Sound One SP-6 Review

Sound One SP-6 Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The SP-6 are rated IPX4 for sweat and moisture resistance
  • Sporty looks aside, the build and sonic signature is pretty average
  • The Sound One SP-6 retail for Rs. 1,999

Sound One, a Hong Kong-based company, recently launched a pair of budget wireless earphones called the SP-6. Although, it isn’t a household name in India YET, the company has been selling budget headphones and speakers for a while now through online channels.

The SP-6 is designed for active use, which would typically include gyming, running, or any sort of sports activity. At Rs. 1,999, they are quite affordable too as far as Bluetooth earphones go but are they really worth it? Let’s find out.

Sound One SP-6 design and features

The packaging of the SP-6 is very interesting as it resembles a hip-flask, it’s just a bit taller and without a nozzle on the top. The compartment that houses the earphone slides out from the top, which also has several different ear tips and a Micro-USB cable for charging.

SoundOne SP 6   ndtv (2) sound one sp-6

You get four sets of ear tips of which three sets are single flange in different sizes while the fourth is a bi-flange ear tip. The earphones are built entirely of plastic and have a sporty look, which seems appealing. However, upon closer inspection we felt that the build quality as well as the fit and finish could’ve been better. The rubberised cable connecting both the earbuds feels durable, however after using it for a few weeks, the cable that connects to the left earphone got a bit loose on our unit.

The earbuds are designed to slip into your ear canal when you wear them and to help it secure it in place; you get an oversized wing tip which slides outwards so you can adjust it according to the shape of your ear. The right earbud has three buttons for controlling your music, along with a Micro-USB port, a microphone, and a multi-coloured LED to assist when pairing the phone.

In terms of specifications, the Sound One SP-6 supports Bluetooth 4.1, a theoretical range of 10 meters and promises up to 6 hours of battery life. According to Sound One, the earbuds are sweat resistant too and are IPX4 rated. However, earphones that can supposedly withstand splashes of water and rain, the rubber cover for the Micro-USB port is extremely flimsy and doesn’t like it would last too long. The company also hasn’t mentioned any details about the size of the drivers or the supported frequency range.

SoundOne SP 6   ndtv (4) sound one sp-6

Sound One SP-6 performance and battery life

At first, It can be tricky to get a comfortable fit with the Sound One SP-6, but once you have the wing tip adjusted to the right level, the fit is pretty snug. They don’t move about even when you run, which is good. We didn’t like the texture of the rubber cable as it tends to stick to the skin on your neck, which in return tugs on the earbuds when you turn your head. The effect is worse when you’re sweating, and it can be very annoying.

To avoid this, Sound One has provided a rubber loop attached to the chord which lets you secure it closer to the back of your head, so it doesn’t dangle on your neck. The media control buttons feel a bit fiddly but the tactile response is decent and it’s easy to reach with your fingers when you’re on the move. The buttons that let you skip or go to the previous track can also be used to adjust the volume if you long press them.

SoundOne SP 6   ndtv (3) sound one sp-6

We tested the SP-6 primarily with a HTC 10, among other devices. The pairing process is pretty straight forward as you hold down the power button till the LED flashes red and blue. The earphones also have a voice prompt that tells you when they are powered on or off, when it’s connected to a device, or when the battery is running low. When streaming audio, we noticed the right side was always a bit louder than the left which made music sound a bit off-balance. At first we figured it was due to an improper seal from the ear tips but after trying all of them, we couldn’t seem to fix it.

Audio quality from the drivers is strictly average with the bass getting boomy even at moderate volumes. This is very noticeable in Zero 7’s Red Blue and Green, where the bass envelopes the finer nuances in the song. In vocal tracks like Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb, instrument separation isn’t very distinct and the overall sound stage is closed off. Mid-range frequencies feel flat and treble is often swallowed up by the other notes. Upbeat tracks like Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra sound a bit better but the frequencies still lack good definition, which makes for a very dull sonic signature.

