Trending February 2024 # Review: Sonos Roam Packs An Impressive Punch With Portable Design, Airplay, Qi Charging, More # Suggested March 2024 # Top 8 Popular

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Sonos Roam comes with an impressive list of features that matches the competition and goes beyond with additions like AirPlay 2, Qi wireless charging, auto EQ with Trueplay, auto-switching between Bluetooth/WiFi, and more.

Sonos Roam specs

2x class-H amplifiers 

1x custom racetrack mid-woofer

1x tweeter 

Far-field mic with beamforming

Trueplay tuning (auto EQ)

WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0

AirPlay 2 support (Alexa and Google Assistant too)

10-hour battery life

IP67-rated dust and waterproof

Charging via included USB-C cable, optional magnetic wireless base, or any Qi charger

USB-C to USB-A cable in the box

4/20/21 update: Sonos Roam can be charged with 7.5W power bricks and higher

Dimensions: 6.61 x 2.44 x 2.36-inches (168 x 62 x 60 mm)

Weight: 0.95 lb (0.43 kg)

Priced at $169 – available in Lunar White or Shadow Black

Materials and build

Sonos Roam uses a triangular prism shape that makes it easy to grab, place on its side, or stand up. It uses a durable rubber on the bottom and top for drop protection and those end caps are also concave so the buttons aren’t accidentally pressed. And the Roam base offers handy Qi wireless charging.

Four small rubber dots on one side of the prism offer a stable non-slip base when you want to use Roam horizontally. Around the back, you’ve got the sleep/power button and a USB-C port for wired charging.

The rest of the ultra-portable speaker is made from plastic with a matte finish. No surprise here but the Sonos Roam has a solid and precise build quality.

In Use Setup

The setup process is smooth and easy but there are a few steps to get everything going. First, you need to use the Sonos app to set up Roam over WiFi (required before you can use it as a Bluetooth speaker). It automatically shows up as an AirPlay 2 speaker after that but you’ll need to add it to the Home app to get Siri functionality going.

After setting up Roam with the Sonos app, you can also pair your phone with it via Bluetooth. With the speaker powered on, hold the back power button for a few seconds until you see the blue light just above the Sonos logo.

You can pick a room that you’ll use Roam the most in, but you can also create a new room named Sonos Roam if you want more flexibility.

Now you’ve got the option to start music from your iPhone, with Siri, the Sonos app, or with the Roam’s dedicated buttons.

Size and portability

At 6.61 x 2.44 x 2.36-inches (168 x 62 x 60 mm), Sonos Roam is very portable and is a touch more compact than comparable speakers like the Ultimate Ears Boom or JBL Flip 4.

Below is a look at Roam next to HomePod mini and the Flip 4 and then a look at Roam next to its bigger brother, the Sonos Move.

Roam’s size (just a couple of inches taller than a can of soda) means it’s convenient to take with you pretty much anywhere. It can fit in almost any bag, purse, briefcase, etc., and won’t weigh you down at under 1 pound.

Sound quality

In my testing, I’ve found Sonos Roam to produce great sound quality considering the size of the speaker. Naturally, with how small this ultra-portable is, it’s not going to have a strong, rich low-end like the – more than twice as big – Sonos Move or other larger speakers. But the audio Sonos has been able to deliver with Roam is impressive.

I tested it across a variety of musical genres and it offers clear and crisp mids and highs. And it’s not like the bass is totally missing here, it’s just dialed back so it doesn’t hit in the same way as the Sonos Move, Five, or something like HomePod does, which all have much larger speakers/woofers.

Another aspect I was impressed with was even when at 60-80% volume, Roam doesn’t sound distorted. Listening in the 90-100% range wasn’t too pleasant as the mids and highs felt abrasive but that’s no surprise and I can’t imagine ever needing or wanting to use Roam at max volume.

I did some listening tests with the similarly sized JBL Flip 4 and found the Roam to outperform it with noticeably cleaner audio. Even my wife who popped in said the same (without me mentioning what speaker was playing).

For another point of reference – although it’s not in the same portable category – I’ve found HomePod mini to be in the same ballpark as the Sonos Roam when it comes to volume output and sound quality. But of course, you’re not getting the portability and flexibility with a HomePod mini. And when you stop to think about everything Sonos was able to pack into this compact product like IP67 waterproofing, the battery, wireless charging, etc. it’s an impressive feat.

Unique features

Beyond Sonos Roam being the best-sounding ultra-portable speaker I’ve used, it’s got a range of features that set it further apart from the competition.

One of my favorites is being able to pop it on any Qi wireless charger. It’s super handy to not have to mess with another cable and use the wireless chargers I’ve already got.

