For years, the novels of Philip Pullman have been dazzling readers young and old alike, and the series His Dark Materials was perhaps the most famed of all. Previously, it’s been adapted into both a theater production and a film which was met with mixed reviews. Pullman’s readers have been vying for a way to bring their beloved series and all of its magic to life in a new way, and with the release of HBO’s His Dark Materials television adaptation of 2019, it seems that they may get their way. A brand new fantasy epic saga that feels inspired by the likes of the later Harry Potter films and similar fantasy titles that hold equal intrigue for older children and adults has just awoken and holds definite promise. Our friends over at HBO were able to secure a preview containing the first four episodes for us to review before wide release, and it is so far a very engaging watch. I personally have never read the books that the series is based on and so cannot say much in the area of adaptational accuracy, but that does allow me to approach it with fresh eyes, able to give a less biased look at how the show stands on its own merit. But to be fair, if the rest of the season is this interesting, I may have to pick up the books after all. Continue Reading
This review will contain mild spoilers for Joker.
The Joker is one of the most famous villains of all time, both in comic circles and entertainment as a whole. Over the years, we’ve seen plenty of distinct portrayals of the character that have all left a significant mark on his general perception. From Heath Ledger’s sinister unpredictable crime lord in 2008 to Mark Hamill’s insane larger-than-life cartoon villain in 1992 to Jared Leto’s unfortunate misstep in 2016, the Joker has become one of the most interesting characters in comics and cinema, and those are just some of the most well-known versions. As society goes on, new takes on this famous character will no doubt continue to be created, some good, some bad. In the case of Joker, the first stand-alone movie centered completely on the killer clown and his backstory, this version by Joaquin Phoenix will no doubt be remembered as exceptionally great. Continue Reading
Since the dawn of wearable technology, we have seen a variety of smart wearable devices but none of them have been extraordinary. Sure, we have seen things like the Bose Soundwear Companion Speaker, but that doesn’t qualify as a wearable as the consensus for a wearable device is something that you carry anywhere without getting a weird look from people around you.
With the Bose Frames, that’s set to change. These new wearables from Bose are bluetooth- enabled sunglasses with speakers and a mic integrated in them, allowing you to listen to music or take calls without taking your phone out of your pocket. This is definitely a step up from the Snapchat Spectacles we saw last year. Continue Reading
If the performance at the Emmy’s is anything to go off of, it appears that Succession has enraptured both audiences and critics across the world as of late. While only in its second season, Succession has rapidly gained attention since its June 2018 premiere. Fans of the HBO series can’t seem to get enough of this dramatic look into the lives of a scheming family running a monopolistic media empire. There is a certain morbid fascination with this family that sees each other as little more than a means to an end, with all parties understanding that power will trump familial loyalty every time in this corporate world. The old patriarch of this establishment is Logan Roy (Brian Cox), a formidable tyrant who plays mind games and spins webs of deceit and blackmail to get what he wants and keep his huge company afloat.
With season two, we pick up less than two days after the end of season one, seeing how one of Logan’s sons, Kendall (Jeremy Strong), is getting along after his attempted business betrayal against his father and major drug relapse. From the get-go, Kendall seems much more timid and submissive after being unable to seize his own power and only digging himself into a deeper hole, and his speech and mannerisms clearly reflect his new role. The writing and acting for this season is top notch, absolutely no one is slacking in these respects. Logan, still deciding where to take his shaken company and who of his children and immediate family to trust with corporate power, gives an amazing performance, both in subdued moments and over-the-top blowouts. Continue Reading
The ASUS F1 LED Projector is the projector you need for the ultimate, immersive entertainment experience. It’s the projector that’s perfect for gamers and movie buffs. You might be thinking, “But it’s a projector… aren’t those little contraptions for the office only?” Well, not anymore! This projector is an excellent pick because of its compact size, making it easy for you to set it up in your own backyard. The ASUS F1 LED Projector boasts full HD resolution, with a short throw lens, automatic focus adjustment, and 120 Hz refresh rate when set to a resolution of 720p. It’s the go-to, lightweight projector that can make your Netflix and Chill nights a lot more interesting, and your gaming sessions a lot more fun. Read on to see what we think about the ASUS F1 LED Projector:
The ASUS F1 is listed at $899, which is a bit on the pricier end of Full HD projectors. Sure, you can get other projectors for around $200, but for splurging a bit more with the ASUS F1, you can get brighter HD images for the luxury of having the ultimate home theatre experience. Continue Reading
DJI, the company behind some of the worlds best drones and gimbals are back with something new, the DJI Osmo Action, an all-in action cam for life’s most extreme thrill-seekers. With the Osmo Action, DJI is taking the GoPro Hero 7 Black, GoPro’s best offering, head-on with like for like features, specs, design and build quality. But what makes the Osmo Action unique compared to the Hero 7 Black is the inclusion of a secondary front-facing LCD display as well the regular backside display and a significantly lower price for an overall strong competitor to the Hero 7. Continue Reading
This review will contain spoilers.
