrations in the AI Life app, you can easily find ways around these hiccups to help ease these off. Also, the level of control it gives you makes the whole experience more personal.

It’s not something different in every sense of the word, but the Huawei FreeBuds 4i brings something more to the table. It’s simply not just great, but it poses itself as one of the best options for wireless earphones out there.

Accessories

Trip to the Big O: Getting off with the OPPO Enco X

Senses, overwhelmed

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OPPO Enco X

The following is intended for readers 18+

Touch and hearing — two things that I consider the most important when it comes to our sensual wellness. During my journey to taking better care of myself, I took some time exploring how to turn myself on. I learned how to master the art of self-pleasure for six years — and I got really creative about it.

With the pandemic raging on for more than a year now, I have served gospel towards self-care and pleasure to friends and colleagues alike. I helped keep their sex lives alive and combat their urges to go out and respond to their cravings for human flesh.

Vibrators, massagers, fleshlights, VR headsets — those were common toys I recommend to people starting to explore and own their sexuality. But a year of drought made things more boring and it’s time to spice it up.

In the quest to elevating the art of self-pleasure and self-care, the OPPO Enco X surprisingly turned the tables around.

A time to kick the beam

I was scrolling on Twitter and I stumbled upon one of my favorite creators, Le James, who was formerly half of the popular couple-slash-adult-creators called Okko.

Aroused at the sight of a French man with a glimmering tan and toned body, I went to his OnlyFans account — where I was subscribed — to get my La Petite Mort. Little death in French, IYKWIM.

My companion has always been Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live. However, I forgot to charge it when the opportunity to hop on a trip to the Big O arose. What lies next to it on my desk was the unsightly OPPO Enco X.

Frankly, I was averse to the idea of trying AirPods knock-offs because it lacks originality. And as a Leo with Libra placements, aesthetics matter to me.

OPPO Enco X

But the occasion called for it. So I reached and took out the pair of TWS earphones and plugged it into my ears. That’s when I knew I liked it. The way it sat comfortably in my ears, plugged in securely — I knew right then, it was going to be my companion as I kick the beam.

Senses overwhelmed

I didn’t realize how much sound matters in the art of self-pleasure until I used the Enco X. Since it was developed in partnership with Danish speaker manufacturer Dynaudio, the Enco X comes with Hi-Fi audio that’s well-around with some natural depth — it’s perfect for conquering your arousals.

In addition to that, having a decent active-noise cancellation (ANC) is a game-changer during your sensual sessions. Noise is blocked, senses are overwhelmed, and grumbles and rattles are delivered deep, textured, and immersive AF.

Whatever your preferred sensual interests are, the Enco X will definitely help turn you and your senses on.

OPPO Enco X

Also, its ANC comes with different options: max noise cancellation where you totally hear nothing aside from what you’re listening to, and noise cancellation that softens noise in certain environments (like cars driving past you).

There’s also a transparency mode so you can hear if someone is knocking on your door (or about to enter your room), or you can simply turn off ANC altogether.

Quick as a lightning bolt

One grungy afternoon, I was setting the mood to blow off some steam with my ex-paramour for the night — whom I reconnected with when I was sad, feeling isolated, and a bit of a wanton. I was alternating between my stash of erotic stories and lascivious audio clips that help me get ready to take off.

I was in the zone, seemingly unable to keep my hands to myself (thanks, ANC) until I heard a barrage of knocking on my door that I immediately pulled the earbuds out and put on my clothes.

OPPO Enco X

After dealing with the interruption while I was huffing and puffing, I put the earbuds back on. To my amazement, the device connected instantaneously, even if one of the pairs is still inside the case.

The flash-like connection is surely a plus in my book since time is of the essence when it comes to carnal urges. Even a split second of distraction can cancel out the build-up of heat you’ve worked hard on.

Though it has the ability to connect swiftly, both the earbuds and its charging case come with long-lasting battery life. And believe me, no one likes it when you drain quickly. You have to last as long as you can.

All the Dionysiac adventures you can do

The charging case lasted for more than a day, while the pair of earbuds lasted nearly four hours even with max noise cancellation on.

Of course, I didn’t spend the whole time pleasuring myself. I got a bunch of amorous affairs that I went on together with the Enco X.

