Shovel Knight was supposed to come out next week — the operative phrase there being “supposed to”. However SK’s developer, Yacht Club Games, announced on Friday that the retail release for the game’s 3DS, Wii U, PS4, and PC (Europe-only) versions will be delayed by two weeks until October 30th in Europe and November 4th in North America.
Also, if you were hoping to play using physical media on your XBone, you’re going to be extra pissed because the XBox One version has been nixed outright. “We really gave it our best effort, but unfortunately, because of publishing policies on that platform that are totally beyond our control, we couldn’t make it happen,” Yacht Club Games wrote in a recent blog post. “We’re very sorry…we know there is a lot of interest – the pre-orders were really good and we thank everyone for their support!” The digital version for XBox One is still available from the Microsoft Marketplace.
Furthermore, the Vita version has also been delayed until some time in 2016. Also, the price of the boxed games will be more expensive than previously quoted, increasing from $20 to $25 retail. This move is reportedly to prevent the games from being immediately dumped into the nearest $20-and-under bargain bin. On the plus side, each retail box will include a free download code for the game’s soundtrack.
Source: Yacht Club Games
By Lauren Dragan
If I wanted to spend $150 or less on a pair of over-ear headphones, the Sony MDR-7506, for the third year running, is the model I’d buy. After we researched all of the over-ears in this price range that are currently available (around 110 units in total), read countless professional and user reviews, and conducted three separate listening panels of audio professionals, the Sony MDR-7506 emerged as the clear winner.
Who should buy this
Over-ear headphones in this price range are made for people seeking a first serious pair to immerse themselves in the listening experience. They should offer a clear, balanced sound that accurately represents what the recording artist (be it musician, movie composer, or game sound designer) intended. Closed-back headphones in this price range, which are what we focused on in this guide, should also seal in the listening material and shut out ambient noise.
These are great headphones for students, office workers looking to block distractions, musicians, DJs, or anyone who wants the best sound possible at a reasonable “entry-level” price.
If you need help deciding on the best headphones for your intended use, check out our Which Headphones Should I Get? guide for decision-making assistance.
How we chose what to test
We listened to headphones using iPhones, iPods, iPads, Androids, and a receiver.
First, I read lots of reviews, including those from CNET, InnerFidelity, Sound & Vision, What Hi-Fi, enthusiast forum sites, user reviews on Amazon and Crutchfield, and more. I also hold a bachelor’s in both music performance and audio production from Ithaca College, and I spent several years in terrestrial radio before moving on to become a professional voice actor in Los Angeles. Additionally, I’ve been in charge of the headphones section at The Wirecutter for over two years, which has given me the opportunity to listen to and test hundreds and hundreds of headphones.
After our research, we brought in all of the top and newest headphones priced from $70 to $190 so that our testing panel could hear them all back-to-back. In total, we’ve tested over 110 pairs, including 15 in our most recent update. Our four-listener panel has decades of experience with sound and headphones, as well as various sonic preferences, head shapes, and ear shapes, so you can be sure that if we all like something, it’s pretty darn fantastic. For a full explanation of our testing methods, check out the full article.
Every audio professional we interviewed spoke highly of the Sony MDR-7506.
The Sony MDR-7506 has been our top pick three times in a row for a number of reasons. To start, this model has great reviews. CNET and Head-Fi users gush over it, and so do Amazon users, who currently give it 4 out of five stars with well over 2,000 reviews. Every audio professional I interviewed spoke highly of the MDR-7506.
The MDR-7506 headphones sound fantastic and remain very comfortable, and every one of our panelists ranked this pair as the top choice. The design has been around forever, and these headphones last forever. They have great build quality, replaceable earcups, and a one-year warranty on parts. Some reviewers on Head-Fi and Amazon claim to have pairs over 10 years old and going strong. Finally (and perhaps most important), they’re an incredible value: While they have an MSRP of $130, they typically sell on Amazon for about $90. You can feel very confident in your purchase.
Although we love just about everything about the Sony MDR-7506, we wish the cable were removable and replaceable. Being able to swap it out for a shorter cord with a remote and a mic for mobile-device usage would be nice. And let’s be honest: The MDR-7506 won’t win any beauty contests. That said, many headphones that look twice as fancy also cost twice as much and sound half as good as the MDR-7506.