August 2019 marked the return of (in)famous director Quentin Tarantino to direct a brand new movie in his signature style, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The genuine buzz and curiosity surrounding this movie from the get-go never seemed to truly ebb from the moment that the first trailer dropped. Whether in excitement or dread, everyone was anticipating going to see this movie, with its uniquely tangible 60’s setting and immensely popular cast that seemed to grab the attention of both the film buffs and the average moviegoers. And so, the crowds came in droves to see the film, and a little over two hours later, the world stepped out of the theater feeling extremely conflicted. Immediately and without hesitating to make their passionate opinions known, some jumped to claimed it was a fantastic cinematic masterpiece, others strongly refuted by calling it a dull failure, and still others felt unsure what to even make of the film, including myself initially. It was certainly a very different film, as Tarantino himself is known for, a film where the viewer’s personal perceptions of the more ambiguous events will have a large bearing on how they view the film as a whole. There’s also the notorious final 20-30 minutes that turn the film on its head and was met with even more polarized reactions from viewers. But before this can be discussed, it’s imperative to discuss the buildup and ultimate payoff that made Once Upon a Time in Hollywood a fairy tale worth looking at. Continue Reading
Portable, nano, or pico projectors have been a rising trend in consumer tech goods over the recent years, and they can be useful in all types of situations – sharing a business PowerPoint on the fly, watching a movie in a remote location where your normal streaming box or TV can’t follow, and so forth. However, the main thing that has kept me from jumping on board is that they tend to lack versatility for streaming your personal media or accessing your favorite streaming services.
Anker, makers of the Nebula line of projectors, have attempted to address this with a very modern portable projector roughly the size of a can of Coca-Cola – with support for all of your favorite streaming services included.
The Oculus Quest has arrived and it’s making its grand entrance. The Quest is a follow-up to the equally successful Oculus Go, but this time, Oculus has developed and improved based on real comments from users. If you didn’t like the Oculus Go because of its limited movement, you’ll be more than happy with the Oculus Quest. It’s wireless, easy to set up and use for first-time VR users.
Facebook’s first all-in-one gaming headset is reinventing what you know about virtual reality. With a Snapdragon processor built into its headset, the Oculus Quest gives you a gaming experience that’s close to the PC level. It comes with two Oculus Touch controllers and offers total room-scale VR without any base station.
The headset uses Oculus Insight, making use of four sensors at the front to track your movements in the real world. Play without worrying about tripping — the Oculus Quest wants you to play freely, which is why it was designed to be wireless. Now, you can enjoy hours of uninterrupted game time pretending to dodge bullets and jump over barricades.
Starting at $399, the Oculus Quest offers 64 GB of storage, complete with two Touch controllers, AA Batteries, power adapter, eyeglass spacer, and charging cable. There’s a 128GB version available at $499 – a pretty large leap in terms of the price difference, but if you’re a heavy user, it is worth the price since you can’t expand the storage.
Most Oculus Quest games are less than 3 GB in size, anyway, so if you don’t plan to be a professional gamer and just want a VR headset for Beat Saber sessions, we think going for the smaller option is fine. Continue Reading
These days, almost anyone can become a vlogger. YouTube has taken the internet by storm and the term vlogging isn’t a new concept anymore. Self-made vloggers like Casey Neistat and Logan Paul have created digital communities where they show off their everyday lives — the plus side? They get paid to do it. From long distance couples to families with a dozen kids, there are a million things one could vlog about. With that competition, more and more people are swapping their smartphones for DSLRs in the pursuit of quality content.
DJI has revolutionized the world of vlogging with the DJI Osmo. It has made vlogging a hundred times easier, without having to compensate for any of the DSLR’s most beloved features. It offers superb stabilization while fitting inside your pocket. The DJI Osmo is the tiny, portable vlogging companion that anyone who wants to make it big on YouTube should use. Now, you don’t have to feel embarrassed of having to vlog at a restaurant. No more unnecessary arm workouts because of your huge DSLR complete with an external microphone and other bulky camera gear. The DJI Osmo gives you full 4K video and convenience in such a tiny package.
Want to improve your content? Get a DJI Osmo Pocket. It’s the DJI Osmo product that we recommend for “typical” vloggers. It’s easy to use, pocket-friendly and affordable. Continue Reading
It has been five years since Naim launched the Naim Mu-so. Back then, wireless speakers were premium devices that cost thousands of dollars. Then Naim entered the scene and changed the game forever by letting the world see that you could get authentic hi-fi at a pretty affordable price with its Mu-so, Naim is showing everyone that it’s still in the game with their new, reimagined wireless speaker: the Mu-so 2nd Generation.
The Naim Mu-so 2 is the wireless speaker we didn’t know we needed. The first Naim Mu-so was already a top-of-the-line speaker which was hard to follow, but Naim has raised the bar again.
