ICYMI: We hear the latest Yamaha headphones with 3D sound

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The end of the year is getting closer and there are still many interesting gadgets, instruments and devices to be viewed. This week we have a new addition to the Halo series in Halo: Infinite, which, according to Jessica Conditt, fits right in with the rest of the franchise. Terrence O’Brien played the Fender Acoustasonic Player Telecaster and reported that the hybrid instrument produced compelling acoustic sounds that echoed the original guitar. James Trew has used the Analogue Pocket and says it’s the best retro handheld experience available right now. And Billy Steele listened to Yahama’s YH-L700A, which he thought was a bit clumsy, if great for watching movies.

Billy Steele / Engadget

Billy Steele likes the look of the Yamaha YH-L700A Headphones: The combination of leather, fabric, matt black and silver accents creates a sophisticated look, while the square, foldable earcups make traveling easier. The notable feature of these headphones is the 3D sound field function, which consists of seven presets to enhance music and movies. There is also a head tracking feature that makes the sound appear as if it came from a stationary point.

Billy says this last feature added a cinematic element to watching movies, but he didn’t think it would translate when listening to music. The seven presets of the 3D sound field also worked better for movies and television, where they created spatial sound. When testing the filters with music, Billy reports that they felt clumsy and didn’t work well in all genres. He says the active noise cancellation on these cans is sufficient, if not impressive, and points out that the marquee features can be toggled on and off within the app. However, he was disappointed with the battery life – the headphones lasted just under 11 hours during the test, which is lackluster when most of the competitors have a battery life of almost 30 hours. And at $ 500, they come at a high price.

Analog bag

James Trew / Engadget

James Trew is a long time vintage gaming fan and is quick to point out that the Analog bag is currently the best experience and not for casual users either. For $ 220, you can play most vintage portable Game Boy titles, as well as Game Gear, while adapters for Neo Geo Pocket Color and Atari Lynx are on the way. It also has more modern details like a backlit display. The Analogue Pocket is not only a high-quality gaming device, it can also be connected to a television and has integrated software for making music.

Due to its FPGA “cores”, the Pocket can mimic vintage consoles on the hardware level – there are no longer any emulator quirks to suffer from. It also works with original Game Boy accessories such as the Game Boy camera, printers or rumble packs. And it can be linked to an authentic Game Boy for a multiplayer experience. James liked the 3.5-inch gorilla glass screen as well as the memory states, but wished the shoulder buttons were better and said that some of the display modes sometimes obscure the messages on the screen. Overall, the Analogue Pocket offers upscale retro gameplay with enough additional features to come to ensure it gets better over time.

Halo: Infinite


Jessica Conditt had high hopes Halo: Infinite, the first open world game in franchise history. And she admits that playing the new storyline brought back warm, happy feelings and a sense of familiarity. However, she also believes the game lacks surprise and intrigue – much of the innovation in vertical space has been carried out by other, newer games, and the cramped map made for closed and linear gameplay.

Nonetheless, Jessica reports that she had a lot of fun playing with the newly available mechanics and tools, especially the grappling hook. From climbing mountains to climbing buildings, the grapple offers new vertical space to explore. Jessica says that while she expected a lot more from the Pioneering FPS title, she also thinks it’s best when it gives users a rich environment full of grappling, shielding, and in-air headshots. From maze-like levels, military stereotypes and sarcastic robots, Infinite plays like a classic halo game.

Hydrasynth Explorer

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

Terrence O’Brien admits in advance that the Hydrasynth Explorer offers a remarkable array of features and options in one portable, well-built device. For $ 600, you can get a wavemorphing engine with an eight-note polyphone, three oscillators per voice, a ring modulator, a noise source, and over 200 waveforms. There are also two filters that can be connected in series or in parallel to determine how much of each oscillator goes to each filter. He says the 88-page manual feels like it just skims the surface of what the synthesizer is capable of.

However, you don’t need to master the sound design tools to get started with the instrument – just browse the 640 presets spread across five banks of 128 patches. During the test, Terrence found the Explorer easy to use thanks to the neatly labeled sections on the front. A couple of things the versatile device lacks are a proper sequencer, full-size buttons, and touch strips instead of pitch and mod wheels. In addition, there are only three filter buttons instead of five. That said, Terrence still thinks that the Explorer is well worth the price given its great sound, solid build, and wealth of tools to explore.

Fender Acoustasonic Player Telecaster

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

Terrence O’Brien also spent some time with the newbie Fender Acoustasonic Player Telecasterwhich reduces the price of the previous model by $ 800. For $ 1,200, you can get a mahogany and spruce satin finish with a rosewood fingerboard, two pickups, and a three-way toggle with six tone options. Instead of a rechargeable battery, the player is operated with a standard nine-volt cell. Terrence reports that it eats its way through the batteries surprisingly quickly, but remains practical.

Regarding the sound of the instrument, Terrence reports that while there are fewer acoustic simulations on this model, the two offerings (Rosewood Dreadnought and Mahogany Small Body) cover a lot of ground. He says he prefers the Telecaster’s electric sounds over the more expensive ones Jazz masterbecause it looks more like the original guitar and plays better with pedals. Terrence says the two acoustic simulations offer depth and character, and that overall the hybrid guitar is a perfect couch instrument.

Universal Audio Volt

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

Terrence O’Brien sees Universal Audio’s first foray into budget as a success. The firms Volt series, five models, priced between $ 139 and $ 369, are affordable audio interfaces that share a 24-bit / 192 kHz audio converter and preamp with a “vintage” mode that aims to take the classic Recreate tube preamp sound. Terrence has tested the 189 Volt 2 and the 299 Volt 276, which are both two-input interfaces.

The differences between the two models are minor: the Volt 2 is simple and functional, but works well with limited space, while the “76” version has a built-in compressor and requires additional desk space as most of the controls are on the above. Terrence says the compressor makes a big difference in that it has softer edges to tame the harder frequencies. He also found the 276’s metering LEDs were easier to see and the wooden sides were a nice touch. While the base models were excellent interfaces at reasonable prices, the 176, 276, and 476 stood out from the crowd for their compressors, style, and ergonomics, according to Terrence.

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