Two more really thoughtful features, in the Sonos app you can turn off the status light and the physical touch controls on the Sonos Roam.

This being the smallest portable AirPlay 2 speaker on the market is a big plus for Apple users and for those who like to use multiple platforms, you have built-in Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa functionality.

Sonos Roam wrap-up

While $169 may sound a bit pricey for an ultra-portable speaker on its face, Sonos Roam delivers with impressive sound, versatility, premium features, and a solid design/build.

What stands out to me is that Roam is a great portable speaker whether it’s your first Sonos product or the latest expansion of an existing setup – whether you’re all in on Siri and AirPlay or like to use other voice assistants too.

I think the combination of audio and hardware quality along with thoughtful features like AirPlay, wireless charging, auto Bluetooth/WiFi switching, and more make this a compelling choice that will last for the long haul.

Sonos Roam is available now for pre-order with the new speaker shipping out in May (late April for the earlier orders).

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Zte Axon 10 Pro Review: It Packs A Huge Punch

About our ZTE Axon 10 Pro Review: During this review, I used the ZTE Axon 10 Pro over a period of seven days on T-Mobile’s network in and around Kansas City. The review unit was supplied by ZTE. I used the 6GB of RAM version with 128GB of storage. The firmware version is GEN_EU_EEA_A2024G_Pro_V1.1.

ZTE Axon 10 Pro review: The big picture

At 599 euros, the ZTE Axon 10 Pro is priced to compete against the OnePlus 7 Pro and ASUS Zenfone 6.

Lanh Nguyen

The ZTE Axon 10 Pro is already available in China and Europe, and there’s a 5G version for 899 euros shipping later this month if you’re interested in faster wireless speeds. A U.S. version isn’t completely beyond the realm of possibility, but I wouldn’t hold out for it until ZTE makes it official.

What’s in the box

USB-C charging cable and wall adapter

Clear TPU case

Earbuds

3.5mm adapter

3D Quad-Curved Gorilla Glass

159.2 x 73.4 x 7.9mm

175g

USB-C

In-display fingerprint sensor

No headphone jack

MicroSD slot

Colors: Blue

Thin, sleek, and elegant are three words that best describe the design of the ZTE Axon 10 Pro. It’s modern and fits in well with many other smartphones currently available. The thin profile and rounded corners make it very comfortable to hold, and it’s fairly manageable in one hand without too much shuffling. Like many other smartphones, the ZTE Axon 10 Pro uses glass panels on the front and rear and a metal frame in between. Not surprisingly, the phone feels sturdy. It’s an attractive phone and reminds me a lot of Samsung devices, especially with the way the front glass spills over the edges.

Underneath the screen is an optical in-display fingerprint sensor. This is slowly becoming the norm for smartphones, as we’ve seen them in many other phones released this year. The sensor doesn’t feel quite as quick as the one I used on the OPPO Reno 10x Zoom , but it’s quick enough to feel reliable. It’s also very accurate at recognizing your fingerprint as long as your fingers aren’t wet or covered in grease.

ZTE kept the back glass fairly basic. It has a reflective mirror finish that looks great, but it’s nothing that we haven’t seen before on other smartphones. There are no fancy gradients here and the ZTE Axon 10 Pro only comes in blue. The shade of blue is bright and I love how vibrant it looks. If you’re not a fan of this color you’re simply out of luck, at least for the time being. Companies sometimes release additional colors at later dates.

Display

6.47-inches

2340 x 1080, 19.5:9

AMOLED

398ppi

Performance

Snapdragon 855

Octa-core

Adreno 640

6GB, 8GB, or 12GB of RAM

128GB or 256GB of storage

MicroSD card slot

Performance on the ZTE Axon 10 Pro was great. Since it’s packing Qualcomm’s most powerful processor, I expected the Axon 10 Pro to perform well, and it certainly does. Whether I’m casually browsing the web, catching up on social media, watching YouTube, or playing Clash Royale , the phone has kept up well with my usual smartphone routine.

To help boost performance, ZTE uses an AI engine to learn your app usage over time. This will preload apps into memory that you happen to use frequently to make them load faster. It sounds minor and you may not even notice it, but this ensures that your app experience remains snappy and responsive.

Battery

4,000mAh

Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0, 18W charger

15W Qi wireless charging

Battery life on the ZTE Axon 10 Pro was equally great. I was able to get between five and six hours of screen-on time. These numbers don’t sound insanely high when compared to the eight-plus hours that we got on the HUAWEI P30 Pro, but I found it to be more than sufficient. I was able to get through a full day comfortably. A typical day for me consists of checking three email accounts, browsing social media, watching YouTube, and playing games for a couple of hours. The phone was connected to Wi-Fi whenever I was at home and screen brightness was manually set to 50 percent. I didn’t use the performance or battery saver modes.

Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0 is the Axon 10 Pro’s fast-charging method of choice. It takes about two hours to charge the phone to full. You also have the option to charge the device through Qi wireless charging. I’ve never considered wireless charging to be a necessary feature, but it is convenient if you’re not in a rush.

Camera

Standard: 48MP Samsung GM1, f/1.7

Pixel-binned 12MP images

20MP wide-angle lens, f/2.2, 125-degree FoV

8MP telephoto, f/2.4, 3x optical zoom

5x hybrid zoom, 10x digital zoom

I’m a fan of wide-angle lenses and the one on the ZTE Axon 10 Pro is just as great as any other for capturing group photos or landscapes. Anti-distortion is built into the lens and works really well at keeping the edges of the photos perfectly straight. The downside to this lens is it doesn’t produce images that are nearly as sharp as the main lens. Details look smudgy and there’s a noticeable softness you can see without zooming in.

The telephoto lens is capable of 3X optical zoom, 5x hybrid zoom that combines data from all three lenses, and 10x digital zoom. Its focal range is not as impressive as the more expensive HUAWEI P30 Pro or OPPO Reno 10x Zoom, but it works well for most situations. Being able to get closer to your subject without physically moving is extremely useful, and images still look incredibly sharp at 3X. Photos taken at 5X are a little softer, though only slightly.

Low-light performance is the camera’s biggest weakness and the lack of OIS really shows. Colors are good and images generally come out bright, but the detail is severely lacking. Photos just don’t look sharp at all. The night mode helps with bringing back some of the lost shadow and highlight detail, but it doesn’t do much else. The photos still appear soft and colors more muted. It also takes several seconds to capture and, without optical image stabilization, you really need a steady hand.

Navigating through the camera app is similar to most other camera apps. Swiping left to right will switch between the different modes and swiping all the way to the left will reveal additional modes. Basic camera settings, beauty mode, HDR, and filter options are all at the top of the camera app. Every option within the camera is easily accessible with just a couple swipes or taps.

Selfies from the 20MP front camera are more than adequate. By not oversoftening, it maintained a lot of detail in my face and skin tones were very natural. Portrait mode, however, could use some work. The cutouts look artificial. The camera struggles with complex edges from my hair and sometimes blurs more simple edges like my ears and the frame of my glasses.

We have a full gallery of images embedded below. Full-size images seen in this review are available on Google Drive

Software

Android 9.0 Pie

Near-stock OS

If you’re an avid fan of pure Android experiences like myself, you’ll love the software on the ZTE Axon 10 Pro. Out of the box, it’s a near-stock build of Android 9 Pie, which keeps the experience simple, clean, and fast. In mid-January 2023, ZTE kicked off the OTA update bringing Android 10 to the Axon 10 Pro.

ZTE does include a handful of its own features, but they’re integrated in a seamless manner, similar to how OnePlus handles OxygenOS.

The software is much like what you’d see on a Google Pixel.

Lanh Nguyen

All of ZTE’s customizations are neatly tucked away in the features section of the settings menu. There are some useful gestures, a one-handed mode, a built-in screen recorder, and the ability to pick between traditional on-screen buttons or gesture-based navigation. Otherwise, the software is much like what you’d see on a Google Pixel. There’s no extra bloatware and ZTE uses many of Google’s apps like Dialer, Photos, and Messages as the default applications.

Audio

No headphone jack

Dual speakers

DTS: X Ultra surround sound

Specs

ZTE Axon 10 Pro 6GB RAM, 128GB ROM — 599 euros/3,199 yen

ZTE Axon 10 Pro 8GB RAM, 256GB ROM — 3,699 yen

ZTE Axon 10 Pro 12GB RAM, 256GB ROM — 4,199 yen

ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G 6GB RAM, 128GB ROM — 899 euros

And that wraps up our ZTE Axon 10 Pro review. Would you spend your hard-earned cash on this phone?

Innocn 15K1F Review: An Affordable, Portable Oled Monitor

Pros

Excellent build quality

Good brightness, great contrast ratio

Wide color gamut

Cons

Case and kickstand feels flimsy 

Display is extremely reflective

Mediocre sharpness

Our Verdict

The Innocn 15K1F isn’t quite as good as high-end competitors, but still delivers the perks of OLED at a more affordable price point.

Best Prices Today: Innocn 15K1F

Retailer

Price

Innocn

399.00

View Deal

OLED monitors are all the rage in 2023—but, to the disappointment of everyday shoppers, they remain expensive. Even portable OLED monitors are typically priced above $300. But while the Innocn 15K1F’s MSRP rings in at $399.99, it can be found for significantly less on Amazon ($269.99 at the time of this writing), offering consumers a budget alternative that scores just a hair behind more expensive competitors. 

