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.

Entertainment

Netflix will release a new movie every week in 2021

Who isn’t looking forward to 2021?

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While 2020 was a disaster for most industries due to lockdowns and restricted movement, Netflix gained the most. The streaming service attracted a lot of users who’re just looking for entertainment without leaving the house. And, Netflix wants to ensure you continue streaming endlessly even when the pandemic ends.

With a promise of “a new movie every week,” Netflix announced the titles that will be premiering on the streaming service in 2021.

Netflix has put together some of the biggest names in entertainment for its 70-star studded line-up. The features include the Zack Snyder-directed Army of the Dead, Jennifer Lawrence starrer Don’t Look Up, musical Tick, Tick… Boom! and Dwayne Johnson’s action movie Red Notice, among others, many others.

 

If the above names weren’t enough, you’d also get to see Chris Hemsworth, Gal Gadot, Ryan Reynolds, Zendaya, Jason Moma, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Netflix has also unveiled a trailer that offers sneak previews of the upcoming titles.

52 titles shall be in the English language, eight will be animated, and 10 shall be non-English language films. One of the most imminent releases is Malcolm & Marie, starring John David Washington and Zendaya, filmed during the Coronavirus pandemic.

This is the first time Netflix has announced a yearly features slate. Though it also means the brand wants users to be excited about upcoming content and continue subscribing.

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Entertainment

Netflix’ Bridgerton is fun, raunchy, and visually appealing escapism at its best

The Duke of Hastings is enough reason to binge this show.

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If Jane Austen wrote Gossip Girl, this would probably be it. Bridgerton is Netflix’ latest offering for people looking for a bit of an escape — this time, to the Regency era where life was seemingly less boring than one might imagine.

The show is based on the first book of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series: ‘The Duke and I’. For comparison’s sake, I found myself reading the book after finishing all of its eight episodes. Personally, I find the small screen adaptation proves to be quite respectful to the canon. Some adjustments were made to make it a slightly better fit for today’s audience.

Seamless in injecting diversity

A racially diverse cast that doesn’t feel forced for the sake of being woke is something I truly appreciated. Show creator Chris Van Dusen reimagined the Bridgertons’ world with people of color having status and power. This was actually addressed by some of the characters, complete with its own narrative that fit — quite seamlessly — into the plot.

I’m pretty sure I speak for a lot of us who watched the show that this was something we welcomed. After all, this adjustment gave us Regé-Jean Page as lead character Simon Basset — the ‘Duke’ the book title refers to. The story revolves around the courtship between him and Bridgerton eldest daughter Daphne, played by Phoebe Dynevor.

*Spoilers are coming. You’ve been warned.*

It’s London in the early 1800s and Daphne has debuted into the marriage market. Despite rave reviews from their print-era version of Gossip Girl, Lady Whistledown, her prospects are looking pretty bleak. The Duke who doesn’t wish to marry to avoid fathering children finds himself in an agreement with Daphne that will make her more popular among potential suitors. And as for him, it will ward off determined mothers from foisting their marriageable daughters on him.

They pretend that they are courting and their ruse eventually leads them to develop feelings for each other. Surprise, surprise. And that’s where things get interesting. Despite the steamy adventures of eldest Bridgerton brother Anthony, things are a little slow during the first few episodes. The fun only starts to pick up midway into the series.

Expect to see Nicola Coughlan of Derry Girls fame as the daughter of Bridgerton neighbors, The Featheringtons. She plays Penelope who’s in love with Colin, one of Daphne’s brothers. I actually love her character and that of another Bridgerton sister — Eloise.

To see what happens to them, however, we’ll have to pray for more seasons of the show. This season is all about Daphne and the Duke of Hastings. I did enjoy the series, especially the parts where they tried to inject as much female empowerment that 1800s London can take. However, I still found some parts of it fell short.

Bridgerton: escapism but still a tad problematic

As a woman living in 2021, it was quite hard to relate to Daphne’s character who had her whole life pegged on marriage and having children. Sure, it’s the Regency era and women had limited options for a good life. So while these things should have been understandable, I felt horrible for Simon when she practically forced him to have children with her.

The act was much worse in the book but thankfully, Van Dusen made this part a tad bearable in the series. I have to admit, I lost much respect for Daphne after that. Without Page playing the Duke, I probably would have lost interest and hit fast forward just to find out who Lady Whistledown is.

At a time when there’s so much more to being a woman and consent is a major issue for both genders, I hope impressionable viewers won’t take Daphne for a role model. There’s always Eloise for this season. Pick her!

Bridgerton is fun, quite raunchy, and pretty exciting thanks to the mystery that is Lady Whistledown. I absolutely loved how cheeky she was.

It’s a visually appealing series with gorgeous sets and costumes in aesthetically pleasing color palettes. Well, except those worn by the Featheringtons. Oh, and did I mention Julie Andrews is the narrating voice of Lady Whistledown? That, in itself, is more than enough reason to grab that remote and give the series a try.

Catch the first season of Bridgerton on Netflix.

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Entertainment

Netflix’s Space Sweepers tackles spaceships and robots

Get on a space battle!

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Sci-fi lovers, heads-up! Netflix has a new film, and it’s entitled Space Sweepers. It’s a space opera regarded as the first Korean space blockbuster, directed by Jo Sung-hee of A Werewolf Boy and Phantom Detective.

The film is set in the year 2092, where a spaceship named Victory is one of the many that live off salvaging space debris. It’s crewed with a genius space pilot Tae-ho (Song Joong-Ki), a mysterious ex-space pirate Captain Jang (Kim Tae-Ri), a spaceship engineer Tiger Park (Jin Sun-Kyu), and a reprogrammed military robot Bubs (Yoo Hai-Jin). Together, the spaceship Victory surpasses all other space sweepers.

After successfully snatching a crashed space shuttle in the latest debris chase, Victory’s crew finds a 7-year-old girl inside. They realize that she’s the humanlike robot wanted by UTS Space Guards, and decide to demand ransom in exchange.

With stunning space action and thrills coupled with a comical tension between the crewmates who do not harmonize with each other, Space Sweepers is setting up to be a one-of-a-kind space drama.

Space Sweepers will stream on Netflix on February 5, 2021.

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