Right off the bat, the Mu-so 2 is one of the best multi-room speakers of the year. It’s an evolution of the original Naim speaker, adding multiple connectivity options, and showing off a sleeker body. Although the price racks up at $1599, the Mu-so 2 justifies the price with its multitude of upgrades. Continue Reading
No matter what you think of it, everyone can agree that Veronica Mars is a show that truly cannot be kept down. Following a fan-funded movie in 2014, Veronica Mars has found a revival in 2019 after jumping from the now-defunct UPN to The CW to its current home, Hulu. Marshmallows, as fans call themselves, have followed this show through thick and thin, and not without reason. When it first premiered in 2004, creator Rob Thomas captured audiences with a teen drama/mystery that didn’t rely on easy cliches and pandering character types to draw in watchers. Instead, it made itself stand out from the crowd of assembly-line young adult TV shows with its witty writing, relatable characters, and interesting stories surrounding the young private detective. But this fourth season is premiering in a different world than the one that the series left in 2007, and though it has a cult following, it also must remember that a whole new generation has grown into the target demographic range in these past 12 years. How do Rob Thomas and his beloved cast and crew deal with this? With much of the same style, grace, and intellect that fans have come to love, at least for the most part. Continue Reading
The 1990’s, also known as Disney’s Renaissance Era in regards to their animated features of the time, is a period of great nostalgia for the young adults of today. It began nearly 30 years ago, making it a prime time for bringing beloved pieces of that past to the present. Disney has buckled down on this, bringing a huge number of live action reboots and retellings with a prominent focus on movies from that period (as well as a few of their timeless early classics). From the Renaissance, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Mulan, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and many more either have already been released or are currently in development. But today, we’ll be looking into the latest animation-to-reality release: The Lion King. The 1994 classic was heralded as one of the greatest films of all time, even beyond the genre of animation (whether or not “animation” in of itself should be considered its own genre or not is a question for another time). The star-studded voice cast that caught the attention of the world remains in the top 10 highest-grossing animated movies of all time. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why Disney would create a live action reboot of one of their most successful films. But how does this film fare both standing on its own and when compared to the original? Let’s see if this lion of a film can truly claim to be the king of the jungle.
Beats has finally released its latest earphones: the Powerbeats Pro, which combine the best of both AirPods and Powerbeats 3 into an excellent product for both everyday use and for working out. Compared to the Apple AirPods, the Powerbeats Pro look large, but there’s a good reason for that; those soft, rubber-like arms are designed to grip your ears securely without making the things too comfortable to wear, despite looking a lot less elegant than the AirPods, these headphones are insanely comfortable. It takes a while to get used to fitting them, but once in place you forget you’re even wearing them. Another thing we really like about the Powerbeats Pro is the fact that both of the earphones have their own set of physical controls. The Powerbeats Pro come in a rather bulky carry case which also acts as a charging dock – a Lightning cable is included in the box, but it matches the colour of your Powerbeats Pro. Powerbeats Pro aren’t totally waterproof, they are splash and sweat resistant, which will be good news for those who plan to use these as their go-to exercise audio. The design of the headphones actually avoids sweat dripping down onto the unit, which is another sign that a tremendous amount of thought has gone into the creation of this product. But, the most annoying thing about the Powerbeats Pro is the charging case. With a product like this, you’d expect a portable, lightweight case. In fact, you get the opposite. It’s unusually large and weighs a relatively hefty 109g without the earbuds and 130g with them inside. In comparison, the AirPod case weighs 38g and 46g respectively. On the plus side, the case holds around two full charges. It’s also worth noting that it charges via a Lightning port, instead of a much more universal USB connector, and that, unlike the latest AirPod case, the Beats case can’t be wirelessly charged. Continue Reading
After Infinity War and Endgame changed both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and our own world forever, it was hard to imagine what comes next. Where do you even go after undoing a catastrophic mass genocide and losing some of the biggest heroes in the game? “Well,” Marvel offers, “you go see how their legacy will carry on and evolve through the people that they left behind.” As usual, they knew just the path to take in the aftermath of one of the most popular movies ever released, and Spider-Man just so happened to be the perfect person to start with. As Tony Stark’s protégé left in mourning after his mentor’s passing, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is a great jumping off point to reintroduce fans into this new MCU. In Endgame, Peter was unceremoniously pulled back into the world and now has to come to terms with the years missing from his life where society went on without him and the others that turned to dust during Thanos’ snap. His movie also focuses in on a question that fans have been relentlessly asking: what’s going to happen now that the Avengers are either majorly changed or completely disbanded? The uncertainty of Peter and the world around him reflects how Marvel fans everywhere truly have no idea what will come next, but are eager to find out. And if this film is anything to judge by, we were right to be anticipating these new and different stories from a post-Thanos universe. Let’s take a look at how this film satiates our curiosities about post-snap Earth and answers our many questions after the death of the Mad Titan, no spoilers of course. Continue Reading
The Toy Story saga is a franchise that is often viewed as the gold standard for animated movies, and for good reason. Way back in 1995, Pixar brought us the first ever full-length computer-animated film with Toy Story, which was a critical hit and a technological marvel of its time. Pixar continued to hit it out of the park with Toy Story 2 and 3, making a trilogy of movies that were heralded as near-perfect masterpieces of animation. Even though the first two are now a little bit dated animation-wise by today’s standards, they are not ugly by any means and still completely hold up as films, which is an impressive accomplishment in of itself. Now, almost 10 years after Toy Story 3 gave us a memorable and satisfying conclusion, Pixar has released Toy Story 4, a brand new installment to break the label of trilogy. Although the film was released to a crowd of skeptical and anxious fans, Pixar dazzled us again and most filmgoers ended up leaving the theater with their fears melted away, feeling the same joy that the original movies brought to them years ago. Continue Reading
