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Best Bluetooth headphones 2016: 10 of the best on/over-ears for wireless listening

With companies like Apple and Motorola ditching the 3.5mm headphone socket on their latest flagship smartphones, there’s never been a better time to cut the cord than now.

Sure, you can use Lightning headphones, or whatever gets bundled in the box, but if you have to move on from your old 3.5mm headphones, then embracing Bluetooth means convenience and pretty much universal compatibility with most devices. In many cases, you also get a cable in the box, so if you want to use them wired, you’re free to do so.

Bluetooth has often been seen as an inferior option when it comes to headphones, but with the advent of newer devices and more sophisticated audio processing, there are plenty of Bluetooth headphones that will serve you well when listening on the move or at your desk.

Here’s a run down of some of the best Bluetooth headsets that are available to buy. There’s plenty of variety with these cans, whether you’re looking for on ear or over ear, so browse the gallery and see what your next wireless headphones could offer you.

Click here to browse the best Bluetooth headphones of 2016.


European commission pulls free roaming plan after complaints

The European Commission has pulled down its free roaming plan for European residents, just days after it first posted it. “In light of the initial feedback received, President [Jean-Claude] Juncker has instructed the services to withdraw that text and to work on a new proposal,” the EC said in a statement. Consumer groups had assumed that free roaming in Europe would come with no strings attached, so were surprised to see relatively short, strict limits. “The Commission is setting the bar too low,” consumer group BEUC told Politico.

The EC proposed 90 day limits for free roaming, with no more than 30 days in a row. Critics expecting unlimited usage across the EU were incensed, though, accusing regulators of giving in to telecoms that want to preserve roaming profits. Despite pulling the draft after just four days, the commission called its plan a “major success” and downplayed criticism of the documents. “As we have promised, roaming charges will disappear. Nothing changes there,” it said.

EU couldn’t make it up pt 92: European Commission spokesman says the roaming plan – the one Juncker just pulled – is a ‘major success’

— Danny Kemp (@dannyctkemp) September 9, 2016

The commission says the 90-day limit is necessary to ensure that people don’t buy a cheaper phone plan from a country they don’t live in. The period is based on another Euro rule that requires members to register their residency if they stay somewhere more than 90 days in a year.

The move is obviously a setback to Juncker’s government, which made the free roaming policy a top priority. The commissioner in charge, Andrus Ansip, called it “one of the best achievements of the European Union in the last few weeks.” The commission is determined to introduce the new rules by June 2017, so it’s got just nine months to prepare a plan that works for everyone.

Juncker’s own party, the European People’s Party (EPP) opposed the proposal and took credit for the plan’s withdrawal. “We are fighting for the end of roaming fees for consumers in 2017 and not for solutions with backdoors,” EPP head Manfred Weber told the AFP.

Via: AFP

Source: European Commission


Justin Timberlake’s concert film debuts on Netflix October 12th

As the streaming wars rage on, Amazon, Hulu, Netflix and others continue to add to their libraries. Today, Netflix announced via Twitter that Justin Timberlake’s concert film will debut on the service October 20th. Officially titled Justin Timberlake and The Tennessee Kids, the title is the performance from the Las Vegas stop of the singer’s 20/20 Experience Tour. This only pads Netflix’s music-focused exclusives, following A Very Murray Christmas, Keith Richards: Under the Influence, I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead on Steve Aoki and What Happened, Miss Simmone.

The Hollywood Reporter notes that Netflix nabbed the global streaming rights to the Timberlake concert ahead of its debut at the Toronto Film Festival next week. Another interesting note is that Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme was at the helm for the project. Demme’s credits also include more musical selections like Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense, Kenny Chesney’s Unstaged and Neil Young’s Heart of Gold.

Let the groove get in. Justin Timberlake and the Tennessee Kids arrive on Netflix October 12.

