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Which noise-canceling Sony headphones should you buy?

We’re a virtual company made up of tech experts from across the globe, but we’re also avid music lovers who love getting the best experience at the best price. We’re here to help you do the same.

Sony WH-CH700N

Budget-friendly

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$148 at Amazon

Pros

  • Affordable noise canceling
  • Easy to pair with NFC
  • Long battery life
  • More comfortable earpads

Cons

  • Charges via Micro-USB
  • Flimsy build quality

Sony’s entry-level option, these headphones don’t offer the best noise-canceling in the world, but they’re still handy for travel and deliver great sound for the price.

Sony WH1000XM2

Best in class

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$348 at Amazon

Pros

  • Powerful noise canceling
  • Convenient gesture controls
  • Ambient Sound mode lets you hear your surroundings
  • Great sound quality

Cons

  • Charges via Micro-USB
  • Price hasn’t changed since the release of the 1000XM3s

Though they were once Sony’s top-of-the-line noise-canceling headphones, the 1000XM2s have become difficult to recommend.

If you have the extra money to shell out, the WH1000XM2s offer superior noise canceling, audio quality, and conveniences, but they haven’t seen any price reduction since the release of the followup 1000XM3s — which you should absolutely buy instead for the same price. The cheaper CH700Ns won’t steer you wrong for the money you’ll save, however, and many actually prefer its comfort over the more expensive models.

What’s the difference?

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You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on headphones, but you probably won’t regret it if you do.

It’s hard to compare headphones at such different price points, but it gets a little easier when you remember that they’re intended for different users. Yes, of course the WH1000XM2s are better headphones than the WH-CH700Ns for more than twice the price, but not everybody needs to spend over $300 on headphones. For the vast majority of people, the CH700Ns are more than good enough, and they’re a significantly better value.

If, on the other hand, you’re a frequent traveler who doesn’t want to sacrifice audio quality, the 1000XM2s are worth the extra money. Not only do they sound better, but the active noise cancellation is significantly more powerful than the CH700N’s “digital” passive equivalent. It also features an Ambient Sound mode that uses the built-in microphones to filter select audio from your environment back into the headphones so that you can still hear and hold conversations.

Price $148 $348
Dimensions 8.71in x 2.72in x 10.28in 7.29in x 2.92in x 9.81in
Weight 0.53lbs 0.61lbs
Noise-canceling Digital Active
Color options Black, Blue Black, Gold
Wired option Yes Yes
Extra features Visual EQ through Headphones Connect app Visual EQ through Headphones Connect app, Google Assistant, Ambient Sound, gesture controls
Battery life 35 hours 30 hours
4K Streaming No Yes
USB Micro-USB Micro-USB

Understanding the WH1000XM2’s extra features

Sony has built in touch sensitivity on the right cup of the WH1000XM2 that allows you to quickly jump in and out of Ambient Sound mode by placing your hand over the cup, or tap and swipe in various directions to play, pause, or skip between tracks without having to pull out your phone. Once you get used to using these gestures, it quickly becomes hard to imagine going back to living without them.

You can also enable Google Assistant on the WH1000XM2s by using Sony’s Headphones Connect app to assign it to the Ambient Sound button on the left cup. Google Assistant works just the same as it would on a phone, answering queries and changing songs through voice commands.

Still, even without the gesture controls and active noise cancelation, the CH700Ns are a great deal for casual music listeners. Sony advertises a whopping 35 hours of playback on the rechargeable battery, and you can easily pair the headphones to your NFC-capable phone by just tapping it against the left ear cup — of course, simply putting the headphones into Bluetooth pairing mode works just as well. Many people even prefer the comfort of the CH700Ns’ lighter earpads, something you may value if you wear your headphones for extended periods.

Why you shouldn’t buy the WH1000XM2s

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Even if you’ve determined that the 1000XM2s suit your needs better than the CH700Ns and you’re willing to spend the extra money on them, there’s a major problem with these otherwise great headphones: they’re still $348, even after the release of the followup 1000XM3s.

Typically, when a new product is released, the previous model will either be discontinued or see a sizable discount. Sony apparently missed the memo, as the 1000XM2s still retail at their original $348 price point alongside the identically priced 1000XM3s. The newer headphones offer notably better noise cancelation and sound quality, as well as a USB-C port and quick charging.

