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No strings attached: Sony H.ear On

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Our office door unlocks through an app that connects via Bluetooth — we don’t use keys anymore. To get a taxi, we simply ask Google Home to book one without even needing to go out or press any buttons. Even refrigerators can now talk!

Technology is moving at such a fast pace, and it shapes all aspects of our everyday lives. The beauty of being a millennial having grown up in this day and age is that I personally watched technology evolve. I was there through the age of dial-up internet to fiber connectivity, from the Nokia 3310 to, well, still the Nokia 3310 (17 years later), and from wired earphones to wireless Bluetooth ones!

Honestly, I was averse to the idea of wireless earphones when I first heard about them, and I’ve held true to that conviction for a long while. It seemed to me they were more inconvenient than they were useful. I mean sure, it’s “top-of-the-line technology” but then what? 

That cord that connects my headphones to my gadget makes me feel safe; it’s the only way I know.

I tried the Sony H.ear On headphones only because they came in a very pretty red. (Apparently, it also comes in a really cute Hot Pink, but okay, red is nice, too.) These headphones connect to your music player via Bluetooth so in theory, it’s wireless and fuss-free.

They also came in Teal, which made the GadgetMatch Creative Director very happy.

Frankly, the idea of wearing headphones connected to nothing still seemed weird to me, but the “cuteness factor” trumped the weirdness, and so began my journey to being unattached (like, literally).

Sound-wise, the H.ear On is pretty solid. These headphones have noise-canceling technology, which makes for optimal music listening conditions — or just for tuning other people out.

Though they may seem big and eye-catching, these headphones sit comfortably atop my head. The headband is adjustable, and the whole thing is collapsible for easy storage in the matching pouch provided.

I learned quickly that wireless headphones weren’t that bad.

After hurdling the initial apprehension about being tied to nothing, it was actually pretty convenient. I could go wherever I wanted and do whatever I wanted without being bogged down by pesky cords. I could stand, jump around, or even leave as I please and nothing held me back.

It was a carefree, sound existence; a tech independence unlike any I’ve ever known — at least until as far as my Bluetooth connection could reach.

Frankly, I enjoyed using these headphones, even more than I thought I would. And to think I almost didn’t try them just because I was used to a certain idea of how things should be. If this proves anything, it’s that there’s premium in letting go — literally and figuratively.

I guess there’s a metaphor here somewhere. I know I’m talking about headphones, but I’m pretty sure this is applicable to other aspects of life.

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Accessories

Sony’s WF-H800 h.ear in TWS headphones offer rich sound

Available in five colors

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Already a leader in noise-cancelling headphones, Sony is offering something a little different in the true wireless headpones department — the Sony WF-H800 h.ear in headphones.

One of the first easily noticeable things is how the WF-H800 is available in five colors: red, orange, green, blue, and black.

Noticeably missing is the active noise-cancellation feature. However, it makes up for it with other Sony staple-features, primarily the 360 reality audio. The effect of which can only be truly felt once you experience it for yourself.

It also has a 6mm dynamic driver to deliver a wide range of audio frequencies as well as a feature Sony calls DSEE HX or Digital Sound Enhancement Engine. This tech restores the high-range sound that’s lost in compression. It reproduces digital music files with rich, natural sound.

It’s also lightweight and designed to fit your ears perfectly. The WF-H800 promises up to eight hours of music playback plus another eight hours with the carrying case giving you a total of 16 hours. Additionally, 10 minutes of charge time will give you up to 70 minutes of listening time.

Just like other Sony headphones, these are compatible with both Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.

Price and availability

The Sony WF-H800 will be available at selected Sony Stores, Sony Centers, Sony authorized dealers and the official Sony store on Lazada from March 202. It will retail for SG$ 299.

SEE ALSO: Sony WF-1000XM3 review: Masterclass in noise cancellation

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Samsung Galaxy Buds+ levels up battery, sound quality

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With the the headphone port nowhere to be found on the Galaxy S20 series comes a pair of improved true wireless earbuds — the Samsung Galaxy Buds+.

It’s a step up from last year’s Galaxy Buds. While last year’s version promised 6 hours of listening time, the Galaxy Buds+ takes it up to 11 hours on a single charge. You also get another 11 hours with the charging case.

In terms of sound quality, these are still tuned by AKG. It employs 2-way dynamic speakers and 3 mics to deliver better sound and voice quality

Inside the box you’ll also find a variety of wing and ear tips so you get the fit and comfort that’s made just for you.

It doesn’t have the noise-cancelling chip that you’ll find on the true wireless earbuds offered by Sony, Apple, and Huawei. Its approach to noise-cancelling has to do more with its physical design and rather than a tiny chip.

Speaking of its design, it retains the form factor of the original Galaxy Buds — which is great since it doesn’t look anything like the AirPods which many other manufacturers have taken a cue from. Speaking of Apple, if you’re not a fan of the AirPods’ design, you’ll be happy to know that the Galaxy Buds+, along with its companion app, will be compatible with iOS devices.

Availability

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ will be available in Cosmic Black, White, Red, and Cloud Blue, starting February 14, 2020 on Samsung.com, followed by major mobile carriers and retailers on March 6, 2020 and will retail for US$ 149.

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Samsung Galaxy Buds+ price and availability in the Philippines

A minor improvement

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True wireless (TWS) earbuds are popping up one after the other. Samsung’s latest — the Galaxy Buds+ — is also making its way to the Philippines.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ improves upon the battery life of its predecessor promising up to 11 hours of listening time in a single charge. You also get another 11 hours thanks  to the charging case.

Its approach to noise cancellation has to do more with its 2-dynamic speaker and physical design which means this may not be in direct competition with the likes of the AirPods Pro, Huawei Freebuds 3, and Sony WF-1000XM3.

It maintains the same design as its predecessor — a welcome look in the sea of TWS earbuds that all look like AirPods. If you use an iPhone but are not fans of the AirPods’ design, you’ll be happy to know that the Galaxy Buds+ will also be compatible with iOS devices.

Price and availabilty

The Galaxy Buds+ will be available starting March 6, 2020. It will retail for PhP 6,990.

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