The summer of 1997 marked the start of a series that would quickly rise to popularity and stick around so effortlessly that it can still be casually referenced in conversation today without causing confusion, Men In Black. The original film starred Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as the iconic duo in a government agency that deals with alien diplomatics and otherworldly threats on a daily basis. These characters worked as foils for each other so well that, despite how opinions changed on the overall series as it progressed, most would agree that Agents Jay and Kay remained entertaining together throughout. Men In Black II (2002) and Men In Black 3 (2012) never quite reached the same success as their predecessor, but were able to keep the name of the franchise alive and well so much that it can still claim to be a household name over 20 years later. A trilogy with that kind of staying power is bound to inspire a few extra sequels and spin-offs (there even used to be an animated Men In Black show for the Warner Brother’s kids program!). The latest hopeful reviver of the franchise is Men In Black: International, this time starring Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth in leading roles very similar to the ones occupied by Smith and Jones within the trilogy. But can this charismatic squad hold the sequel together, or is this film destined to become lost to time and space? Continue Reading
As many fans know, the Disney Renaissance was a revolutionary time period for animation that took place from about 1989 to 1999. We have this period to thank for many beloved titles such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Mulan, and Aladdin. Nearly every movie released at that time was a smash hit and most became instant classics that any respectable kid would enjoy on VHS for hours on end. Now that it’s 2019, the generation that grew up with these films have grown up into a stressful yet nostalgia-fueled world and are yearning for a taste of their childhood. This was the setup for Disney to begin their campaign of live-action remake, the latest of which being Aladdin. Almost every Renaissance film and many others in the Disney catalogue are being recreated in live-action, so love it or hate it, this trend seems to be sticking around for awhile. With Dumbo behind us and The Lion King just around the corner, let’s take a closer look at Aladdin and see if it really is a diamond in the rough. Continue Reading
In the winter of 1961, a man by the name of Joseph Heller released his newest book, Catch-22, to immediate and overwhelming popularity with the general public. The satirical dark comedy was based on Heller’s own personal experiences as a bomber in World War II, and the anti-war messages throughout proved to be extremely appealing to young people during a time of increasing disillusionment with the Vietnam War. It was a book that critics still claim pulled off a staggering balancing act between the comedic and tragic elements, coming together to craft a story that left a profound impact for generations. Almost 60 years later, people everywhere are intrigued to learn that George Clooney and Grant Heslov have partnered together with various other talent to create a 6-episode mini-series that functions as an adaptation of the long-beloved Catch-22. It seemed an interesting prospect, no doubt, as Clooney and Heslov would be directing, acting, and producing, as well as bringing in a star-studded cast and crew to bring the story to life. Excitement built as the time drew closer and closer until we finally arrived at the anticipated release date on May 17, 2019. Ever since the release, everyone from diehard book fans to casual viewers have been wanting to know: is Hulu’s Catch-22 a series that warrants a watch? The answer: for the most part, yes, as long as you can be forgiving of its flaws. Continue Reading
Director Chad Stahelski’s ongoing saga of John Wick movies have become a household name in a matter of less than 5 years, and for good reason. As it stands now, John Wick as a body of work is an interesting and fresh take on the action genre from a variety of cinematic viewpoints. When the first film came out in 2014, it became an instant classic with the infamous “puppy murder that launched a thousand bullets” setup as well as impressive fight scenes throughout. Throughout all of the movies, John has shown himself to be a protagonist that is in some ways familiar to what we would consider a “cold-blooded action hero,” and yet also makes intriguing decisions and is presented in an unprecedented way. But more on that later as we work our way through John Wick: Chapter 3- Parabellum and what it has to offer moviegoers. Overall, Parabellum can be described as a satisfying continuation in this series which ties aspects of his characterization and thematic elements from throughout the films together, as well as building foundations for the next upcoming sequel. It does have its fair share of issues (mostly ones carried over from its predecessors), but if you enjoyed the past two films, get ready for more of what you loved, this time bigger and better. Continue Reading
In a world of smartphones dominated by notches, Samsung was the only company to stick to its industrial design of curved sides and thick top and bottom bezels. While some would say that this looked “old-fashioned” , others would choose words like “practical” and “symmetric”. And now with its latest offering, the Galaxy S10/S10+, Samsung has gone back to the drawing board to create a design that reflects the smartphone of today.
I have spent one month with the Galaxy S10+ as my daily driver and here’s my review. Please note that whatever I say holds true for the regular S10 as well, save for the battery capacity and the display size.
Starting from the front, The S10+ has the new “Infinity-O display” which has a cutout for the front camera in the screen, allowing the bezels to be thinner than ever on any Samsung phone till date. The screen is curved on the sides allowing it to blend seamlessly with the side. The rear of the phone is all glass, housing a triple camera system(which I’ll get to in a bit), also curving on to the sides.
The power button is on the right, which is placed slightly higher than I am used to on other phones. The volume rocker is placed on the left, right on top of the Bixby Key- which can thankfully be remapped this time around. To the bottom of the phone we have a 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-Type C port, and a speaker. The top of the phone houses the secondary noise cancelling microphone. Sadly, No IR blaster this time.
For those of you the Northern Hemisphere, summer is right around the corner. With that, barbecue is on the way, maybe some pool or beach days, but most importantly: warm weather. One way to beat the heat, is the latest and greatest Dyson Pure Cool. If you are familiar with Dyson, you’ll recognize the Pure Cool immediately for it’s eye-catching design, plethora of easy to use tech features (including connected smart home tech), and stunning capability.
