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Review of the Sony WF-1000XM5 Truly Wireless Earbuds in the UAE

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Sony launched the very popular WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless Earbuds two years ago, and the company has now followed up with an upgrade that includes a key highlight. The Sony WF-1000XM5 Truly Wireless Earbuds were launched a week ago and as soon as Sony executives mentioned the new earbuds were now 25% smaller than the predecessor, there was a huge sigh of relief.

Video: Sony Launches the new WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless Noise Cancelling Earbuds in the UAE

Don’t mistake me, the WF-1000XM4 were an awesome pair of truly wireless earbuds. However, the XM4 was a tad too bulky for true comfort. Now, in a flash, the XM5 has swooped in and conquered this crucial enhancement for providing a better fit. And that’s not all – the XM5 boasts an upgrade in sound quality, noise cancellation, and call clarity. In addition, the WF-1000XM5 is also Sony’s most expensive earbuds yet, coming in at a price point of AED 1299.

The WF-1000XM5 aren’t just smaller, they’re also 20% lighter and incredibly streamlined. This sleek transformation applies to both the earbuds and the wireless charging case, now sporting a more pocket-friendly rounded shape. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yet it’s hard not to appreciate the XM5’s elegant design. The days of the XM4’s chunky, somewhat odd-shaped build and gold accents are behind us.

The XM5 has emerged as a testament to sophistication – compact, polished, and graceful. The golden microphone port still remains, however, it now seamlessly blends into the earbud’s body, resembling more of an exquisite inlay rather than a mere functional element. In fact, these earbuds could easily grace a black-tie affair without seeming out of place.

Inside the eco-friendly paper packaging, you’ll uncover a treasure trove of Sony WF-1000XM5 goodies. There’s the star of the show – the earbuds themselves, snugly nestled inside the trusty charging case. Upon opening the package further, you’ll find a handy USB charging cable, a trio of spare polyurethane foam ear tips in different sizes, and a thoughtful set of instructions. However, this time Sony goes the extra mile by including an ace up their sleeve – a set of extra-small ear tips. This little addition comes to the rescue of those with daintier ear canals, guaranteeing a snug and perfect fit for all.

The exterior of each earbud has undergone a modern makeover, featuring a glossy plastic material that gives off a premium aura. This sleek surface meets contemporary standards both in appearance and tactile feel. However, a contrasting touch reveals the outer shell designated for touch controls and housing the outer microphone setup; this area boasts a finely textured matte finish. Remarkably, these touch controls work seamlessly.

The WF-1000XM5 has also added a new driver, which Sony calls Dynamic Driver X. This new driver measures 8.4mm, and it surpasses its predecessor’s 6.4mm unit by a leap. This enhanced size translates to less movement for the larger driver, a feature Sony claims aids in minimising mechanical noise. To further refine the audio output, Sony has used two different materials for different frequencies – one optimised for the highs and the other tailored for the lows.Sony WF-1000XM5 Truly Wireless Earbuds

Shrinking down by a solid 15% in comparison to its older sibling, the charging case has undergone a sleek makeover. It now rocks a dedicated pairing button at the back, and upfront, there’s a discreet LED indicator winking at you. The charging case also supports both USB-C charging and Qi wireless charging. And don’t think twice about juice – it’s got enough to fuel your earbuds through a trio of charge cycles.

The Sony WF-1000XM5 may not be ready to swim with fishes, but they’re not afraid of a little rain. With an IPX4 water resistance rating, these earbuds are your buddies for casual drizzles during your outdoor escapades or those intense sweat sessions at the gym.

Sony has truly upped the ante in touch control finesse with the WF-1000XM5. In past iterations, you were limited to a single set of functions per earbud. But this time around, the possibilities have expanded, presenting a whole array of actions at your fingertips.

And, once you pop an earbud out of your ear, the music will pause on both earbuds, and when you put the earbuds back into the ear, the music playback resumes. In addition, if you press and hold the left earbud control, you will be able to enter into the transparency mode, which lets you listen to the world around you.

