I’m gonna go ahead and say right up front that I am not an audiophile at all. If you’re looking for a deep dive into the sonic properties of the new AirPods Pro, I am not your dude. Lack of expertise, however, has never stopped me before, so here are my thoughts.
Compared to the AirPod Amateurs, the Pros come in a case that’s wider, but not as tall. It’s almost like an elongated AirPod case turned sideways. Unless you have a pocket that JUST fits the regular airpods, the new Pros will likely fit about the same, they’re still very pocketable.
The earbuds themselves have traded the hard plastic of the originals for a rubber tip that fits snugly inside your ear holes and helps provide noise isolation. As an added benefit, they’re definitely more comfortable to me. The “stalks” are also shorter, so if you hated the look of the originals due to the stalks coming out of your ears, you may find these a bit more tolerable. I think they’re fine, and I do like that the shorter stalks are less likely to get caught on stuff like messenger bag straps, but I didn’t hate the originals either.
Noise cancellation is pretty solid. It doesn’t block out EVERYTHING but it does do a good job of blocking out the kind of noises that are super distracting, the humming from my old refrigerator’s compressor, the sound of my car at idle, my garage door opener, etc. It’s almost subtle after you’ve had them in your ears for a minute, but switching over to Transparency mode makes you very quickly realize just how much work the Noise Cancellation was doing.
I haven’t had them long enough to do any battery testing, but apple claims 4.5 hours per charge and enough charges in the case for 24 hours total. They are generally pretty accurate with their battery estimates, so I have no reason to doubt them this time. Everyone seems up in arms about the price, but it’s right in the ballpark for other wireless noise cancelling earbuds. Sony’s 1000-XM3’s are $229. I don’t find $249 to be out of range, especially given their integration in the apple ecosystem with automatic pairing to all iCloud devices and all.
The sound quality is good, at least in my opinion. It’s honestly hard to say how much of that is “better headphone” and how much of that is “noise reduction/less ambient noise” but everything sounds clearer. The one obvious improvement is higher perceived volume at the same volume setting, which is probably a very good thing for your ears. Bass seemed markedly improved over the old Airpods as well.
Overall I’m pretty impressed with the AirPods Pro, even though their name is terrible to write about.
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So naturally I ordered a pair. I don't really need them to be completely honest, but I do use my AirPods a lot. I'll post my impressions tomorrow. Anyone want to buy a pair of Gen 2 AirPods with wireless charging case to subsidize my poor decisions?
It took 6 days using their prepaid return label to for them to receive my trade in. It was delivered today around 2pm PST, let's see how long it takes them to ship my Hero 8 Black now.
Like for real for real. I got my pilot bearing installed, got my flywheel bolted up, got my clutch disk and flex plate on. I just need lift time, and I should get that next week.
Now I need to decide on a car play head unit, because I can’t go back to not having it. I’ll do a ton of research this weekend and post up what I decide on.
So yeah, I put my flywheel on earlier this week and went to go install the pressure plate and clutch today and got the feeling that something is missing. I quickly realized I should probably install the pilot bearing in the center of the flywheel. I tried to gently tap it in with the flywheel in place but I abandoned that idea pretty quickly, pulled the flywheel back off and pressed it in. I feel like a total moron, but at least I realized it before I put the motor in.
Much better. Now let’s get this clutch on and get this damn motor in. I want to drive my NB.
It was raining buckets this morning as I drove it in and it didn't leak a single drop. Getting the new top to latch was quite a chore. I finally accomplished it by letting the car sit in the sun all day with the top "up" to stretch it out, then turning the heat on high for about 20 minutes to make it more pliable, then Daisy basically laid on top of the roof to push it down will I pulled it forward and latched it. Once one side was finally latched the other went pretty easily. I'm going to leave it latched for at least a couple of weeks to let it get nice and stretched before I even attempt to put the top down again.
On the plus side, the cheapest Miata top on amazon is actually pretty damn good. It fits correctly, it seems to be made of exactly the same material as the factory top, and at the time I bought it, it was $159 with free shipping with Prime. I really have zero complaints. If you want a cheap NA top, go buy it...but maybe wait until it's warmer to put it on if you want to be able to actually close it.
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So, I use the Hero 7 Black pretty extensively, especially for car videos but it's a pretty solid blogging camera too. My current setup is the 7 Black with a SmallRig cage, a GoPro mic adapter, a GoPro shorty grip, and a Rode Wireless Go mic setup. It's a great setup for a variety of shots and it works really well, but it's also a little unwieldy.
The cage and mic adapter and all add a bunch of bulk to what is supposed to be a compact and ultra portable camera. Enter the Hero 8 Black. The new model includes a front mic built in and a (soon to be) available "Media Mod" which includes a shotgun mic that pops into the side and also includes a mic jack and two cold shoes. This should make my setup a lot more portable. I can use the shotgun mic most of the time and pop on the wireless go with no other adapters needed when I want to be heard when I'm not looking right at the camera.
