Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

The Wrap – Xbox, Laser Projectors, and Sound

From bringing entertainment to your own personal big screen to making entertainment more enjoyable in earphones, this week is all about entertainment tech. Find out what’s happening in just five minutes.

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It’s the middle of September 2020, and you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology round up, and while last week saw plenty of computers from the virtual mid-year tech show that was IFA last week, this week, the focus has largely turned to entertainment. Specifically, how will you be entertained with technology in the coming months.

Even though we’re all mostly inside at the moment, staying entertained is still a big deal, because there need to be ways to do that beyond switching on the TV. That is clearly one of the ways you can, and these days, it’s even a way to bring the magic of cinema home, as companies like Disney try out a model that let you watch cinema releases at home, now that fewer people are attending the theatre from the coronavirus.

If you are looking to replicate that big screen experience, you’ll see more projectors coming to market, as the world of the big screen comes home properly. There were two of those this this week, as Epson threw its hand in with a short throw laser projector, 4K cinema projectors from Sony focused on folks with big pockets and a need for high res imagery.

Epson’s actually looks very interesting, that said, and delivers 4K at up to 130 inches for below $6K, provided you’re happy with the wall, or under seven if you want the screen. Laser short throws are cool because unlike a regular projector, they don’t need the distance, and can push up against a wall, using laser light to shine a super bright image. It’s becoming a big area for projectors, because the less distance you need, the easier it is for folks at home.

And folks at home easily have options, watching their films and playing their games.

This year, there’ll be more of that, too. We’ve been hinting at it nearly every week, but now, Microsoft has pricing for its new Xbox, and there’s an extra next model coming. What is basically the next generation of Microsoft’s Xbox — the Xbox Series X — will cost $749 in Australia, and it will arrive alongside the Xbox Series S, a sort of low-cost model Xbox with reduced power for less of that 8K-ready approach. It’ll be powerful, just not as powerful, and totally digital for $499.

Another way to get stuck into entertainment is with sound, and while we’re all very much at home these days, or more than we used to, throwing in a pair of earphones or turning up a speaker is just as important. You want to block out the world and get stuck into your work or shows? We get it.

And so do manufacturers, with lots of movement there this week.

Take LG, which added a couple of very UE-Boom like speakers to its lineup this week, working with the UK’s Meridian to turn out an even similarly named XBoom range of speakers. Cylindrical speakers aren’t new, and LG’s look very similar, so here’s hoping they’re different.

We’re also hoping Oppo’s take on earphones are a little more creative than yet more AirPods clones, with three wireless and cordless earphones coming to Australia, launching alongside Oppo’s Google Wear OS smartwatch, the aptly named Oppo Watch.

Bose also has new wireless in earphones on the way, now with noise cancellation in the QuietComfort Earbuds, while it’s also changing one of its more unique concepts, the Bose Frames. If you’ve never heard of these, they’re one of last year’s more surprising gadgets, with a pair of sunglasses offering great sound so you don’t have to wear earphones. This year, they’ll support your prescription lenses, which is very needed and was missing last year.

As for how you’ll listen on these gadgets, you probably have a phone. If you’re using Android, there’s a new version of that out this week, as Android 11 goes final.

And possibly one of its cooler features is about sound, allowing you to play music from your headphones back to a speaker inside your home when you come home. Think of it as if you’re jamming to your favourite track on the way home, only to want to keep the party going on your home speakers. This will do that.

It’s one of many features in Android 11, and it’s rolling out to phones from now. First on Google Pixels, but coming to Oppo and Realme next, plus the other big ones, Samsung, LG, Motorola, and so on, in the near future.

And very much in the near future will be some new stuff from Apple.

Yes, it’s about that time of year. When September rolls around, it’s usually a sign that new iPhones can’t be too far behind.

Next week, you can expect a reasonable amount of Apple news, on top of everything else. Apple’s invite to journos says “Time flies”, which makes us think it’ll have more to do with the Apple Watch than the iPhone, though rumours suggest any number of devices could be launched, including a new iPad, a new HomePod, up to four new iPhones, and maybe even a Mac.

To put it simply, if you’re thinking of buying one of those in the next week, you might want to hold off, because it’s not far away at all.

For this week, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and we’ll be back next week for more techn in five. Until then, have a great one. Stay safe, stay sane, and take care.

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