Accessories

Sony WH-1000XM2 hands-on: A new experience

Old tracks feel new when you listen on these headphones

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Using the Sony WH-1000XM2 is an experience I didn’t know I needed until I put them on. I felt a sort of transformation in myself and in the kind of headphones I look for.

Disclaimer checklist before we proceed:

  1. I’m not an audio expert.
  2. This isn’t a full review.
  3. I’m just sharing the experience — which is really something else.

It was love both at first sight and sound. The Sony WH-1000XM2 is a sleek stunner, especially this particular unit we’re testing. It’s black all over with only the Sony logo and left and right ear indicators as the parts that are colored.

The power button and noise cancellation/ambient button, as well as the 3.5mm port, all have labels, too. Although I did wish there was some sort of highlight, a little colored part around these buttons and the port so they’re easier to find would’ve been great.

That aside, it looks great, but of course you want to know more about how it performs, right?

Noise Cancellation

I’m actually wearing the headphones as I write this. Not because I want to listen to music, but because it helps a lot in drowning out the background noise. It’s great for when you want to focus and don’t have immediate access to a quiet room.

Trying to look serious while writing

You don’t have to remove the headphones to turn off noise cancellation. You can either put your right hand over the right ear to allow ambient noise or press the noise cancellation/ambient button on the left side.

However, to truly appreciate what this baby can do, I strongly suggest listening to some pretty darn good tracks.

Familiar songs transform

I’m the type who enjoys an hour or two just sitting or lying down somewhere, quietly listening and really absorbing songs. If you’re like me, you will absolutely love the Sony WH-1000XM2.

That’s exactly what I did one night after I got these headphones. (And a few more nights, if I’m being completely honest.) It felt like experiencing the songs again for the first time. These headphones had me feeling so fly, I actually turned into a white guy. See photo below:

I put the headphones on and suddenly turn into this white dude

Suddenly, older tracks like “Summer Romance (Anti-Gravity Love Song)” by Incubus — which I have listened to countless times before —  felt new again.

I turned up Craig David’s “7 Days” and my sexy meter suddenly went off the charts. So much so that I felt like I could ask anyone out and they would say yes! I did that. Didn’t go well, but that’s a story for another time.

Old tracks feel new

I wanted to know what more it could do to certain songs. I remembered listening to some that had the feel of the sound traveling from left to right, vice versa, and then just all around your head.

I crowdsourced on Facebook and Twitter for songs of this nature and my friends did not disappoint. I didn’t expect to get classic, old-school rock suggestions but those dominated the suggestions.

Tracks like “Black Dog” and “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin, “Come Together” by The Beatles, and “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen straight up took me home. These are songs I often listened to as a child who had absolutely no clue what these people were singing about.

“Stairway to Heaven,” with the acoustic guitar intro starting off from your left ear and then just an echo of it from your right just before the mellotron flute comes in will touch you in ways you didn’t realize you could be touched.

Just me enjoying all these classic tracks

“Bohemian Rhapsody” was a strong recommendation by several friends. Apparently, it’s one of the best songs to listen to when you’re testing whatever audio device, so always have this on your phone. It didn’t disappoint. The song, listened to with the Sony WH-1000XM2, feels as powerful as ever.

When it gets to the “Galileo” part, that’s when it gets really interesting. Close your eyes and you’ll feel as if you’re surrounded by the band as they play the entire thing in all its glory.

If you decide to give these headphones a spin, I put the recommended songs in a playlist. It’s mostly rock and roll tracks but I put a few handpicked anime songs there if you’re into that.

You should also try this “Love is in the air” playlist, specially since it’s the love month and all.

Other bells and whistles

I forgot to mention that I felt all of that while listening via Bluetooth. The sound quality is insanely crispy — imagine if I had used the cable that came with it. My mind might have been blown in an instant.

The Sony WH-1000XM2 also comes with a carrying case. It neatly fits the headphones inside, as well as the cable.

A carrying case as neat as the headphones

The headphones also have non-visible controls on the right ear panel. Great idea, but it didn’t work as well as I had hoped. Often times when I was trying to skip to the next track, I would wonder why the music stopped playing. Turns out, it paused instead of skipping.

The controls and gestures might take a while to get used to but during my test, I never really gravitated towards using them. I would mostly adjust the volume or skip a track on my phone or laptop.

Video editing, podcasts, video games

I switched back to my normal self once I started using the headphones for work.

No longer a white dude, but still kinda cute. Violent reactions go straight to the comments section

The ear-opening, near-mind-boggling experience listening to music translates well to other tasks. I could clearly hear any unnatural sound from what I was editing which made applying changes easier for me.