To be clear, you should still pick up the 1000XM2s if they happen to go on sale, as they often have in the past. Amazon also offers refurbished models for $250 with a 90-day warranty — not a terrible way to get these excellent headphones at a more reasonable price.

WH-CH700N

Budget-friendly

sony-wh-ch700n-render.png?itok=vxWoeIcs

$148 at Amazon

Hard to argue with for less than $150.

Sony’s entry-level option, these headphones don’t offer the best noise-canceling in the world, but they’re still handy for travel and deliver great sound for the price.

WH1000XM2

Best in class

sony-wh1000xm2-render.png?itok=i71XWEgY

$348 at Amazon

Still some of the best noise-canceling headphones around.

It’s hard to recommend the 1000XM2s for the same retail price as their successors, but they’re still fantastic headphones that are absolutely worth buying on sale or refurbished.

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Tribit StormBox portable wireless speaker review

Bluetooth speakers come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and price points. To say that it’s easy to find something that works for you would likely be an understatement.Bluetooth speakers are also widely available; they’re found not just in electronics stores, but general retail stores and myriad online outlets, too.For every big-name branded speaker that you’ll encounter in your hunt, there also will be unknown companies competing for your attention and money. Take, for instance, Tribit.Although it doesn’t have the same market presence as Ultimate Ears, it does have a growing portfolio of competing products with lower prices. Its StormBox speaker is one of the brand’s latest products and we’ve had a chance to check one out.DesignThe Tribit StormBox is a cylindrical speaker that takes up about as much space as a large energy drink. Although its buttons lead you to believe there’s a specific front to it, the shape lends itself to a 360-degree sound.Speaking of buttons, the StormBox keeps things simple. There are volume controls and a multi-function power/pairing button. Oh, and there’s also an XBass button that’s used to take sound to the next level.The speaker has a hard mesh exterior and an IPX7 rating which means it’s built to withstand splashes and scrapes. At the top is a lanyard that makes it easy to carry or connect to a bag. Nice and portable, it weighs in around one pound total.Although it pairs via Bluetooth, the StormBox also has a 3.5mm auxiliary input for directly connecting to audio sources. It, and the microUSB charging port are located under a protective rubber flap that keeps things dry.Also worth noting, you can pair multiple StormBox speakers together to create a stereo sound. We did not have the chance to test the feature out.What’s Included?Tribit Bluetooth SpeakerMicro USB CableBlack LanyardUser ManualSetupThere’s very little to mess with here as it’s more or less a case of powering on and holding down the pairing button. You don’t have to worry about any apps or phone settings.PerformanceI was quite happy with how the speaker performed as it did everything it promised. The StormBox had no problem filling large rooms and open spaces. You could easily hear whatever was playing throughout any room.The water-resistance worked pretty well. It was a bit muffled, but nothing drastic. Overall, I thought the speaker did really well underwater.As for the special button, I didn’t feel that the XBass button had much effect. I wish it had been a bit stronger.The battery life is reported to be twenty hours. I used it right out of the box and used it for about ten hours, and haven’t had to charge it yet. The manual includes a guide to figuring out the different functions, including how to understand your battery level. It isn’t very obvious, but there is a column of lights on the back that will give you a general idea.ConclusionOne of the best selling points of the StormBox is that it comes with an 18-month warranty. Not only that, but you can extend it out to 30 months at no extra cost. This process is done online at Tribit’s website.Given the affordable ($60) price, this is a great speaker option for people who might want something for around the home, office, or pool. It’s portable, sounds great, and has an excellent battery life.AvailabilityThe Tribit StormBox comes in a variety of color options, including blue, black, and red. Look for it at Tribit’s website and Amazon for about $60.

