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Review: Sony's WH-1000XM3 Headphones are the Best Noise-Canceling Cans You Can Get

Sony threatened to topple the apple cart in 2016 when it unleashed its flagship MDR-1000X cans on a headphones market which up until then had been dominated by Bose in the premium travel-grade noise-canceling department. Combining excellent wireless sound with active NC that made even QuietComfort fans sit up and take notice, Sony's awkwardly named headset proved that the Japanese company's extensive acoustic R&D had finally hit on a winner, giving rival NC headphone makers due cause for worry in the process. Unsurprisingly, Sony has sought to improve upon this winning formula in the intervening years, starting with another tongue-twisting rebrand of its flagship range (the inexplicably named WH-1000X series) and two follow-up models boasting incremental improvements, both of which have been well received. What's perhaps more surprising about these developments is Bose's lack of response to them, having released in that time only a tweaked version of its flagship QC35 cans with support for Google Assistant. Whether that's down to complete confidence in the quality of its existing noise-canceling smarts or just lack of innovation is a moot point, given that Sony's adaptive NC technology and sonic prowess has essentially overtaken the company, as these latest cans exemplify. The WHX-1000XM3's are essentially an upgrade to last year's 1000XM2's, featuring a series of minor improvements that Sony believes collectively justify a new model number. Let's take a look at them and see just how far the company's noise-canceling range has come. Design On the face

Sony MDR-1000X Review: Wireless Hi-Res Headphones Offer Next-Level Noise Canceling

The wireless headphone market has been shaken up so much recently that it's hard to know where to begin when a new entry appears on the stage and announces itself as the next big thing. Fortunately this latest Bluetooth offering from Sony is targeting a very specific market segment best referred to as "premium noise cancelation", and the company seems pretty confident that with the MDR-1000X headphones ($400), it has got a hit on its hands. Sony is claiming "industry-leading noise cancelation" with these luxury cans, which use ostensibly the same drivers as last year's highly regarded MDR-1A headset made for listening to Hi-Res Audio, as supported by the company's audiophilic Walkman range, not to mention its line of wireless home speakers and in-car audio systems. Can it improve upon the finely honed features of Parrot's Zik 3.0, Bose's QuietComfort 35, and Sennheiser's PXC 550 Wireless noise-canceling headphones? Let's take a look.

'Sony' Articles

iOS 13 Will Turn Your iPhone into a Mobile PS4 Thanks to DualShock 4 Support and the Remote Play App

Apple this week announced that iOS 13 and iPadOS will introduce full support for Sony's DualShock 4 controller, which is the main game controller for the PlayStation 4. This announcement, along with confirmation of Xbox One S controller support, is great for iOS gamers, but even more enticing thanks to Sony's existing Remote Play app for iOS. Released in March, the Remote Play app [Direct Link] lets you connect your iPhone or iPad to your PS4 to stream and play games while away from your living room (but still on a Wi-Fi network, because the app doesn't support cellular connectivity). At launch, the app worked well and provided a sample of what it would be like to play games like Overwatch and Assassin's Creed: Odyssey on your iPhone, but the touchscreen controls and lack of full support for certain buttons on existing MFi controllers left many games nearly unplayable. Now, with iOS 13 and DualShock 4 support, your iPhone or iPad will essentially be a portable PS4. You'll encounter all of the usual PS4-related controls, including full support for the console's dashboard, store, and user profiles. You can even allow it access to your iOS microphone to talk to your friends in a party or through game chat. We used a DualShock 4 to play Kingdom Hearts 3 on the iOS 13 developer beta There are some downsides to the Remote Play app, including the fact that some games are not compatible with it and won't let you stream or control the game from your iOS device. But, for the games that do support Remote Play, users will have a

Sony's Upcoming Smart TVs to Receive AirPlay 2 and HomeKit in Summer 2019, Including $70,000 Model

