The Wrap – August 31, 2018

What’s new in the sound world from Sennheiser, Bang & Olufsen, UE, and Sonos? How is DJI changing drones? And what’s this whole 8K thing being launched at IFA? Get the answers to these questions on this week’s Wrap.

Transcript

For the last week of August 2018, you’re tuned into The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and this week is IFA, what is basically the last major technology show for the year.

It happens in Germany in late August and early September, and generally highlights what’s big and new, and what’s coming not just for the end of the year, but also that of next. Think of it as a preview both for Christmas shopping and CES next year, because in many ways, that’s what it is.

In fact this year’s major announcement at IFA is actually something that feels more skewed for next year, with the announcement of 8K.

“8K?” I hear you asking yourself. “But I just bought 4K. What is this 8K thing?”

Well, 8K is what comes after 4K, doubling the resolution on each side, horizontal and vertical, and increasing the resolution from 8 million pixels to 33 million pixels.

What that means is more detail, and TVs that are potentially clearer. There’s a catch to all of this: you need 8K media to really showcase an 8K TV, and there isn’t really any at the moment.

That may mean 8K TVs right now are more academic, but they will be coming to stores as early as this month, though most next year, with LG and TCL all chiming in with their own variations for release next year, while Samsung was one of the only makers that said it will be ready with four 8K TV sizes next month.

And Samsung was also talked up upscaling, with its soon-to-be-released 8K TVs using artificial intelligence to make the image quality work better with the new resolution. Given that there is practically no 8K media in 2018, that’s a sensible option, and one that won’t be easily fixed in the mean time.

However there’s also another issue, because you shouldn’t expect any 8K TV to be what you’d call inexpensive. We don’t have prices yet, but given that this is more or less cutting edge, you can probably expect some pretty hefty prices.

IFA hasn’t been just about 8K, as big a deal as that is. We’ve also seen more in the way of sound, as Ultimate Ears upgraded its portable speakers from the Boom 2 to the Boom 3 complete with a quote-unquote “magic” button to let you map your favourite playlists to the button for easy loading.

Bang & Olufsen has new wireless sports friendly earphones in the E6, while luxury audio is taken care of in the Beosound Edge, a circular speaker that works out when you’re close to the speaker and then lets you control it simply by rolling the speaker forward or backward in its place.

Sennheiser has finally arrived in the totally cordless and wireless earphone space, rocking up with the Momentum wireless earphones, and giving the likes of Bang, Bose, Apple, Jabra, and Sony something to compete with, and we suspect this is just the beginning. IFA has only just begun, so expect the headphone announcements to really kick in after we’ve finished recording this show.

And Sonos has a new amp that will let you connect high-performance speakers to a Sonos network with a long overdue update to its Amp.

Perhaps most interesting with the Amp is the HDMI ARC connection, which means if you have a proper speaker setup for your home theatre, it can become a Sonos system as well. We liked Sonos’ Beam and Playbar soundbars, but if you fancy a bigger setup, the Amp could very well make it happen.

Like most things IFA, it will be out next year, though a few things are trickling out early.

One of them is a new drone from DJI, and it’s pretty special: it has a Hasselblad camera on-board.

Similar to how Huawei teamed up with Leica and HMD’s Nokia is working with Zeiss, DJI is teaming up with Hasselblad for a better camera in a drone.

That’s coming in the Mavic 2 Pro, a remote control flying vehicle packing a 20 megapixel Blad camera capable of capturing not just in 4K, but through several stops of aperture range, running from F2.8 to F11.

We’re told it’ll fly up to 72 kilometres per hour, making it not slow, and it has some upgraded sensors and processing power to know when it shouldn’t hit obstacles and avoid collisions.

It’s $2300 price tag will put it out of reach of most people, but if you need a drone, this may very well be the one to look for.

And that’s not all that IFA is revealing. For all the goss, check out the Pickr.com.au website where we’re posting as much as we can.

For now, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. The Wrap appears every Friday at Podcast One and Apple Podcasts, and we’ll be back then for more.

Until then, have a great weekend, Dad’s have an awesome Father’s Day, and everyone else have a great time whatever you’re doing. We’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Take care.

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