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Review: SONOS Move 2

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In the ever-evolving landscape of audio technology, SONOS has consistently been a name synonymous with quality and innovation. The SONOS Move 2, the latest addition to their lineup, aims to redefine the portable speaker experience. Packed with upgraded features and a commitment to delivering a superior sound experience, the Move 2 is a promising sequel to its predecessor.

Design and Build Quality
The first thing that strikes you about the SONOS Move 2 is its design – an embodiment of modern aesthetics and practicality. The sleek, cylindrical form factor exudes a premium feel, with a robust build that instils confidence in its durability. The device is constructed from high-quality materials, combining a rugged plastic exterior with a metal grille covering the speakers.

While it may be a bit bulky to be truly ‘portable’, it’s perfect for shuffling between rooms or taking out into your garden. It’s available in Black, White, and Olive colours – for this review, we received the Olive colour variant.

The SONOS Move 2 retains the signature carry handle from its predecessor, making it easy to transport. The handle is both functional and stylish, adding a touch of sophistication to the overall design. The device maintains its IP56 rating for weather resistance, ensuring it can withstand dust, water splashes, and the occasional drizzle – a feature that enhances its suitability for outdoor use.

Portability
True to its name, the Move 2 is designed for portability. Weighing in at just under 3 kg, it strikes a balance between being lightweight enough for easy transport and heavy enough to communicate a sense of sturdiness. The carry handle, in addition to its aesthetic appeal, provides a secure grip, making it comfortable to carry around.

The Move 2’s built-in rechargeable battery is another key feature contributing to its portability. On paper, the speaker offers a battery life of up to 24 hours. During our real-world tests, we clocked around 20 hours of battery life, which is brilliant. The USB-C charging port ensures a quick and convenient recharge, and the Move 2 also supports wireless charging through the bundled wireless charging base, which is quite convenient.

Connectivity
One of the standout features of SONOS devices is their seamless connectivity, and the Move 2 continues this tradition. It supports both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, providing flexibility for various use cases. When connected to your home Wi-Fi network, the Move 2 integrates seamlessly with the SONOS ecosystem, through the SONOS app, allowing for multi-room audio synchronisation and access to a plethora of streaming services.

Bluetooth functionality, on the other hand, enables a direct connection to your devices, making the Move 2 an excellent companion for outdoor adventures where Wi-Fi may not be available. The transition between these modes is smooth, thanks to SONOS’s user-friendly app, ensuring that you can effortlessly switch between using the Move 2 as a stationary home speaker and a portable device on the go.

Sound Quality
The heart of any audio device lies in its ability to deliver a captivating listening experience, and the SONOS Move 2 does not disappoint. The device features three class-D amplifiers, which have been designed for the unique acoustic architecture of the speaker. A pair of angled tweeters produce a sharp and precise high-frequency response, enhancing stereo separation.

A single mid-woofer guarantees the accurate reproduction of mid-range vocal frequencies and deep bass tones. Overall, the SONOS Move 2 offers crisp highs and deep, resonant lows. Whether you’re playing your favourite upbeat tracks or immersing yourself in a podcast, the clarity and richness of the audio are remarkable.

The automatic Trueplay technology further enhances the listening experience by automatically tuning the sound based on the speaker’s surroundings, ensuring optimal performance in any environment. The Move 2’s stereo sound capabilities add depth to the audio, creating a more immersive experience. Even at higher volumes, the sound remains distortion-free.

Smart Features
Building on the success of its predecessor, the Move 2 incorporates a range of smart features that elevate its usability. The inclusion of voice control through popular virtual assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant enhances the hands-free experience. Whether you’re adjusting the volume, skipping tracks, or checking the weather, the Move 2 responds promptly to your voice commands.

Furthermore, the SONOS app provides a centralised hub for controlling the Move 2 and other SONOS devices in your home. The app’s intuitive interface allows for easy customisation of sound settings, grouping speakers for synchronised playback, and accessing a wide range of streaming services.

Verdict
Overall, the SONOS Move 2 successfully builds upon the strengths of its predecessor, delivering a portable speaker that seamlessly combines style, durability, and exceptional audio quality. Its versatility in connectivity, robust build, and impressive battery life make it a go-to choice for both indoor and outdoor settings.

While the Move 2 comes with a premium price tag, the investment is justified by the premium audio experience it offers. Whether you’re a dedicated audiophile or a casual listener, the SONOS Move 2 stands out as a reliable and feature-rich option in the competitive landscape of portable speakers, reaffirming SONOS’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of audio technology. The SONOS Move 2 thus walks away with the Gadget Voize Editors’ Choice award!

Price: AED 2000

Photography by Ryan Chris

SONOS Move 2 AED 2000
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

The first thing that strikes you about the SONOS Move 2 is its design – an embodiment of modern aesthetics and practicality. The sleek, cylindrical form factor exudes a premium feel, with a robust build that instils confidence in its durability. The device is constructed from high-quality materials, combining a rugged plastic exterior with a metal grille covering the speakers.