To unlock the earbuds’ full functionality, you will need to download the Sony Headphones Connect App. Beyond updates, it’s your hub for custom EQ, Ambient Sound tweaks, and touch sensor customization, compatible with Android and iOS. The app is also needed for Sony 360 Reality Audio, Speak-to-Chat, and DSEE Extreme, their proprietary algorithm that enriches lower-quality audio.

Sony has also taken a technological leap with the XM5. They’ve transitioned from the single V1 processor (used in the XM4) to a dual processor arrangement: the new V2 Integrated Processor alongside the latest HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN2e, dedicated to noise cancellation. This combined force, coupled with the XM5’s six microphones and revamped drivers, elevates ANC performance across most frequencies.

In my experience, this holds true. While the XM4 excelled in ANC, the XM5 takes it up a notch, which is particularly noticeable in specific scenarios, such as low-frequency noise. Another improvement is the XM5’s ability in tackling wind noise while in ANC mode. Wind often hampers ANC’s effectiveness, and the XM5 proved to be undisturbed by wind noise.

When it comes to call quality, the WF-1000XM5 shine by skillfully obscuring any background noises that typically divert attention from your voice. From traffic hum to construction clatter and even strong gusts of wind, these earbuds erase them all to a point where the other side of the call remains blissfully oblivious to any trace of these sounds.

Sony has consistently delivered brilliant sound quality, and the XM5 continue this legacy with brilliance. Their sound signature presents a subtle yet discernible enhancement over the XM4’s performance. Renowned for its strong bass response, Sony doesn’t disappoint – it’s rich, melodic, and now finds a better equilibrium alongside other frequencies.

Across diverse genres spanning hard rock to jazz, these earbuds meticulously preserve individual elements, ensuring clarity in vocals as well. As for Bluetooth 5.3 connections, the WF-1000XM5 stand firm, offering an average range for wireless earbuds – approximately 25 feet indoors and up to 45 feet outdoors with no obstructions.

When it comes to noise-cancelling earbuds, the Sony WF-1000XM5 stands tall as one of the finest options available today. However, this quality comes at a cost. With a price tag of AED 1299, these earbuds might not be the first pick for those on a budget. However, if your preferences lean towards exceptional active noise cancellation, top-tier sound quality, and comprehensive software support, the WF-1000XM5 undoubtedly justifies its premium pricing.

Price: AED 1299

Photography by Ryan Chris

Sony WF-1000XM5 Truly Wireless Earbuds AED 1299
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

The XM5 have emerged as a testament to sophistication – compact, polished, and graceful. The golden microphone port still remains, however, it now seamlessly blends into the earbud’s body, resembling more of an exquisite inlay rather than a mere functional element. In fact, these earbuds could easily grace a black-tie affair without seeming out of place.

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Accessories

Logitech G Launches Astro A50 X Wireless Gaming Headset

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Logitech G, a brand of Logitech has launched the Logitech G ASTRO A50 X LIGHTSPEED Wireless Gaming Headset and Base Station in the GCC, the fifth generation of the critically acclaimed ASTRO A50 Series console gaming headset. The new ASTRO A5O X is designed to deliver the ultimate console headset experience. With breakthrough innovations in audio and connectivity, the ASTRO A50 X LIGHTSPEED Wireless Gaming Headset + Base Station features:

  • New PLAYSYNC technology for easy connectivity and switching between the XBOX, PS5 and PC via a single button press
  • PRO-G Graphene Audio Driver technology for high-performance gaming audio
  • 24-bit LIGHTSPEED Wireless technology for pro-grade performance on the console

“Over the last decade, the A50 has become an icon in gaming headsets due to its focus on gamer-centric design, premium sound, and superior comfort and durability,” said Dana Zebian, Logitech G’s Marketing Manager for the Middle East. “Our new A50 X elevates this beloved headset with an unmatched level of performance by combining the A50’s award-winning design with several new features and advanced technologies that truly revolutionize gameplay.” Comfort, sound, connectivity, communications and compatibility are the keys that gamers look for in an audio solution. The A50 X combines the design of the original A50, a favourite of console gamers everywhere, with four breakthrough innovations in the console headset market.

