Category Archives: Reviews

Roth Audio Zero III Sound bar Review – 90W of Sound!

Welcome to my review of the Roth Audio Sub Zero III Soundbar. This Roth Audio Sub Zero II retails for about £130.

Main Features / Specification:

Design:
– 4x 2.75-inch 4 Ohm Ferrite Drivers
– 2x Passive Radiator Bass Drivers
– Thick Wall 3.6L Reinforced Polymer Case
– Cloth Grill
– Wall Mount Capable
– LED Display with Auto Dimming

Performance:
– Wide Frequency Response 40-20,000Hz
– High Power Class D Amplifiers
– 90 Watts Peak Output Power

Inputs:
– HDMI x2, plus 1x HDMI output (ARC)
– 3.5mm Analogue Stereo Connection
– Optical SPDIF Format (Toslink compatible) – Stereo
– Bluetooth aptX A2DP Audio
– Power Input: AC 230-240V, 50 Hz

Dimensions:
– 85cm (W) X 8cm (D) X 8.8cm (H)

The Roth Sub Zero III has been designed to provide high definition for your TV. It has HDMI (2 in/1 Out, ARC enabled), Optical, Bluetooth and Analogue inputs. This means the Sub Zero III will connect easily to any TV or audio source – even wirelessly from your laptop, mobile phone or tablet. So lots of versatility.

There is no need for a separate subwoofer as the Sub Zero III has two built-in Ultra-Bass passive drivers, 2 bass drivers and 2 full range drivers, allowing full frequency range audio in a single discrete unit.

The Roth Audio Designed to perform in any room large or small. It features the Roth MA DSP sound processor, which provides a powerful sounding home cinema experience. With the additional modes, you can select between movie, music and voice. Sometimes, you don’t need lots of bass! Considering its size, the sound bar rocks and makes a huge difference over the built in TV speakers.

The Sub Zero III can be wall or table mounted. In the box is a right angle HDMI adapter which is handy as the connections end up fairly close to the wall or table top. It would have been a nice touch if a HDMI cable was included.

Video Review

Conclusion

A superb and versatile sound bar. Recommended.

Useful Links

More info on Roth Audio Sub Zero III and latest pricing on Amazon UK

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LightwaveRF Smart Home Products Review – now with HomeKit, Google & Alexa

Welcome to my review of the LightwaveRF Smart Home products. In my review, I take a look at the LightwaveRF Link Plus, Smart Wall Sockets, Home Thermostat, Smart Radiator Valve and Boiler Switch.

The new generation of products from LightwaveRF now feature HomeKit support, which adds additional two way functionality. Of course, Alexa and Google are also supported. LightwaveRF products are also sold on the Apple online store.

LightwaveRF solve a problem with smart home usage, by actually makes with physical switches smart. This means you can still turn a light switch on from the wall, or use an app, Apple Watch, Siri, Google or Alexa. Not everyone likes using an app or voice control assistants, so by still having a physical switch to adjust, keeps everyone happy in the house. It is also by far the better way of making a home, smart.

Video Review

Conclusion

With a wide range of products, the inclusion of HomeKit support, LightwaveRF Smart Home products are recommended.

Useful Links

LightwaveRF Gen 2 Products on Amazon UK

LightwaveRF

Alpha & Delta JAAP Wireless Sports Earphones Review – They don’t fall out!

Welcome to my review of the Alpha & Delta JAPP Wireless Sports Earphones Review. These wireless earphones are named after the inventor of Bluetooth, Jaap Haartsen. They retail for $90.

Alpha & Delta designed the Jaap is to overcome the existing problems that plagued truly wireless earphones namely: poor fit, poor battery life and poor connectivity.

First up they feature a behind-the-ear hook design which ensures it stays secure during workouts. I even tried shaking my head to make them fall off, and they didn’t. The tips are using the patented SpinFit bud which is amazing from a comfort and sound quality point of view. They are also IPX5 sweat resistant, so ideal for working out.