— Netflix US (@netflix) September 9, 2016

Source: Netflix (Twitter)


VW engineer pleads guilty to conspiracy in emissons scandal

Just when you thought Volkswagen’s emissions scandal couldn’t get any worse for the company, it did. James Robert Liang, a veteran Volkswagen AG engineer, pled guilty in federal court on Friday to charges of conspiring to defraud US regulatory agencies and American consumers for his part in the 10-plus year emission cheating scheme.

According to the Justice Department plea deal, Liang and his co-conspirators were tasked with developing the “EA 189” diesel engine for sale in the US. However, they quickly realized that they could not design an engine that could meet the stringent US emissions limits. So instead, they designed and implemented software that would recognize when it the car was being smog tested — versus simply driving around normally — and adjust the vehicle’s emissions accordingly.

Between 2009 and 2016, Liang and his co-conspirators reportedly repeatedly lied about the capabilities of the engines as well as their ability to meet the Clean Air Act statute and concealed the existence of the illicit software from US regulators. The terms of his plea deal have not yet been made public.

Source: Bloomberg


Amazon Prime Now delivers supplies to tailgaters at 49ers games

Amazon’s one-hour Prime Now deliveries were already available to customers in the San Francisco area, but the company is going a step further for football season. The online retailer is teaming up with the San Francisco 49ers to deliver supplies to tailgaters at Levi’s Stadium during this year’s slate of NFL games. This will certainly come in handy when fans run out of game-day essentials and can’t easily drive out of the lot to go on a grocery run.

Ordering is pretty straightforward, you just have to enter the venue’s zip code to access a list of available items. At checkout, enter the address for Levi’s Stadium and be sure to include which parking lot you’re in and the nearest parking flag number. Prime Now is only available in three parking lots — Red Lot 1, Green Lot 1, and Blue Lot 1 — but the 49ers say that’s where most of the tailgaters set up. Amazon’s quick delivery service is available in the Bay Area from 8 AM until midnight and two-hour delivery is free. If you need something in an hour, you’ll have to pay an extra $8.

Source: San Francisco 49ers


A first look at Canon’s EOS 5D Mark IV

The long-awaited EOS 5D Mark IV is getting ready to hit retailers later this month. And, as expected, it is a worthy successor to one of Canon’s most popular DSLRs, the 5D Mark III. At least based on specs. It features a massive 30.4-megapixel CMOS sensor, a Digic 6+ processor and, perhaps most importantly, 4K video at 23.98, 24, 25 and 30 fps. Additionally, the 5D Mark IV comes with a 61-point autofocus system, an ISO range of 100-32,000 a built-in digital lens optimizer, NFC and WiFi. We had the chance to check it out for the first time at an event in New York City and, not surprisingly, it looks nearly identical to its predecessor.

Of course, the major changes here are on the inside. Along with what we mentioned above, the camera also sports Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF, which lets you track moving subjects accurately when you’re shooting video. When you hold it in your hand, it feels just like a Mark III, although the new body is 60 grams lighter. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to shoot sample images with it, but we’ll have a chance to do so in the near future. (The lenses pictured above were pre-production units, so Canon said it wouldn’t feel comfortable with the results.)

All in all, though, the EOS Mark IV promises to be a juggernaut for professional photographers and videographers alike. In case you forgot, it’s set to cost $3,500 body-only, though there will be a couple of kits available on release date. We’ll let you know as soon as Canon reveals when its DSLR arrives in stores.


GM recalls 4.3 million vehicles worldwide over faulty airbags

General Motors will recall 4.3 million vehicles across the globe because of a software defect in the airbag system that has so far been linked to one death and three injuries, Reuters reports. The bug prevents frontal airbags from deploying in “rare circumstances when a crash is preceded by a specific event impacting vehicle dynamics,” GM tells Reuters.

The recall affects trucks, cars and SUVs in the 2014 – 2017 model years.

