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Panasonic launches high-end in-ear headphones

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Panasonic announced the launch of their new HJX20 and HJX5 high-end in-ear headphones. Along with a dual axial drive, a second coil and neodymium magnet are added to the speaker diaphragm of the RP-HJX20. Powerful magnetic forces from both front and rear effectively drive the diaphragm to produce powerful yet crisp, clear sound.

An axial design with a long, straight port and newly designed earpiece are used for HJX20 to optimize the large-diameter (13.5mm) Dual Axial Drive. This delivers crisp, powerful sound directly to the ears. The earpieces are specially designed to stay comfortably in place. The airtight structure blocks external sounds for enhanced musical enjoyment.

Panasonic_RP-HJX5 - Axial DesignA newly-designed earpiece features a longer, straighter port which routes sound more directly to the eardrum. The RP-HJX20 is also perfect for travel as it comes with a convenient travel pouch so it’s easy to take them along and enjoy premium sound on the go.

The RP-HJX5, on the other hand incorporates an extra control magnet positioned in front in addition to the conventional neodymium magnet behind the diaphragm. Enhanced 12 mm driver units with magnetic forces to lower distortion and deliver rich, powerful bass and natural treble.
In order to maximize the drive capability with Dual Magnets, the sound path has an axial design in both the headphones.

The use of aluminium chambers for both of HJX20 and HJX5 suppresses unwanted vibration to achieve clear sound with minimal distortion & the large space inside the housing produces rich, full-textured bass.

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Gadgets

Bang & Olufsen and Cisco Premium Business Headset Targets Hybrid Workforce

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Hybrid work has increased the need for high-quality multifunctional headsets, as remote workers seek to reduce background noise from remote workspaces or simply enjoy music while on the go. In light of this, Bang & Olufsen and Cisco have announced the creation of the Bang & Olufsen Cisco 980, a luxury business headset that pairs Bang & Olufsen’s unique combination of timeless design, unrivaled craftsmanship, and powerful sound with Cisco’s integrated meeting controls, Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation, and frictionless IT management capabilities to ensure long-lasting, secure communications.

“Clear and seamless audio is essential for the hybrid work environment,” said Osama Al-Zoubi, CTO for Cisco Middle East and Africa. “We’re thrilled to work with the leaders in luxury audio solutions, Bang & Olufsen, to bring to market the highest quality audio device for business – combining high-end aesthetic, complete functionality and fantastic quality.”

“We are excited to join forces with Cisco and build on the strengths of both brands,” said Kristian Teär, CEO Bang & Olufsen. “Today, customers want a product they can use at home, at work, or in transition – and look and feel good when using it. We’re integrating Cisco’s industry leading technologies with our renowned capabilities within sound, design, and craftsmanship to create the ultimate audio product for the hybrid world.”

Key features of the Bang & Olufsen Cisco 980 include:

  • Enhanced capabilities for business: With Bluetooth 5.1, Webex integrations, voice prompts and convenient on-ear call controls that allow users to easily mute, answer or end calls, the Bang & Olufsen Cisco 980 offers industry-leading connectivity and functionality.
  • Crystal clear communication: Elevate and enhance calls, meetings, video and music experiences with premium acoustics and audio, including beamforming microphone arrays that create a Virtual Boom Arm and help to power Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation providing a more immersive listening experience. Rich, immersive audio helps users feel as if they are in person and excellent noise canceling lets users focus on the task at hand.
  • Lasting comfort and timeless design: The headset is designed to provide unmatched comfort. The Bang & Olufsen Cisco 980 is crafted in a lightweight structure that has been carefully engineered with high-end materials to ensure a stable, enduring fit for all-day use.
  • Enterprise-grade management and security: IT administrators can easily deploy, manage, and view real-time analytics of the Bang & Olufsen Cisco 980 – all from a single platform. It also provides enterprise-grade hardware and software protection to help calls and conversations stay secure.

The Bang & Olufsen Cisco 980 will be available to order starting early 2022 at the Cisco suggested price of $549.

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Accessories

Review: Huawei Freelace Pro

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Huawei’s new Freelace Pro neckband-style wireless earbuds were launched a couple of weeks ago. The company was kind enough to send us a review unit and boy, we were surprised by the sheer quality and value it brings along.

The Huawei FreeLace Pro is a premium wireless earbuds that come with active noise cancellation, an IP55 rating, 24 hours of battery life, and promises of awesome sound quality. While the earbuds are available in three colours such as white, black and green – Huawei calls them Obsidian Black, Dawn White, and Spruce Green. We received the green variant for this review.

Upon opening up the box, the first thing you see is the pair of wireless neckband-style earbuds. Digging deeper, you also get two pairs of ear tips, the warranty card, quick start guide, and safety info. The overall build quality of the earbuds is very good – clad in a mix of plastic, metal, and rubber, the neckband is detachable, which reveals a USB-C connector.

Now, this can be connected to a USB-C charger or to a smartphone directly that supports reverse charging, such as the Huawei Mate 40 Pro. The earbuds weigh just 34-gms and are a pleasure to wear. The earbuds fit snuggly into your ears and they don’t protrude too much from the ear. In addition, the wingtips on the earbuds make sure they sit in place securely in your ear and do not move around, when you are out on a run, or during a workout session.

