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Samsung Galaxy S22 review: a small-form wonder
7:17 pm | March 30, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Two-minute review

It's hard to write a Samsung Galaxy S22 review without making reference to its big brother, the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Now there's a phone with a radical new idea. Okay, it's an idea borrowed from the Galaxy Note line, but still, the Ultra stands apart from the S22 and S22 Plus. In fact, it makes the Galaxy S22 feel a bit less-than.

Similarly, we need to mention that the Samsung Galaxy S23 series has now been unveiled - including the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, and the Galaxy S22 feels slightly dated compared to them.

But these are also more expensive phones, so we’d be comparing apples to oranges to an extent. So let’s focus on what makes the Samsung Galaxy S22 such a fun, attractive, and palm-friendly device.

Put simply, the S22 has enough of everything. It pushes no boundaries in terms of photography, screen size, and battery life, yet it still compares favorably to Apple's $799 / £849 / AU$1,339 iPhone 14.  

Samsung's flagship phone provides more megapixels and sensors for photos, and gives you 3x optical zoom. To get something similar on the iPhone, you'll have to jump up to the pricier Pro models.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 is the kind of phone you get if your tastes are upscale but your budget is a bit downrange. Its 6.1-inch screen can feel cramped if you’re coming from virtually any similarly-priced Android phone from OnePlus and Xiaomi. However, placed side-by size with an iPhone 14, the dimensions are similar – and the resemblance is uncanny. 

It's a handset that will quickly become a trusted companion. The cameras should satisfy most average mobile photography users, and the image quality is excellent. The adaptive screen-refresh technology does a nice job of keeping everything from fast scrolls to action games looking smooth, and you’ll have no trouble shooting and editing 4K, 30fps video. The Galaxy S22 can also shoot 8K, but the screen stuttered while shooting it so we’re not ready to say this is an 8K-winner.

Like the rest of the S22 line, the Galaxy S22 is running Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in the US, or Samsung’s own Exynos chip in the UK and elsewhere,) and both are backed by 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage. The mobile CPU is snappy and capable, but that storage limit without the ability to add a microSD card is frustrating.

Overall, if you like Samsung and Android together, this is an affordable and familiar (we see you, Galaxy S21) way to get in at the top of the Galaxy line, making it one of the best Samsung phones and even one of the best Android phones. For those who want a 5G Samsung Galaxy but want to pay hundreds less, they should look at the Galaxy A Series, including the attractive Galaxy A53.

If you're looking for the perfect Samsung Galaxy S22 audio partner, you may want to check out our Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro review.

Samsung Galaxy S22 price and availability

Samsung Galaxy S22 specs

Weight: 167g
Dimensions: 146 x 70.6 x 7.6mm
Display size: 6.q-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2340
Chipset: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 / Exynos 2200
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128/256GB
Rear camera: 50MP + 10MP + 12MP
Front camera: 10MP
Pre-installed software: Android 12
Battery: 3,700mAh
Charging: 25W wired, 15W wireless 

The Samsung Galaxy S22 went on sale on February 25, 2022, in the US, March 3, 2022, in Australia, and March 11, 2022, in the UK. 

You can pick up the Galaxy S22 with 128GB storage for $799 / £769 / AU$1,249, or with 256GB for $849 / £819 / AU$1,349. That pricing has not changed since the Galaxy S21 line.

Note however that while those are the standard prices, you can now often find the Galaxy S22 for less than that, and now that the Samsung Galaxy S23 series has arrived the price is likely to keep on dropping.

Samsung Galaxy S22 design

  • Not a huge redesign over its predecessor
  • Comes in a few attractive color designs
  • Has a strong glass rear

Samsung Galaxy S22 back angle

The Gorilla Glass back of the Samsung Galaxy S22 (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Samsung evidently opted not to stray far from the Galaxy S21 design from the previous year, but there are two differences - one is noticeable, the other not so much.

The Galaxy S22 has a 6.1-inch display, making it 0.1 inches smaller than its predecessor, but it’s not something you’ll notice. What is noticeable is the new Gorilla Glass Victus Plus back – the rear was plastic last year. This change gives the phone a much more premium feel, and the Galaxy S22 now feels every bit as solid, and looks as elegant, as the iPhone 13.

This is a phone that’s small enough to slip into your pocket or bag and forget about. In today's world of oversized phones (like the larger Galaxy S22 Ultra), the S22's 70.6 x 146 x 7.6mm, 168g chassis feels puny. Apple's iPhone 13 mini,  which Apple is discontinuing, previously held the ‘small flagship’ crown, though.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 bottom edge

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 side edge

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 edge

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Where Apple now favors a smooth flat metal band around its phones, the Galaxy S22's aluminum frame offers a small, albeit pleasing curve, which some may find slightly more comfortable to hold for long periods than the iPhone 14. The phone is IP68 rated, which makes it water and dust-resistant. In practice, a drop in the sink is no big deal.

We’re glad Samsung left the contour-cut camera module untouched. It's attractive and efficient. The brushed glass back looks and feels great, and does a nice job of highlighting our test unit's Forest Green color – it also doesn’t show fingerprints. Other color options include Phantom Black, Phantom White, Pink Gold, and Bora Purple.

There are just two buttons – power and the volume rocker – along one edge of the phone. On the top edge is a tiny hole for a microphone. The bottom houses one speaker (the other half of the decently-loud stereo speaker system is hidden along the top edge of the display), the SIM slot, another microphone hole, and the USB-C charging port (note that the S22 doesn’t support the 45W charger that Samsung sells for the Galaxy S22 Plus).

Samsung Galaxy S22 display

  • 6.1-inch screen, smaller than on the S21
  • Has a 2340 x 1080 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate
  • Bright and attractive display

The edge-to-edge Dynamic AMOLED display has a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels, which is good, though it is lower than the iPhone 14's Super Retina XDR 2532 x 1170 display. Samsung makes up for that deficit by having a smaller black bezel around the screen, and no intrusive notch.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Display

Samsung Galaxy S22's AMOLED screen (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

To accommodate the 10MP front-facing camera, Samsung has cut a small circle in the display. It's not distracting, and didn’t break our immersion through long games of PUBG Mobile.

The screen is as bright and attractive as any we’ve seen. The adaptive refresh rate (10Hz to 120Hz) makes every movement in scrolling, videos, and games look smooth. High refresh rates can burn through charge quickly, so you can lock the refresh rate at 60Hz if you want to extend battery life, or at 120Hz if this isn’t a concern for you. 

The screen also promises to boost touch sampling (the speed at which it will recognize and respond to touch) for Game Mode. We had no responsiveness issues, but we also haven't noticed any gaming sluggishness in other flagship phones we've tested this year.

Underneath the display is the ultrasonic fingerprint reader. This lets you register your finger (or fingers) of choice and is an effective biometric security tool. The phone also supports face recognition, though there's also a warning that it's less secure on this device than fingerprint unlocking is.

Samsung Galaxy S22 cameras

  • 50MP main, 12MP ultra-wide, 10MP telephoto camera
  • 10MP selfie camera
  • A range of Samsung camera modes

Samsung Galaxy S22 Camera Array

Samsung Galaxy S22 Camera Array (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

While the Samsung Galaxy S22 looks a lot like the S21, right down to the contour-cut camera array, Samsung has mixed things up a bit.  There are still three lenses, but some of the sensors backing them are different.

The 12MP ultrawide f/2.2 camera is virtually unchanged, but it's now grouped with a new 50MP f/1.8 main camera and a 10MP f/2.3 telephoto. That last camera has far fewer pixels than the S21’s 64MP sensor but keeps the zoom at 3x (the S21 listed the zoom as hybrid; this is optical zoom). You can enjoy digital zoom up to 30x, which is fun, but not as good or exciting as the S22 Ultra's 100x Space Zoom. Still, it's nice to get 3x optical on a sub-$800 phone.

