Creative Outlier Air V2 review – SXFI ready TWS earphones!

Welcome to my review of the Creative Outlier Air V2 that retail for £54.99.

Key Features

  • V2 features upgraded touch controls – tap on the earbuds to pause, change tracks, answer a call or even activate smart assistants.
  • Ultra long battery life of 34 hours. 12-hour per charge with total playtime of up to 34 hours with case. USB C charging.
  • IPX5 water-resistant so it can handle sweat, accidental splashes, or even rain without issues
  • V2 has improved call quality. Featuring built-in microphone with Qualcomm cVc 8.0 technology, the Outlier Air V2 earbuds picks up your voice over the background for improved call quality and clearer voice communication. For added convenience, just tap to activate Siri or Google Assistant for a quick call or get your music started
  • Bluetooth 5.0, APTX and AAC. Outlier Air V2 is equipped with the latest Bluetooth 5.0 and aptX / AAC.
  • It is also fitted with the latest driver technology that produces detailed highs, well-balanced mids, and immersive bass with the 5.6 mm graphene-coated driver diaphragm
  • SUPER X-FI ready. Super X-Fi technology recreates a professional, multi-speaker system experience in your headphones that is personalised to your ears. Outlier Air V2 is certified SUPER X-FI readyso you can enjoy a preview of Super X-Fi headphone holography via the SXFI App. It works on local music files downloaded onto your mobile, like an MP3 player; and does not support streaming content like Netflix, YouTube and Spotify.

Video Review

Conclusion

The Creative Outlier Air V2 sounds great using the app to adjust the EQ, with the possibility of enhancing the bass and using the SXFI technology. At their price point, they make superb TWS earphones. 8.2/10.

Useful Links

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Creative-Sweatproof-Headphones-Diaphragm-Bluetooth/dp/B08K2QH9WV/

Nik Collection 4 by DxO – full details on the new incredible update!

The Nik Collection 4 has just been released. This is a substantial update over the previous version.

An industry leader in the field of creative photography, Nik Collection 4 by DxO now features Meta Presets, improved U Point technology, and more seamless interactions with Adobe® Photoshop® and Lightroom®.

Packed with a palette of over 250 professional-grade presets, the unparalleled power of U Point local adjustment technology, and sophisticated editing tools, Nik Collection 4 targets every aspect of creative photography. From colour photography to black-and-white images, HDR, and analogue film simulation, Nik Collection 4 redefines the limits of creative photography. 

A new, user-friendly design for an even more thrilling experience

The easy-to-use design of the software plugins Nik Viveza, dedicated to tone and colour local adjustments, and Nik Silver Efex, the ultimate solution for black-and-white conversion, has been completely revamped to offer an optimal user experience. Both plugins now feature a modern interface that is more beautiful and functional than ever. They also allow users to directly access all available presets, filter for type and favourites more seamlessly, and identify tools more easily through its newly redesigned palettes. That means photographers can concentrate on the essentials—expressing their creativity.

Next-level U Point technology

U Point technology, the first system to allow users to apply local adjustments without masks, has revolutionized photo editing. Nik Collection 4 now makes it possible to incorporate Control Points into personalized presets. 

That means photographers can apply a similar style to several images while still preserving a specific area. For example, users can choose to apply a colour effect as well as a blurred background to several portraits. U Point technology also

includes a new Colour Tolerance setting so photographers can regulate the saturation of a specific tone range. Users can not only select the colour they want to change, but also adjust the tolerance of similar colour hues. Lastly, Control Points have been made easier to use than ever. This feature now includes fewer sliders, making the applied effect easier to view, and can be renamed so users can craft an optimized workflow experience.

Combine the settings of several plugins with Meta Presets

A new type of filter has been added for Adobe Photoshop users: “Meta Presets.” Directly accessible from the Nik Selective Tool, the Nik Collection software launch tool for Adobe Photoshop, these presets are Adobe Photoshop actions that combine the filters and settings of several Nik Collection plugins into one. They make it possible to edit photos by applying a series of presets from several plugins in just one click. Nik Collection 4 comes with a series of 10 Meta Presets.

Improved workflow with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom

Nik Collection 4 is continuing to expand its selection of lightning-fast retouching features. The Last Edit function, which lets users re-apply the last preset they used in one of the Nik Collection plugins while using Adobe Photoshop, has been extended to include Adobe Lightroom Classic. In addition, the new Smart Copy & Paste feature lets users selectively re-apply the effect of a plugin to one or several images directly in Adobe Lightroom without having to launch the software suite’s interface.

Even more striking black-and-white photos

To help users create even more brilliant black-and-white images, Nik Silver Efex now includes revolutionary ClearView technology, which was first offered in DxO PhotoLab, the market’s leading image-development software. This technology removes haze and enhances local contrast. The results are spectacular: In just one click, users can eliminate haze, all while revealing more natural objects, edges, details, and transitions. Get ready to create even more dazzling black-and-white photos!