The battery life is 6 hours plus the supplied battery bank/charger provides another 8 hours.

In terms of connection, I never lost a beat. Each earphone feature a dual antenna design. To start you pair the left side and then turn on the right earphone, which pairs automatically with the left. Neat.

Key Specifications

– Bluetooth Chipset: Bluetooth 4.2 CSR64110
– Driver: 11mm Dynamic Driver
– Battery capacity: 90 mah
– Portable battery charger capacity:
– Music playback time: 6 hours ( 14 hours with battery charger)
– Talking time: 7 hours (15 hours with battery charger)
– Charging port: Micro USB Type B
– Build in microphone: Yes
– Microphone sensitivity: -38 dB
– Supports Multipoint: Yes
– Supports HD hands-free: Yes
– Battery status on IOS devices: Yes

In use, the earphones fit really well and their design is also comfortable, despite its size. I felt the charging solution felt a bit cumbersome but it works well. It is also nice that a carry case to hold everything is included.

The sound quality is pretty good as the SpinFit earbuds provide a solid seal in the ears. Treble is controlled and bass fairly deep. Mids are reasonably clear too. Average soundstage but overall these are a pleasure to listen to music with for extended periods of time.

Video Review

Conclusion

Despite their larger size, the Alpha & Delta Wireless Sports Earphones sound good with decent bass, fit securely and comfortably and are recommended.

Useful Links

Alpha & Delta

Bluetooth Headphones on Amazon UK

iPhone X vs Pixel 2 – Camera Comparison Part 2

Over the weekend I published two posts. A low light camera comparisons between the iPhone X and Pixel 2, and some first shots from the iPhone X. 

Now I’m back with some more camera shots from both shots, from outdoor, indoor and some more low light shots. The differences are stark at times. All on auto. 

In all these shots it’s the iPhone X first, then the Pixel 2. So which is better in your eyes ?



So perfect sunny conditions with this shot. iPhone X is the first shot. Both look great but do you have a favourite. 



In this indoor shot the Pixel 2 on the bottom has more detail. Look at the drinks fridge bottom right. But do you agree?



Now into night shots where the differences between the phones becomes more obvious. Again Pixel 2 is the bottom shot, iPhone X on top. 



Again both phones using a different exposure with the Pixel 2 going for a higher ISO. The iPhone X used a 1/4 second shutter speed. But which is better. Pixel bottom. iPhone X on top. 

So who is your winner and why? 

Some other points to note. The Pixel 2 has Bluetooth LDAC, APT-X and APT-X audio codecs and therefore sound better with headphones. Both have stereo speakers. The iPhone X sounds better than the Pixel 2 but Pixel 2 XL sounds better than the iPhone X. Screens. Lol. iPhone X has a better screen than both Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. 

Apple iPhone X – First Impressions + Camera Samples

There has been a lot written and shown about the iPhone X, but what I will say, the only way you will understand and appreciate this phone is to spend time using it yourself. Why you ask? Well, I had some fears and concerns over certain aspects which have in some part turned out to be unnecessary. Photo above is using pano mode on iPhone X.

The biggest decision to make is silver or space grey finish for the iPhone X. I went space grey as it looks badass. I have since seen the silver first hand and still stand by my decision. The silver is more photogenic, but space grey looks meaner.

Just as a side note, all the photos you see embedded in this post are from the iPhone X. At the end, I have linked to the Flickr iPhone X Album, Google Pixel 2 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Flickr albums of mine. These albums give you an idea of the differences between the phones and their cameras. Plus those that like to pixel peek can!

Low light/darkness shots.

Starting up, I decided to not use my iPhone 7 Plus old backup, but restore as a new phone. This was a relatively simple job to do. Setting up FaceID was a breeze. Apple Pay and all the other aspects of the setup procedure was completed smoothly. Probably the easiest iPhone to setup.

Above, close up flower shots, one using the 2 x optical zoom.

And moving on to FaceID. It really does just work. Its brilliant actually. I really thought it would be a PITA. Its not. In real life usage, its actually faster than TouchID and effortless. Still waiting for some UK sunshine to test it in bright conditions.

