OnePlus 5 – How to activate USB Audio, Dual Bluetooth, Audio Tuner and APT-X HD?

OnePlus 5. So how do you activate the advanced audio options including USB Audio, APT-X HD and the Audio Tuner?

Audio Tuner

To activate the audio tuner go to the settings app. Scroll down to sound and vibration. Go to the last option Audio Tuner, turn on and tweak to your hearts content. This doesn’t work on Bluetooth audio. 

USB Audio

To enable USB Audio so you can plug in an external DAC, go to the settings app, advanced. Half way down toggle the OTG Storage setting to on. 

APT-X HD

To enable the hi res APT-X HD, go to the settings app, advanced, and right at the bottom is an option for Bluetooth Audio Codec. Tap on this and choose between APT-X, APT-X HD and SBC. SBC is the default. The photo above shows the Astell & Kern XB10 Bluetooth Adapter that outputs the APT-X HD. You can read my review of the Astell & Kern XB10 by clicking HERE.

Dual Bluetooth 

So how do you connect to two Bluetooth devices at the same time on the Oneplus 5. You have to wait for Android O update to arrive on the Oneplus 5. It is not possible yet. 

If you have any questions on the Oneplus 5 don’t hesitate to ask. 

If you are shopping on Amazon UK and would like to help Gavin’s Gadgets towards the running costs, by clicking the Amazon link, it takes you to the Amazon store and you can shop away and purchase whatever you need, but without any additional cost to yourself. 

Amazon UK Shopping

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OnePlus 5 vs iPhone 7 Plus – Portrait Mode Shootout

So the OnePlus 5 has arrived. There is a lot of noise on the internet regarding the camera. Well I am sure to take a few shots with it over the coming days but here is a huge surprise. Portrait mode. I truly expected the iPhone 7 Plus to walk over the OnePlus 5. Except it didn’t. I took 5 portrait shots on each phone, and every OnePlus 5 Portrait mode photo was better than the iPhone 7 Plus on every shot.

Above is the best shot I could achieve from the iPhone 7 Plus in portrait after 5 attempts.

And above is one of 5 decent portrait shots from the OnePlus 5. Incredible and a surprise.

More to follow.

USB Audio on the new iPad Pro 10.5 & iPhone 7 – Tips


Sometimes it just works when using Apple devices. Other times Apple makes it difficult and adds a layer of cost to make it work when you want to try and do something different. 

Case in question is with USB Audio. iOS 10 broke the usual method many had been using to get USB Audio outputted from an iPad or iPhone to a third party DAC to create a better sound. 

Apple’s preferred method is clearly to use Bluetooth headphones, AirPods or one of their Beats headphones. Unfortunately, whilst the AirPods work extremely well, that’s an extra cost of £169. Also, neither Apple or Beats have an over the ear headphone currently that has the new W1 chip for faultless Bluetooth connection playback. Another option is the emergence of lightning headphones that connect via the lightning port. 

Many people are having issues with many DACS and iOS devices (iPads and iPhones). Previously, everyone would either be using an official MFI Approved DAC by Apple or the USB adapter v2. You might not realise that Apple updated the USB to lightning adapter to a USB3 to lightning adapter as shown above. It’s bigger because it allows you to plug a lightning cable into to charge the iPad or iPhone whilst using it. This means more USB peripherals will work as they can have their own power source. I’ve tested this as well. The one other advantage of the USB2 over the new USB3 adapter is better audio. 

Unfortunately, the old USB2 camera adapter isn’t working and you will need to buy the new USB3 adapter which also costs more than the older version! The setup shown in the photo is a Audioquest Dragonfly Red DAC, Audioquest Jitterbug and the Apple USB3 to lightning adapter. I have used this with my iPhone 7 Plus and iPad Pro 10.5, both of which are running iOS 10.3.2. 

With this setup and using the new USB3 Apple lightning to camera adapter,  USB Audio is once again working smoothly. 

However, anyone with approved MFI DACs could still be having issues and this should hopefully be fixed when iOS 11 arrives. 

Useful Links

Apple lighting to USB3 Camera adapter on Amazon UK

Audioquest Dragonfly Red on Amazon UK
Audioquest Jitterbug on Amazon UK


Tech Addicts Podcast – The Next Episode is Live – Honor 9, WWDC, £500 Headphones and Archos

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Tech Addicts Podcast is back again with a new episode starring Gareth Myles, Jay Garrett, Leila Gregory, Brendan Arndt and myself. Tech Addicts is released every week. Twitter: @garethmyles ; @gavinfabiani ; @GadgetyNewsCom ; @JayGarrett ; @swanny ; @girlsngadgets ; @wildlime

To listen to the latest episode subscribe by searching “Tech Addicts” within your favourite podcast app, iTunes, Google Play Music Podcasts or use the URL “mobiletechaddicts.libsyn.com/rss” to add directly.