On the front is the 10MP selfie camera, which appears unchanged from the Galaxy S21.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Portrait mode 3

(Image credit: Future)

You can adjust the bokeh effect before or after you take a portait mode photo.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 portrait mode 1

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 portrait mode 2

(Image credit: Future)

Photography across a range of styles (wide, ultrawide, portrait, night mode) and the available lenses are good. Samsung's over-bright colors are still in evidence; they have a tendency to make, for instance, the sky too blue, and the results almost never match what you see with the naked eye. Looking back at the photos, you can't help but be pleased, but if you want absolute color fidelity, you might look elsewhere.

Portrait mode photography, which lets you adjust the bokeh effect before or after you take the shot, is a strong point. The software does an excellent job of separating subjects – human, or otherwise – from their background for professional-looking results.

The 10MP, 3x optical zoom does a good job, though its capabilities break down when it comes to 10x and 30x. We’re not sure there are enough pixels to support this level of digital (even AI-backed) interpolation.

The camera app includes a rather deep set of shooting modes and controls, many of them hidden under ‘More’ (typical of an Android phone). There's Pro mode, for instance, which gives you control over shutter speed, ISO (film speed in old-school camera-speak), focus point, and white balance.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 doesn't include a Cinematic mode, as Apple does in the iPhone 13, but you can adjust the depth of focus while shooting video if you use the Pro Video mode setting. With that on, you can tap on any subject and the camera will refocus on them. It's a shame Samsung hides such a useful feature in this way.

Camera samples

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Samsung Galaxy S22 tree photo

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 tree photo

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 tree photo

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 zoom

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 wide

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 ultrawide

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 ultrawide

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 ultrawide

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 reflection photo

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung Galaxy S22 performance and specs

  • Uses Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip in the US and Asia
  • Uses Exynos 2200 everywhere else
  • Powerful, with a fair amount of storage

Samsung has equipped all members of its S22 line with one of its latest mobile chipsets. In the US, that’s the  Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, while outside the US and Asia the Galaxy S22 runs on Samsung’s own Exynos 2200. Both processors are paired with 8GB of RAM, and either 128GB or 256GB storage.

When we benchmarked the Galaxy S22 against the S22 Ultra, we found the Geekbench scores to be essentially equal. Both phones’ scores are still generally lower than Apple's A16 Bionic’s, though.

None of this is to say the Galaxy S22 feels slow. It has more than enough power for casual mobile tasks (web browsing, app work) and extra juice for videos, games, 4K video shooting, and editing. The 8K video shoot was a stuttering disaster, but otherwise, we were pleased.

We wish Samsung didn't skimp on storage (256GB max without the option of a microSD upgrade is simply not enough) and leave out WiFi 6E (it has WiFi 6), but these are relatively minor quibbles.

Samsung Galaxy S22 software

  • Android 12 with Samsung's One UI over the top
  • Lots of pre-installed Samsung apps
  • Has 5G connectivity

Samsung Galaxy S22 front hole punch

Samsung Galaxy S22 front hole punch for 10MP selfie camera. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

The entire Samsung Galaxy S22 phone family runs on Samsung's One UI 4.1, laid over Android 12.

We like One UI because it mostly doesn't get in the way of a clean Android 12 experience. Yes, it still has its own web browser, which you can happily ignore (along with Samsung's Calendar and Contacts apps), and Bixby (which is tied to the power button for no good reason), but the Gallery app for photos and videos is passable (Google Photos, which is also present, is better).

This is also a 5G phone, which means you can enjoy blazing-fast mobile connectivity where you can get a decent signal. Indoors, however, that's often impossible. Even in the suburbs of most big cities, 5G coverage is spotty. But we did have fun streaming HD Netflix on the train ride home until we moved out of 5G range and back into LTE.

Samsung Galaxy S22 battery life

  • 3,700mAh battery - 300mAh smaller than before
  • USB-C cable, but no wall plug, included
  • Charges at 25W - also supports wireless

It's not clear why Samsung shrunk the Galaxy S22's battery down by 300mAh, from a capacity of 4,000mAh on the S21 to 3,700mAh here, but it doesn't appear to have much of an impact. We got roughly 12 hours of battery life with varied and almost constant use. Your mileage may vary.

The phone doesn’t ship with a charging adapter – just the USB-C cable – but you can use any compatible 25W adapter or charge wirelessly via a Qi adapter. 

Should I buy the Samsung Galaxy S22?

Samsung Galaxy S22 on box

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

If this Samsung Galaxy S22 review has you wondering what else is out there, here are some other similar mobiles that might also tempt you.

iPhone 14

The iPhone 14 is a capable smartphone with a seriously snappy CPU, lovely screen, and good cameras. It pales in comparison to the iPhone 14 Pro, but then you’re also saving $200 / £250 / AU$350. If you’re not looking for a big screen on a budget (for that, see the new iPhone 14 Plus), this solid, if unspectacular iPhone – with a couple of really cool next-gen features that you may never use – might be for you.

Read our iPhone 14 review

OnePlus 10T review
The OnePlus 10T is a worthy mid-range Android phone. Its good-looking screen, powerful chipset and fast charging make it a tempting buy for certain users. It’s not perfect – corners have clearly been cut in the camera, battery life and design departments to keep the price lower than it needs to be – but some users will find the lower price and different features make this a solid buy over the premium 10 Pro.

Read our OnePlus 10T review

  • First reviewed March 2022
Rode NTH-100 review
2:00 am | March 29, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

One-minute review

[Update February 1, 2023: As of February 2023, a mic attachment has been released for the NTH-100 headphones. Alternatively, you can also purchase both the NTH-100 and the NTH-Mic in a bundle under the name NTH-100M.]

For decades Rode has been known around the globe for its quality microphones, and now with the release of its first ever pair of headphones, the Aussie company has taken its pursuit of quality to another category.

The Rode NTH-100 is the brand's first ever pair of headphones and are available now for $149 / £149 / AU$249. They're aimed at audio professionals with their studio grade performance, but comfortably appeal to anyone seeking a top-quality listening experience.

They’re cabled, closed-back headphones that don’t feature any of the modern conveniences associated with Bluetooth headphones, but their focus on sound, comfort and build quality easily makes up for this.

The NTH-100 sports a classy and professional appearance, with a build quality to match. All the elements, from the headband to the earcup swivels, give a strong degree of confidence in their longevity and day-to-day durability.

Luxurious features like Alcantara coating on the earcups and headband, as well as cooling gel coupled with memory foam in the cups, make for a comfortable experience, even for longer periods. Despite their large size, these features help to make the headphones practically vanish when worn.

Onto the star of the show: the audio quality is exceptional, living up to Rode’s high standards. Despite being closed-back by design, the 40mm drivers give a similar sense of space and clarity usually reserved for much pricier open-back headphones.

The audio profile is rather neutral, ideal for monitoring and close listening, but the NTH-100 listening experience manages to be more fun than other monitoring headphones we’ve heard. With that said, you won’t necessarily get the same compression and excitement as you would with the Beats Solo 3 or Sony WH-1000XM4, but you also won’t get the listening fatigue and low-end skew that typically comes with it.

For their price, the Rode NTH-100 are an exceptional pair of headphones that focus on the audio, and don’t forego comfort or durability in the process. For everyday commuters and casual listeners, some Bluetooth alternatives might present a better option, but for professionals or those after a deeper listening experience, these cans excel.

Studio Monitoring Headphones: Rode NTH-100

(Image credit: Rode)

Rode NTH-100 price and release date

  • Available now
  • $149 / £149 / AU$249

The Rode NTH-100 headphones launched March 29, 2022 for $149 / £149 / AU$249 globally and are available in a single color – black (although four different colors of headband, earcups and cables will be sold separately).

As a point of comparison, Sony’s MDR-1AM2 (entry-level audiophile headphones) launched at twice this price ($299 / £229 / AU$399), and while their lightweight design and exceptional clarity are impressive, the Rode NTH-100 offers audio with a better sense of space, and is enclosed in a significantly more robust design – all for half the price.

Another popular pair of cans worth comparing to are the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, which have been available for almost five years. As such, they're typically available lower than their retail price at around the same as the NTH-100 ($149 / £149 / AU$249), but the Rode cans blow them out of the water for overall clarity and space in the audio, as well as comfort.

