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Sony Electronics Expands its Car Speaker and Subwoofer Lineup

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Sony Middle East and Africa today announced its GS car speaker and subwoofer lineup, including the XS-162GSXS-160GSXS-690GS speakers, and XS-W124GS and XS-W104GS subwoofers. For those who are seeking for step-up acoustic system from their factory car audio, the GS lineup is designed to deliver smooth, detailed sound, that will turn an everyday journey into a real audio experience.

GS Lineup Overview:

  • XS-162GS | 16 cm (6 ½”) 2-way Component Speakers
  • XS-160GS | 16 cm (6 ½”) 2-way Coaxial Speakers
  • XS-690GS | 16 x 24 cm (6 x 9“) 2-way Coaxial Speakers
  • XS-W124GS | 30 cm (12“) Subwoofer
  • XS-W104GS | 25 cm (10“) Subwoofer

XS-162GS, XS-160GS, XS-690GS, Speakers’ Key Features:

  • Composite Polypropylene Cone Woofer: Optimally designed polypropylene diaphragm gives deep bass while suppressing peaks and dips in the mid and high-frequency smooth integration with the tweeter.
  • Foam Rubber Surround: The woofer surround material is made of foam rubber, manufactured with an air-filled matrix structure that is lightweight and durable, providing optimal damping characteristics for responsive bass notes.
  • Dynamic Air Diffuser: The integrated Dynamic Air Diffuser ensures efficient air circulation for smooth cone travel and cooling of the voice coil.
  • Progressive Height Rate Spider: The acoustically optimised spider allows for higher power handling and airflow, with a profile designed for more rapid and precise cushioning of the speaker cone.
  • Silk Soft Dome Tweeter: Based on technology developed for our premium speaker designs, the soft-dome tweeter boasts a flat frequency response and wider dispersion. In addition, its silk diaphragm contributes to natural and smooth sound with good internal loss.
  • Easy Installation: The smaller tweeter chassis and shallow woofer basket decrease physical interference with factory grilles, enabling easy installation in a wider variety of vehicles.
  • Phase Plug (XS-162GS Only): The resonance damping phase plug on the woofer helps realise the ideal frequency response, right up to the crossover point with the matched tweeters.
  • Supplied Tweeter Mounts/ Adaptors (XS-162GS Only): The newly designed angle mounts and surface mount adaptors ensure flexible installation in various types of vehicles for the best acoustic results.
  • In-line Crossover Networks (XS-162GS Only): The in-line crossover networks enable easy wiring realising installation in a wider variety of vehicles.

XS-W124GS and XS-W104GS Subwoofers’ Key Features:

  • Paper Cone Diaphragm with Polypropylene Cap: A lightweight paper cone diaphragm directly connected to the voice coil reproduces tight low end. The injected polypropylene dust cap ensures rigidity and optimises internal damping, realising powerful and responsive bass sound.
  • Progressive Height Rate Double Spider: The acoustically optimised spider allows for higher power handling and airflow, with a profile designed for more rapid and precise cushioning of the speaker cone. To increase signal integrity and prevent sound interference the lead wire from the voice coil is also sewn to the spider, reducing wire movement.
  • Long Excursion Structure: The voice coil is supported by the double-layered spider, suppressing unwanted rolling, while also ensuring long excursion to reproduce rich bass sounds.
  • Rubber Surround: Rubber surround reduces excessive vibration and supports cone excursion with less distortion. The result is a solid bass response at high volume levels so that the system can play loud and clear.

“Sony’s products are not only designed to be stylish but also with the environment in mind. For the GS lineup individual packaging, 98% of the cushions are made of paper materials, and compared to the prior model, printed information has been carefully considered for simplicity and length to reduce printer ink usage by approximately 90%, reflecting Sony’s commitment to reducing environmental impact,” the company said in a press statement.

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Audio Devices

TOZO HT2 ANC Wireless Headphones Review: Affordable Excellence in Sound and Comfort

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At Gadget Voize, we’ve previously reviewed a couple of TOZO audio products such as the Golden X1 Wireless Earbuds and the Open Buds. Both offered commendable build and sound quality at a reasonable price.

Recently, we had the opportunity to test the new HT2 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones from TOZO. These over-the-ear Bluetooth headphones deliver quality sound, active noise cancellation (ANC), and equalizer (EQ).

What’s in the Box?
The package includes the TOZO HT2 Hybrid ANC Wireless Headphones, a 3.5mm analogue audio cable, a charging cable, a quick start guide, and a user manual.

Design and Comfort
The review unit we received was black with a matte finish. The headset is primarily made of polycarbonate materials, with the glossy TOZO logo offering a striking contrast against the matte backdrop.

