Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Parrot Zik 2.0-The World's Most Advanced Headphones

If you follow our website for trending tech updates, you probably know we reviewed the Parrot Zik Gold collection a while ago.  Featuring unique dual detection sensors, an intuitive touch panel for simple use, advanced digital sound processor algorithms to produce a ‘concert hall’ effect and 4 integrated microphones for maximum noise isolation, this is truly a state-of-the-art headset. But why stop there? That’s probably what the Parrot engineering team had in mind when they set out to create the Zik 2.0.  Produced in collaboration with French designer Philippe Starck, Parrot Zik 2.0 wireless headphones boast a handful of new and improved features for best audio performance, user comfort and stylish design.

Compared to the previous Zik headphone generation, the 2.0 is 17 percent lighter and comes with a thicker headband padding coupled with large comfy ear cushions. Like the Gold collection, though, the Zik 2.0 used DSP (Digital Sound Processor) algorithms to transform the sound and provide you with an unparalleled listening experience, creating the impression that the sound source is located in front of you for enhanced harmony and more natural feel.

On top of that, the 2.0 headphones also pack an intuitive touch-sensitive side control panel used in the original Gold collection for simple track playback and navigation. Simply slide your finger horizontally (right/left) to play the next song or go back to the previous track, and tune up the playback/call volume by a simple vertical swipe (up/down). Pairing with source devices is easy, too – simply tap the headset to connect to NFC-enabled devices via Bluetooth 3.0 and control, customize or share your music by a subtle touch of a finger.

Packing a potent 32-bit digital sound processor that works in conjunction with six microphones, Zik 2.0 easily identifies and cancels out external sounds for added audio depth and harmony with minimum background noise. One more feature inherited from the Gold collection is the set of two detection sensors, one of which recognizes when the headphones are on or off your head (so it plays/pauses music when put on or taken off) while the other, the so-called bone-conduction sensor, detects voice vibrations to distinguish when you’re speaking to up noise cancellation during phone calls.

However, unlike the previous generation, the 2.0 comes with three different listening modes, including the ‘Flight’ mode for up to 18 hours of use with active noise cancellation (just make sure you plug the Zik 2.0 directly into the source device), ‘Eco’ mode for 7 hours of use with noise cancellation and spatial effects (direct link with the audio source), and the ‘Normal’ mode which lets you connect the headset to the audio device via Bluetooth 2.1 for up to 6 hours of playback/calls with noise cancellation and spatial effects.

When used with a phone for calls, the 2.0 uses the innovative text-to-speech feature to read out the caller’s name or dial the person from your phonebook through voice commands. In addition to this, Parrot Zik 2.0 can be paired with a new application (compatible with iOS and Android, i.e. smartphones, tablets and computers) that comes in the shape of a donut-shaped equalizer with a range of spatialization effects and/or a five-band EQ, offering several different music styles and some preset playback options especially tuned up by professional musicians.

Packed in lots of lush leather and brushed aluminum with the total weight of 270 grams, Parrot Zik 2.0 headphones boast a powerful battery which can provide for some 18 hours of continuous playback. Available in six different colors (black, brown, blue, orange, yellow and white), Zik 2.0 is available at Amazon for around 399$

Moto Hint headset by Motorola

If you can’t seem to find the perfect Bluetooth headset and you’ve always had to settle with those nasty wires and ghastly earbud designs, we have just the right thing for you today – recently announced by Motorola, Moto Hint headset comes in the shape of a discreet earbud that can pair with a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone to perform some wireless functions – and thanks to its companion cradle, it can even be charged on the go.

Though it excels when paired with Moto X, Moto Hint is built to work with all Android phones within some 150 feet of wireless range, allowing you to take or place calls, get notifications and send voice commands to your smartphone. Thanks to the integrated IR proximity detectors, Moto Hint switches on as soon as you insert it into your ear and it turns off automatically once removed, re-routing the calls back to the phone.