Sony today announced that some of its upcoming smart TVs will support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit in summer 2019, including its A9G series of 4K OLED TVs, Z9G series of 8K LED TVs, and X950G series of 4K LED TVs. The TVs themselves will be released on a staggered basis, starting with the X950G series in late April and followed by additional models in May and June, including a 98-inch 8K TV for a whopping $70,000. AirPlay 2 and HomeKit will presumably be rolled out in a subsequent software update. Apple also lists Sony's upcoming X850G series of 4K TVs in its AirPlay 2–enabled TVs list, but no timeframe for those features was provided for that model. AirPlay 2 support will allow users to stream videos, music, photos, and more directly from an iPhone, iPad, and Mac to compatible Sony smart TVs, complete with lock screen controls. HomeKit support will enable users to easily control the TVs using Siri voice commands or the Home app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Samsung, LG, and Vizio are also releasing AirPlay 2-enabled smart TVs this year. Earlier this month, we went hands-on with one of Vizio's compatible models

PlayStation Vue for Apple TV Gains Multi-View Support for Watching Up to Four Live Shows at Once

Sony today announced that its PlayStation Vue app for the Apple TV has been updated with multi-view support, allowing users to watch up to four live channels on one screen. The new PlayStation Vue feature for Apple TV comes just ahead of the NCAA March Madness season, with the goal of letting sports fans keep an eye on all of the ongoing games or mix and match live games with news or other TV programs. Multi-view has long been available on the PlayStation 4, but prior to today it wasn't an option on the Apple TV platform. PlayStation Vue is Sony's streaming TV service, offering live and on-demand content at prices starting at $44.99 per month. Sports packages start at $49.99 per month. PlayStation Vue works on PlayStation consoles, the Apple TV, iOS devices through the PS Vue app, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Android mobile devices, PC, and

Sony Releases Remote Play App to Control Your PS4 With iPhone or iPad

Sony today released a new app called "Remote Play" for iOS devices, after launching the same app on Android a few years ago. The app allows you to connect your iPhone or iPad to your PS4, and directly control both the console interface as well as most games through on-screen iOS touch controls [Direct Link]. To get everything set up, make sure your PS4 is updated to version 6.50 (which just began rolling out in the early hours of the morning). Then, download the PS4 Remote Play app from the iOS App Store, sign into your Sony account in the app, and allow it to search for your PS4. You'll need to be on a Wi-Fi network for this to work, as the app cannot be used via mobile networks. Once connected, you'll see your PS4 home screen displayed on your iPhone, sitting above a row of touch controls that mimic the buttons on a DualShock 4 controller. If you tilt the iPhone to a horizontal orientation, the buttons will disappear until you tap on the display. The app supports the ability to talk to your friends in a party or through game chat, but you'll have to allow it access to the iOS microphone. The app's controls include the DualShock 4's Share and Options buttons, as well as the central PlayStation logo that brings you back to the home screen. You can browse around the PS4 and launch most games in the Remote Play app, but Sony does note that there are some games that will be incompatible with the app. Additionally, you can't directly connect the DualShock 4 to the iPhone to play games. Sony has shown interest in iOS in the past, previously launching an app

CES 2019: Sony Unveils New 6.9-Inch CarPlay Receiver With Improved Sound and Dedicated Voice Button

Sony today at CES 2019 introduced its latest aftermarket CarPlay receiver with improved sound quality and a dedicated voice button. The new XAV-AX7000 has the same 6.95-inch capacitive touchscreen as the current XAV-AX5000, but features a higher-power 100W class-D amplifier for more impactful sound and a higher-power 5V pre-out for clearer sound with less distortion when the receiver is connected to an external amplifier, according to Sony. By comparison, the XAV-AX5000 has a 55W class-D amplifier and a 2V pre-out. Beyond the dedicated voice button, the design of the XAV-AX7000 is identical to the XAV-AX5000, including slim bezels with physical buttons for volume and playback controls, settings, and returning to the home screen. Both receivers have dual USB-A ports for wired CarPlay. Android Auto is also supported. The rear chassis of the XAV-AX7000 is designed with space-saving single-DIN dimensions, according to Sony. Like the XAV-AX5000, the XAV-AX7000 can be connected to a vehicle's rear-view camera with adjustable parking guidelines. Both receivers also have Bluetooth, SiriusXM compatibility, and boot approximately 2.5 times faster than Sony's lesser-end XAV-AX100 receiver after the vehicle is turned on. Sony says the XAV-AX7000 will be available in North America starting in summer 2019, with pricing to be announced at a later date. The XAV-AX5000 retails for a suggested price of $399.99 in the United

