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Reebok Zig Kinetica review: Reebok’s best trainer

Also their best-looking training shoes

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Remember the Reebok Zig Kinetica Concept Type_1 that we checked out back in December? In our review I said these were pretty good training sneakers but way too delicate to actually wear as anything other than show sneakers — it was gorgeous but it needed a more durable version.

Well, turns out that Concept was, as the name suggests, just a concept — and this is the actual new Reebok Zig Kinetica, and here’s what we think about it.

Brief ZigTech history

In case this is the first time you’re hearing about the Reebok ZIG line of shoes — the Zig Kinetica system started out way back in 2010 when Reebok released their first sneakers with the ZigTech design called the Reebok ZigPulse.

These sneakers came in a bunch of colorways. Reebok even started advertising them along with Lewis Hamilton to really show off how cool these new ZigTech sneakers were.

Reebok got a whole bunch of celebrities onboard with the ZigPulse so the sneakers had a bit of a buzz around it. However, as popular as they might have been at the time, we never really heard much about it since then.

Fast forward to today, almost a decade since the first Zig sneaker launched, the Zigtech makes a return in the form of a reworked Zig Kinetica system with the Reebok Zig Kinetica.

One look at these sneakers and you can see how they have a really aggressive vibe. Quite different from the avant garde vibe of the Concept Type_1.

Alright with that history lesson out of the way – let’s talk about design and fit.

One of the best-looking Reebok sneakers in a while

The 2020 Zig Kinetica is meant to be a daily activity shoe and you can tell that from its design.

The embedded design makes for a slightly chunkier shoe than what you’d normally see with a fitness sneaker. Whether that’s a good or bad thing boils down to your personal preference.

You can see we have the really loud red colorway — I’m not sure why everyone is sending me red sneakers nowadays — but please stop you guys haha.

The Zig Kinetica also comes in a way cooler Black colorway with an orange Zig unit which is the main colorway they’re marketing. But the all-white colorway with the slightly orange-ish Zig unit is my favorite.

Regardless of the colorway, you have to admit, this is one of the best looking Reebok shoes in years.

Starting with the upper, it’s made out of a breathable mesh, like you’d expect out of any pair of fitness shoes. At first glance, I wasn’t sure these were going to be good at ventilation because the material used in the construction of the upper is quite thick. Thankfully, Reebok did a pretty good job here! The mesh material keeps the air flow consistent, allowing cool air to come in as you move your feet while pushing the hot air out.

Towards the top is an interesting lacing system that moves though lacing eyelets on the upper and allow for a nicely snug fit. The eyelets have a nice amount of cushioning underneath, so that you don’t feel them pressing down on your feet even if you tightly lace up the shoe.

Moving towards the midsole and heel area, you’ll notice that there are a few strategic reinforcements made with the Zig unit extending up the sides of the shoe in the middle. It also has the Reebok logo situated here. This is interesting because it wasn’t on the Concept Type_1 sneakers so I wonder what’s the reason behind this.

Better than Boost?

Moving towards to the insole, the Floatride Fuel cushioning isn’t exactly the most lush in terms of comfort. These are performance training sneakers after all. The cushioning, along with the outsole and overall design is really meant to propel you forward instead towards workouts instead.

Just like the Adidas Ultraboost 20, the outsole is U-shaped, so the sneaker positions you to lean forwards.

Like I mentioned with cushioning earlier, the Zig Energy Shell (or the zig-zag portion of the outsole), together with the Floatride Fuel cushioning inside, is a lot sturdier than the Boost outsole on the Ultraboost, so it’s not as comfy.

The Floatride Fuel is soft though. You can actually feel it through the liner groove on the sole. Reebok is also using a special kind of sole here called the Zig Energy Band which is supposed to expand and contract like an elastic band to help with a springback response while you’re running.

The heel sits a couple of millimeters lower than the insole, which ends up supporting the medial arch of your feet, and adds to the comfort while you’re running.

At the back of the heel area, you’ll see that the outsole does ramp up and has “ZIG” subtly written on it. The insole also curves around your foot, instead of underneath or being flat, which adds to the comfort factor. If you were lucky enough to try the ZigTech sneakers back in the day, you’ll appreciate the familiarity of the outsole.

All in all, it is definitely the best designed Reebok sneaker I’ve seen in a while. But all that being said, these are meant to be training shoes so let’s move on to performance.