Above, indoor lighting inside a shopping centre.

Above. City landscape. One using 2 x zoom.

That screen. Its stunning. No more on that one. Much better than anticipated. Apps on the whole seems to have adapted ok with the ears and new screen size. Some haven’t so I am hoping they will get updated soon. Google Maps needs an update for example.

Talking of maps, I tested the GPS and used Apple Maps for turn by turn navigation. It looks superb on the iPhone X screen, and also when did Apple Maps get so good. Seriously, for turn by turn directions, it provided great on screen instructions and clear spoken steps.

Gestures, not had too much trouble learning these as I had watched a few YouTube videos. I stumbled with Apple Pay and the double press, but nonetheless completed both transactions.

Siri. Its not as good as Google Assistant. But in some ways Siri is fantastic. I am in the car, stuck in traffic, iPhone X is clipped into my screen mount, I call up Siri and end up sending 10 iMessages to my wife back and forth with little effort.

Camera. As you can see I have taken a range of shots. If you watch my video below, you will see some portrait lighting samples as well. This proved great fun. Talking fun, Animoji is crazy fun, and super cool to use.

It’s early days and I have some thoughts on my overall score but I will compare the X to the Pixel 2 and Note 8. These 3 phones couldn’t be more different. One thing is certain, the X is just an iPhone running iOS 11.

Video Review

Useful Links

Buy something on Amazon UK & Help Support Gavin’s Gadgets at no extra cost!
Gavin’s iPhone X Flickr Album
Gavin’s Google Pixel 2 Flickr Album
Gavin’s Samsung Note 8 Flickr Album

Oppo UDP-205 4K Ultra HD Audiophile Blu-ray Player Audio Review vs Oppo BDP-105D

Welcome to my audio review of the Oppo UDP-205, a £1,500 4K Ultra HD Audiophile Blu-ray Player plus a comparison with the renowned Oppo BDP-105D.

The Oppo UDP-205 is a class leading, award winning blu-ray player that does more than just play DVDs. It has best-in-class audio performance, Dual ESS ES9038PRO Sabre Pro DACs, reference quality video with HDR & Dolby Vision; 4K UHD, Blu-ray, 3D, DVD, DVD-Audio, SACD and CD.

The UDP-205 provides reference level sound quality through the analog outputs, improves the clock precision of the HDMI audio output, and increases the power of the built-in headphone amplifier. For the analog output stages, the UDP-205 is equipped with two ESS Technology ES9038PRO 32-bit HyperStream DACs for both stereo and 7.1 channel analog audio. As the flagship of the ESS SABRE PRO series, the ES9038PRO sets a new benchmark for audio excellence with its best in class 140 dB of dynamic range.

It also features –

– HDMI Audio Jitter Reduction
– Asynchronous USB DAC and Coaxial/Optical Inputs (asynchronous USB DAC input supports sample rates up to 768 kHz PCM and DSD 512. For additional convenience and flexibility, the UDP-205 can convert digital signals from cable and satellite boxes, televisions, video game consoles and other digital transports with coaxial and optical digital outputs to analog.}
– Dedicated Stereo Output with XLR Balanced Connectors
– Advanced Image Processing Technology – MediaTek produce and manufacture a specialized 4K UHD Blu-ray decoder SoC – the quad-core OP8591, which offers the most advanced image decoding and processing technology available for 4K UHD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and user generated media formats
– Dolby Vision
– Upscaling to 4K
– Toroidal Power Supply – Clean Power for Clear Music
– Custom-Made 4K Loader
– Lossless High-Resolution Audio
– Support for the Latest Surround Formats
– Weight – 30lbs

Main Review

In case you still are in any doubt from the key features, the Oppo UDP-205 is a beast of a machine, whether talking about audio or video. It also has won many awards.