I also played NBA 2K18 and Shadow of the Colossus with these headphones on. It was funny hearing the players’ voices better while on the court. Shadow of the Colossus is a pretty quiet game but has great scoring as it changes moods from when you’re just wandering to when you’re trying to take down a colossus. With the headphones on, you really feel the intensity of the battle and it helps get you on your toes and immerse you in what you’re playing.

Final thoughts

If I had my way, I would keep the Sony WH-1000XM2 all to myself. As someone who works with video and audio a lot, and someone who enjoys sitting back and just absorbing good music, this is the exact pair of headphones I would want.

No, I didn’t actually turn into a white guy, in case that’s something that got you confused

They sound great, look amazing, and battery power lasted long! I only had to charge once in about a week. That’s considering I used the headphones a lot for both work and play.

As far as wireless, noise-canceling headphones are concerned, the Sony WH-1000XM2 set the bar high for me.

SEE ALSO: No strings attached: Sony H.ear On

Accessories

Sony WH-1000XM4 noise-cancelling king now official

‘The best just got better’

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The Sony WH-1000XM4 is now official. Sony’s best-in-class noise-cancelling over-ear headphones just got a refresh and the improvements further make shine an already polished device.

What’s new?

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.

Superior sound

Every iteration of these headphones already sound amazing. But that didn’t stop Sony from elevating the listening experience even further.

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.

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.

What’s been carried over?

As mentioned, the superior sound and noise-cancelling are still here but enhanced. The simple and sleek look has also been retained. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

The battery life also remains the same which is a good thing. You get up to 30 hours overall and the quick charging function gives you up to 5 hours of wireless playback from 10 minutes of charging.

The headphones also still know if you’re wearing them or not. It stops the music when you have it off and resumes playback when you put them on.

Lastly, it still has support for Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa for your personal voice assistant.

Pricing and availability 

The Sony WH-1000XM4 will come in Black and Platinum Silver.

In Singapore, it will be available at selected retail shops and online stores starting August 7,2020 at a retail price of SG$ 549.

SEE ALSO: Sony WH-1000XM3 Hands-on: As good as advertised

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Accessories

Razer launched a heat-resistant, antibacterial Note 20 case

Available in the usual black and green

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Earlier today, Samsung launched the much-awaited Galaxy Note 20 series. The premium flagship lineup promises more of what made the series so successful plus a few new features. Naturally, the Galaxy Note 20 series costs a pretty penny. If you’re getting the new smartphone, you’ll want protection for your investment. Going along with the exciting gallery of stylish accessories, Razer launched a heat-resistant, antibacterial case for the Note 20 series.

As part of the Arctech Pro series, Razer is bundling the Note 20’s case with a series of impressive features. The case comes with Thermaphene Cooling Technology, which uses a thermally conductive layer to spread trapped heat equally. Though also a productivity pusher, the Note 20 series sports the Snapdragon 865+ (or the Exynos 990), making it a perfect device for intense mobile gaming. Razer does have rationale in putting a gaming-centric feature on its case. Speaking of gaming, the case also has stronger and more comfortable side panels for horizontal orientations.

Especially with today’s world, the Archtech Pro case also comes with anti-bacterial coating which “prevents the growth of bacteria.” Though it might not prevent the coronavirus from landing on your phone, the case will prevent your phone from becoming a cesspool of wayward bacteria.

Another advertised feature is 5G compatibility. Supposedly, the case will work seamlessly according to the phone’s 5G antenna, allowing easy connectivity once that particular technology becomes available.

As you might expect, the Razer Arctech Pro comes in only one flavor: the iconic black and green. The case is available for both the Note 20 and the Note 20 Ultra. Both will cost US$ 44.99.

SEE ALSO: Razer is developing face mask vending machines

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Accessories

Samsung’s Note 20 accessories look fabulously polished

Sustainable, stylish protection

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Samsung’s newest Galaxy Note 20 series may look glamorous without a case, but having a stylish case is worth considering when you have an expensive phone.

Luckily, the South Korean company released fabulous phone cases to protect the Galaxy Note 20 while looking good. There’s the Kvadrat cover, a case familiar to most Samsung users and loyalists following the annual Unpacked event.

In case you’re just discovering Kvadrat, it’s a Danish textile company taking inspirations from its Scandinavian roots. The company produces a sustainable textile called Revive, made from post-consumer recycled polyester like plastic bottles.

Samsung and Kvadrat’s collaboration aims to reduce the environmental impact of production and plastic waste.

Even though it looks thin and stylish, the Kvadrat Cover complements the Note 20 series’ striking shape while staying durable — protecting your phone from accidental drops and damage. It comes in Red and Gray.


Samsung’s usual Clear View and LED View cover are still part of the Note 20 series’s lineup of accessories. It comes in Gray and Samsung’s most appreciated color this year and a step-up of the previous Rose Gold — Copper.

Price and availability are yet to be announced and may vary per region. This page will be updated accordingly.

WATCH our Galaxy Note 20 Series video

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