Cool tech gifts under $100

In the era of digitalization and lots of tech advancements appearing every day, you have no choice but adapt to our quickly-changing world. Tech gadgets are cool: they simplify our life and make it much more convenient. Besides, they become an irreplaceable part of our daily routine, just like smartphones once did. More attention to tech gadgets are paid in college: students are in need of helpful devices as well as reliable services like papercoach, which you can pay for an essay or just delegate your homework. Tech gadgets can also become a great gift for everyone, from a teenager to a retired person. In this guide, we will cover the top popular of them that will not cost you a fortune.Top gadgets for under $100 budgetHow many times have your smartphone, quick Internet connection, and professional student service united to make wonders? You just choose a reliable resource based on speedy paper review and other agencies’ feedback, then send a request like «Can you do my homework for me?» or «Can you write my essay for me cheap?» and receive a completed task within a short timeframe. Just a decade ago, we couldn’t imagine it would have ever become possible. Now there is a variety of gadgets aimed to make our life easy and comfortable. We offer a list of top tech gifts everyone would be happy to get and which cost no more than $100 (however, today $100 can get you quite far):Streaming stickA device like the Chromecast will cost you around $70, if not less, and is good for people who love streaming like bloggers or just enjoy watching Netflix. All tech giants like Apple, Amazon, and Google have invested in the development of the streaming revolution so you can find a variety of models appearing every year (for example, Roku). It is able to deliver 4K HD video and helps you find the best place to enjoy the content easily;Portable chargerThis is a must-have device for active smartphone users that never have enough battery power (that is, for everyone). We recommend getting the one with 20,000mAh or more, which will likely cost you around $50 and will keep your phone charged seven times (this is especially convenient during the trip in the mountains, concerts, and other places where you can`t get charged a standard way). It is small, lightweight, and easily fits in the pocket or backpack. Besides charging quickly, it also does it safely based on your cable and device;Amazon Echo DotThis device is a mini voice assistant speaker that has access to multiple apps and using which you can control smart home devices (lights, garage door, water, and thermostat), listen to music, and order pizza. It will cost around $50 and is totally worth this money: it has a far-field system of voice recognition so you can make commands across the room while the device will react to your speech, accent, vocabulary, and patterns;E-readerFor example, it can be Amazon Kindle for the cost of $80. If the person loves reading and cannot invest much money into regular books buying, this one will make a perfect gift. The most recent models have a nice design, enough memory to download hundreds of books, a great touch screen, and a powerful processor for convenient reading. Talking about Amazon, it also has a built-in vocabulary and the battery life of one month by active reading;Wireless headphonesIf you are looking for a gift under $100, you can consider the Shure SE112 model that has a solid construction, built-in microphone for making calls, great quality of the sound, and a smooth Bluetooth connection. These headphones provide outstanding performance within a limited budget so you can enjoy music on the go;DroneDepending on the model, it will cost you around $100, and it will be a perfect gift for travelers and just nature lovers. It is lightweight, has stabilization features, and is controlled via an app. Cheaper models can record videos in 720p, which still makes great quality.EDITOR NOTE: This is a promoted post and should not be viewed as an editorial endorsement.

Android’s file sharing Nearby Share is now live

One feature that has been missing in the Android space for some time is the option to easily share files and contacts wireless with other Android users. Apple has had this with AirDrop for years, but Google has never brought a comparable protocol to the table. Finally, the rumors have been confirmed with Nearby Share available to Android.Nearby Share gives consumers a great option to quickly share links, photos, contacts, and documents with Android users instantly. The service works over cell networks, Bluetooth, WebRTC, or WiFi. This gives folks multiple avenues to deliver the shared files both on and offline.Google’s blog post also states that privacy settings are available in the app to make sure you have some more granular controls over how you can be found and receive files. You can change this from “all contacts” to “some contacts” or “hidden”. These privacy settings should allow you to add a layer of security to make sure you are only receiving or sending files to your most trusted friends or colleagues.Chromebooks are also not forgotten in this update. Chrome OS is quickly becoming the jack of all trades operating system and Google has made Nearby Share available on this platform as well. File sharing seemed like a natural progression of the already good continuum experience of Instant Tethering from Chrome OS devices to Android phones and we are glad Moutain View’s finest took the time to make this compatible day one.Nearby Share is a long-awaited addition to the Android ecosystem. While we like to think that Apple steals from Google on a consistent basis for new iOS features, this has been a gap in the Android experience that just needed to be fixed.Pixels and “select Samsung devices” should already see Nearby Share on the devices. Google will continue the trend of rolling releases of new Android options like this with future handsets getting Nearby Share over the coming months.