Bringing all systems together, PLAYSYNC Technology is an industry first that allows gamers to connect their Xbox Series X|S, PS5 and PC/MAC all at once and seamlessly switch between all three gaming systems with the simple ‘one-click’ of a button on the A50 X headset. When switching between Xbox and PS5 consoles, PLAYSYNC will change what the gamer views on their TV and what is heard in their headset. When switching to PC, PLAYSYNC will change what is heard in the gamer’s headset. Allowing gamers to decide and easily switch to the gaming experience they want to enjoy at any moment.

A50 X is a two-part Base Station and Wireless Headset system that works directly with high-performance game consoles as well as 4K UHD Televisions using HDMI 2.1 technology. Using HDMI, the Base Station directs audio wirelessly to the A50 X Headset while passing the console’s video through to the TV without impacting the source’s intended fidelity and features such as 4K 120Hz HDR, VRR, and ALLM. The result is high-performance and ultra-low latency video.

Audio signals are also intelligently routed on A50 X; with the headset docked to the Base Station, audio signals along with video will be passed through to the connected TV. When gamers undock the headset, audio signals will be rerouted to the headset automatically, improving convenience and versatility between open or private listening experiences.

With sound being such a critical component in gaming, the A50 X’s PRO-G GRAPHENE Audio Driver has been precision-engineered with a 40 mm graphene diaphragm featuring a live edge suspension, to deliver superior audio performance like never before. The new driver delivers improvements in sound reproduction accuracy, time to signal accuracy and distortion reduction, allowing players to identify audio objects more clearly, and more quickly discern their location as objects move relative to the player.

Graphene is a breakthrough material for audio clarity, detail, and spatial timing accuracy. With unprecedented harmonic rigidity, these audio drivers reduce distortion while delivering soaring highs, clear mids and rich bass. Optimized for the multi-platform player who requires the highest levels of audio and visual fidelity, and demands both style and design excellence, the A50 X headset system is purposefully designed to work with high-performance game consoles using HDMI 2.1 & USB-C connectivity, allowing A50 X to deliver uncompressed audio at up to 24-bit fidelity. The integrated LED status info panel and the click-in magnetic charging cradle of the A50 X Base Station keeps the headset battery topped off and always at the ready.

Logitech G’s award-winning 24-bit LIGHTSPEED wireless technology is a continuously improving pro-grade solution for quality of sound, reliability in connectivity, and efficiency for epic battery life. The Base Station also features simultaneous Bluetooth® connectivity allowing gamers to mix Discord chat with game audio or listen to music while playing.

The A50 X is Logitech G’s first headset that comes equipped with an integrated high-resolution 16-bit 48 kHz LIGHTSPEED microphone, this additional bandwidth lets the microphone capture a much broader spectrum of sound delivering unrivalled performance, clarity, and quality in a boom microphone. A50 X lets players control the Game/Chat mix on Xbox, PC—and even their PS5, and balance volume between game and chat with on-ear controls.

Gamers can optimise and fine-tune the gaming audio experience with G HUB on PC and the Logitech G App on iOS/Android devices. Control headset EQ presets or dive deep into the fully parametric EQ. Take advantage of the extended resolution of the microphone and dial-in broadcast-quality EQ settings while controlling their environment with noise reduction. Gamers can set up stream output audio mixing, specify sidetone amount, save custom presets, and more.

The Logitech G ASTRO A50 X Wireless Gaming Headset + Base Station is available now in key retailers across the GCC.

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HP Unleashes Latest OMEN and HyperX Gaming Arsenal

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HP ignited the Dubai gaming scene today with a showcase of its latest OMEN and HyperX devices and accessories. The event unveiled a collection of cutting-edge products designed to elevate the gaming experience for all. “HP understands the evolving needs of gamers, creators, and streamers. The OMEN and HyperX lineup caters to this diverse audience, offering a blend of power, performance, and quality. Whether you’re a seasoned pro, a casual player, or just starting your PC journey, OMEN and HyperX offer a perfect match for an immersive and seamless experience,” the company said.

