Category Archives: Tech News

Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro Review (Global)

Welcome to my review of the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro (Global).

Key Features/Specs

-Qualcomm® 865, 7 nm Process Technology
-GPU: Adreno™ 650 GPU
-AIE: 5th generation AIE processor
– RAM: 8GB ,LPDDR5 memory
– ROM: 256GB
– UFS 3.0 flash storage
– 108MP ultra-clear primary sensor – 1/1.33”, 0.8μm 4-in-1 to 1.6μm, f/1.69, aperture, OIS, 8P lens
– 8MP 10x hybrid zoom lens
– 10x hybrid zoom, OIS, f/2.0 aperture,1.0μm pixel size
– 12MP Portrait lens
– 2x optical zoom, 1.4μm large pixel size 2PD autofocus, f/2.0 aperture
– 20mp front camera

20MP ultra wide-angle

Up to 117° FoV, f/2.2 aperture

Video Review

Conclusion

An incredible phone with lots of features.

Useful Links

Xiaomi Mi 10 range on Amazon UK

HiFiMan Jade II Electrostatic Headphones Review

Welcome to my review of the HiFiMan Jade 2 Electrostatic headphones and amp combo. The combined retail price of the headphones and amp are $2,500, but these can be bought separately.

Key Features/Specifications

– Electrostatic speed and details that reach each from the deepest lows all the way to 90KHz
– Nanotech Driver that is less than 0.001mm
– Nano Particle thick dust cover for near perfect sound transmission
– Open-Back Design for an expanded, more intimately enveloping sound stage with natural sonics that place the listener in the best seat in the house.
– Frequency Response : 7Hz-90kHz
– Bias Voltage : 550V-650V
– Weight : 365g (12.9oz)
Amplifier :
– Weight : 6.5kg (14.3lb)

Music tracks used for this review along with my thoughts.

Florian Christel, Encore– classical genre, great timbre. Piano feels as the keys being pressed in front of you , timing is fast & energetic

Ola Gjeilo , Luminous Night – voices are superb with a beautiful tone.

Bach Sonata for Viola da Gamba & Harpsichord No. 3 in G Minor – loved the entire presentation and instrument separation.

Bee Gees, Heart like Mine , vocals are heavenly, picked up tone of the artists so well.

Sarah McLachlan, Ice – her voice & guitar. again picks up her lovely tone and guitar So moving.

Jewel, Enter from the East – pick up the nuances in the tracks. Little details. I could listen to this track so many times.

Bruce Springsteen, Paradise – the husky vocals/voice really well produced.

Lucinda Williams , You can’t rule me – feels like the amp could do with more power, bit harsh on the vocals.

Dua Lipa , Hallucinate, good mid bass, lacking sub bass.

Video Review

Conclusion

Expressive, delightful sounding electrostatic headphones which would benefit from an even more powerful electrostatic amp.

Useful Links

Jade 2/Amp Combo on Amazon
HiFiMan Website

Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G – First Written Thoughts vs OnePlus 8 Pro

If you have been following me on twitter @gavinsgadgets you will have seen a selection of photos I have shared from the OnePlus 8 Pro. The other day, my Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G arrived yesterday early evening, so below are my first thoughts as they occurred using the phone. I have also shared comparison shots between these two phones on twitter.

I opted for the Alpine White finish which is absolutely stunning. So it was wow, love the hardware. Setting up was fairly straight forward. Fast forward a few hours.

I looked at the first few photos that I had snapped and it looked like that the OnePlus 8 Pro was taking better photos, but I knew that I needed to spend some time with the mi 10 pro, as the focus distance is different due to the 108mp sensor vs 48mp on the oneplus. Zoom quality is also better on the mi 10 pro. I am also only on the first global firmware, there is another due soon, and I know the chinese version of the mi 10 pro has had a lot of fixes already. Xiaomi isnt the fastest for updates so time will tell as to how quickly the official global version gets updated.

The OnePlus 8 Pro macro shots are incredible, this is achieved using the 48mp ultra wide lens. There isn’t a single phone I have used that can take better macro shots. Whilst the Mi 10 Pro has a macro mode, it’s not an even close comparison.

A few more hours later. Been using the Mi 10 Pro a bit more last night, and I’m gonna swap my main sim into it tomorrow. It does a number of things better than the Oneplus 8 Pro. Pulled off some bananas good photos too.

