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

The Wrap – Hear-through Sony’s earbuds and updates aplenty

This week on The Wrap, we’re a little late, but we’re covering updates aplenty across video editing, phones, and even an update to a motorbike helmet: an Australian smart helmet. Plus hear about a limited edition classic and a pair of earbuds you can hear through, all in five.

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It’s the middle of April 2022 and you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and while the week might have felt quiet, stuff has been happening. Oh sure, Elon Musk tried to buy Twitter, but there were also other things.

For instance, if you’re a video editor of sorts, for some reason, this was your week. Adobe announced updates for both Premiere Pro and After Effects, with performance improvements notably if you happen to be using an M1 Mac, while Mac users who might rely on either Final Cut Pro or iMovie – and that includes folks using an iDevice like an iPhone or iPad – also have updates.

The updates to Final Cut Pro are mostly for performance, so if you have one of those recent Apple Silicon Macs, you’ll get some boosts there. Meanwhile, iMovie’s updates might be a little more useful for amateur and enthusiast filmmakers, with what basically amounts to blueprints for filmmaking in Storyboards, a sort of prebuilt shot list for you to make all sorts of videos, while Magic Movie is more about making a movie for you.

If you have an iPhone, you may already find your Photos app does this for you, and Google’s Photos app can as well. We’re kind of at the point where these apps can build a little video without any real effort of your own, though obviously if you’re looking to make something yours, you may want to throw some actual effort in.

Effort comes from all sorts of places, but if you’re a scammer at the moment, there’s real effort on your phones, as we’re seeing heaps of scams lately. Fake voicemail, fake deliveries, and fake messages aplenty, though if you’re on Telstra or one of the Telstra-connected networks, hopefully you’re seeing a bit less.

The big T chimed in recently to announce that its network is seeing a new bit of tech and machine learning to reduce the amount of scam messages coming in, meaning if you used to get five daily, you might see that reduced to one or two weekly.

We’re still seeing a few, but the tech is something being used overseas, and also something hopefully other networks will use, because it just seems like these scams won’t stop, and it may be down to mobile networks to cut them out, even though we should all be doing our part.

Seriously, if you get a message written in garbled English, think before you click on the link, because lately, there’s a good chance that it’s a scam.

What’s not a scam is the assortment of hardware on the horizon, because there is hardware to be seen.

TCL has new phones on the way in Australia in the TCL 30 series, budget and mid-range phones that will miss out on 5G so far, but bundle in big screens and big batteries for between 200 and 400 dollars.

Aussie company Forcite has a new motorbike helmet in the MK1S, featuring a Full HD camera, Harman Kardon audio, and an in-helmet navigation system to give you notifications for navigation, speed traps, mobile cameras, and live traffic. It won’t be for everyone, but folks keen to see a smart motorcycle helmet will find it for 1300 hundred locally.

If you’re a vinyl lover, Technics has a limited edition of its 50 year record player coming out shortly, the SL1200. If that just sounds like a bunch of jargon, if you’ve ever been to a club where a DJ has been spinning vinyl, it’s probably been one of these. 50 years on, the SL1200 is getting a seven-colour limited edition available in 12,000 units, though only 300 will be coming to Australia. Mind you, at around two grand each, they’re the sort of thing that won’t appeal to everyone, and probably the folks who follow vinyl with a passion.

Also in sound, Technics’ owner Panasonic has a weird new speaker on the way, something to wear around your neck. It’s coming in the SoundSlayer – yes, that’s the real name – and it’s a neck mounted speaker system for gamers, basically firing sound up at your ears from four speakers. It may well be one of the craziest sound gadgets we’ve heard about, and you can find it now for 329 dollars in Australia.

And while we’re talking sound gadgets that are a little strange, we’re taking a close look at Sony’s LinkBuds this week, a pair of earbuds designed to let you hear your music, but also the rest of the world.

They’re unique because they actually have a hole in the middle of them, allowing you to hear music, but also through the earphones. They’re also small and light, and easily one of the smallest earbud options we’ve seen, with a rather unique way to control them: you tap the side of your face. Near your ear or at your cheek, and they pick up on vibrations.

The LinkBuds are a unique pair of earphones for sure, and one that provides decent sound, though they do miss a bit of bass, and we found the comfort to be complex. For the first couple of hours, they’re fine, but after that, they can give you a bit of an earache.

If you can get around that, the 250 dollar pair of LinkBuds are an intriguing pair of earphones that can let you have your cake and eat it too, or more specifically, listen to your tunes and everything else.

For now, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. A new episode can be found at Listener, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. For now, have a great week, and we’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Stay safe, stay sane, and take care.

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