The HT2 features an adjustable band with a brushed metal finish, allowing you to customise the fit. The right ear cup houses the power and volume buttons at the back, and the noise cancellation button at the front. Additionally, an audio port and a USB Type-C charging port are located at the bottom of the right ear cup, providing flexibility for wired or Bluetooth connections.

The headphones are extremely comfortable for prolonged use. The notably soft earmuffs enhance the overall comfort. The plastic build contributes to a lightweight design, making them an ideal travel companion.

Review of the TOZO Golden X1 Wireless Earbuds in the UAE

Sound Quality
The TOZO HT2 headphones offer a very good sound quality, characterised by deep bass, clear mids, and sharp highs. Although they might not meet the high standards of audiophiles, they provide a good sound signature, with a strong soundstage, and powerful bass response.

One of the standout features of the TOZO HT2 is the customisable EQ, available through the TOZO app. The app offers 16 EQ sound profiles, allowing you to adjust the sound to your preference. This feature is particularly beneficial for those who appreciate a personalised audio experience.

The TOZO HT2 comes with Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), which effectively minimises low-frequency noise. While it may not be top-tier, the ANC is adequate and does a good job of blocking external noise.

Connectivity
The HT2 is equipped with Bluetooth 5.3, offering a reliable range of up to 10 meters. Beyond that range, the audio may start to stutter. The headphones also come with a built-in microphone. During testing, the call quality was quite good for a headset of this type. It’s also worth noting that the HT2 can connect to multiple devices simultaneously.

Battery Life
The TOZO HT2 headphones come with a 500mAh battery. At default settings with 50% volume, these headphones offer an impressive playback time of up to 60 hours without the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) feature.

Review: TOZO Open Buds

However, when ANC is enabled, the playback time decreases to around 40 hours under the same conditions. Such extensive battery life is remarkable, especially considering the price point at which the HT2 is available.

Verdict
The TOZO HT2 headphones deliver great value for their cost. They offer commendable sound quality, adjustable EQ settings, satisfactory noise cancellation, and a comfortable design. Whether you’re a budget-conscious audiophile or a casual listener, the TOZO HT2 headphones make for a reliable choice.

Price: $50

TOZO HT2 ANC Wireless Headphones $50
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

The headphones are extremely comfortable for prolonged use. The notably soft earmuffs enhance the overall comfort. The plastic build contributes to a lightweight design, making them an ideal travel companion.

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Sony Intros New SRS-XV500 Party Speaker

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Sony Middle East and Africa today announced the launch of the new SRS-XV500, a speaker to help people party louder for longer, anywhere. This speaker packs powerful sound, built-in lighting and a long-lasting battery—you can even plug in a karaoke mic and sing the night away. With the SRS-XV500, you have everything you need to entertain your friends and family.

Experience great music on the SRS-XV500 thanks to its two X-Balanced Speaker Units which deliver strong, powerful bass with minimal distortion as well as two tweeters that provide clear vocals and an expanded sound field. The SRS-XV500 is a speaker that will never let you down due to its long battery life. After being fully charged, the SRS-XV500 will offer up to 25 hours of playback. Plus, quick charging of 10 minutes lasts for up to 2.5 hours of playing time. With the Battery Care Function, you never have to worry about overcharging your speaker, making it more dependable for longer.

The SRS-XV500 has an IPX4 water-resistant rating, so you can use it outside with confidence, even if a few raindrops fall. The SRS-XV500 was built with portability in mind. The built-in handle makes for easy transportation of the speaker. Plus, the SRS-XV500 adapts to any environment due to its flexibility of being positioned either vertically or horizontally.

The fun does not stop there as you can belt out your favourite songs with the karaoke functionality. To sing your favourite song, simply plug in a karaoke mic and press play. The Echo and Key Control on the rear panel of the unit let you adjust the sound to your preference. A second input means you can duet with a friend on a second mic or even plug in a guitar to ramp things up even further. Both inputs have individual mixing.

In addition to delivering musically, the SRS-XV500 also helps create a party atmosphere thanks to its ambient light feature. Whether you want to use the speaker for daily use or party use, you can customise the illumination with the Fiestable mobile app. The new SRS-XV500 is compatible with both Sony | Music Center and Fiestable apps. With Sony | Music Center, you can select playlists, and change lighting patterns and sound modes all from the dance floor.

Fiestable allows you to access fun features to help create the ultimate party atmosphere, such as making a playlist, karaoke functions including Voice Changer and Echo, plus DJ control to add sound effects. Our products are designed not only to offer outstanding sound quality but also to be kind to the environment. Recycled plastic originally developed for Sony is partially used for the body of the SRS-XV500. This reflects how Sony strives to reduce the environmental impact of its products.

The new SRS-XV500 will be available in the Middle East and Africa from the 15th of February 2024 at a recommended retail price of AED 1299.