First of all, the Dyson Pure Cool follows in Dyson’s storied history of great design. While the engineered, industrial design with a nice balance between hard edges and rounded corners may not fit in an 1800’s museum, chances are it won’t look out of place in your living room or den. The Pure Cool comes in 3 colorways, White/Silver, Iron/Blue, and Black/Silver. The latter is a Dyson.com exclusive, and also my favorite. I love how the Pure Cool takes up relatively small floor space, yet has a presence that is undeniable and looks like it belongs in the MoMA. Continue Reading
So It was announced. We got excited. We were prepared to wait because we wanted, (needed) a magical place to charge our iPhones without cables.
And then… Disaster!
Apple cancelled it. All our hopes and dreams dashed against the craggy shores of cabled charging.
But there’s still hope, for once Apple didn’t invent their own format. They decided to use the Qi standard , and let’s face it, you still have too many cables and you still have a space set aside for that AirPower mat so what are you waiting for? Continue Reading
Master and Dynamic are a US-based audio manufacturer that pride themselves on their flawless industrial designs and well-realised tuning. Shortly following the success of their portable over-ear MH40, they promptly released the MW60, its wireless, closed-back counterpart. Alongside wireless connectivity, the MW60 brings a completely redesigned chassis that is more suitable for portable use, but also one that carries the same rigidity and flawless level of finish furthermore, though it uses the same drivers as the MH40, the MW60 sounds different due to a well-considered retune in addition to differing acoustics between their respective semi-open and closed-back designs. At $550 USD, the MW60 does represent a sizable price jump from the already premium MH40, though its exceptionally premium construction and lush sound will surely win buyers over. Master and Dynamic in the past have made some stunning headphones and the fit and finish of their end products is very hard to beat. Even by some of the biggest headphone companies would struggle to match this level of quality.
If you happen to like clean and minimalistic, you will definitely adore the made completely out of high-quality materials this headphone simply oozes luxury and elegance. No plastic to be found, as the MW60’s construction exists out of stainless steel and aluminium. The headband is wrapped in heavy grain leather, which also covers the outer parts of the earcups. On top of that, your ears will be spoiled by the soft lambskin leather earpads. Foldable hinges for easy and compact storage makes the MW60 a pleasure to travel with the MW60’s closed design and the comfortable leather earpads, which completely fit over your ears, gives the user a great seal. Meaning that this is a headphone you can fully enjoy, even when you’re in noisy environments.If you have a big head you can experience a high clamping force. But don’t let this be an issue. As with every headphone, the clamping will loosen up over time. You can always speed up this process by putting the headphones over a large shoebox when you’re not using them or by stretching the headband a little bit.During wear, the MW60 suffers from the same ergonomic niggles as the MH40, even though it’s actually a little lighter at 345g vs 360g. Chiefly, though nicely padded, its thin headband and heavy steel construction tend to form a hotspot after just a few hours of listening. And as with the MH40, I found the MW60 to have quite a narrow range of headband adjustment. I still found a strong seal and the sliders are smooth with unlimited adjustment points, though I just fit the maximum setting (I use a medium setting on most headphones). In return, the headphones fold for storage, becoming considerably more compact.e MW60’s design. Continue Reading
Bang & Olufsen is well known for mixing boutique design with high-end audio engineering. The Danish company’s more consumer friendly offshoot, B&O, tries to cash in on that reputation by enticing audiophiles to splash out on gadgets like its latest Beoplay H9i wireless headphones, Which launched early this year and are the successor to the company’s H9 headphones and they keep up the excellent sound quality of its predecessor, They produce a crisp and clear audio experience that caresses your eardrums rather than pounding them, even at high volumes. They produce a layered sound which will surely satisfy the most finicky of listeners. Their bass is good, but is overly thumpy, which bass fans may appreciate. The mid-range is also good, but their treble is overemphasized and fairly uneven.
Overall, vocals and lead instruments sound thin and a bit pushed back in the mix. Due to their exciting sound profile, these won’t be ideal for vocal-centric music and should be better-suited for bass-heavy genres. Also, low-bass is hyped by about 5dB, indicating that the bass of these headphones is deep and very thumpy, which should be pleasing to fans of bass-heavy genres. However, mid-bass, responsible for the body of bass guitars and kick drums, and high-bass, responsible for warmth, are under our target curve by 3 and 4dB respectively. The mid range performance of the H9i is good. The response throughout the range is decently-balanced, but there is a 10dB tilt favoring higher frequencies, which may make them sound a bit intense. The 4db underemphasis in low-mid will make vocals and lead instruments sound thin, and they may also be nudged to the back of the mix. These have a sub-par treble performance. The response throughout the range is fairly uneven. The dip centered around 6kHz will negatively affect the brightness and detail of some sibilants, but the very high and broad peak around 9-10 kHz will make those frequencies sound overly sharp and piercing, specially on already bright tracks. However, not everyone hears treble frequencies the same way, so your experience may differ. The H9i have a great frequency response consistency. These headphones seems to be using their ANC system to make the delivery of low-end frequencies more consistent. Continue Reading
You may know the feeling. The living room table or couch is full of remote controls of various devices, and you always happen to pick up the wrong one. For years, Logitech’s Harmony remote controls have been a solution to this problem and have deservedly dominated the market. With everything trending towards smart homes, however, completely new devices came into play that didn’t exist years ago. The Logitech Harmony Elite is said to have responded to the emergence of the new technology.Smart remotes are the next way to simplify your smart home life, but how do you know what the best smart remote control is for your needs? One solid option is the Logitech Harmony Elite Remote Control. It connects upto 15 devices at once with a variety of customizable settings to match your individual needs, and doing so is a breeze.If you have your device names and model numbers, the set-up is a breeze, and once it connects to the Wi-Fi, the Harmony will even find some of the devices for you.Connecting to Bluetooth devices (such as gaming systems) require additional steps that can all be done through the remote. After communicating to the app on which device you’re using and syncing with the remote, the screen will lay out instructions for proper pairing.
