Category Archives: Headphone

Powerbeats Pro vs AirPods vs Samsung Galaxy Buds

Welcome to my review and comparison of the Powerbeats Pro wireless earphones. These are then compared to the AirPods and Samsung Galaxy Buds.

Airpods

– physical size – smallest, weight 4 grams each airpod case is 40 grams, one size fits all, may not fit you , only in white.
– no need to tap, just say Hey Siri , use Siri to raise volume etc.
– charging, qi wireless an option, 5 hours or 3 hours of calls, case holds total 24 hours battery life, can get a version with a qi wireless case, lightning cable otherwise.
– quick charge – 15 minutes in the case equals up to 3 hours of listening time4 or up to 2 hours of talk time.
– connection Apple H1 headphone chip, AirPods use optical sensors and motion accelerometers to detect when they’re in your ears. Whether you’re using both AirPods or just one, the H1 chip automatically routes the audio and engages the microphone. And when you’re on a call or talking to Siri, an additional speech-detecting accelerometer works with beamforming microphones to filter out external noise and focus on the sound of your voice.
– ease of use – easy pairing on Apple gear, than synced over icloud to all other Apple gear, quick switching, pairs to android, easily too with button, can use individually
– noise cancellation – none.
– audio quality – clear and crisp, good for audio books, voice calls excellent, very low latency.
– Cost £170 without qi case , £200 with the case.

Powerbeats Pro

– physical size – largest of bunch, huge case, Ear tips with four size options, in black and other colours soon, comfy due to design, wont fall out.

– press and hold Beats button on either side for voice assistant
– no need to tap , hey siri built in, other voice assistant like those on android, just press the Beats button.
– Charging – no wireless charging – 9 hours time , 5 mins quick charge gives 1.5 hours battery, Lightning to USB-A charging cable
– connection again Apple H1 headphone chip enhanced phone call performance and call handling from either earbud, easy pairing on apple gear, syncs across icloud
– ease of use – adjustable, secure-fit earhooks for lightweight comfort and stability
– reinforced design for sweat and water resistance during tough workouts, each side has exact same controls
– passive noise cacellations
– voice clarity on calls is excellent, the best of 3
– audio quality the best of all 3. balanced sound with a slight bass , very low latency
– Cost £220

Galaxy Buds

– physiscal size – middle of the road, ear tips in box, and wing tips, dont need them as comfy to wear and stay in.

– press and hold touch button for voice assistnat
– charging – either using cradle with usb a, or qi charging , 15 mins gets 1.5 hours
– connection – 6 hours , then another 7 hours with case
– connection – excellent, occassionally drop , easy pairing with samsung app, app does fimwares, had two, equaliser options, dynamic is best, and ambient sound option as well.
– ease of use – touch controls, can be configured, splash resistant
– passive noise cancellation
– poor voice call clarity outside
– good audio, some latency, more on some phones than others.
– cost £130 although deals are even lower

Video Review

Conclusion

The Powerbeats Pro are the best wireless earphones that cover all the basics and provide a good audio quality. Recommended.

Useful Links

Powerbeats Pro Latest info & pricing on Amazon UK

AirPods latest info & pricing on Amazon UK

Samsung Galaxy Buds latest info & pricing

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Sennheiser debuts its first wireless gaming headset, the GSP 670 – Full Details

The low-latency technology, developed by Sennheiser, ensures that you experience a stable, uninterrupted near-zero delay connection that you can always rely on for PC and PlayStation® 4. Thanks to additional Bluetooth® connectivity, the headset can be paired simultaneously to compatible devices such as smartphones or tablets. Pick up calls at the touch of a button and get seamlessly switched back to the low-latency connection and your game when you hang up.

The speaker system of the GSP 670 combines over 70 years of audio know-how, while fulfilling the needs of a modern gaming headset. The result is a warm deep bass without compromising the mid-range and high frequencies. This allows you to hear every detail and react even faster. Customize the sound to your liking with the Sennheiser Gaming Suite and turn on 7.1 Surround Sound for the ultimate audio experience.

With over 20 hours run time over Bluetooth® 5, and 16 hours using the low-latency connection, the battery life of the GSP 670 will last for even the longest gaming session. In case the GSP 670 runs out of battery, you can simultaneously game and charge for uninterrupted game play. The USB quick charge allows for two hours of wireless usage after only seven minutes of charging.

The GSP 670 features the best in class microphone. Developed in house the advanced noise-cancelling microphone minimizes background noise. The flexible boomarm can be adjusted to any head shape for optimal pick up, ensuring that you will be transmitting in broadcast quality. To mute, simply lift the boomarm and you’re off the air.

Sennheiser Headphones on Amazon UK.

Fiio BTR3 Review – Bluetooth Headphone Amp for converting wired into wireless headphones!

Welcome to my review of the Fiio BTR3 Bluetooth Headphone Amp adapter and USB DAC. The Fiio BTR3 retails for £61.99.

