Accessories

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

The hype is real

Published

on

As far as updates go, the Sony WH-1000XM3 came pretty quickly following the hype surrounding its predecessor. The Sony WH-1000XM2 were already fantastic noise-cancelling over-ear headphones, and the little improvements here and there on the M3 definitely made it better.

Before we jump in any further, I’d like to clarify again that I am by no means an audio expert. Just sharing with you my time with the WH-1000XM3 just as I did with the WH-1000XM2.

The noise-cancelling hype is real

If you want headphones that will truly help shut out your surroundings, you can’t go wrong with the WH-1000XM3. We played it as a gag in this short video, but it truly works.

Putting these on really gives you a feeling of being isolated from your surroundings. That’s perfect for when you really want to zone in on whatever you’re working on or if you simply don’t want to be bothered.

The Sony WH-1000XM3 is the perfect companion for when you don’t want to be bothered

I have had several instances when my workmates had to tap my shoulder or wave like crazy in front me just to get my attention. That’s pretty intense noise-cancelling.

A nifty feature is that I don’t have to take off the headphones just to hear what they’re saying. Putting my hand over the right earcup turns off the noise-cancelling and lets me hear my surroundings. This can also be done using the ambient button located on the left earcup.

Pretending I’m laughing at someone’s jokes but I’m really just laughing at myself

Sound quality is clean AF

The WH-1000XM3 is perfect for all kinds of audio activities that involve precision. When video editing, it’s easier to detect any stray audio or tell if your music is too soft or loud.

It’s great for video editing, among other things

Playing games with these on offer an immersive experience. I couldn’t help but tear up again during the emotional parts of Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4 especially when you hear everything that’s happening in the game so close to your ear.

I used it extensively for listening to music. I got hooked to K-Pop (okay, mostly just Twice) recently and while I’ve always admired the production value of the music videos, I found that their music is just as well-produced.

Just walking around looking fly while listening to Twice

There are several layers to each track and you definitely hear them better when listening with the WH-1000XM3. Sharing with you this playlist in case you want to give it a go.

It’s important to note that if you’re the type who likes to hear and feel a lot of bass from your headphones, you probably shouldn’t get this. The WH-1000XM3 offers a more balanced sound experience — that, sure, you can tweak a little — but it ultimately sounds smooth, clean, and is never too soft or too loud.

Touch controls and other features

Pausing, skipping tracks, and volume control are all pretty easy. Moving your finger clockwise or counterclockwise while going around the right earcup adjusts the volume.

To pause, you simply have to tap the middle of the right earcup. To skip tracks, just swipe from the center of the right earcup heading towards either edge.

Touch controls make things easy

The WH-1000XM3 also has a Google Assistant integration. This means you can send commands through the headphones among other things. There’s also an option to have Google Assistant read your most recent messages so you can listen instead of pulling your phone out to read them.

If I had any issue with the headphones, it’s probably the Bluetooth pairing. I had an easier time moving from phone to laptop and vice versa on the WH-1000XM2 over the WH-1000XM3. I’m not particularly sure if that’s my laptop acting up, but I have had to unpair and re-pair quite a few times which was a bit of a pain.

Comfort and durability

The longest I’ve had the headphones on is probably close to eight hours. That’s honestly too long. My recommendation has always been to keep it on for around four hours max and to take it off for a while after that.

It’s generally comfortable and can be worn for hours

The material used is much more flexible than the one on its predecessor. You can literally stretch and bend it and it would not break — perfect for someone like myself who has the tendency to break things.

It’s super flexible!

Final thoughts

I’m honestly dying to try other noise-cancelling headphones to know how the experience stacks up against the WH-1000XM3. As far as sound quality and noise-cancelling go, these Sony headphones are absolutely top-notch. All the hype this has generated is justified.

One last pose, just because

I also didn’t find myself charging the device too much. In a week with moderate to heavy use, I needed to juice up only during weekends. And it now comes with a USB-C port, so that’s a plus for future-proofing.

If you’re coming from the WH-1000XM2, it might be too much to jump to the WH-1000XM3. However, if you’re looking to splurge to upgrade your audio-consumption experience, go right ahead and grab these. It’s light, durable, and you get the kind of audio that Sony promises.

The Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones are available for US$ 350. It currently retails in Singapore for SG$ 549 and PhP 20,000 in the Philippines.

Accessories

Sony products are discounted this Christmas

Discounts and cashback for the holidays

Published

on

While Sony keeps struggling in the smartphone market, it still remains one of the top products for digital imaging. Its line of mirrorless cameras is one of the best in business. Plus, Sony is doing well in home and personal entertainment, with its line of TVs, speakers and headphones remaining the best in their category.

Sony Singapore is offering discounts and cashback for select cameras, TVs, speakers, and headphones. Here are the discounted products:

Cameras

TV

  • A9G (55″ 4K TV)  — SG$ 5,799 after SG$ 2,200 cashback

Headphones and earbuds

Speakers

The promo runs from November 1, 2019 to January 5, 2020. The discounts are available on all Sony stores across Singapore. For more information about the promo, visit Sony’s website.