As of February 2023, you can pick up the the NTH-100 bundled with a microphone under the name NTH-100M. This headset is priced at $189 / AU$329 (UK pricing yet to be revealed). Alternatively, if you already own a pair of the NTH-100 headphones, the NTH-Mic has also been released. It's a standalone boom mic attachment and will only set you back $69 / AU$99 (UK pricing currently unavailable). At this time, we have not reviewed the NTH-Mic or NTH-100M.

Design

  • Extra measures for comfort
  • Classy and professional look
  • Premium materials for the price

The NTH-100 are cabled over-ear headphones, and from the outset you’ll notice they lack features found on many wireless counterparts. There’s no microphone, transport or volume controls, voice assistant, noise-cancellation or (obviously) any form of wireless connectivity. This, however, is by design.

These Rode headphones are aimed at studio use and focused listening, which means they’re not trying to fill the role of everyday cans for your commute or walk (although they still manage this rather well, despite their intention otherwise). Taking this into consideration, the NTH-100’s design is phenomenal.

Aesthetically, the headphones definitely look like professional kit – they’re not as sleek and minimal as some of the Bluetooth cans out there with their visible cabling and somewhat techy appearance, but their pure black palette is more suave than most gaming headsets and other such gaudy designs. With that said, there’s an option to swap out the earcups, headband and cable for four different colors (all of which are sold separately) if you’d prefer some personalization.

Studio monitoring headphones: Rode NTH-100

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Rode’s iconic “Ø” is emblazoned prominently on the exterior of each of the rather large earcups, as is the brand’s small golden circle motif, so there’s no mistaking who made the headphones. Overall, we’d say the design maintains class without trying to hide its professional intention.

The NTH-100 boasts solid construction, with sturdy materials like the stainless spring steel headband and solid plastic of the smaller components all giving the impression of robust design. Even the swivels for the earcups – a common weak point in headphones – feel more durable than is typical. It’s all rather reassuring for the longevity of the product.

Rode claims that the headband has been rated for the equivalent of 25 years of use, the wiring that links the earcups can withstand 25kg of force, and the cable and earcup sockets can each withstand 12kg. The bayonet mounting of the detachable cable is also designed to deliberately give way before that of the headphone connector, meaning that in an especially hairy situation, you’ll only be replacing the cable rather than the cans themselves.

In the box is a cloth pouch to further help protect the headphones, a ¼-inch adapter and a nice long (2.4m) cable, with the option to buy shorter (1.2m) cables separately. The long cable is mostly a blessing, but also a minor curse. For its intended purpose, it means you can stand and move around while still stationed by your computer or monitoring device, but if you only need it to travel a short distance, the extra length can add some weight to your head (albeit minor) and some extra microphonics, or cable noise, when it brushes against something.

Studio Monitoring Headphones: Rode NTH-100

As can be seen by the padding, the earcups are more triangular in shape than most headphones. (Image credit: TechRadar)

The earcups swivel both left-to-right and up-and-down, but only so much as to provide a comfortable position with them flush against your head. Their shape is somewhat triangular rather than the classical circular or ovaloid shapes found in most headphone designs. 

We found this shape to suit our ears perfectly, encapsulating them comfortably, leading us to wonder why it isn’t an industry standard. One extra convenience on the earcup front – each one features an audio connection, meaning you can have your cable running to the left or right cup as desired.

Another feature we’d love to see appearing on more headphones is a mechanism Rode is calling, FitLok. This amounts to two simple mechanisms that lock the adjustable headband in place once you’ve found the appropriate size. It’s incredibly simple to use, fluidly variable, and saves you from the hassle of readjustment every time they get nudged or jostled when handling or carrying them in a bag.

Studio monitoring headphones: Rode NTH-100

The FitLok system is incredibly useful and simple to employ. (Image credit: TechRadar)

Both the earcups and headband are coated in Alcantara – an incredibly soft, plush and breathable material that’s typically reserved for designer products and supercar interiors. The headphones are exceedingly comfortable to wear and, despite their large size, practically disappear when worn. There’s no feeling of constriction, even with this reviewer’s massive head, and the two-way swivelling earcups ensure all the appropriate contact points of the cans are in their right places. 

Furthermore, the earcups are crafted from a combination of memory foam and CoolTech gel, which (along with the Alcantara cladding) helps to reduce heat build-up during longer listening sessions and still manages to create a decent seal for audio isolation.

Although we did mention that these studio headphones aren’t trying to compete with everyday wireless cans, we would have loved to see the inclusion of a microphone in the NTH-100, especially considering Rode’s immense talents in this department. This would make them ever-so-slightly more suited to being permanently plugged in as a combination personal/professional pair of headphones at your primary workstation.

Considering the fact that the headphones feature TRRS connections and that the cabling is detachable and sold separately at different lengths, it’s conceivable that Rode may release a cable that features an in-line microphone down the road, but for now, assume this capability isn’t present.

Audio performance

  • Incredible sense of space
  • Open-back sound in closed-back cans
  • Excellent clarity and neutral response

With the focus squarely on audio performance for the Rode NTH-100, we were very pleased that our expectations were met, and even surpassed. While aimed towards professional use, these cans sound so good we’d recommend them to anyone wanting a detailed listening experience.

Despite sporting a closed-back design, these headphones offer many of the advantages of open-back cans without their inherent drawbacks (namely high pricing and sound leakage). The sense of space offered by the NTH-100 is among the best we’ve encountered, offering up excellent separation and reducing the fatigue that can come with listening to ‘close’ sounding audio for extended periods.

This means you’ll be hearing different elements and instruments distinctly, even in dense mixes. The overall clarity is superb, with no perceivable distortion at high volumes – the presence and weight of a track is still conveyed admirably with plenty of headroom to spare, and there’s no sign of the compression inherent to many headphones that offer more ‘excited’ audio signatures.

Studio Monitoring Headphones: Rode NTH-100

(Image credit: Rode)

Skrillex’s track Supersonic (My Existence), featuring Noisia, Josh Pan and Dylan Brady, offers up its explosive suckerpunch of a drop with rich detail and clarity while retaining its immense impact. The haunting lead vocals in the verse drift over the tension-building, warped samples and swelling sub bass, while the crisp fizz of the bass takes centre stage at the drop, without dominating and squashing out the other surrounding elements. 

The same is true for the Yung Gud remix of Foreign Fields by Kacy Hill, with its soaring and reverb-drenched twin climaxes retaining their punch despite all the extra room they’re given to breathe. Fringe elements, like the bird calls, ocean sounds and hi-hats are given clear space in the overall mix, appearing distinct over more dominant elements but not detracting from impression.

For something a little lighter, the beautiful ballad Me (Heavy) by Fred Again Is revealed in all of its textural and artifact-laden beauty when listening on the Rode NTH-100. The heavily filtered and stuttering drum loop doesn’t compete for space with the wonky, unhinged lead line, nor the gorgeous lead vocals when they land, despite how deliberately lo-fi the production is. The intimacy of Fred’s vocal line is made all the more present, with the track’s lush harmonies, pads and piano lines supporting his breathy delivery without getting in its way.

As you may be able to tell from these examples, the spatial clarity, headroom and separation produced by the NTH-100 is exceptional, so much so that it breathes new life into tracks we’ve been listening to on heavy rotation for years.

As for the frequency response, we found it to be incredibly neutral (as is to be expected from professional studio monitors), with less sub-bass and low-frequency dominance than you’d find in many sets of Bluetooth headphones. 

While this can come across as ‘unexciting’ if you’re used to the likes of Sony and Beats cans, we found Rode’s delivery to be considerably more enjoyable for casual music listening than many other monitor headphones we’ve sampled (such as from Sennheiser and Audio-Technica). The NTH-100 somehow manages to inject some fun into the clinical role of reference audio, and we suspect its sense of space has a lot to do with this.

Should I buy the Rode NTH-100?

Studio Monitoring Headphones: Rode NTH-100

(Image credit: Rode)

Buy them if...

Don't buy them if...

