Why AirPods 3 have no touch volume control

This article is now available as a video!

AirPods volume control

https://youtube.com/shorts/mIlYuuoWZ4Q

So volume is pretty important right?

I mean if you listen at too high a volume for too long you risk permanent hearing loss.

But AirPods 3 have no wireless touch volume controls – controls that are on everything nowadays from cheap wired and wireless earphones to the premium TWS earphones from Samsung, Sony, Sennheiser and every other major manufacturer.

So how do you change volume wirelessly?

Like this

You have to talk to your phone to change the volume. And if you’re using your buds on another device, like a laptop, you can’t even do that.

But Apple is a pioneer right. After all it got rid of earphone jacks to make its phones slimmer and so you had to go wireless – and stop listening when your wireless buds run out of juice.

Unless you use a proprietary Apple lightning port to jack plug adapter:

which they charge you for.

To plug in good old fashioned wired Apple EarPods with inline volume controls

which they charge you for.

Or you can change volume by rotating the crown of your Apple watch

which they charge you for – handsomely.

But Apple has some grander vision right? A world where volume isn’t needed because its players auto level.

What like the “Normalize volume” setting in Spotify you mean?

Or maybe their vision is of a world where AirPods magically know how much volume you want at any time?

Erm they don’t – and they tell you how to change volume remember. You need to talk to it, or buy an Apple watch.

Or is it that Apple got it wrong – but they can’t admit that because of the God argument. You know the one: God can’t change because any change is for the better or for the worse. Ergo, Apple can’t change for the better since that would mean some goodness was originally missing. And of course it can’t change for the worse because that would mean it losing some goodness.

Can Apple change?

Or does Apple hold its users in some kind of trance, some kind of Apple reality distortion field. I mean, this is a chat with an Apple user I know.

Conversation with Apple user

But guess what, Apple gives you a feature request form

Though they don’t publish upvotes like Microsoft do (or used to) – so you can’t see how much discontent there is or demand for a particular feature.

So take a listen to some recordings of the 3rd generation AirPods

Or take a look at some of their flaws

and see whether things make any more sense – if they do please leave a comment there to illuminate me!

Quick fix: Printing from Google docs doesn’t work?

Google docs printing doesn’t work?

Did you find that nothing appears at your printer when you print from Google docs?

To fix this, I’d anticipated having to update a myriad of device drivers and perhaps even my browser and operating system itself but as it turned out there was a quick and simple solution – though it’s only quick when you know how.

When the Microsoft Office 365 license expired on one of my laptops recently, I had no option but to use Wordpad or Google docs to write a simple letter – well no option short of installing free office software, like Apache OpenOffice, which I thought overkill for my needs and creaking laptop.

I wanted to embed a cropped photo in the document, which meant Google docs was the only candidate up to the job.

I quickly knocked up the letter (see my other article on Amazon recharging me if you’re curious to know why I had to post an old fashioned physical letter) and was very happy with the result.

When I came to print, however, it said it had printed but nothing appeared at the printer.

I’d used the print option from within Google docs itself so the letter would print in the chosen A4 portrait format, rather than my Firefox browser’s print option which would just print the contents of the browser rather than the document itself.

I checked my default printer was correctly set, tried a test print and printing some simple text from Notepad, both of which worked fine, but printing from Google docs did not do anything however many time I tried – not even an error message.

So the big reveal – Google docs ‘print’ does not send your document to your printer.

What?! Yes I know. It ‘sends’ the document to a pdf file in your browser’s downloads directory.

Browser downloads directory

You need to open that directory, double click the pdf file to open it in Adobe Acrobat and then print to your printer from Acrobat.

Easy when you know how.

Hope this helps! And for more free info about how to lose fat check out my blog https://www.gichow.com

Quick fix: Samsung SD card storage is full even after deleting files?

Samsung Phone Gallery configuration
Samsung phone Gallery recycle bin

If you find your Samusung phone storage keeps increasing and you can’t reduce it by deleting files there could be a simple solution.

You probably have one of your recycle bins turned on – even if it looks to be turned off.

Video files are the worst culprit since when you delete a bad take it does not free up the space the file was taking up.