Once you have all of your devices connected, you can customize it all to your individual needs. Even after the initial set-up, it’s easy to go back and make adjustments, either from the remote or from your smartphone. You can make custom favorite buttons on the touch screen so even odd or unusual equipment is accessible to you, no matter what your home set-up may be. If you’re worried that it may be too complicated to set-up, never fear—the app will guide you through the whole selection process, and give you command suggestions. After that, it’s as simple as touching the button you want, with no need to point at the device you want to control. But everything isn’t joyus here, The app is slow, confusing and not particularly pleasant to use. Of course, it can do its job, especially when it comes to configuring the remote. But in 2018, the fact that every setting requires seconds of waiting is very inconvenient. And no, it’s not synchronized with the Harmony remote control. This is something Logitech can fix with software updates. Continue Reading
Luna Display, the little hardware dongle that turns your iPad into a second display, is now available to consumers. Luna Display was developed by the makers of the Astropad, an iOS app that turns your iPad into a graphics tablet for the Mac, and started out as a crowdfunding project on Kickstarter from the outside, it seems hard to believe that this diminutive little device can deliver on its promise of shifting millions of pixels wirelessly.
To operate the Luna Display, you need to install the Luna Display software on your Mac and on your iPad, and both apps are free. Simply plug in the Luna Display and your Mac will automatically launch the Luna Display app and tell you to launch the iPad app. A note will come on screen to tell you that your displays will blink a few times. It’s good they warn you because it would be a bit disconcerting otherwise. After a few blinks, you’ll see your Mac’s desktop showing on your iPad. The Mac will display a window entitled Luna Display Settings. This settings screen lets you tell the apps whether your iPad is to the left or right of your Mac. That works fine if the iPad is simply sitting on a table next to your notebook.
AirFly from Twelve South lets you use your AirPods or wireless headphones with any wired headphone jack. Say you are on an airplane with in-flight movies or TV—with AirPlay, you can listen wirelessly. If you happen to spend time on a treadmill or stationary bike at the gym, you can listen to TV with your AirPods.The new AirFly is a tiny Bluetooth device smaller than a box of matches and weighs just 15.6g. You can plug any audio source into its 3.5mm socket and once paired with your AirPods or Bluetooth headphones, you can listen wirelessly. Even though AirFly is small, it contains a rechargeable battery that provides power for about eight hours of listening. Pairing your AirPods is a snap and AirFly remembers them so the next time you use them, connecting is simplified. It comes with two 6 inch (15.5CM) cables. One is for charging from any USB charger and the other is a 3.5mm-to-3.5mm audio cable. These cables are short to eliminate cable clutter when in use. It take two hours to fully charge the AirFly, and when fully charged the AirFly lasts about eight hours, there is a single button on the front of the AirFly, used to turn the unit on and off and for pairing. There are two ports on the bottom: Micro-USB for charging, and a headphone jack. Continue Reading
Choosing how you protect your Apple iPhone XS has never been harder, with hundreds of iPhone cases to choose from, it can be very confusing deciding between them all.
Phone cases today can be made from single, double, triple and even 5 layer construction using materials such as thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and polycarbonates (PC), one manufacturer in particular is even incorporating materials used for crash protection in motorcycle gear into their cases for superior drop protection.
When it comes to how well a phone case protects the phone, some manufacturers use a military grade drop test to prove how well their case works if the inevitable happens, it’s a test the US Department of Defense designed to ensure overall durability for the product to be combat worthy. For the test the manufacturer repeatedly drops a case with a phone in it from a height of 4ft onto 2-inch plywood over concrete. The case is dropped a total of 26 times, 6 times face down, 8 times on the corners, and 12 times on the edges. After every drop the phone case is inspected for any damage. Not every manufacturer uses this test and it can only used as a guide to how well a phone case protects your phone.
For some, choosing a new iPhone case can be as simple how it minimalistic it looks without detracting from the iPhones overall shape and how it feels in the hand, while for others it’s about protecting their investment, choosing the biggest and most protective case available and not worrying about how it looks or feels. Continue Reading
Back in 2014, Amazon shocked the world with the first Echo smart hub. Five years on, you can find its Alexa smart assistant powering smart hubs in homes around the world. But, despite its ubiquity, the Amazon Echo isn’t the best smart hub (or smart speaker, for that matter) on sale. Its easily-confused AI and middling sound quality mean that there are better options out there. The original Echo was a device that genuinely changed the tech market. Sure, we were all familiar with Siri on iPhones, but the idea of having a voice controlled speaker was new. Since 2014, Amazon has introduced more Echo variations than you can shake a stick at. All of Amazon’s Echo devices are powered by Alexa, the company’s smart assistant. It’ll play music, control your smart home devices, perform internet searches, check the weather, and let you buy products from Amazon, as well as plenty more bespoke skills. Continue Reading
If you know me, you know I love golf. When it comes to the best in the game, there is only one name that matters. Callaway. For the past couple of months there’s been a lot of chatter in the pro-golf scene about a driver that is supposed to be a “game changer.” The new driver is equipped with technology that is apparently revolutionary and golfers are excited to see the new tech. The mystery driver is none other than the Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic. I was ecstatic when Callaway reached out asking me to try it out, actually getting goosebumps when I received the message. There has been a great amount of hype surrounding the Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic line of drivers since rumors began some time ago. Much of this has to do with Callaway touting their breakthrough “Jailbreak Technology” as a huge jump in driver performance. There are two models in the line, the Standard Great Big Bertha Epic, and the Great Big Bertha Epic Subzero. Both Clubheads feature the coveted new Jailbreak Technology as well as Callaway’s premier Exo Cage Construction, which allows Callaway to incorporate more carbon fiber support into the design of the clubhead. This allows for weight to be redistributed to different areas of the clubhead in order to boost performance.
