This is the year that I finally broke up with wireless earbuds. We tried much too long to make things work, but I’ve decided it’s time to face the music, even if I’m the only one who can hear it. Earbuds and I just aren’t meant to be.
I won’t go as far as diagnosing myself with whatever phobia pertains to placing tiny objects in your ears, but something about cramming buds so close to my brain doesn’t sit right with me anymore. And I’m not sure it ever did.
As my bank account can attest, I tried to not avail to find the best wireless earbuds for me. Jaybird X3, Powerbeats 2, Powerbeats Pro, first-generation AirPods and, most recently, AirPods Pro are some of the models I’ve flirted with. Despite the variety, each purchase spiraled into the same old story.
At first the design would lure me in like a moth to a flame. I especially liked the look of Powerbeats Pro, and thought they’d seem stylish looped around my ears. I’m not sure what I was thinking with AirPods — they’re still hideous, though for a moment I fell for the trend. Either way, I’d soon realize my new wireless earbuds are just a pretty face.
These trysts went one of two routes: I’d either retreat in devastating discomfort after wearing the buds for more than a few hours, or they’d fall out of my ears before reaching that threshold. In the case of the truly wireless models, we’d part on more chaotic terms. Washing machines, street drains and crowded LIRR train cars are just some of the venues where my past earbuds met their demise.
Real headphones or bust
Besides being easy to lose or misplace, most wireless earbuds failed to impress me in terms of audio performance. I found myself cheating with cans and dismissing buds to random desk drawers and backpack compartments. I’ve been using the excellent Sony WH-1000XM4 and the luxurious AirPods Max recently, and it’s almost unfair to compare both to any in-ear models.
Not only over-ear headphones significantly more comfortable and less likely to fall off, they’re actually capable of creating all-encompassing listening experience and blocking out surrounding sounds, With concerts on hiatus, great headphones are as close as I’ve come to getting my fix of live music.
The AirPods Pro come the closest to keeping up with real headphones, but I’m turned off by the call quality and can never seem to keep them charged.
I wouldn’t feel so entangled in my fleeting earbuds affairs if nearly every consumer tech company hadn’t launched a pair or three in the last 12 months that I at least wanted to try. And that’s before considering the best fake AirPods, or AirPods look-alikes, if you will. I do my best to keep an open mind about products but for the love of god, let there be less wireless earbuds in 2021.
I’ll admit wireless earbuds probably beat ear-covering headphones when it comes to working out. But again, why do we need so many options?
Yes, I know it’s absurd to wish wireless earbuds would vanish from earth Endgame-style. I recognize they’re practical for some people, but I am not some people. My wallet and I have been tempted and scorned as if wireless earbuds are the bad boyfriend I’ve gone back to far too many times.
If you’d like to join me on blocking out wireless earbuds, check out our guide to the best headphones. There you’ll find plenty of unobtrusive, over-ear options worth your time and money.
MediaTek taps TSMC 6-nanometer tech for new flagship 5G phone chips – Cape Breton Post
By Stephen Nellis
(Reuters) – MediaTek Inc on Wednesday said it would use Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s 6-nanometer chipmaking technology for its newest chips aimed at premium 5G smartphones.
Taiwan’s MediaTek appears to be one of the first high-volume customers for the technology and is among a handful of companies with modem technology to connect phones to mobile data networks, competing against Qualcomm Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. The new chips announced Wednesday, called Dimensity 1100 and 1200, build on MediaTek’s efforts to go after higher-priced handsets where Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips have historically had stronger market share.
Like Qualcomm and Apple, MediaTek designs chips and then contracts out production to outside firms. The newest chips will be made at TSMC, on a chipmaking technology called 6-nanometer. Qualcomm’s chips are being made by Samsung on 5-nanometer technology while Apple Inc uses TSMC’s 5-nanometer technology.
Smaller chipmaker technology is faster and more power efficient. MediaTek’s previous chips used a 7-nanometer process, and moving to newer manufacturing technology along with advances in the chip’s design make it 22% faster at computing tasks while consuming 25% less power, Finbarr Moynihan, general manager of international corporate sales, told Reuters in an interview.
(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Leslie Adler)
Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro flagship smartphone to come with 120x zoom support – gizmochina
After announcing its latest Mi 11 flagship smartphone a few weeks ago, Xiaomi started selling the device earlier this month. Now, the Chinese company is gearing up to launch a new variant in the lineup, dubbed Mi 11 Pro.
Now, the latest report coming from popular leaker ‘Digital Chat Station’ reveals that the upcoming Mi 11 Pro will have support for 120x zoom through its rear-facing camera setup. This seems to be pretty much in line with what has been rumored so far.
Instead of the triple-camera setup on the Mi 11, the Pro variant will come with a quad-camera configuration on the back panel. Also, the company seems to have ditched the design of the vertically-aligned sensor found on Mi 10 Pro to a 2×2 grid design.
As for the other specifications, reports indicate that the Mi 11 Pro smartphone will have the same display as the Mi 11. It will feature a 6.81-inch 2K curved display offering a 120Hz refresh rate, 515PPI pixel density, and a peak brightness of 1500nits. Additionally, the device is also expected to have support for MEMC and SDR to HDR conversion.
Given that it’s a flagship offering from Xiaomi and Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 is the most advanced chipset out there in the market, the device will be powered by the Snapdragon 888 chipset, the same as the Mi 11. We also expected to see multiple versions of the phone based on the memory configuration.
In the software department, the phone is likely to be running the latest Android 11 operating system along with the company’s own MIUI custom user interface on top. More information about the device is expected to surface online ahead of its official launch, which will take place after the Spring Festival in China, after mid-February.
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