Apple Shares List of AirPlay 2-Enabled Smart TVs From Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio

A few days ago, Apple announced that AirPlay 2–enabled smart TVs are coming soon from leading manufacturers, and we've since seen a series of announcements from Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio at CES 2019. Apple has now shared a list of AirPlay 2–enabled TVs announced to date: LG OLED (2019) LG NanoCell SM9X series (2019) LG NanoCell SM8X series (2019) LG UHD UM7X series (2019) Samsung QLED Series (2019 and 2018) Samsung 8 Series (2019 and 2018) Samsung 7 Series (2019 and 2018) Samsung 6 Series (2019 and 2018) Samsung 5 Series (2019 and 2018) Samsung 4 Series (2019 and 2018) Sony Z9G Series (2019) Sony A9G Series (2019) Sony X950G Series (2019) Sony X850G Series (2019 85", 75", 65" and 55" models) Vizio P-Series Quantum (2019 and 2018) Vizio P-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017) Vizio M-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017) Vizio E-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017) Vizio D-series (2019, 2018 and 2017)We've yet to see any AirPlay 2 announcements from smaller brands such as TCL, Hisense, Panasonic, or Toshiba. AirPlay 2 support will allow users to stream video, audio, photos, and more directly from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to supported smart TVs. HomeKit support is also coming to many of these TVs, enabling users to control volume, playback, and more using Siri or the Home app on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Samsung announced that its latest smart TVs are also getting an exclusive iTunes TV and movie app for accessing the storefront. Apple is widely expected to launch a Netflix-esque streaming video service later this year, and AirPlay 2 support on leading smart TVs

CES 2019: Sony's Upcoming 4K and 8K TVs to Support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit

Starting later this year, Sony's new 2019 Z9G Series 8K LCDs, A9G Series OLED 4K TVs, and X950G 4K LCD TVs will support Airplay 2 and HomeKit protocols from Apple. Other TV manufacturers, including Samsung, Vizio, and LG have also announced support for HomeKit and AirPlay 2 for their 2019 smart TV lineups. All of the major TV brands will support both, with the exception of Samsung. Samsung TVs support AirPlay 2 and will have an exclusive app for accessing iTunes content, but won't work with HomeKit. With AirPlay 2 support, compatible Sony television sets will be able to stream videos, music, photos, and more right from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, and multi-room audio across multiple AirPlay 2 devices will also be available. Content AirPlayed on Sony television sets will be able to be controlled using the Lock screen widget or the Control Center of an iOS device. Users will be able to play, pause, fast-forward, rewind, and adjust volume on the TV when AirPlaying TVs, movies, and music. With HomeKit and Siri integration, users will be able to control their TVs via Siri voice commands, using voice requests to do things like play specific TV shows on a specific television. The TVs will be present in the Home app, so Siri controls will also be available for doing things like turning on the TV or including the TV in a HomeKit scene. Sony's television sets run an Android-based operating system with built-in Cast support from Google, which means users will be able to choose between using Google and Apple services. AirPlay-compatible Sony television sets include

PlayStation Vue Expands Local Broadcast Stations With 200 New Additions Across the U.S.