Rode NTH-100 review
2:00 am |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

One-minute review

[Update February 1, 2023: As of February 2023, a mic attachment has been released for the NTH-100 headphones. Alternatively, you can also purchase both the NTH-100 and the NTH-Mic in a bundle under the name NTH-100M.]

For decades Rode has been known around the globe for its quality microphones, and now with the release of its first ever pair of headphones, the Aussie company has taken its pursuit of quality to another category.

The Rode NTH-100 is the brand's first ever pair of headphones and are available now for $149 / £149 / AU$249. They're aimed at audio professionals with their studio grade performance, but comfortably appeal to anyone seeking a top-quality listening experience.

They’re cabled, closed-back headphones that don’t feature any of the modern conveniences associated with Bluetooth headphones, but their focus on sound, comfort and build quality easily makes up for this.

The NTH-100 sports a classy and professional appearance, with a build quality to match. All the elements, from the headband to the earcup swivels, give a strong degree of confidence in their longevity and day-to-day durability.

Luxurious features like Alcantara coating on the earcups and headband, as well as cooling gel coupled with memory foam in the cups, make for a comfortable experience, even for longer periods. Despite their large size, these features help to make the headphones practically vanish when worn.

Onto the star of the show: the audio quality is exceptional, living up to Rode’s high standards. Despite being closed-back by design, the 40mm drivers give a similar sense of space and clarity usually reserved for much pricier open-back headphones.

The audio profile is rather neutral, ideal for monitoring and close listening, but the NTH-100 listening experience manages to be more fun than other monitoring headphones we’ve heard. With that said, you won’t necessarily get the same compression and excitement as you would with the Beats Solo 3 or Sony WH-1000XM4, but you also won’t get the listening fatigue and low-end skew that typically comes with it.

For their price, the Rode NTH-100 are an exceptional pair of headphones that focus on the audio, and don’t forego comfort or durability in the process. For everyday commuters and casual listeners, some Bluetooth alternatives might present a better option, but for professionals or those after a deeper listening experience, these cans excel.

Studio Monitoring Headphones: Rode NTH-100

(Image credit: Rode)

Rode NTH-100 price and release date

  • Available now
  • $149 / £149 / AU$249

The Rode NTH-100 headphones launched March 29, 2022 for $149 / £149 / AU$249 globally and are available in a single color – black (although four different colors of headband, earcups and cables will be sold separately).

As a point of comparison, Sony’s MDR-1AM2 (entry-level audiophile headphones) launched at twice this price ($299 / £229 / AU$399), and while their lightweight design and exceptional clarity are impressive, the Rode NTH-100 offers audio with a better sense of space, and is enclosed in a significantly more robust design – all for half the price.

Another popular pair of cans worth comparing to are the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, which have been available for almost five years. As such, they're typically available lower than their retail price at around the same as the NTH-100 ($149 / £149 / AU$249), but the Rode cans blow them out of the water for overall clarity and space in the audio, as well as comfort.

As of February 2023, you can pick up the the NTH-100 bundled with a microphone under the name NTH-100M. This headset is priced at $189 / AU$329 (UK pricing yet to be revealed). Alternatively, if you already own a pair of the NTH-100 headphones, the NTH-Mic has also been released. It's a standalone boom mic attachment and will only set you back $69 / AU$99 (UK pricing currently unavailable). At this time, we have not reviewed the NTH-Mic or NTH-100M.

Design

  • Extra measures for comfort
  • Classy and professional look
  • Premium materials for the price

The NTH-100 are cabled over-ear headphones, and from the outset you’ll notice they lack features found on many wireless counterparts. There’s no microphone, transport or volume controls, voice assistant, noise-cancellation or (obviously) any form of wireless connectivity. This, however, is by design.

These Rode headphones are aimed at studio use and focused listening, which means they’re not trying to fill the role of everyday cans for your commute or walk (although they still manage this rather well, despite their intention otherwise). Taking this into consideration, the NTH-100’s design is phenomenal.

Aesthetically, the headphones definitely look like professional kit – they’re not as sleek and minimal as some of the Bluetooth cans out there with their visible cabling and somewhat techy appearance, but their pure black palette is more suave than most gaming headsets and other such gaudy designs. With that said, there’s an option to swap out the earcups, headband and cable for four different colors (all of which are sold separately) if you’d prefer some personalization.

Studio monitoring headphones: Rode NTH-100

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Rode’s iconic “Ø” is emblazoned prominently on the exterior of each of the rather large earcups, as is the brand’s small golden circle motif, so there’s no mistaking who made the headphones. Overall, we’d say the design maintains class without trying to hide its professional intention.

The NTH-100 boasts solid construction, with sturdy materials like the stainless spring steel headband and solid plastic of the smaller components all giving the impression of robust design. Even the swivels for the earcups – a common weak point in headphones – feel more durable than is typical. It’s all rather reassuring for the longevity of the product.

Rode claims that the headband has been rated for the equivalent of 25 years of use, the wiring that links the earcups can withstand 25kg of force, and the cable and earcup sockets can each withstand 12kg. The bayonet mounting of the detachable cable is also designed to deliberately give way before that of the headphone connector, meaning that in an especially hairy situation, you’ll only be replacing the cable rather than the cans themselves.

In the box is a cloth pouch to further help protect the headphones, a ¼-inch adapter and a nice long (2.4m) cable, with the option to buy shorter (1.2m) cables separately. The long cable is mostly a blessing, but also a minor curse. For its intended purpose, it means you can stand and move around while still stationed by your computer or monitoring device, but if you only need it to travel a short distance, the extra length can add some weight to your head (albeit minor) and some extra microphonics, or cable noise, when it brushes against something.

Studio Monitoring Headphones: Rode NTH-100

As can be seen by the padding, the earcups are more triangular in shape than most headphones. (Image credit: TechRadar)

The earcups swivel both left-to-right and up-and-down, but only so much as to provide a comfortable position with them flush against your head. Their shape is somewhat triangular rather than the classical circular or ovaloid shapes found in most headphone designs. 

We found this shape to suit our ears perfectly, encapsulating them comfortably, leading us to wonder why it isn’t an industry standard. One extra convenience on the earcup front – each one features an audio connection, meaning you can have your cable running to the left or right cup as desired.

Another feature we’d love to see appearing on more headphones is a mechanism Rode is calling, FitLok. This amounts to two simple mechanisms that lock the adjustable headband in place once you’ve found the appropriate size. It’s incredibly simple to use, fluidly variable, and saves you from the hassle of readjustment every time they get nudged or jostled when handling or carrying them in a bag.

Studio monitoring headphones: Rode NTH-100

The FitLok system is incredibly useful and simple to employ. (Image credit: TechRadar)

Both the earcups and headband are coated in Alcantara – an incredibly soft, plush and breathable material that’s typically reserved for designer products and supercar interiors. The headphones are exceedingly comfortable to wear and, despite their large size, practically disappear when worn. There’s no feeling of constriction, even with this reviewer’s massive head, and the two-way swivelling earcups ensure all the appropriate contact points of the cans are in their right places. 

Furthermore, the earcups are crafted from a combination of memory foam and CoolTech gel, which (along with the Alcantara cladding) helps to reduce heat build-up during longer listening sessions and still manages to create a decent seal for audio isolation.

Although we did mention that these studio headphones aren’t trying to compete with everyday wireless cans, we would have loved to see the inclusion of a microphone in the NTH-100, especially considering Rode’s immense talents in this department. This would make them ever-so-slightly more suited to being permanently plugged in as a combination personal/professional pair of headphones at your primary workstation.

Considering the fact that the headphones feature TRRS connections and that the cabling is detachable and sold separately at different lengths, it’s conceivable that Rode may release a cable that features an in-line microphone down the road, but for now, assume this capability isn’t present.

Audio performance

  • Incredible sense of space
  • Open-back sound in closed-back cans
  • Excellent clarity and neutral response

With the focus squarely on audio performance for the Rode NTH-100, we were very pleased that our expectations were met, and even surpassed. While aimed towards professional use, these cans sound so good we’d recommend them to anyone wanting a detailed listening experience.

