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Yamaha SR-C20A review: Small soundbar, big sound

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(Pocket-lint) – When we listened to Yamaha’s SR-B20A soundbar, we suggested that it was both small and affordable by the usual Yamaha standards. So, of course, the next Yamaha product through the doors is this, the SR-C20A – and it’s both smaller and more affordable than the SR-B20A. Which must mean that by Yamaha’s standards, the SR-C20A is both microscopic and an absolute bargain.

Which is true, up to a point. Small is ‘small’ no matter the manufacturer you’re talking about, but one company’s affordable may well be another’s pricey. So really what we need to know is not so much whether the SR-C20A counts as affordable, but more whether or not it’s worth the money.

Design

  • Dimensions: 64 x 600 x 94mm
  • Weight: 1.8kg

Did we mention the Yamaha is small? The SR-C20A doesn’t need any special treatment – it’s compact enough to sit beneath a TV or a games monitor without any aggravation. If it’s convenience you’re after, don’t look any further. 

And the design here is just as discreet as the dimensions. The SR-C20A is impeccably finished, mostly in acoustic cloth. There are a few touch-controls on the top surface and a few LED tell-tale lights up front, and that’s about your lot. Because this is Yamaha we’re talking about, there’s a solidity about the SR-C20A that lets you know it’s built to last.

So while this soundbar might look expensive in terms of the quantity of materials it involves, be assured that they’re high-quality materials that have been put together by a company that knows exactly what it’s doing. 

Features

  • Ports: 1x HDMI out (ARC), 2x optical in, 1x 3.5mm in
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, no Wi-Fi

Just because you want a little soundbar, that doesn’t mean you want to scrimp on features, right? Happily, the Yamaha has what the American motor industry likes to call “just enough essential parts” to make it useful in any number of applications.

Yamaha

One HDMI ARC socket, a couple of digital optical inputs, a 3.5mm analogue input, and Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connectivity should cover pretty much any eventuality. No matter whether you need the SR-C20A to beef up your gaming experience, make your movie soundtracks do a bit of justice to the images, or even act as a wireless music speaker, the Yamaha’s specified to do a bit of everything.

Once your audio content gets on board the SR-C20A, it’s dealt with by 100 watts of Class D amplification driving three drivers. Two 1.8-inch full-range drivers face forward from the edge of the ‘bar – they get 20 watts each. The remaining 60 watts powers a 75mm bass driver (Yamaha insists on referring to it as a “subwoofer”, perhaps because you can’t add a separate one – which you can with the SR-B20A) that faces upwards and fires from the top of the chassis.

Yamaha

In case this sounds a bit tentative as far as bass response is concerned, this woofer is reinforced by a couple of passive bass radiators. They’re the same size as the bass driver – one faces upwards, the other downwards – so if you’re standing the SR-C20A on a surface, rather than attaching it to a wall using its integrated keyhole fixings, the boundary to the downward-firing radiator is next-to-nothing. Which ought to reassure bass-heads everywhere. 

Interface

  • Included remote control handset
  • Touch controls on ‘bar itself
  • Control app also available

The good news is this: Yamaha’s splendid SB Remote control app (available free on Apple iOS and Google Android) will operate the SR-C20A. Everything you might need the soundbar for can be controlled from here and, what’s more, be controlled in a stable, logical and straightforward manner. Not every control app is as useful and easy as this one.

Yamaha

There’s also a full-function remote control – it’s as relatively compact as the SR-C20A itself, but not really as pleasant as an object. Oh, it has everything you need – independent controls for overall volume and subwoofer level, all the different EQ presets (game, stereo, movie, clear voice and, rather recklessly, bass extension) and so on.

It’s just that the physical remote feels quite cheap and nasty in the hand. So you’re better off sticking to the control app. Or, if you find yourself in the vicinity of the soundbar itself, there are those few touch-controls for volume, input selection, and so on.

Sound quality

  • Drivers: 2x 1.8-inch cones (left/right), 1x 3-inch woofer, 2x passive radiators
    • No separate subwoofer output
    • 100 watts of power

Yamaha has designed the SR-C20A to be adaptable, as well as discreet. So no matter if its primary purpose is to enhance movies or gaming, or to act as a wireless speaker for music, it’s able to give a good account of itself.

In any event, the SC-R20A produces a bigger, more expansive sound than really seems likely from such a modestly sized device. There’s plenty of sonic width on offer, despite the fact the drivers face forwards and upwards, and even a little height too. If you’re used to the unaccompanied sound of a TV or games monitor, the Yamaha will thrill you with the scale and dynamism of its sound.