Further reading: See our roundup of the best monitors to learn about competing products.

What are the Innocn 15K1F specs?

The Innocn 15K1F has a 1080p OLED panel with a 60Hz refresh rate. It also has a variety of connectivity options, including two USB-C and one Mini-HDMI, which makes for easy connections with most PC laptops and desktops.

Display size: 15.6-inch widescreen

Native resolution: 1,920 x 1,080

Panel type: OLED

Refresh rate: 60Hz

Adaptive-Sync: None

HDR: HDR

Ports: 2x USB-C, 1x Mini-HDMI

Stand adjustment: Tilt

VESA mount: None

Speakers: 2x one-watt speakers

MSRP: $399.99

OLED is the star of the show, of course, but it shares the spotlight with Innocn’s retail pricing, which on Amazon is the lowest price of any 15.6-inch OLED portable monitor available right now.

Innocn 15K1F design 

The Innocn 15K1F has an understated design made from brushed aluminum.

Matt Smith

The Innocn 15K1F’s plain packaging doesn’t make a great first impression, so I was surprised to find it housed a truly luxurious monitor. The 15K1F wedges its OLED panel between a layer of edge-to-edge glass and a brushed-aluminum chassis. It feels robust, rigid, and premium, traits that aren’t common to most portable displays. It exceeds even the more expensive Viewsonic ColorPro VP16-OLED which, though also rigid, takes a more workmanlike approach to design.

The Innocn 15K1F’s faux leather kickstand.

Matt Smith

I wish I could say the same for the stand. Innocn opts for a plastic and faux-leather kickstand case that snaps over and fully encases the display. It’s stiff and difficult to attach out of the box. The case provides good protection against bumps and scrapes, but the material quality of both the plastic and fake leather leave a lot to be desired. Both feel inexpensive, thin, and unpleasant to the touch. This unfortunately undercuts the display’s premium construction. The chassis is made of sturdy metal but, once encased in its kickstand case, you’ll only see and touch a layer of cheap plastic. 

The magnets used to keep the kickstand portion of the stand in place are weak, as well. They manage to keep the stand in place in normal use, but moving the monitor even a few inches can cause the kickstand to fall away. There’s only minimal room to tilt the display, which makes a comfortable viewing angle more difficult to find. 

The Innocn 15K1F is the least expensive portable monitor of its type available right now, but you wouldn’t know that from its image quality. 

Innocn 15K1F features and menus 

Two USB-C ports and a single Mini-HDMI port line the Innocn 15K1F’s right-hand flank. Both USB-C ports support Power Delivery and DisplayPort Alternate Mode, meaning both can be used to connect to a PC. The Mini-HDMI port provides a backup for use with devices that only have HDMI. Note, however, that the monitor needs a separate USB-C power source when HDMI is in use.

Innocn provides all the cables you’ll need to use the monitor. This includes USB-C to USB-C, USB-A to USB-C, HDMI to Mini-HDMI, and a USB-C power brick. Most portable monitors include these accessories, but it’s always great to see all required accessories in the box.

The Innocn 15K1F’s menu is surprisingly elaborate with a decent amount of customization options.

Matt Smith

The 15K1F’s menu system is more elaborate than most of Innocn’s competitors. It can be used to adjust not only brightness and contrast but also color temperature (between 6500K and 9300K), color saturation, and color hue. Three-axis RGB color calibration is available and the display has several preset display modes including an sRGB and AdobeRGB mode. The sRGB mode correctly restrained the color gamut, though it also slightly reduced color accuracy. The monitor’s customization options are good for the category and should please content creators looking to tune image quality to their specific needs.

A premium alternative

Viewsonic ColorPro VP16-OLED

Read our review

Best Prices Today:

A short tap of the power button opens the menu system, which you can then navigate with the volume buttons. It’s a bit clumsy, but most portable monitors use a similar system. Viewsonic’s ColorPro 16 is the only exception I’ve recently tested. It has several menu buttons built into its kickstand.

Speaking of volume, the 15K1F bundles a pair of one-watt speakers. They’re hollow, tinny and, worst of all, fail to deliver a usable level of volume. I’ve yet to use a portable monitor with quality audio, however, so Innocn isn’t meaningfully behind its competition here. The monitor also lacks a 3.5mm audio-out jack, so you’ll have to rely on the audio jack your PC provides.

Innocn 15K1F SDR image quality

The Innocn 15K1F has a 15.6-inch OLED display with 1080p resolution. It’s the least expensive portable monitor of its type available right now, but you wouldn’t know that from its image quality. 

