AKG N60NC noise cancelling headphones: When you want some peace & quiet

 

I have to admit that until I was offered a set of AKG’s N60NC wireless noise cancelling headphones for review, I hadn’t heard of the Austrian manufacturer before. Now, I’m a convert.

Thanks to Mr Google, I now know that AKG is an Austrian acoustics company and manufacturer founded in 1927 by Dr. Rudolf Görike and Ernest Plass, has its headquartered in Vienna, Austria and is now owned by Samsung Electronics through its Harman division (lightbulb moment: Now I know why the earbuds that come with the Samsung Galaxy S9 are “tuned by AKG”)

Comfort is important to me when it comes to headphones (hell, I’m sure I’m not alone in that) and the on-ear N60NCs are comfortable, thanks to a nice amount of foam on the ear cups. They really do cancel out noise, too, handy for when you want to listen to something and not hear the family chattering in the background, or you want to block out office noise (which it does brilliantly).

Pairing to a Bluetooth device, be it laptop or phone, is quick enough thanks to the switch on the right ear cup, and they paired to my MacBook Pro and Samsung’s Galaxy S9 easily. The N60NC build quality oozes quality, right down to the chrome edging around the ear cups and the nice braided 3.5mm audio cable if you like to go old-school and go for wired headphones. There’s also a nice braided USB charge cable.

The N60s folds in on itself to create a tight package and there’s a nice foam carry bag that also houses the USB cable and the audio cable. I think I only used the 3.5mm audio cable once as the headset offers hours of battery life on one charge.

But what is the sound like? Do the AKG N60NCs deliver incredible sound? According to my ears, yes they do. I tested the N60s watching movies off Netflix, playing Yakuza 6 and listening to my Hits of the 80s playlist on Spotify, and the N60NCs delivered every time, throwing back strong bass notes, while handling the mid range with aplomb. Everything just sounded crisp and was a delight. Look, I tried to find something wrong with them but I just couldn’t. I just couldn’t.

In New Zealand, the AKG N60NCs go for between $420 and $499 which, for a decent pair of noise cancelling headphones, doesn’t seem too bad to me, after all you get what you pay for – and with the N60NCs your’re getting top-notch sound and great noise cancelling properties.

Just the ticket for when you want to drown out the world, eh?

Arms: Punching good times on the Nintendo Switch

Like it did with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Switch, Nintendo has struck  gaming gold with pugilism simulator, Arms.

As the name suggests, this punching game centres on the arms of the pugilists, which are spring-loaded with one of three different “gloves” providing light, medium and heavy attacks. Take Spring Man, example, his toaster arms look like boxing gloves, his boomerang arms fire two-bladed boomerangs and the tribolt arms fire three rockets at foes. You can mix and max so each arm has different gloves, if you like. Punch your foe with the left arm then knock them down with the right!

The game play is mixed up with skill-based rounds every now and then: It might be having to punch beach balls over a net before they explode or knock down targets or knock your opponent into a basketball hoop. The fighter that scores the highest moves onto the next round.

While you might think Arms would get repetitive quickly, it doesn’t as it has enough depth and a roster of 30 fighters (each fighter has their own unique ring, too) to keep things moving along nicely. You can use either the JoyCons unclipped from the Switch, waving them around, or using a controller or attached to the Switch itself. I actually felt more control waving the JoyCons around as if I was actually fighting. It just felt more natural, with pushing both hands forward grabbing opponents and turning them into each other putting your fists up to guard your face.

The fighting isn’t that deep but you can curve punches to catch opponents unawares, dash and jump, as well as using the arena environments to your advantage. One takes place in a street with parked cars as obstacles while another has platforms that rise and fall as you’ve playing. Grabbing opponents with both arms and throwing them to the ground is great fun. I haven’t played any online matches yet but the game play modes include ranked matches.

Arms looks fantastic on the Switch, too: It’s running at a crisp 720p and 60 frames a second, in both docked and un-docked mode.

With Arms, Nintendo has again delivered a knock out with a game that is simply put, fun. Arms is FUN. Pure and simple.