Razer Opus headphones review: Stellar THX sound for $200

When you think of Razer, headphones probably aren’t the first thing that comes to mind. Gaming headsets, perhaps, but the company is more synonymous with gaming accessories and peripherals than general-use audio gear. Of course, those headsets can do...

Razer Opus is a set of noise-cancelling headphones with THX audio

Much like its cute Pikachu earbuds, Razer once again proves that it can make cool headphones without slapping three snakes and RGB onto them. According to Engadget Chinese, the latest product to benefit from this cleaner design cue is the Razer Opus,...

Firefox 16 final launches with Reader on Android, VoiceOver on Macs and web app support

Mozilla Marketplace in Firefox

Mozilla knows how to keep on the fast track. Just weeks after the Firefox 16 beta first showed, the finished version is ready and waiting. Surprises are few if you were an early adopter, although the update still has some welcome changes for the right audiences. Mozilla is most keen to talk about preliminary web app support for the Mozilla Marketplace, but you'll also find device-specific additions like a Reader Mode for the Android flock and VoiceOver support automatically switched on for Macs. More responsive JavaScript and on-by-default Opus audio playback give existing surfers extra reasons to upgrade. Firefox 16 is immediately available through all the usual channels, so hit the relevant source link if you're ready to live on the not-quite-bleeding edge.

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Firefox 16 final launches with Reader on Android, VoiceOver on Macs and web app support originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 09 Oct 2012 12:56:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Skype promising CD quality sound from new ‘Opus’ audio codec, fewer choppy calls

Skype's got a new audio codec that it thinks you should be pumped about, and it's called "Opus." It's been kicked around at Skype since March 2009, though work didn't begin in earnest until June of the same year, and it was just certified by the IETF as a standard of online audio. Senior Skype architect Koen Vos lead a team of audio engineers to create the hybrid audio codec, combining Skype's own "SILK" codec with Xiph.Org's "CELT" codec, intending to create a low-bandwidth codec "designed for the internet." But what does that mean for us? It means "CD quality" audio (fullband stereo sound) over Skype, regardless of internet connection. And what about those pesky packet loss issues that cause Skype calls to often sound choppy? "It has multiple mechanics to deal with and recover from packet loss plaguing the network," promises audio/video product engineering director Karlheinz Wurm. So ... uh, less of a chance of sounding like an Autobot then? Great!

Wurm says the new codec "will make a quiet but crystal clear entry into the world" without naming exactly when. And yes, Opus is expected to become standard across all Skype platforms. What's that, you want to watch a 45 minute speech about Opus? We've got you covered, just below the break.

Continue reading Skype promising CD quality sound from new 'Opus' audio codec, fewer choppy calls

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Skype promising CD quality sound from new 'Opus' audio codec, fewer choppy calls originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 12 Sep 2012 11:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Firefox 15 to arrive in finished form on August 29th, promises truly stealthy updates for all (update 2: stand-alone, Android too)

Firefox 15 to arrive in complete form on August 29th, promises truly stealthy updates for all Mozilla has been keeping to a tight schedule of having a completed Firefox release every five to six weeks, and it's very much on track. The browser team's Ehsan Akhgari has confirmed that a properly polished version of Firefox 15 should reach the download servers on August 29th. When it does arrive, the new release will primarily expand the silent updates that Windows users first saw in Firefox 12: future iterations on all platforms will install themselves in the background and should be truly ready to go the next time the browser starts. Beyond this deliberately subtle change, the finished version 15 upgrade should still support Opus audio as well as clamp down on out-of-control memory use from add-ons. We're looking forward to not noticing the differences very shortly.

Update: Although it's not on the front page yet, both Mozilla, reader Josh and this writer can confirm that Firefox 15 is rolling out sooner than expected -- there's no reason to wait.

Update 2: It's now easier to get a stand-alone copy if you're not updating, since Mozilla just updated the Firefox front page to reflect the new version. Android users are also getting an update through Google Play that brings earlier speed updates to tablets, a personalized start page and a whole host of extra fixes, some of which come directly from the desktop Firefox 15.

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Firefox 15 to arrive in finished form on August 29th, promises truly stealthy updates for all (update 2: stand-alone, Android too) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 28 Aug 2012 10:44:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Firefox 15 beta boasts support for Opus audio format, reduces add-on memory leaks

Firefox 15 beta boasts support for Opus audio format, reduces addon memory leaksCan't bear to part with your favorite browser extensions, but can't stand to see them devour your system memory? Maybe you should check out Firefox 15. According to Mozilla's Hacks blog, the browser's latest beta should patch up the majority of memory leaks gushing from Firefox add-ons. Also new, is the beta's support for Opus, a free audio format partially supported by Mozilla. The firm hopes competing browsers will pick up the format as well, calling it "as good or better than basically all existing lossy codecs." The blog makes quite a case for the format, citing tests and bitrate information, going as far as giving instructions on embedding Opus players in web pages. Check out the codec of tomorrow for yourself at the source links below.

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Firefox 15 beta boasts support for Opus audio format, reduces add-on memory leaks originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 21 Jul 2012 08:19:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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