To listen now, hit the play button below –

Audio Technica ATH-DSR9BT – Review – Best Bluetooth Headphone of 2017

Audio Technica ATH-DSR9BT Review. £499 of world class technology providing hi-res bluetooth and USB Audio sound. These are pure digital headphones meaning there is no headphone jack. Actually there isn’t a DAC either.

The ATH-DSR9BT feature an exclusive “Pure Digital Drive” system keeps audio signal completely digital from source to driver for exceptionally pure sound. This is a first. A Dnote chipset controls driver amplitude directly with digital signals – no DAC converter required.

The Key Features / Specification

– Features Qualcomm aptX HD, aptX, AAC and SBC codecs, enabling wireless transmission with a resolution up to 24-bit/48kHz.
– 45mm True Motion Driver, with 4-core twisted OFC-7N voice coil and diaphragm with diamond-like carbon coating.
– Mic and volume/control switch are built into the earcup for convenient control of smartphones and other Bluetooth wireless devices / NFC touch pairing.
– Save up to “eight” Bluetooth wireless devices paired.
– LED indicators display pairing, charging status, battery level, and the codec currently in use.
– Heat-reactive soft foam earpads and an easily adjustable leather headband provide a comfortable fit with outstanding sound isolation
– Internal battery provides approximately 15 hours of continuous use (1000 hours on standby) on a full charge
– Includes a 2.0 m (6.6′) USB cable, for charging and Hi-Res Audio playback, and hard carrying case
Frequency Response – 5 to 45,000 Hz / Sensitivity – 97 ohms / Impedance – 38 ohms / Weight – 310g
– Microphone -condenser/Sensitivity -44 dB (1V/Pa a 1 kHz)/Frequency Response 50 – 4,000Hz /omnidirectional
– Input Jack: Micro USB Type B
– Communication System: Bluetooth Version 4.2 / Bluetooth Specification Power Class 2
– Maximum Communication Range: Line of sight – approx. 10 m (33′) / Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP

As you can see from the key features and specifications noted above, these ATH-DSR9BT are certainly something special and in terms of absolute sound quality are the best so far in 2017. However, I personally did not like them, so check out my review below to find out the incredible highs and disappointing lows.

The headphones were tested using an iPhone 7 Plus (bluetooth AAC), LG G6 (APT-X HD, USB Audio using USB Audio Player Pro & Tidal), MacBook Pro (USB Audio and APT-X).

The Audio Review

Useful Links

More information on the Audio Technica DSR9BT Headphone and latest deals on Amazon UK
More information and the latest deals on Audio Technica headphones on Amazon UK.
Audio Technica ATH-DSR9BT – First Impressions and Unboxing

Big Changes – Update

Big Changes. Update.

Since my last post about the changes that were happening with Gavin’s Gadgets, the response has been overwhelming.

I have received such kind comments and feedback on here, via email, twitter, Google+, Facebook, texts, WhatsApp and more.

Thank you, thank you. There are no words to express my gratitude. So as “Steve Jobs” famously said “Just One More Thing”. 

So stay tuned. One more thing incoming that wasn’t going to be published but will be 15 minutes after this post. 

Big Changes – Editorial 


Changes. And difficult decisions. 

Gavin’s Gadgets is 4.5 years old. I started posting every day for nearly 4 years. In 4 years a lot has changed. Phones have got a lot better. Or have have. I mean who decided to remove the headphone jack! 

Joking aside, phones have got better. I read comments on social media with people arguing over pointless points of a phone. My camera is better than yours. Or which phone is better. This cannot be easily answered anymore as it all depends on a given day, the weather conditions and the particular type of shot. My advice though is stop arguing the toss, and learn how to use the bloody phone and camera properly. Learn how to take a better shot. 


And believe it or not you’ll take something as shown above, shot on an iPhone 7 Plus in raw. Post processed in adobe lightroom for iOS. 

These aren’t one off shots. Another iPhone shot below. 


But to be honest it doesn’t matter which phone, it’s possible to pull off a masterful photo. Within all my reviews I have used my 3 labradors, George, Fury and Tiggy. I swear they even know how to smile at the right moment when I’m photographing them. 