GoPro is also running a trade in deal where you can get $100 off with the trade in of damn near any camera. I happened to have an old base model hero that was selling on Swappa for...$100. Seems easier to just trade it in, so that's what I did. I put in my order last night around midnight and sent in my trade in today. I'll keep my website updated to see how long the trade in takes.
In the meantime, anyone want to buy a really good Hero 7 Black setup? Email me if you do.
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Let me start by saying this isn't really a "vs" kind of situation. There are some things that the Sony camera does that an iPhone just physically cannot, like having an optical 200mm equivalent zoom or full manual control over photo and video settings. I do however, feel like they will be used in much the same way most of the time. Most people that buy a point and shoot camera are going to shoot video in auto mode. Most people that buy an iPhone are going to launch the stock camera app, tap video, and start recording.
As such, that's how I tested them. No manual mode on the Sony, no Filmic Pro or anything like that on the iPhone. I have to say, I didn't think the iPhone was going to look this good in comparison. If you're shooting mostly close up stuff, the iPhone is seriously as good or better in most situations, at least to my eye. It has me strongly considering selling my RX100 and buying something like the Sony A6400.
This is by no means a definitive test, and I will definitely continue comparing them, but I am very impressed with the 11 Pro.
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It was surprisingly not bad at all considering it was my first soft top install and I used literally the cheapest Miata top on amazon. The top came off pretty easily, the B pillar clips were a massive ass ache and drilling out the rivets is always exciting, but overall it worked out fine.
Putting the new top on was a little bit more challenging but still totally doable. The main issue was trying to get the tension cables and B pillars on correctly, we finally figured out that you need to fold the top up to make those easy. I managed to salvage the existing rain rail. Now it's just sitting in the garage with weights on the roof to stretch it out so it can close. Naturally it got cold as soon as we decided to do the top.
Here's a video of the install process, but it's definitely not comprehensive. It should still you a good idea of how it goes though.
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I got the fender on last weekend and drove it on the little a bit, just enough in fact to determine that the brakes were not in good shape, and there's no way in hell I was going to drive it off the lot at all.
I ordered a Centric 4 wheel kit off of rockauto.com and threw them on today. Much better!
Now all I have left to do is install the comically cheap convertible top I purchased on amazon. I'll make sure to do a video of that, since I've never done a convertible top before. I'm also going to do it at home so I can do some heavy drinking if it's as annoying as I think it will be. Here's a quick video of the car in it's current state.
For those of you following along at home, I rescued this Miata from a copart salvage auction. It needed a fender, a tail light, and a new convertible top. Tail light is in, fender is now painted and installed, and as soon as the title comes in I will drive it home and install the cheapest convertible top I could find on Amazon. Nice to be making some progress. The Green NB is getting the motor installed this weekend if everything goes to plan.
So, I’ve seen OEC Japanese Express every time I go to Kroger, it’s on the other side of the shopping center from the Kroger at Stage and Bartlett Blvd. It has good reviews and it’s super close to my house so I thought I would give it a shot. I am super glad I did. We called in an order because I had a very sleepy child on my couch.
We ended up ordering a pretty decent variety because all three of us were hungry. We got the Japanese egg rolls, chicken yakisoba, crunch crab roll, shrimp killer roll, and crunch kani cheese roll. I never get sashimi or nigiri on a first trip to a new sushi place, I’m not that brave. I go to pick it up and it’s a tiny little hole in the wall in a strip mall, with the ultra wide lens I managed to get effectively the entire restaurant into a picture.
They’re pretty steady for it being early on a Sunday night, and that’s a good sign to me. First off I definitely want turnover at a restaurant that serves any kind of seafood. Second, if this tiny place in a strip mall is busy on an off night, the food must be good. Spoiler alert: it was.
Everything tasted super fresh and flavorful, the egg rolls are almost certainly laced with crack. The noodles were solid and the sushi hit the mark on pretty much everything. I think the shrimp killer roll was my favorite, with just enough heat and still crunchy shrimp. I’ll basically just shut up now and let the pictures do the talking. (As an aside I’m super impressed with the iPhone 11 Pro camera, but again, I’ll let the pics do the talking.)
Also, all of that food was right at $30, which is downright cheap as hell for good sushi as far as I’m concerned. I’ll definitely be back and I now trust them enough to try to some yellowtail nigiri, which I’ve been constantly craving since whenever I was in California last. If you find yourself out in Bartlett and want some sushi, I would definitely give them a shot.
OEC Japanese Express if you would like to check out their website, it has the full menu on it.
I replaced the oil pump pickup tube, got an AN10 fitting welded on the pan and finally put everything back together. I’m just waiting on lift time to put it in.
Meanwhile the white Miata is just waiting on the fender to come back from the paint shop. It should be back today and I’ll throw it on early next week. I also have a new convertible top sitting in my garage waiting for the title to come in so I can drive it home and then install it. It will be my first soft top replacement, I’ll do my best to document it here.
Pretty boring update this week but next week should be fun.
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