The standard Great Big Bertha Epic driver features a sliding track movable weight system which can be used to alter ball flight. The sliding track is similar in design to what was offered in Great Big Bertha from 2015 with a few slight differences. Namely, the weight in the track has been increased from 10 grams in the previous version, to 17 grams in the new version. The heavier weight will increase the effect it has on the ball flight, allowing for more correction for people who tend to miss left or right. The placement of the track has been changed as well. The 2015 version had the track positioned more in the heel compared to the new Epic, and it was great for golfers who missed to the right. The problem was that there really was not a setting that worked well for golfers whose miss was to the left. The placement of the track in the new Epic driver is more neutral, with equal heel and toe settings. This allows for similar heel settings to create the same draw biased ball flight from the previous model, while also providing an option for a toe setting that will create a fade biased ball flight. A heavier weight in the track, along with repositioning the track will help the new Epic Driver fit a wider range of golfers. This driver is available in clubheads that have 9, 10.5, and 13.5 degrees of loft. All utilize Callaway’s optifit hosel, which has different loft settings ranging from -1 to +2, along with a neutral and draw lie angle setting. Combined there are 8 different OptiFit settings to help further dial the player in.
Volvo makes luxury cars. Awkward to see in writing, I know. But one of Volvo’s latest offerings redefines what it means to have that Volvo logo, up front on the grille. Volvo’s new XC90 is the company’s second-generation luxury SUV. The new XC90 runs on Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture which is a modular chassis developed by the company. The XC90 contains the very best of what Volvo has to offer in terms of performance, styling, safety, and tech.
Let’s start off with performance. The XC90 is no slouch for an SUV, delivering 316 horsepower from its supercharged, and yes, also turbocharged 2 liter engine coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission. With the power you can feel inside the SUV, the XC90 would definitely not lead you to believe it had a 2 liter engine underneath as Volvo managed to eek out maximum performance from this highly-tuned piece of machinery. A truly remarkable feat that can only really be enjoyed inside the cabin. The ride you get with the XC90 is quite configurable, with adjusting the steering as easily available as adjusting the seats. This demonstrates the fun, playful side of the XC90, as well as the performance seeking “naughty”, other side. Continue Reading
Every other year, Apple comes out with their S line of phones. While these phones look almost completely the same from the outside, they bring major improvements internally. These improvements go on to be defining features for future iPhones. The 3GS brought video recording, the 4s brought Siri (which went on to be one of Apple’s biggest features across their product line), and the 5s brought Touch ID security. Once again, Apple has released an iPhone that looks almost exactly the same on the outside, but do the new internal features make this a radical step forward for the iPhone?
The design of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus is almost exactly the same as the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The iPhone 6s is one of the best smartphone designs ever. The edges of the device are rounded, there is not one hard angle on the main body of the phone, which makes it feel really good in the hand. The glass extends from the border of the screen and slopes down into the metal casing of the phone. The antenna bands extend over the sides over to the back, creating a rounded trapezoid shape on both the top and bottom of the back. The Apple logo is the main highlight of the back of the phone. It has been cut from a piece of polished stainless steel, and then inserted into the cutout in the casing. This creates a two-toned transition between the sand blasted aluminum and the polished stainless steel. One problem with last years design was the use of series 6000 aluminum. This, unfortunately, made the extremely thin iPhone 6 and 6 Plus susceptible to bending. This has been fixed in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus with series 7000 aluminum. Pure aluminum is now mixed with zinc and magnesium, which creates a very strong alloy. Another material upgrade is the dual ion-exchange glass, which is the most durable glass used on a smartphone ever. Rose Gold joins the existing Space Grey, Silver, and Gold. I would describe this color as a metallic peach more than Rose Gold, but I still like the color regardless. Continue Reading
Motorola recently has been creating some really impressive low and mid-range phones. Starting in 2013 with the original Moto X, they have tried to perfect the ideal Android smartphone that doesn’t break the bank. Motorola almost got the formula right back in 2014, however lackluster battery life and cameras made it hard to compare the phone to flagships such as the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy. So the question is, does the 2015 Moto X Pure Edition perfect the mid-range smartphone?
