These affordable audiophile inear headphones banish noise

first_img The Audiophiliac The Etymotic ER2 in-ear headphones  Etymotic Etymotic made a big splash in 1991 with its ER4 in-ear headphones, which brought professional audio monitoring into the mainstream.  The Etymotic ER4 headphone was my go-to in-ear for years, and in 2017 the line was refreshed with the ER4SR (Studio Reference) and ER4XR (Extended Response) at $349/£360 each.  This model was quickly followed by the ER3SE/XR ($179/£199), and it was the Audiophiliac affordable Headphone of the Year for 2018. Now in 2019 we have the ER2 in-ear, which also comes in two versions, the ER2SE (Studio Edition) and the ER2XR (Extended Response). The two models look the same, it’s just that the XR version has slightly more bass. Each one retails for $159 in the US and £169 in the UK. Both ER2SE/XR models use dynamic, not balanced, armature drivers featured in the ER3 and ER4 models. The ER2’s impedance is rated at 15 ohms, the 4 foot (1.2 meter) long cable is user replaceable. The ER2’s warranty is two years. Use the included foam or flanged silicone ear tips with the ER2 and you’ll bask in the quietude of 35 dB of noise isolation, that’s so much better than average. There’s one catch, to achieve the maximum noise hushing you’ll have to jam the tips deeper into your ear canals than most in-ear headphones’ tips. Some folks aren’t comfortable with the feeling, but I don’t mind. True, comfort isn’t stellar, but the ER2’s superior noise isolation on the New York City subway was excellent while listening with my iPhone 8. The ER2 doesn’t use batteries; its deep insertion tips hush noise with their airtight seal. Listening tests I listened to the ER2XR for a few weeks before I compared it with the other ER models. Bon Iver’s soaring vocals were set free by these headphones. The open quality and warmth of the sound balance tickled my audiophile ears; I was a happy camper. I wondered how this new Etymotic would compare with the ER3 and ER4. They all look nearly alike, but what about the sound? I listened to all three ERs with my iPhone 8 (with an Apple 3.5mm to Lightning adapter). The sound was fine, but I couldn’t resist upping the ante with the FiiO i1 Lightning to 3.5mm adapter/digital audio converter ($40 on Amazon) and noted a distinct improvement in the sound of all three Etymotic headphones. The Apple adapter sounded muffled by comparison. 51j2nfw-21l-sl1500The Astell & Kern Super Junior music player Astell & Kern I also listened to music with an old Astell & Kern JR portable music player, which provided much improved sound over the iPhone 8/FiiO i1 combination. The current Astell & Kern Super Junior sells for $220 on Amazon. The ER2XR and ER3XR sound nearly the same, the ER3XR was a bit clearer, but the ER4XR was a decisively more transparent and more open sounding headphone with the Gang of Four’s brilliant Solid Gold album. The spiky guitar riffs cut through the haze like a knife over the ‘4XR, but they were blunted by the ER2XR and ER3XR headphones. The ER3 sounds a little better, and the ER4 is still my favorite, but the Etymotic ER2 has its easy listening charms, and it hushes external noise like a champ.  Share your voice Tags 0 Post a comment Headphones Audiolast_img read more

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PUBG Mobile Lite features we really hope to see in PUBG Mobiles