Matt Smith

Brightness comes in at a maximum of 290 nits. This is less than the Viewsonic ColorPro VP16-OLED—but, given the difference in price, that’s not a big surprise. The 15K1F keeps pace with other portable monitors that have an IPS panel, such as the Azropa A1 Gamut and AOC I1601CF, and provides a level of brightness that’s usable in most indoor settings. 

Just be warned: This is a glossy display, and it will show reflections. It’s best used in a room where you’ll have some control over the position and intensity of lighting. 

Matt Smith

The 15K1F reached a maximum contrast ratio of 18,600:1. This is very good, though not as high as the effectively infinite contrast ratio recorded from the Viewsonic. The difference? Viewsonic’s monitor achieved a minimum luminance of zero nits, while Innocn’s monitor only dipped to .02 nits.

Still, I feel this difference isn’t meaningful. Both monitors have excellent contrast and are capable of displaying dark levels that subjectively seem perfect. That’s good news if you want to watch movies or play games on a portable monitor.

Matt Smith

Color gamut is strong, spanning 100 percent of sRGB and 99 percent of DCI-P3. Viewsonic’s more expensive OLED once again outperforms, but the difference remains small enough that only the most discerning users are likely to care. The Innocn 15K1F provides vivid, vibrant color that really pops.

Matt Smith

Accuracy is again a hair behind the Viewsonic and ahead of less expensive portable monitors with an IPS LCD display. The 15K1F’s color accuracy should be usable for nearly all content creators and offers a realistic, lifelike look. The monitor also provides an sRGB mode, as mentioned, which is useful if you want to create content only for the sRGB color gamut, or you’re viewing content meant for sRGB and want a more accurate look.

The monitor hit a default gamma curve of 2.3, slightly off the target of 2.2. This indicates the display shows content slightly darker than it should, though I doubt most users will find it noticeable (I certainly didn’t). Color temperature came in at 6600K, which is every-so-slightly cooler than the target of 6500K. Again, any problems introduced by this seemed imperceptible.

Sharpness is merely ok. The monitor’s 15.6-inch panel with 1080p resolution packs 141 pixels per inch, which should be enough to deliver a sharp, crisp experience. However, I noticed the monitor suffers from fringing around fonts, a problem common to many OLED displays. Fonts and fine details look softer than expected. The issue is not as significant as on larger OLED monitors like the Alienware AW3423DWF, but shoppers sensitive to this should be wary, and the overall look is not as crisp as it could be. 

The Innocn 15K1F’s image quality isn’t perfect—but, for $269.99, it’s hard to complain. In fact, I think it’s fair to say this is the best image quality you can expect on a budget just shy of $200. Viewsonic’s ColorPro VP16-OLED is superior, and Asus’ ZenScreen OLED models also perform well, but shoppers who aren’t fussy about gamma curves or subpixel layouts will be more than happy with the 15K1F’s vibrant, high-contrast image.

Innocn 15K1F HDR image quality Innocn 15K1F motion performance Is the Innocn 15K1F worth it?

Innocn’s 15K1F is a budget OLED monitor that delivers good image quality for the price. The monitor’s image quality falls behind more expensive OLED portable monitors but still delivers a big upgrade over more common IPS LCD portable monitors. It’s a great middle option for shoppers who want a better visual experience from a portable monitor but aren’t willing to spend more than $300 to snag it.

Sonos Beam Review: Middle Child

Pros

Compact

Excellent sound quality

Dolby Atmos

HDMI ARC

Cons

2023 price rise

Our Verdict

No longer the affordable device it used to be, the Beam isn’t the best value Sonos soundbar but provides a balance of compact design, big sound, smart features and Dolby Atmos that will still suit many buyers.

Best Prices Today: Sonos Beam

Retailer

Price

$434.99

View Deal

For years, Sonos soundbars have been only for the flush of cash. However, the firm’s latest speaker is far more affordable, more compact and includes smart features.

Design & Build

You really do know what you’re getting when purchasing a Sonos product; Essentially a sleek and modern design with a style that will fit nicely with the vast majority of TVs and decors. You can choose black or white finishes.

The Beam, like every Sonos speaker we’ve reviewed looks and feels like a high-end product – and we’re talking about the packaging and cables as well.

Build quality is excellent with a combination of solid plastic that doesn’t feel cheap and fabric around the sides. All the ports are neatly hidden at the back as usual.

The key things here is that the Beam is much more compact than the other two Sonos soundbars. So if you’re looking for one to put in a bedroom, kitchen or just don’t have as much space then it’s a great choice.

Like the Playbar, you can wall-mount the Beam so it’s very flexible in how you can position it.

The speaker has touch sensitive controls on the top which are responsive and not annoying to use as is often the case.