For the purposes of this audio review, I used the following albums:-

– Wallflower by Diana Krall – one of my favourites albums. With the Oppo UDP-205, Diana Krall’s voice was velvet smooth, full of emotion. The realism of her voice was fantastic. By contrast the BDP-105D sounded flatter and lacked the same level of emotion.

– Drones by Muse – another superb album. The Oppo UDP-205 produced wonderful bass attack and speed, with incredible separation of the instruments. The BDP-105D felt slightly congested in comparison.

– Greatest hits by Culture Club – With this album, vocals and instruments shone with the UDP-205.

– Les Contes D’Hoffman – The Tales of Hoffman – This is one of my classical albums that for some reason, I have never enjoyed until I played it using the Oppo UDP-205. The plan was to compare the first track between the 2 players, and then make some notes. I was 50% through the album using the Oppo UDP-205 when I remembered I had to listen to it through the BDP-105D. The Oppo UDP-205 delivered a musical masterclass. An epic masterclass. Energy, scale, soundstage, vocals and instruments just sounded brilliant.

So what do I think of the Oppo UDP-205 and how does it compare to the older Oppo BDP-105D. In its day the Oppo BDP-105D was magnificent. But time moves on, and the Oppo UDP-205 just rises to a whole new level. I can tell you now, you haven’t heard your CD collection properly until you play the discs on this player.

So now let’s take a closer look at the Oppo UDP-205 vs Oppo BDP-105D.

Video Review

Conclusion

The Oppo UDP-205 is something very special on the audio front as well as video. It also has so much more to offer that it gains the Gavin’s Gadgets “Highly Recommended” seal of approval.

Useful Links

More info and the latest pricing on Amazon – Click HERE

Google Daydream View & Samsung Gear VR (Note 8) Reviews & Comparison – The Ultimate Shootout

Welcome to my reviews of the new Google Daydream View VR Handset and the upgraded Samsung Gear VR which now fits the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

Google Daydream View Key Features

– Headset – Dimensions Length 167.8 mm x Width 117.1 mm x Height 100.2 mm
– Weight 261 g
– Material Lightweight fabric
– Colours Fog, Coral, Charcoal
– Compatibility Daydream-ready phones including Google Pixel 2, Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+ & Note 8, Moto Z & Z2 and more

– Controller – Dimensions Length 105 mm x Width 35 mm x Height 17 mm
– Weight 40 g
– Sensors 9 axis IMUs for precision tracking
– Wireless Bluetooth low energy (LE)
– Ports & Connectors USB-C charger and cable (not provided in box)
– Battery – 220 mAh battery (rechargeable)

Samsung Gear VR (Note 8) Key Features

– 101º Field of View
– Sensors – Accelerometer,Gyro Sensor,Proximity Sensor
– Headset Dimension (HxWxD) 98.6 x 207.8 x 122.5 mm
– Weight 345g
– 800+ apps
– USB Type C and Micro USB connectors

Main Review

I have used VR for about 2 years and in that time quite a bit has changed. There are many more apps and experiences available. The Samsung Gear VR experience is superb. Lots of apps, slick software too. The headset is over 100g heavier than the Daydream View. The Daydream is lighter and more comfortable to wear. But I had glitches using it with my Note 8, whereby I had to keep removing the Note 8 out of the headset to fix things so that I could move on again. At one point, it was driving me mad. However, it is all about the software. If you find an app or game that you prefer on one platform or another, then that might hold some more weight for you. Personally, I think Samsung is superior in both hardware and software at the moment, but is restricted by the fact it only works for certain Samsung phones. Therefore, with Daydream View you probably will end up with the ability to use it with so many different phones and brands. Now continue to the video review for more insights.

Video Review

Conclusion

Quite simply if you have a Samsung phone that is compatible with the Gear VR, then stick to Samsung’s own offering. It offers a wide selection of content and a slicker software package. For everyone else, Google’s Daydream View offers compatibility across multiple brands. It just lacks the number of VR apps and slick software experience.