Ever more creative

To offer users an even better editing experience, Nik Viveza features 10 native presets designed by professional photographers. And for fans of analogue black-and-white photography, Nik Silver Efex comes with 39 new and incredibly realistic grains that are even better at accurately recreating the look of iconic films than before.

Price and availability

Nik Collection 4 (Windows and macOS) is now available for download on the DxO website https://shop.dxo.com/photo-software/dxo-nikcollection for a special price of £88.99 instead of £133, and £54.99 instead of £69 for the upgrade until June 30, 2021. 

Photographers who already own Nik Collection 3 by DxO or a previous version can upgrade their software by signing into their customer accounts. A fully functional, one-month trial version of Nik Collection 4 is available on the DxO website: https://nikcollection.dxo.com/download/.

First Impressions

I have been using the Nik Collection 4 for a week now and have been extremely impressed with the new features and effects. If you follow me on twitter, you will have seen some pretty special images already!

Edifier R1855DB Bluetooth Speaker System REVIEW

Welcome to my review of the Edifier R1855DB Bluetooth speaker system that retails for £159.99.

Key Features

  • 70 watts RMS
  • Bluetooth v5.0
  • 2 x Line-in, 1 x optical input and 1 x coaxial input, bluetooth
  • Subwoofer Out
  • DSP Tone Control
  • Remote Control included which operates the volume, play/pause, skipping tracks, power on/off, switching input connections and a mute button

Audio Tracks used for testing

  • Roxy Music – True to Life (Remastered)
  • Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life
  • Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy (2012 Mix Master)
  • Eric Clapton – Layla (Acoustic Live at MTV Unplugged)
  • Axel F – From Beverly Hills Cop
  • Natalie Merchant – Ophelia
  • CeeLo Green – Bright Lights Bigger City
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan – Tin Pan Alley
  • K.D. Lang – Constant Craving 
  • Nigel Kennedy – The New Four Seasons
  • Hans Zimmer – Mountains 

The video review includes some sound testing whereby you can listen to the speakers pump out the music.

Video Review

Conclusion

An absolute fantastic pair of bluetooth speakers that sound great, have superb bass, treble and midrange and comes with a ton of versatility. If you had to choose between a pair of HomePod Mini’s or these, the Edifiers are the clear winner! Highly recommended 9.8/10.

Useful Links

1MORE ComfoBuds Pro review

Welcome to my review of the 1MORE ComfoBuds Pro which retail for £89.

The Key Features

  • QuietMax ANC Technology. This is 1MORE’s proprietary active noise cancellation technology that combines hybrid ANC technology, precise audio tuning, dual band ANC and wind noise reduction in one solution to deliver effective noise cancellation without compromising the sound quality.
  • 5 Noise Cancelling Modes: Featuring 5 noise cancelling modes, ANC Strong (default), ANC Mild, Wind Noise Resistant, Pass-through (default) and off.
  • 13.4 mm dynamic driver coupled with AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) compatibility highlights the true essence of your music. Hear the finest details whether you are listening to music and podcasts or enjoying your favorite movies.
  • 6 Microphones, clear calls achieved using 2 ANC microphones coupled with a precise algorithm work seamlessly to suppress both environmental and in-ear noises while the talking microphone detects and amplifies your voice for an ultra-clear phone call experience.
  • Fast Charge: 15 minutes of charge fuels you up for 2 hours of listening time thanks to the fast charge technology.

Audio Tracks used for the review

  • Roxy Music – True to Life (Remastered)
  • Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life
  • Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy (2012 Mix Master)
  • Eric Clapton – Layla (Acoustic Live at MTV Unplugged)
  • Axel F – From Beverly Hills Cop
  • Natalie Merchant – Ophelia
  • CeeLo Green – Bright Lights Bigger City
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan – Tin Pan Alley
  • K.D. Lang – Constant Craving 
  • Nigel Kennedy – The New Four Seasons
  • Hans Zimmer – Mountains 

Video Review

Conclusion

The 1MORE ComfoBuds Pro offer superb sound quality and noise cancellation which is also adjustable in 5 different modes. Highly recommended 9.3/10.

Useful Links

Satechi 2-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charging Stand review

Welcome to my review of the Satechi 2-in-1 Magnetic Charging Stand which works with Apple’s MagSafe and the iPhone 12 range. It retails for £59.

In my video review, I have compared it to two other options.

