Entertainment

Sony WH-XB700 hands-on: Extra bass, extra flex

Great for travels and even OOTDs

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Today’s gadgets are no longer just mere products. A lot have found their way to our daily lifestyle so it’s also important that they look good while we use them. And for others who are more trend-sensitive, these devices should blend well with their outfit and even character — all while doing what it’s supposed to do.

When it comes to headphones, Sony wants to offer something that you can bring anywhere during your travels while looking discreet yet fashionable. This is where the WH-XB700 comes into the picture. On paper, it ticks the boxes of what a casual listener is commonly looking for in headphones plus it’s geared towards those who prefer a bit of extra oomph in their bass.

It has a simple and straightforward design

Eye-catching but not too loud

Available in solid blue or black color options

We dig the blue one better

Soft padding on the earcup makes it comfortable

Has large cups which we like

Body is made of plastic so it’s light on the head

No problem using it for extended periods

Connects wirelessly via Bluetooth or NFC

Although an option to use its 3.5mm jack is available

Built-in microphone for hands-free calls

Can also connect to your phone’s voice assistant

Comes with 360 Reality Audio

Immersing you more in your music

The WH-XB700, among other models in Sony’s audio line, can be paired to your smartphone. And, using the company’s Connect app, you can tweak and customize your sound the way you like it. But as Rodneil mentioned in his WF-1000XM3 review (we know, confusing names), you wouldn’t really end up adjusting your settings that much.

In terms of sound quality, this pair of on-ear headphones deliver clear highs and decent mids. Vocals could be more pronounced but it’s still not bad. The lows, however, are indeed extra punchy. So if you like playing bass-heavy music like house, hip-hop, and the likes, you’d probably enjoy the extra kick in these cans.

Since it’s wireless, it has to connect via Bluetooth which means it has a battery. We’re glad to report that it has a decent battery life that doesn’t require you to keep on looking for sockets just so you could continue to use its wireless capabilities.

I brought it on one of my overseas trips and was able to use it at the airport while waiting to board, during the 4-hour flight, and while walking around for the rest of the entire day with a good amount of juice left when I got back to my hotel.

Charging time is also not bad with up to 90 minutes of music time just from a 10-minute quick charge.

Having the WH-XB700 for a while is basically being able to conveniently listen to your tunes anywhere you go. It doesn’t have the best audio quality in Sony’s lineup but having its flexibility for usage on-the-go sort of outweighs this shortcoming.

They are also light on the head and easy on the ears so fatigue has been kept down to a minimum. You also wouldn’t have to keep on charging it since it could last a few days of moderate usage.

The Sony WH-XB700 currently retails in the Philippines for PhP 7,999 (around US$ 150). It’s not the best wireless headphones we’ve tried on but it’s actually competitively priced for what it offers. Plus, it looks nice and goes well with almost anything you put on.

Accessories

Star Wars: The Rise of collabs with Samsung, adidas

The Force is strong with many brands

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Hype for Star Wars Episode XI: The Rise of Skywalker is reaching a fever pitch.

The final installment of the latest trilogy in the pop culture franchise is upon us. With it came a wave of Star Wars collaborations, merch, and everything else in between. Here’s a quick rundown of everything we spotted in no particular order.

adidas: Run with The Force 

The Star Wars X Ultraboost 19 running shoes received majority of the hype. Boost is life, after all. This collaboration came in two colorways: The X-Wing and the Millenium Falcon.

These kicks flew off the shelves so you might have a hard time getting your feet in them but fret not, Adidas actually has a few more Star Wars kicks that mostly flew under the radar.

If you’re looking to do more running you can check out the Nite Jogger with R2D2’s colors, or the AplhaEdge 4D shoe with more subtle Star Wars hints.

You play ball? The Harden Vol. 4, equipped with the Lightstrike cushioning, comes in the iconic purple lightsaber color. There’s also the D.O.N. Issue #1 Lightsaber blue and the Dame 5 Lightsaber Green.

There are also other collaborations with less popular adidas sneakers like the Pro Next 2019 which I copped for myself. Not into shoes? There’s also a bunch of shirts, joggers, and hoodies under the adidas Star Wars collection.

Dark side of The Force infused Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

If you rock with black and red then you’re sure to love the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Star Wars Special Edition. Samsung really embraced the Dark Side on this one with the design centered around Kylo Ren — grandson of the iconic Darth Vader.

This package also includes the Galaxy Buds and a special case that’s all Kylo Ren-themed.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

If you want to live your Jedi dreams there’s a pretty nifty way to do it through a video game. The Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order action-adventure game came out just a couple of months shy of the latest Star Wars movie.

It received rave reviews from various gaming websites. It’s easily one of the better Star Wars games in very recent memory. The game is available on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

United’s Star Wars Boeing 737 plane

This one’s a direct tie-in with the upcoming movie. Facing the plane, on its right is Resistance-themed with blue being the main highlight color. On its left is the First Order with red being the highlight.

The same is true inside with the insignia of the Resistance and the First Order on the plane’s seats. To book this flight, passengers can look up the aircraft’s tail number — N36272. You won’t be jumping to lightspeed but at least you’ll fly in style.