Continue Reading

Accessories

adidas Ultraboost 20 review: Great just got better

The ISS National Lab collab is straight 🔥

Published

on

It’s almost a new year, and here’s the Ultraboost 20 — the latest version of my favorite sneakers.

Ever since they were announced in 2015, the Ultraboost has always been my go-to everyday sneaker. They’re just so comfortable to wear and they look so darn good as well.

Adidas has been making small changes to the shoe every year but they were mostly just changing the pattern of the upper which wasn’t really that big of a deal.

A sudden design shift

It wasn’t until 2019 when Adidas redesigned the Ultraboost to create the Ultraboost 19 (UB19) which was a huge change in the line.

Initially, the Ultraboost was more of a casual lifestyle pair first then a performance running sneaker second. This changed with the UB19 when Adidas decided to focus on making a performance running sneaker.

It was a controversial change at the time since the aesthetics of the shoe really changed. Some fans of the line didn’t receive the news well.

UB19 (left) and UB20 (right)

Admittedly, I was one of those people. But then the reviews started coming in and everyone kept talking about how comfortable they were — much more comfortable than they have ever been which makes them a better performance sneaker overall.

Design-wise, I still prefer the Ultraboost 1.0 more than the 4.0 but the new ones are definitely way more comfortable — an all-out performance running sneaker.

With the 2020 version, Adidas decided to make a few more tweaks. Somehow they took something already great and made it even better. As an aside, I’m happy these were minor tweaks because I don’t think we would have survived another dramatic overhaul.

One of the best things about Ultraboost back in the day were the collaborations, so I’m happy to see Adidas trying that out again.

Ultraboost X ISS National Lab

I got the ISS National Lab collaboration to check out, which is the official collaboration to launch the Ultraboost 20.

First thing you’ll see is the Light grey Primeknit upper. This is usual with Ultraboost and it does get small tweaks every year. This time it feels like there’s more give in this version vs the UB19.

One major difference in the upper this year is the addition of the Tailored Fiber Placement technology or TFP. It’s the thick embroidered looking details around the edges of the toe box area which gives you more stability and durability.

These areas aren’t as flexible and stretchy as before but they do a better job at containing your toes. So the upper is still stretchy and soft, but holds your foot in place better.

There’s still a sock-like fit but it’s slightly thicker and less flexible than the older ultraboost 1.0 to 4.0 uppers. I really like the arrow shaped ventilation pattern in the toe-box area which is a very subtle throwback to the ‘ol Ultraboost 1.0.

There’s the white or light grey Ultraboost laces going through an updated midfoot cage. I definitely like the new midfoot cage, I think it’s better looking than the UB19 cage. It’s a cleaner, better look vs the mesh used on the 19. This also has some TFP detailing as well to help contain your foot better.

At the top of the tongue is the ISS National Lab collab tags which says ISS National Lab Adidas CRS Boost in Space. ISS stands for the International Space Station and this is a collab with their National Lab. Adidas is apparently going to send some Boost up to the National Lab in space — which is crazy but hey maybe those hypebeast astronauts will appreciate it.

In the ankle area of the shoe you see another big difference vs the UB19. There’s still a prime kit tongue, but in the back you have a padded neoprene material which is really appreciated because it really adds to the comfort.

This extra padding around the heel feels great against your foot but also makes your foot feel more secure in the sneaker as it pushes it forward. Apart from that, your foot is up against primeknit for a very sock-like fit.

It does feel a little bit more snug than the UB19. This helps make it more performance oriented than before which is definitely helpful for runs.

If you’re going to want this for lifestyle wear as a shoe sneaker I’d advise going up a size. Same is true if you have wide feet like I do. It’s always best to try the shoe on in a store first to make sure you get the best fit possible.

The insole comes in black with Adidas and ISS National Lab branding in white and orange. Each insole is different which is a nice touch.

Coming to the heel counter, it seems to be just an outline just like the UB19. Adidas calls it their “3D Heel Frame” which cradles the heel and holds it in place. I like that the heel counter spills over onto the boost midsole and gives you more stability because it really keeps the boost in place.

At the back of the shoe you have a nice padded neoprene material instead of primeknit. I definitely like the way it feels against my foot vs just primeknit in this area.

Another new addition is the bright orange accent. It definitely stands out but ties in nicely with the ISS collab.

Speaking of eye-catching — moving downwards, you have the good ol’ white Boost mid-sole. The ISS collab Ultraboost 20 actually comes in seven colorways, four of which have an iridescent boost midsole which looks pretty neat.

It’s really flashy, and you’ll either love it or hate it but I actually like the implementation here on my Dash Grey colorway.

UB20 iridescent midsoles

Instead of the iridescent boost midsole, this colorway has an iridescent heel frame and midfoot cage, which I think looks much nicer. It’s minimalist and more my style.

