Tag: headphones

14
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Sony’s WH-1000XM4 noise-canceling headphones are $298 at Amazon, Best Buy, and B&H Photo

The second and final day of Prime Day 2020 is here, but there are still a ton of deals to take advantage of for the next several hours, including this fantastic deal on Sony’s new WH-1000XM4 wireless over-ear headphones. Normally, these headphones cost $350, but if you are an Amazon Prime member, you can buy a pair for just $298. Even better? Amazon will also give you a $25 gift card to its website when you purchase these headphones. Best Buy and B&H Photo are also price matching Amazon, but unfortunately, neither retailer is including the gift card sweetener like Amazon. The price is available for both color options (black and silver).

Sony originally released these headphones in August. When stacked up against its predecessor, the WH-1000XM3, the newer model shares a similar design but allows users the ability to pair two devices via Bluetooth simultaneously. My colleague, Chris Welch, noted in his review that the WH-1000XM4s have improved mic performance, which should make the audio output on calls clearer.

If you are looking for more headphone options, we picked out the best headphone deals you can grab during Prime Day 2020, plus a few from Amazon’s competitors, too.

Source Article

14
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Why Apple Quietly Discontinued urBeats3 Headphones

KEY POINTS

  • Apple has released the new Beats Flex wireless headphones
  • It has quietly discontinued the older urBeats3 headphones
  • The new device is cheaper than the older one

Apple has announced its newest and cheapest wireless earbuds yet and quietly discontinued a pair of wired earphones that it has been selling for quite some time now.

Cupertino tech giant Apple launched the new Beats Flex, a pair of wireless earbuds that aren’t truly wireless like the AirPods. At $50, the new device takes its place as the company’s cheapest offering for those who want a pair of wireless earphones for less than $100.

The new Beats Flex replaces the urBeats3, which was previously sold for $60. The older audio accessory, which was available in Lightning and 3.5mm versions, has been quietly discontinued and is no longer offered in Apple’s stores.

Those who try to go to the website previously used for the urBeats3 will be redirected to the webpage for the new Beats Flex. The older device’s discontinuation means that Beats no longer offers cheap wired headphones. Those who prefer to use such audio accessories can still buy the wired Beats EP headphones at $130 or the Apple-branded EarPods at $19.

Meanwhile, the new Beats Flex is largely similar to the Beats X wireless headphones in terms of design. It has a wire connecting the left and right earbuds, which can also be magnetically attached to one another when not in use and hung on the user’s neck.

Apple Beats Flex Apple’s new Beats Flex wireless headphones Photo: Apple

Apple said the new Beats Flex features an advanced acoustic platform that boasts custom layered drivers. This allows the device to produce “accurate bass and ultra-low distortion” when listening to music. It also features one-tap Audio Sharing that allows it to sync with other

13
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

iPhones won’t come with headphones or power adapters in the box from now on

That drawer full of bad headphones and extra power adapters for your phone won’t get any more cluttered if you decide to pick up a new iPhone 12. Apple will no longer include those items in the box, part of a redoubled effort to reduce its environmental footprint.

In a segment of its iPhone-centric event today, Apple’s Lisa Jackson explained that the company is hoping to have “net zero climate impact” globally by 2030, meaning everything from manufacturing and assembly to packaging and device recycling will be carbon neutral. Achieving that means relying more on solar power and efficient operations, of course, but also reducing waste.

To that end the company will no longer include the familiar white headphones that have come in the box since the early days of the iPhone, nor the standard outlet adapter for the power cable.

“Customers already have over 700 million Lightning headphones, and many customers have moved to a wireless experience,” said Jackson. “There are also over 2 billion Apple power adapters out in the world, and that’s not counting the billions of third party adapters.”

Thankfully there will be a power cable in the box: a standard USB-C to Lightning cable that you can plug into your old wall adapter or a laptop. Well, not the old old ones, but the fairly recent ones. To be honest, you might need a dongle.

The result is not just fewer things in the box, but a smaller actual box, letting the company fit more of them into a pallet. That may sound like a bit of a stretch for effect — “really, you’re saving the world by making the box smaller?” — but at the scales Apple operates at, fitting half again as many devices into a shipment means saving thousands of trips. It’s

13
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Apple Ending Key Source of iPhone E-Waste: Headphones, Chargers

It’s Apple Day, and for once, I don’t have to take on the usual role of climate journalists completely raining on the parade of people hypebeasting the new iPhone.

I mean, look, of course you should run your old iPhone into the ground instead of buying a new one if you value a habitable planet and not foisting your conspicuous consumption habits onto the backs of poor communities tasked with mining the metals and constructing a new phone you don’t need while dealing with the waste created by you getting rid of your old but perfectly good phone, you monstrous bastard. But if you actually need a new phone and order the iPhone 12, you’ll be getting a lighter ethical load than usual.

The company announced it will no longer ship iPhones with headphones or wall chargers. To which I say, thank the lord. This is like the lowest of low-hanging fruits in the e-waste world, and Apple is finally plucking it. (Congratulations, you’ve just consumed your fruit quota for the day by reading that sentence.)

Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environmental initiatives, said during today’s event that there are currently 700 million Lightning headphones and 2 billion wall adapters in circulation. That’s a lot of plastic and metal already out in the wild, getting lost, trashed, or tossed in junk drawers. (I estimate about 12,448 of those headsets are in mine.)

Frankly, Apple’s out-of-the-box headphones are pretty bad, and, at least for my ears, really uncomfortable. They also don’t work with any other device that has a 3.5 millimeter jack, which includes Apple’s own laptops. In short, they’re among the most useless items Apple creates, and yet the company has continued to ship them with iPhones for years.

Removing headphones

13
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

New iPhones Won’t Come With Headphones Or A Charging Box Anymore

Topline

Apple will no longer include a complimentary pair of wired headphones or a power adapter with new iPhones, the company announced Tuesday as it unveiled the iPhone 12, in an effort to cut down on packaging and reduce emissions.

Key Facts

The iPhone 12 will only come with a USB-C to Lightning cable for charging.

You’ll have to buy a $19 USB-C charging brick separately if you want to use the cable in the box, though you can still charge your phone with any old iPhone charger with a Lightning connector.

Earpods will cost another $19 if you don’t already have a pair or use wireless Airpods.

Apple says the move is part of the company’s effort to become 100% carbon neutral by 2030. 

Removing accessories, Apple says, will use fewer raw materials and thinner packaging, which allows Apple to put 70% more units on a single shipping pallet to reduce carbon emissions.

Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president for environment policy and social initiatives, suggested Tuesday that many customers already have Apple’s wired headphones and charging bricks, saying 700 million Earpods and 2 billion power adapters are already out in the world.

Chief Critics

 Some criticized Apple for using the environment as an excuse for making changes that result in higher margins and lower shipping costs, especially because Apple isn’t also lowering prices. CNET noted the move may be a way to offset the costs of including ultrawide 5G support, which usually pushes up phone prices even higher. But many assailed Apple for forcing customers to buy yet another accessory. “Apple has found yet another way to force you to buy an expensive dongle/adapter for its expensive gadgets in order to make said gadgets work,” Jason Koebler of Vice wrote.

Crucial Quote

“Taken altogether the changes we have made