Below is Tiggy, the youngest now 3.5 years old. 


And the oldies, George and Fury, both 5 years old now. 


Apart from reviewing mobile tech, I have a passion for photography and listening to music. After watching the WWDC 2017 from Apple last week it is even clearer to me that the Apple eco system is a much better fit for my passions. Whilst android offers diversity in the hardware it doesn’t offer the same level of deep app experiences. The facts are that using iOS 10 I can do much more with my videos and photos than on android. iOS 11 takes that to another level. The headphones that are available specifically for iOS are just as exciting. So, what does this mean. Well I have owned an iPhone 7 Plus since it launched and had it as my main phone and am very happy with it the point that I don’t see the need of having a second phone, normally an android phone. So I’m not. 

Another point with the Apple eco system is how all the hardware talks to each other. These experiences are wonderful. And I personally prefer them. That’s not to say android or chrome is rubbish, they aren’t but I’m sticking with Apple.

Some of you will have noticed some drop in activity. A few months ago I ended up in hospital (unplanned) and on Thursday I had the pleasure of another unplanned visit. I have decided that it’s time to take a back seat reviewing stuff on Gavin’s Gadgets. I will keep the website open, I will still answer your questions, there is still a wealth of information on here. Go to the menu, reviews and have a look. Or use the search facility on here. 

My 3 gorgeous dogs will also have a rest from my camera, well they may think that but they won’t be so lucky in reality. That’s because I am going to do what I enjoy more and more now. And that is take awesome photos of Dartmoor and surrounding areas in Devon and Cornwall. I will share these special days out which of course will allow you to see the best from my current phone. These might be videos too.  However, my posting will be as and when. 

So just a little note to say thank you to the millions and millions of you that have visited so far and to all those that contributed and help support me and Gavin’s Gadgets. 

My Thoughts – WWDC 17, new MacBooks, iMACs, new iPads, HomePod, iOS 11, watchOS4 & macOS High Sierra


So last night Apple held that keynote speech for WWDC 2017. The keynote speech lasted nearly 2 1/2 hours and in that time Apple revealed an incredible amount of new hardware and software.

So what did I think of all the new announcements made last night. Firstly with all the new Macbook, MacBook Pro, iMac and iMac Pro hardware improvements, it was clear Apple was addressing gripes of not having the most powerful processors and or enough ram/graphics. The new iMac Pro can be configured with 18 cores. 18 cores! Incredible. So if Apple was looking for a complete refresh of the range it now has a bit of time to enable any future updates to the happen because most people should be very happy with the latest hardware improvements. Even the MacBook air got a slight tweak in the hardware improvements.
Apple also announced new iPad Pro with a 10.5 inch screen and slimmer bezels. The new iPad will really benefit from iOS 11 when it comes out of beta and is made as a free updates in the fall. iOS 11 brings a ton of new functionality to the iPad and makes it look more like macOS. In fact I think this is the first step and unification of macOS and iOS. Whilst there are heaps of new features with iOS 11 the biggest change is the refresh rate going up from 60 Hz to 120 Hz. This makes ultrasmooth display refresh rates and strolling and in my mind is a game changer. Of course the new iPad Pro is more powerful with a new chip and has all the latest cameras found from the iPhone 7. Obviously there is a new update to the iPad accessories so Apple also makes some more money with those as well. Due to the new screen tech the Apple Pencil latency is the lowest ever and now makes the pencil even more productive with the iPad. 

WatchOS had a number of updates as well which will just take Apple’s lead in this field even further. macOS High Sierra had a ton of new features and refinements but also insures the possibility of using your Mac to create the VR media as well as AI. 

iOS 11 had tons of new features and functionality too, but what was evident is Apple’s push for AI with their new AIKit APIs. The new iPhone is clearly going to feature AI technology and this could be a game changer.

Apple also showed off the new HomePod, a blend of Siri and high-tech speakers. The proof  in this new product will be in use and how well it works, so until it comes out later in the year it will be one of those let’s wait and see before casting any verdicts.

Overall I thought Apple announced an awful lot of hardware and software. On the software side there will be a ton of functionality and features that never got mentioned at all. All these will take time to be uncovered over the coming weeks and months.

So what do you think?

LG G6 – New Firmware & new features

At exactly 6pm last night the above firmware went live on my LG G6 (G600) Korean model with the quad DAC and 64gb storage. 

Now in case you’re wondering what the above firmware says, so did I. Luckily Google Translate sort of helped and didn’t. 