Either way it definitely looks very space-like. I guess it’s meant to make you think of outer space and it definitely does that. If you’re wearing them out, people are definitely going to ask you about your sneakers.

Coming to the outsole, it is the usual Stretchweb outsoles with Continental rubber for multi-surface traction and the usual lightweight Torsion Spring construction for support when the foot lands to propel runners forward.

Still a top-tier midsole cushioning

Boost is still boost — it is still the best midsole cushioning tech that I love. There’s 20 percent more boost in this shoe than the older UB 1-4, just like the UB19.

The Boost feels the same, but that’s okay. If it ain’t broke, why fix it, right?

In case you haven’t tried out a sneaker with Boost yet, I encourage you to go on over to an Adidas store and try one out as soon as possible.

The big deal here is the cushioning and energy return. You can feel it absorb the impact as you run, and then spring back to return some of that energy to help you take off.

It’s this reason why Boost and the Ultraboost series in particular are so popular amongst runners and gym goers. They’re not only some of the most comfortable shoes around but it also really helps with running and aerobics. I even wear Ultraboost for my dance fitness and boxing classes. I totally recommend it.

Is the Ultraboost 20 your Sneaker Match?

The UB20 is an iterative but meaningful improvement to the Ultraboost line in comparison to the UB19.

It is even more performance oriented, and even more comfortable at the same time. Honestly just go into an Adidas store and try them on — I’m pretty sure you’ll walk away impressed.

The ISS Collab is really exciting, and while it may or may not all just be marketing hype, it is definitely an exciting way for Adidas to launch the UB20.

While I’m always going to be a fan of the aesthetic of the older Ultraboost 1-4 more, you have to admit the new Ultraboost 20 definitely looks crazy futuristic. It’s the best performance sneaker out there, and I can’t recommend it enough.

SEE ALSO: Asics Gel Cumulus 21: Your everyday training sneaker

Continue Reading

Accessories

10 gift ideas for the bookworm on your list

Gifts that are not books

Published

on

If you have friends or family who love to read, chances are other people will already give them books this holiday season. It’s that or they already bought the book they want to read next. If you want to give something different that they will appreciate, here are some other ideas to help you out:

Kindle

For the friend who has too many books but not enough shelves, get her the new Kindle. It’s also perfect for that friend who brings a book or two when traveling. She always managse to finish reading on the flight leaving herself book-less for the rest of the trip.

The new Kindle retails for US$ 89.99 and comes in black and white.

Kindle case

If she already has a Kindle, how about a case inspired by classic book covers? Not only will it protect her gadget from scratches, it also gives her the feeling of holding a book while reading. Smell of an actual book not included.

The case starts at GBP 25, and comes in varying sizes and covers.

Audible credits

Some people will always prefer reading over listening to audiobooks. For those who are open to the latter, Audible credits are a practical, yet thoughtful gift you can give. If you know of a specific title they want to listen to, there’s also an option to get that book as a gift either through your own Audible credits or using a credit card.

One credit starts at US$ 15, and you can choose to give up to 12 months worth of Audible credits.

Noise-cancelling earphones

A pair of noise cancelling earphones is one of the best gifts you can give this year not just to bookworms, but to almost anyone on your list. Bookworms will especially love being able to block any noise and concentrate on reading (or listening to) their book.

Plenty of great options came out this year, including the Sony WF-1000XM3, which retails for SG$ 349.

Bookends

Help decorate one’s home with cute bookends. For someone who lives in a smaller space, a multi-purpose bookend is your best bet — maybe one that doubles as a flower vase for the living room or a kitchen utensil holder. You can also get an upcycled one using old records. For a more personal touch, you can even do it yourself and you got yourself a crafty project this holiday season.

Lumio LED book lamp

Any bookworm will appreciate receiving a lamp to help them read when the sun starts to dip. What if you give them something in the shape of a book? They sure will love you more than they already do!

The Lumio LED book lamp comes in different finishes, and starts at US$ 150.

Laptop sleeve

Another gift idea for that special someone is a book-inspired sleeve to protect her laptop. Make it more personal by making her favorite cover made. You can even add the first and last pages of the book to make it feel more like one. There’s also an option to add a smaller but similar case for the charger and other accessories.

The laptop sleeve starts at $199 on Etsy, but is on sale at $59.70.

NYPL Library Card Pouch

The New York Public Library store has a ton of useful knickknacks you can buy as gifts. There’s a pouch inspired by the original library cards from the 1940’s that any bookworm will appreciate even if you bought it at the last minute!

The NYPL Library Card Pouch retails for US$ 15 for non-members.

 NYPL Library Card Socks

Another option is this cute pair of socks that will surely make any bookworm’s heart and feet warm this chilly season. It comes in small and large and is priced at US$12 for non-members.

Black NYPL Ruth Bader Ginsburg Tote Bag

Know someone inspired by the Notorious RBG? This tote could not be any more perfect. It can carry not just that heavy hardbound book, but her groceries or gym clothes as well!

The black tote bag retails for US$ 15 for non-members.

Continue Reading

Trending