ICYMI: We’re listening to Sony’s new WF-1000XM4 headphones

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What a week, all of you. First up, we have Sony’s new WF-1000XM4 wireless headphones, which Billy Steele says are nearly perfect except for the tips. Then we hear Devindra Hardawar saying the NVIDIA GTX 3070 Ti is a decent video card – but hey, is any video card you can get your hands on right now, right? Kris Naudus also tried the latest Tamagotchi only to ignite it (or poo, so to speak), and the Play builder garage for the Nintendo Switch, which went much better.

Billy Steele / Engadget

Billy Steele recommended the Sony WF-1000XM3 wireless earphones many times over for their sound quality and functionality, so he was eager to check out the latest model, the WF-1000XM4. The recently announced headphones are redesigned in a more “traditional” headphone shape, which is 10% smaller and more circular than their predecessors. Despite their compact size, Billy still found them a bit bulky and less comfortable to wear than previous models, and the culprits were the new noise-isolating ear tips. He strongly recommends that people use the in-app test to ensure the best fit (he ultimately reused advice from the XM3s).

Despite the fit issues, Billy liked the XM4 a lot: they maintain a balanced audio profile between bass, midrange and treble and have great clarity in reproducing subtle details on acoustic tracks. He was also impressed with the features: in addition to the equalizer, adaptive sound control and 360 Reality Audio from the previous version, the XM4 also includes a built-in V1 processor to improve noise cancellation and a talk function. which automatically pauses the sound. when the buds detect that you are talking. The XM4s also support LDAC, which is similar to lossless audio and should help you enjoy high-resolution streaming services. However, the price of $ 280 pushes them into premium territory.


Devindra Hardawar / Engadget

A mid-range GPU that should firmly replace the 2070 Super, NVIDIA RTX 3070 Ti is not a big step forward. Devindra Hardawar put the video card to the test and found that despite having 6,144 NVIDIA CUDA cores, it was only slightly faster in terms of base and clock speed than the RTX 3070. In benchmarks , the Ti model achieved 6,842 points in 3DMark’s TimeSpy Extreme test. (only 616 points more than the previous card). He also saw an improvement of almost 10% in the ray tracing benchmark.

Real-world testing produced similar results, and the 3070 Ti turned out to be an excellent 1440p GPU but barely better than the 3070. In Destiny 2, Devindra was able to achieve 145 to 155 fps and in Control it hit up to 75 frames per second playing 1440p natively with high graphics settings (but no ray tracing). However, the 3070 Ti consumes more power than the previous model – it requires at least a 750W power supply and heats up more than the 3070. Devindra said he noticed a more persistent fan noise, which was not. surprising given that the map reached 78 degrees Celsius. While the Ti isn’t too expensive at $ 600, the store price may be higher than that due to the chip shortage.

Bandai Tamagotchi Pix

Kris Naudus / Engadget

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 25 years since Bandai released the first virtual pet Tamagotchi, or that there have been over 44 versions released since then. Kris Naudus found the most recent, the Tamagotchi Pix, in his hands recently. Featuring a 1.5-inch color LCD display and touch-sensitive buttons, this version also includes a camera on the back that allows users to explore by pointing the camera around you. The device samples a color, then spawns a new friend for your creature to meet. You can also point your camera at a food to “cook” it for your Tamagotchi pet.

It all feels like an interesting update to more traditional Tamagotchi activities like playing in the yard, bathing, shopping, or cleaning. However, Kris found it didn’t work very well in practice. The camera did not pick up colors well indoors, so many of its samples rendered brownish tints. And because the camera doesn’t have the power to identify what is and isn’t real food, it will read anything you tell it to be nutritional in one way or another. Much of this is forgivable, but the real issue Kris encountered was with the touch buttons, which were flawed and unreliable – leaving Tamagotchi dirty and miserable, and leaving her frustrated.

