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Panasonic Corporation Launches Technics Brand in the Region

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Panasonic Corporation has launched Technics, its premium audio brand. The company has announced that it has a progressive plan for the region, with an exciting product pipeline to keep its customers continuously engaged. “Technics as a brand continues to see countless successes globally and in the recent past, the company has also seen strong support in the region. But now after an absence in the regional market, we are here to affirm our commitment to the region. We see the region as a definite growth market and we will be introducing industry-leading products for our customers,” commented Hidetoshi Kaneko, the Director and Division Head at Technics.

As a brand, the ‘Technics Sound’, has been established under internal rules that push and challenge the company to develop and bring to the market, world-class products. The company has dedicated audio specialists who are involved in a stringent development process that includes a sound committee performing rigorous sound assessments, step-by-step quality assurance checks, and numerous physical performance evaluations. Furthermore, Technics select the best materials for creating the optimal sound. Only when all of these requirements have been met can the uniquely inspirational ‘Technics Sound’ emerge. To achieve this, there will be no compromise, ever.

Technics products do not simply produce sounds. They play an important role in the music lover’s environment, wrapping the listener in vivid and dynamic music. Staying true to the fidelity of the sound is crucial and Technics guarantee to reproduce the audio signals as faithfully as possible while maintaining a clean, crisp sound. “With a combination of our love of music and the vast high-end audio experience of the Technics team, we stand committed to building a brand right here in the region and provide the ultimate emotive musical experience for music lovers. Technics will continue to grow its product portfolio across the region, bringing products that offer leading-edge technology and performance,” added Kaneko.

Technics has entered the region with the release of its new true wireless earbuds models EAH-AZ60 and EAH-AZ40.

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Audio Devices

Sonos Ace Headphones Review: A Stylish Entry with Excellent Performance

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Sonos, the renowned home audio brand, took a bold step into the world of personal audio by introducing the Sonos Ace headphones. This premium, over-ear wireless headphones boast a sleek design, active noise cancellation (ANC), and the promise of signature Sonos sound.

Design and Comfort
Sonos doesn’t disappoint when it comes to aesthetics. The Ace headphones exude a minimalist elegance. Available in black and soft white, they feature a matte finish with metallic accents. The build quality feels substantial, with a mix of plush memory foam earcups and a sturdy, lightweight frame. These headphones are comfortable to wear for extended periods, thanks to the generous earcup padding and a well-distributed weight balance.

Controls and Functionality
Sonos opts for physical buttons over the now-commonplace touch controls. A multi-function “Content Key” on the right earcup handles playback, volume, and track skipping. A separate button cycles through ANC modes and voice assistant activation. The buttons offer a satisfying tactile response, a welcome change from the finicky nature of touch controls.

The Sonos app, though not as feature-rich as some competitors’ offerings, provides basic controls such as ANC adjustments and a five-band EQ, which allows for some sound customisation. One notable feature is multipoint Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to connect to two devices simultaneously. This is a convenient feature for users who switch frequently between phones and laptops.

Sound Quality
The Sonos Ace delivers a pleasant listening experience. The sound signature leans towards the warm side, with a satisfying bass presence without overwhelming the mids and highs. The instruments are well-defined, and the vocals come through clearly. For audiophiles, the Sonos Ace offers an outstanding soundstage.

The ANC is excellent, effectively blocking out low-frequency noise such as aeroplane hum and traffic rumble. Call quality is also very good, with the built-in microphones doing an adequate job of picking up your voice during calls.

Battery Life and Connectivity
Sonos boasts a stellar battery life of 30+ hours with ANC turned on. This is a major plus for frequent travellers and long listening sessions. The headphones use Bluetooth 5.3, offering a reliable connection with minimal latency.

A unique feature of the Sonos Ace is its potential integration with the Sonos ecosystem. The app allows you to switch seamlessly between the headphones and your Sonos home speakers. This functionality is currently limited, but future updates could unlock features such as using the headphones as surround sound speakers for your Sonos home theatre setup.

Verdict
The Sonos Ace headphones are a solid first entry into the wireless headphone market. They boast excellent noise cancellation, a comfortable design, and long battery life. The sound quality is quite good, too. The potential for deeper integration with the Sonos ecosystem is intriguing, however, the hefty price tag might deter some budget-conscious consumers.

If you’re a Sonos loyalist looking for a pair of stylish headphones with excellent ANC and good sound quality, the Sonos Ace is a compelling option, especially if the promise of future ecosystem integration appeals to you. The Sonos Ace headphones are a promising debut with a clear focus on comfort, noise cancellation, and design. They offer a well-rounded listening experience with the potential for exciting future developments within the Sonos ecosystem.

Price: AED 2099

Sonos Ace Headphones AED 2099
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

The Sonos Ace delivers a pleasant listening experience. The sound signature leans towards the warm side, with a satisfying bass presence without overwhelming the mids and highs. The instruments are well-defined, and the vocals come through clearly.

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Audio Devices

Sennheiser Launches MOMENTUM Sport Earbuds in the Middle East

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Sennheiser Consumer Hearing has launched its MOMENTUM Sport Earbuds in the Middle East. An innovative fusion of premium sound and fitness technologies, these are designed for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. These earbuds are set to revolutionize personal audio with their state-of-the-art heart rate and body temperature measurement capabilities, offering an unmatched combination of acoustic excellence and health tracking in one device.

Developed following extensive research and development, the MOMENTUM Sport Earbuds are equipped with advanced photoplethysmography (PPG) Heart Rate sensors and a Body Temperature measurement sensor, firmly positioning them as pivotal tools in any athlete’s workout arsenal. They can provide real-time performance tracking data that seamlessly integrates with popular fitness devices and apps, such as Apple Watch/Health, Garmin Watch/Connect, and Peloton. This marks the first time a non-Polar product offers full access to Polar’s elite biosensing capabilities and data analytics ecosystem, including expert-tier performance tracking and smart coaching through Polar Flow.