The mi 10 pro has a 108mp main sensor that has takes 4 pixels to create one high quality pixel, so the end resolution is 27mp. You can shoot at 108mp as well. Above is my dog George, its a huge crop, but there is so much detail on every photo. This was at 27mp. At 108mp you can crop until you drop!

So last night I finished setting the phone app, installing all my apps. Everything works fine except android auto. When I select an app from the car interface, it doesnt load. If I start the music on the app on my phone, then it shows on the car display. I haven’t had any spare time today to investigate why this is happening.

Back to today. I will say the following. The photo file sizes are huge on the Mi 10 Pro. To avoid the large files, I’ve toggled the setting to save as HEIF which provides better quality shots and better quality data for editing them after as well. As heif files the photo size is a lot smaller. Downside. Google Photos cannot upload heic/heif from the phone. The Mi 10 Pro gallery app does convert to jpg on sharing, but there’s a bug where it only exports 4 at a time. My current solution is import into adobe lightroom mobile app, and re export straight out as jpg.

I have noticed the photos on the Mi 10 Pro come out looking natural with excellent colours. Having an ultra wide, normal, 2 x optical and 5 x optical zoom lens is great for flexibility.

Above is with main lens.

Above is 2 x optical zoom.

And finally above is the 5 x zoom shot.

So far so good. I forgot to mention the Mi 10 Pro has an infra red blaster on it, so I can control my TV! It also has some of the best stereo speakers and an incredible high quality audio system.

The OnePlus 8 Pro does not work currently with an external mic. I plugged in my Shure MV88+ and not only did the Mi 10 Pro recognise it, it brought up a wealth of options to fine tune the microphone audio.

Anyway, look at for more thoughts and videos on my YouTube Channel .

iFi Audio iSilencer+ v2 review

Welcome to my review of the iFi Audio iSilencer+ that retails for £49.Main features / key specifications– Active Noise Cancellation creates an equal but opposite signal to cancel background noise in the USB audio stream to enhance your audio.
– Reduces jitter and packet errors to provide clear, more dynamic sound. Music will seem clearer, more transparent and bass will be improved.
– Noise, RFI and EMI all reduced
– Re-balance the USB signal for less distortion and better audio.
– Simply plug directly into the USB port of your computer, compatible with high speed USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 devices
– The iSilencer+ is an upgrade from the iSilencer3.0, with upgraded components, better sonic improvement, and comes in 3 versions – USB A to USB A, USB C to USB A, and USB C to USB C.
– In addition to improving the audio quality, the USB C to A iSilencer+ can be used as a converter adaptor.
– Military grade printed circuit with audiophile components.
– Weight 7g.
– Dimensions 50 x 20 x 9mm.The iFi Audio Silencer+ is a clever product that fixes a common problem of noise interference by our computers and phones. When I first received the iSilencer+, I tried it with my Google Pixel 4 XL phone that was nearby. The difference using the adapter was noticeable immediately. It was like a free audio upgrade to my headphones. I then used it on my computer with similar results. It was like a veil was lifted from the music, producing a more engaging, clearer sound. The music was more dynamic, with better phasing and soundstage. Treble, mid range and bass were all improved.Video Review

ConclusionThe difference to the sound by this low cost adapter is staggering. Highly recommended.Useful LinksThe iFi iSilencer comes in three versions. Link to all versions on Amazon – click HERE.

Fiio FH7 IEMs review – 3 month review of Fiio’s Flagship In-Ear Earphones

Welcome to my review of the Fiio FH7. These are Fiio’s flagship earphones that retail for £449. So for £449 these had better be special, and OMG do these deliver.

The FH7 shell is made out of an aluminium-magnesium alloy, shaped by five-axis CNC machining. The alloy goes thru 21 steps and 3873 cuts, and finished with a round of sand blasting and hand polishing.

Key Features

– The Fiio design team has carried out many design iterations and tests to create an extremely comfortable design that fits perfectly into your ear.
– The shell made of aerospace-grade aluminium-magnesium alloy.
– Stunning exterior, powerful interior, 4 x Knowles DFK + SWFK BA drive unit.13.6mm woofer
– Diaphragm made of rare metal beryllium. | Patented S.TURBO technology.
– 3 pairs of interchangeable sound filters. | 15 pairs of eartips (3 pair single flange silicon, 1 pair bi-flange, 2 pair memory form, 3 pair vocals, 3 pair bass and 3 pair of SpinFit eartips).
– Detachable 8-stranded monocrystalline copper-plated silver MMCX cable with 3.5mm L-shaped plug

Review

Conclusion

Absolutely amazing IEMs from Fiio. Highly recommended.