SoundOne SP 6   ndtv (6) sound one sp-6

We also tested the SP-6 with videos streamed from Amazon Prime Video and YouTube. Audio quality is decent but the lower frequencies often overpower the rest and due to the lack of good instrument separation. Action sequences in movies can sound a bit jarring. We also had a poor experience with phone calls through the headset. The voice of the caller would keep cutting in and out and the person on the other end wasn’t able to hear us clearly all the time. Battery life is decent as we managed to get around 5-6 hours of continuous use.

Verdict
The Sound One SP-6 might be inexpensive but this comes at the cost of audio quality and the build. The funky design looks good and they fit snugly in your ears, but the fit and finish of the plastics is quite average. We also didn’t like the volume imbalance between the two earbuds, which gets really annoying. Audio quality is below average too with the bass often overpowering the other frequencies and overall dull sonic signature.

We feel it’s ok to give this one a miss and put in a bit more money for something like the Brainwavs Blu-200.
Price (MRP): Rs. 1,999

Pros

  • Sporty design
  • Decent battery life

Cons

  • Questionable fit and finish
  • Dull sonic signature with boomy bass
  • Audio level imbalance across earbuds
  • Flimsy protective cover for USB port

Ratings (Out of 5)

  • Design: 3
  • Performance: 2.5
  • Value for money: 2.5
  • Overall: 2.5

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Tags: Sound One SP-6, Sound One SP-6 review, Sound One SP-6 price, Sound One SP-6 price in India, Sound One Sp-6 specifications
[“Source-ndtv”]

LG G6 Confirmed to Come With Improved Quad DAC to Better Sound Quality

LG G6 Confirmed to Come With Improved Quad DAC to Better Sound Quality

Photo Credit: The Verge
HIGHLIGHTS
LG G6 to feature 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC
LG V20 was the first phone featuring QDAC feature
LG G6 to be unveiled at the company’s event later this month
LG has teased yet another feature of the G6 flagship smartphone ahead of its launch later this month. The South Korean company has confirmed that the LG G6 smartphone will sport a 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC (digital to analogue converter) for enhanced audio playback. To recall, LG V20 was the company’s first smartphone to come with Quad DAC feature, and the G6 will sport an improved version.

The LG G6 with Quad DAC means it will come with support for FLAC, DID, DIFF, and ALAC file formats, and will deliver clear sound by reducing distortion and ambient noise by up to 50 percent. Much like the V20, the LG G6 will also come with ESS Technology, which has been developer by a company that specialises in audio products. To recall, a single 32-bit Hi-Fi DAC was also included on the LG V10.

LG claims that the improved Quad DAC on the G6 increases circuit integration and lower the negative distortion to 0.0002 percent as well as minimises the loss of acoustic information. LG further adds that the new Quad DAC in the LG G6 will enable users to effectively control the left and right earphones separately. It will also let users adjust the balance of sound.
The Sourth Korean consumer electronics giant is definitely working to generate interest in the upcoming G6 flagship smartphone, with the company already revealing that the smartphone would launch at a pre-MWC event later this month in Barcelona.

We already know that LG G6 flagship will be getting a headstart compared to the Galaxy S8 availability in the market thanks to the Snapdragon 821 SoC. Based on a flurry of leaks, the LG G6 is widely expected to sport metal design which will be a departure from the company’s current plastic body in the LG G5. LG is also rumoured to run additional safety tests on the G6 ahead of its actual launch. Some of the highlights of the handset are said to be the first non-Pixel smartphone to come preloaded with Google Assistant out-of-the-box; dual-rear camera setup, and waterproofing capability with IP68 certification.

LG’s G6 flagship smartphone will be unveiled at the company’s February 26 event which will begin at 4.30pm IST (12.00pm CET).

Tags: MWC, MWC 2017, LG, LG Mobiles, LG G6, LG G6 Specifications, QDAC

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 Review

Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 ReviewCreative Sound Blaster Roar 2 Review
HIGHLIGHTS
The Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 is priced at Rs. 16,990
It features a metal build and five distinct drivers
Gadgets 360 rates the speaker 4/5
Singapore-based Creative markets a lot of products under its Sound Blaster brand, including its current range of wireless speakers such as the Creative Sound Blaster FRee. Last year, we were introduced to the Creative Sound Blaster Roar, which managed to impress us despite its high price.