Decent responsiveness, good comfort

In terms of fit, once you slip your foot into the Zig Kinetica you’ll feel the plush all around cushioning immediately — which is a good thing. There’s no rough elements or hard patches that rub against your foot. It’s just a very comfortable plush sneaker, and the reinforcements in the design really seemed to have helped Reebok ensure a comfortable, yet very secure fit.

These fit pretty true to size, even with my wide feet, so you don’t feel cramped in the Zig Kinetica. A big reason for this comfort is the midsole and out-sole.

The midsole is made out of Reebok’s Floatride Fuel cushioning, with a Zig Energy Shell around it. Floatride Fuel cushioning is already present on a bunch of Reebok shoes and I’m a bgt fan of it. It has a great, plush amount of cushioning with a decent amount of responsiveness as well.

These feel more responsive than most other shoes with Floatride Fuel. That’s because of the stretchable Zig Energy Band outsole, coupled with the interesting design of the Zig Energy Shell.

The shell frames the midsole foam while the Zig Energy Band expands and contracts through each stride that you take, giving you a spring-like push forward with every step you take.

It’s a very different feeling from Adidas Ultraboost, or the Nike React foam in the new Nike React Infinity Run, but there is a decent amount of responsiveness with a good amount of comfort as well.

Is the Reebok Zig Kinetica your SneakerMatch?

So far we have a great design, a comfortable fit, and responsive cushioning — so what’s not to like?

See, that’s what confuses me about who the Reebok Zig Kinetica is meant for — it feels much heavier than most other training sneakers, weighing almost 300 grams.

There’s still a 10mm heel to toe drop which definitely helps when you’re wearing these at the gym, and the tough materials used definitely makes this a more durable training shoe.

I think maybe Reebok’s marketing with Connor McGregor might have been the main reason why I’m so confused about these shoes because these aren’t just UFC shoes.

After trying them out for a month the Reebok Zig Kinetica makes for a great every day gym sneaker. Just slip it on and you know it’ll handle anything you throw at it. Not necessarily outdoor long distance running though, because you might want a lighter shoe for that.

As an every day gym sneaker — I can definitely recommend picking these up. I’m not sure why no one’s talking about them, they look great, they are durable and comfortable, and Reebok has done a great job taking something from their past, from the ol’ ZigTech days and reinventing it for today.

One thing that I can definitely say is you’ll most probably be stopped and asked by strangers about what shoes you’re wearing – especially if you get that white-and-orange colorway because these look that unique and cool.

At the end of the day, these are actually my favourite Reebok Performance sneakers to date. Even more than the Sole Fury. Which is really saying a lot.

Reebok has been killing it lately and I really hope they improve their marketing on these, because the Zig Kinetica is a pretty solid training shoe.

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Huawei Sound X with hi-end audio launches

Will work seamlessly with the P40 series

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Huawei is slowly but surely venturing out into more and more devices. After wearables, the company is now showing off a hi-end speaker — the Huawei Sound X.

It’s never easy to describe sound on text but Huawei claims the Sound X “will revolutionize high-end acoustic technology with sonorous audio that leaves an enduring, life-altering impression on the listener.”

It was made in collaboration with Devialet — a global audio brand known for its High-Fidelity products.

It’s not a smart speaker in the way that there’s a voice assistant integrated like the Google Home or the Amazon Echo, but it does have some ‘smart’ qualities.

For instance, it will work seamlessly with your Huawei P40 series phone. Gently tapping your phone against the Sound X transmits audio to the speaker.

The audio, Huawei says, is lossless and low-latency and can be tweaked thanks to a proprietary EMUI 10.1 multi-device control panel. Think of like Huawei’s own version of Apple’s AirPlay.

Another thing that Huawei is proud of about the Sound X is how compact it is compared to other speakers that promise to deliver the same level of hi-end audio. It’s able to deliver 60W of bass despite being relatively smaller than other speakers with the same capability.

The company says the “exterior design was inspired by the golden dome of the black, glazed surface hints at the robust sound that seems to emanate from a bottomless well.” But it really just reminds of Darth Vader from Star Wars.

The press photos even have the Sound X in this red room of sorts. Screams Sith to me.

Imagine playing the “Imperial Death March” on this thing! Whether you see the resemblance or not, it does kind of look cool.

SEE ALSO: Huawei P40 Series with ‘visionary photography’ now official

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Qualcomm’s new chipset could bring noise-cancellation to budget earbuds

Expect affordable earbuds soon

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Qualcomm unveiled two new Bluetooth audio chipsets intended for use in truly wireless headphones. For the end consumer, this could provide active noise cancellation (ANC), voice assistant support, and more.