The Key Features

– integrated clip

– small size

– upgradeable firmware

– all available Bluetooth codecs supported

– good sound

– mic for calls

– voice assistant support

Video Review

Latest pricing on Amazon UK and more info click HERE.

iFi Audio micro iDSD Black Label DAC Review – A Power Beast

Welcome to my review of the iFi Audio micro iDSD Black Label DAC. The iFi Audio micro iDSD BL labels retails for £599.

Key Features

– Burr Brown chipset plays high resolution music files natively, including Octa-DSD512, PCM768, and Double DXD
– Up to 10V, 4000mW of power
– Built-in iEMatch for sensitive in-ear monitors and Bit Perfect sound
– Portable with up to 12 hours of playback
– 1.5A SmartPower USB to charge your smart device
– 3D+ and XBass+
– AMR Global Master Timing femto-precision clock system upgraded for ‘super low’ phase-noise and jitter
– MQA support

Video Review

Conclusion

The iFi Audio micro iDSD BL is one hell of a DAC and amp that is able to drive any headphone to decent levels. As a desktop device it works extremely well, yet it can be used as a portable device that lasts 12 hours on battery. Highly recommended.

For more info and the latest pricing on Amazon UK, click HERE.

Meze Empyrean Headphones Review – One of the Best Headphones in the World!

Welcome to my review of the $2,999 Meze Empyrean Headphones.

Key Specifications & Features

– Drivers – Rinaro Isodynamic Hybrid Array
– Style – Open Circumaural
– Frequeny range – 4 – 110,000 Hz
– Impedance Ohms 31.6
– Nominal SPL 100 dB (1 mW/1kHz)
– Max SPL 130db

Some background behind the Meze Empyrean headphones and what makes them special. Meze Audio collaborated with Rinaro, and in doing so created lightest and most advanced planar magnetic drivers in the world.

The Empyrean Driver combines individual switchback and spiral-shaped voice coils. This unique shape allows sound to be targeted with more accuracy around the natural form of the ear. The frame is fiberglass infused ABS. The driver is a hybrid magnetic array, symmetrically placed on each side of the diaphragm, with neodymium magnets specifically arranged into a hybrid array to create efficient isodynamic magnetic field required for a uniform activation across the whole diaphragm surface.

The diaphragm is manufactured from a custom developed isotropic thermally stabilised polymer with a conductive layer. End result is an ultralight yet rigid diaphragm has been achieved. The switchback coil is more efficient at reproducing lower frequencies and is positioned in the upper part of the driver. The spiral coil is more efficient at reproducing middle-high frequencies and is positioned directly over the ear canal enabling more direct sound waves to enter the ear without any time delays. Total harmonic distortion (THD) measures under 0.1% in the whole frequency range. Upper-frequency limit of audio reproduction is a massive 110,000 Hz. They are also ultra efficient at 100db@1mw/1kHz , meaning you get the high performance without needing amplification.

They are also a patent pending isodynamic hybrid array driver, which is a world’s first in planar magnetic headphones.

The rest of the headphone comprises of anatomically designed ovate earcups and an anthropometric earpad design. The Isomagnetic ear cup attachment utilises the demagnetising field generated by the driver to hold the ear cup in place whilst also redirecting the magnetic field back into the driver and improving driver efficiency. Patented ferromagnetic plates channel the magnetic field back into the driver, increasing output.

The pressure distribution wings consist of a carbon fibre headband and leather headrest and is the most comfortable headphone I have ever worn. The main skeleton of the headphone is made from a single piece of sculpted aluminium, that takes 20 hours in a CNC machine. The entire headphone is hand assembled.

The testing process used amps from Audio GD, iFi Audio, Fiio BTR3 and a Honor View 20 smartphone. Tidal and tracks on my computer covering every genres were listened to. The main focus was with the following music –

– Orff Carmina Burana – Live from the Forbidden City – Shanghai Symphony Orchesta
– Diana Krall – Various
– Norah Jones – Varios
– Badflower – Ok I’n sick
– Bruce Springsteen – The Live Series
– Gary Clark – This Land

As mentioned before, the comfort of these headphones is off the charts. The most comfortable pair of headphones I have ever worn.

The sound experience. I am calling it an experience because that is exactly what the Meze Empyrean create. You sit back, forget you are wearing headphones and get absorbed into the music. Timing is phenomenal, fast, quick. The soundstage is large, precision placement of voices and instruments. Vocals sound inviting, dynamic and expressive. It didn’t matter what I chose, everything was a delight to hear. Mids and treble were delicate, not too forward either. There was no harshness in the treble. Bass was deep and dynamic and quick.

Opera is not a genre I listen to a lot, but the Carmina Burana was wondeful to listen to. In fact I had only planned to listen to the first track, but ended up listening to the entire album.

Another aspect of these headphones is just how easy they are to drive. Obviously, better amplification improves the overall performance, but with modest amps these still sounded excellent.

Video Review

Conclusion

The Meze Empyrean are in a class of their own. Not only are they one of the best headphones in the world, they are easy to drive, look magnificent, but they are so comfortable you could wear them for as long as you wanted. Verdict – just buy them!!