OPPO Enco X

Some of them are doing workouts that help me improve my form in bed and in outdoor sports I enjoy. Other activities include sessions that made me focus on my breathwork and senses like yoga and meditation.

Sometimes, I play songs from my favorite musicians such as The Weeknd, Alina Baraz, and SZA to get my sultry body moving to its slow, voluptuous beat.

The perfect accompaniment when you want to feel sexy while doing deeds that make you want to churn the butter. For instance, reminding yourself that you are ~hot~ in front of the mirror or dancing alone in your room, naked.

And when things are getting steamy, the Enco X has intelligent controls that you can navigate with a single touch. Just like when you wank or flick the beans.

The new BFF in your bedroom

Above all, the Enco X has been exceptional for all kinds of adult entertainment. Whether it’s the sexiest shows on Netflix, or watching your favorite adult creators on OnlyFans perform and play with themselves.

Or even re-watching interviews of your favorite celebrities and listening to them speak *ahem* Chris Evans *ahem* Manny Jacinto *ahem* while you feel the bolt and shiver rush into your garden of delight or gospel pipe.

The OPPO Enco X undoubtedly helped me elevate the art of self-pleasure through bawdy experiences. It has everything you’ll need out of a pair of TWS earbuds — customizable active-noise cancellation, crisp and clean sound, instantaneous connection, long battery life, and responsive touch controls.

Not to mention, it has an IP54 rating so you can bring it to your bathtub should you decide to get intimate in your alone time. Just don’t get it all wet.

The OPPO Enco X retails for PhP 6,999. It comes in Black and White, and it’s available for purchase at OPPO Concept Stores, OPPO’s Shopee and Lazada Flagship Stores, and authorized retailers.

There’s also the OPPO Band which retails for PhP 1,699. When you’re in the OPPO ecosystem, it’s best to maintain it and stay connected. The OPPO Band can be adjusted depending on your comfort levels, and lets you receive messages and call notifications, or even navigate your music playback while you’re engulfed by your sensual sessions.

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JBL Live 460NC: Huge sounds meet portability

Listen the way you want as ANC lets you focus on what you’re doing

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Motivation helps us be more productive in what we do. I think most would agree that music is one of those things that get us amped up. The good people at JBL came up with a new line of true wireless headphones for every lifestyle. One of which is the JBL Live 460NC– wireless on-ear noise cancelling headphones.

For those who dare to multitask on a regular basis, this listening device could be your ideal companion. The brand’s signature sound is ingrained in the JBL Live 460NC with an added benefit of true wireless technology. This allows you to move freely while enjoying your music.

Easy to pair

I have tried several wireless earphones from another reputable brand before. Bluetooth pairing can be a hassle sometimes but JBL took care of that by equipping Live 460NC with Bluetooth V5.0. It pairs up smoothly with phones, tablets and laptops with a range of up to 10 feet. You can also link it to two devices with its multi-point connection feature. Easily switch between your devices for entertainment and answering phone calls.

More music, less charging

Enjoy uninterrupted audio with up to 40 hours of battery life. It comes with a type-C USB charging cable and only takes about an hour and a half to fully charge. It promises four (4) hours of playtime in just 10 mins of charge so you can do it (quickly) before heading out.

Comfortable to wear

On average, I spend more than two hours a day wearing headphones. The lightweight construction of JBL Live 460NC, at 210 grams, makes it perfect for long periods of listening.

Soft faux leather ear cushions provide a secure fit (90 degrees rotatable cups)

Padded mesh fabric headband with adjustable mechanism

However, I find the small ear pads a little uncomfortable for long listening sessions. The clamping force is hard against my ears, more so when I’m lying on bed.

Mute all distractions

Adaptive Noise Cancelling is another great feature that lets you minimize the noise from the outside. But keep in mind that it won’t be able to totally mute everything. When the ANC is on, the sounds that are getting in are muffled and less bassy. And the small ear pads don’t seal as much as the bigger headphones or earbuds would.