Despite sporting a closed-back design, these headphones offer many of the advantages of open-back cans without their inherent drawbacks (namely high pricing and sound leakage). The sense of space offered by the NTH-100 is among the best we’ve encountered, offering up excellent separation and reducing the fatigue that can come with listening to ‘close’ sounding audio for extended periods.

This means you’ll be hearing different elements and instruments distinctly, even in dense mixes. The overall clarity is superb, with no perceivable distortion at high volumes – the presence and weight of a track is still conveyed admirably with plenty of headroom to spare, and there’s no sign of the compression inherent to many headphones that offer more ‘excited’ audio signatures.

Studio Monitoring Headphones: Rode NTH-100

(Image credit: Rode)

Skrillex’s track Supersonic (My Existence), featuring Noisia, Josh Pan and Dylan Brady, offers up its explosive suckerpunch of a drop with rich detail and clarity while retaining its immense impact. The haunting lead vocals in the verse drift over the tension-building, warped samples and swelling sub bass, while the crisp fizz of the bass takes centre stage at the drop, without dominating and squashing out the other surrounding elements. 

The same is true for the Yung Gud remix of Foreign Fields by Kacy Hill, with its soaring and reverb-drenched twin climaxes retaining their punch despite all the extra room they’re given to breathe. Fringe elements, like the bird calls, ocean sounds and hi-hats are given clear space in the overall mix, appearing distinct over more dominant elements but not detracting from impression.

For something a little lighter, the beautiful ballad Me (Heavy) by Fred Again Is revealed in all of its textural and artifact-laden beauty when listening on the Rode NTH-100. The heavily filtered and stuttering drum loop doesn’t compete for space with the wonky, unhinged lead line, nor the gorgeous lead vocals when they land, despite how deliberately lo-fi the production is. The intimacy of Fred’s vocal line is made all the more present, with the track’s lush harmonies, pads and piano lines supporting his breathy delivery without getting in its way.

As you may be able to tell from these examples, the spatial clarity, headroom and separation produced by the NTH-100 is exceptional, so much so that it breathes new life into tracks we’ve been listening to on heavy rotation for years.

As for the frequency response, we found it to be incredibly neutral (as is to be expected from professional studio monitors), with less sub-bass and low-frequency dominance than you’d find in many sets of Bluetooth headphones. 

While this can come across as ‘unexciting’ if you’re used to the likes of Sony and Beats cans, we found Rode’s delivery to be considerably more enjoyable for casual music listening than many other monitor headphones we’ve sampled (such as from Sennheiser and Audio-Technica). The NTH-100 somehow manages to inject some fun into the clinical role of reference audio, and we suspect its sense of space has a lot to do with this.

Should I buy the Rode NTH-100?

Studio Monitoring Headphones: Rode NTH-100

(Image credit: Rode)

Buy them if...

Don't buy them if...

Nectar Mattress review 2023
7:08 pm | March 25, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Nectar Mattress review in brief

  • Good price for a mid-range bed-in-a-box 
  • Relatively firm for an all-foam model
  • Gel memory foam delivers good pressure relief

Note: Nectar sells in both the UK and the US. This guide focuses on the Nectar Memory Foam mattress in the US – for the UK review, toggle the flag drop-down menu in the main navigation bar. 

The Nectar Mattress stands out among the more affordable options in the bed-in-a-box market, and thanks to its good support and reasonable prices (starting at $449) it occupies a prime spot in our best mattress guide. This medium-firm mattress – also known as the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress – is suitable for most body types and sleep styles, and it's an especially strong, affordable choice if you're in search of the best mattress for side sleepers. That said there are a few exceptions that we'll spell out in more detail later in this review.

With responsive top layers that contour to your shape and stable foam base giving it a sturdy foundation for better sleep, this is very much a mattress that you sink into (which may or may not appeal to you), and in our tests we found that it delivered a good balance of supportive pressure relief and contouring comfort.

The Nectar Memory Foam shown at an angle so you can see the white cover and Nectar logo on the deep blue base

(Image credit: Nectar Sleep)

You'll find the Nectar Mattress at the top of our best memory foam mattress ranking, and having subjected it to three weeks of rigorous testing we've concluded that it should suit most people who appreciate a medium-firm mattress with a little 'hug'. However, people with heavy bodies may find that they sink in just a bit too much (especially if two are sharing), while lighter-bodied people who like softer beds may well find the Nectar too firm.

For our review we tested a Nectar Memory Foam mattress in queen size, and we loved how the mattress felt firm yet cushioned, cradling pressure points (hips, knees and shoulders), while also feeling stable and supportive.

If you share a bed with a restless sleeper you'll be delighted to learn that we found the Nectar's motion transfer between co-sleepers to be good and low. We also found that it had good edge support, which isn't always the case with all-foam mattresses; they don't usually have as strong an edge support system as hybrid models.

Nectar Mattress specs

Best for: Most sleepers of light to average build; combination and side sleepers
Type: Memory Foam
Trial: 365 nights
Guarantee: Lifetime
Firmness: 6.5 (out of 10)
Materials: Gel memory foam, CertiPUR-US foam, poly-blend
Depth: 12"
Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, split king, Cal king

While it isn't specifically a cooling mattress, the Nectar Mattress features cooling gel foam and a heat-wicking cover that can help keep temperatures down at night. However if you tend to sleep hot or suffer from night sweats, we'd instead direct you to the Nectar Premier Copper Mattress, available from $1,499 at Nectar Sleep, or instead take a look at our best cooling mattress guide for further recommendations.

There are five layers to the Nectar and a mix of premium materials such as contouring gel memory foam, soft and responsive transition foam, a supportive higher-density foam base, and a cool-touch top cover with temperature-regulating properties. You'll get all of that for a lower price compared to most competitor models too. A queen size Nectar Mattress, for example, costs $899 and you'll get up to $499 of free bedding with it. 

On the brand's website, the Nectar Memory Foam has over 46,600 user reviewers, generating an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. Nectar also offers a 365-night risk-free trial, which isn't quite as rare as it used to be (the likes of Saatva, Avocado and DreamCloud also give you a full year), but it is surprisingly generous for a mattress in this price bracket. The big benefit is that you can try the mattress out in all seasons. You'll also get a Forever Warranty and free shipping and returns. Still undecided? Here's our full Nectar Mattress review...

See the Nectar Mattress at Nectar Sleep
The Nectar is ranked second in our mattress guide. It's pretty much never sold at MSRP: there's an evergreen Nectar mattress sale that knocks $200 off all sizes and throws in a free bedding bundle. The value of this varies – best option gets you up to $499 off accessories, depending on the size of bed. However, you'll also find rare flash sales that knock 25% or possibly 33% off the price. That makes the mattress itself cheaper, but you will sacrifice the bedding bundle. You’ll have 365 nights to trial it, and it comes with a Lifetime Warranty.View Deal

Nectar Mattress review: materials

  • Gel-infused memory foam
  • Quilted, cooling polyblend cover
  • Made with toxin-free, Certi-PUR-US materials

The Nectar Memory Foam is made in the US using materials sourced from Malaysia, Vietnam, Mexico and America, and as mentioned earlier in our review, the Nectar is constructed across five individual layers. At the top you’ll find a quilted, cooling polyblend cover with heat-wicking properties, and there’s a nice, soft feel to the cover too.

Beneath the surface sits three inches of high-density, pressure-relieving gel memory foam. This delivers a comforting, body-hug feel that nicely cradles the shoulders, hips and knees during side sleeping, and minimizes pressure points during longer periods of back and stomach sleeping too.

Image shows inside the Nectar Mattress so that you can see each of the five different layers

(Image credit: Nectar)

Next up is two inches of dynamic adjusting foam, which provides a little sink to this Nectar Memory Foam. Finally, a seven-inch layer of sturdy foam makes up the mattress base and delivers support and stability throughout. The Nectar also features a shift-resistant lower cover to ensure it stays put as you sleep.

If you're looking to make your sleep set up as healthy as possible, the Nectar Mattress is a good choice because its made with CertiPUR-US standard foam. This gold-standard certification guarantees that any foams use to make the Nectar contain no harmful toxins.