Useful Links

Google Daydream View – more info and latest pricing on Amazon – click HERE
Samsung Gear VR with Controller (Note 8 version) – more info and latest pricing on Amazon – click HERE

LightwaveRF new Apple HomeKit Range – Dimmers, Smart Plugs & More – First Impressions

The leading smart home provider LightwaveRF has released its new range of products that are compatible with Apple HomeKit. The new certified Generation 2 range consist of a new Smart Link Plus, Smart Dimmers, Sockets and heating accessories. Combining HomeKit means LightwaveRF devices can be controlled with IOS apps and Siri voice commands, as well as Google and Alexa.

I have received the starter kit, shown above, which consists of the hub, dimmer and 2 way switch.

The new LightwaveRF range has been part of a two-year research and development program with new features including a built-in energy monitoring, colour changing LEDs to indicate status and wire-free two-way switching.

Initial setup involves connecting the Link Plus to the Wi-Fi router. Then you are able to control lighting, heating, power and security through voice control using Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant. You can also use Apple Home and the LightwaveRF apps.

The dimmer and smart plug looks really smart. I can’t wait to test this out fully.

More soon.

Sony WH-1000XM2 Wireless Noise Cancellation Headphones Review + Comparison with Beats & Bose

Welcome to my review of the Sony WH-1000XM2 headphones. These are the brand new killer flagship headphones from Sony.

The Key Features

– Digital Noise Cancelling lets you listen without distractions
– Personal Noise Cancelling Optimizing and Atmospheric Pressure Optimizing
– Wireless freedom with BLUETOOTH® technology and NFC
– Smart Listening by Adaptive Sound Control automatically adjusts ambient sound to your activity
– High-quality audio with DSEE HX™, S-Master HX ™ and LDAC, APT-X, AAC, APT-X HD
– Driver Unit 40mm, dome type (CCAW Voice Coil)
– Frequency response wired 4Hz-40,000Hz
– Frequency response (BLUETOOTH® COMMUNICATION) 20Hz – 20,000Hz (44.1kHz Sampling) / 20Hz – 40,000Hz (LDAC 96kHz Sampling, 990kbps)
– Impedance – 46 ohm (1kHz) (when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned on) , 14 ohm (1kHz) (when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned off)
– Sensitivities (DB/MW) 103dB / mW (1kHz) (when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned on) , 98dB / mW (1kHz) (when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned off)
– Charge time – 4 hours
– Battery life – 30 hours NC on, 38 hours with NC off
– Line of sight range 10m

Main Review

The Sony WH-1000XM2 are a technological masterpiece from Sony. With the Sony Headphone Connect app you can fine tune the sound quality options, adjust the noise cancellation and ambient sound, as well as adjust for atmospheric pressure. You will need to watch the video to see this all in action. Over bluetooth it has the ability to use AAC, SBC, APT-X, APT-X HD or LDAC as well as its own upscaling audio DSEE HX. The choice of codecs available will depend on what device you are using and what options your device can deliver. The headphone app also allows various surround sound options and placement of audio.

As an all rounder the sound quality of these headphones is excellent along with the noise cancellation. The noise cancellation was really powerful.

Colour. The gold version do not look gold. More grey and this is disappointing. Comfort wise these should be fantastic, but in my usage I found there is not enough cushioning in the headphone band and cups. See video for what I mean and a comparison with others brands.

Video Review and Comparison between the Beats Studio 3 with Apple W1 Chip and Bose Quietcomfort 35 II with Google Assistant

Conclusion

The best wireless and noise cancellation headphone available but with caution on the comfort due to inadequate padding.

Useful Links

More info and the latest pricing on Amazon UK – Click HERE.

Sennheiser HD 4.30G Around-Ear Closed back Headphones review – Dynamite Sound for under £100

Welcome to my review of the new Sennheiser HD 4.30G Around-Ear Closed back Headphones.