Today, we’re reviewing its successor, the Rs. 16,999 Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2. This new speaker changes a few things around, but still retains the premium feel that made the first Roar so good. It directly takes on some established favourites in the market, such as the Bose SoundTouch 10 and Ultimate Ears Boom 2. We go into the details and find out everything there is to know in our review.

creative_sound_blaster_roar_2_main_ndtv2.jpg
Design and specifications
The Sound Blaster Roar 2 doesn’t look very different from the first Roar, sticking to the clean design and metal build that we quite liked. The general shape remains the same, with the speaker firing upwards in the normal listening position. The biggest change is the two woofers at the sides, which pulsate and reverberate heavily while driving the low-end audio. It’s also 20 percent smaller than the first Roar and a bit lighter as well, and we love the sophisticated, premium feel of this speaker. Despite feeling solid, it’s still light enough to store and take along with you on trips.

The button layout at the top has been shifted slightly from the right of the top to the left, while the ‘Roar’ mode button has been moved to the back. There’s also a three-LED indicator for battery level, as well as the NFC chip at the top. The buttons feel a bit better as well, and are easier to use. The three main drivers are top-firing in the standard position, but you can also place the speaker upright to make it front-firing. There are two amplifiers within the unit to cover the frequency range, which helps a lot with the openness of the sound.

creative_sound_blaster_roar_2_top_ndtv2.jpg
The back of the Roar 2 has the inputs and many more controls, including a switch for USB audio or mass-storage audio mode, a microSD slot, a Micro-USB port, a USB Type-A port, an auxiliary-in socket, and a DC power port for the charger. Apart from this, there are controls for the voice recorder (which works if you insert a microSD card for the recordings to be stored on) and the built-in media player as well. There’s also a microphone for hands-free use, but performance is a bit weak on calls.

The Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 has a 6000mAh battery and can be used as a power bank to charge other devices using the USB Type-A port. Battery life when using the speaker itself is a bit weak at just about 7-8 hours on a full charge. This is expected to some extent when you consider that there are five drivers and two amplifiers to power. On the whole, the Roar 2 is a well-built, feature-filled speaker with a lot of power on offer.

creative_sound_blaster_roar_2_logo_ndtv2.jpg
Performance
We used a OnePlus 3 (Review) paired over Bluetooth for most of our listening while reviewing the Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2. We also used an auxiliary cable and a microSD card for listening on occasion. Sound performance is fairly uniform across modes, with very little reduction in quality when using Bluetooth.

We started with Hot 8 Brass Band’s simple yet satisfying version of Sexual Healing. As the track started off with its trombone riff, we could see the woofers really flex and pulsate heavily, creating reverberations at the low end. The bass is not what we’d traditionally call tight, but certainly feels strong and aggressive, even when the light vocals kick in. Sound is clean through the frequency range, and remains capable even with the volume turned up. At the highest volume levels, there’s surprisingly little distortion to be heard, and the speaker manages to fill even a medium-sized room with sound.
creative_sound_blaster_roar_2_back_ndtv2.jpg
Moving on to Flo Rida’s I Cry, the thump in the bass can finally be felt. The sub-bass is particularly good for a wireless speaker, considering that units such as this often tend to be poor with the lowest audible frequencies. However, it’s notable that the speaker doesn’t obviously favour bass and the low-end despite its ‘Roar’ branding. Highs and mids sound as good, and although there is a sensitivity spike in the low-end, it doesn’t drown out the rest of the frequency range.

We also tried the ‘Roar’ and Terra Bass modes, which serve to slightly amplify the sound without maintaining any sense of detail or fidelity. We could barely tell the difference between the two modes, and indeed left both of them switched off for most of our time with the device.

