Saturday, February 24, 2024

Torras Coolify 3 Wearable Air Conditioner Review

I spent decades living in the desert, but no more. I still don’t like the heat. But if it’s hot outside and you have to be outside, now you can take the cool air with you. Up for review today is a small air conditioner from Torras. It’s a wearable air conditioner, the Torras Coolify 3. MSRP is a fair $369.

 

Features and specs:

- Intelligent Color-Changing Plates: Sleek carbon fiber design with temperature-responsive plates.

- Powerful Cooling: TORRAS Coology, NTC control for rich, widespread, and instant cool.

- 360° Cooling Effect: Surround semiconductor plates, 7-directional air outlets for immersive cooling.

- Long-Lasting Battery: 6000mAh for up to 13h, 80% charge in 1.2h, 18W fast charging.

- Smart Modes & App Control: Cool/Heat/Fan modes, TORRAS app, stepless speed, and customization.

- Ergonomic Design: TORRAS ErgoFit, memory silicone surface, comfortable for various activities.

 

The Torras Coolify 3 came in a great looking color printed box, with photos and specs of the device. Opening the box revealed a well-protected device, held in place by custom molded plastic. And it also had a hard zipper case to protect it. Materials used in the construction was mostly plastic with some metal and rubber. But the quality of the materials used, as well as the fit and finish, was excellent. Also included was the charging cable and owner’s manual.

 

I love the design of the Torras Coolify 3. It reminds me of a neck pillow, like you would wear on an airplane, due to its U shape. On each side is a rubber piece that makes it easy for the two sides to flex, so you can take it on and off your neck. It has vents that blows air on the top of both sides and bottom and top of the back.  These vents blow air down the bottom back of your neck as well as up the back of your neck and up both sides of your face. The two buttons also work great and are super easy to learn to turn it on, off, switch between modes, as well as speeds.

 

And while it’s a wearable air conditioner, it’s not just for cool. It actually has three modes: cool, fan, and heat. Inside there are three metal pieces that press up against your neck. And on the outside edge is a heat vent, and air inlets on the sides and back to suck air in. In cool mode, the metal plates on the inside get cold, and air blows out the top and rear. In fan mode, it just blows air out the top and rear. In heat mode, there is no air blowing out the top or back. But the metal plates heat up.

 

It's also very easy to see the status of the Torras Coolify 3. On one side there is three LED’s. The first one lights up gentle, the second lights up normal, and the third one lights up hyper. So you basically have three strength settings of low, medium and high, with the LED’s showing which strength setting it’s on. And the LED’s also change color to show which mode it’s in. For cool mode the LED’s light up blue. In fan mode the LED’s light up green. And in heat mode they turn orange. On the outside of the other arm is a series of blue LED’s to show the battery setting: if it is fully charged, or needs to be recharged. Now that it's fully charged, let’s see how it performs.



In heat mode, it worked really well. The metal plates got nice and toasty, in high mode. In cool mode, the plates get nice and cool, and the air blows cool. And the higher up you go in the settings, the more air it blows. In fan mode, while the metal plates don’t get cold, the fans still blow good air. And the amount of air that’s blown depends on the setting you’re in.

I must admit that I’m impressed with the Torras Coolify 3. I was expecting it to be gimmicky, but it worked surprisingly well! And it also appears to be well made, to provide lots of use. Based on its design, features, quality and performance, the Torras Coolify 3 has earned our Editor’s Choice Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.torraslife.com.



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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

JBL Bar 500 Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer Review

I enjoy movies, as do most people. And to bring out the best experience you need surround sound. While TV speakers have improved over the years, let’s face it, they’re still subpar. To get the best viewing experience for movies, or TV, you need more. And for some, a full surround system can be either intimidating, or out of their budget.  A soundbar is a good compromise. Up for review today is the JBL Bar 500.

Features and specs:

General Specifications

Power supply: 100 - 240V AC, ~ 50/60Hz

Networked standby power: < 2.0 W

Operating temperature: 0°C - 45 °C

 

Audio Specifications

Total speaker power output (Max @THD 1%): 590W

Soundbar output power (Max @THD 1%): 290W

Subwoofer output power (Max. @THD 1%): 300 W

Soundbar transducer: 4x (46x90)mm racetrack drivers, 3x 0.75" (20mm) tweeters

Subwoofer transducer: 10” (260mm)

Frequency response: 35Hz - 20kHz (-6dB)

Audio inputs: 1 Optical, Bluetooth, USB (USB playback is available in US version. For other versions, USB is for Service only.)