The Audio Technica ATH-M40x headphones are pretty well balanced for their $100 price tag.
Second place goes to Audio-Technica’s ATH-M40x. We liked this set better than its more expensive sibling, the M50x. The 40x pair offers a dynamic, clear sound as well as a light feel and comfortable fit. The cords are removable and replaceable, too. And although this model has an MSRP of $140, it currently retails on Amazon for about $100. People who listen to a lot of rock, electronic music, hip-hop, and pop might really enjoy the top- and bottom-boosted sound. However, we liked the Sony pair’s more neutral sound profile better.
Our other options
15 of the 110 pairs of headphones that we’ve tested in total.
Third place went to the $200 Onkyo ES-CTI300, which has a lot to offer, including an inline three-button Apple-compatible remote and microphone. Our panelists were mixed in how much they liked the slightly non-neutral sound, and the fit isn’t fantastic. Definitely try these headphones before you buy, if possible. If you’re on a budget, we recommend the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x, which is a pretty good buy for $70 on Amazon. On the other hand, our upgrade pick is the $400 OPPO PM-3, which is our favorite set of headphones priced less than $1,000.
Wrapping it up
If you’re looking for an introduction to studio-level audio and you want to get it without breaking the bank, Sony’s MDR-7506 is your best bet. Terrific reviews, great sound, an impressive track record, and a nice price—no wonder this pair reigns as our three-time champion. You can’t go wrong.
This guide may have been updated by The Wirecutter. To see the current recommendation, please go here.
It’s no secret that Sony’s mobile division has struggled worldwide. The company just can’t gain traction in any market despite being a well-known brand in other industries. In fact, Sony barely gives any attention to the United States, recently canceling plans to launch the Xperia Z4v with Verizon. The only thing that seems to help Sony’s mobile division is the development of image sensors. Sony actually purchased SoftKinetic Systems in an effort to bolster this business. But image sensors may not be enough to keep Sony-made devices from disappearing. A report this week claimed what we heard months ago: Sony’s mobile division could be on the market.
Sony, though, has apparently refuted the newest report that its mobile division is going to be sold.
Multiple media outlets in China are saying that Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai is committed to making the company’s mobile division work. Sony allegedly believes that distributing content on handsets after the time of purchase is a savory opportunity that can generate revenue. But Sony has basically been doing that for years, giving Xperia device owners access to content from Sony Pictures.
We would like to remind you to take this information with a grain of salt as any official statements from Sony have not been identified. So these media outlets in China, which is not even where Sony’s headquarters is located, might be fabricating reports.
Come comment on this article: Sony denies report that its mobile division is on the market
PlayStation Now still hasn’t managed to shake its open beta label in the UK, but today it’s moved into what could be its final phase, with Sony adding a new subscription payment option for its game streaming service. Previously, early adopters were only able to rent titles for two- or 30-day periods at a cost of between £3 and £10, depending on the game. As of now, though, you can sign-up to an all-you-can-play subscription for £13 per month, which could be right up your street should you have an appetite to explore the whole library. The subscription model was an inevitable addition that’s been available since the start of the year in the US, where you can also make a longer-term commitment to get a slightly discounted rate. Now that the subscription model has come to the UK, interested users can also opt-in to a seven-day free trial to see what all the fuss is about, provided they own a PS3, PS4 or compatible Sony Bravia TV or Blu-ray player.
Sony has just updated its TrackID application to build number 4.3.B.1.3 in the Play Store. This upgrade brings a plethora of new functionality to the service, including the ability to re-write the history module and search the Internet for lyrics. There are also a multitude of bug fixes and stability improvements baked into the update, too.
To install the upgrade, simply open up the Play Store, toggle the hamburger menu by swiping in from the left-hand side of the screen, select ‘My Apps’ and click on ‘TrackID’, then hit the update button. Alternatively, you can hit the link below to initiate the download on your smartphone from the Web.