Towards the right earbud is where you get the controls (volume up, volume down, play/pause) and the power button. In addition, you can touch the exterior of the left earbud to perform some functions. For instance, touching and holding it cycles between Huawei’s proprietary active noise cancelation modes: ANC on, Awareness, and ANC off.

Connecting the earbuds to a smartphone is a walk in the park – switch on Bluetooth pairing on your smartphone, select the Freelace Pro from the list and that’s it. And if you happen to own one of Huawei’s recent smartphones, the procedure is even simpler. Detach the neckband to reveal the USB-C connector and insert it into the USB-C port of the Huawei smartphone to charge it or instantly pair it with the smartphone.

Audio quality is very good since Huawei packs in a pair of 14.2mm dynamic drivers inside the earbuds. I was able to hear tones on the entire spectrum – from rich lows to punchy mids and crystal clear highs. It does not matter what type or genre of music you play or prefer. You will be able to enjoy your music at the highest quality, as it was meant to be.

I listened to Thaikkudam Bridge’s rendition of A. R. Rahman’s Rang De Basanti and was blown away by the sheer details I was able to listen to. The track definitely felt punchier, while the beats and the bass equally were crisp. Vaathi Raid from Thalapathy Vijay’s Master sounded out of this world. The entire composition sounded so good on the Huawei Freelace Pro, I had goosebumps by the end of it.

A trait I picked up from one of my friends is listening to Hotel California by Eagles, when testing out audio devices, especially speakers, earphones, earbuds, and headphones. I did fire up the track with the Huawei Freelace Pro still in my ears and I came away satisfied with the overall experience. Again, rich lows, punchy mids and bass, and clear highs.

The same can be said about the listening experience of Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. As true to the song, there is no escape from the reality of good audio quality with the Huawei Freelace Pro! Another one of my favourites is Firestarter by Prodigy. Listening to this track with the Huawei Freelace Pro on is pure bliss.

Another plus with the Huawei Freelace Pro is its ability to reduce audio latency for gaming, all the way down to 150 ms. This is done through wireless audio codec optimization. The low-latency gaming mode is automatically enabled when you start a game, thus keeping you alert and sharp for every round. You also get two microphones for Active Noise Cancellation and in-call noise cancellation, which is handled by a triple-mic system.

The three things that clearly make the Huawei Freelace Pro a winner are comfort, noise cancellation, and audio quality – they are all exceptional, especially when you consider the pocket-friendly price it is available at – AED 399. If you are on the market, looking for an excellent pair of wireless earbuds that offer tons of value and brilliant audio and build quality, the Huawei Freelace Pro should be on your list. The Huawei Freelace Pro thus walks away with the Gadget Voize Editors’ Choice Award!

Price: AED 399

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Accessories

Preview: ASUS ROG Delta S Gaming Headset

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If you are into gaming, you know that your gaming PC’s or laptop’s specs is not the only thing that matters to attain awesome gameplay. Gaming accessories also matter, including, the pair of headphones you use for your gaming sessions. ASUS’ ROG range of gaming devices are known on the market for top notch quality.

So, we didn’t think twice when ASUS said it is sending across the new ROG Delta S Gaming Headset for a test drive. This latest pair of gaming headphones features the Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) technology to offer improved audio quality for gamers.

What this means is that this gaming headset is designed to offer superior audio quality for gaming enthusiasts, and comes packed with a Hi-Res ESS Quad-DAC and large, high-quality drivers, allowing you to enjoy music streamed in high resolution. The headset also offers RGB lighting and is compatible with PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and even the new Sony PlayStation 5.

The headphones also come with stereo speakers that deliver sound from independent channels on both left and right sides, creating a richer sound and a better experience. In terms of design, the headphones offer a comfortable full-size form with ear-cups that fully enclose your ears. This offers sound isolation and hence, it won’t leak sound to your neighbors. 

The headphone weighs around 300-gms and does not come with a detachable cable, which many may find a downside, though the cable length is about 1.5 meters. The ROG Delta S can however be folders so it is easy to transport.

The overall look, feel and build quality is very good. While the headset is made of plastic, it is one of the most sturdy-feeling headsets I have come across in recent times. The stainless steel headband also contributes to the overall build quality in a good way.

You can switch between leather and velour ear-cups and you will find that both offers a good amount of comfort. The outside of the ear-cups have stellar RGB lighting, which can be toggled between Soundwave Light Mode, RGB Wave, and No Lighting Mode. These lighting modes can be toggled with a little switch on the left ear-cup.

The headphones connect to your gaming device through the USB-C port and comes with an AI Noise-Cancelling microphone. Inside the packaging that this headphone arrives in, you also get a USB-C to USB-A 2.0 cable that extends and makes your headset usable on many different platforms.

To check out the audio quality of the headsets, we used them with games and movies. As a gaming headset, the ROG Delta S focuses a lot on mids and treble. While the bass is there and if you find it not to be adequate enough, you can easily adjust it through the equaliser settings.

Overall, the audio quality offered by the ROG Delta S was exceptional – the audio sounded very detailed and natural. The mid treble is balanced and not too boosted like on other gaming headsets. The built-in quad DAC also contributed so much to gaming, since it provides extremely low background noise.

The ASUS ROG Delta S Gaming Headset is something you need to invest in if you are serious about gaming! The device isn’t available yet in the region and the local pricing hasn’t been announced yet.

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