Nectar Mattress review: prices and deals

  • Ignore MSRP – this mattress is always discounted 
  • It comes with up to $499 of free bedding
  • A lifetime warranty increases your value for money

Price-wise, the Nectar Memory Foam sits squarely within the affordable mattress sector. That means you will find cheaper memory foam models, such as from Zinus, Linenspa, Brooklyn Bedding and Cocoon by Sealy, but also plenty of comparable models that charge a lot more for the same levels of build quality, comfort and support. In other words, the Nectar Mattress is good value for money. 

As is the case with most bed brands, there are regular Nectar mattress sales to take advantage of. Nectar is pretty consistent with what it offers – you can basically ignore MSRP, it's pretty much always sold at the 'normal' prices in the list below, and you'll always get a bundle of bedding for free, too. Here is the official pricing for the Nectar Mattress:

  • MSRP Twin: $873 (normally priced $399)
  • MSRP Twin XL: $1,043 (normally priced $569)
  • MSRP Full: $1,298 (normally priced $699)
  • MSRP Queen: $1,398 (normally priced $799)
  • MSRP King: $1,698 (normally priced $1,099)
  • MSRP Cal king: $1,698 (normally priced $1,099)
  • MSRP Split king: $2,086 (normally priced $1,138)

Nectar also runs occasional flash sales, which typically knock 25% off the price of mattresses. Generally there's no bundle included in these offers though, so if you need the bedding you might be better off paying slightly more for the mattress in the evergreen deal, but getting those extras. 

What about big mattress sales events such as the Black Friday mattress deals or Cyber Monday mattress deals, Labor Day, Memorial Day and the upcoming Presidents' Day mattress sales? Nectar is hit and miss with these kinds of events. In the past, it has just stuck to its evergreen offer and changed the branding, which is pretty underwhelming. There is often a Flash Sale in early November, though.

For Black Friday 2022, though, Nectar has knocked 33% off the range for the month of November, which is great way to snap up a much cheaper price on the mattress itself – although again, no bedding bundle, so you'll need to work out what's best value for you.

Competitors such as Purple also launch regular savings to lower the prices of its various memory foam and hybrids. The Purple Original is the closest rival to the Nectar and its normally on sale for $1,249 in a queen size at Purple, saving you $150. For a cheaper yet equally top-rated alternative to the Nectar, we'd recommend the Cocoon by Sealy Chill Memory Foam, priced just $799 for a queen plus you get up to $178 of free bedding too. That's excellent value for money and something not even Nectar can beat right now.

It's also worth remembering the generous extras you're getting with the Nectar Mattress: the 365-night trial and Forever Warranty. While a year's trial isn't as rare as it once was, it's still pretty unusual for a mattress at this price point. 

Nectar Mattress review: firmness and comfort

  • Plenty of pressure-relieving support
  • Might have too much sink-in for heavy, side or back sleepers
  • Might not keep very hot sleepers cool enough

The Nectar Mattress has just one firmness option of medium firm, plus one height of 12 inches. We support the firmness rating of 6.5 that Nectar gives its Memory Foam mattress, and all members of our testing panel enjoyed this level of firmness too. It's also quite rare to find a true medium-firm memory foam model, but Nectar has achieved this.

The Nectar Mattress photographed in our reviewer's bedroom during the testing process

This is the queen size Nectar Mattress we used for testing (Image credit: Future)

The quilted cooling cover feels soft and plush to the touch, but the layers of gel foam and dynamic foam creates a supportive yet still cozy surface that cocoons the sleeper and relieves pressure points. During our review period, the Nectar Mattress was comfortable when sleeping on our backs and sides. However, anyone who is heavier than 230lbs in weight or who sleeps particularly hot may not find it as comfortable as we did.

Firmness is very subjective too, and one person’s firm may be another person’s medium-firm, which is something to bear in mind, especially when it comes to reading customer user reviews of the Nectar Memory Foam. Compared to similar models we have tested, this mattress’s medium firmness feels just right, and stomach sleepers should also enjoy the combination of plushness plus support.

If you are unsure whether a medium-firm feel would suit your body and sleep needs, and you have a bigger budget, then we would recommend taking a look at our Saatva Classic mattress review too. This luxury innerspring hybrid and foam bed comes in three different firmness levels, including Plush Soft for side sleepers.

Nectar Mattress review: Performance

  • Cooling quilted cover
  • Adequate motion transfer
  • Medium edge support

Our main reviewers for the Nectar Mattress are both side and back sleepers, but we also had stomach and combi sleepers on our wider testing panel. One of our reviewers sleeps warm to hot, so testing the Nectar’s cooling and comfort was key. Over a period of several weeks testing, we looked at all aspects of comfort, support and performance, generating ratings for each of these features and design aspects.

We tested a queen size Nectar Memory Foam by sleeping on it for several weeks, and by inviting various members of our testing panel to try it too. Here's what we discovered during our review process... 

Setup

The Nectar Mattress shown on a plain black bed frame during our review and testing period

(Image credit: Future)

Score: 4.8/5

The Nectar Memory Foam is shipped in a sturdy cardboard box, which allows you to easily remove the wrapped mattress. Nectar supplies a small plastic cutting tool to help open the vacuum-sealed, tough plastic. 

The mattress is fairly heavy (the queen weighs 66lbs), so it might need an extra pair of hands to be unboxed and place on your bedframe for you to unroll. Once free of the plastic, the mattress soon springs to full form and within 30 minutes to an hour it's ready to sleep on, although Nectar advises leaving it for up to 72 hours to inflate fully.

Off-Gassing

Score: 4.8/5

New foam mattresses are often prone to off-gassing as a chemical or plastic smell is released when you unpack it – this is down to VOCs (volatile organic compounds) being let out. However, there was no noticeable off-gassing with the Nectar Memory Foam, despite it being a gel foam model. 

As we unboxed the Nectar, we were unaware of any unpleasant or chemical odors. However, we made sure we still opened the windows to let plenty of air circulate around the room. We should also add that the bedroom where the unboxing took place was fairly large, so you may have a different experience of off-gassing when unboxing the Nectar in a smaller room.

Pressure relief

Illustration shows a blue person lying on the Nectar Mattress and how it reduces pressure on all major impact points such as the hips and shoulders

(Image credit: Nectar Sleep)

Score: 4.5/5

There's ample pressure relief with the Nectar Mattress, but it does depend on your sleeping position and your body type, as we'll now explain... 

Even though it's made with foam, which typically has a different feel to innerspring or hybrids, the Nectar Memory Foam surprised us (in a good way) with its firmer feel. It's unusual to find an all-foam bed that is a true medium-firm, but of course this has its pros and cons for different types of sleepers and body weights. 

Lighter side sleepers may find it too firm around the hips and shoulders, while heavier back and stomach sleepers may still sink in too much (and fall out of alignment) despite the firmer feel. 

The quilted cover on our review sample felt soft and plush, yet underneath there was a sturdy, solid mattress, which only gave slightly under our pressure points. Saying that, we felt well supported and comfortable, which was great for us, but not ideal if you don’t like the feeling of being cradled during. Some may think this sink-in is too great, while others may enjoy the cocooned feeling.

Our overnight guests had no complaints about the performance of the Nectar Mattress either, although one said they did sink in a little bit more than they would have liked, which made rolling over when changing sleep position a bit of an effort.

Motion transfer

Nectar Mattress photographed during our review testing, with a wine glass on one side and a black weight on the other to test motion isolation

(Image credit: Future)

Score: 4.5/5

Motion transfer is about whether you feel your co-sleeper (or pet) shifting around on the other side of the bed. Really well-designed foam mattresses will have good motion-transfer ratings as the foam will be solidly held in a surrounding core for stability. Flimsy foam models, however, tend to have more motion transfer because they aren’t as solid, thick, or deep.

Our reviewers gave the Nectar Mattress 4.5 out of 5 for motion transfer, which is on par with more expensive memory foam options. During testing, we dropped a 10lb weight from a height of eight inches and then four onto the mattress and near an empty wine glass. The aim? To assess how much movement occurred.