Cook with The Force

Williams Sonoma might not be the first brand you think of when it comes to geek stuff but the cookware company came through for Star Wars enthusiasts.

Available for pre-order right now and hitting stores on December 13 are the following: BB-8 styled Duo Mini 3QT that costs US$ 79.95. Meanwhile the Pot Duo 6QT comes in three variants: Darth Vader, R2-D2, and Stormtrooper. Each one costs US$ 99.95. Finally there’s the Pot Duo 8QT with a Chewbacca look. It’s the largest one and costs US$ 119.95.

The company even promises each one will have a unique custom recipe along with the packaging. These are the Darth Vader’s Beef Stew, BB-8 Shrimp Pasta, Dark Side Deviled Eggs, R2-D2 Rotisserie Herb Chicken, and Chewie’s Chili.

World Balance X Star Wars

In the Philippines, shoes and apparel brand World Balance also have a collaboration with the Star Wars franchise. They have everything from shoes, shirts, to caps, and bags.

They have an insane collection and can probably dress you up in all Star Wars-themed garb from head to toe.

Bonus: Baby Yoda Funko Pop

This one is more in line with the Disney+ Original series Star Wars: The Mandalorian but it’s also Star Wars so I’m putting it here anyway. Baby Yoda is currently challenging Baby Groot as the most adorable baby under the Disney’s properties.

If you want to have him all to yourself, you can do so by copping the baby Yoda Funko Pop. It comes in both the regular-sized Funko and one that’s 10-inch tall. But real talk, a friend says she prefers a baby Yoda plushie. Maybe we’ll get that at some point.

SEE ALSO: Star Wars gadgets and accessories gift guide

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be shown on theaters worldwide starting December 20.

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Spotify releases the 2019 wrapped, here’s how you can see it

Find out your guilty music pleasures

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Every December, Spotify releases the much-awaited “Spotify Wrapped,” where users find out their top songs of the year. Since this year and this decade is ending, Spotify added a different twist in this year’s wrap-up.

The 2019 Wrapped will include songs, albums, artists, and podcasts you listened to throughout the year, and the artists you listened to the most throughout the decade. When I saw my wrap-up, I found it funny how I listen to the same songs every year. Spotify knows what songs we obsess over.

Furthermore, Spotify highlights the places where your top artists hail from through a world map. Additionally, podcasts are added to the “Wrapped” experience.

Spotify Wrapped 2019 showcasing your top artist of the year.

Spotify users, particularly those who were subscribed to a premium subscription, get a personalized recap, too. Some insights include a user’s top artist every year and the number of minutes they streamed music throughout the decade. Premium users also get info on the artist they vibed most with this year.

Luckily, your personalized info can be shared through Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or Facebook. To access your “Spotify Wrapped,” make sure to update your Spotify app and open it or head to Spotify.com/wrapped. Enjoy looking back!

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Hotel Del Luna, Frozen 2: Now Playing

Get ready to have a magical adventure this November!

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November started pretty magical. Right after Halloween, a lot has happened in the tech scene including the birth of the 108-megapixel monster, the Mi Note 10, and the resurrection of Motorola razr. In the midst of all these momentous launches, our team still found the time to catch up on the latest in pop culture. Here’s what’s Now Playing in GadgetMatch!

Movies to see

 

Frozen 2
MJ: After six years, the most-awaited sequel is here to give us one last magical adventure. Set during the fall season, the film is about the adventures of Queen Elsa and her cohorts, seeking the truth about the past in order to protect the kingdom of Arendelle from a new threat. In between their adventures, we were rewarded with bursts of laughter, heartwarming lines, scenes that made us hold onto our seats, and lessons about change.

Frozen 2 — despite being a film made for kids and kids at heart — is a bit heavy for a Disney movie, with Elsa, Anna, and the rest of the crew enduring an emotional journey. However, the film is a call for us to go out of our comfort zones, head into the unknown, let our guard down, take chances, and risk in the name of love.

 

Ford v Ferrari
Kevin: The movie revolves around two special individuals — visionary car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and the fearless racer Ken Miles (Christian Bale). It was based on the historic Le Mans race in 1966 and tells the story of how car manufacturer Ford, wanted to beat the dominating cars of Ferrari and succeeded. Of course, with the help of Shelby and Miles.

Damon performed really well portraying his character but Bale completely transformed himself into another person yet again so you really feel the life of his character. Apart from that, another thing that stood out was the film’s sound design and how the cars’ engines roared and zoomed past you as if you were actually there. It’s simply an entertaining piece for all ages and a very refreshing movie about cars and racing without the overload in testosterone.

 

Knives Out
Luigi: Nothing beats a traditional whodunnit story. This oddjob of a story comes from The Last Jedi’s director, Rian Johnson. Like most mystery stories, everyone is a suspect and everyone is trapped. However, the story’s uniqueness comes from its wit and its stellar cast including a Chris Evans doing very non-Captain America things.