Heston Saldanha, General Manager, Sonova Consumer Hearing (Sennheiser ME), shared his enthusiasm, “The introduction of the MOMENTUM Sport Earbuds in the Middle East combines the power of music and fitness technology. These earbuds are crafted to serve as the heartbeat of your workout, offering precise health monitoring and exceptional sound quality to enhance your fitness experience. Our commitment to innovation and excellence is embodied in this product, setting a new standard for what athletes and sports enthusiasts can expect from their audio gear.”

Sennheiser’s acoustic expertise ensures that the MOMENTUM Sport Earbuds deliver superior sound quality, optimized for sports, with an all-new 10mm transducer that overcomes the occlusion effect through an acoustic relief channel. This feature minimizes internal noises such as footstep sounds and breathing, enhancing the listening experience during vigorous workouts. The semi-open design, complemented by Transparency mode, Anti-wind mode, and Adaptive Noise Cancelling mode, provides users with the flexibility to remain aware of their surroundings or immerse themselves in their music.

Operating over Bluetooth 5.2 with wide support for aptX Adaptive, AAC, and SBC codecs, the MOMENTUM Sport Earbuds ensure impeccable sound on any occasion, from intense gym sessions to casual home listening. The earbuds are designed to withstand the toughest workouts, thanks to their IP55 sweat & water resistance, shock-proof chassis, and clog-resistant ear tips, ensuring durability and reliability under any conditions.

Control of the MOMENTUM Sport Earbuds is intuitive and user-friendly, facilitated by capacitive touch and infrared sensors that allow for gesture-based control over audio playback and calls—even when wearing gloves. This ease of use is further enhanced by the Sennheiser Smart Control App, which provides an on-screen interface for managing settings and preferences.

To cater to individual fit and comfort needs, the MOMENTUM Sport Earbuds include a variety of interchangeable ear fins and ear tips, ensuring a secure and comfortable fit even during prolonged activities. The robust IP54-rated carrying case extends the earbuds’ 6-hour playback time to a total of 24 hours, with quick charging functionality offering 45 minutes of playback from just 10 minutes of charging. Set to transform the way users experience music and monitor their fitness, the MOMENTUM Sport Earbuds will be available in the UAE from the 19th June, 2024. Priced at AED 1259, they come in three stylish colourways: Polar Black, Burned Olive, and Metallic Graphite.

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Accessories

Soundcore by Anker H30i Wireless Headphones Review: A Bass-Boosted Budget Buddy

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Soundcore by Anker’s new H30i Wireless Headphones is a new addition to the company’s already established range of audio products. The H30i sports a familiar on-ear design. Available in black and light ivory, the aesthetics are clean and minimalist. The build quality feels surprisingly sturdy for the price point of AED 130.

An adjustable headband with metal reinforcements ensures a comfortable fit for most head sizes. Soft, leatherette earcups provide decent passive noise isolation. At a feather-light 183 grams, the H30i disappears on your head during extended listening sessions. The earcups swivel flat for easy storage in the included pouch, making them a travel-friendly companion.

Sound Quality
The H30i prioritises bass. Bass lovers will find themselves grinning from ear to ear. Anker’s signature BassUp technology delivers powerful, punchy lows that thump satisfyingly on genres like hip-hop and EDM. However, this emphasis on bass can sometimes overwhelm the mids and highs. Instruments such as guitars and vocals can sound slightly muffled.

The saving grace is the Soundcore app. This app unlocks the H30i’s true potential. It offers a variety of EQ presets, including a custom option, allowing you to tailor the sound signature to your preference. The “Electronic” preset, for example, does a good job of boosting clarity in the highs without sacrificing too much bass. Overall, while the H30i might not be an audiophile’s dream come true, it delivers a fun and engaging listening experience, especially for bass enthusiasts.

Battery Life and Connectivity
The H30i shines in the battery department. Anker boasts a staggering 70 hours of playback on a single charge, which is phenomenal for wireless headphones at this price point. During testing, we achieved close to that figure, making these headphones ideal for long journeys or all-day listening sessions. Even heavy users will likely only need to charge them once a week.

The H30i utilises Bluetooth 5.3, offering a stable connection with minimal lag. Multipoint connection allows you to seamlessly switch between two devices, making it convenient for juggling work calls and personal music listening.

Call Quality and Features
Call quality on the H30i is pretty good, too. Your voice will be audible on the other end, but background noise might be a bit more prominent than with some pricier headphones. Integrated controls on the earcup allow for volume adjustment, playback control, and answering calls. These controls are fairly intuitive and easy to use.

The H30i also offers a gaming mode that prioritises low latency for a more synchronised audio experience. While the difference might be subtle, it’s a welcome addition for casual gamers. Unfortunately, the H30i lacks active noise cancellation (ANC), a feature commonly found in higher-end models. However, it isn’t a biggie considering the relatively low entry point.

Verdict
At its price point of AED 130, the Soundcore H30i offers exceptional value for money. The combination of phenomenal battery life, comfortable design, and powerful bass response makes it a compelling choice for budget-conscious listeners who prioritise powerful low-end. The ability to customise the sound signature through the app adds further value.

Price: AED 130

Soundcore by Anker H30i Wireless Headphones AED 130
  • Final Rating
3.5

Summary

The H30i utilises Bluetooth 5.3, offering a stable connection with minimal lag. Multipoint connection allows you to seamlessly switch between two devices, making it convenient for juggling work calls and personal music listening.

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