However, I can confirm this update provided the following – 

– LG Pay app added

– 1st May security update 

– Bugs fixes and tweaks. 

Audio Technica ATH-DSR9BT – 24bit Hi-Res Bluetooth & USB Headphones – First Impressions


Audio Technica ATH-DSR9BT First Impressions and Unboxing. The ATH-DSR9BT are over-ear wireless headphones that feature a lot of crazy bluetooth technology to deliver 24bit hi resolution sound. Plus they connect via USB for a true digital connection. No headphone jack required! Actually there isn’t a headphone jack. These are true digital headphones through and through.

So as an example with my Mac or PC they connect via a USB cable with a huge frequency range as shown below. With my LG G6 they can also connect via the USB connection or via Bluetooth APT-X HD (24bit/96) Hi Resolution bluetooth.

The Key Features / Specification

– The ATH-DSR9BT feature an exclusive “Pure Digital Drive” system keeps audio signal completely digital from source to driver for exceptionally pure sound. This is a first.

– Dnote chipset controls driver amplitude directly with digital signals – no D/A converter required.

– Features Qualcomm aptX HD, aptX, AAC and SBC codecs, enabling wireless transmission with a resolution up to 24-bit/48kHz.

– 45mm True Motion Driver, with 4-core twisted OFC-7N voice coil and diaphragm with diamond-like carbon coating.

– Mic and volume/control switch are built into the earcup for convenient control of smartphones and other Bluetooth wireless devices / NFC touch pairing.

– Save up to “eight” Bluetooth wireless devices paired.

– LED indicators display pairing, charging status, battery level, and the codec currently in use.

– Heat-reactive soft foam earpads and an easily adjustable leather headband provide a comfortable fit with outstanding sound isolation

– Internal battery provides approximately 15 hours of continuous use (1000 hours on standby) on a full charge

– Includes a 2.0 m (6.6′) USB cable, for charging and Hi-Res Audio playback, and hard carrying case

Frequency Response – 5 to 45,000 Hz / Sensitivity – 97 ohms / Impedance – 38 ohms / Weight – 310g

– Microphone -condenser/Sensitivity -44 dB (1V/Pa a 1 kHz)/Frequency Response 50 – 4,000Hz /omnidirectional

– Input Jack: Micro USB Type B

– Communication System: Bluetooth Version 4.2 / Bluetooth Specification Power Class 2

– Maximum Communication Range: Line of sight – approx. 10 m (33′) / Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP

First Impressions and Unboxing

As you can see from the key features and specifications noted above, these ATH-DSR9BT are certainly something special and I can’t wait to spend more time with these and share my findings both negative and positive. And there are both.

Useful Links

More information on the Audio Technica DSR9BT Headphone and latest deals on Amazon UK
More information and the latest deals on Audio Technica headphones on Amazon UK.

Honor 8 Pro – Review – including an Epic Camera Showcase & more!

The Honor 8 Pro review. Just how much better is the “Pro” version of the Honor 8? Quite a lot as it turns out. So first lets take a look at the key specifications and differences –

The Key Specifications

– 5.7 inch, 2560 x 1440 Quad HD display, 515 ppi
– Kirin 960 octa-core (4x 2.4 GHz + 4x 1.8 GHz)
– 6 GB RAM, 64 GB ROM
– Android 7 (Nougat)
– EMUI 5.1
– 12 MP + 12 MP dual-lens camera
– USB-OTG
– IR Blaster
– 184 grams
– 4,000 mAh battery
– 6.97mm thick
– Cardboard VR inside box

The Honor 8 Pro includes the Kirin 960 processor along with 6gb ram and 64gb storage. This phone flies. It is fast and nimble at everything I have thrown at it. AnTuTu clocked in at 150,000. And checking the storage speeds showed its storage was UFS 2.1.

What these baseline specs translate into is a phone that delivers the best performance for gaming, streaming and photography. All this capability is backed up by a large 4.000 mAh battery which works in tandem seamlessly with the latest SmartPower 5.0 technology, providing up to two full days of run-time from a single charge. Typically I managed 6.5 hours screen on time with excellent standby times.

The Honor 8 Pro is ultra-thin at just 6.97mm body, yet it has a QHD resolution screen which looks gorgeous with decent viewing angles. The phone box also doubles up as a VR cardboard headset. Jaunt VR app is included on the phone.