Finally we listened to an uncompressed, operatic version of Walking On The Moon by Sting. We immediately noticed excellent sound imaging, no doubt helped along by the fact that the speaker has five distinct channels that open up the sound considerably. Instrumental and slow tracks such as this don’t have quite as much impact as more exciting tracks, but the sound is not bad by any means. It’s also quite clear that detail is helped by the use of high-resolution audio files, while compressed ones don’t sound as clean. The reverberating sound and strong bass tend to define the sonic signature of the speaker, with a striking sound that can often be felt more than heard.

creative_sound_blaster_roar_2_withroar1_ndtv.jpg
Verdict
The Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 costs a lot of money, but it feels like great value. It’s well-built, looks good and is filled with features that make it versatile and easy to use. Above all it’s got good sound, with a clean sonic signature that’s open, exciting and punchy. The slight favour towards bass will no doubt satisfy most listeners as well.

Although battery life is a bit weak, the speaker more than makes up for this in all other ways, and is loud enough to fill up a medium-sized room with ease. While it doesn’t have the waterproofing and rugged usability of the Ultimate Ears Boom 2, it’s great for home use. The Sound Blaster Roar 2 is definitely worth an audition if you’re shopping for premium Bluetooth speakers.

Price (MRP): Rs. 16,990

Pros

Great looks and build
In-built music player
Five separate drivers provide a loud, open sound
Punchy, aggressive bass, decent mids and highs
Lots of connectivity options
Can be used as a power bank
Cons
Average battery life
Roar mode doesn’t improve sound
Lacking in excitement and impact with slow tracks
Not great as a hands-free device

Ratings (Out of 5)
Design: 4.5
Performance: 4
Value for money: 3.5
Overall: 4
Tags: Audio, Bluetooth, Creative, Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 Design, Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 Feel, Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 Performance, Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 Price, Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 Price in India, Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 Sound, Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2. Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 Review, Music, Roar 2, Sound, Sound Blaster, Speaker, Wireless

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 Review

Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 is priced at Rs. 16,990
  • It features a metal build and five distinct drivers
  • Gadgets 360 rates the speaker 4/5

Singapore-based Creative markets a lot of products under its Sound Blaster brand, including its current range of wireless speakers such as the Creative Sound Blaster FRee. Last year, we were introduced to the Creative Sound Blaster Roar, which managed to impress us despite its high price.

Today, we’re reviewing its successor, the Rs. 16,999 Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2. This new speaker changes a few things around, but still retains the premium feel that made the first Roar so good. It directly takes on some established favourites in the market, such as the Bose SoundTouch 10 and Ultimate Ears Boom 2. We go into the details and find out everything there is to know in our review.

creative_sound_blaster_roar_2_main_ndtv2.jpgDesign and specifications
The Sound Blaster Roar 2 doesn’t look very different from the first Roar, sticking to the clean design and metal build that we quite liked. The general shape remains the same, with the speaker firing upwards in the normal listening position. The biggest change is the two woofers at the sides, which pulsate and reverberate heavily while driving the low-end audio. It’s also 20 percent smaller than the first Roar and a bit lighter as well, and we love the sophisticated, premium feel of this speaker. Despite feeling solid, it’s still light enough to store and take along with you on trips.

The button layout at the top has been shifted slightly from the right of the top to the left, while the ‘Roar’ mode button has been moved to the back. There’s also a three-LED indicator for battery level, as well as the NFC chip at the top. The buttons feel a bit better as well, and are easier to use. The three main drivers are top-firing in the standard position, but you can also place the speaker upright to make it front-firing. There are two amplifiers within the unit to cover the frequency range, which helps a lot with the openness of the sound.

creative_sound_blaster_roar_2_top_ndtv2.jpgThe back of the Roar 2 has the inputs and many more controls, including a switch for USB audio or mass-storage audio mode, a microSD slot, a Micro-USB port, a USB Type-A port, an auxiliary-in socket, and a DC power port for the charger. Apart from this, there are controls for the voice recorder (which works if you insert a microSD card for the recordings to be stored on) and the built-in media player as well. There’s also a microphone for hands-free use, but performance is a bit weak on calls.

The Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 has a 6000mAh battery and can be used as a power bank to charge other devices using the USB Type-A port. Battery life when using the speaker itself is a bit weak at just about 7-8 hours on a full charge. This is expected to some extent when you consider that there are five drivers and two amplifiers to power. On the whole, the Roar 2 is a well-built, feature-filled speaker with a lot of power on offer.

creative_sound_blaster_roar_2_logo_ndtv2.jpgPerformance
We used a OnePlus 3 (Review) paired over Bluetooth for most of our listening while reviewing the Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2. We also used an auxiliary cable and a microSD card for listening on occasion. Sound performance is fairly uniform across modes, with very little reduction in quality when using Bluetooth.

We started with Hot 8 Brass Band’s simple yet satisfying version of Sexual Healing. As the track started off with its trombone riff, we could see the woofers really flex and pulsate heavily, creating reverberations at the low end. The bass is not what we’d traditionally call tight, but certainly feels strong and aggressive, even when the light vocals kick in. Sound is clean through the frequency range, and remains capable even with the volume turned up. At the highest volume levels, there’s surprisingly little distortion to be heard, and the speaker manages to fill even a medium-sized room with sound.

creative_sound_blaster_roar_2_back_ndtv2.jpgMoving on to Flo Rida’s I Cry, the thump in the bass can finally be felt. The sub-bass is particularly good for a wireless speaker, considering that units such as this often tend to be poor with the lowest audible frequencies. However, it’s notable that the speaker doesn’t obviously favour bass and the low-end despite its ‘Roar’ branding. Highs and mids sound as good, and although there is a sensitivity spike in the low-end, it doesn’t drown out the rest of the frequency range.

We also tried the ‘Roar’ and Terra Bass modes, which serve to slightly amplify the sound without maintaining any sense of detail or fidelity. We could barely tell the difference between the two modes, and indeed left both of them switched off for most of our time with the device.

Finally we listened to an uncompressed, operatic version of Walking On The Moon by Sting. We immediately noticed excellent sound imaging, no doubt helped along by the fact that the speaker has five distinct channels that open up the sound considerably. Instrumental and slow tracks such as this don’t have quite as much impact as more exciting tracks, but the sound is not bad by any means. It’s also quite clear that detail is helped by the use of high-resolution audio files, while compressed ones don’t sound as clean. The reverberating sound and strong bass tend to define the sonic signature of the speaker, with a striking sound that can often be felt more than heard.

creative_sound_blaster_roar_2_withroar1_ndtv.jpgVerdict
The Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 costs a lot of money, but it feels like great value. It’s well-built, looks good and is filled with features that make it versatile and easy to use. Above all it’s got good sound, with a clean sonic signature that’s open, exciting and punchy. The slight favour towards bass will no doubt satisfy most listeners as well.

Although battery life is a bit weak, the speaker more than makes up for this in all other ways, and is loud enough to fill up a medium-sized room with ease. While it doesn’t have the waterproofing and rugged usability of the Ultimate Ears Boom 2, it’s great for home use. The Sound Blaster Roar 2 is definitely worth an audition if you’re shopping for premium Bluetooth speakers.

Price (MRP): Rs. 16,990

Pros

  • Great looks and build
  • In-built music player
  • Five separate drivers provide a loud, open sound
  • Punchy, aggressive bass, decent mids and highs
  • Lots of connectivity options
  • Can be used as a power bank

Cons

  • Average battery life
  • Roar mode doesn’t improve sound
  • Lacking in excitement and impact with slow tracks
  • Not great as a hands-free device

Ratings (Out of 5)

  • Design: 4.5
  • Performance: 4
  • Value for money: 3.5
  • Overall: 4
Tags: Audio, Bluetooth, Creative, Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 Design, Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 Feel,Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 Performance, Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 Price,Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 Price in India, Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 Sound,Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2. Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 Review, Music, Roar 2, Sound, Sound Blaster, Speaker,Wireless
[“Source-Gadgets”]