The design of the 2015 Moto X reflects the newer design language that Motorola applies across all of their phones. The swooping lines and curved back make it really easy to hold the phone. These details actually look more inviting and friendly than some other phones that use straight edges. The structure of the phone is made of anodized aluminum and this makes the Moto G feel really solid. The back plate can be customized to use plastic, leather, or wood, and the leather and wood options add a bit of class to an already handsome phone. The two major design changes over previous versions of the Moto X are, first, the camera trim, which has been redesigned to be a little less intrusive and second, the bigger screen. The screen got a sizable bump from a 5.2 inch Full HD AMOLED to a 5.7 inch Quad HD LED display. While the screen is nice, it’s not anything special, however the colors and clarity are perfectly fine for the price. Continue Reading
Samsung introduced the world to large screen phones branded as “phablets” back in 2011. While many people didn’t think this approach to phones would work in the long run, it actually did. Now if you look around in the phone market, you rarely find a phone that has a screen less than 4.5 inches. In 2015, most phones have the large screen that was once the Note’s biggest feature. So, the big question is: “Does the Note 5 still have the competitive edge in a large screen world?”
When I reviewed the Samsung Galaxy S5 back in 2014, the one thing that stood out to me was just how horribly designed Samsung phones were. The plastic design was actually the focus of a lot of negative reviews directed at Samsung phones before this year. Samsung picked up on this and completely redesigned their handsets to incorporate premium materials, such as metal and glass. The result is a beautiful phone that feels solid in the hand. The front of the phone looks similar to other Samsung phones, but the real design marvel is the curved glass on the back. The back glass not only looks amazing, but it also creates a more comfortable surface to hold. The chamfered edges on the side of the metal enclosure look nice, but, just like the iPhone, do not hold up to long-term wear and tear. Continue Reading
The OnePlus 2 is a paradox. On one side, it is a phone that compares itself to flagships like the Galaxy S6 or the iPhone 6. Conversely, the OnePlus 2 is half the price of those very same phones. The OnePlus 1 was a wildly popular phone in 2015, so the question is: “Does the OnePlus 2 have what it takes to be the 2016 flagship killer it claims to be?”
The design of th OnePlus 2 isn’t very exciting. The main frame of the phone is made of aluminum, a material now commonly used on flagship phones. This design decision makes the OnePlus 2 feel really solid, it’s unbelievable that this phone costs less than $400. The phone comes with a removable plastic back that features a rough matte finish that feels somewhat like sandpaper. This texture actually gives you more grip and prevents you from dropping your phone. If the matte black finish isn’t your style, OnePlus will sell you a different back, including a real wooden one, for $27. Continue Reading
The Ford Mondeo has certainly taken a long time to be released to the public. It was first previewed back in late 2012 to be released soon after, but due to several delays, it actually took until the 2014 model year to be released in the European markets. So, how does the 2015 Ford Mondeo stack up to it’s other mid-size competitors, and was the long delay worth it?
The Ford Mondeo has matured a lot since the previous generation. The exterior and interior design has been completely revised compared to the older Mondeo, and for the most part, these are really welcome improvements. The Mondeo is, for the most part, almost indistinguishable from the 2012 United States Ford Fusion, which could be a good or a bad thing depending on ones taste. Like most of Fords lineup, the Mondeo shares elements with other Fords, like the Focus. The front looks aggressive and sporty, and looks surprisingly similar to that on an Aston Martin. This gives the Mondeo the look of a much higher class of car. The back of the car looks a lot like the previous generation Mondeo, but more refined and less bulbous. The shape of the car is a lot more aerodynamic and is following its German competitors by looking more like a 4 door coupé than a sedan. This styling, combined with additional underbody panels and active grille shutters, contribute to a 10% drag reduction, which not only helps improve fuel economy, but also reduces interior noise.
LG is somewhat of an underdog in the mobile phone world. In a mostly saturated market, Apple and Samsung seem to be the ones that sell the most phones; however, the LG G3 was a solid competitor last year. So the question remains: does the LG G4 improve upon the G3, or is it just another phone that will fade into the shadows?
The design of the LG G4 isn’t very special and is actually a step down compared to other 2015 flagships. The whole phone is made of plastic, and nothing about it looks premium. The good news is this can be fixed by replacing the removable plastic back with the leather one, which can be purchased from LG for $69.99. One other design decision that is a bit odd is the placement of the volume and power buttons on the back. It isn’t very natural to use and requires some getting used to. However, don’t let one strange design decision deter you from buying this phone. Continue Reading
For my first car review, I thought it would be cool to try and dispel some old stigmas associated with car brands. In this case, Volvo. You see, in the past the word Volvo was always associated with the color beige, and taxes. It really didn’t make my heartbeat faster, or my pants any tighter that say an Audi, Benz, or Bimmer did. Volvo’s never really did anything for me, because I always felt that they were boring cars; not something that a young, lofty kid like me would ever be associated with.
The S60 Polestar is Volvo’s (mighty) attempt at a stylish, sport sedan that can take on the Germans head on; specifically the Audi S4, Mercedes C400 and BMW 335i. With it’s edgy, rebel blue paint job, oversized sport rims, and plethora of Polestar badges and logos, this hot Swede sure looks the part. This is certainly a Volvo that WILL NOT put you to sleep by its sight. It’s a proper, sport sedan without all of the “fluff” that we’ve become so accustomed to. There is a rear diffuser, 2 exhaust outlets, and a front splitter that actually do something! In the case of the front lip, it provides added down force to front, which assists in high-speed maneuvering. In no way does the exterior interject the performance that this car packs, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring. It’s a perfectly executed sleeper. Continue Reading