Useful Links

Fiio FH7 on Amazon

iBasso DC-02 Hi-Res USB DAC review

Welcome to my review of the iBasso DC-02 USB DAC that sells for £39.

Key Features

– AK4490 Premium 32-bit Stereo DAC with VELVET SOUND™ technology
– Support of PCM up to 32bit/384kHz
– Support of Native DSD up to 256x
– Dedicated headphone amplifier with 3.5mm single-ended output port

Review

Conclusion

My favourite USB DAC and hence why I personally have more than one of these! Highly recommended.

Useful Links

iBasso DC-02 on Amazon

AKG K371 vs Sennheiser HD599 headphones – 3 month review

Welcome to my review of the AKG K371 and Sennheiser HD599 headphones. These are two of the best value wired headphones you can buy right now selling at £99 and £150 respectively.

Key Features

AKG K371
– Closed-back, oval over-ear design offers superior isolation, improved low-frequency response, ergonomic fit
– Engineered to match AKG’s Reference Response curve acoustic target for accurate, neutral sound
– Largest-in-class, 50mm transducers with pure OFC voicecoils
– Superior sensitivity (114 dB SPL/V @ 1kHz) and impedance (32 ohms) for use with professional and consumer devices
– Best-in-class frequency response: 5 Hz to 40 kHz
– Calibrated headbands with slow-retention oval foam pads offer precise fit, superior comfort

Sennheiser HD599
– High-Quality around-ear open back headphones
– Padded headband and luxurious ear-pads suitable for long listening sessions
– Cable options: Robust 3 m detachable cable and 6.3 mm jack and additional 1.2 m detachable cable with 3.5 mm jack
– Frequency response:12- 38,500 Hz
– Sensitivity 50ohms

Review

Conclusion

Absolutely amazing headphones from AKG and Sennheiser. The AKG K371 at £99 are incredible value and everyone should own a pair of these!

Useful Links

AKG K371 on Amazon
Sennheiser HD599

HiFiMan RE-400c vs RE-600s v2 Earphones – Review & Comparison

Welcome to my review of two IEMs from HiFiMan. The RE-400c and the RE-600s v2. The RRP of the earphones are $99 and $199 respectively.

The Key Features

RE-400c
– Analogue Type C
– 15hz to 22khz
– 32 ohm

RE-600s
– 3.5mm
– 8.5mm driver
– 15hz to 22kHz
– 102db
– 16 ohm
– Composite cable

This is the first pair of in ear earphones that I have heard from HiFiMan, and there sound signature is different to other headphones that I have listened to. Watch my full video review to find out more.

Review

Useful Links

HiFiMan headphones on Amazon
HiFiMan website

iFi Audio hip dac review – a fantastic portable headphone amp dac with MQA support

Welcome to my review of the iFi Audio hip dac . The iFi Audio hip dac retails for £149.

The Key Features and Specifications

– Portable, slim design with up to 12 hrs of battery life and a slim.
– Hi resolution audio support including Spotify, Tidal MQA to MP3. Play any high res audio format with native digital to analogue conversion so you can listen to any song the way the original recording was intended.
– Powerful amp ideal for in ear monitors or over the ear headphones with 400 mW max power output from the on-board amplifier via the 3.5mm headphone socket or 700mW via the 4.4mm balanced.
– Connects via USB, works with iPhone with Apple Camera Kit
– Power Match and XBass offer adjustable analogue enhancements to customise your listening experience without compromising the digital conversion
– USB C and USB Type A

Review

iFi Audio history. iFi Audio was born in 2012 to produce ultra-fidelity audio products that push the sonic envelope whilst still priced within the mainstream. iFi audio is now under parent company AMR (Abbingdon Music Research), which designs and produces top-end luxurious audio products. AMR saw in 2010 that customer demand for wireless and portable headphones was expanding as the whole audio dynamic was changing. Thus, iFi Audio was launched.

The iFi Audio hip dac smart stuff. The DAC section is based around a Burr-Brown DAC chip that provides a lovely fluid, highly musical sound quality and also true native architecture. iFi Audio have then desgined their own circuitry. This means you get bit perfect PCM, native DSD and MQA. Hi-res PCM and DXD audio data is supported at sampling rates up to 384kHz, alongside DSD from 2.8MHz to 12.4MHz (DSD64, 128 and 256). Thanks to the Burr Brown chip’s True Native design, PCM and DSD take separate pathways – this enables both PCM and DSD to remain bit perfect in their native form right through to analogue conversion.