The first you’ll know about this is when a video you’re filming stops mid recording and you wonder whether you forgot to press the record button at the end of the scene- until you make sure you press the record button and it happens again.

As a workaround you might switch your camera application to store files in internal storage – assuming you have enough free space there.

Or you can delete some old unneeded large video files from your SD card to get you going again – but the problem will just occur again.

Note: if you were using Internal storage as your camera storage location, rather than SD card, the workaround would be to switch storage to SD card.

The issue is that your Samsung phone has different recycle bins for different apps. You might think your recycle bin is switched off when you go into the “My Files” app.

If you delete a file from My Files you get a simple “Delete file?'” warning, press “Delete” and all is well.

If, however, you delete a file from the Gallery app you get a “Move one video to the Recycle bin?” warning.

If you press “Cancel” and go back to the My Files app nothing looks to be stored or even storable in the Recycle Bin, since when pressing it you just get a message asking whether you want to turn it on – and if you do, then nothing shows up there.

If you then turn off the Recycle bin from settings:

..and then go back to Gallery and delete a file you get the same “Move one video to the Recycle bin?” warning.

So what is going on?

This took me a long time to work out and after a lot of googling I was close to taking all the files off my SD card and reformatting it in the hope this would solve things (I’d previously transferred this SD card with all its data to a new phone).

Happily I discovered that there is a simple setting to resolve the issue.

There is in fact a separate recycle bin used by the Gallery app, which can be turned on and off by clicking the 3 dots top right of the initial “Albums” screen and then Settings.

And if you click the 3 dots and then “Recycle bin” you can see what’s in it, taking up all that space you found being consumed despite your attempts to free it up from the “My Files” app.

Gallery recycle bin

Just tap “Empty” top right and then to confirm tap “Empty Recycle Bin”

..and your space will be freed, giving you that wonderful feeling of not having to do any phone storage housekeeping for some time! If you like you can also turn the Gallery recycle bin off to avoid deleted files ever taking up storage space.

Now the opposite problem can also occur where the Gallery app recycle bin is turned off but the My Files recycle bin is turned on:

Again, just tap “Empty” top right and then to confirm tap “Empty Recycle Bin”

Emptying My Files recycle bin

..and your space will be freed. As before you can also turn the My Files recycle bin off to avoid deleted files ever taking up storage space.

If you had both recycle bins on you can turn either or both off if you want files to be gone forever when deleted rather than just moved to a bin and so still taking up phone storage.

Hope this helps! And for more free info about how to lose fat check out my blog https://www.gichow.com

How to get photos from an iPhone on to a Sony Bravia TV – photo slide show!

This article is now available as a video!

Show iPhone photos on Sony TV with AirPlay

https://youtube.com/shorts/1FRmnR8qEcM

It took me a long time to work out how to show photos from the girls’ iPhone on our 55″ Sony TV and I was close to giving up but it’s actually very quick and easy to share photos and stream videos to the big screen when you know how.

1) On your TV, press the input selector button on the remote control to select AirPlay

and turn AirPlay on. There was no need to go into the TV settings.

2) On your phone, make sure it’s connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the TV, bring up the photo or video you want to share, touch the share button and then select AirPlay – this is not the round ‘AirDrop’ icon that appears first but further down you will find the rectangular ‘AirPlay’ icon.

3) Select your TV from the list.

4) If a 4-digit code appears on your TV, type it into your phone.

That’s it! Your phone screen is now mirrored to your TV. You can zoom in or swipe to different photos and videos as usual, and they will simultaneously appear on your TV screen for everyone to see comfortably.

It let us get photos from both an iPhone 7 and iPhone 12 on to a Sony KD-55XH9505 TV so I guess it should let you send photos with the iPhone models in between those too.

After first searching for how to do this I initially tried navigating to the TV settings, Network & Internet and Wi-Fi Direct and then connecting to the TV network from the iPhone but that didn’t let me send photos to the TV screen.

If this helped you please consider subscribing to the YouTube channel!

AirPods 3 sound and microphone quality recordings

AirPods 3 audio sound quality recording

As a healthy reality check to balance the hype around Apple’s latest generation of AirPods take a listen to recordings of their audio and mic quality against the old fashioned wired Apple EarPods. I reckon the EarPods beat them for mic quality, possibly because of the proximity of the microphone to your mouth and get pretty close to the sound quality but take a listen for yourself and you be the judge.

