Dec 27, 2016
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As we move further into the age of wireless audio with the iPhone 7 abandoning the ever-so-present headphone jack, a new category of "truly wireless" earbuds has been popping up. So you may be asking, what does "truly wireless" even mean? Well, as you may have seen, many earbuds that have claimed to be "wireless" actually have a wire in between the buds that generally goes around your neck. So, a few companies, such as Bragi, decided to do away with any and all wires, leaving us with Bragi's first product, the Dash. The Dash started as a Kickstarter project back in February of 2014, with an enormous amount of support, raising just under $3.4 million with the promise of earbuds completely free of wires and with loads of other features. These features included activity tracking, touch controls, on-board storage, water-resistance, and more. The campaign had initially intended to ship out the Dash units in October of 2014, but due to many setbacks, they started shipping out units in early- to mid-2016. With initial reports of problems with the microphone and Bluetooth connectivity, it seemed, at first, like the Dash could be just another Kickstarter flop. Instead, however, the company dedicated a lot of time into creating new updates to the firmware that drastically improved, if not completely solved these issues. The Sound DSC01138An earbud can't be good without sounding good, of course. So, how does the Dash stack up to the competition? After all, the price for these is not cheap, coming in at around $300. Well, they're actually pretty good! I wasn't expecting amazing sound from a device so small, yet packed full of components. What I found was that the Dash produces a good, clear sound, though certainly preferring the mids over the lows and highs. That said, I am quite a bass-lover myself and I'm coming from using a V-Moda Crossfade M-100, so I've been spoiled, and for earbuds, the Dash does a good job producing the bass it does. If I had to compare it to some other earbuds, I'd compare the sound to something like the "wireless" (but not completely wireless) Jaybird Bluebuds, which are quite good themselves. Bluetooth Connectivity Now, a common issue with truly wireless earbuds is their often lacking performance in their ability to hold a strong Bluetooth connection. In the beginning, there were lots of complaints from users experiencing poor connection even if the phone was placed only as far as the user's pockets. Obviously, that's a huge issue, but also one Bragi appears to have fixed through their updates. I can confidently say that I have had virtually no issues whatsoever with the connectivity of these earbuds, other than maybe one or two micro drops in connection. I tested the Dash by walking around a room and was able to go as far as 10 to 15 feet away from the source without experiencing any connectivity issues. Additionally, just the process of using and connecting the earbuds is really simple. All you do is take them out of the case and put them in your ears. The buds sense when they're in and automatically turn on, connect to each other, and connect to your phone or other device. Comfort and Design DSC01125Another historically common problem with this category of audio products is the ridiculous look of the product or their inability to stay in ears due to the sheer weight they carry. Luckily, this is not an issue with the Dash. While you may get some head turns while using this product, people often just don't care, and the Dash really doesn't look bad at all. Additionally, these earbuds were surprisingly comfortable to wear. They come with multiple sleeves to fit your ears (XS, S, M, and L), and once you find the right fit, the earbuds fit snuggly and quite comfortably. I haven't had too many issues with the buds falling out, which has always been a problem for me, whether or not the earbuds I was using were wireless. Yet another check mark for the Dash. Gestures/Controls A neat feature of the Dash is the way you control them. There are multiple ways that you control the Dash, including through the app, touch sensors on the outside of each bud, and head gestures. For instance, if you receive a call while using the earbuds, just nod or shake your head to answer or deny the call. Playing and pausing is easy, with just a tap on the right earbud, or start tracking activities with a tap on the left. One of the issues I noticed is that the touch sensors aren't only sensitive to your fingers, so putting on a winter hat caused the earbuds to do some unwanted actions. After looking around a bit, though, it looks like Bragi addressed this issue by including a touch lock that can be implemented by holding down on both the right and left touch sensors, which worked well and solved my problem. Other Features DSC01143The other features included with the Dash are a microphone, onboard storage, a heart-rate sensor, and a case that charges the buds 5 times on-the-go. To start off, the microphone had quite a few complaints in the early days, with users claiming it was unusable and that the person speaking sounded robotic over the phone. This is yet another area where Bragi has used its firmware updates to address an issue. When I was using the microphone for phone calls, some people said there were no problems at all, while others said it sounded a bit muddled, but they could still hear me and know what I was saying. As for the onboard storage, there's not much to be said about it. Songs can be added through a computer and using it works as described. Next up is the heart-rate sensor, which seemed to be relatively accurate, though I didn't have another device to compare it to at the time. This is a really nice feature for athletes looking to listen to music without an annoying wire and no need for a smartwatch. And lastly, the charging case. The case is built quite well, with an aluminum sleeve and a strong metal or plastic where the earbuds actually rest. The earbuds flash when they've been connected properly, and a magnet holds them in place. My only complaint is that I feel like I will drop the earbuds when trying to get them out of the case because you have to take the sleeve off, hold that, hold the battery part, and then fiddle with getting the buds out. That said, overall, the battery case is a nice feature, as the battery life on the buds isn't spectacular at about 3 hours. Conclusion So, what are my overall thoughts of the Dash? Well, I like them. I don't know if I, personally, would quite want to spend the $300 for them, but I could understand why some would. The features work well and the sound quality is pretty good, considering everything that's built into them. I think Bragi's next product, the Headphone, could also allow a lot more people to purchase their products, with reportedly better sound quality and a much lower price of $149. However, that new product does strip the Dash of many of its capabilities, including the water-resistance, touch controls, onboard storage, and heart rate sensor. So it really comes down to what you want. If you want the smart capabilities, there really is no other product out there that offers all of the Dash's capabilities, but if that does interest you, the Headphone is probably the way to go.