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Accessories

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

Review of the Corsair K70 MAX Magnetic-Mechanical Gaming Keyboard in the UAE

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Diving into professional gaming sessions with the CORSAIR K70 MAX RGB Magnetic-Mechanical Gaming Keyboard has been a revelation. This keyboard boasts an entire lineup of adjustable CORSAIR MGX switches, providing a brilliant level of control over each key’s actuation point. Whether you’re after lightning-fast responsiveness at 0.4mm or a more deliberate keystroke at 3.6mm, this keyboard lets you fine-tune every aspect for a gaming and typing journey that’s uniquely yours.

Extra brownie points to Corsair for including a cushioned palm rest, generously outfitted with plush memory foam. It’s a small detail that adds up to remarkable comfort during those marathon gaming sessions. The tactile satisfaction of each keypress combined with the ergonomic support creates an immersive environment that’s hard to pull away from.

The technological prowess of the CORSAIR K70 MAX extends beyond just physical comfort. Thanks to the AXON Hyper-Processing Technology, keystrokes are captured with an astonishing 8x speed compared to regular gaming keyboards. This means every input is translated to on-screen action almost instantaneously, giving you that competitive edge you’ve been seeking.

But the customization journey doesn’t stop there. With the iCUE software, available on both PC and macOS, you’re granted an expansive playground to tweak and tailor every aspect of the keyboard’s performance and aesthetics. This kind of versatility truly makes the keyboard an extension of your personality and playstyle.

Out of the box, the K70 MAX comes packed into a Space Gray aluminium bead-blasted chassis. It offers connectivity through a Type A USB 3.0 port. As mentioned earlier, the K70 MAX’s standout feature is the fully adjustable CORSAIR MGX switches that grace its entire layout. This gives you the ability to fine-tune each key’s actuation point, providing a range from a feather-light 0.4mm to a robust 3.6mm with pinpoint accuracy, all in precise 0.1mm steps.

Another capability of the keyboard comes in the form of dual-point actuation. Here, one keypress can trigger two distinct actions, which can become your secret weapon for executing split-second combinations that can turn the tide of your game in an instant. The engine driving this performance is AXON technology, which catapults the K70 into a premier league of responsiveness.

It processes and transmits inputs at an awesome eight times the speed of regular gaming keyboards, thanks to the 8,000Hz hyper-polling. Remember, however, that all of this depends on your CPU; older CPUs might not be able to harness its full potential. With dual layers of sound dampening, you get that deeply satisfying typing sound that true keyboard aficionados crave. It’s a small detail, but it contributes to the overall sensory experience.

The keyboard also comes with a precision-moulded keycap set, which is not only resilient against wear, fading, and shine, but its steel grey aesthetic and 1.5mm thickness also ensure a satisfyingly sturdy keystroke. On the practicality front, features like the tournament switch provide instant focus by locking into distraction-free static backlighting and disabling macros. The detachable USB Type-C cable adds convenience to your setup and portability.

Media control is also a walk in the park with the company’s signature aluminium roller that smoothly adjusts volume levels. Its programmability via iCUE software makes it even more versatile. If you are a Macro enthusiast, you will appreciate the ability to record macros on-the-fly with a dedicated hotkey, saving them to FN key combination shortcuts. And if you’re one to explore various setups, the K70 MAX lets you store up to 50 onboard profiles, each loaded with your custom macros, actions, and vibrant RGB lighting effects.

On the top left corner, you get three shortcut buttons, each with unique functions. The first button allows you to cycle through available profiles, while the second button adjusts RGB backlighting brightness in 20% increments. The third button meanwhile, allows you to toggle between Win Lock on and off. And if you want to perform a “factory reset” on the keyboard, simply hold the ESC key while plugging in the USB Type-C cable. Then release the ESC key after two seconds. The keyboard will then power on normally and be reset to factory defaults.

Having reviewed the Corsair K70 RGB TKL Champion Series Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, the Corsair K70 RGB Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, and the Corsair K70 RGB Pro Mini Wireless Gaming Keyboard, I have to say that the K70 series has matured very well by offering the outstanding Corsair K70 MAX Magnetic-Mechanical Gaming Keyboard.

For those who appreciate the allure of magnetic switches and seek a keyboard that’s packed with an array of features, the K70 Max emerges as a compelling contender. Beyond its magnetic switch innovation, which is seamlessly integrated into Corsair’s lineup, this keyboard introduces a notable custom actuation feature that stands out.

Moreover, the K70 Max goes the extra mile in refining the foundation set by its predecessor, the K70. Notably, it brings about subtle yet impactful improvements that make a difference. The keyboard’s body has been designed for a quieter experience, an enhancement that doesn’t go unnoticed during use.

But perhaps one of the standout additions to this iteration is the inclusion of supremely comfortable wrist rest. Designed for extended gaming or typing sessions, this wrist rest elevates the overall comfort factor significantly, letting you stay immersed without discomfort.

In the world of gaming keyboards, the K70 Max manages to strike a balance between innovative features and refinements to the core experience. If you like magnetic switches and you are looking for a keyboard that offers a comprehensive package of enhancements, the Corsair K70 MAX Magnetic-Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is definitely one to consider. The Corsair K70 MAX Magnetic-Mechanical Gaming Keyboard thus walks away with the Gadget Voize Editors’ Choice award!