Sound Quality & Features

Setting up the Beam couldn’t be much easier. Simply plug the power in and follow the instructions on the app, which will take you through the different options for connecting to your TV. This will include setting up your TV remote to control the volume of the speaker, which is very handy.

Despite being cheaper, the Beam has some features not found on the older Playbar. You get AirPlay built-in making it easier to stream music to the speaker and HDMI ARC, which is a first for a Sonos device.

This means you can plug it into your TV with an HDMI cable, as long as it has an audio return channel (ARC). Otherwise, Sonos provides a handy adapter so you can use optical.

You also get Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, like the Sonos One, so this is a smart soundbar which you can control with your voice.

Using your voice and the far-field mic array, you can adjust the volume, switch the TV on and control other smart home devices around your home like lights and heating if you have compatible products. If you want privacy, the mics can be switched off.

Finally, we’re onto sound quality and although the Beam is significantly smaller than its two bigger brothers, it still packs an impressive punch in the audio department.

It only has five drivers compared to the Playbar’s nine but it doesn’t matter too much, especially if you’ve got the Beam in a smaller sized room.

Four of them are full-range drivers and one is a tweeter. Some are arranged to give a solid centre channel sound, while two face out to the side to provide a wider soundstage.

This isn’t surround sound, but if you want you can add satellite speakers, the cheapest option being the $179/£179 One SL. The Beam Gen 2 adds Dolby Atmos for the most popular virtual surround sound standard out there.

There are also three passive bass radiators, which aid the Beam in the low end. It can’t compete with the Playbar or Arc in this respect but it’s still impressive. You can pair the Beam with the Sonos Sub but we’d recommend simply getting the Playbar if it’s not too large as buying the Beam and the $429/£429 Sub Mini really adds up.

Although the Beam is half the size of the Playbar and designed to be a speaker for TV, sound and music it managed to adapt to anything you can throw at it -somehow with excellent sound quality, spaciousness and stereo field.

For the Beam, you can make use of modes like speech enhancement and night mode. The latter of which makes sure loud elements like explosions don’t wake anyone up ad you can still hear quieter things.

There’s all of this and we haven’t even mentioned all the usual benefits of the Sonos multi-room system with its almost endless list of compatible services. Find out more in our complete guide to the best Sonos speakers.

Price & Availability

Originally launched at £399/$399 for the original generation, the newer Gen 2 Beam has been given a price rise to $499/£499 making it more affordable than the $899/£899 Arc.

Those wanting something more affordable should opt for the Sonos Ray which is just $279/£279 if you don’t need HDMI or voice control.

You can buy it directly from Sonos or retailers including Argos, John Lewis, Currys and Amazon. You can also take a look at the best soundbars right now if you want more inspiration before taking the plunge.

Verdict

There’s very little to dislike about the Beam, even though it’s no longer the most affordable soundbar in the Sonos range.

HDMI ARC will be a boon for some and Amazon Alexa/Google Assistant is another bonus, especially if you have smart home products you can control with it. The Gen 2 model adds Dolby Atmos.

What makes the Beam really special is that the more compact size means it will fit into more spaces, yet the sound isn’t hugely worse off for it. Sonos has worked its audio magic here. It’s the now inflated price that is the main downside.

Best Portable Audio Recording? Zoom H1 Review

Before actually owning the zoom h1, I did do my own research on the product. Everyone’s conclusion was that it felt like a cheap toy. However, I feel as though, while it is all plastic, it still feels sturdy.  I have dropped this mic before and it has yet to crack. (I hope it doesn’t of course!)  And upside to it being all plastic is that it is very light. The build itself is a very small mic intended for on the go usage. It might just be me, but there is something satisfying when you can buy an a product for use, and not have to worry about it getting scuffed up. Coming in an all plastic and cheap form actually makes me want to bring it around more. I toss it into my bag and go. And I think that’s a very important factor when considering this type of product to buy. Just don’t expect a tank when your buying this product. Keep in mind the satisfying buying price of it and you won’t have any complaints.

To be blunt the sound is fantastic.  With an onboard mic that you get with your typical DSLR, you’ll notice the sound levels are not equal. Every now and then I would record a conversation with two people, and while they are at the same exact distance from the camera, every now and then one voice would be extremely high while the other would be low.– Not with the zoom h1. If I aim the mic correctly, the audio is not only equal, but it is also accurate.Another problem that I had before using the Zoom h1 was the fact that my onboard mic picked up a certain humming noise in the background. The h1, as im sure many if not all external mics, fix this problem.  The Zoom h1 mic also removed the audio echo that I received with many other cameras. (Especially webcams)

I do not have a wind filter, as it does not come with one, but I have noticed, to no surprised, that in semi-windy condition, without a wind filter, it does pick up a lot of wind noise.  A LOT. Not a negative thing, that’s typical, but don’t be put off by it and buy a wind filter. (If you intend to work in windy conditions)

The Zoom H1 does cannot be directly connected into your camera. You must manually sync you audio. It could be a major pain, and it is something you definitely want to consider. I believe in the new Final Cut Pro X there is a way to automatically sync the audio, but even then, I would of course rather just have the audio recorded right into our DSLR. If this is a problem, you might want to consider the Zoom H1′s big brother: the Zoom H4n.