Key Features

– Closed-back design and ergonomic earpads reduce background noise and provide immersive detail
– Integrated 3-button smart remote with in-line microphone for controlling calls and music
– Handy single-sided tangle free cable
– Soft, comfortable ear pads for enhanced comfort- you will forget that you are wearing them!
– Robust foldable headbands for easy storage on the go
– Frequency Response – 18 – 22,000 kHz
– Sound Pressure Level 120db
– Impedance – 18 ohms

Sennheiser sell two versions of these headphones. The HD 4.30G and HD 4.30i. One is for Android/Samsung and the other for iOS devices.

The Sennheiser HD 4.30 are comfortable and are specifically designed to be driven from a phone. In fact at 18 ohms and 120db, these are a perfect match for most smartphones. With my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 these are a fantastic pairing. Dynamic, punchy bass which is slightly emphasised, good mid and treble, reasonable separation, passive noise cancellation in an over the ear style, what more could you want.

Video Review

Conclusion

Extremely recommended for phones and other portable devices. Dynamic sounding, punchy and worth every penny. I love them!

More information and the latest pricing from Amazon UK – Click HERE.

PS Next up is a 3 way comparison with the Bose QC35 II and new Beats 3 Wireless headphones. Can these £90 pair of headphones take on £300 wireless flagships?

Bose Quietcomfort 35 II vs Beats Studio 3 Wireless with Apple W1 vs Sennheiser HD 4.30

The big headphone shootout. Bose Quietcomfort 35 II with Google Assistant vs Beats Studio 3 Wireless with Apple W1 Chip vs Sennheiser HD 4.30 Wired headphones.

Let’s summarise again the key features –

Bose Quietcomfort 35 II

– QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones II are engineered with world-class noise cancellation.
– With the Google Assistant built in, you can play music, receive texts and get answers without glancing at your phone.
– If you’re not a Google user, don’t worry. You can use the Action button to adjust your level of noise cancellation between three settings.
– You can still use Siri or Bixby via the traditional control button on the other headphone cup.
– 20 hours battery life.
– 15 min charge gives 2.5 hours use.
– Voice prompts
– Clear Calls
– Volume optimised EQ

Beats Studio 3 Wireless with Apple W1 Chip and Pure ANC

– Pure Adaptive Noise Cancelling (Pure ANC) actively blocks external noise.
– Real-time audio calibration preserves a premium listening experience.
– Up to 22 hours of battery life enables fully-featured all-day wireless playback.
– Apple W1 chip for Class 1 Wireless Bluetooth® connectivity and battery efficiency.
– With Fast Fuel, a 10-minute charge gives 3 hours of play when battery is low.
– Pure ANC-off for low power mode provides up to 40 hours of battery life.
– Take calls, control music and activate Siri with multifunction on-ear controls.
– Soft over-ear cushions for extended comfort and added noise isolation.

Sennheiser HD 4.30 Wired

– Closed-back design and ergonomic earpads reduce background noise and provide immersive detail
– Integrated 3-button smart remote with in-line microphone for controlling calls and music
– Handy single-sided tangle free cable
– Soft, comfortable ear pads for enhanced comfort- you will forget that you are wearing them!
– Robust foldable headbands for easy storage on the go
– Frequency Response – 18 – 22,000 kHz
– Sound Pressure Level 120db
– Impedance – 18 ohms

The Shootout

Useful Links

More info on the Bose Quietcomfort 35 IIand latest pricing on Amazon UK – Click HERE.

More info on the Beats Studio 3 Wireless and the latest pricing – Click HERE.

More info on the Sennheiser HD 4.30 and the latest pricing from Amazon UK – Click HERE.

Beats Studio 3 Wireless Headphones Review – With the new Apple W1 Chip and Pure ANC

Welcome to my review of the new Beats 3 Studio Wireless Headphones. These feature the new Apple W1 chip and Pure ANC.