Following DirecTV Now's addition of numerous local stations for its customers, Sony this week announced the addition of around 200 new local network affiliates for PlayStation Vue users in cities across the United States. These include affiliate partners with ABC, FOX, and NBC in cities like Buffalo, Honolulu, Memphis, Austin, and many more. ABC affiliates on PS Vue now include Cincinnati, Ohio (9 On Your Side); Columbia, South Carolina (ABC Columbia); Corpus Christi, Texas (KIII-TV 3); Lafayette, Louisiana (KATC TV 3); and Baton Rouge, Louisiana (WBRZ 2). A few Fox affiliates include Bangor, Maine (FOX 22); Denver, Colorado (FOX 31); Eureka, California (FOX 28); and Jackson, Mississippi (FOX 40). Lastly, some NBC affiliates include Alexandria, Louisiana (KALB); Anchorage, Alaska (KTUU); Fargo, North Dakota (KVLY); and Lima, Ohio (WLIO). Check out PS Vue's FAQ page for the entire list of new local stations. PS Vue head Dwayne Benefield made the announcement on the PlayStation Blog: I am excited to announce that PS Vue users in select markets will gain access to local broadcast stations at no extra cost, starting today. With this expansion, PS Vue now offers more than 450 local ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC stations, in cities all over the US – from Buffalo, NY, to Honolulu, HI. As we gear up for football season and Fall TV premieres, now over 97% of the US population has access to at least one major broadcast station from ABC, CBS, FOX, and/ or NBC. Unfortunately, there are many local stations that are restricted from recording shows through PS Vue's cloud DVR,

Sony Unveils New Version of Its Top-Rated Aftermarket CarPlay System

Sony today introduced its new XAV-AX210 receiver, which doubles as an aftermarket CarPlay and Android Auto system. The XAV-AX210 is an update to Sony's year-old XAV-AX200 receiver, with the headline new feature being support for iDatalink Maestro, a car audio system that seamlessly interfaces with steering wheel controls, amplifier functions, on-screen vehicle settings, and more when used outside of CarPlay mode. The receiver has a 6.4-inch touchscreen, but Sony hasn't specified if it's resistive or capacitive. Other key features include hands-free phone calls and music playback via Bluetooth, SiriusXM compatibility, rear view camera readiness, a built-in four-channel amplifier, and a built-in CD/DVD player. This product is ideal for vehicles that don't come with factory installed CarPlay, mirroring several apps onto the dashboard, including Phone, Messages, Apple Maps, Apple Music, Spotify, and starting with iOS 12, Google Maps and Waze. As a wired system, an iPhone must be connected via Lightning cable. Sony said XAV-AX210 pricing and availability in North America will be announced in the fall of 2018. It will likely have a similar price as the XAV-AX200, available on Amazon for between $399 and $499 depending on configuration. Of note, the XAV-AX100 and XAV-AX200 have received favorable reviews from publications such as The Wirecutter. Other brands with aftermarket CarPlay and Android Auto receivers include Alpine, Pioneer, JVC, Kenwood, and

Sony Reveals $280 'Xperia Ear Duo' With Siri Support and 'Dual Listening' Tech to Combine Music With Environment

Sony today at Mobile World Congress revealed an upgraded version of its Xperia Ear earphones, called the Xperia Ear Duo. Sony previously showed the earphones in prototype form during last year's MWC, but the company has now officially announced a price point of $280 and release date of May 2018 for its latest smart assistant earphones (via The Verge). The main new addition to Sony's earphones is the "Spatial Acoustic Conductor," which Sony describes as a way to allow the sound generated behind the user's ear by the unit's driver "to be transmitted directly into the ear." This way users will be able to hear their music while not being totally out of tune with noises coming in from their environment, which the company refers to as "Dual Listening." As such, there is no toggle to turn off the feature and block out ambient sounds. The Xperia Ear Duo doesn’t block the ear canal, so you can hear your music and the environment around you simultaneously. Even better, the volume automatically adjusts depending on your surroundings for an optimised audio experience. The Spatial Acoustic Conductor, developed by our in-house technology incubator Future Lab Program™, allows the sound generated behind the ear by the unit´s driver to be transmitted directly into the ear. The specially designed ring supporter surrounds the ear canal so your music can blend seamlessly with sounds from your environment. Similar to Apple's AirPods, the Xperia Ear Duo earphones have multiple gesture controls that let users control music playback with taps. Additionally, Sony's earphones recognize

Sony Announces New Smart Home Speaker With Built-In Google Assistant and Gesture Controls