RovioMobile Posts Video Teasing an Angry Birds Go Kart Racing Game

Rovio has posted a video on their YouTube channel confirming that they are indeed making an Angry Birds Go Kart Racing game which will be titled “Angry Birds Go”. Check out the video below where Kalle from the Rovio Games team explains a little more about their upcoming game.


No pricing or release date has been announced, all we know is that they are “almost ready to share a release date and gameplay trailer”. Check out http://go.angrybirds.com for more info on the upcoming game.

Play This: Roll It & Racer, Chrome Experiments

Chrome has added two new games to its Chrome Experiments catalog, both of which allow players to interact cross-platform via Chrome on mobile and desktop. The first game is Roll It which gives Skeeball a fresh new look and feel and allows up to three people to play the game on one iOS or Android device.

http://youtu.be/_4RFIcuuHBE

The other game is Racer which allows you to connect to other mobile devices running Chrome and play a simple racing game which lets users race against each other by simply using their fingers to touch the screen.

Check out other Chrome Experiments here.

Microsoft Releases Wordament Game for iOS

Microsoft has released Wordament for iOS which, if you like word games, is a pretty fun game. It doesn’t have iPhone 5 support yet and it is ad supported but if you don’t mind that then you can get it by hitting the source link below.

Wordament is a unique and highly addictive word game: a two-minute long word tournament where you compete in real-time, on the same board, against everyone else currently playing. Each board is unique and alternating rounds offer challenges such as two- and three-letter digram tiles and theme* puzzles. You can choose to go for the bonus points, try to find the most words possible or earn scoring bonuses by finding longer words. How you play and choose to compete is up to you!

● Find the most words in the 4×4 Grid in 2 Minutes and see how you rank both by placement and percentile.
● Keep an eye on players you admire or detest – simply tap a name in the results to add a player to your personal list of Frenemies™.
● Real-time results include words you found and missed, words found per second, average word score, and average word length.
● Everyone plays the same board, see how you rank.
● Xbox enabled gives you access to Achievements, Leaderboards and your Friends!
● Cross-platform gameplay on all supported platforms.
● Supports Touch or Mouse/Keyboard

 

Source: App Store

Wii U’s Game Launch List

Below is Nintendo’s current list of expected games to launch for the Wii U between November 18 and March 2013.