Key Features

  • 2-in-1 WIRELESS CHARGING – features a magnetic wireless charger designed for iPhone 12 (7.5W) and a designated wireless charging pad for your AirPods Pro (5W) to power both devices with ease
  • MAGNETIC & HANDS-FREE – equipped with a built-in magnetic wireless charger, the Stand elevates and recharges your iPhone 12, while its adjustable ball mount allows you to maneuver for optimal hands-free viewing. Ideal for FaceTime calls.
  • CHARGE YOUR AIRPODS PRO – includes a designated wireless charging pad for your AirPods Pro with a grooved indentation for perfect placement and to prevent it from sliding around
  • ELEGANT DESIGN – with an ultra-sleek stainless steel and aluminum build, the Stand complements your Apple devices and adds an elegant touch to your nightstand or home office setup
  • COMPATIBILITY – iPhone 12 Pro Max/12 Pro/12 & AirPods Pro/AirPods with wireless charging case. iPhones without magnet will not be supported. Includes USB-C cable, adapter plug sold separately

Video Review

Conclusion

A sturdy, well made and design magnetic wireless stand. Highly recommended 9.1/10.

Useful Links

Hidizs MS2 Hybrid Dual Driver HiFi Earphones review

Welcome to my review of the Hidizs MS2 Hybrid Dual Driver HiFi Earphones that retail for £74.99.

The Key Features

  • Featuring a Hidizs Titanium Plating Dynamic Armature Driver & Knowles Balanced Armature Driver. MS2 equipped 10.2mm large dynamic driver with dual voice coils and chambers, which offer more natural, elastic bass and full. The Knowles 33518 balance armature has excellent resolution and expandability. MS2 owns professional circuit AVX tantalum capacitors, reduce noise at audio frequency, ensure noiseless clear filtering and high fidelity in the passing of audio signals.
  • Quad-core High-purity Wires & Gold-Plated Socket. The MS2 in-ear headphone has mixed braiding of quad-core high-purity wires, which quad-core wires are nicely braided by 60 high-purity silver wires and 60 high-purity oxygen-free copper wires. Silver wires for a brilliant and clean sound. MS2 has a detachable 0.78mm 2-pin gold-plated socket design, which can be used for more applications. MS2 has an elegant rose gold distributor and a 3.5mm exquisite gold-plated plug.
  • Skin-friendly Resin Body & Phosphorescent Panel. The MS2 uses skin-friendly resin body and phosphorescent plate. The customized resin body has a more ergonomic natural fit, which can ensure long-term wearing comfort, skin-friendly. And MS2 in-ear monitor wears a shiny phosphorescent faceplate presenting amber feelings, with beautiful rainbow shards and elegant Hidizs logo inside, showing Hidizs unique Aesthetic.
  • Custom Carrying Box & Good Selection of Accessories. Hidizs specially MS2 customises the earphone carrying case. High-quality metal panel, built-in full-surround silicone, effective shock and drop resistance. The magnetic closure mechanism keeps the IEM in place. At the same time, MS2 has clear eartips and balanced eartips, including 6 pairs of silicone eartips, and a good selection of accessories.
  • Hi-Res Certified & Compatibility. Hi-Res Audio is a quality recognition given by JAS and CEA, a standard sought after by music lovers and audiophiles and it became a synonym for high-end audio equipment. The In-Ear Earbud Headphones work with all Androids, PC tablets, MP3 players and other devices with a standard 3.5mm jack.
  • Frequency Response 20Hz-40kHz
  • Impedance 18 ohms

Audio Tracks used for the Review

  • Roxy Music – True to Life (Remastered)
  • Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life
  • Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy (2012 Mix Master)
  • Eric Clapton – Layla (Acoustic Live at MTV Unplugged)
  • Axel F – From Beverly Hills Cop
  • Natalie Merchant – Ophelia
  • CeeLo Green – Bright Lights Bigger City
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan – Tin Pan Alley
  • K.D. Lang – Constant Craving 
  • Nigel Kennedy – The New Four Seasons
  • Hans Zimmer – Mountains 

Video Review

Conclusion

One of my all time favourite IEMs. Extremely musical and engaging. Highly recommended. 9.2/10.

Useful Links

Hidiz YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTHdIkXTuzpb2oYoH4wxU6A/about

Hidizs for a limited time only are offering two discounts as below. As they say, every little penny helps, and I thought this might be useful to some of you. These are not affiliate links, just a means for you to save some money.

Link to item https://www.hidizs.net/?aid=GavinsGadgets

Discount code:GAVINSGADGETS5

5% off for AP80/AP80 pro/(DH80s/80)/MS2/MS4/S9 pro/MS1/H2 and bundles

Discount code: GAVINSGADGETS3

3% off for S8/MS1 rainbow/Seeds/H1/BT01

Enter this discount code at checkout. You can only use the code once.

HiFiMan HE-R10P vs HE-R10D

Welcome to my comparison between two superb headphones from HiFiMan. The HE-R10P and HE-R10D.

The R10P is the planar magnetic version and retails for $5,499 versus the R10D which is a dynamic driver version. This retails for $1,299. That’s a price difference of $4,200.