Sony today announced a collection of new products that it plans to showcase during the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, Germany this upcoming weekend. One of the biggest additions to the company's line-up is a new smart home speaker, called the LF-S50G wireless speaker, which looks similar to Apple's upcoming HomePod, has a built-in Google Assistant, and is being pitched with a "high quality" music-focused message. Users can start off music playback by saying "OK Google," and from there they can ask the assistant for any information that it normally provides, including basic trivia, unit conversions, nutritional information, recipes, and more. The sides of the speaker have an LED clock display, while the top includes various sensors that support gesture controls for starting a song, skipping a song, and adjusting volume. "Now you can get Sony’s awesome sound quality and design with the Google Assistant built-in," said Mike Fasulo, President and COO of Sony Electronics. "This functionality is another example of Sony’s commitment to customer choice by delivering new and innovative technologies." The LF-S50G wireless speaker includes a 360 degree, vertical two-way facing speaker system, which Sony said provides for "maximum sound coverage" in any average-sized room. The device's full range speaker reproduces vocal and treble notes, while a dedicated subwoofer reproduces bass sounds and an omnidirectional two stage diffuser evenly spreads the sound to anyone in the room. For music playback, the speaker supports smartphone pairing through Bluetooth and NFC.

Amazon Offering $101 Off Sony's MDR-1000X Noise-Canceling Bluetooth Headphones

Amazon is currently offering $101 off the price of Sony's highly rated MDR-1000X noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones, which came out last October and usually retail at $399. The headphones boast the same drivers as the company's well-regarded MDR-1A headset made for listening to Hi-Res Audio, as supported by the company's Walkman range and its line of wireless home speakers and in-car audio systems. They also offer up to 20 hours' battery life, touch controls, and exceptional adaptive noise-canceling, rivaling the likes of Bose's QuietComfort 3 and Sennheiser's PXC 550. In addition, Sony's headset supports the full range of wireless codecs, including AAC, aptX, SBC, and the company's proprietary LDAC, which transmits up to three times more data than conventional Bluetooth for superior sound on supporting devices. The cans are available on Amazon for $298 in beige or black. You can read MacRumors' in-depth review of Sony's MDR-1000X headphones here. Note: MacRumors may benefit from affiliate links clicked in this article.

Sony Introduces New Aftermarket CarPlay and Siri Eyes Free Systems

Sony today introduced its new XAV-AX200 in-car audio receiver, which doubles as an aftermarket CarPlay system. The double-DIN XAV-AX200 has a 6.4-inch touchscreen, but Sony didn't specify if its capacitive, or resistive like its XAV-AX100 predecessor. Other key features include both CarPlay and Android Auto support, Bluetooth, SiriusXM satellite radio compatibility, a built-in four-channel amplifier, three external camera inputs, and a built-in DVD player. Sony also unveiled a MEX-GS820BT receiver that can pair with two smartphones at once via Bluetooth. It doesn't appear to support CarPlay, but it does feature Siri Eyes Free, and similar voice controls on Android smartphones. Sony said the unit has a high-contrast vertical-alignment LCD of an unspecified size. Siri Eyes Free helps minimize driver distraction with Siri voice recognition, allowing drivers to interact with an iPhone 4s or later without needing to look at the in-dash screen. The feature can be used to make calls, play music, hear and compose text messages, read notifications, use Apple Maps, and more. Sony said the XAV-AX200 and MEX-GS820BT will be available across North America by the end of the year. Pricing wasn't disclosed. The older XAV-AX100 generally retails for between $499 and $549 in the United States. Other aftermarket CarPlay systems are available from Alpine, Clarion, Kenwood, JBL, JVC, Pioneer, Sony, and other manufacturers.

Sony Announces 'PlayLink' With Synchronous Multiplayer Games Communicating Between PS4 and iOS