This recall does not concern Takata airbags, which have so far been linked to 13 deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide. Takata airbags use a chemical that can degrade over time, especially in warm and humid conditions, and explode in a hail of hot metal shrapnel. More than 24 million vehicles and 28 million Takata airbag systems have been recalled so far, and in May, a report surfaced that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would recall 35 million more.

In July, Reuters reported that GM would have to recall 4.3 million Takata airbag systems at a cost of $550 million for the company. While today’s news appears to be a separate issue, the number of affected vehicles remains the same. GM says today’s recall will not impact its financial results in any large way.

Source: Reuters


The best in-ear headphones around $100

By Lauren Dragan

This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a buyer’s guide to the best technology. Read the full article here.

If we wanted to buy in-ear headphones for under $100, we’d get the Marshall Mode. After researching a few hundred headphones in this price range and testing 54 with our expert audio panel, we’re confident that the Marshall Mode is your best bet in this price range and a serious upgrade from the earbuds that came with your phone. Not only did the headphones fit everyone (many others didn’t), they cost less and sound better than much of their competition. Just be sure to choose the remote option that matches your device when you add them to your cart.

Who should buy this

With a focus on higher build and sound quality than cheap earbuds, the picks in this guide are for someone who loves listening to music on a portable device and wants to improve audio detail and sense of sonic space, but doesn’t want to spend a fortune. Perfect for commuting, the Marshall Mode headphones have a remote and mic to take calls and are compact enough to stuff in a shirt pocket. The sealed in-ear design will help to block out some external noise, too. Please note: These headphones are not sweat-resistant or meant for the gym. If you’re looking for exercise headphones, check out our wired and wireless reviews.

How we chose what to test

We decided that at this price we would test only models that offered a remote and mic, along with improved sound quality. Photo: Lauren Dragan

We researched new headphones released in the time since we did our panel for the previous version of this guide and noted anything we hadn’t yet heard, before weeding out anything without a remote or mic, because—at this price—we felt they should have cellphone capabilities. We then read reviews on CNET, InnerFidelity, What HiFi?, and other sites, to see how the headphones fared. We also scanned the reviews on Amazon to see if any large-scale manufacturing defects had cropped up and called in the ones that didn’t have any for testing. That meant 25 new pairs of headphones.

After a super-fun night of burning all 25 pairs in (unbox, plug in, start playlist, set egg timer, repeat), we had our panel to listen to each pair using the panelists’ own playlists. They took notes and ranked their top three. We then factored in price, fit, and build quality.

Our pick

With understated style reminiscent of their amps, Marshall’s Mode headphones rocked our panel with their price-defying sound. Photo: Michael Hession

The Marshall Mode headphones are the best choice if you want an in-ear pair for around $100. All of our panelists love them, and these headphones have a balanced sound profile that can handle any style of music you throw at them. The bass is slightly boosted, but it’s very well represented; there is no bloat or blurriness, even on already bass-forward songs. The highs are clear and don’t have the harsh, piercing quality that so many in this category do.

As for the fit, all of our panelists got a good seal with one of the four included pairs of silicone tips. The earbuds are low-profile and lightweight, and the build quality feels substantial, with a rubberized cord that transfers very little noise.

The single-button remote answers calls, handles music playback functions, and activates voice commands. The microphone is separate from the remote and sits up higher on the cable, closer to your mouth, which we liked as well. The Mode headphones also come in an Android version, so make sure you select the correct option when purchasing.


If you want a universal three-button remote, the 1More headphones are a great-sounding choice with a luxury look. Photo: Michael Hession

Though they didn’t snag first place, the 1More Triple Driver headphones have a lot going for them: a three-button remote/mic that 1More claims will work with Apple and most Android products, a fabric-wrapped cable, rose-gold-tone metal accents, nine sets of tips (six silicone and three memory foam), an airplane audio adapter, and a hard-sided carrying case.