In terms of specification for the R10P, see below –

  • Frequency response – 10Hz – 60kHz
  • Impedance – 30 ohm
  • Sensitivity – 100db
  • Weight 460g

And for the R10D, the specification is –

  • Frequency response – 15Hz – 35kHz
  • Impedance – 32 ohm
  • Sensitivity  – 103db
  • Weight – 337g

In terms of sonic differences, there is a lot to talk about, so click on the video below to find out more.

Comparison Video

Useful Links

https://hifiman.com

HiFiMan HE-R10D review

Welcome to my review of the HiFiMan HE-R10D which retail for $1,299. These are a closed back dynamic driver headphone from HiFiMan.

Key Features

  • Frequency response 15Hz – 35Hz
  • Impedance 32 ohm
  • Sensitivity 103db
  • Socket 3.5mm balanced
  • Weight 337g

The HE-10D are the dynamic driver version of the HE-10 range which includes a planar magnetic version, the HE-10P. My review of the HE-10P went live yesterday. Tomorrow, my comparison between the two headphones will be up on my website.

The HE-10D feature large wooden ear cups which allow for sufficient breathing space and volume for the music to shine. They also feature a topology diaphragm which has a nano particle coating applied to its surface, giving a more natural and detailed sound. Finally, they are carved by CNC from wood and aviation aluminium.

The headphones come in a beautiful box with 3 high quality cables.

  • 1.5 metre 3.5mm cable
  • 3 metre XLR balanced cable
  • 3 metre 1/4 inch cable

Music tracks used to test the headphones included –

  • Roxy Music – True to Life (Remastered)
  • Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life
  • Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy (2012 Mix Master)
  • Eric Clapton – Layla (Acoustic Live at MTV Unplugged)
  • Axel F – From Beverly Hills Cop
  • Natalie Merchant – Ophelia
  • CeeLo Green – Bright Lights Bigger City
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan – Tin Pan Alley
  • K.D. Lang – Constant Craving 
  • Nigel Kennedy – The New Four Seasons
  • Hans Zimmer – Mountains 

Video Review

Conclusion

The HiFiMan HE-R10D are an amazing closed back headphone from HiFiMan that are easy to drive and sound terrific. Highly recommended 9.1/10.

Useful Links

https://store.hifiman.com/index.php/he-r10-dynamic.html

HiFiMan HE-R10P review

Welcome to my review of the HiFiMan HE-R10P which retail for $5,499.

Key Features

  • Frequency response 10Hz – 60Hz
  • Impedance 30 ohm
  • Sensitivity 100db
  • Socket 3.5mm balanced
  • Weight 460g

The HE-10P are the planar magnetic version of the HE-10 range which includes a dynamic driver version, the HE-10D. My review of the HE-10D will follow tomorrow, and the day after that will features a comparison between the two of them.

The HE-10P feature large wooden ear cups which allow for sufficient breathing space and volume for the music to shine. The true nano thickness diaphragm also has a sub micro thickness coating. Finally, they are carved by CNC from wood and aviation aluminium.

The headphones come in a beautiful box with 3 high quality cables.

  • 1.5 metre 3.5mm cable
  • 3 metre XLR balanced cable
  • 3 metre 1/4 inch cable

Music tracks used to test the headphones included –

  • Roxy Music – True to Life (Remastered)
  • Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life
  • Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy (2012 Mix Master)
  • Eric Clapton – Layla (Acoustic Live at MTV Unplugged)
  • Axel F – From Beverly Hills Cop
  • Natalie Merchant – Ophelia
  • CeeLo Green – Bright Lights Bigger City
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan – Tin Pan Alley
  • K.D. Lang – Constant Craving 
  • Nigel Kennedy – The New Four Seasons
  • Hans Zimmer – Mountains 

Video Review

Conclusion

The HiFiMan HE-R10P are an outstanding closed back headphone from HiFiMan that are easy to drive and sound terrific. Highly recommended 9.4/10.

Useful Links

https://store.hifiman.com/index.php/he-r10-planar.html

Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro Headphones review in 2021

Welcome to my review of the infamous Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro which retail for anywhere between £400 to £600. The price varies depending on stock availability versus demand.

Key Features

  • Circumaural headphones for high-end studio use
  • 250-Ohm, 45-mm dynamic Tesla neodymium driver, Nominal sound pressure level: 102 dBSPL (1mW/500Hz)
  • Single-sided, detachable cable with mini-XLR connector. Frequency Response : 5 Hz – 40,000 Hz
  • Soft, replaceable ear pads and headband for long, drawn-out studio sessions

Video Review

Conclusion

In 2021, the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro headphones are a beast of a headphone, that deliver knockout sound and rock solid build quality. Highly recommended 9.7/10.