first_img This has to be the coolest PUBG Mobile trick, EVER!!! PUBG Mobile Lite was recently launched to attract the masses owning a low-end smartphone. The lighter version of the most popular battle royale mobile title eliminates the need to have a premium, high-end smartphone to get onboard the craze PUBG Mobile has built since its launch.PUBG Mobile Lite developers have thought through the idea behind it, bringing each and every feature tailored to deliver optimum gaming experience. We tested PUBG Mobile Lite and it seemed fine but needs further improvements in terms of lags and some glitches. The gameplay aspect seems to be more favourable than the build itself, but there are going to be updates in the future to fix those errors.During our PUBG Mobile Lite review, we noticed some new features exclusive to this particular version and other features that we had briefly seen in select PUBG Mobile games. Now, we hope that Tencent considers bringing some of its PUBG Mobile Lite features to PUBG Mobile, which can benefit more users who have been playing the game for quite some time now.Riverside rampCamping on bridges is one of the common practices in PUBG Mobile, but there are culverts in the game to allow players to cross a river. While this is helpful, players can alternatively swim to cross to avoid any sniper who would be watching the culvert. But what we saw in PUBG Mobile Lite really had us thinking why this feature can’t come to PUBG Mobile. PUBG Mobile Lite riverside rampIBTimes India/Sami Khan screenshotPUBG Mobile Lite has a riverside ramp that can be used to cross a river in James Bond’s style. Throttle your vehicle and go over the ramp to land on the other side of the river to give opponents an element of surprise. We really hope to see this in PUBG Mobile as it can be used to a better strategy and ambush the enemy without losing your vehicle.RPG missile launcherPUBG Mobile Lite adds a new weapon to the airdrop weapon arsenal. An RPG missile launcher is incredibly cool to carry and highly destructive in short range. We’ve seen the RPG in PUBG Mobile x Resident Evil 2 crossover event to eliminate hoards of zombies, but we never heard of it in other maps. PUBG Mobile Lite RPG launcherIBTimes India/Sami KhanOur sincere hope is that PUBG Mobile gets RPG as a rare item found only in airdrops in addition to the weapons like M249, AWM, Groza and others.Health while on the moveFor so long, PUBG Mobile players have cribbed and complained about not being able to take health while on the move. Being stationary is mandatory to boost the health level, but it puts the player in a comprising situation if the sniper has marked you. In PUBG Mobile Lite, players can take health while on the move, which is something we wish gets introduced in the original PUBG Mobile. This can save lives and give a harder time for enemies to take you out. This works both ways, so don’t get too stressed out when your target is moving out of range while boosting health. PUBG Mobile Lite goes live in IndiaPlay StoreExtended time to killFinally, PUBG Mobile Lite makes it hard to kill an enemy. It’s not a glitch, but it is by design to “enhance players survivability during firefights and encouraging aggressive play.” We don’t entirely wish for this feature to be seen in the original game, but it wouldn’t hurt to be immune to shots while we inspect its origin. Most times, headshots take you out before you realize where it came from. A warning in the form of extended time to kill can be a nice addition.Tencent Games hasn’t promised or hinted to bring these features to PUBG Mobile, but it is merely our hope to enhance the gameplay. Closelast_img read more

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Pakistans NADRA sacks 40 officials on graft charges

first_imgAt least 40 senior officials of Pakistan’s premier agency responsible for managing database of citizens have been sacked on graft charges.National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has sacked a Director General, GM projects, DGM operations, Intelligence Officer and various managers yesterday after an internal probe showed some of the top ranking officers guilty of corruption and other crimes.The sacked employees were working in different NADRA offices in Karachi and were allegedly involved in issuance of fake Computerized National Identity Cards besides various other crimes, Geo Tv reported.Also, four Director Generals were demoted to lower positions for misusing their authority.NADRA is responsible for automated record of Pakistani nationals and issuing national identity cards, passports and other documents.last_img read more

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Mamata to lay foundation stone of Silicon Valley today

