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JBL is working on solar powered headphones

Truly unlimited wireless experience

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One of the drawbacks of using wireless headphones is interrupting your listening session to recharge the batteries. Unfortunately, small-scale batteries do not come with unlimited power and need constant doses of recharge.

JBL wants to eliminate this frustration with a set of headphones powered by the sun. Parent company Harman has started an Indiegogo campaign to crowdfund the concept into reality. It’s an idea that could make wireless audio more sustainable than ever.

In fact, for those willing to pay up early, these self-charging pair of headphones currently feature a pretty hefty discount, with estimated shipping on October 2020.


According to JBL, the Reflect Eternal charges itself by turning light into energy courtesy of technology from Swedish company, Exeger Powerfoyle. JBL says just an hour and a half of outdoor light will keep them charged for up to 69 hours. The predicted playback time on a single charge is extremely higher than conventional wireless headphones and could be a deal-breaker for many.

They pack 40mm drivers with a 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response range, multi-device pairing, and Bluetooth 5.0. They also come with support for both Google Assistant and Alexa, along with external microphones for taking calls.

There’s a back-up USB option too, just in case. JBL said that 15 minutes of USB charging can provide two hours of playtime.

The campaign has already met its crowdfunding goal, but it is still taking backers until January 14, 2020. JBL and Exeger are using the crowdfunding channel to gauge feedback and tweak the design. If the response is satisfactory, we could see a commercial launch soon.

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Even Samsung calls them Beans, according to teardown

They also have an easily replaceable battery

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Marketing will always clash with engineering. Whereas the latter will use quirky names for a product, the former will always prefer a more marketing-friendly name. Take the Android 11 versus Android Red Velvet Cake debate, for example. Now, another weirdly named product is falling into the same marketing versus engineering clash: the Galaxy Buds Live. If you’ve seen the product, you already know what it should be called. Apparently, Samsung does, too. According to a tear-down video, even Samsung calls them Beans.

In iFixit’s latest teardown video, the infamous dissector of tech revealed the inner workings of the small Galaxy Buds Live. Composed of many minuscule components, each earbud contains a flexible strip that holds the entire thing together. Each cable has a perfectly readable label called “bean left” or “bean right.” Without a doubt, Samsung — at least, their engineering department — calls them beans as well.

In other news, iFixit also comments on the relative ease of taking the earbuds apart, making them much easier to fix. They even found it easy to replace the battery (provided you even have a spare battery in the first place). Overall, the YouTuber gave it a repairability score of 8.

Regardless of what you call the Galaxy Buds Live or Galaxy Beans, the new wireless earbuds are a marvel of product design. The bean-shaped design makes for a more comfortable fit than more elongated earbuds out there. It fits snugly rather than protrudes invasively. Right now, the Galaxy Buds Live are available for US$ 169.99.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series: Staying the course

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Sony WH-1000XM4 price and availability in the Philippines

Right around how much we expected it to be

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Sony’s best just got better as the Sony WH-1000XM4 is now official and has come to the Philippines.

New to the headphones in its 4th iteration is 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.

Sound of the WH-1000XM-line has always been stellar and the XM4 should be no different. 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.

Lastly, there’s 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.

Pricing and availability 

The Sony WH-1000XM4 will retail for PhP 19,999 and is available in the Philippines starting August 14, 2020 in all Sony Centers and dealers nationwide.

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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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