 

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OMEN Transcend 14
The star of the show was the highly anticipated OMEN Transcend 14. This lightweight 14-inch powerhouse is built for those who demand both gaming excellence and creative freedom. Featuring a stunning 2.8K 120Hz OLED display and powered by the latest Intel Core Ultra Processor, the OMEN Transcend 14 seamlessly blends portability with premium performance. This allows users to transition between gaming and creative tasks on-the-go, without sacrificing processing power.

Beyond the Transcend 14, the showcase also featured:

  1. A broad selection of other OMEN laptops boasting impressive performance and design.
  2. An array of HyperX gaming gear, including mice, headsets, backpacks, and the world’s most customizable mechanical keyboard.

HyperX Alloy Rise

“With PC gamers numbered 1.1 billion and an expected growth to 1.85 billion this year, gaming is not just a pastime; it’s a dynamic and evolving culture that connects people worldwide,” said Peter Oganesean, Managing Director of HP Middle East. “Our Gaming Showcase in Dubai underscores our dedication to providing gamers with the latest advancements in technology, empowering them to reach new heights of performance and enjoyment.”

HyperX QuadCast

HP’s Dubai Gaming Showcase wasn’t just about unveiling new products, it was a strategic move aligning with the region’s thriving gaming scene. Gaming in the Middle East is no longer a solitary activity; it’s a social phenomenon fostering vibrant communities. With the UAE gaming market expected to grow steadily at 5.40% annually from 2024 to 2027, OMEN and HyperX are stepping up to meet this growing demand.

HyperX Pulsefire Mat RGB

HP’s latest offerings prioritize personalized experiences, delivering top-notch performance, sleek designs, and extensive customization options to cater to the diverse needs of Middle Eastern gamers. Attendees at the showcase weren’t just passive observers. Interactive demos and expert insights allowed them to experience firsthand the power and versatility of the OMEN and HyperX lineup. The message was clear: from competitive esports to immersive storytelling, these products offer limitless possibilities for gamers to explore and excel.

HyperX Cloud III

The showcase also highlighted HP’s commitment to a sustainable future. Eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient designs were incorporated into the showcased gaming devices and accessories, demonstrating that responsible practices can go hand-in-hand with high-performance gaming gear. By aligning with the Middle East’s burgeoning gaming community and prioritizing personalization, performance, and sustainability, HP positions itself as a leader in the region’s ever-evolving gaming landscape.

HP’s Dubai Gaming Showcase wasn’t just about announcements, it was an exhibition of cutting-edge technology for passionate gamers. Here’s a closer look at some of the key highlights:

OMEN Transcend 14: This ultra-light champion weighs in at only 1637g, defying expectations for a portable powerhouse. Featuring a stunning 2.8K 120Hz OLED display and the latest Intel Core Ultra Processor with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 series GPUs, it allows seamless switching between gaming and creative endeavors, anywhere, anytime.

OMEN Transcend 16: This desktop replacement boasts a stunning 240Hz, 16:10 display with vivid colours and high refresh rates. Powered by the latest 14th-generation Intel processors and up to a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070, it empowers creators and gamers alike.

HyperX QuadCast

HyperX Cloud III Wireless Headset Black: This evolution of the legendary Cloud II Wireless incorporates next-gen technology and a sleek design, delivering exceptional audio for the most dedicated players.

HyperX Pulsefire Haste 2 Mini Wireless Black Mouse: Weighing less than 60 grams, this ultra-light, wireless mouse offers precision control in a compact form factor.

HyperX Pulsefire Mousepad: Engineered for durability and precision tracking, this mousepad features an optimized surface and anti-fray stitching for enhanced comfort and control during intense gameplay.

HyperX Pulsefire Haste 2 Mini Wireless

HyperX Alloy Rise 75 Gaming Keyboard: The “world’s most customizable” toolless mechanical keyboard, the Alloy Rise takes personalization to a whole new level. Hot-swappable key switches, magnetic top plates, badges, and more let you tailor your keyboard to your exact needs.

HyperX QuadCast S Black Microphone: This condenser microphone delivers both broadcast-quality audio and stunning aesthetics. Customizable RGB lighting adds a touch of style to any stream setup.