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will lay the foundation stone of her government’s flagship project ‘Silicon Valley’ on Monday. The Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation has already earmarked 100 acres of urban land at Action Area II beside the Biswa Bangla Sarani near Eco Park for the project, which will be attracting top IT players across the country.”Bengal is poised to take a lead when it comes to embracing emerging technologies like Blockchain, Fintech, Internet of Things (IoT), Embedded Technology, Artificial Intelligence, etc. The Silicon Valley, with its plug and play infrastructure, will encourage the IT firms associated with these technologies to take up space,” a senior official of the state Information Technology (IT) department said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeBanerjee is expected to announce the IT department’s work schedule and plan of action for the Silicon Valley project on Monday. As per plans there will be green building offices and tier 4 cloud based data centre in the hub.According to sources, the IT department is working on a plan to provide co-working spaces in the proposed Silicon Valley project. “The concept of co-working is gaining momentum in the country. Quality innovation requires an environment of working in a community. So, we are trying to create facilities for co-working in Silicon Valley,” said an official of the IT department. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe department is trying to develop the concept of offering infrastructure as a service in the proposed Silicon Valley hub. “We want people to come to this place and use the plug and play infrastructure on a weekly/monthly/yearly rental basis,” he added.The IT department, for the last few months, has been holding knowledge-sharing workshops every month at the Biswa Bangla Convention Centre in New Town, related to emerging technologies. Experts from all parts of the country and even from the world are speaking and sharing their experiences on the advantages of these new age technologies. “Our vision is to move towards a decentralised and transparent ecosystem, where the government and every industry will be able to leverage benefits of these emerging technologies. We are laying a lot of emphasis on awareness and training of the people working in this sector, as well as for the future generation,” the official maintained.On January 31, Banerjee had announced her government’s decision to set up the Silicon Valley hub. She had said that the idea was discussed in the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS), which was held on January 16 and 17 at the Biswa Bangla Convention Centre.last_img read more

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Body of policeman found hanging at hospital

first_imgKolkata: Mystery shrouds the death of a policeman whose body was found hanging from the ceiling of a washroom at a private hospital in Durgapur.The victim has been identified as Nirmal Kumar Das (24), who was posted at Bidhannagar. Das, who was originally a resident of Chopra in North Dinajpur, was admitted to hospital on Monday after he was suffering from fever. Some patients who were undergoing treatment at the same hospital on early Wednesday morning found the victim hanging with a piece of cloth from the ceiling of a washroom. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThey drew attention of the hospital authorities. Tension broke out among patients. The matter was immediately reported to the police. After being informed the police reached the spot and recovered the body and sent it for an autopsy at Durgapur Sub-divisional hospital. Police have collected the piece of cloth for the sake of investigation. According to the preliminary investigation, police suspect the victim might have committed suicide. The reason behind his committing suicide is yet to be confirmed by the investigating officers. They have started a probe to ascertain the exact cause of Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedthe incident. The hospital authorities have told police there was nothing unusual in his behavior after he was admitted to the hospital with some ailments. Cops are investigating if the victim had been suffering from any mental depression. The family members of the victim will also be interrogated in this connection. They are also investigating if there was any foul play behind the death of Das. The sleuths are waiting for the autopsy report which might throw some light on his death.last_img read more

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Lion cub smuggling case Forest dept to move to higher court

first_imgKolkata: The state Forest department will move to a higher forum, seeking cancellation of bail for the three persons who were arrested in the wee hours of Saturday on charges of smuggling a lion cub and three langurs. The trio was granted bail on being produced at Barrackpore Court later in the day, even though the Forest department had prayed for judicial custody.”We are speaking with our public prosecutor and will move to a higher court, preferably the Calcutta High Court, for cancellation of bail of the three arrested persons. We are not ruling out the involvement of an international racket in this illegal animal trade and we need to take them into custody and interrogate them for more leads,” said state Chief Wildlife Warden Ravikant Sinha. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataA three-month-old lion cub and three white headed langurs, which included two adults and one juvenile, were rescued from a vehicle on Belghoria Expressway through a raid carried out jointly by the state Forest department’s Wildlife Crime Control Unit (WCCU) and the Centre’s Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB). According to preliminary investigation, the lion cub trapped inside a nylon bag and the three langurs were being smuggled from the Benapole-Petrapole border via Kolkata to Western India. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe rescued animals were taken to Alipore Zoo’s Hospital later in the day. “They are in quarantine and are doing well. The veterinary doctors at the zoo hospital are giving them proper medicines and diet,” said Vinod Kumar Yadav, member secretary of West Bengal Zoo Authority. The animals were very weak and famished when they were rescued. According to a senior Forest department official, possession, transportation or confinement of any animal protected under the Wildlife act is a punishable offence and the maximum punishment, if proven guilty, is seven years of imprisonment. The International Union for Classification of Nature (IUCN) has classified white headed langur as a ‘critically endangered’ species, while Asiatic lion is classified as ‘endangered’.last_img read more