Amazon charged me for an item I returned

I bought an item from Amazon but it was uncomfortable to use so I returned it using their Hermes return facility.

Subsequently, despite having already issued the refund, Amazon informed me they had received a different item – an item I’d never heard of.

They ignored my communications telling them I had in fact returned the right item and charged me for the item again.

Let’s get into the full story and how it’s ended.

While I try to research the items I purchase as best I can, often spending hours reading and watching reviews for higher value items, sometimes there is something the reviews or spec sheets have missed – and sometimes it turns out the reviews I based my purchasing decision on are more positive than I think they ought to have been* when I receive the product and have the opportunity to evaluate it for myself.

*Btw check out my other video on which reviewers to trust.

When looking for a mid-priced wireless earphone with good sound quality for sports and outdoor use I ordered the Jabra Elite Active 65t and the Sony WF-XB700 (a discounted ‘Amazon Renewed’ item). Both of these I’ve reviewed on Amazon, which can be found under my profile GI Chow with affiliate links to them here.

I ended up keeping the Sonys and returning the Jabra for the reasons I talk about in these reviews.

Amazon refunded me immediately I returned the Jabras as usual which was great and I thought no more about it until some weeks later when I got this email:

They received a different item? Surely some administrative mistake with parcels having been mixed up I thought.

So I contacted Amazon via email and the online chat facility to let them know that I had already returned the item – and that they had in fact already refunded me after my return.

Some time later I got this response:

So despite my phone call, online chat and email explaining that I had already returned the item they had gone ahead and recharged me for it!

Once again I told them via a phone call with an Amazon call centre real human being (after first conversing with a bot) that I had already returned the item and also emailed a photo of the Hermes receipt that I was handed when I left the return package at the Hermes drop off point in my local Co-op supermarket. Luckily, or so I thought, I had kept the receipt – even though I had to hunt for it at the bottom of my rucksack! Though with the scanning of my returned package and subsequent refund I thought they must already have had evidence of this.

So imagine my disappointment when I received this response:

Email from Amazon

I returned a ‘white cap’?! The call centre informed me that email was the only way I could communicate with the Amazon department concerned and that I could not speak to anyone there in person. I wrote several further emails to the email address I was asked to use and while I got clarification that by ‘white cap’ was meant a hat, these were met with the same standard response – and eventually no response at all.

At this point I was totting up the time and hassle the return of this relatively inexpensive item had cost me, thinking it was now getting rather silly. But that just spurred me on to put this matter to bed and get some result from all the time I’d spent on the matter.

And frankly how can a business that has taken so much money from me over the years, makes over $800 profit every single second and is renowned for the efficiency of its operation effectively ignore my communications at best or consider them lies at worst without even a human conversation about the matter.

I had paid via credit card and contacted my credit card company via their online chat. After downloading and filling in a physical paper form:

Credit card query form

which I had to print out (I had technical issues printing it but that’s another story) and then post via snail mail back to them, I received this phone text message from the credit card company:

So, after a lot of time and hassle, for now all good in the hood – I think. If you scroll through the several pages of Amazon’s Terms and Conditions you’ll find this:

Amazon Legal stuff

My credit card company subsequently a letter saying confirming they had refunded the charge but would reinstate it if the vendor provided evidence it was a legitimate one.

Credit card company refund letter

I’ll add an update if the saga continues though I hope it doesn’t.

Following this experience, despite the several years I’ve been an Amazon customer, I no longer have a warm feeling about Amazon and have come to consider how much I rely on the company and my account, which I also use for all my Alexa devices. What would happen if Amazon decided to revoke my account?

The same thought occurred about Google, which account I use for my phone and recently my Sony TV too, as well as their search, email and cloud services including of course YouTube.

Makes you think about just how much we rely on these giant corporations – and what would happen if their friendly face (Amazon literally has a smile in its logo) turned sour.

Doesn’t bear thinking about – I’m off to YouTube to distract myself.

Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro Sound Quality Meta Review

A video based on this article is now available on my YouTube channel so, if you prefer your content that way, get yourself a cuppa and check it out.

Here are brief sound quality descriptions of the Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro starting with some reviewers I trust the ears of, who typically describe sound as I perceive it, and including some of the most popular YouTube reviewers as well as some other review sources like websites and forums. They include links to their full reviews and sound recordings which I’d encourage you to check out for information about all aspects of the earphones and we conclude with my takeaways about one of the most highly reviewed TWS earphones ever and without getting too meta the nature of truth and how to decide who to believe about one of the most important factors when choosing a wireless earphone – sound quality.

Bart @scarbir.com – “Bass strikes roll-off quickly and can follow each other in truly rapid procession – this is one heavy-hitting, fast-pacing bass. Higher frequencies got proper attention as well. On top of that, the soundstage is lovely wide. Make no mistake, though: the Liberty 3 Pro still has the rather aggressive Soundcore approach to music. That means center mid-tones fall a bit behind in between the outspoken bass and upper-mids. Snare drums and piano play can be a bit recessed, and some male or darker female vocals can lack body in the lows. The biggest problem might be that the treble is a bit hissy, however. Especially in rock songs – whether it’s Rage Against the Machine, Placebo, or plain Coldplay – guitars and higher-pitched vocals sound brighter than usual and somewhat artificial. They don’t sound harsh overall, but higher notes can be a bit overblown in their own songs. This artificialness is never gone, but it can be toned down by the various other sound options from the app.”

https://www.scarbir.com/tws/soundcore-liberty-3-pro-review

Instagram comments

CEONTHEMAKING – “plenty of bass that’s punchy and tight. The treble is not too sharp. Whatever type of sound signature you prefer you can tailor these to provide that” 7:19 @

EBPMAN Tech Reviews – “Sound fantastic” 13:10 @

“Audio and call quality test” 0:23 @

DHRME – “The Liberty 3 Pro smoke the Sony WF-1000XM4” 1:58 @

YouTube comment

Digital Slang – “These sound fantastic..really impressive for the price” 16:48 @

Brian unboxed – “Prominent deep tight bass. Mids and highs come in clean and clear. Vocals and instruments do stand out. There is good separation with a crisp wide soundstage. It does lean a bit towards a warm sound signature with the bass. I was a big fan of the previous model and this just took the top of the list for me” 6:50 @

New Stuff TV – “I really like the sound quality that I’m getting from these earbuds – it’s just that simple. The bass is strong enough to be boomy when you need it but it doesn’t bleed into your mids and highs” 2:30 @

Comment against Community post

GearUP with Aaron – “Sound quality is slightly more composed and brighter at the same time. Compared to the 2 Pros it’s lost some of the warmth that I do like. The bass is a little more muffled. You can dial some of the warmth back in with the EQ but its still no match for the Sony WF-1000XM4” 14:20 @

AREGINA Tech Review – “The default setting of Signature is a bit vague. This is a classic V-shaped sound with lower midrange, lower bass and higher treble that suits general users who like stimulating sounds. For those who like a flat sound there is no particularly useful setting among the equalizer presets. It is essential to apply my recommended EQ value (includes sound samples)” 6:52 @

EL JEFE REVIEWS – “Based on my personal HearID experience..the Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro is going to be known for that bass response – it is strong and there is deep sub bass extension. The midrange has been improved but required a bit of tweaking to get it to my personal taste..can tend to be inconsistent. Vocal clarity is still very very good and there is good stage and width in the sound. The treble can become too bright or sibilant..it can be dialled back. In first place for sound quality we’ve got the Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro, in second place the Sennheiser CX Plus, in third the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, in fourth the Sony WF-1000XM4 and in fifth the Apple AirPods Pro” 13:14 @

Gamesky – “These are bold, boomy, bright – that’s how I want them set up. The ability to change these to make them sound however you want is really crazy” 8:58 @

ShortCircuit – “Without LDAC, a little hollow sounding, not super rich. Find the highs almost too crisp out of the box but you can turn them down” 7:15 @

Sean Talks Tech – “The sound signature of the Soundcore and the Sony are pretty close and I would rate the Soundcore to have a bit stronger bass and also better clarity” 6:20 @