  • NBA 2K13 (2K Sports)
  • Jeft Tailfin (Maximum Games)
  • Madden NFL 13 (EA)
  • EA Sports FIFA Soccer 13 (EA)
  • Mass Effect 3 (EA)
  • Toki Tori 2 (two tribes)
  • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Capcom)
  • ZombiU (Ubisoft)
  • Just Dance 4 (Ubisoft)
  • Avengers: Battle for Earth (Ubisoft)
  • Rabbids Land (Ubisoft)
  • Assassin’s Creed 3 (Ubisoft)
  • Rayman Legends (Ubisoft)
  • Sports Connection (Ubisoft)
  • Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013 (Ubisoft)
  • Nano Assault Neo (Shin’En)
  • Aliens: Colonial Marines (Sega)
  • Sonic & Sega All-Stars: Racing Transformed (Sega)
  • Trine 2: Director’s Cut (Frozenbyte)
  • Tank! Tank! Tank! (Namco)
  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (Namco)
  • Wheel of Fortune (THQ)
  • Jeopardy (THQ)
  • Darksiders 2 (THQ)
  • Funky Barn (505 Games)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (Activision)
  • 007 Legends (Activision)
  • Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013 (Activision)
  • Wipeout 3 (Activision)
  • Skylanders Giants (Activision)
  • Rapala Pro Bass Fishing (Activision)
  • Transformers Prime (Activision)
  • Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two (Disney Interactive)
  • Scribblenauts Unlimited (WB Games)
  • Game Party Champions (WB Games)
  • Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition (WB Games)
  • Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien (Gaijin Games)
  • Ben 10: Omniverse (D3 Publisher)
  • Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game (D3 Publisher)
  • Family Party: 30 Great games Obstacle Arcade (D3 Publisher)
  • Zumba Fitness (Majesco)
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii U (Nintendo)
  • Game & Wario (Nintendo)
  • Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge (Nintendo)
  • Sing Party (Nintendo)
  • Nintendo Land (Nintendo)
  • Wii Fit U (Nintendo)
  • The Wonderful 101 (Nintendo)
  • Pikmin 3 (Nintendo)

Source: Nintendo

‘Watch Dogs’ and ‘The Last Of Us’ Demonstrate Stunning Graphics and Gameplay at E3

Last night at E3 there were two games that really stole the show. Sony showed off some gameplay of ‘The Last Of Us’ for PS3 and it caused a lot of buzz because of the great post-apocalyptic visuals. There was also a gameplay video  of ‘Watch Dogs’ by Ubisoft which showed off next-gen-level graphics. ‘Watch Dogs’ revolves around the premise of the ctOS, a digital network that forms the basis of an internal war for information. There was no information on what platforms’Watch Dogs’ will be released on or when we can expect it to hit the shelves. Both games look great and wether you like one game more than the other is just a matter of preference but keep in mind that ‘The Last Of Us’ is a PS3 exclusive while Ubisoft has yet to announce what platforms ‘Watch Dogs’ will be coming for. Check out the gameplay trailers for both after the break.

PS Vita launch titles leaked by Gamestop

A reader over at Destructoid found a list at Gamestop which had the PS Vita launch date titles and prices. There are some let downs but over all its great list of games for launch, some titles which wont be coming out at launch include: Army Corps of Hell and LittleBigPlanet. But look at the bright side, Gravity Rush, ModNation Racers, and a swarm of others are available at launch which should be enough to satisfy a hard core gamer and casual. Below is the full list of launch and post-launch titles.

Launch titles:

  • Lumines Electronic Symphony —$39.99
  • Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 —$39.99
  • Uncharted: Golden Abyss —$49.99
  • Hot Shots Golf World Invitiational –$29.99
  • Wipeout 2048 —$29.99
  • Little Deviants —$29.99
  • Reality Fighters —$29.99
  • ModNation Racers —$29.99
  • BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extended —$39.99
  • Virtua Tennis 4 World Tour —$39.99
  • Gravity Rush –$39.99

 

Post-launch titles:

  • Supremacy MMA 2/16 – $39.99
  • FIFA Soccer 2/21 – $39.99
  • Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen 2.21 – $39.99
  • Touch My Katamari 2/21 – $29.99
  • Ridge Racer 2/21 –  $29.99
  • F1 2011 2/22 – $39.99
  • MLB 12: The Show 3/6 – $39.99
  • Disgaea 3: Absense of Detention 3/20 – $39.99
  • Army Corps of Hell (late March) – $39.99
  • LittleBigPlanet 3/31 – $39.99
  • Ruin (April) – $39.99
  • Resistance: Burning Skies (May) – $39.99

 

On launch day ill be getting the PS Vita First Edition Bundle along with Marvel vs Capcom, Modnation Racers and Gravity Rush. You better start figuring out what your going to get because time is gonna fly from here to February.
Source: Destructoid

 

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PS Vita running Sega Genesis Titles (Video)

Wether you are like me and deciding wether or not to import a PS Vita from Japan or wait until the February release in the rest of the world then you might be waiting for some sort of hack to sway your decision and make those hard earned $400 worth the buy. A youtuber, frwololo, uploaded a video demonstrating  the Half Byte Loader running the Picodrive emulator on Sony’s PS Vita which is not very impressing since many devices can run this without any problems. This shows us that these types of hacks are possible on a PS Vita and that more things will come in the time leading up to the February release. Check out the video after the break for demonstration.

Source: frwololo (YouTube)

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