Since the start of the pandemic, we have been shrouded with bad news and negativity. With daily updates of COVID-19 cases and deaths, national issues, controversies and bashing all over social media, you can’t help but wish you have a way to drown out all the noise and focus on the things and people that matter.
I thought living alone was enough to keep me on track of things I have to accomplish and personal goals I want to achieve. However, there were just really too many distractions.
Luckily, just before the long weekend of November, I got my hands on the perfect partner for focus and tranquility — the OPPO Enco W51 True Wireless Headphones.
Just the right fit
As someone who’s been in search for the best earbuds, I’ve always preferred ones that had similar aesthetics with the Apple AirPods. I would always try out the ones with black variants in stores such as the Joyroom JR-TO4S TWS Earbuds that exudes sleekness and elegance.
So when I acquired the OPPO Enco W51, its design was visually refreshing and I didn’t expect that it would also be just the right fit for me.
The W51 uses flat stems compared to the AirPods that used cylinders with a unibody construction. The inner surface of this pill-shaped earbud has a matte finish while its outer surface has a glossy look, adding a nice and sleek touch to its overall design.
The earbuds are lightweight and breathable and it uses silicone tips that doesn’t sit too deeply inside my ear, providing a comfortable wearing experience. I tried all the sizes of the tips and I figured the default medium size fit me best.
The earbuds don’t easily fall off my ears even when I wore it while doing HIIT workouts at home. I also didn’t have to worry when I sweat since the W51is structurally designed for IP54 dust and water resistance.
It’s even a bonus that these earbuds came in a pillow-shaped plastic case that has a glossy finish, making it easy to carry and slide in and out of my pocket when I had to go out for errands.
The perfect pair
One thing that really worked to my advantage is that the W51 seamlessly paired with my device the moment I opened the case. As it supports Bluetooth 5.0 and adopts the newest Bluetooth low-latency binaural transmission standards, it also provides stable connection even when my phone is not beside me.
I didn’t experience any lags and delays with the audio when I listened to music via Spotify or watched videos on Youtube or Netflix.
I also thoroughly enjoyed my K-Drama marathons or sound trip sessions at night after work, since I was able to prove that I can really use the W51 for 3.5 to 4 hours straight without returning it back in its case.
Drown out all the noise. Listen to what matters.
On certain days that I wanted to isolate myself from everything that’s happening around me and really need to focus on work or a side hustle, the W51 instantly became my best duo.
As OPPO’s first TWS earbuds to offer active noise cancellation as it is equipped with triple microphone noise reduction technology, it did a surprisingly good job at cutting out ambient sounds.
When Typhoon Rolly and Ulysses ravaged the metro, I was still able to finish my work presentations and read through my books without being distracted. I just had to double tap the left stem to enable active noise cancellation and it totally blocks out the sound of rain and howling winds.
I even tried listening to music on my phone while a Youtube video plays on my laptop and I was surprised that I could no longer hear the voice of the vlogger.
Moving to its microphone performance, the OPPO Enco W51 delivers remarkable call quality for both ends of calls.
I’ve been using these earbuds for team meetings, voice and video calls with friends and family for almost three weeks. When I ask if they can hear me clearly, they would say that my voice is loud and clear as if I’m just in front of them and they can’t even hear any ambient sounds.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
With features that are not so often seen in true wireless earbuds at this price, the OPPO Enco W51 is actually a good bargain. It’s a pretty great contender when compared to premium headphones from Sony or the Apple Airpods Pro with its seamless pairing, active noise cancellation, water and dust resistance, and excellent call quality.
If you’re someone who likes to zone out from time to time to time the OPPO Enco W51 could be your GadgetMatch. If you want to eliminate noise and unnecessary chatter when you’re doing something important like talking to someone who you’d really want to engage with or just want some relaxation by listening to your own world, this TWS pair does the job admirably.
It retails for PhP 3,690 in the Philippines and is available in floral white.
Nokia E3100: Trying new buds for work to workouts
Yes, Nokia has earbuds now
Nokia and I go way back. It was the mobile phone brand of my youth. Our history includes a series of phones that predate the existence of touchscreen ones we use now. Everyone had a Nokia device then. In recent years, it’s become a rarity. So imagine my surprise when I first heard that Nokia is now making earbuds. How did it fare against the audio giants of our time?
I got a hold of the Nokia E3100 Essential True Wireless Earphones. Compared to my old set of earbuds (Anker Zolo Liberty+), this one’s battery case and earbuds are extremely light, almost the same weight as a tube of drugstore lipstick.