When paired with Moto X, the Hint can perform the standard Google Search/Now functions and complete an amazing number of tasks (including those linked to Motorola’s API) such as placing/receiving calls, checking out latest sports scores, posting to Facebook, going through messages, retrieving notifications and much more – all completely hands-free, with the help of a neat voice command feature.

With a large majority of smartphones other than the Moto X, this tiny earbud will work as a regular Bluetooth headset with an internal battery that can provide for some 10 hours of talk time or 100 hours of standby time. Plus, there’s one more neat twist – Moto Hint comes with a companion charge case (so small it can even attach to a keychain) which allows you to top up the earplug on the go twice before needing a recharge itself.

Available in a variety of finishes and six different color options, Moto Hint is announced to start shipping sometime this fall so make sure you check it out. If you’re looking to go all wireless, you should never settle with less than the minimalist Moto Hint design.

Wine2Go Foldable Wine Bottle

Although we have featured quite a few flasks and bottles over the course of the last few months, none of them were actually perfectly suitable for wine. Wine2Go has a solution for seasoned wine drinkers who like to enjoy wine wherever they may be – camping, hiking, picnics, concerts, movie dates, kicking it on the beach or any place where bringing glass bottles might not be allowed or is simply impractical. We are talking about Foldable Wine Bottle, a reusable, flexible, BPA-free bottle that you can use just about anywhere.

Wine2Go Foldable Wine Bottle has a wide, easy fill mouth and holds an entire bottle of wine. Once you are done drinking, you just roll it up and you are good to go. As far as cleaning goes, you just need to rinse it with warm water and let it drip dry. It is as simple as that. The flask is very well-made.

It is durable, practical and does the job perfectly. It is also a money saver. Imagine how much money you would spend on bar tab at, let’s say, festivals and concerts where drinks are notoriously overpriced.

Another interesting feature of Foldable Wine Bottle is that it has zero taste transfer so you can use it for wine first and, once you are done drinking, rinse it out and put beer in it knowing that the two tastes will not mix.

This is probably the most convenient and most elegant way to drink in public. Filling the bottle is rather easy – just unscrew the cap on the top and pour in the wine. A piece of advice – it is important that you remove surplus air from the flask after you fill it up with a drink. You do this by gently reattaching the cap and squeezing the bottle to release the excess air. This will prevent premature spoilage.

Get it from Amazon here: Wine2Go

Slackline Festival - Monte Piana

When you hear the word festival what mental image do you have? People dancing to music, drinks flowing, noise coming from all directions, fun, entertainment… Well, you might broaden that definition when you find out about Slackline Festival which is probably one of the chilliest, yet most dangerous and terrifying gatherings in the world.

Also known as the International Highline Meeting Festival, it takes place across the Italian Alps, just above Monte Piana. The festival participants actually spend most of their time suspended over the mountain while sitting or lying in their hammocks which are strung up on tightropes. Of course, they engage in tightrope walking too. They call themselves ‘slackers’ because of the slack lines they balance themselves on.

Slackline Festival comes under extreme sport category but it differs from tightrope walking since the rope which ‘the slackers’ use is slightly flatter than tightrope and it can move side to side or even bounce. By the way, the festival founders did not choose Monte Piana as the festival location for no apparent reason. This is one of the most beautiful sites in the Italian Alps with a 360-degree-view of the neighbouring mountains (Auronzo di Cadore, Cortina d’Ampezzo and “Sextner Dolomiten”) and Misurina Lake below. The founders say that they “discovered this mountain as a perfect place for high lining and wanted to stimulate this historic place in a different and new way. This is where, during the Second World War, soldiers of our age killed each other and sorrow, hate, and fear dictated their daily life.”

Apart from spending a good portion of their time (days and, believe it or not, nights) in the hammocks suspended above the Alps, Slackline Festival does bear certain resemblance to the ‘ordinary’ ones. The festival goers can use the provided kitchen and the bar, and there are great musical jam sessions. Additionally, there is a Yoga workshop and tandem paraglider flights.

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