At E3 this week, Sony announced a new social multiplayer experience for its PlayStation 4 console called "PlayLink," which will use iOS and Android devices as extensions of gameplay happening on the console. The games offered through PlayLink are designed to be played in a group setting, and will be available for purchase through the PS4's PlayStation Store. Introducing PlayLink, a brand new initiative for PlayStation that aims to get the whole world playing games. Supports iOS and Android. pic.twitter.com/95ewrK9yBy— PlayStation (@PlayStation) June 13, 2017 To join in on the game, users will be able to download a free PlayLink companion app, which will then sync with the PS4 system and become a "versatile controller" for the game. Announced games include narrative-driven thriller Hidden Agenda, trivia party Knowledge is Power, mini-game collection Frantics, karaoke competition SingStar Celebration, and personalized comedy quiz show That's You! The games use a variety of the iPhone's features, including taking selfies, doodling on images, swiping through potential answers, and more. Other games have included communication between consoles and iPhones in the past, like the Jackbox games, but this is Sony's first attempt to launch a suite of titles specifically controlled by smartphones. PlayLink titles are designed to be played in a group setting, allowing for a truly fun and dynamic experience. The collection of PlayLink games vary from gritty crime thrillers to quick-fire quizzes. If you have a smartphone or tablet with the free companion app installed and your

Sony's PlayStation Division to Release 6 Mobile Games for iOS Next Year

Sony is set to release up to six games for iOS in the financial year starting April in the hope of replicating Nintendo's phenomenal success with Pokémon Go (via Reuters). The upcoming titles will bring popular Sony franchises such as Everybody's Golf to iOS devices for the first time, said the company. Previously Sony has only launched a few games for smartphones through its music entertainment division, but the new games will be "mobile designated" and be produced through its PlayStation business. Everybody's Golf on PlayStation 4 Sony also revealed on Wednesday that it is working on 10 mobile gaming titles, including those to be released next year. The 10 titles include PaRappa the Rapper and Arc The Lad. Japan will be first to get the games, before rollout to other Asian countries and eventually likely elsewhere, depending on initial success. Despite its huge success in the console market worldwide, Sony is facing increasing heat from mobile in countries such as Japan, the world’s third largest game market where mobile gaming accounts for more than half of the $12.4 billion market, according to games research firm Newzoo. The announcement comes just a week before Nintendo debuts Super Mario Run on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The endless runner game goes live on the App Store on December 15 for $9.99.

Sony Releases PlayStation Communities iOS App

Sony has released a new PlayStation Communities iOS app that allows players to interact with fellow PS4 gamers from their Apple phones and tablets. The app works much like a forum portal: Players using the app can search for, join, and interact with groups, where they can post messages and images on a community wall. Members can stick to chatting about gaming or join groups to set up multiplayer games. PlayStation Communities are places where you can find players who have similar interests and preferences. Within a Community, you can join parties and launch into games with other Community members, or talk about your shared interests. For instance, if you’re having trouble finding players to tackle Destiny’s newest raid, Wrath of the Machine, a Destiny community may help you fill out your fireteam.The PlayStation Communities app joins two other Sony apps for its console – a flagship PlayStation app released three years ago, and a PlayStation Messages app released in 2015. PlayStation Communities is a free download for iPhone and iPad available on the App Store. (Via The Verge.)

Sony Details Smartphone Gaming Plans, Launching More Than Five Titles by March 2018

Sony today confirmed that it is working on creating more than five smartphone games for iOS and Android, all expected to launch before March 2018 (via CNBC). The games will be created through Sony's ForwardWorks subsidiary, which it formed earlier in March of this year as a way to craft "full-fledged game titles" for smartphones. At the time of that announcement, the company hadn't detailed the launch plan, or specified how many games it wanted to create, so today marks the first time it talks about its smartphone gaming plans since then. Known in March and reiterated today, the Sony iOS and Android games will first hit Japan and other Asian countries, with the expectation being that each game will then slowly rollout wider after the initial release. Despite consistently strong sales figures for its PlayStation 4 system, the company's aim at Japan is an attempt to battle low console sales in a country where users are more likely to spend their time picking up mobile and smartphone games rather than sit in front of a home console system. "Japan is a market where Sony and other console makers are struggling to sell units. Sony had to react. People are consuming smartphone games like there is no tomorrow," Serkan Toto, CEO of Japanese gaming consultant and advisory group Kantan Games, told CNBC by phone. Sony has still yet to confirm which games and franchises might receive the smartphone treatment, but any of its first party franchises published under Sony Interactive Entertainment -- Uncharted, Sly Cooper, Ratchet & Clank, God of War -- could be fair game.