Price: $229.99

Corsair K70 MAX Magnetic-Mechanical Gaming Keyboard $229.99
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

The technological prowess of the CORSAIR K70 MAX extends beyond just physical comfort. Thanks to the AXON Hyper-Processing Technology, keystrokes are captured with an astonishing 8x speed compared to regular gaming keyboards. This means every input is translated to on-screen action almost instantaneously, giving you that competitive edge you’ve been seeking.

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Review: ASUS ROG Falchion Ace 65% Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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The ASUS ROG Falchion Ace is the latest addition to the company’s Falchion series of compact gaming keyboards. It is a wired mechanical keyboard that features dual USB-C connectors and is offered in two colours: Moonlight White and Black. In addition, the keyboard provides a selection of three switch options – NX Red, NX Brown, and NX Blue. Now, these correspond to linear, tactile, and clicky, respectively.

For this review, we received the Black keyboard with ROG NX Red mechanical switches. The keyboard aims to impress gamers with high-quality PBT Doubleshot keycaps, RGB lighting, and an interactive touch panel, among other features. Inside the box, the keyboard comes packed with a keyboard case to protect it from dust and for transport, a braided USB-C to USC-A cable, ROG stickers, and the quick start guide. However, there is no keycap puller included in the box.

Most of the design elements from the original Falchion have been retained in the ROG Falchion Ace. This keyboard has a 65% layout, which makes it incredibly compact, measuring only 306mm in length and 101mm in width. With its rigid plastic chassis and aluminum top plate, the ASUS ROG Falchion Ace has a robust and sturdy build.

The keycaps are made of textured double-shot PBT material, which has a comfortable curve that provides support for your fingertips. The keyboard is equipped with four rubber pads in each corner on the underside which effectively prevents the keyboard from moving around.

Unlike the original Falchion, the Falchion Ace lacks wireless connectivity support. However, it compensates for this by having two USB-C ports on each side, allowing you to connect to two separate devices. The switch between the USB-C ports enables users to switch between devices easily. Moreover, cable management is simpler because you have the option of attaching your custom coiled cables on either side of the keyboard.

As custom keycaps are gaining popularity and becoming more affordable, it is noteworthy that ROG has utilized PBT double-shot keycaps for the Falchion Ace. The keycap legends are well-defined, and the keycaps feel top-notch. The keycap profile is akin to the Cherry profile, with each row being distinctive enough that I seldom needed to look down while typing. Additionally, ROG has gone a step further by adjusting and lubricating the stabilisers on the spacebar, shift, and enter keys, making the keyboard feel stable and smooth to type on without any rattling.

Undoubtedly, the most significant feature of the ROG Falchion Ace is the interactive touch panel incorporated on the keyboard’s left side. This touch panel is hardly noticeable without illumination; however, when lit up, an LED bar, a plus and minus symbol below it, and various dots in between them illuminate. The touch panel offers several controls and functions.

The ROG Falchion Ace uses ASUS’ Armoury Crate for customisation. You can select the keyboard via the Devices subitem, which provides a variety of options for the keyboard. The software is intuitively designed, with the settings of the ROG Falchion Ace divided into sub-items such as buttons, touch bar, lighting, firmware update, and profiles.

You can create and synchronise profiles, with up to six profiles stored directly on the keyboard’s onboard memory. These profiles can be freely configured and assigned with certain functions or macros through the Keys sub-item. The touch bar offers three additional keys and up to five actions via two additional swipe gestures, allowing users to adjust the volume or mute the sound with standard settings.

ASUS offers a total of eleven customisable effects for illumination, ranging from static lighting to pulsating, rainbow, or quicksand, with synchronisation available with other RGB components of the system. You can also create your own lighting effects via Aura Creator, and the lighting can be turned off completely if required.

Typing on the ASUS ROG Falchion Ace is a satisfying experience, with each keystroke feeling sturdy and consistent. The stabilisers and sound-dampening foam work well together to reduce ping and produce a pleasant sound. Adjusting the incline feet allows for a comfortable typing angle, but those with smaller hands may benefit from using a palm rest. Switching to the 65% layout may seem intimidating, but for gamers, it can improve overall ergonomics by allowing for a more natural mouse position and preventing over-extension of the right arm during gaming.

The ASUS ROG Falchion Ace proves to be an excellent all-around performer in our test. The keyboard impresses with its comfortable layout, great switches, and thoughtful additions such as the ROG stabilizers and interactive touch panel. Additionally, the dual USB-C ports, compact dimensions, keyboard cover, and onboard memory make it ideal for users on the go.

Overall, the ROG Falchion Ace is a well-constructed, compact keyboard that offers a satisfying typing and gaming experience for both casual and professional users. It thus walks away with the Gadget Voize Editors’ Choice award!

Price: AED 510 approx.

ASUS ROG Falchion Ace 65% Mechanical Gaming Keyboard AED 510 approx.
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

The keyboard aims to impress gamers with high-quality PBT Doubleshot keycaps, RGB lighting, and an interactive touch panel, among other features.

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