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

The Wrap – The big Mac & Dyson’s crazy idea

Sometimes expensive tech can be great, and other times a little nuts. On this episode of The Wrap, we’ll look at two high-priced pieces of tech from Apple, and one from Dyson that’s a little crazy. Plus what’s new from Rode, Bose, Sony, and more, all in five.

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It’s the beginning of April 2022 and you’re tuned into The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and with the fourth month of the year here, gadgets are well and truly flowing out. There have even been some crazy gadgets announced in the past week that surprised us, partly because of April Fools Day and all.

One was from Dyson, and was a total surprise, because it looked like the sort of thing Darth Vader might wear, or maybe Batman’s Bane.

Called the Dyson Zone, it’s a crazy combination of noise cancelling headphones and an electric filter mask, filtering air while also playing sound, and it is genuinely crazy. We actually had to check with Dyson to find out whether this was a joke, and it’s not. It’s just a little strange and a touch ugly, grappling your face as if you were a super villain.

We’re normally onboard with most things Dyson comes up with, but the Dyson Zone is something we’re not sure we could wear in public, and given that it will probably cost around a thousand dollars, suspect many will be in the same boat. You could probably do the same sort of thing with an N95 mask and a decent pair of headphones.

Speaking of headphones, Australia has a new headphone maker, as one of its established microphone makers turns its attention to ears. Built for folks who make content, Rode’s NTH-100 are a wired pair of headphones to keep sound sounding the way it should, handy for those making stuff for our eyes and ears.

Because of their long cord, they probably won’t be for walking around, but if you work on audio for yourself or the day job, the NTH-100 could suit.

Rode’s contribution to your ears wasn’t the only one recently. We’ve also heard from Bose, with the launch of a Dolby Atmos soundbar coming in the Smart Soundbar 900, a fourteen hundred dollar speaker for your TV with upward firing speakers and a way to optimise the room sound based on that 3D sound Dolby Atmos soundtracks bring.

Meanwhile, Danish speaker company Soundboks has a slightly smaller take of its giant Bluetooth speaker coming in the “Go”. Weighing nine kilograms, the Soundboks Go isn’t a huge departure from the 15 kilo regular Soundboks speaker, but it is a touch smaller, built to survive the elements and play music for around 80 hours, handy for folks thinking of hitting the park or beach with their tunes for an extended period of time. It’ll cost around a thousand if you’re thinking of grabbing one, though, making for a slightly pricey wireless speaker.

And Amazon has a new speaker, too, though it’s more of a smart display than a speaker. There are speakers in the Echo Show 15, but the emphasis isn’t on the sound, but rather the picture, with a 15.6 inch touchscreen basically providing a central point for photos, news, and information around the home.

Amazon’s big Echo Show is basically just that: a bigger version of Amazon’s smaller Echo Show smart displays, and one you’ll pay for, with the large screen model costing four hundred bucks locally.

Prepare to pay a little more for PlayStation soon if you want games on tap, as well. Sony’s PlayStation Plus looks set to expand around the world, including in Australia, with the regular two games per month coming in the “essential” service, while most costly versions coming later this year in “extra” and “deluxe”, and adding more games to play from its service. While the basic PS Plus account will give you two monthly, “extra” will add up to 400 more, while “deluxe” will add even more, potentially giving you more to explore.

And while we’re talking about paying more, we’re looking at two of Apple’s most expensive gadgets, finishing this show with the reviews of the Apple Mac Studio and the Apple Studio Display, two gadgets built for – if you can read between the lines – the “studio”. As in people who do work in the creative space.

We’ll start with the Studio Display first, because it’s Apple’s 27 inch 5K screen, and can be used with any computer, but is focused on Macs.

It’s not the biggest display we’ve ever seen or used, but it is a nice one, with a sharp 5K resolution and a six-speaker system optimised for Dolby Atmos spatial audio. There’s also a webcam inside, but weirdly there’s no support for HDR, something we’d expect a $2500 monitor to support.

At that price, the omission of HDR is a surprise, but it’s a still a lovely screen made for Mac faithful, and for Apple’s latest computer, which we’re also reviewing, the Mac Studio.

Inside is a heap of power, and the sort of system made for content creators. It’s a meaty system sized to be small, looking a little like a Mac Mini, but a little taller.

We love the Mac Studio, despite its price, but think most people may not need what’s on offer, and should consider carefully before spending big.

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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