The zoom consumes only one AA battery, but I still wish it had a charging feature.  It also does have  tripod screw in so if you have an extra tripod you can mount it equally to your camera.

For a budget mic, I think it is a great product.  I do envy the Zoom H4n, but considering the price this product it is going for, I can’t complain much. It’s a mic, that I use to supplement everything, my DSLR, my webcam, and sometimes even my phone. The only downside I would have to say is, again, you have to manually sync the audio in post production. So do I recommend this mic? Yes, yes I do!

The Zoom H1, your portable audio recorder now the perfect supplement to any DSLR or video recording device. Small and affordable, but what does all of that sacrifice?

Apple Announces Iphone 12 Pro With Premium Design, New Pacific Blue Color, More

After months of rumors, Apple has officially announced the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. The iPhone 12 Pro measures in at 6.1-inches, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max features a 6.7-inch screen. Read on for everything you need to know.

iPhone 12 Pro details

Apple says the form factors of the larger iPhone 12 Pro devices are “nearly the same” than the smaller iPhone 11 Pro models they replace. The frame of the iPhone 12 Pro is made out of a durable stainless steel material. Four colors pacific blue, graphite, gold, and silver

Ultra wide, Wide, and telephoto lenses on the back. On the iPhone 12 Pro Max, there was even more room for new camera features, Joz says.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max also includes the Ultra Wide and Telephoto cameras for closer shots. Combined, this system offers 5x optical zoom range, Apple says. The Max sensor is 47% larger, 87% improvement for low light photography, new optical image stabilization system.

Apple ProRAW, a new feature for iPhone 12 Pro that provides iPhone computational photography benefits with the benefits of shooting in RAW.

New video features on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max:

10-bit HDR video recording

Record in Dolby Vision HDR

4K at 60 fps

iPhone 12 Pro also features a LiDAR Scanner on the back. Enables object and room scanning, AR features, and more. The LiDAR Scanner also contributes to low-light auto focus and improving capture time.

iPhone 12 Pro starts at $999 and the iPhone 12 Pro Max for $1099. 128GB starting capacity.

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro pre-orders begin October 16th with availability on October 23rd. iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 mini pre-orders on November 6th with availability on November 13th.

Apple announced the iPhone 12 Pro alongside other new iPhone 12 models during its “Hi, Speed” event from Apple Park.

Follow along in our Apple Event News Hub for all of the latest news today, including iPhone 12 details and more.

Apple introduces iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max with 5G

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will be available in four stainless steel finishes, including graphite, silver, gold, and pacific blue. Pre-orders for iPhone 12 Pro begin Friday, October 16, with availability beginning Friday, October 23. iPhone 12 Pro Max will be available for pre-order Friday, November 6, and in stores beginning Friday, November 13.

A Superior 5G Experience

Featuring the most 5G bands on any smartphone, iPhone 12 Pro models offer the broadest 5G coverage worldwide.1 Models in the US support millimeter wave, the higher frequency version of 5G, allowing iPhone 12 Pro models to reach speeds up to 4Gbps, even in densely populated areas. iPhone 12 Pro models also feature Smart Data mode, which extends battery life by intelligently assessing 5G needs and balancing data usage, speed, and power in real time.

A14 Bionic: Powerful and Efficient

Generations ahead of the competition, A14 Bionic is the first chip in the smartphone industry built on 5-nanometer process. Faster and more efficient than ever, A14 Bionic has the fastest CPU and GPU by up to 50 percent compared to the fastest competing smartphone chips, enabling console-quality gaming experiences, powerful computational photography, and more, while delivering great battery life. Pushing the limits of machine learning (ML), A14 Bionic features a 16-core Neural Engine — for an 80 percent increase in performance — that is capable of completing 11 trillion operations per second, enabling improved performance on even the most intense ML models.