The Honor 8 Pro incorporates its third generation 12-megapixel dual-lens camera. The two lenses work in tandem to deliver the perfect shot – the monochrome lens captures a black-and-white image with incredible depth of detail, while the RGB lens ensures vivid colour reproduction. The camera’s wide aperture range (f/0.95–f/16) delivers DSLR-like depth of field effects, for both photo and video shooting. It has been evident from my time testing the Honor 8 Pro that the Kirin 960, 6gb ram and improved post processing has made improvements on the picture and video quality. I have included an epic camera showcase to highlight this point.

The device also supports shooting of 4k videos encoded in the efficient H.265 codec, which produces files twice as small as its predecessor. And EMUI 5.1 introduces Highlights, a new feature co-developed with GoPro that intelligently organises photos by category and automatically generates video stories that are easily customisable.

Below are a few samples from the camera, but to see the full camera showcase covering video and stills, check out the video review below.

Mystic Dartmoor Rock #honor8pro

Above shot taken in wide aperture mode. Really cool photo.

Courtyard Scenes - Shot on the Honor 8 Pro #honor8pro

Lovely close up of the blue bells.

Water droplets #magical #honor8pro

The detail on the water droplets is excellent.

Plus there is so much more to this phone, so lets continue to part 2 of my review and watch the video below. My video review also discussed the camera differences between various Honor and Huawei phones too.

Video Review

Camera Showcase

Conclusion

The Honor 8 Pro is a smashing phone with good battery life, looks, excellent camera and more and all for just £474.99. Highly recommended.

Useful Links

More info and latest pricing on Honor 8 and Honor 8 Pro on Amazon UK

Tech Addicts Podcast – The Next Episode is Live – Zooming, 360 Degrees and WWDC 2017

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Tech Addicts Podcast is back again with a new episode starring Gareth Myles, Jay Garrett, Leila Gregory, Brendan Arndt and myself. Tech Addicts is released every week. Twitter: @garethmyles ; @gavinfabiani ; @GadgetyNewsCom ; @JayGarrett ; @swanny ; @girlsngadgets ; @wildlime

To listen to the latest episode subscribe by searching “Tech Addicts” within your favourite podcast app, iTunes, Google Play Music Podcasts or use the URL “mobiletechaddicts.libsyn.com/rss” to add directly.

To listen now, hit the play button below –

Insta360 Nano vs Insta360 Air – Review & Comparison – 360 degree cameras for iOS & Android

Insta360 Nano Review and Insta360 Air Review. The Nano works with your iPhone and the Air on an android phone. Both are 360 degree cameras that take photo, video and live stream to many places e.g. Youtube and Facebook.

The Insta360 cameras come with the best mobile apps that are ahead of that provided by Samsung for their Gear 360 (2017). Why? Find out in my video review.

The video review provides a practical in depth review of both cameras. The main review include some sample footage that I could embed however there were many modes that were not included and consequently are shown below. My review also includes a DIY way to attach the Insta360 Nano to an iPhone whilst it is still in a case.

Finally, I have also provided a comparison between the two Insa360 cameras along with my views using these with the Samsung Gear 360 (2017). At the end of this post, I have all the useful links.

Video Review

360 Degree Photos – Normal and then HDR

360 Degree Video – Normal and then Low Light

360 Photos made into Animations (several options and all very cool)

The Northcott Theatre was packed earlier for "The Play that went Wrong" – great comedy 👍

A post shared by Gavin Fabiani-Laymond (@gavinsgadgets) on

Thumbs up 👍- it's the start of the weekend #insta360air #360photography #360camera

A post shared by Gavin Fabiani-Laymond (@gavinsgadgets) on

360 Live Stream Footage using Facebook (if you can’t see this, turn off your ad blocker)

 

Conclusion

Both cameras are excellent, versatile and solve the key issue, how to share the footage in a fun and easy way to nearly every social media platform.

Useful Links

More info and the latest pricing on the Insta360 Nano and Insta360 Air at Amazon UK
More info and the latest pricing on the Samsung Gear 360 and 360 (2017) at Amazon UK
iPhone 7 Plus Extension Dock on Amazon UK
Samsung Gear 360 (2017) – My review with every mode tested

Lightning Storm over Princetown – at 2am on 27th May 2017 – Captured in 4K Video

Earlier this morning, a powerful storm hit Princetown, Dartmoor for nearly two hours. I personally have never seen anything like it and it kept me awake for the duration.

Lightning was flashing continuously for nearly 90 mins. Spectacular and scary at the same time.

This is a 4K one minute video of the action. Nature is a wild machine sometimes.