Flossy Carter – “Last year when I did the Liberty 2 Pro I had the same reaction. These sound incredible. The highs, the mids crystal clear, that bass was thumping just now and I could probably get more bass from the EQ settings on the app. The sound quality is major. You’re buying these for the sound quality you’re not going to be disappointed” 13:25 @

Brannon No d – “The sound is phenomenal without it (LDAC). I can’t imagine this being any better than what I just listened to” 24:53 @

TechOdyssey – “The sound is pristine. This is probably the best bass I’ve ever heard in a set of earbuds. You can hear the individual tones. Mids are good, vocals are good, the highs are very good as well” 16:35 @

MTG Productions – “I’m no audiophile but these perform really well in day to day use” 13:48 @

Jonathan Morrison – “They sound phenomenal on their own but just in case you want to tweak that you have endless control. Out of the box the stock profile is really aggressive with the low end – I personally really enjoy that” 8:40 @

Underground Tech – “Sound quality is an improvement. It sounds like the bass is a little more balanced with the mids and highs. These are a little more clear over the Liberty 2 Pros. It feels like the bass can overshadow at certain points but that’s when I had it on full volume. I think the sound is solid for the price” 5:37 @

Rich Music Tech Reviews – “Out of the box these were decent sounding but not the best. You can fix that quite easily. The sound quality is a step up on the Liberty 2 Pro. The bass is even deeper, the high even more crisp and the soundstage is even wider. Everything has been given that 10-15% improvement.” 8:42 @

English Dan Reviews – “The bass is really smooth bass. Imagine the Liberty 2 Pro bass but enhanced, clearer. The mids come through nice and strong. The lows don’t spill into the mids and your highs come through perfectly well detailed. It can be a little bit too high for me. You can control that with the app” 12:20 @

Geeky Stuff – “A nice amount of bass, crystal highs and fantastic mids. The quality is amazing. It sounded big” 14:48 @

ShoAndTech – “They took all the things we loved from the 2 Pros and threw them into the 3. The bass is still there, the quality is still crystal” 7:08 @

TK Bay – “A very good balanced experience. Bass heavy but does not damage mids and highs” 12:00 @

TechGuy SmartBuy – “Can be customised to a sound you prefer” 2:10 @

The D Show – “I don’t notice a huge difference compared to previous versions” 6:14 @

FishBee Productions – “Sound really nice, crystal clear” 4:25 @

OSReviews – “They offer by far more detail than regular AirPods can deliver. All frequencies shine with plenty of details and textures of instruments and vocals can be picked up. With the HearID custom mode activated they felt even better, just added a touch more detail and dynamic punch to the sound. It’s very good in terms of no distortion or static in the background” 7:04 @

DVZN Media – “The sound was that little bit of bass that they put into these without making it sound trash. These do really well with tuning. Overall you just have a great pair of headphones” 2:53 @

Ken Yanow – “It’s full, rich, the bass pops and you’ve got a tremendous amount of control over the sound you hear. It’s just not quite as clean as the Bose (QC). If you’re really just into music that is more classical in nature and maybe more acoustic sounding the Bose is probably a really good choice for you, it’s just the Liberty 3 Pros give you a richer sound with a deeper bass.” 6:50 @

Videos continue to be produced and there are placeholders below with N/A (not available) against those YouTube reviewers who have not produced a video at the time of writing but whose opinions I tend to value.

Andy’s Tech Tone – N/A

mrkwd – tech guy – N/A

Aaron is Loud and Wireless – N/A

Ricky RDT – N/A

zpolt – N/A

Kenneth Tanaka – N/A

SoZen Gadgets – N/A

GYMCADDY – N/A

Picky Audio – N/A

My takeaway from the reviews above is that this is a TWS that can, after changing EQ settings, sound good if not the best, especially to those who prefer a V-shaped sound signature and has several features that would not normally be found at the price including reasonably effective ANC (for earphones), transparency mode, configurable frequency equalisation, multipoint connection allowing 2 devices to be connected at the same time, single bud ‘mono mode’ use either side, configurable touch controls with all tap and hold options as well as support for the high res LDAC codec (the value of which is debatable since tuning has a much more significant effect on what one hears). Ultimately, unless you need all the features then equivalent or better sound quality, especially for those who prefer a natural sound, can be had for less money. And if you can wait the Liberty 3 Pro will likely be discounted when no longer flavour of the month.

