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

The hype is real

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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.

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Realme Buds Air: Affordable true wireless earbuds

Cheaper ‘AirPods’

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Seems like everyone’s making true wireless earbuds now so Realme decided to join in the fun as well with the Realme Buds Air.

In true Realme spirit, the Realme Buds Air promises to offer quality performance at a competitive price. The company claims it’s the first in its price segment to implement a dual-channel transmission tech for enhanced audio. This helps with minimizing latency which should be perfect for mobile gaming fans — a segment of the market that Realme has been aggressively catering to.

In terms of sound quality, Realme says it has a 12mm bass sound driver that “delivers intensive and powerful audio quality without compromising richness and fidelity.”

While it doesn’t have any fancy noise canceling tech, the company says it does have the capability of filtering out noise. This should help with day-to-day calls and your music listening sessions.

The Realme Buds Air also has a built-in Google Assistant so you can use voice command for various things. It’s also easy to control. You simply need to tap the buds to control what you’re listening to.

It also has the ability to to pause when you take the them off and will resume what you’re playing once you put them back on.

Just like its look-alike — the Apple AirPods — these earbuds comes with a charging case that you can juice up wirelessly or through USB-C.

Pricing and availability

The Realme Buds Air comes in three colors: white, black, and Realme’s signature yellow. It will sell for PhP 3,990 starting January 22, 2020.

As an initial offering, it will be available at a special discounted price of PhP 2,990 on Realme’s official Lazada store on the following dates: January 22, 29, and February 6.

Realme is also giving away a free wireless charging pad to the first 100 customers. There will also be special vouchers on Realme’s official Facebook page from January 22 to February 6. The vouchers will further lower the price of the realme Buds Air by PHP500.

To entice more buyers, customers who will purchase both a Realme smartphone and a Realme Buds Air enjoy an additional discount of Php 1,000.

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PH3 wireless headphones is a wearable Filipino pride

A limited-edition offering that gives back

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Electronics manufacturer H-Audio has been providing quality products to its market when it comes to audio solutions. While they have a select lineup of offerings, it caters to different types of users.

What we have here is the PH3 that screams Filipino pride as soon as you put it on. Read on and find out if it performs as good as it looks.

It has a straightforward design

Red and blue stripes signify colors from the Philippine flag

Three stars and a sun on each earcup

Can’t get any more Filipino than this

Solid build quality

Headband has a good flex to it

Clasps comfortably on the head

Doesn’t come off easily

Comfortable ear cups

Earmuffs are made of memory foam

What I personally like about the PH3 when it comes to design is how it has a minimalistic kind of approach with just the three stars, sun, and stripes of red and blue. Apart from these Philippine flag-inspired colors, everything else is white. Sure, it might require extra effort to keep it clean, but it’s just something that works aesthetically.

Build quality feels durable and not flimsy which is what I look for next to sound quality. This is made possible by using stainless steel for the headband support and hard plastic for the rest — making it light, but tough.

It has a nice fit around the ears and wearing it for extended periods of time was still comfortable thanks to its memory foam earmuffs. I’ve used it a couple of times while running on the treadmill and the earcups remained snug and in place.

All-around performer

When it comes to sound quality, let’s get to the point — the PH3 delivers. It’s got warm and distinct mids, decent highs, and impressive lows. The overall sound is what you’d expect of closed-back headphones and leans on the muffled side of the sound spectrum.

Active Noise Cancellation option

One thing I noticed, though, is that sound leaks a little to the outside world so you might want to keep that in mind when you’re in an elevator with other people or something.

Connection via Bluetooth was easy and automatically pairs to the phone each time the headphones is turned on. That alone is a big check for me.

Micro-USB port for charging

The company says it has up to 20 hours of battery life. While I was not able to continuously use it, the headphones lasted me about five days with ANC off and mainly using it for music at the gym, walking around the neighborhood, or even just at home.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

H-Audio’s PH3 is a reliable pair of cans with minimal drawbacks. It might require extra care to keep it clean and sound leak at full volume might be an issue for a select few. Looking past those, however, you have a good set of headphones that not only performs well but also looks attractive with its touch of a local theme.

Additionally, its features like wireless connectivity and Active Noise Cancellation make operations easier and add to the overall music-listening experience.

Priced at PhP 7,480, proceeds will go to platforms to raise funds and help the underprivileged Filipino youth. The PH3 is available in select The Loop by Power Mac Center branches. For more list of stores carrying their products, visit their Facebook page.

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Audio House is giving away freebies for Chinese New Year

Get a voucher or a standing fan for the new year

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Image by Humphrey Muleba / Unsplash

Chinese New Year is fast approaching once again. This year, Audio House is giving us more reasons to celebrate the festivities.

From January 18 to February 9, Audio House will give away SG$ 28 Ang Pow (red packet) vouchers or standing fan to every customer with no minimum purchase. Customers may use these vouchers to discount their next purchase.

Anyone is eligible to receive these freebies. For any successful friend referral, the customers receive an additional SG$ 1 to their vouchers. However, there’s a limit of 50 persons per referral.

In total, anyone can receive an SG$ 78 voucher eligible for any items in any Audio House store nationwide.

Here are the steps to receive the freebies:

  1. Register via Audio House’s website.
  2. A confirmation email with QR Code will be sent to the registered email address.
  3. Present the confirmation email with QR Code and ID at any Audio House showroom service counter to redeem either the ang pow voucher or the standing fan. Each can only redeem once.

The voucher is a great help for individuals gifting their loved ones with electronic items. With over 4,900 electronic items for sale, Audio House showcases major brands from all over the world. Plus, they give cashback in the form of vouchers on every item purchased. To learn more about Audio House, visit their website.

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