Yamaha

As might have been predicted, the SR-C20A is not short of bass presence. What’s less predictable is how well controlled, detailed and generally well-behaved it is. Some other soundbars (including some of Yamaha’s range) get a bit carried away where the low frequencies are concerned – after all, what’s more immediately impressive than a big old load of bass? But the C20A has enough about it to keep the bottom-end stuff in check, leaving the midrange clear to get on with the essential work of handing over movie dialogue without interference.

The midrange here, in fact, is detailed and information-packed – which, if a film or a game or a vocalist is going to be easy to follow, is a prerequisite. There’s plenty of space around voices no matter how hectic the rest of the frequency range gets, and the Yamaha is pretty forthright without ever getting pushy. Unless you really turn up the volume, anyway. 

At the top of the frequency range there are the same impressive detail levels as elsewhere, as well as decent substance and equally decent control. There’s a difference between ‘attack’ and ‘unruliness’, especially where treble sounds are concerned – the Yamaha understands this, and plays a well-judged game.

Yamaha

There’s a good facility with dynamism here, too. Games and films alike rely a lot on switching (often without prior warning) between very quiet and really very loud indeed, and the SR-C20A can make that a considerable distance. It establishes a believable soundstage, too, and is able to organise numerous elements of a soundtrack with real coherence. 

If you’re one of those listeners who likes to ramp up volume levels, though, quite a lot of the good stuff is undermined. Big volume coarsens the treble response, loosens the grip on the bass, and forces more-or-less every element towards the front of the stage. And what was previously a quite deft and insightful listen becomes, well, a bit shouty. 

Verdict

If what you need is a bit of everything from your soundbar – ignoring that, at this price point, you can’t expect surround sound – you can’t go far wrong with the Yamaha SR-C20A. This one-box ‘bar solution can turn its hand to pretty much anything, without ever making itself the centre of attention.

So while it’s not quite perfect in every regard – although it is rather close, save for the louder volumes and not-so-pretty included remote control – it’ll be absolutely spot-on for some people looking for a small and manageable ‘bar with big sound.

Also consider

Yamaha

Yamaha SR-B20A

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It’s a little big bigger than the C20A – although that doesn’t mean it’s in any way big – and a little more expensive. When compared to the C20A it’s also slightly unruly where bass is concerned – but there is a separate subwoofer port availabile should you wish to expand with an add-on, which the C20A doesn’t provide.

Writing by Simon Lucas. Editing by Mike Lowe.





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The Pixel 6 may get an under-display fingerprint scanner

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(Pocket-lint) – An Android 12 beta seems to have leaked a brand new function presumably coming to Google’s next smartphone.

According to developer kdrag0n, it reportedly contains proof that Google is planning an under-display fingerprint scanner for the Pixel 6. He seen a reference to ‘UdfpsControllerGoogle’ in code from the second Android 12 developer preview, which is a beta model of the software program for builders. Android 12 is the subsequent main replace to Android, however it’s not anticipated till later this 12 months.

The “Udfps” is for “under-display fingerprint scanner”. It was talked about as a part of a com.google.android.systemui path, which, as XDA Developers claimed, suggests it’s being developed for a Pixel cellphone, particularly. It’s not merely a sign of official assist for under-display scanners in Android 12. That stated, because the function is buried in beta code, it might by no means come to fruition.

While Google isn’t assured to launch its subsequent Pixel cellphone with an under-display fingerprint scanner, a earlier Android 12 developer preview additionally hinted Pixel telephones will assist a solution to unlock units that makes use of facial recognition and an under-screen fingerprint scanner. 

Android 12 likely won’t release for consumers until September 2021, so we suspect many more upcoming features will surface from the betas in the coming months, perhaps even more proof of an under-display fingerprint scanner.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.





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OnePlus 9 collection launch: How to look at it and what to anticipate

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(Pocket-lint) – The OnePlus 9, OnePlus 9 Pro, and OnePlus 9R are all set to reach in mid-March. Here is how one can watch their launch occasion. We additionally element what to anticipate, as a result of, in addition to the 2 flagships and cheaper telephone, there’s a fourth machine anticipated to look.

When is the OnePlus 9 collection launch? 

The OnePlus 9 collection launch occasion is scheduled for Tuesday 23 March 2021 at 7am PDT (10am EDT/2pm GMT). Below you will discover a handful of different timezones, so remember to mark your calendar and comply with the steps under for the best way to really watch the occasion:

  • New York – 10am EDT
  • San Francisco – 7am PDT
  • London – 2pm GMT
  • Central Europe – 3pm CEST
  • New Delhi – 7:30pm IST
  • Tokyo – 11pm JST 
  • Sydney – 1am AEST 24 March 2021

How to look at the occasion

The occasion will likely be streamed on the OnePlus website in addition to the OnePlus YouTube channel. You can watch it through the video hosted above.