Key Features –

– Pure Adaptive Noise Cancelling (Pure ANC) actively blocks external noise.
– Real-time audio calibration preserves a premium listening experience.
– Up to 22 hours of battery life enables fully-featured all-day wireless playback.
– Apple W1 chip for Class 1 Wireless Bluetooth® connectivity and battery efficiency.
– With Fast Fuel, a 10-minute charge gives 3 hours of play when battery is low.
– Pure ANC-off for low power mode provides up to 40 hours of battery life.
– Take calls, control music and activate Siri with multifunction on-ear controls.
– Soft over-ear cushions for extended comfort and added noise isolation.
– In the box – Beats Studio3 Wireless headphones,Carrying case,3.5mm RemoteTalk cable, Universal USB charging cable (USB-A to USB Micro-B),Quick Start Guide ,Warranty Card
– Over Ear Design
– Weight 260 g
The Beats 3 Wireless are the upgraded version of the original Beats over the ear headphones. In the update, Beats have improved the headphones by including the Apple W1 chip and upgrading the active noise cancellation. I like the fact you can turn the ANC off whilst connected to your device. I tested the headphones with my Apple iPad Pro 10.5 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Excellent results and superb range from both devices. I could walk around my entire house without the connection breaking. The noise cancellation is good, not as good as the Bose QC35, but these do sound better with music. They do not have lip sync issues with YouTube videos. Calls were clear too. Battery life is excellent too.

Pairing to an iPhone or iPad is a breeze, see video below, but it is as simple as turning them on. Then a pop up appears on screen with a pic of the headphones. Hit the connect button and that is it. They are now paired to all your Apple devices using iCloud.

The Beats 3 Wireless do have a slight bass focus, but nowhere as near as previous versions. Mid and treble is reasonable too. Overall the balance between music and noise cancellation is good.

Now lets take a look at the video review.

Video Review

Conclusion

Highly recommended especially for anyone using Apple devices due to the extended range and easy pairing.

More info and the latest pricing – Click HERE.

PS. Coming up soon, a 3 way comparison between the new Beats Quietcomfort 35 II and new Sennheiser headphones.

Bose Quietcomfort 35 II Wireless Headphones Review – The new headphones from Bose with Google Assistant

Welcome to my review of the Bose Quietcomfort 35 II headphones.

These are the new flagship headphones from Bose which feature Google Assistant.

Key Features

– QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones II are engineered with world-class noise cancellation.
– With the Google Assistant built in, you can play music, receive texts and get answers without glancing at your phone.
– If you’re not a Google user, don’t worry. You can use the Action button to adjust your level of noise cancellation between three settings.
– You can still use Siri or Bixby via the traditional control button on the other headphone cup.
– 20 hours battery life.
– 15 min charge gives 2.5 hours use.
– Voice prompts
– Clear Calls
– Volume optimised EQ

The are one of the first headphones to feature Google Assistant built-in. With a dedicated action button you can literally control your phone without ever looking at the screen. I tested this extensively and it worked well. A WhatsApp message arrived. A voice inside the headphones announces a new WhatsApp message. You then have the option to hear the message read out, and then have the option to reply. Your dictated reply is read out to you. You confirm its ok to send.

Now if you are on iOS, you can change the action button to control the 3 levels of noise cancellation. High, low or off. You can also change this setting in the Bose Connect app. The Bose Connect app also updates the firmware, and gives you access to the instructions, Google Assistant setup and other options.

The noise cancellation is phenomenal. The best. I really like the easy to use controls on the headphone cups. The music quality is good too. Voices are clear in calls. Just one negative. I noticed on YouTube videos the lips were marginally out of sync with the audio. This issue didn’t impact other services I tried like Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Now TV. 

These are mega comfortable to wear too.

Video Review

Conclusion

Another quality product from Bose. Recommended.

More info and latest pricing on Amazon UK – Click HERE.

PS. I have the new Beats 3 Wireless headphones review coming next along with the new Sennheiser HD 4.30, and then a 3 way comparison.

Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Bone Conduction Bluetooth Headphones Review by Martyn

The Aftershohz Trekz Titanium Bone Conduction Bluetooth Sports Headphones with Microphone review by Martyn Dix.

I have been a keen weekend cyclist for around 10 years now and for all of that time I have used BT ‘in ear’ earphones of different makes.