The driver construction is the same as the previous Liberty 2 Pro which for me lacked speed of transient response resulting in a slower woolier bass response and overall less realistic sound. Amplification is responsible for how quickly drivers are pushed and pulled and that takes current and battery in a mobile device. Hence there will be a tradeoff between audio reproduction realism and battery life. The Liberty 3 Pro has a long battery life of 6-8 hours so draw your own conclusions.

I have videos on

1) how effective earphone ANC is

2) free equalisers and techniques to change sound signature

3) sound recordings of the previous Liberty 2 Pro (that has the same driver configuration) against competitors.

I personally found the Liberty 2 Pro slug style a less comfortable, practical and stable form factor for my ears.

Other reviews identifying potential cons to consider including mic quality, responsiveness of controls and ANC quality:

“So, you won’t be disappointed by the sound quality on offer, but you can get sound that’s just as good for a lower price from its competitors.”

https://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/anker-soundcore-liberty-3-pro

The mic issues for calls is a complete deal breaker. I used ANC at a outdoor cafe last night and it was horrible and harder any difference on vs off”

So can one believe the current hype around the Liberty 3 Pro? This is part of a bigger question of who does one trust and how does one know who to trust? Here are a few things I look for:

  • A history of opinions I agree with
  • Quality of analysis and language
  • Internal consistency, maintaining the same relative rankings over time where products are unchanged
  • Clarity of motivation*
  • A sense of fairness, presenting cons as well as pros
  • A respectful approach to others’ opinions 
  • Number and quality of followers, views and comments (all can be faked)
  • A trustworthy demeanour and genuine interest in their subject and audience
  • Similar musical tastes – genres make different demands of technical performance like bass, instrument separation, vocals and soundstage
  • A source of wealth independent from particular manufacturers
  • Consensus from your trusted sources

* Reviews and videos take a lot of time to produce and of course can cost money if you’re not provided the product for free so you’ve got to wonder what the motivation of a reviewer is – are they

  • mini specialised shopping channels
  • brand marketers
  • seeking recognition, celebrity and perhaps another career
  • creatives, wanting to publish and perhaps monetise their output
  • looking to develop their communication skills or experiences
  • wanting to share their knowledge to help others or develop esteem
  • wanting to connect with like-minded people.

That’s something you’re going to have to decide for yourself but keep in mind with everything you see and hear – and this applies to everything in life – what is the motivation behind the message I’m receiving? whether that’s from a person, a company or even a government.

Having said all this, even assuming no bias or outright lies, we all perceive things differently and there may be no single absolute truth. In the world of audio especially, sound signature tastes differ. Cultural differences have been suggested and even within an individual tastes can change over time. At the end of the day, unless you’re a sound engineer, arguably what matters most is the emotional impact of music and happily that is something available nowadays on any budget.

Feel free to drop a question/comment against my videos and if you got value then liking videos and subscribing to the channel helps bring the information to a wider audience and supports monetisation and production of new content – thanks for your support!

If you want a taste of the sound quality of the Liberty 3 Pro at well under half the price and don’t need ANC check out the Liberty 2 Pro.

So finally, my focus is always on sound quality, which is why I try to provide sound samples though of course other aspects of TWS earphones are important like control scheme and sensitivity, comfort and security of fit, waterproof ratings, battery life, connection reliability, mic quality, ANC quality, latency, wireless charging and so on – some of these you can find out from the specs but I’d recommend reading or watching reviews in full to get a feel for these aspects too since sound quality becomes academic if you never use the earbuds.

When I’m quiet on YouTube check out my blog posts, Amazon reviews (I’m a top 3k reviewer) or even my playlist of tracks that move me. I get money (typically under $10 per month) from all my Amazon affiliate links, irrespective of manufacturer – using them costs you no more money but helps me devote more time to producing impartial content.