What to anticipate from the launch

Here’s all the things OnePlus will doubtless announce throughout its occasion…

WinFuture

OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro

OnePlus not too long ago sent out an invitefor 8 March, the place it introduced a three-year partnership with Hasselblad, while additionally revealing the launch date of the OnePlus 9 collection: 23 March. OnePlus did not say what number of units could be revealed on 23 March, however rumours recommend we’ll see the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro, which comply with up on the OnePlus 8T and OnePlus Nord collection.

News18

OnePlus 9R

OnePlus is engaged on its OnePlus 9 collection, with each an ordinary OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro having leaked closely during the last couple of months. There’s one other machine that is additionally been doing the rounds, although: the OnePlus 9R. This machine was additionally known as the OnePlus 9E and the OnePlus 9 Lite previously, but it surely’s now been confirmed – by OnePlus CEO’s – because the OnePlus 9R. 

OnePlus – YouTube

OnePlus Watch

The OnePlus smartwatch has one thing of an extended historical past. Until 2019, it was a “will they, won’t they” hearsay that trundled alongside for years. But with the corporate confirming the watch is being put into manufacturing, it is now greater than hearsay. 

Writing by Maggie Tillman.





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The finest Beats headphones 2021: Which must you select?

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(Pocket-lint) – Beats has one of many world’s most recognisable manufacturers regardless of nonetheless being comparatively younger. Apple’s now owned the model for an excellent few years, although, and its guardian firm has had a giant affect on the tech getting used within the headphones, in addition to its newer designs. 

With fairly a wide array of headphones obtainable throughout all totally different matches, whether or not over-ear, on-ear or in-ear, deciding which pair is finest for you is usually a bit difficult. Luckily for you, we have damaged down each Beats headphone obtainable immediately, overlaying dimension, options and worth.

Quick abstract

There are eight pairs of Beats headphones obtainable, comprising two pairs of over-ears, three pairs of on-ears and three pairs of in-ears.

  • Beats Studio 3 Wireless are an over-ear design and may join wirelessly to your cell machine. They’re obtainable in a spread of colors, have energetic noise cancellation expertise and the brand new W1 chip.
  • Beats Solo Pro characteristic an on-ear design, however with a extra premium design than its predecessor, the Studio 3’s ANC engine, up to date H1 Chip and nice battery life. 
  • Beats Solo 3 Wireless are an on-ear design, characteristic the brand new W1 chip to immediately connect with your iPhone.
  • Beats EP are on-ears and the most cost effective Beats headphones connecting through wire. 
  • Beats Flex are wi-fi pair of in-ear headphones with a neckband and have the W1 chip. 
  • Powerbeats 4 are sports-orientated in-ear wi-fi headphones, with the H1 chip and an ear-hook design.
  • Powerbeats Pro are, primarily, a real wi-fi model of the Powerbeats 4 however with an improved design and the identical inner tech because the Apple AirPods. 
  • urBeats are typical in-ear headphones.
Pocket-lint

Beats Studio 3 Wireless

Chunky headphones that convey highly effective sound.

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The Beats Studio 3 Wireless are an over-ear headphone design that encapsulates your complete ear contained in the ear cup. This design helps to dam out exterior noises, though it is aided additional by energetic noise cancellation (ANC). This new ANC is totally different to earlier iterations, in that it always adjusts its frequency to match the sound of your atmosphere, making it extra versatile.

The built-in rechargeable battery can final over 22 hours, and the light-weight construct mixed with the comfortable supplies used will imply you may wish to maintain them in your head for so long as doable. There are controls on the headphones themselves to skip tracks, change quantity and settle for telephone calls. 

The Beats Studio should not simply one of the iconic pairs of Beats headphones obtainable, however one of the iconic pairs of headphones full cease. Soundwise, they’re bassy (as you’d count on), however the complete nature of the audio profile appears to have shifted to make it extra refined. They can go loud and onerous, and the addition of energetic noise cancellation ought to solely assist focus you on the music. 

Pocket-lint

Beats Solo Pro

Great for individuals who need smaller headphones.

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Beats Solo Pro is a pair of headphones that takes the smarts and noise cancelling of the Studio 3 and places them in a smaller, on-ear pair of headphones. It’s arguably the most effective pair of wi-fi headphones Beats has made so far. 

The headphones themselves characteristic a premium anodised aluminium arm that slides easily out and in of the headscarf, whereas the ear cups have reminiscence foam-stuffed padding. It provides extra floor contact than its predecessor, due to a redesign and new supplies. The ear cups are mounted on arms in a method that permits them to maneuver and angle freely to suit every consumer. 

