I am not an on-ear headphones person so it's difficult for me to review them objectively without saying how much I dislike the idea and pressure they exert on my ears. Oddly, that's not the case with the BackBeat 500, the newest release from Plantronics. I don't hate them and I can manage wearing them for a couple of hours without wanting to rip them off my head. That's a good start.
I've reviewed many of the brand's headphones over the years including the in-ear BackBeat GO 3 and the big over-ear BackBeat Pro+ and Pro 2, and I've spent some time with the on-ear BackBeat Sense, so I do know what to expect: better value for the money than most brands, good sound quality, and nice design and build. Read More
Google first revealed that Pixel pre-orderers would receive Daydream Views free of charge at last month's Pixel unveiling, and now, there's finally some movement; promo codes for the VR headsets are being sent out via email to customers who pre-ordered via the Google Store. Read More
When HTC unveiled its Vive virtual reality headset a little more than a year ago, it seemed like a shot in the dark - the Taiwanese manufacturer had never made any gaming hardware, and it was squaring up to compete with Oculus, a relatively seasoned company with a fresh cash infusion from Facebook. Fast forward to the present, and entering the ready-to-explode consumer VR market (not to mention partnering with PC gaming and distribution giant Valve) seems like the best decision HTC has made in a long time. Read More
Last year the buzzword at Mobile World Congress was "wearable." The fervor from that market trend still hasn't died down, but hot on its heels is "virtual reality." Despite a less than fantastic position in the smartphone space, HTC seems intent on expanding into virtual reality to compete with the likes of Microsoft, Google, Oculus Rift (and by extension, Facebook), and Samsung. Say hello to the HTC Vive... or possibly the Re Vive, depending on which HTC promo you go by.
Details on HTC's hardware are scarce - to be honest, we don't even know if the Vive is running Android or compatible with smartphones in any way. Read More
A couple of weeks ago, I shared with you a selection of lesser known music players for locally stored media that had some special powers and functions. However, playback and streaming aren't the only functions a music aficionado looks for, especially when your favorite app sometimes lacks a certain functionality. So how do you fill this void, or how do you improve on your basic listening experience? Here are 10 utilities that can be used in conjunction with your preferred music apps to complement them.
Viper4Android (Root only)
This entire article stemmed from the comments mentioning Viper4Android that we received on the original music player selection post. Read More
Ah, the good old days, when every phone, MP3 player, Walkman, and toaster included a pair of pack-in earbuds. These days you're lucky if you get a damn power adapter (just ask the folks over at Nintendo). If you're still using the ancient headphones that came as a freebie in you Nexus One or a long-forgotten iPod, then take a gander at this Sennheiser set over on Amazon. The MM30G, complete with in-line music controls and a mic, is $50 off of the retail price for a cool $24.99.
Sennheiser is one of the better audio brands, especially if you want good sound at a reasonable price - the kind that your audiophile uncle begs you to buy instead of Beats or Monster. Read More
As expected, Samsung has taken the lid off the Gear VR headset at this year's IFA in Berlin. The concept behind the company's attempt at virtual reality consists of pairing a Galaxy Note 4 with a bulky head unit, using the handset to supply both the display and the power. The product comes from Samsung, but its software has been created by Oculus. An early-access beta version is set to become available for eager techies and developers later this year.
Just as the name suggests, the Innovator Edition is not intended for general consumers. Samsung wants to get this hardware into the hands of early adopters and developers so that they can get to work. Read More
This is a story you've heard before - Samsung has announced another smartwatch. Not content with its current bevy of smartwatch offerings, the South Korean manufacturer has introduced the Gear S, a new Tizen-powered watch with a curved display that Samsung says "enhances the smart wearable experience."
The watch has a 2.0" SAMOLED display at a 360x480 resolution, a 300mAh battery, a dual-core processor, and a handful of sensors including an accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, heart rate monitor, barometer, and sensors for ambient light and UV. Like some of Samsung's other watches, users can also make and receive calls from the device. Read More
Rumors are flying about Samsung's plans for the virtual reality headset market. Just a week after Engadget's last unconfirmed report on Samsung's VR device, there's a new post that sheds quite a lot more light on the subject. First of all, Samsung and Oculus VR (makers of the Oculus Rift and recently acquired by Facebook) are sharing technology to improve each other's products. And secondly, Samsung's device uses a dock for your phone, which then becomes the primary display for the device.
If that seems a little odd do you, you're not alone. Assuming that this really is the direction that Samsung is going, the "headset" would be more a of a head-mounted dock, albeit one with some extra hardware and software tricks thrown in. Read More