Dimensions

Soundbar dimensions (W x H x D): 1017 x 56 x 103.5 mm / 40’’ x 2.2’’ x 4’’

Subwoofer dimensions (W x H x D): 305 x 440.4 x 305 mm / 12" x 17.3" x 12"

Soundbar weight: 2.8kg/ 6.2 lbs

Subwoofer weight: 10 kg / 22 lbs

Packaging dimensions (W x H x D): 1105 x 370 x 475 mm/ 43.5" x 14.6" x 18.7"

Packaging Weight: 16.2 kg / 35.6 lbs

 

Control and Connection Specifications

USB port: Type A

USB rating: 5V DC, 0.5A

Supporting file format: MP3

MP3 codec: MPEG 1 Layer 2/3, MPEG 2 Layer 3, MPEG 2.5 Layer 3

MP3 sampling rate: 16 - 48 kHz

MP3 bitrate: 80 - 320 kpbs

Bluetooth version: 5.0

Bluetooth profile: A2DP 1.2, AVRCP 1.5

Bluetooth transmitter frequency range: 2400 MHz – 2483.5 MHz

Bluetooth transmitter power: <15 dBm (EIRP)

Wi-Fi network: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2.4GHz/5GHz)

2.4G Wi-Fi transmitter frequency range: 2412 - 2472 MHz (2.4 GHz ISM Band, USA 11 Channels, Europe and others 13 Channels)

2.4G Wi-Fi transmitter power: < 20 dBm (EIRP)

5G Wi-Fi transmitter frequency range: 5.15 - 5.35GHz, 5.470-5.725GHz, 5.725 - 5.825GHz

5G Wi-Fi transmitter power: 5.15-5.25GHz <23dBm, 5.25-5.35GHz & 5.47-5.725GHz <20dBm, 5.725-5.825GHz <14dBm (EIRP)

2.4G wireless transmitter frequency range: 2406 - 2474MH

2.4G wireless transmitter power: 10dBm (EIRP

Video Specifications

HDMI video input: 1

HDMI video output (with Enhanced Audio Return Channel, eARC): 1

HDMI HDCP version: 2.3

HDR pass through: HDR10, Dolby Vision

The JBL Bar 500 came in a great looking box with color images and specs of the soundbar. Opening the box revealed a well-protected product held in place by custom molded Styrofoam. Materials used in the construction was mostly plastic with some metal. Quality of materials used, as well as fit and finish, was very good. Included in the box was the soundbar, subwoofer, remote, cables, mounts, and user guide.

As briefly mentioned before, a soundbar is a good compromise. They are designed for sound. You get better quality speakers, and more of them, as well as a much larger amplifier to power them. And in some cases like the JBL Bar 500, you also get a separate wireless subwoofer. While a subwoofer is not needed, it improves the sound and experience so much! Ever watch an action movie without a subwoofer? The sound without a sub is just…flat.

 

A soundbar is also less hassle than a full surround system. First, it’s cheaper, as you don’t need a receiver. It’s also much less intimidating and easier to set up. There are a lot less connections, and less wires. And no speakers to place, or mount on the wall.

The JBL Bar 500 is designed with simplicity in mind. As far as speakers, you get the sound bar and wireless subwoofer. No separate speakers to worry about. You simply set the soundbar on your console under your TV, and set the subwoofer on the floor next to the console, or in the corner of the room. And if your TV is wall mounted, you can mount the soundbar on the wall under your TV. For connections you have power, USB, ethernet, HDMI in.  And for TV, you have HDMI for TV ARC/TV eARC. So you can easily hook it up to your TV and internet for all your streaming content. And with the HDMI input you can also use not just a streaming stick, but also cable box, Blu-ray player, or gaming system. There’s a USB port for a flash drive, as well as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for wireless connectivity.

The JBL Bar 500 also does a good job on surround sound. It features four woofers and three tweeters in the soundbar, and 290 watts. Thru Dolby Atmos it delivers 5.1 surround sound. A sound test, using the built-in software, tunes the soundbar to your room, to deliver 5.1 surround sound. Even without rear mounted speakers, it employs sound reflections using the walls in your walls in your room, for the perceived 5.1 surround sound. And the wireless subwoofer takes care of the .1 for the bass. Pairing it to my smartphone with Bluetooth was also really easy.  Now that it’s set-up, let’s see how it sounds.

 

Ready Player One – Race scene:  vocals were very smooth and easy to understand. Highs, with all the mayhem and collecting of coins, were really crisp and clean and the bass with T-Rex and Kong was deep and played with a ton of authority! While I didn’t hear sounds coming from behind, it did sound excellent from the front as well as deep on the sides as far forward as my sitting position.

Greatest Showman – the various musical numbers had excellent vocals. Not only did the soundbar provide good resolution to reveal the texture of the timbre of all the singers, there was excellent harmonics. The imaging was also excellent, as was the soundstage both deep and extremely wide!

Music. Nat King Cole – L-O-V-E: this was another excellent example of great resolution and soundstage. Vocals were silky smooth with excellent texture of the timbre. Trumpet and trombone were also smooth with excellent harmonics and not to brassy. Imaging again was excellent with vocals, trumpet and trombone at different points in space, in a deep and wide soundstage.

 

The JBL Bar 500 proved to be a great soundbar. The built in amplifier provided sufficient power to deliver good performance from the built in speakers. The wireless 10 inch subwoofer provided not just deep bass, it did so with authority. And thanks to Dolby Atmos and sound calibration, the JBL Bar 500 delivered a good surround sound experience. Connecting up to my smartphone via Bluetooth was easy and worked well.  It’s also well-built to provide years of use. Based on its design, feature, quality and performance, the JBL Bar 500 has earned our Highly Recommended Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.JBL.com.




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Tuesday, January 30, 2024

ASUS Launches Zenbook DUO, the World's First 14" Dual-Screen OLED Laptop, in Canada


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