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Sennheiser Launches the HD 490 PRO Reference Studio Headphones

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Sennheiser today launched its brand-new open-back HD 490 PRO reference studio headphones, purpose-built for producing, mixing and mastering. The circumaural, dynamic headphones feature highly precise sound reproduction and a very wide and realistic sound stage. This superior accuracy and range give producers, mixing and mastering engineers, as well as musicians, the transparency they need for critical mixing decisions and for confidently resolving any panning placement issues. The HD 490 PRO and HD 490 PRO Plus (includes additional accessories) will be available from the end of January 2024.

“If you compare today’s music productions with that of ten, 20 years ago, you will notice how the massively increased computing power and complex parameter automation have changed how music is made,” shares Jimmy Landry, Category Market Manager for MI at Sennheiser. “In every genre, engineers and music creators are continuously pushing boundaries, creating extremely complex mixes that can be prone to so-called ‘audio blind spots’. Mixes can be crowded and muddy, with too many instruments sitting at the same position and their frequencies competing. For the engineer or musician, it becomes difficult to hear each instrument or voice distinctly. This goes to show the importance of a good pair of studio headphones.”

To tackle this complexity, the Sennheiser engineers have given the HD 490 PRO an extremely wide, dimensional sound stage for precisely localising the components of a mix. Ultralight voice coils ensure a fast and authentic sound reproduction. The frequency response is uncoloured and honest across the entire audio spectrum, with the low end being full, accurate, and clearly defined thanks to a special low-frequency cylinder. The open-mesh ear cup covers reveal Sennheiser’s Open-frame Architecture, which minimises resonances and distortion. For an optimal listening experience, the transducers sit at a slight angle, thereby emulating a typical monitor loudspeaker setup.

“All these features combine to enable music professionals to identify and resolve any panning placement issues and troublesome low-end frequencies – ensuring clear mixes and superbly refined masters,” explains Gunnar Dirks, Sennheiser Product Manager. “The HD 490 PRO studio headphones put you in full control of every detail.”

An excellent pair of studio headphones would only be half as good if it were uncomfortable. Therefore, the Sennheiser engineers have put decades of experience in professional headset design into the HD 490 PRO. Their lightweight, ergonomic design eliminates any pressure points, as the headband does not press on the sensitive parts of the head. Also, the circumaural ear pads feature a Sennheiser-patented soft comfort zone for the temples of glasses while maintaining good sealing.

A patent has also been applied for regarding the special axes geometry of the HD 490 PRO. This design makes sure that the headphones optimally adapt to the head when they are put on, and maintain an equal contact pressure no matter what the shape of the user’s head.

“When you’re creating music, the last thing you want is to be focusing on the fit of your headphones. The HD 490 PRO lets you feel the music and forget about the headphones,” says Landry. “The development of the HD 490 PRO was preceded by the biggest professional headphone survey we ever did, where users voted neutral and flat reference audio as the most important feature,” explains Dirks. “However, when we took a look at market figures, we discovered that a slightly warmer sound was preferred over a 100% neutral response. Therefore, we decided to give our customers two headphones in one – by providing two different sets of ear pads that were carefully designed to shape the sound differently.”

The producing ear pads (velour) of the HD 490 PRO have a slightly warmer response to create perspective and help users make a holistic judgement of the sound. The mixing ear pads (fabric), on the other hand, allow for a very flat, neutral sound that helps dive into detail when a sound reference is needed in finishing off a mix. Both ear pads are washable – a solution that is both hygienic and sustainable.

The HD 490 PRO includes a free licence for the innovative dearVR MIX-SE plugin from Dear Reality. The plugin turns a DAW into an ultimate virtual mixing environment, simulating the carefully designed acoustics of ideal mixing studios. Not only is the engineer or musician placed in the sweet spot, but dear VR MIX-SE also helps them ensure a balanced and consistent translation of their mixes on different systems.

The meticulous design of this top-of-the-range studio model does not stop with the accessories. For example, the headphone cable can be plugged into the right or left earpiece of the HD 490 PRO to cater to different studio setups and preferences. A patented cable coil structure ensures that the headphone cable does not transmit any noise when it hits the desk or rubs against the clothing. The left/right designation is visible on the inside dust covers of the transducers, while for the visually impaired, the ear cups carry braille information.

Each HD 490 PRO is delivered complete with two different sets of ear pads (mixing and producing) plus a 1.8 m headphone cable and a dearVR MIX-SE licence. It retails at AED 1503 ex-Vat. The HD 490 PRO Plus, priced at AED 1803 ex-Vat, additionally includes a 3 m cable, a transport case, and an extra fabric headband pad in addition to the standard velour headband. All Plus extras are also available as individual accessories. A balanced headphone cable (EUR 39 MSRP, USD 39 MAP) is available as an optional. “If you are looking for studio headphones that give you the transparency and excellent localisation needed for crafting outstanding mixes, the HD 490 PRO are your choice,” says Jimmy Landry.

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