Shows to binge-watch

 

Hotel Del Luna
MJ: If you’re struggling with moving on, Hotel Del Luna is worth the watch. With themes about letting go, resentment, forgiveness, and love, it’s difficult not to fall in love with the show and its characters. It also has stunning cinematography and captivating soundtrack that would give you a different high even after you watched it. While people are iffy since it’s the talk of the town, this K-drama is definitely worth the hype. It’s one of the best shows I’ve watched this year, hands down.

 

La Casa De Papel (Money Heist)
Chay: Whether or not you’re a fan of foreign language material or stories about heists, there’s more to love about La Casa de Papel also known as Money Heist on Netflix. It tells many stories — stories of love, hope, inequality, injustice, and friendship. You will fall in love with one or two or three characters from the series. While a robbery sounds so wrong (it is, in fact, very wrong), you will find yourself rooting for the Money Heist squad to succeed.

 

The End of the F***ing World Season 2
Vincenz: The last season was a cliffhanger, and just like it, there were a lot of unexpected events that happened in the second installment of  The End of the F***ing World — including several new characters. The portrayals of Alyssa and James may look apathetic but it’s for us to realize that actions speak louder than words, and there is always a bigger picture behind. I’m not trying to spoil but one thing I learned (that serves as a reminder for everyone): Say what you feel before it’s too late.

 

Queer Eye: We’re in Japan!
Chay: I grew up watching shows about makeovers — from Clean House to How Do I Look? to Shabby Chic. Queer Eye is basically all those makeover TV series from the 90s combined, and more. Set in Tokyo, the latest season feels like Terrace House meets the Fab 5. Despite the language barrier, the stories of the heroes this season are just as heartwarming and inspiring as their American counterparts.

 

Fleabag
Chay: Fleabag is a comedy that often breaks the fourth wall to involve the audience in her mishaps. Her character is often perceived by everyone in her life to be up to no good — who fucks up everything — making her very relatable. The entire series is only two seasons long with six episodes each, making it an easy binge when you’re stuck in traffic.

 

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Season 4
MJ: One of my favorites, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow took a magical turn as the heroes — well, they call themselves Legends — save the world from demons and magical creatures. The troop travels through time to fix and destroy these fugitives in order to protect history. It’s time to refresh your memories and binge-watch it before Season 5 begins in January 2020!

 

Watchmen
Luigi: HBO’s Watchmen was a huge surprise for me. As a fan of the original comic, I initially thought that this sequel series was either a weak adaptation of the original or an unnecessary sequel. Fortunately, Watchmen is a hugely entertaining balance between its own story and fan service. Old fans will delight in the numerous references to comic events. New fans, however, will appreciate the timely story deeply embedded in racial politics and technological progress.

Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to

 

Frozen 2 Original Soundtrack
Chay: Only time will tell if any of the new songs in the Frozen sequel will be a hit like ‘Let it Go’. My favorite in the soundtrack is ‘Lost in the Woods’, mostly because of the cheesy, albeit poignant, sequence in the movie featuring straight white male Kristoff. After belting it all out, Sven, his reindeer best friend, tells him, “Your feelings are real. Feel what you feel. Let your guard down and let your feelings out.” Toxic masculinity, whomstve?

 

Modern Love
Chay: New York Times’ popular column was recently adapted into an Amazon series and while everyone has been raving about it on my feed, I haven’t had the time to watch a single episode yet. Its podcast counterpart, however, is much easier to access and digest as the episodes are all available on Spotify. Each essay is performed by actors, and the authors also get a few minutes at the end to talk about their stories. Reading Modern Love articles has been my go-to commute companion for a while now, and having a podcast to listen won’t change that anytime soon.

 

Bomb by AleXa
Vincenz: AleXa is a Korean-American who recently made her debut as a K-Pop soloist. Unlike any other K-Pop song, it heavily relies on electronic sounds and heavy bass. Her powerful dancing performance and vocals add up to the invigorating song. The music video gives me a Cyberpunk 2077 vibe (and even the same feels as 2NE1’s ‘Come Back Home’).

 

Dumb by BVNDIT
Vincenz: BVNDIT (pronounced as bandit) continues to prove their female dominance with their latest upbeat, Latin pop song. Digging into the lyrics, it talks about a guy being “dumb” for not having the courage to pursue her — and it actually made her numb. Dark red visuals are dominant, which may signify that their love desire is dying. It gets better as their vocals and synchronized choreography continue to scream “power.”

Games to play

 

Luigi’s Mansion 3
Luigi: I can hear the groans already. “Of course, Luigi is suggesting Luigi’s Mansion 3.” Well, Luigi’s third outing as a ghostbuster is really one of the smoothest Nintendo Switch experiences I’ve had this year. This massive action-puzzle game is right up every Switch user’s alley. If (a) you have a Switch, (b) you need an appetizer before Pokemon Sword and Shield, or (c) you want a polished platformer, grab Luigi’s Mansion 3.


Now Playing is the GadgetMatch team’s favorite games, movies, TV shows, and more each month. If you’re curious to know what we’re into at the moment, this is what you should check out. So grab your popcorn, get some drinks, and enjoy what’s now playing!

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