There’s no choice to make use of a wired reference to the Solo Pro, and you should use a Lightning cable to cost them, however they’re nonetheless a implausible pair of on ears. They’re comfy, final ages on a full cost and sound implausible. 

Pocket-lint

Beats Solo 3 Wireless

A strong set of over-ear cans.

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The Solo 3 Wireless have been launched across the identical time because the iPhone 7 and include Apple’s W1 wirless chip. It guarantees larger battery life, a larger Bluetooth vary and improved connectivity choices for iPhone customers.

Touch-sensitive controls are current on the left ear cup for skipping tracks and altering quantity. Beats claims as much as 40 hours of life – they usually do final so lengthy – however naturally you may also plug in a 3.5mm cable for a wired connection to your telephone. Or cost them up for 5 minutes to get three hours of playback time.

In phrases of sound they’re very a lot a pair of Beats headphones, meaning bass in your face. But they do bass very nicely. So should you’re after a strong but transportable pair of headphones, the Solo 3s are for you. 

Beats

Beats EP

A pleasant easy approach to get Beats branding with a decrease price.

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The Beats EP symbolize one of the reasonably priced methods to get your ears on Beats headphones. They are an on-ear pair of headphones, and join through a standard cable, no Bluetooth wi-fi right here. Beats says the EP headphones have been tuned to breed sound “the way it was meant to be heard”. 

They’re designed for portability and as such, have a light-weight, chrome steel body and include a carry pouch. The cable has a RemoteTalk unit which is appropriate with iOS gadgets to take calls and management your music. 

They’re a classy pair of headphones that may little doubt present the signature, bass-heavy Beats sound and will probably be superb for anybody on the lookout for an reasonably priced headphone improve for his or her telephone. 

Pocket-lint

Beats Flex

Amazing funds wi-fi audio.

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Beats Flex are a welcome replace to the formulation laid out by Beats X, and are among the finest funds wi-fi earbuds round, with a neckband design.

They’re comfy to put on and actually mild, and are available some enjoyable colors, whereas working beautifully with iOS like many of the Beats lineup now, on this case due to the older W1 chip on board. You get 12 hours of battery life, which is basically spectacular for the value, they usually’re actually nice for a busy life-style. If you need some Beats with out breaking the financial institution, these are the apparent resolution. 

Beats

Powerbeats 4

Solid older earbuds for operating.

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Sports headphones want to remain snugly slot in your ears, present an excellent sound high quality to maintain you motivated and be weatherproof. Fortunately, the Powerbeats 4 tick all these bins – updating the design of the wired Powerbeats line to match the Powerbeats Pro under. 

The Powerbeats 4 have an ear hook fashion match, which makes certain they keep on your ears whenever you’re exercising and include three pairs of ear ideas to make sure a good slot in your ears. The size of the neck cable could be adjusted so you haven’t any further slack flailing about whenever you’re operating they usually’re waterproof, sweat proof and climate proof.

The H1 chip means they connect with your iPhone straight away and the built-in battery lasts as much as 15 hours on a single cost. The sound they produce is large and highly effective, and naturally, has loads of bass. When it involves exercises although, bass is usually a good factor to maintain you pumping. However they are not essentially going to be the most effective pair to make use of for on a regular basis listening. 

The Powerbeats 4 are the best companion for exercises. Their wi-fi and light-weight design, H1 chip for longer battery life and an excellent Bluetooth vary, and fascinating sound will maintain you going for longer. 

Pocket-lint

Beats Powerbeats Pro

Amazing true wi-fi earbuds, these are perfect for exercising in.

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Beats has an alternative choice that loses the wire fully, although, leading to an excellent higher pair of earphones that offer you full freedom when operating or within the health club – they’re unashamedly workout-orientated with the distinctive earhooks, however can simply be used for common listening.

They’re based mostly on the identical expertise because the Apple AirPods, however are as a substitute sweatproof and waterproof. They’re extraordinarily mild in your ears and are available a charging case.

You get tremendous sound throughout the spectrum, however you do not really feel like they’re urgent into your ear – you do not have to get an entire seal. They’re not noise isolating, so do not count on that. Battery life is sensible with 9 hours of fixed listening, whilst you can cost them twice over once more from the case. 

Beats

urBeats

A easy set of earbuds that sound respectable.

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The urBeats are a standard pair of Beats in-ear headphones. The supply basic Beats design in a spread of colors, and are wired with a 3.5mm headphone connector, so you’ll be able to plug them into your telephone.

The urBeats supply a cable mic for taking calls, in addition to providing in-line controls. The supply of the music is classically Beats, with loads of bass. 

Writing by Dan Grabham. Editing by Max Freeman-Mills.





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