Come comment on this article: Sony updates TrackID with new lyric search functionality
Sony America announced on Thursday that the wait for its PS4 universal remote is nearly over. The much-anticipated accessory is set to go on sale for $30 “later this month,” according to a company post. The remote will serve to replace the DualShock controller for non-gaming applications. It will communicate via a Bluetooth connection and be able to control up to three additional AV devices. What’s more, it will also be compatible with a number of existing streaming apps including Crunchyroll, HBO Go, Netflix (obvs), Twitch and YouTube. If you can’t wait to purchase it in person when it actually hits store shelves, Amazon, Best Buy, Gamestop and Toys R Us all have it available for pre-order.
Source: Sony Playstation Blog
PlayStation doesn’t have an official mascot character, but if it did, developer Naughty Dog’s Nathan Drake would probably fit the bill. Much like Microsoft did last year with Halo: The Master Chief Collection to get fans ready for Halo 5: Guardians on Xbox One, Sony’s gone back and revamped the three main Uncharted games and put them into Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection to prep folks for next spring’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End on PlayStation 4. How do the eight, six and four year old games hold up? And was the remastering really necessary? Tune in on this post, Twitch.tv/joystiq (if you’d like to join us in chat) or the Engadget Gaming homepage at 6pm Eastern / 3pm Pacific as myself and Sean Buckley find out.
http://www.twitch.tv/joystiq/embedWatch live video from Joystiq on www.twitch.tv
[We’re streaming Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection at 720p through OBS, so rest assured it’s going to look dramatically better on your PS4 at home.]
Sony may be considering the future of its mobile division, according the latest reports, but it’s image sensor business is a rising star, generating much-needed profits. It’s doing so well, that its even helping to cover Sony’s losses in its mobile and television divisions. It should come as no surprise then that the Japanese company is bolstering its image sensor business with the purchase of Belgian image sensor technology company, Softkinetic Systems.
Buying Softkinetic Systems will allow Sony to tap into the company’s ‘time of flight‘ technology, which measures the time it takes for light to bounce off an object before returning to the image sensor. Think of it as something akin to the Xbox Kinect system and you won’t be far off, in that it distinguishes human shapes and movements.
The news comes after Sony most recently announced an Android 6.0 beta test for Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact owners, a list of devices slated to receive the Marshmallow update and the Xperia Z5 range of smartphones.
Come comment on this article: Sony bolsters its growing image sensor business by acquiring Softkinetic Systems
Sony has purchased SoftKinetic, a Belgian startup that’s most famous for creating image sensors that can digitally capture objects in 3D. The firm specializes in time of flight, a camera technology that you’ll be familiar with if you’ve ever used the Xbox’s Kinect camera. If you’ve got long memory, you’ll recall that SoftKinetic provided the necessary technology to make Just Dance work on the PlayStation, as well as 3D scanners for MakerBot. Now, it’s going to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate, giving the firm a useful knowledge boost in an area that’s growing increasingly important. After all, since Sony is developing PlayStation VR, smart glasses and produces the camera sensors for much of the mobile industry, that know-how is likely to be in plenty of products in the not-too-distant future.
I definitely say dunking your hand into the toilet to retrieve a smartphone is a much more exciting feat, but I guess getting some help from a dolphin is pretty cool too! This is exactly what happened to Miami Heat cheerleader Teressa Cee.
After taking a trip to the Bahamas to “swim & shake” with dolphins, Cee’s phone managed to end up deep inside the dolphins’ residence (inside the water). The trainer then asked the dolphin to retrieve it, a request to which Cacique (the dolphin) was happy to oblige.
Truly, it’s fascinating to see, but a geek will do much more than just witness the beauty that these creatures are. Did you notice that was an iPhone? It surely didn’t survive the few seconds underwater! Even Teressa said: “Oh my god! So cute… thanks! It’s never gonna work again, but thanks!”.
Sure enough, the phone seems to have been deemed unusable, something that wouldn’t be the case if she had one of those awesome waterproof phones we find more often in the Android side of things. Someone has to go tell this girl about them Sony Xperia smartphones! Especially if she will continue playing around in the water. And seeing that these are Miami Heat cheerleaders we are talking about, this is very likely.
Here are some devices that are waterproof:
- Sony Xperia Z5
- Sony Xperia Z4
- Sony Xperia Z3+
- Kyocera Hydro Elite
- HTC Desire Eye
- Samsung Galaxy S5
- Samsung Galaxy S6 Active
And just in case you are curious, here is a video of everything that went on during this trip to the Bahamas!