It has unveiled two new chipsets — QCC514X (premium tier) and QCC304X (entry-level line). Both shall support Qualcomm’s TrueWireless Mirroring technology that requires connecting via Bluetooth to just one of the earbud. It’s useful as it will allow either earbud to be used alone without interruptions.

The new chipsets will also produce better battery life – offering up to 13 hours of playback based on a 65mAh battery, according to Qualcomm. Usually, active noise cancellation consumes more battery power.

The dedicated noise cancellation hardware integrated into the chipset enables super-low latency leak-through of the outside environment. It enables genuinely natural awareness of the surroundings. It’ll also come handy when you’re onboard a flight or trying to concentrate in an office environment where ambient noise is higher than usual.

The chips also bring voice assistant support with them, but the premium QCC514X features always-on voice support. Meaning you won’t have to manually long-press a button to summon the virtual assistant. With direct support in the entry-level chipset as well, it’ll make this feature more widely available in affordable earbuds as well.

Qualcomm has also promised “premium wireless sound and voice quality.” The smartphone industry started omitting the 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of USB-C or wireless earphones. The wireless options have often been quite expensive, and with wired ones, you either have the opportunity to charge your phone, or listen to music or watch a movie. More affordable options should automatically start solving this dilemma.

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5 reasons why you should stick to wired earphones

You don’t have to give up comfort and familiarity!

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Photo by Daniel Fontenele

The advent of wireless earbuds has become gospel among my friends — techie and geeks alike. It’s like everyone’s preaching about switching to wireless like it’s some mandatory rite of passage for adults who’ve been in the workforce for god knows how long.

Though I have my own pair of wireless earbuds, I still have my trusty wired earphones — one that has a 3.5mm jack for my laptop, and one that comes in USB-C for my phone that has no headphone jack. Even before, wired earphones were my savior — from strangers and familiar people approaching me, to keep me entertained in between idle moments, and for being a companion in trying times.

Just like most people, I’m still having a hard time letting go of wired earphones. People had been asking me to stop using one, but I still stand to a few reasons why it’s perfectly okay to stick to the familiar.

You’re a plug-and-play person

A lot of times, I find myself having trouble with pairing my smartphones to my wireless earbuds. To ensure seamless pairing, you must be using top-of-the-line and/or premium earbuds. Imagine the time you spent trying to connect so you can listen to music when you can just plug your wired earphones to a headphone jack, play your music, and enjoy.

You love the feeling of being connected

I thrive in connections — whether it’s people, conversations, or earphones. I feel most reassured when I know I’m connected, and the tangibility of my earphones’ connection to my smartphone is comforting — especially when I’m commuting. I’ll know right away where my phone is, and having a wired connection makes my loving smartphone safe.

On certain occasions, my smartphone was saved from falling because of my wired earphones. It’s these prevented tragedies that reassure me a tangible connection is still a good choice.

You’re practical about your choices

Let’s admit it: wireless earbuds are expensive. As someone who follows a strict budget, wired earphones are a tad cheaper and is more accessible to most of us. There are plenty of us can’t live without music, and wired earphones sometimes become a necessity to keep us from falling apart in between trying times.

On the other hand, wireless earbuds are considered a luxury — a want, not a need. Imagine losing a pair, or even misplacing it when a pair of wireless earbuds is priced around US$ 100. I don’t have the money to replace it easily even with access to a credit card.

You find comfort in familiarity

Some people aren’t comfortable with change. Most are hesitant, and even resistant to it — even with the advent of functional and bang-for-the-buck wireless earbuds. If you find comfort in familiarity a.k.a. choosing wired earphones because you’ve been using it for a long time, that’s absolutely fine.

You don’t have to change your preferences in life just because someone asked you to do so. Stay unique and love your individuality!

You haven’t felt the urge to switch

Lastly, there comes a time in every modern individual where they need to switch to a wireless lifestyle. It could be for convenience, for more flexibility, or for safety during a commute. Whatever it is, you’ll always feel the urge to switch and when you do, heed the call.

When you feel like you’re being called to the other side, that’s when you take a leap of faith. If you’re still content with using wired earphones, just enjoy it and stop caring what the world thinks. You have your music with you, just keep playing!

SEE ALSO: 6 reasons why you should switch to wireless earbuds

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