Sony Announces Three New Bluetooth Headphones

Ahead of the reveal of the iPhone 7, which is largely expected to usher in a new era of user interest in wireless headphones thanks to the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack, Sony recently unveiled three new wireless headphone options for its customers (via SlashGear). Each of the three Bluetooth headphones couple together high-quality sound with Sony's "Extra Bass" technology, along with high-rated resistance to the elements for sports-related activities on two of the models. The first, most expensive set is the XB80BS Sports In-ear Headphones ($149.99), which come with a splash-proof IPX5 design that allows users to wear them in heavy rain and even clean them in water. In addition to being the most waterproofed of Sony's new headphones, the XB80BS also packs in the highest quality sound with "high fidelity wireless streaming" thanks to Bluetooth and LDAC technology for up to seven hours of music listening. From left to right: the $150, $100, and $80 models of Sony's new Bluetooth headphones The mid-range, XB70BT Bluetooth In-ear Headphones ($99.99) are a slight step down in comparison, with an overall lack of waterproofing and high-quality music streaming, that's compensated for with a focus on smartphone interactivity. Thanks to in-line remote controls with phone call and music playback functionality (lacking on the other headphones), along with 9 hours of battery life, Sony's XB70BT headphones are aimed more at daily casual users who don't need an emphasis on sports-related resistance. Lastly, the company's cheapest new headphones, the XB50BS Sports

Apple Partnering With Sony to Bring Apple Pay to Japan

Apple is partnering with Sony to bring its Apple Pay payments service to Japan, reports Japanese news site Nikkei. As has been previously rumored, Apple will make future versions of the iPhone compatible with Sony's FeliCa technology to allow Japanese citizens to use Apple Pay for contactless payments at FeliCa-compatible terminals. FeliCa is Sony's tap-to-pay format, which has been widely adopted in Japan. It's used to access the country's railway and bus system, and it's able to store e-money that can be used at vending machines, cafes, and other locations equipped with FeliCa systems. FeliCa is able to process transactions in a fraction of a second, making it suitable for use in a fast-paced transit environment. Users will also be able to store train tickets on their iPhones, letting them enter gates with a wave. Other proposed uses for the technology include integrating membership cards and replacing security key cards. Apple's foray into Japanese smartphone payment services will promote broader adoption of compatible terminals at retailers and event venues. Foreign travelers may be able to use foreign iPhones to make payments as well.The new iPhone is expected to be equipped with the technology needed to allow it to interface with FeliCa payment terminals, but according to Nikkei, Apple Pay is not likely to launch until Japan until next year. Instead, a gradual rollout is expected. Apple still needs to negotiate fees with financial institutions in Japan and establish deals with retailers and service providers that use the FeliCa readers, a process that will

Apple Turns to LG as Sony Falls Behind on Dual-Lens Camera Production for iPhone 7 Plus

Chris Chang of Nomura Securities has issued a note to investors claiming that Sony may be running behind schedule in terms of supplying Apple with dual-lens camera modules for the next-generation 5.5-inch iPhone, which rumors suggest may be called the iPhone 7 Plus or iPhone Pro.We think Sony may not be able to deliver its full share of dual cameras to Apple due to: (1) lower-than-expected yield, and (2) damage to its production facility from the April earthquake in Kumamoto.Chang believes that Apple will instead turn to LG as its primary supplier of dual-lens camera modules for the larger-sized iPhone expected to launch in September. Both investment bank Nomura Securities and research firm Citi Research believe all 5.5-inch iPhones will be equipped with dual-lens camera modules, rather than just one model, echoing comments made by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo earlier this month. Kuo previously said that Apple had two 5.5-inch versions of the iPhone 7 Plus in development, including one with a single iSight rear-facing camera and another boasting a dual-lens camera module, but he has since recanted. Meanwhile, the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 is widely expected to retain a single-lens camera. Nomura Securities also believes that Apple will include optical image stabilization (OIS) on both the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone, whereas the feature has been exclusive to the larger iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus over the past two generations. Leaked images, components, and renders potentially offer a first look at Apple's dual-lens camera system, but rumors have been