Useful Links

Meze Empyrean on Amazon UK
Meze Audio Website

Honor View 20 – Audio Review – Bluetooth, Loudspeaker and 3.5mm Headphones all tested

Welcome to my audio review of the Honor View 20.

My audio review will focus on the following aspects –

– Bluetooth quality and codecs

– Loudspeaker quality

– System Audio options

– 3.5mm headphone jack and recommended headphones to use

Don’t forget to check out my dedicated camera review and future posts on the Honor View 20.

Audio Review

Useful Links

Honor View 20 is currently on offer at Amazon, the 6gb and 8gb version, with a Honor Magic Watch included free of charge Amazon UK.

Best USB-C Headphones in 2019 – OnePlus Type-C Bullets vs Google Pixel USB-C Buds vs Soundmagic E11D

Welcome to my review of the best USB-C headphones in 2019. With the rapid loss of the 3.5mm headphone jack and at the same time more devices from phones, macbooks, chromebooks, laptops and more adopting USB C over the outgoing micro USB, my review covers the best affordable options.

The three headphones chose are –

1) Soundmagic E11D which retails at £60.

2) OnePlus Type-C Bullets which retail at £16.

3) Google Pixel USB-C Earbuds which retail at £30

All three have different qualities, build and strengths, however I do pick a winner.

Main Review

Useful Links

Soundmagic E11D on Amazon UK
Google Pixel USB-C Earbuds on Amazon UK
OnePlus Bullets Type-C on Amazon UK

Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless In-Ear Headphones – THE REVIEW – AirPods finally de-throned! + Comparisons with Bose, Jabra & Sony

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Welcome to my review of the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless In-Ear Headphones. It has taken Sennheiser a while to release true wireless earphones, but finally they have and blown ALL the competition out of the water. The retail price is £279.

The earphones feature a brand new 7mm driver. The key focus on the earphones is the sound quality. And this is where Sennheiser have hit gold. But there is more to earphones than just the sound quality, so let’s take a look at the key features.

The Key Features/Specs

– Control your music, calls, volume and voice assistant simply through the touchpad technology built into both earbuds
– Transparent hearing mode keeps you aware of your surroundings, allowing you to easily listen and chat without having to remove your earbuds
– 4 hours of listening becomes 12 with the compact charging case that gives you two full extra charges
– durable, tough, splash resistant materials, IPX4 rated
– AAC and APT-X codecs, and APT-X Low Latency, SBC
– Bluetooth 5, class 1
– USB C for Charging
– 4 Hours battery plus 2 further charges via the case
– iOS and android Smart App
– MEMS microphones

The Sennheiser Momentum are also smart in ear headphones. Music pauses the second you remove an earbud, then starts again the second you put them back in. They also feature auto on/off. Place them back in the case, and they start charging. Sennheiser have clearly looked at how easy AirPods are to use and copied everything they did, and then added even more options. They also looked at all the other earphones from Bose, Sony, Jabra and more.

Another feature is transparent hearing mode keeps you aware of your surroundings, allowing you to easily listen and chat without having to remove your earbuds. High-quality noise pick up even in the noisiest environments, thanks to the two-mic beam technology and the MEMS microphones.

You can fine-tune your audio just the way you want to hear it through the integrated internal equaliser, by using the Sennheiser Smart Control App. The app also controls firmware updates.

So now let’s take a closer look at the earphones, talk more about the sound quality,pro and some of the cons,usability, comfort, noise cancellation, call quality and comparisons with other competitors including AirPods, Bose, Jabra and others.

Main Review

Conclusion

The Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless in-ear headphones are simply the best true wireless earphones available. Period. Grab a pair on Amazon UK.

Lindy NC-60 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Review – A Budget King

Welcome to my review of the Lindy NC-60 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones review. What makes these headphones stand out is the budget pricing of around £53, along with all the accessories included.

Key Features

– Active Noise Cancellation technology delivers up to 85% reduction of ambient noise
– 40mm high output drivers with neodymium magnets
– Adjustable headband and soft cushioned earpads
– Rotatable earpieces for safe storage in the supplied, hard durable vinyl carry case
– Flexible 1.5m audio cable with 3.5mm jack, adapters for connecting to dual plug in-flight entertainment systems and hi-fi are also included
– Lindy’s 2 year warranty

Main Review

Conclusion

At this price point, Lindy have produced a good noise cancelling headphone that is comfortable to wear.

Latest pricing on Amazon UK

Focal Spark Wireless Earphones Review

Welcome to my review of the Focal Spark Wireless earphones. The Focal Spark Wireless earphones retail for £89.99.

Key Features

– Lightweight and comfortable
– Fastening system for sports use
– Available in Black, Silver & Rose Gold
– Exceptional performance / price ratio
– 3-button remote control with omnidirectional microphone – works with windows, android & iOS
– Bluetooth 4.1
– Impedance 16 ohms
– Sensitivity 103db
– Battery – up to 8 hours

Main Review

Conclusion

Focal have produced a lovely wireless earphone, using their hi-end audio pedigree.

Latest pricing on Amazon UK