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Bowers & Wilkins New PI7 True-wireless Earbuds Sound Fantastic But They're $400
Bowers & Wilkins New PI7 True-wireless Earbuds Sound Fantastic But They're $400
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The fix: Even though Google won't let you choose a different wake word, you can manipulate Google Home's imperfect ear by using similar-sounding words to summon Google Assistant. "Hey, Boo Boo" remains my go-to, but I've also used "OK, Frugal," "Egg Noodle," "Go Lay Doo-Doo" and my all-time favorite: "Cocaine Poodle." 





Ask this Google Home gadget ‘OK Google, find me a video recipe for spag bol' and it obligingly plays instructions on screen. You can also pair it with other smart home gadgets, such as the Nest video doorbell, so callers appear on the display.








Have a Nice Day by Billy Crystal & Quinton Peeples, narrated by Justin Bartha, Annette Bening, Dick Cavett, Auli'l Cravalho, Billy Crystal, Rachel Dratch, Darrell Hammond, Christopher Jackson, Kevin Kline, Robin Thede & a full cast (Audible Studios)





The PI5 and PI7 are equipped with Qualcomm's QCC5126 chip, which used to be Qualcomm's flagship Bluetooth Audio SoC (System-on-Chip). Qualcomm is now up to the more feature-rich QCC5151, but the problem is a product like the PI7 takes well over a year to develop -- possibly well over two years, as Bowers & Wilkins says the buds were released after "an extensive period of development." Products powered by the QCC5151 are probably months away from hitting store shelves.  





A hacker could repurpose a vacuum's Lidar sensor to sense acoustic signals in the environment, remotely harvest the Lidar data from the cloud and process the raw signal with deep learning techniques to extract audio information.     





The problem: You can set up a Google Home Routine to do just about anything, and for awhile the only way to trigger it was with a voice command. Then, finally, Google added home and away routines. Problem is there's only one home routine and one away routine, and that's the extent of location triggers. location triggers for pretty much any coordinates on the globe. So when you leave work, for example, or arrive at school, you can have Alexa execute a sequence of commands like adjusting your thermostat or turning on the lights.





The experts, who call eavesdropping on private conversations 'one of the most common yet detrimental threats to privacy', highlight how a smart device doesn't even need an in-built microphone to snoop on private conversations in the home. 





While these are bigger buds that will extend out from your ears (most higher-end buds are larger), I found them comfortable to wear and was able to run with them without having them fall out of my ears (I got a secure fit). I don't know if it's a great idea to run with them. If one of the buds fell out of my ear for some reason, landing on the pavement and getting dinged up, I might cry if I had just paid $400 for them. But I wouldn't have any trouble using them in the gym. 





cts.  'There are so many things wrong with society at the moment - 1.7 million on zero-hour contracts who can't get access to private housing because landlords won't give them the time of day,' Mr Richer





The fix: I hate to lean on Alexa again, but this works about as well (and for as little money) as anything: I picked up a couple of older second-gen Echo Dots ($40 at Amazon) from Amazon Warehouse Deals, which I plugged into two sets of high-quality speakers. From there, it's a breeze to connect your Google Home to the Echo Dot with Bluetooth. 





No AUX port? That's jacked The problem: Even though phone-makers have all but eliminated the humble 3.5mm headphone jack from smartphones, Amazon Echo devices still have an audio output port for delivering audio to a more capable stereo system. Google Home devices have no such ports, which means the only way to connect them with an external audio source is via Bluetooth. 





Additionally, Bowers & Wilkins says the PI7 supports Qualcomm aptX Adaptive wireless transmission (which includes the AptX HD codec) from compatible mobile devices, allowing for "high-resolution music transmission from suitable streaming services, such as





Just open the Google Home app and tap Settings >Device settings >Default music player >Enable pairing mode. From there, pair your Google speaker with your Amazon speaker to enjoy hi-fidelity sound from your stereo speakers.





The fix: A good assistant should know where I am -- wherever I am -- and behave accordingly, so until Google implements full-blown location-based triggers I'm furtively using the Alexa app on my  devices or not, you can  on your Android phone or iPhone.





As far as digital voice assistants go, I adore Google Home, I really do, but that doesn't mean our relationship is always coming up roses. You might even say the honeymoon phase is pretty much over at this point. I'm not saying we need relationship counseling just yet, but my list of pet peeves has grown frustratingly long. And worse, it's starting to come across in my attitude when I talk to Google Assistant. We just need to talk.





Once I get my hands on the PI5, I'll be able to put together a more thorough review, with a deeper dive into the sound of both buds. But for now the PI7 have become my go-to earbuds for everyday listening. They may not surpass the high-end competition for noise-canceling and call quality, but they're certainly hard to beat for overall sound quality.    





hi-end audio



hi-end audio
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