During the four-inch test the wine glass barely moved, which indicates the motion on the other side of the bed when someone tosses or turns. For the eight-inch drop, which simulates a person getting in or out of the bed, the wine glass shifted only slightly, meaning you may only feel slight movement when your co-sleeper gets up in the morning or comes to bed later.

Temperature regulation

Our lead review places her hand on the Nectar Mattress to see if it remains cool to the touch after a period of sleeping on it

(Image credit: Future)

Score: 4.3/5

Two members of our testing panel are warm sleepers and, during their weeks sleeping on the Nectar Mattress, they had no complaints about overheating. The Nectar Memory Foam isn't noticeably cooler than room temperature, but the cooling quilted polyblend cover does a good job of keeping the mattress at a neutral to slightly cool temperature.

If you’re a very hot sleeper, you may not find this mattress as cooling as some other options that are specifically designed for the job, such as Nectar's own Premier Copper mattress; see our article – Should I buy the Nectar Premier Copper Mattress? – for more details. But for most people, the Nectar Memory Foam will keep your temperature comfortable. In the interests of review fairness, we used cotton bed sheets that are breathable during sleep.

As for cooling, our hot sleeper found the bed cool enough considering the all-foam construction – something that can accumulate heat. Many mattresses have air channels and other innovative ways of dispersing heat, but the Nectar Memory Foam simply provides a quilted heat-wicking fabric cover and cooling gel foam. Our hot sleeper didn’t notice the Nectar feeling warm, and experienced no instances of waking in the night due to discomfort or overheating.

Edge support

A heavy black weight placed near the edge of the Nectar Mattress during testing of the edge support system

(Image credit: Future)

Score: 4/5

How the edge of the bed acts under compression is a good indicator of a quality mattress, and weaker, sloping edges are a common problem among memory foam models. However, the Nectar Mattress has good edge support for an all-foam model, and we never felt as though we would tumble off if we slept too close to the edge. 

Likewise, sitting on the edge of the Nectar was comfortable, with only a little give. During testing, we placed a 50lb weight near the edge of the mattress and noted how it only sank in about 2.5 inches or so, which was impressive. You can certainly sit on the edge of this one without discomfort or risk of slipping off.

Durability

Score: 4/5

We rated the Nectar Memory Foam high for durability even though we only slept on it for several weeks. We placed it in a guest bedroom and went through several members of our testing panel, including one person who slept on it constantly for a week while recovering from illness. Despite feeling sick, they were comfortable and reported that the Nectar felt comfortable and supportive night after night.

While it’s far too early to show any signs of wear or tear, Nectar Sleep makes this a non-issue anyway by offering a Forever Warranty. This means that if you ever notice sagging, fraying, or other problems with the construction of your mattress, you can contact Nectar to discuss your options for repair or replacement. 

We would still recommend reading the terms and conditions of the warranty though so that you know exactly what will and won't be covered by Nectar.

Nectar Mattress: customer reviews

There are more than 46,600 customer reviews on the Nectar website, with an average star rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. The vast majority of reviews for the Nectar mattress are extremely positive, with customers saying it delivered great value for money, that the sink-in feel helped them sleep better, and even relieved their back or hip pain (here's what to look for in a mattress if you have back pain). One praises the prompt delivery and notes that it's a great mattress for the price, and concludes that it meets all expectations for a good night’s sleep.

While many people love the feeling of sinking into the Nectar Memory Foam, it's worth flagging that if you're used to innersprings, the feeling of memory foam can take a little getting used to. Amongst the negative comments, most focus around the mattress either feeling too soft or too firm. While some mattress brands offer different firmness choices, you only have one option here – we've addressed this in our 'Firmness and comfort' section to help you get a good idea on what to expect, but the mattress trial is there to take advantage of if it turns out you don't get on with the sleep feel. 

Another comment that crops up a few times is that the Nectar is not supportive enough for heavier people (over 230lb). Some reviewers also noticed an off-gassing smell, which lasted for several hours to several days, and a few found that it slept a bit warm.

If you struggle to get comfortable on a new bed, consider investing in one of the best mattress toppers to boost its softness until you break in your new bed more. 

Should you buy the Nectar Mattress?

A man sleeps next to a woman who is reading a magazine while sat upright on the Nectar Mattress

(Image credit: Nectar)

The Nectar Memory Foam is an affordable, durable and reliable bed-in-a-box that we would recommend to most sleepers and budgets. If you like to feel supported by a medium-firm mattress while also feeling cushioned, then you will enjoy Nectar’s plush top layer and stable support.

Based on our extensive testing, we'd describe the Nectar Mattress as durable, with adequate edge support, limited motion transfer and a neutral temperature that works well for most sleepers. However, if you’re heavy (or very light) in body weight, you sleep very hot, or you prefer sleeping on your stomach, then this might not be the right fit for you. There is a slight cradling feeling here, which you'll either love or find a little too restrictive when changing positions during sleep or getting out of bed.

If you've now decided that you're after a completely different feel, and fancy some bounce rather than sink, then the innerspring hybrid Saatva Classic comes in three different firmnesses (and it needn’t be expensive either with frequent Saatva mattress sales). Elsewhere, the DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid provides a firmer feel without the sink-in sensation; check our DreamCloud Mattress review for more details, or see how the two compare in our Nectar vs DreamCloud face-off).

Ultimately though, with its 365-night trial and Forever Warranty, we feel confident in saying that the Nectar Mattress is a reliable and affordable gel memory model that works well for most sleepers. And with its year-long trial, you’ll have plenty of time to know whether it’s the right choice for your body and sleep needs.

First reviewed: February 2022

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Wix website builder review (2023)
2:48 pm | March 18, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: | Comments: Off

Wix is a giant in the website builder industry. Just days ago, its share prices rose by 20% after it announced that it was on track to generate $500 million in free cash flow and had enrolled 4.7 million new subscribers in the latest quarter. Its marketing campaigns across all mainstream media have made it a household name, rivalling the likes of Godaddy.

Browse its website and clues to this success appear right away. The service isn't just packed with appealing features, but the firm does its best to outperform everybody else, and there's plenty to appeal to everyone from the total design newbie to big business and experienced web developers.

While some services give you only a few templates, Wix has more than 500. Its built-in image editor has 40 Instagram-style filters. The blog supports 26 languages. The App Market has more than 200 widgets for enhancing your site and integrating third-party sites and services.

Looking to build a web store? Wix has plenty of ecommerce templates, too. And the company doesn't have any transaction fees on your sales (whereas Weebly, for example, charges 3% on some accounts).

Beginners can sample much of this for free. But experts can go much further, with features like Wix Code, enabling them to manage database collections, generate dynamic pages and custom forms, use their own JavaScript, access APIs and more.

It’s not all perfect, though. The templates aren't responsive in the usual sense, although the effect is very similar (Wix can generate a separate mobile version of the site and use it when necessary). Some features, like form building, come in the form of apps which require extra payments to get their full functionality. But nonetheless, this is a powerful and comprehensive service with a lot to offer all classes of user.

Build a Site

The building process starts with a few simple questions (Image credit: Wix)

Getting started with Wix

Wix does its best to get you quickly up to speed. Account creation is as simple as entering your email address and a password. You're asked to choose the type of site you'd like to create – business, photography, music, blog and so on – and then whether you'd like to have Wix generate the site for you, or if you’d rather do it all yourself from scratch.

If your needs are simple, you've never used a website builder before, or you're just in a hurry, having Wix automate the process might save you a little time.

Basic Editor

Using the basic automatic editor leads to a limited range of editing tools (Image credit: Wix)

Wix Editor

You can modify your site in many ways. Hovering your mouse cursor over a section displays buttons to edit it or change designs. Or you can click something to view and edit its properties in a sidebar. But the automatic editor doesn't allow you to drag-and-drop objects on the page or resize them. However, since most of the design is done for you, you can set up the site, populate your web store, write blog posts, preview and test your pages and put them online in next to no time.