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Weighing Design and Function When Building Your App

first_img This story originally appeared on Bizness Apps 5 min read These days, app makers must contend not only with well funded giants in the mobile space, but with the endless amount of new competition entering the scene as app store growth accelerates. Once a better version of your app gains popularity, yours is likely getting the axe — especially when the daunting “Storage Almost Full” message appears. To avoid the chopping block but not waste precious resources, you have to prioritize. So, which matters more: design or function?Computer, tablet, and smartphone users tend to be both decisive and loyal. For years, we’ve seen the same major brands go head-to-head, but this point buyers have generally chosen their camp. Try to sell a longtime iPhone user on an Android (or vice versa) and you’ll find yourself wrapped up in an endless debate over features, UI, customization, battery life, security, the color of the message bubbles…When it comes to apps, the market is endless and users are far less forgiving, especially when installing is free and uninstalling is simple. Once dominated by professional designers, the app industry is now accessible to anyone with a computer and some time on their hands through DIY app builders like Bizness Apps. So with such a high degree of market saturation, how can you entice users to download and keep your app installed for the long-run, especially when gaining loyalty is much harder?Function Breeds LoyaltyWhen a new user launches an app, they form an opinion immediately. Is it easy to use? Is it visually appealing? Does it perform all the functions I need it to? The average user doesn’t want to spend more than 10 minutes figuring out how to use an app and there’s no barrier to uninstalling which makes user experience of chief importance in retention. Recent findings by TechCrunch suggest average users spend 85 percent of their smartphone time on native applications, and 84 percent is devoted to just five apps total. Each user’s “fave five” will vary considerably, of course, but the apps with the highest usage fall under the categories of social media, gaming, and instant messaging.Mobile apps can edge beyond the competition by doing one thing — and doing it well. Consider e-commerce; since mobile websites often facilitate easy purchasing, mobile apps need even simpler checkout processes to be attractive to the average user. That means reducing the number of clicks to the purchase page, storing account info, and generally providing a much more personalized experience. If a user has installed a retail app, they’re likely looking for deals and an improved purchasing process. The app needs to check those boxes to stay on the home screen.Design Closes the DealFellow designers and mobile experts are sold on apps for entirely different reasons. Many industry buffs are most impressed by an app’s ability to draw on the device’s existing features, improving or applying them in new ways. For example, camera apps that optimize flash and size often top the design charts. Gaming apps are still popular in this demographic too, but generally for their innovative design and graphics. And though the general public tends to discount design in favor of the function-packed these days, the nuance of design is very much alive.Remember the message bubble thing above? It may seem silly that the background color of a text message would merit a reaction (and an emotional one, at that), but I can’t tell you how many iPhone users have expressed actual hatred for the green bubble that appears when they text non-iOS users. The message bubble defaults to blue when you’re texting another iOS user — a genius little trick on Apple’s part that glorifies its own. When applied to mobile apps, this psychology suggests that design holds the power of long-term influence. Users may be drawn in and initially held by an app’s function, but design can lock them in as they gradually develop a UI preference that they can’t imagine swapping out for something new.What This Means for YouAverage users want instant gratification and answers to their specific needs, but craftsmanship and visual innovation have more subtle capabilities in user retention. If you’re operating on a slim budget or a time crunch, your top priority should be perfecting function. Give users a reason to download and a reason to come back, and you’ll make a bigger dent than you would with an app facelift. But if you can devote more energy to your mobile app, don’t overlook the potential small design changes have to radically improve user experience. With three million apps and counting, there’s something out there for everyone, but you can’t beat a good first impression. April 5, 2016 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now »last_img read more

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