The buds can operate up to 2.5hrs with a single charge, and up to 10 hours with help of the rechargeable battery case. Super convenient to pack if we still had our old lifestyle of going out daily.
On the job
I used to be able to maximize my earbuds on my commute — listening to music or watching series whenever I’m in transit. Nowadays, I mainly connect my headset to my laptop for Zoom meetings and other virtual work calls.
The Nokia E3100 did not disappoint on the sound side. Audio from the people I’m in the call with was always clear and crisp. But, it can be a hit-or-miss as a mic. The earbuds have a built-in microphone on the right side, but my experience with it left me wanting. There was a point when I had to switch back to the laptop microphone in the middle of a call just so people can hear my voice clearly.
On the mat
I also tried the Nokia E3100 for a few home workout sessions. Since the earbuds fit my ears perfectly, there’s no fear of it falling out in the middle of jumping jacks.
Another nice surprise is how you can easily skip or repeat tracks via push button controls on the earbuds. Less distractions to your exercise momentum! The only time I have to reach for my phone is when I want to switch to a different playlist.
Is the Nokia E3100 your GadgetMatch?
It’s reliable as an earpiece for listening to music, working out, and watching series. But when it comes to the demands of working from home, the current built-in mic just won’t do.
Nokia has to work on the voice sensitivity and responsiveness of the earbuds’ mic in order to take on this new age of virtual calls and meetings.
The Nokia E3100 retails for PhP 1,999 (US$ 41)
Apple launches the AirTag
Long rumored item, now finally real
Do you keep losing or misplacing things? There’s an Apple product for that. Introducing the AirTag.
The AirTag is a small designed accessory and helps keep track of and find items you may have misplaced through Apple’s Find My App. It can help locate a lost item while keeping location data private and anonymous with end-to-end encryption.
It’s built using stainless still and is IP67 rated (water and dust resistant). The AirTag also has a built-in speaker that plays sounds to help signal its location. Its cover is easily removable to replace the battery.
If you bring them close to an iPhone, they will instantly connect. Users can assign AirTag to an item and name it with a default like “Keys” or “Jacket,” or provide a custom name of their choice.
Once it’sset up, it will appear in the new Items tab in the Find My app. Here, users can view the item’s current or last known location on a map. If a user misplaces their item and it is within Bluetooth range, they can use the Find My app to play a sound from the AirTag to help locate it. Users can also ask Siri to find their item, and AirTag will play a sound if it is nearby.
Customers can personalize AirTag with free engraving, including text and a selection of 31 emoji when purchased via apple.com or the Apple Store app. They can be used as is or with accessories like the Polyurethane Loop, Leather Loop, and Leather Key Ring.
Privacy and security
Apple says location data or location history is physically stored inside AirTag. Communication with the Find My network is end-to-end encrypted so that only the owner of a device has access to its location data, and no one, including Apple, knows the identity or location of any device that helped find it.
Price and availability
The AirTag will be available in one (US$ 29) and four packs US$ 99. It can be purchased from apple.com, in the Apple Store app, at Apple Store locations, and through Apple Authorized Resellers and select carriers (prices may vary) beginning Friday, April 30.
Customers can order AirTag beginning at 5AM PDT on Friday, April 23.
Apple-designed AirTag accessories include:
- Leather Key Ring in Saddle Brown, (PRODUCT)RED, and Baltic Blue for US$ 35
- Leather Loop in Saddle Brown and (PRODUCT)RED for US$ 39 (US)
- Polyurethane Loop in White, Deep Navy, Sunflower, and Electric Orange for US$29
Sony launches WH-1000XM4 Silent White edition
In celebration of Sony’s 75th anniversary
Sony’s best and highly acclaimed active noise cancelling headphones — the WH-1000XM4 — is getting a new flavor. The WH-1000XM4 Silent White edition is launching in May 2021 to celebrate Sony’s 75th anniversary.
The WH-1000XM4 Silent White has a pearlescent finish to the topcoat of the headphones to create a sense of depth and a luxurious touch. Worried about it getting dirty? It includes an additional coat compared to the earlier black and silver versions for more stain-resistance and to retain the white color.
All of the accessories included also come in white.
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.
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.
Price and availability
Exact price will be revealed at launch. The Sony WH-1000XM4 Silent White edition will be available across Asia Pacific in May 2021. In Singapore, it will be available exclusively at Sony Stores and Sony Stores Online.
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