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ICYMI: The new Studio Buds are the best beats for most people

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This week we have a wide assortment of reviews covering everything from laptops to games to unique synthesizers. First, let’s talk headphones – Billy Steele spent some time with Beats the new Studio Buds and found them comfortable, friendly for Android and reasonably priced. Next, Devindra Hardawar tested the ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage through its rhythms, ray tracing and all, to see how a machine with AMD CPUs and graphics would compete against the competition. Nathan Ingraham used the Acer Spin 713 Chromebook to see if the 360-degree, 3: 2 display could win it over, and Terrence O’Brien had a blast exploring the synthetic Make Noise Witch feature and spent a few hands-on time with it. waiting for Elektron Power Handle.

Billy Steele / Engadget

Even if the new Beats Studio Buds having a new concept, active noise cancellation (ANC), extended Android support and solid sound quality. But Billy Steele says one of the most important features is the affordable price of $ 150. The new design is more of a traditional form of headset in an IPX4 water-resistant housing. While it’s more comfortable to wear, the smooth coating has made it a bit of a challenge to handle. Android users now have access to Fast Pair for the first time, as well as Find My Device and some other features that are natively cooked in iOS.

Billy liked the sound quality on Studio Buds, finding them in line with the rest of the company’s headphones: well tuned with a punchy, deep bass, low bass lines and depth and presence in acoustic instruments . And the noise cancellation blocked the noises of a dishwasher, dryer and white noise machine during the tests. However, there are downsides to Studio Buds, namely the quality of the call, which Billy found a bit lacking. A lot of background noise blew into the call, and he also disliked the lack of both on-board volume controls and sound customization. There is no wireless charging either. But Billy says that given the features and price, you won’t make too many sacrifices with this set of real wireless headphones.

Fate Noise Witch

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

Terrence O’Brien calls him Synthesize Noise Witch a “strange beast.” In fact, the unusual instrument features a creative array of squares and gold rings with unique titles such as “activation” and “tonic”. Between this and a manual stating that it is not important to understand the device, some people may be put off in their attempts to experiment with it. However, Terrence says some skeptics would do well to stick with the “strange steel box” that is an amazing drone machine, a lo-fi delay and a capable overdrive.

The Witch receives her character from the combination of a multimode filter and lo-fi delay, and receives her heart from a single oscillator that transforms as you turn the “Toni” knob. Terrence says one of his favorite features is audio input so it can be used as an effect as well as an instrument. Oh, and the gold shapes on the front aren’t just decorative – they’re tactile plates that will give you a tactile way to manipulate your sounds. The whole machine is designed to be explored without focusing on technical details. Although the $ 599 price tag is a bit high for a synthesizer without MIDI, keyboard or sequencer, Terrence says without hesitation that it’s going well and continues to find new ways to play it.

The ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage laptop is a game rig all AMD

ASOS ROG Strix G15 Advantage

Devindra Hardawar / Engadget

Devindra Hardawar was not initially impressed by the ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage: the blinged-out gaming machine has an apparent but uninspired design with prominent LEDs and a plastic case. But the combination of AMD’s Radeon 6800M with a Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU and a $ 1,550 entry price was quite persuasive. At benchmarks, the Strix G15 scored higher than the Zephyrus G15 and clocked between 85fps and 105fps without ray tracing. While playing Overwatch, Devindra was able to shoot between 175fps and 200fps with maximum 1080p graphics and said that AMD FreeSync technology kept the framerates smooth.

However, when he turned the ray tracing on average, the laptop clocked around 45fps. Also, the Strix G15’s fast 300Hz screen isn’t very bright and doesn’t do well in outdoor environments where colors seem to be washed out – it’s much more suited to low-light gaming in a dark room. It’s even heavier than most 15-inch notebooks in competition at five pounds. Devindra says it’s not the computer he uses to watch movies or do media creation – it’s clearly a game rig and should be used as such. It would be excessive for overall productivity work, but any gamer looking for a surprisingly affordable and powerful gaming notebook would be well served.

Acer Chromebook Spin 713

Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

Our Chromebook resident fan Nathan Ingraham has a strong passion for a 3: 2 display, so I was eager to review the Acer Chromebook Spin 713. With a functional design, the Spin 713 has a sturdy, smooth 360-degree hinge, is two-thirds of an inch thick, and weighs just over 3 pounds. It’s significant compared to other Chromebooks, but it provides plenty of ports (two USB-C Thunderbolt 4s, an HDMI, a headphone jack, a USB-A and a microSD card slot) and a 13.5-inch touchscreen standscreen . But Nathan says the display is by far his favorite feature of the laptop. The 2,256 x 1,504 resolution screen is bright and crisp and the increased vertical space of the screen has made many of its daily tasks easier.

While Nathan said the keyboard and trackpad were similar to other Acer Chromebooks, he was also quick to point out that the Spin 713’s configuration didn’t feel as premium or solid as the other models. That didn’t stop him from typing quickly and accurately or getting smooth, responsive performance off the trackpad. However, the 360 ​​zipper has an issue – the location of the speakers, which are located on the bottom of the laptop to make them more accessible in tablet mode. In addition, it was subdued by the sound quality, and the battery life was not even remarkable: it lasted about eight hours on a single charge, two hours less than the Asus estimate.

Elektron Power handle

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

As a fan of Elektron’s Model line of grooveboxes, Terrence O’Brien has been waiting for him Elektron Power handle for almost two and a half years. Released in May, the Power Handle is a tube that contains AA batteries and connects to the sides of the instrument to act as a mobile power source and, well, a handle. It can also bend under the device to act as a stand, but Terrence said it leaves it at a shallow angle and that attempts to adapt it make the surface less firm. The company says the Power Handle should last between five and seven hours, depending on things like LCD brightness. In Terrence’s tests, he was able to get consistently four to five hours with the LCD on low.

It also indicates that the Power Handle requires an inertial cord, which protrudes from one end of the handle and connects to the five-volt power jack on the machine. On the positive side, a firmware update allows Model grooveboxes to display a small battery level indicator when connected to the Power Handle. Instruments can also record that they are running on battery power and add a startup step to prevent the device from accidentally turning on. While the Power Handle is a better solution than what Terrence had used, he was still wondering what took so long and why there wasn’t a more efficient option available before.

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