It’s possible to switch to the full-fat Wix editor at any time (which is also what you get if you don't choose the automatic process initially), but the problem is that you can't then switch back and keep your changes. It's an either-or decision, simple or full Wix power: there's no way to combine the two, unfortunately.

Advanced Editor

You can upgrade to the regular editor, but you can’t really go back should you change your mind (Image credit: Wix)

Opting for the regular editor gives you complete control of layout. Objects can be positioned with pixel-level placement, rather than being automatically aligned in blocks or columns.  You can drag-and-drop complex blocks (contact forms with headings, buttons, text) as a whole, change alignments, even ungroup items within a block to rearrange them however you like.

Visual tweaks include neat animations and colour filters for images, and you can assign a range of actions to most objects. You can add all the usual elements to your page in a couple of clicks. There's plenty to explore.

One major highlight of the editor is its visual previews, enabling you to see any component before you add it. Choose Gallery, for instance, and you don't just get text items such as Collage or Grid. Instead, the editor displays thumbnail previews of what each option will look like, helping you to immediately choose the right component. It's a similar story when you're browsing buttons, menu styles, or audio and video players – Wix always clearly shows you what you're going to get.

The core editing functions are equally well designed, and are more like a native application than the average website builder. Right-click menus show you appropriate commands for different controls, for instance. Alignment guides and on-screen displays of control heights and widths help you position and size items accurately, and floating toolbars give speedy access to key options and features.

The editor supports a vast number of keyboard shortcuts, a major plus if you regularly use them in other applications. You can Shift+Click or Ctrl+Click to select multiple items, then use standard key presses to delete, copy and paste them, send them to the front or back of the page, save the project, preview it, undo actions if you've made a mistake, or redo them if you've changed your mind.

Put this all together and the Wix editor feels polished and professional, with both the visual cues that beginners need, and the shortcuts and workflow support that experienced users expect.

Upload Images

You can upload images from a wide variety of sites, or use stock footage directly from the Wix interface (Image credit: Wix)

Wix Media

Wix offers wide support for multimedia, with native components to display single images, slideshows, image galleries, music and video files in all the main formats.

There's support for directly importing or playing media from Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, Google Drive, Flickr, Google Photos, YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, SoundCloud, Spotify and more.

A "My Uploads" area enables building your own cloud-based media storage bin. If you've got 10 images you'll use on multiple pages or sites, for instance, you can upload all of them to Wix. You'll then be able to access them directly from the Add Images dialog without having to upload the files each time you need them. You also have access to Wix’s own media library and those from Unsplash and Shutterstock (the latter aren’t free).

The Wix App Market has further add-ons to give you more playback features, higher bandwidth, user stats, document viewers (PDFs, Google Docs, Sheets, Drawings and Slides) and more. They're welcome, but keep in mind that although most are free in some form, they often require extra payments to remove branding or get their best features.

Blogging

Blogging is clean, simple and straightforward  (Image credit: Wix)

Wix Blogging

Wix's blogging platform is easily accessed from a standard button on its left-hand toolbar. In a click or two you're able to add a new blog post, customise its layout or change how you would like the blog to work.

Blog posts are created using a simplified editor, but this still has a decent set of functions, including options to add images, galleries, videos, music, GIFs and custom HTML.

There are plenty of ways to customise a post. You're able to add tags and categories, define related posts, and set meta titles, meta descriptions or separate mobile-friendly titles. And once you're done, posts can be published immediately or scheduled for some future time.

Selling

The Online Store is ready for you to customise it to suit your needs (Image credit: Wix)

Wix ecommerce

Building a web store with Wix seems very simple. Browse an array of templates, add any extra components you need, and the visual previews and sample images make it easy to define the look and feel of your store. Don't be fooled, though: there's plenty of power under the hood.

Wix supports digital as well as physical products, for instance, and also includes services.

Products can be illustrated with videos, as well as images. You can give them custom options (size, colour), a weight or an SKU (a product code to enable automatically managing your inventory.) You can promote them with coupons, organise them into collections, or set up your own shipping and tax rules. Wix supports plenty of payment providers, and even shows you only those available in your area, including their own payment system

Wix stores can't quite match specialist ecommerce solutions (or for that matter the best web hosting providers), but that's no great surprise. The service does make it easy for personal and small business users to start selling online, though, and considering the low price you're paying, that's a pretty good incentive.

Wix support

Wix has a lot of built-in support. Left-clicking any object in the editor displays a toolbar with a Help icon, and a Help menu is permanently visible in the editor's own toolbar. Separate screens like the Blog Manager always have their own Help icon in the top-right corner.

Wix plans and pricing

Wix's free plan includes Wix branding, gives you access to the drag-and-drop editor, and in theory supports an unlimited number of pages. In practice, though, a 500MB storage limit and maximum 500MB data transfer per month mean it's only suitable for very small sites.

The Connect Domain plan lifts your bandwidth limit to 1GB and allows using your own domain, but still includes Wix branding. It's priced at $4.25 a month for the one-year package. Keep in mind though that this plan is not available in the US and other locations.

The Combo plan offers 2GB bandwidth and 3GB storage, and finally ditches the branding. There's a free domain, you're able to use a customised favicon, and you get $75 of ad vouchers. It's yours for $16 a month when you commit to the service annually.

The $22 a month Unlimited plan gives you unlimited bandwidth, 10GB storage, premium form building and a Site Builder app to drive more traffic to your site.

The VIP plan completes the range of ‘Website’ plans at $45 a month, by increasing the storage to 20GB, adding a few perks, and offering ‘priority response’ VIP support.

There are also three ‘Business & eCommerce’ plans, all of which allow you to sell products online.

The cheapest one is Business Basic at $27 a month which looks similar to VIP in terms of storage, minus the perks.

Next up is Business Unlimited which increases your storage to 35GB, for $32 a month.

Finally we have Business VIP, which offers you 50GB of storage and brings back the ‘priority response’ and VIP support, for $59 a month.

Wix's Enterprise plan is a completely custom plan, with a dedicated account manager, therefore, the pricing is customized to suit individual needs.

Signing up for Wix Free gives you as much time as you need to try out the service basics, but Wix also has a no questions asked 14-day money-back guarantee for its Premium products.

Final Verdict

Wix's attractive templates and excellent editor make it easy for even total design newbies to build a great-looking, powerful website. We're less convinced that Wix has the support services that big websites require, but the core features are so strong that you need to try it yourself.


Wix website builder FAQs

Is Wix good for beginners?

Wix's drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to create a professional website – without having to know a line of code! Beginner-friendly and scalable, Wix is suitable for anything from personal online portfolios to small business websites.

Via: Website Builder Expert

Why is Wix bad?

The biggest reason you should not use Wix to create your website is that you are not a professional web designer. When you create a website using a DIY site builder, you are likely not designing it with a good user experience which will diminish your user experience resulting in lost customers and revenue.

Via: Tyton Media

Is Wix better or WordPress?

WordPress is far superior to Wix as a web publishing platform for any kind of website. While Wix offers an easy-to-use website builder, you can accomplish a lot more with WordPress over the long run.

Via: WPbeginner

Is Wix good for SEO?

Wix has a wide range of great SEO tools to help websites rank well in search engine results. Wix gives you the ability to customize your website’s meta tags, URL structure, canonical tags, structured data markup, robots.txt file and more.

Can you switch from Wix to WordPress?

There are two ways you can convert your Wix site to WordPress. The first way is by using an automated migration plugin and the second is by using the RSS feed to import all your posts then manually migrate your pages, images and other content on your website. Website owners who built on the New Wix Blog can use an automated migration plug-in by CMS2CMS.

Do Wix sites show up on Google?

Wix websites are search engine friendly, with Wix guaranteeing that all of your website content can be crawled and indexed by search engines (e.g. Google and Bing) whether you have a Premium site or not. 

Is Wix payment secure?

Yes, Wix Payments are secure and complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). 

Why is Wix so slow?

If you are experiencing a slow loading time on your website, this could be down to the images and media used. If you've chosen high-definition images and videos, it takes up a lot of space. The server first loads the image before loading the site, thus those high-quality images and videos will take more time to load.