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.

PS Vita won’t respond? Blue Light of Death Fix

If your new PS Vita has stopped responding or wont turn on then you might have the “Blue Light of Death”. Luckily there is a fix but before doing this make sure your PS Vita didn’t just run out of battery.
First thing your going to want to do is hold down your power button for about 30 seconds until you see the following screen:

 -First, try restarting your PS Vita system and that should (most of the time) fix your problem.

-If that did not change anything then try Rebuilding the Database, this normally fixes a lot of problems.

-If that still did not work then you could try updating but I doubt that would work. As a last resort you could wipe your PS Vita by restoring it which would wipe your systems memory but it’s much better than formatting your memory card since you would loose all game saves and downloads.

-If nothing worked by now then…you are doomed. You should try getting an exchange from where you purchased it or sell it on Ebay. If you have any questions feel free to contact us. 

Hands On Netflix, Twitter, and Flickr for PS Vita (video)

Along with the official North American release of the PS Vita, Sony refreshed the Playstation Store with some new games and apps. The refresh included Netflix, Live Tweet, and Flickr for the PS Vita and they also released some AR games along with demos for Fifa and Unit 13. Check out our overview of Netflix, Twitter, and Flickr for the PS Vita after the break.

Unboxing: PS Vita 3G First Edition Bundle (Video)

After a long wait we have finally gotten the PS Vita in our hands and at first glance it is beautiful. The OLED screen is stunning and it just looks good. The first edition bundle is not all very good, the case is not very nice and doesn’t feel very good and just seems cheap although it does a good job at protecting. Check out our unboxing below.

Amazon and GameStop Offering New PS Vita 3G Bundle

Amazon and GameStop have updated their listing for the Vita 3G/Wi-Fi model. The bundle now includes the 3G model itself along with an 8GB memory card, a 250MB “AT&T DataConnect Session pass”, and a voucher for an unnamed PSN game. This will run you $299.99 and existing pre-orders of the 3G model have been upgraded to this according to Gamestop and Amazon. The bundle says that it contains $55 of extra value. With an 8GB Vita memory card running at $29.99 and a 250MB 3G plan costs $15this would leave the PSN voucher with a $10 value. With all that said the First Edition Bundle was added some extra perks to justify the $350 price tag. In the updated First Edition Bundle you will receive Little Deviants, a 4gb memory card,a limited edition case, a code for a free PSN game, and a data season pass for a free month of AT&T data. As promising as the new bundle is I will still be getting the First Edition Bundle to get my hands on the 5 inch OLED one week early.


Source: Gamestop Amazon

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PS Vita 3G data plans modified by AT&T,$30 for 3GB

A while back AT&T announced that it’d offer 250MB per month for $14.99 and 2GB for $25 for the PS Vita, but now they have changed the $25 2GB plan to a $30 3GB plan. Now you can get about 12 times the data for double the money of the $14.99 plan. I don’t know about you guys but for 5 bucks it is totally worth having unless you plan to only play Little Big Planet alone offline when your on the go. 


Source: AT&T

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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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