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

BAUBAX 2.0: A travel jacket for all your needs

Pockets for all your gadgets!

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Traveling can be a pain with all the gadgets and gizmos we carry around. One company sought to solve all these problems with a travel jacket that will cater to your every need while in transit.

The BAUBAX travel jacket, with 15 different utility features (including dedicated pockets for your phone and your tablet), was born for this. Backed by almost 50,000 people with a total of US$ 9 million pledges on Kickstarter, this travel jacket has shipped out and is hailed as the “Swiss Army Knife of travel jackets.” Yep, it’s that good.

But now, BAUBAX is back with a new travel jacket and it has even more functions than the last one. Introducing, the BAUBAX 2.0:

Aside from our favorites which include a dedicated phone pocket and power bank pocket…

… there’s also a tiny pocket for your AirPods.

As if that wasn’t enough, there are built-in AirPods straps so you’ll never have to worry about losing them.


There’s even a dedicated Apple Pencil pocket! Don’t worry, there’s a pocket for your iPad, too.

Other cool features include a retractable keychain, a zipper pen, a foldable water bottle, travel blanket, and a whole lot more.

Despite all these amazingly useful functions, the best part is it actually looks good. It comes in four styles: vest, windbreaker, bomber, and sweatshirt. There’s a perfect one for each of your different travel itineraries, whether it be a camping trip, road trip, long plane ride, or just everyday wear.

Women are not left out! The four designs also come in women’s sizes which is a great thing because as we girls know, there’s a different fit that looks better on women’s bodies.

You can check out more of what the BAUBAX 2.0 can do on their Kickstarter page — there’s still a few days left to pledge!

Travelling will never be the same again — and in a good way. I’m definitely sold on this jacket. I want one of each color. 😛

SEE ALSO: Drones fly luxury Dolce & Gabbana handbags on the runway

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Accessories

Xiaomi announces Mi Crowdfunding program for products in India

Mi Bluetooth Audio Receiver and Mi Selfie Stick Tripod are currently available

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Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has announced a new program called Mi Crowdfunding in India. Under this program, Xiaomi will post a curated list of innovation-driven products and the company will start selling these products only when a specified number of people support the product.

Crowdfunding is used by companies to test consumer interest for unique products, usually when companies aren’t sure of the product’s success. Under this program, the interested customers show their support by paying the product’s price in advance.

However, only after reaching a certain sales number will the product be shipped to the customer. In case the product fails to meet the targeted sales in the set timeline, customers will get their money back.

To kick off Mi Crowdfunding, Xiaomi has introduced two new products: the Mi Bluetooth Audio Receiver and Mi Selfie Stick Tripod, which are priced at INR 999 (US$ 15) and INR 1,099 (US$ 17) respectively. The first is a headphone amplifier that connects to smartphones via Bluetooth 4.2. The tripod selfie stick does exactly what it says — it’s a combination of a tripod and a selfie stick. It also comes with a Bluetooth shutter remote control.

Mi Bluetooth Audio Receiver

Mi Selfie Stick Tripod

 

The platform accepts payments via most online payment methods, but Cash on Delivery (CoD) is not accepted. Online payment methods include credit card/debit card, internet banking, and payment wallets. Further, in the event that the price of a certain product is changed, those who have already paid will not be affected.

Xiaomi India’s Online Sales Head Raghu Reddy said that the crowdfunding platform, which was only operational in China until now, will help Xiaomi gauge what products buyers want. Xiaomi will bring new products to the platform every quarter.

SEE ALSO: Mi MIX 2S hands-on: Xiaomi’s pride and joy

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Accessories

Sennheiser AMBEO Smart Headset First Look

It ‘hears’ audio in 3D — just like how our ears work

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Sennheiser has once again proven its authority when it comes to audio equipment.

The German company recently launched its inaugural Sound Forum in the Philippines following Indonesia and Thailand. This comes as their very own audio education initiative that offers insights based on Sennheiser’s expertise from years in the industry.

Things like selecting the right headphones for you, the right microphone for video-related production, proper maintenance of gear, and more are tackled at the forum.

A slew of audio solutions were also on display, but one of the products that caught our attention was the Sennheiser AMBEO Smart Headset. It was made available towards the end of last year and not only does it offer high fidelity audio, it also features noise cancellation, speech enhancement for calls, situational awareness, and true binaural sound recording.

In layman’s terms: True binaural recording means it records audio just like how your ears perceive sound.

Sennheiser teamed up with American digital audio company Apogee Electronics to come up with this device. It basically uses microphones embedded in each ear to mimic how the ears hear sound. With them around, you can shoot a video on your phone and audio will be recorded just like how you hear things at that moment.

We tried it for a short while and we’re actually impressed at how faithful it reproduced sound happening around us with extra depth and space.

We weren’t able to save the short video we took but above is a sample of the Sennheiser AMBEO at work.

As of the moment, this headset is only compatible with iPhones through a Lightning connector. Although the company says it will also be available for Android devices in the future.

Sennheiser believes 3D audio is the future of enhancing users’ listening experience and the AMBEO line might just be a step in the right direction.

The Sennheiser AMBEO Smart Headset retails for US$ 399.

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

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