A lot happened this week in the gadget-sphere. Apple is finally going to allow customers to repair their iPhones via its new Self Repair Program. Tidal announced its first free and ad-supported streaming tier. And Microsoft surprised Xbox owners by releasing Halo Infinite (just for online multiplayers) nearly a month before it was scheduled. Yep, Master Chief is back (again). And a bunch new products were announced as well. Here's what you need to know.
Meze Audio Liric
The Romanian audio company is best known for hi-fi planar magnetic headphones —which are able to produce a clearer and more expansive soundstage than traditional headphones with dynamic drivers — and this week it announced the Liric, it's first pair of planar magnetic headphones with a closed-back design. The luxury headphones are made of a combination magnesium, leather and aluminum. And, more importantly, their new custom planar magnetic driver was redesigned (shrunk down and tuned) to sound similar to the company's higher-end Empyrean ($2,999) headphones.
Beyerdynamic MMX 100 and MMX 150
Beyerdynamic, one of the biggest names in hi-fi studio headphones, announced two new gaming headsets in its MMX series — and both are surprisingly affordable. First, there's the MMX 100 ($99), which are closed-back wired headphones that are designed to connect to your Xbox or Playstation's controller via a 3.5mm jack. And second, there's the MMX 150 ($149) is a digital USB headset with an integrated sound card and more immersive features for PC gamers.
Both gaming headsets are available now in either black or grey.
Price: $99 — $149
Fender Acoustasonic Player Telecaster
Fender announced a relatively affordable hybrid guitar — an electric guitar that's also able to sound like an acoustic guitar. The all-new Acoustasonic Player Telecaster has a simplified design, with a three-way rather than a five-way voice selector of the company's other hybrid guitars, which is a big reason why it's almost half the price. It's also aimed at more entry-level guitarists.
It's available now in four different finishes: black, blonde, brown or white.
Denon AH-C830NCW and AH-C630W Wireless Earbuds
Denon is a hi-fi audio company that makes every amplifiers to home theater systems, wireless speakers to audiophile-grade speakers. And, as every audio manufacturer seems to be doing these day, it's finally getting into the wireless earbuds market. Its first two wireless earbuds, the AH-C830NCW ($159) and AH-C630W ($99), share a similar stem-design of AirPods, but promise to bring high-end sound at an affordable price. The most expensive of the two new models adds slightly improved sound and active noise-cancellation.
Price: $99 — $159
Popsockets Popmount Car for MagSafe
Popsockets announced a new MagSafe-compatible car mount that sticks to your car's air vent and magnetically holds your iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 (either horizontally or vertically) in place while you drive. The kicker is that it's designed to work with the company's existing PopGrip for MagSafe ($30) and solves the problem of having to take off your Popsockets grip every time you want to go somewhere in the car and use your iPhone for navigation.
Fujifilm Instax Mini Evo
Fujifilm's newest instant film camera, the Instax Mini Evo, is different from the rest. It works more like a digital camera. It has a digital sensor, a rear LCD screen and the ability store up to 100 digital photos (thanks to a micros SD card slot) just like any other digital camera. Like an instant film camera, you can choose which photos you want to print and even add a filter. The camera has a 28mm f/2 lens but, before shooting, you can choose between 10 different lens effects to therefore get a different shot.
The Instax Mini Evo will be available in February 2022.
McIntosh C12000 Preamplifier
McIntosh announced a gorgeous and extremely high-end preamplifier for extremely committed audiophiles. The all-new C12000 has a unique two-chassis design that uses two different modules, the C12000 Controller Module ($8,000) and the C12000 Preamplifier Module ($8,000), to separate the power controls and data ports from the connections/circuitry. The entire preamp whole thing is designed to be extremely versatile and customizable, as there are 12 different analogue inputs including a headphone jacks for private listening. As is custom with McIntosh components, the C12000 glows blue and green and is made mostly of stainless steel and brushed aluminum.
Price: $16,000 (or $8,000 per module)