However this is (quite rightly) frowned upon by most as you cannot hear all that is going on around you. I had a near miss a week or so back, and although it wasn’t my fault, it wasn’t helped by the fact I wasn’t fully aware of my suroundings.

Then after a buying trip to my local Bike shop, I found they were selling ‘Bone Conductive Headphones’. The make they had in stock was the Aftershokx Trekz Titanium although there are a few other brands available too.

Key Features

– Bone conduction technology delivers music through your cheekbones, ensuring ears remain completely open to hear ambient sounds
– Titanium wraparound headband is lightweight and flexible for durability and portability
– OpenFit™ design ensures maximum situational awareness and comfort during long-term wear
– PremiumPitch+™ guarantees a premium audio experience, including wide dynamic range and rich bass
– Wireless Bluetooth® 4.1 connectivity and convenient multipoint pairing
– LeakSlayer™ technology significantly reduces natural sound leakage
– IP55 certified to repel sweat, dust and moisture, from workouts to wicked weather
– Enjoy six hours of continuous music + calls on a single charge
– EQ presets boost bass and reduce vibration on the go
– Dual noise canceling microphones exclude surrounding noise, effectively enhancing speech
– Audrey Says™ voice prompts guide users through power, pair, play and talk
– Frequency response: 20Hz~20KHz
– Sensitivity: 100 ± 3dB
– Microphone: -40dB ± 3dB
– Bluetooth version: v4.1
– Compatible profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
– Wireless range: 33 ft (10m)
– Battery: rechargeable lithium ion, Continuous play: 6 hours,Standby time: 10 days
– Charge in: 1.5 hours
– Weight: 1.27 oz (36g)

Research seemed to say that this make was the best, so I paid the £110 which seems to be the average price.

One week on and the odd feeling of being able to hear Podcasts AND the normal sounds around me has become normal. It did take me a few hours to get used to the feeling of the headset being worn as it sort of clamps around the back of the head with the bone condutive speaker part sitting just forward of the ear.

BT pairing was as easy as any other headphone I have used, and so far I have not had any drop outs or disconnections in one weeks heavy use.

Battery life is well up to what is claimed of 6 hours Music + Calls.
There is the usual BT controls for taking calls and skipping music etc via the button on the left speaker.

Volume controls are by two buttons on the underside of the right battery case. They too have extra control functions if pressed in different ways.

Comfort is fine. They do take some getting used to but after the 1st few hours I had a job to remember they were on my head esspecialy as you dont loose all sounds around you.

Sound quality is obviously not HiFi but for voice calls and listening to podcasts they are fine. I spend long hours taking and making voice calls and no one said they knoticed a great difference in hearing me.

Music is ‘okay’ not fantasic but fine for back ground listening while out and about. If they are at full volume there is a thump thump on the bones in your head that they sit on. This is rather annoying and a discomfort. There are two equalising settings which are there to allow for adjusting the sound should you wish to use them in an area such as a plane or train and earplugs are supplied for you to use. This effectivly turns them into ‘in ear’ type listening headphones. This is not something I would personaly use them for but the option is offered.

The box comes with a usb to mini usb charge lead and full easy to understand instructions. So if you work in an office, run, cycle or require to be able to hear whats going on around you then these are great.

They are not a gimic and need to be tried out properly before dismissing them. Helpfully most stockists have a purpose demo display where you can try wearing them out.

I would definitely recommend them and at £110 they are a bit pricey for some, but they are very well made with a serious quality feel to them. They come in two sizes Adult and Child. As the unit is flexable it should always fit.

Go and try them out. I found them for sale at a Motorway services phone accesories shop for the same price which I guess is because you are no longer allowed to use ‘in ear’ phones while driving.If anyone wishes to ask me any questions then contact Gavin to pass on.

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My thanks to Martyn Dix for his review on the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Bone Conduction Bluetooth Headphones.

For more information and the latest pricing on Amazon – click HERE.

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