There are two USB ports – USB Type A for audio data and USB-C for charging. The USB Type A input features a male connector, rather than a typical female port. This provides greater mechanical integrity than USB/Micro USB ports.. This is an advantage for iPhone and iPad users, because it accepts Apple’s Lightning to USB Camera Adaptor directly without requiring an additional female-to-male USB adaptor, as shown in my video review. The optional bass boost enhances low frequencies without muddying the mid range, and is particularly useful with earphones and open-back headphones that may lack deep bass. It operates entirely in the analogue domain rather than messing with the digital signal via DSP.

Sound quality. For this review I used a range of headphones including the Focal Elear, Sennheiser HD599, AKG K371 and Fiio FA7. I also tested the 4.4mm balanced using the Fiio FA7 with the Fiio 4.4mm headphone cable. iFi Audio recommend activating the PowerMatch for over ear headphones. So for this review all my over the ear headphones had this activated. When using my Fiio FA7 IEMs this was turned off.

Genres. All genres were tested from electronic, jazz, blues, classical, pop, rock and alternative. I spent hours and hours testing the hip dac including a 10 hour burn in before listening to it. All the over ear headphones were driven with ease, scale and presence. The XBass feature is great to use, but there is already IMO enough drama without having to use it. However, my AKG K371 headphones just loved the XBass being on and transformed from being a fairly accurate sounding headphone to a Tyrannosaurus Rex. OMG what a chalk and cheese difference and for the better. The Burr Brown chipset provides a lovely musical presentation, slightly warm, but with plenty of scale, drama, soundstage across all genres. And speed too. The 4,4mm balanced output added a little hiss with my Fiio FA7. This hiss was not present using the 3.5mm option. So ultra sensitive IEMs are best used with the 3.5mm jack which is extremely powerful in its own right.

Video Review

Conclusion

The iFi Audio is a fantastic compact headphone amp dac and highly recommended and one of my favourite amp/dacs!

Useful Links

Latest pricing & more info on iFi Audio hip dac on Amazon

How to use manual video controls on the iPhone 11 incl sample photos & video using Moment lenses

Happy New Year everyone.

In this article I am going to explain how to use manual video controls on the iPhone 11 Pro along with what accessories you will need to accomplish this task.

First, why bother. Well the difference before and after is night and day. Video footage is smooth with the correct motion effect that isn’t jagged, instead it’s smooth.

First things first, I headed over to the Moment store and bought myself their Moment Photo case for my iPhone 11 Pro. If you have some spare time, and you are into video & photography the Moment store is one helluva a great place to browse with tons of great useful gear for your phone, not just iPhones either.

Moment have 3 styles of cases for the new iPhone 11 range, and I have all 3 which I’ll be covering off the pros and cons of each shortly, however, my strong advice is just to buy their strongest and toughest case only, the Photo case. Once you have this case, you can now attach their lens, filters and more. It’s a small price to pay for the extra benefits.

In terms of filming the video, there are 2 apps I would recommend on iOS. Filmic Pro or the Moment app. If you have Moment lenses then their app is ideal. You will be advised to grab a gimbal for even smoother video footage. The DJI Osmo Mobile 3 is what I use. I’ll leave links to everything at the end of this article. In terms of filters I got a set of ND & CPL filters from Gobe on Amazon.

So now you have all the accessories and apps for your iPhone, what next. Well you need to setup the manual video controls. Here’s the rule of thumb. If shooting at 30fps , your shutter speed needs to be double at 1/60. Same rule applies for other FPS. So another example, shooting at 60fps needs a shutter speed of 1/120. The great thing about shooting at 60fps is that you can slow this down in post production for even smoother footage. For editing video on the iPhone, the best app is Luma Fusion.

Sounds simple, and it is , except now that you have a slow shutter speed, too much light will be entering the lens, so you need to attach a ND filter over the lens to counteract the extra light. In the video below, I used a ND8. I then used my DJI Osmo Mobile 3 gimbal.

Above is a photo using the Moment Anamorphic lens. It creates a cinematic look and in video is stunning. Especially when it counters light sources as you get those blue lines across the screen.

The above shot was taken using the new fisheye lens from Moment.

Now back to the video created. It’s just over 2 mins long so enjoy.

Useful Links

Moment Store

Moment Lens, Cases & more on Amazon

Gobe Filter set on Amazon

DJI Osmo Mobile 3 Gimbal on Amazon