They also sounded great. The mids and lows are balanced and very even-sounding, and acoustic instruments are really well-served. It’s in high frequencies where the Triple Driver pair fell a little short. We felt the highs were peaked in an irregular way that caused consonants on words and cymbal hits to sound tizzy, or harsh. That was enough for the Marshall to eke out a victory.

A big upgrade for a little more money

The Sony XBA-H1 had the best sound quality we’ve heard under $200, with great detail and accuracy, though without a mic or remote.

If you’re looking for a musical experience superior to what you’ll hear in this price range and are willing to spend more money, consider the Sony XBA-H1, our pick for the $200 in-ear headphone category. This Sony pair sounds truly fantastic. No one frequency is overly peaked. The highs are clear and delicate with tremendous detail. The lows are full and pack a punch without muddying up or overpowering anything else. The mids sound authentic and precise. In fact, in our last panel, they beat headphones that cost twice as much. The only catch: They don’t have a remote and mic, so this would be an investment where sound quality is your top priority.

A budget pick

The AKG Y20U has everything you need in budget headphones without cash-wasting “extras” you don’t. Photo: Michael Hession

If you lose your headphones a lot, or aren’t quite ready to commit to this price range, the AKG Y20U headphones are a solid budget option. They’re our pick for best cheap in-ear headphones. Though you’ll lose some of the detail and sonic depth that you’d find in our $100 pick, these AKG headphones are still a great choice for the price. They have a single-button mic and high frequencies that are clear but a bit more mellow than others in their range, though our $100 pick sounds better and is more sturdily built.

This guide may have been updated by The Wirecutter. To see the current recommendation, please go here.


Transferring data between PS4s will soon be a snap

PlayStation 4 is receiving an upgrade in the form of the 4.0 software update, which is bringing a ton of new features along with it.

Among said new features is the ability to transfer data between the multiple systems you’ll probably have in the future when the PlayStation 4 Slim and PlayStation 4 Pro make their debut. It’s as easy as using an Ethernet cable, which makes it seem like far less of a headache than you probably thought.

Sony has detailed the transfer process at the official PlayStation Blog, highlighting it as a way for buyers who make the jump from the base PS4 to the PS4 Pro. You’ll be able to copy all the pertinent data you need, like games, saves, videos, system settings and more utilizing just an Ethernet cord, and it won’t matter what model of PS4 you’re using. It should, in theory, just work.

Right now, the process is far more complicated. You have to back up your entire system to an external hard drive and then move it to the other system you want it to exist on going forward. You could also just log in with your PlayStation Network account and download all of your content again, but either way is a right pain.

There’s no launch date for the software update just yet, but there will be a firmware update coming next week along with the new PlayStation 4 Slim on September 15th. It’s meant to augment current PlayStation 4 systems with high dynamic range (HDR) support.

Via: Polygon

Source: PlayStation Blog


Ford dabbles in shuttles and bike sharing in San Francisco

Not happy with just announcing that it’ll have autonomous car sharing available in five years, the automaker is now adding two more means of transportation for urban areas: bikes and shuttles. In front of San Francisco city hall, CEO Mark Fields announced that the car maker had purchased local shuttle service Chariot and showed off its new fleet of bike share system.

Today’s news is part of Ford’s continuing investment in its Smart Mobility program. The automaker is aggressively expanding beyond just selling cars to consumers in an attempt to stay ahead of the changing transportation landscape. While Fields was mum on what the company paid for Chariot he did say that San Francisco would be getting 7,000 GoBikes and that other Bay Area cities like Berkeley and San Jose would be coming soon.


Ford will be partnering with the Metropolitan Transportation System and bike-sharing company Motivate.

San Francisco Mayor, Ed Lee said, “Transportation is a regional challenges and the solution have to be regional.” He continued, “I am very proud of this partnership with Ford.” While San Jose Mayor, Sam Liccardo announced that there would be GoBikes available in underserved areas at a discounted rate so all citizens can enjoy riding around on two wheels.


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