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Review of the TOZO Golden X1 Wireless Earbuds in the UAE

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When it comes to wireless earbuds these days, you will be overwhelmed by the options available in the market. While some are top-notch, some average, and some really bad, TOZO’s new Golden X1 Wireless Earbuds surprise you with their outstanding performance.

The TOZO Golden X1 boasts impressive specifications that hold the promise of delivering top-notch sound quality, thanks to its dual driver configuration. It also comes with Hi-Res certification, LDAC support, and 8 microphones for your phone calls. Additionally, it features ANC and transparency mode – all of the features customary in most flagship earbuds today.

Inside the box, you get the TOZO Golden X1 Earbuds, a charging case, a USB-A to USB-C cable, Ear tips: XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL, and the user manual. The TOZO Golden X1 features a conventional in-ear design, complete with silicone tips and a compact stem. The earbuds are made of plastic and feature a matte texture accented by gold detailing similar to the TOZO logo, charging pins, and the speaker grille.

Each earbud weighs a little over 5 grams, while the charging case tips the scales at 43 grams. Opening up the charging case reveals an LED status bar, displaying battery indicators for both the case and each earbud, alongside a pairing button. On the rear of the charging case, you’ll find a USB-C port for charging.

TOZO Golden X1 uses touch controls that are thoughtfully designed, striking a balance by not being overly sensitive. They remain untriggered by accidental touches, even when adjusting the earbud’s fit. These touch controls offer convenient features such as switching between ANC and Transparency modes and managing media functions such as volume adjustment and track skipping.

Here’s an image that shows the button controls:

Using the TOZO app, you can customise the default key assignments to suit your preferences. The app also offers a feature called “Earprint”, which assesses your listening capabilities by playing a range of frequencies. It then uses those results to make adjustments, ensuring you experience the same intended sound signature as originally designed by the manufacturer out of the box.

During my review period, I listened to a wide range of content, from podcasts and news to classical music and pop. These earbuds consistently delivered exceptional experiences. Whether I was seated in my home office, immersed in concentration music during a writing session, or walking at Al Majaz Waterfront in the evening, the TOZO Golden X1 never failed to impress.

The TOZO Golden X1s present an ergonomic and comfortable design, which is quite remarkable given their unconventional shape. These earbuds stay securely in place during everyday use, including outdoor walks, providing a reliable fit and comfort.

The TOZO Golden X1 features a strong audio setup, boasting 12mm dynamic drivers and a balanced Knowles armature driver. The sound signature leans slightly towards a V-shaped profile. Notably, the bass enjoys a prominent boost, delivering deep and controlled thuds without encroaching into the midrange.

The sub-bass reaches impressively low frequencies, ensuring a satisfying rumble and impactful punch. While the mid-bass could benefit from a touch more punchiness, it maintains a clean quality. The midrange exhibits a smooth presentation, rendering vocals and instruments with a comfortably warm tonal quality.

If you prefer a flatter and crisper sound, you might consider a slight bump in the lower mids. The treble possesses a delightful sparkle, enhancing the appeal of female vocals. It’s bright without being harsh, contributing to an enjoyable listening experience.

The ANC performance of the TOZO Golden X1 earbuds exceeds expectations. They tackle low-frequency sounds effectively, while also significantly reducing higher-frequency noises such as vocal chatter to the point of being hardly noticeable.

On paper, the Golden X1 earbuds are designed to provide up to 8 hours of continuous playback on a single charge when using SBC and AAC codecs with ANC turned off. The charging case is expected to extend the total playback time to 32 hours. During our tests, we were able to clock around 6 hours of usage on a single charge with ANC turned off.

We also managed to recharge the earbuds fully up to four times using the charging case. If you use ANC and stream music via LDAC, the earbuds’ battery life goes down to 3.5 hours. It takes approximately 2 hours to fully charge both the earbuds and the case via USB-C.

For $149.99, the TOZO Golden X1 Wireless Earbuds are value for money, considering the features it offers. The TOZO Golden X1 is aimed at users who prioritise sound quality over anything else. It also offers flagship features such as ANC, Transparency mode, customizable EQ, and even multipoint pairing, making these earbuds a comprehensive and well-rounded offering.

Price: $149.99

TOZO Golden X1 Wireless Earbuds $149.99
  • Final Rating
3.5

Summary

Each earbud weighs a little over 5 grams, while the charging case tips the scales at 43 grams. Opening up the charging case reveals an LED status bar, displaying battery indicators for both the case and each earbud, alongside a pairing button. On the rear of the charging case, you’ll find a USB-C port for charging.

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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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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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