TWS Reviewers I trust

Following on from my previous post about how I discover the truth about cheap high sound quality earphones without actually having to buy all of them this is a work in progress ranked list of TWS (true wireless stereo – AirPods style Bluetooth) earphone information sources – mainly YouTube channels – I rely on. It’s based on how closely the reviewer’s sound descriptions match my own and the quality of the conversations I’ve had or seen with them.

Bart @scarbir.com – I tend to concur with his very precise sound descriptions though he rates a few items, e.g. 1MORE ComfoBuds Pro, more highly than I would and only considers earphones below $100 – which I admire since one shouldn’t need to exceed that for great sounding TWS. If I haven’t heard a TWS I tend to refer to him first.

Andy’s Tech Tone – thorough reviews, responds fairly to questions and uses language precisely though his sound descriptions can be different to mine.

CEONTHEMAKING – I tend to concur with his sound descriptions and he responds to questions fairly.

EBPMAN Tech Reviews – I tend to concur with his sound descriptions though these are not the most detailed. Recordings are of variable quality but can give an indication of comparative sound signatures and microphone samples are good e.g. https://youtu.be/jP-9pm_-2gc

mrkwd – tech guy – impartial and honest, focusing on practicality tests but still providing a fair impression of sound quality.

Aaron is Loud and Wireless – thorough reviews, responds fairly to questions and uses language precisely though his sound descriptions can be a little different to mine.

DHRME – provides sound samples so someone who cares about objectivism and talks about more wide ranging subjects. Recordings are of variable quality but can give an indication of comparative sound signatures.

Digital Slang – impartial and honest though uses less precise sound description language.

GearUP with Aaron – impartial and honest, focusing on practicality tests but still providing a fair impression of sound quality.

Brian unboxed – provides sound samples so someone who cares about objectivism. Recordings are of variable quality but can give an indication of comparative sound signatures. His sound descriptions can be different to mine e.g. describing bass as tight and punchy when I did not experience that and rating some products more highly than I would.

Ricky RDT – reviews few Bluetooth devices but I tend to concur with his sound descriptions and though his use of audiophile language is less sophisticated than some I get a good idea of how an earphone / headphone sounds through his comparisons.

zpolt – Derrick Mapagu focuses on IEMs but provides sound samples that usually give one a good impression of how earphones compare against eachother and clear sound descriptions using recognised audiophile terms.

New Stuff TV – genuine guy with a good ear though can over hype.

Kenneth Tanaka – genuine guy with a good ear though can over hype.

EL JEFE REVIEWS – genuine guy rating some products more highly than I would who has provided some answers that I disagree with e.g. around LDAC significance. I admire his creation of a ‘crowd-sourced’ tier list though disagree with some classifications: https://youtu.be/KIq3mfWQbA4

Gamesky – has rated some products more highly than I would.

Flossy Carter – entertaining with less precise audio descriptions than some others. Hypes several products, some more than I think they merit.

Others I watch include SoZen Gadgets, GYMCADDY, Super*Review, totallydubbedHD, InsideTech, Picky Audio, Sean Talks Tech (for a list of all my subscriptions see my YouTube channel)

Sony X95H (X950H / XH95) TV v Sony X95J comparison

Sony X95H v Sony X95J TV comparison

I wondered what advantages the latest Sony high end FALD (full array local dimming) LED TV brought over the previous model, which is much cheaper, and found this free online tool from RTINGS very helpful.

https://www.rtings.com/tv/tools/compare

Just with your web browser, you can use it to compare side by side 2 or more of the several hundred TVs that rtings.com has tested over the years across all their important characteristics including contrast, motion handling, upscaling and user interface so a very valuable tool to know about.

If you found this helpful please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel, one of my reviews from which is on soundbars.

Other YouTube TV reviewers I watch to form an assessment of a TV include Rtings, HDTVTest, Digital Trends, B, FOMO and Tech With KG.

Reading the viewer comments against their videos can also be informative.

This reviewer puts the Sony X95J picture overall above its obvious LED competitors, the Samsung QN90A neo QLED (mini LED) and LG QNED 90 (mini LED) TV and succinctly describes why one would choose LED over OLED:

https://youtu.be/6aHCI1_nACQ (skip to 10:42 – 11:41)

And for free information about the insulin response and how I used this basic biochemistry to lose 4 stone in weight healthily check out http://www.gichow.com

Covid vaccine statistics – is taking the vaccine worth the risk?