Arturia FX Collection 2

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

Arturia’s previous FX collection included fifteen effects plugins for $ 399; not quite a good deal despite the company’s staunch recreations. Terrence O’Brien was happy to see that the new collection includes four additional modulation effects (the Chorus Jun-6 and three bus effects including one based on the Siemens broadcast console from the 1970s). While he found the effects themselves to be excellent, he is quick to admit that if you’re not a huge fan of the skeuomorphic design, you probably won’t appreciate the look of these effects.

However, Arturia’s meticulous emulations, paired with new in-app tutorials and a streamlined pre-built browser, gave it a lot of work. He says the Siemens and Neve emulations both sound great, although the FORCE Bus quickly became his favorite as it combines an EQ, limiter, compressor, and saturator. Terrence also particularly liked the saturation section of the circuit which offers many different options to dial in saturation and overdrive separately. The clipping was a bit harsh for his tastes as it sounded a bit more digital. All in all, if you already own the FX collection there might not be enough new stuff here to justify the purchase, but for $ 299 this is an attractive offer for those who are ready to go. launch for the first time.

Civilized cycles Model 1

Chris Velazco / Engadget

The chic look of the Model 1 of the civilized cycle Immediately caught Chris Velazco’s attention, but it was riding the $ 5,500 electric bike that convinced him of its practicality. He says the Model 1 rides better than traditional e-bikes thanks to the automatic suspension that uses a computerized air pump to fit one (or two) riders. Model 1 can support up to 400 pounds and is intended for two riders. In real-world testing, Chris and video producer Brian Oh found the Model 1 to be remarkably comfortable to drive, even while driving purposefully over rough roads and small debris.

Weighing 90 pounds, the Model 1 has a mid-engine connected to a five-speed transmission and a 10.5 amp hour battery conveniently located to help the bike reach speeds of up to 30 mph ( and to give your devices a charger). The battery is rated up to 25 miles per charge. An accelerator is integrated into the right handlebars and the pedal assistance system responds to every stroke with additional power. Model 1 also features hard saddlebags on either side of the rear wheel that can each accommodate 20L when closed or 80L when open, which should be more than enough for a quick run to the grocery store. . It also has a PIN code to lock the bike and a built-in GPS in case of theft.

The updated Moto G stylus supports 5G

Moto G Stylus

Chris Velazco / Engadget

Motorola’s 2021 5G budget phone quickly became a business bestseller, and now it has brought 5G connectivity to its Handset with stylus at $ 400. Chris Velazco says the Moto G Stylus 5G is basically huge with a 6.8in Full HD + display, but the 20.5: 9 aspect ratio makes it manageable. This display produced incredibly punchy colors and had plenty of room for videos, but Chris was concerned about how well it performed in direct sunlight. He found the redesigned capacitive stylus easy to use on the big screen, but admits it can’t beat the accuracy of the S Pen.

Chris spent time testing the Moto G’s four-camera system at a Yankees-Rays game and says it’s quite respectable. The 48MP main sensor with an f / 1.7 aperture took surprisingly detailed photos, and the 8MP ultra-wide camera also performed well, but with a noticeable lack of detail. The new video modes were fun, but they weren’t a game-changer. However, the 6GB of RAM, 256GB of internal storage, the 5,000mAh battery, and the 5G Snapdragon 480 chipset were quite capable of tackling most day-to-day tasks.

Nintendo game builder garage


Kris Naudus has tried coding before, but it never really stuck. the Play builder garage for Nintendo Switch may be what changes that for her. Using cute blocks called Nodons, the program is complete with personalities and stories to help the player figure out how to make a game. Kris says there is a fair amount of instruction and getting started via the lessons. interactive, but found the process largely useful and encouraging. Those with more experience can choose to skip the lessons and head to the free programming mode.

Kris especially liked the ease with which it was possible to switch between these two modes, which made it easy to see under the hood as well as the current look of the game. And the game offers some useful details, such as the duration of each. lesson by breaking down the lesson into smaller, easy-to-complete steps. It also offers checkpoints to help you figure out the right way to “fix” a problem – the game guides you by locking out features you don’t need and giving tips through Nodons. Kris says the engine is best suited for action titles, and users can share games by redeeming codes. Although she has tried other programming tools, she says none of them are as patient or forgiving as Games builder garage.

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