If you start playing some songs, it will definitely mask the noise from the outside anyway. The good thing is that the sound quality is not affected by the ANC being turned on or off. Comprehensive button layout controls power, volume, play/pause, BT pair and Ambient Aware

Rock on outside

If you wear headphones while walking on a busy street, you need to be extra cautious. The Ambient Aware technology increases your environmental awareness by boosting ambient sounds while your music is playing.

TalkThru, on the other hand, lowers the music volume and amplifies speech so you can have a conversation while your headphones in on. Sound level on TalkThru mode is very low to the point that I can barely hear the music. But I guess that’s the whole point of it.

Listen the way you want

You can personalize how you listen with the JBL Headphones App. Thru this, you can set the ANC, TalkThru, Ambient Aware, Play & Pause Automation, Voice Assitant(OK Google and/or Alexa) and Custom EQ. You can also activate the Voice Assistant with a tap on the earcup. The Play & Pause function automatically pauses the playback once you remove it and resume playing when you put it back on.

How does it sound?

40mm drivers deliver a balanced tone and well-pronounced mid frequencies, giving emphasis on vocals and other stringed instruments. The bass is satisfying and it delivers smooth treble. If you want to make it “open up”, just add a little more treble on the EQ. That way, the drum cymbals will sound richer.

I like the EQ set to a soft V-shape when listening to rock. Most of the time, I just leave the EQ set on flat for a neutral sound. There are also some presets so you can just choose what suits your taste. Overall, it sounds good and covers a wide range of spectrum.

I listened to IU’s newest album, Lilac, with this headphones. “My Sea”, which is the 8th track, is one of my favorites. The song has a lot of different textures and her singing is very expressive.

The JBL Live460NC turned my room into a concert and I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t able to attend IU’s Love, Poem concert in Manila so I hope I don’t miss the chance to see her perform live next time. For now, the closest to the real thing is by listening to her songs through this headphones at max volume.

Comes with convenient detachable audio cable

This feature is an automatic win. If you forgot to charge your headphones, you can just attach the wire and continue rocking on. You can also plug it in to a headphone amp, DAC or digital effects processor for guitar practice. The 1/16” to 1/8” TRS cable can only transmit audio, so you can’t use the built-in mic.

My thoughts

If you want good sounding headphones that you can bring anywhere, you can’t go wrong with the JBL Live460NC. The construction feels sturdy and durable.  It is a big step-up from entry-level earbuds I’ve used.

Pricing and availability

JBL Live460NC retails at P6,999.00 and should be available in any JBL store by this time. It comes in 4 different colors; black, blue, white and pink to match your style.

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Lenovo announces two new monitors and the LC50 Modular Webcam

These two complement each other so well

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MC50
Lenovo MC50

Lenovo is all for bringing the best possible experience even from a peripheral standpoint. This time around, they want to extend the experience to another important peripheral in any workstation: the webcam. To complement, they’re also releasing two new monitors with their own great features. However, the star of the show is the Lenovo LC50 Modular Webcam.

The Lenovo LC50 Modular Webcam promises to bring clear audio and video quality fit for video calls and even streaming. It comes with a 1080p sensor that captures video at 30 frames per second, which is pretty standard for FHD webcams. Apart from this, it even comes with dual noise-cancelling microphones and the lens has a 4x digital zoom capacity. Also, it comes with a physical lens shutter when you’re not using it.

Other cool features with this webcam include its built-in tilt capacity and magnetic base. These two tie in well with Lenovo’s two new monitors: the Lenovo L32p-30 and the Lenovo L27m-30. In essence, the LC50 Modular Webcam magnetically attaches to the frame of either the 31.5-inch (L32P-30) or 27-inch (L27m-30) monitor of your choosing.

As for the monitors themselves, the Lenovo L32p-30 monitor sports a 4K resolution with HDR10 support, which is best suited for the next-gen consoles. Meanwhile, the Lenovo L27m-30 comes with a 75Hz refresh rate and TUV Rheinland EyeSafe certification to to relieve eye strain.

Pricing and availability for the LC50 Modular Webcam and the two monitors are as follows:

  • Available in September 2021
    • Lenovo LC50 Modular Webcam (starts at EUR 99)
    • Lenovo L27m-30 Monitor (starts at EUR 299)
  • Available in October 2021
    • Lenovo L32p-30 Monitor (starts at EUR 479)
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