HyperX Knight and Delta Backpacks: These durable, weather-resistant backpacks offer secure storage for your gaming essentials, with classic HyperX colours and airline carry-on compliance for ultimate portability.

OMEN 17: OMEN recently announced the upcoming launch of the OMEN 17 Gaming Laptop. Designed for the multi-faceted gamer who dabbles in content creation and esports, this laptop boasts increased performance, larger screens, and captivating visuals. It caters to a growing segment of gamers who demand versatility from their machines.

Staying true to its innovative spirit, OMEN will integrate a dedicated Copilot key for quick AI accessibility. This intriguing feature remains shrouded in a bit of mystery, but it hints at AI-powered functionalities to streamline the gaming experience. Additionally, an AI-driven OMEN camera and voice enhancer will elevate your audio and video quality, ensuring seamless communication with teammates or viewers.

The showcase also highlighted HP’s recent partnership with Riot Games, the powerhouse behind popular titles like League of Legends (LoL Esports), VALORANT (VCT), and Teamfight Tactics (TFT Esports). This groundbreaking global collaboration will reshape the gaming and esports experience for players worldwide. As the official Riot Games Technology partner, OMEN and HyperX gain access to Riot’s massive player base. This collaboration empowers them to provide top-tier hardware and technological solutions that will fuel various aspects of the Riot Games ecosystem, from powering the experiences of millions of players to supporting record-breaking esports events.

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Accessories

GameSir Launches Nova Series of Gaming Controllers

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GameSir has announced the official worldwide release of its newest controller series – the highly anticipated Nova Series featuring the GameSir Nova and GameSir Nova Lite. Two next-generation devices with cutting-edge capabilities and a raft of key features, the GameSir Nova and Nova Lite promise to empower users during gameplay and take gaming exploits to the next level.

Billed as ‘the ultimate multi-platform gaming controller’, the GameSir Nova offers unrestricted gaming experiences with its cross-platform adaptability. Compatible with Android, Switch, Steam, PC, and iOS devices, this fabulous controller enables users to conquer their games with style, precision, and incredible performance. The GameSir Hall Effect anti-drift sticks are engineered for increased consistency and smoothness during gameplay with specially optimized algorithms, stylish RGB circles come with personalized lighting effects for unique gaming experiences, and tri-mode connectivity makes for unparalleled hassle-free flexibility with three connectivity options (Bluetooth, 2.4GHz, and Wired).

Additionally, the GameSir Nova supports Switch, Dinput, Xinput, Arcade, and MFi as a truly versatile controller, holding the keys to ultimate gaming experiences with less latency, motion control, programmable macro back buttons, and dual actuators for strong and subtle vibrations. The controller is also available in retro white and neon teal. Much like its fellow Nova Series device, the GameSir Nova Lite promises to deliver next-level gaming experiences – empowering users throughout gameplay conquests. Exactly like the GameSir Nova, this innovation comes with the same multi-platform compatibility, GameSir Hall Effect anti-drift sticks for maximized performance, and tri-mode connectivity with Bluetooth, 2.4GHz, and Wired.

Another standout component is the turbo function for faster response. The Nova Lite features a 20Hz Turbo function with customizable buttons, meaning gamers have a convenient way to enhance immersive gameplay. Additionally, greater control is assured thanks to the multi-function M button that enables users to seamlessly adjust such as vibration intensity, switch modes, stick’s dead zone and interchange key values in various settings. Gamers also have the option to choose between two colours – Stellar White or Space Purple – with the device catering to every gaming requirement at a super-affordable price.

Commenting on the global launch, Betta Core, CEO, GameSir, said, “After many months of behind-the-scenes planning and preparation, we’re thrilled to officially release the Nova Series across international markets. A series sure to be embraced and enjoyed by gaming enthusiasts far and wide, we’re particularly excited because the GameSir Nova and Nova Lite perfectly complement our vision to empower every individual during gameplay and expand the boundary of joy. With the Nova Series now available, we can’t wait to see the reaction and reception from the worldwide gaming community. For sure, these innovations will meet every expectation.”

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