New Design and Innovative Display Technologies

Designed with premium materials, iPhone 12 Pro models boast a new, sophisticated flat-edge design that features a gorgeous surgical-grade stainless steel band paired with a precision-milled matte glass back, and introduces the incredibly durable Ceramic Shield. The Ceramic Shield front cover, tougher than any smartphone glass, goes beyond glass and is infused with nano-ceramic crystals to dramatically improve toughness and increase drop performance by 4x.2

With impressively larger, edge-to-edge displays with reduced borders in familiar sizes, the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max3feature a Super Retina XDR display with systemwide color management for industry-leading color accuracy. And iPhone 12 Pro Max offers the largest display ever on an iPhone and the highest resolution featuring nearly 3.5 million pixels for a remarkable, true-to-life viewing experience. These OLED displays bring HDR video content to life, reaching 1200 nits peak brightness.

iPhone 12 Pro models come with an industry-leading IP68 rating to withstand water submersion up to 6 meters for up to 30 minutes, and are protected against everyday spills, including coffee and soda.4

Versatile Pro Camera System

The world’s best pro camera is an even more versatile tool for all levels of photo and video enthusiasts with state-of-the-art camera hardware powered by A14 Bionic. Together with the new image signal processor (ISP), A14 Bionic drives increased image quality and enables powerful computational photography capabilities not possible with traditional cameras. iPhone 12 Pro models also feature the new Apple ProRAW, coming later this year,5 which combines Apple’s multiframe image processing and computational photography with the versatility of a RAW format. Users can experience full creative control over color, detail, and dynamic range natively on iPhone or with other professional photo editing apps.

iPhone 12 Pro features the new seven-element lens Wide camera with an ƒ/1.6 aperture, the fastest ever on an iPhone, for 27 percent improved low-light performance in photo and video; the Ultra Wide camera with a 120-degree field of view, perfect for capturing more scene in tight spots or epic landscapes; and a 52 mm focal length Telephoto camera, great for framing portraits, bringing the optical zoom range to 4x.

iPhone 12 Pro Max takes the pro camera experience even further. The new ƒ/1.6 aperture Wide camera boasts a 47 percent larger sensor with 1.7μm pixels for a massive 87 percent improvement in low-light conditions. It also includes the expansive Ultra Wide camera and a 65 mm focal length Telephoto camera for increased flexibility with closer shots and tighter crops. Combined, this system offers 5x optical zoom range.

Improvements to Night mode, now expanded to the TrueDepth and Ultra Wide cameras, allow for an even brighter picture. And Night mode Time-Lapse delivers longer exposure times for sharper videos, better light trails, and smoother exposure in low-light scenarios when used with a tripod. Deep Fusion, now better and faster, comes to all cameras, and with the new Smart HDR 3, users can expect more true-to-life images, even in complex scenes.

Realistic AR and Innovative Camera Experiences Innovative New Accessories with MagSafe

MagSafe improves wireless charging for a better, more efficient experience and introduces an ecosystem of easy-to-attach accessories that beautifully complement iPhone 12 Pro models.7 MagSafe delivers a unique experience to iPhone, featuring an array of magnets around the wireless charging coil, optimized for alignment and efficiency, that perfectly connects to iPhone every time. MagSafe chargers efficiently provide up to 15W of power while still accommodating existing Qi-enabled devices. Charging solutions include the MagSafe Charger and MagSafe Duo Charger for use with iPhone and Apple Watch, as well as new silicone, leather, and clear cases that easily snap onto the back of iPhone, and a leather wallet. Customers can also expect innovative MagSafe accessories from third-party manufacturers.

Featuring iOS 14

iOS 14 delivers a reimagined iPhone experience with new ways to customize the Home Screen. Beautifully redesigned widgets present timely information at a glance and can be pinned in different sizes on any Home Screen page. The App Library is a new space that automatically organizes all of a user’s apps into one simple, easy-to-navigate view. iOS 14 also brings new ways to discover and use apps with App Clips, powerful updates for staying connected in Messages, greener ways to explore cities with Maps, and enhanced privacy features for even more transparency and control.8

Committed to the Environment

Today, Apple is carbon neutral for global corporate operations and, by 2030, plans to have net zero climate impact across the entire business, which includes manufacturing supply chains and all product life cycles. This means that every Apple device sold, from material collection, component manufacturing, assembly, transport, customer use, charging, all the way through recycling and material recovery, will be 100 percent carbon neutral. iPhone 12 Pro models were designed with the environment in mind. For the first time, iPhone 12 Pro models will utilize 100 percent recycled rare earth elements in all magnets, including the new camera, Taptic Engine, and MagSafe, as well as Apple’s MagSafe accessories. Apple is also removing the power adapter and EarPods from iPhone packaging, further reducing carbon emissions and avoiding the mining and use of precious materials, which enables smaller and lighter packaging, and allows for 70 percent more boxes to be shipped on a pallet. Taken altogether, these changes will cut over 2 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually, equivalent to removing nearly 450,000 cars from the road per year.

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