To inform the personal decision of whether to get the vaccine here are some statistics from authoritative sources. Should you have a more accurate source for any of these statistics please leave it in a comment.

The risk of death from Covid infection overall is 500000 / 10000000 so 5%

Source: “this virus has infected over 10 million individuals and resulted in at least 500,000 deaths world-wide”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-82850-9

John Hopkins University shows currently 4 million deaths from 200 million Covid cases worldwide indicating a 2% risk of death from Covid infection overall.

Source: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

Non authoritative sources show a worst case death rate of 0.5% for those over 80 years old and 0.15% overall though these figures may be population fatality rates i.e. your risk of catching the infection and then dying from it rather than your risk of dying after having certainly been infected. Of course catching Covid is not a certainty so the risk of catching the infection and then dying from it is the risk it makes most sense to compare against the certain risk from deciding to have the vaccine and then going to get vaccinated.

Source: https://twitter.com/FatEmperor/status/1413547607398432771

A personal risk calculator from Oxford University is here

https://www.qcovid.org/Calculation

The current known risk of death following shortly after Covid vaccination is 0.002%

Source: “VAERS received 6,490 reports of death (0.0019%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine.”

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/adverse-events.html

So short term overall taking the vaccine is between 250 and 2,500 times safer than not taking it according to the headline statistics, as far as risk of death goes. Taking the vaccine does not guarantee elimination of the risk of dying from Covid so it is more complicated than this, and the reduced risk of death from Covid having taken the vaccine should strictly be added to the risk of death from the vaccine itself, but we are dealing with ballpark figures so let us suppose for now that it does.

From the personal risk calculator, which excludes previous recovery from Covid infection as a risk (mitigating) factor, my own personal risk of dying during a 90 day period (based on data from the first pandemic peak) is 0.008% so taking the vaccine is 4x safer than not taking it, but only assuming I could catch Covid from the general population. Taking the risk of actually catching Covid into account, together with a previous positive test for Covid antibodies from previous Covid infection, the benefits of vaccination for me are more debatable. Furthermore, arguably morally, it would be better that the vaccine dose available to me in the UK be used to vaccinate someone in the world more vulnerable to succumb to death from Covid or spread Covid to others.

Of course, this figure will vary for individuals and the personal risk calculator can help one calculate an individual figure – though no provision is made for those who have already contracted and recovered from Covid.

The risk of long-term negative impact from Covid infection is at least 5% given that 5% of adults have “long Covid” from Covid infection.

Source: “A study of over half a million adults in England found that one in 20 had persistent COVID-19 symptoms.”

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/224853/over-million-adults-england-have-long/

The risk of long-term negative impact from the vaccine is currently unknown. There are various reassurances about the mechanism the vaccine uses being well established and its elimination from the body.

Source: “mRNA doesn’t affect your genes in any way because it never enters the nucleus of cells, where your DNA is kept. After the mRNA does its job, it breaks down and is flushed out of your system within hours. It’s also important to know that although mRNA technology for vaccines is new, the mRNA technology itself isn’t. Therapies using mRNA have been around for years and are currently being used to treat cancer and viral diseases.”

https://www.muhealth.org/our-stories/what-you-need-know-about-mrna-covid-19-vaccines

Of course, the long term risks only come into play if you survive the short term risks.

These statistics and the reasoning above just consider one’s individual risk of death rather than the risk of ‘causing’ death to others by inadvertently infecting them while one is infected or the risks to public health from Covid infection treatment stretching the health service. While there is evidence (sources TBC) that vaccination reduces the risk of spreading Covid to others the question of whether one has any moral obligation to reduce the risk of Covid in others, and if so how best to do that through one’s actions, is more complicated.

There are arguments both ways and further questions. What level of risk and inconvenience should we expose ourselves to in order reduce risk to others e.g. should we all shield/isolate to minimise the risk to others? Should we be allowed to give our vaccine allocation to others who are more likely to die or spread Covid? Could it be advantageous to the species that some proportion of the population never develops Covid antibodies?