All the new tech that blew our reviewers away in May 2022

Audio-Technica ATH-CKS50TW

Big buds, big sound, big battery

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steelseries arctis nova pro wireless review 10Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro

A new standard

Pros

  • Top-tier audio quality
  • Expansive Sonar software
  • High-quality ANC
  • Comfortable fit with multiple adjustment points
  • Fully retractable microphone
  • Dual USB inputs

Cons

  • GameDAC doesn’t fully integrate with Sonar
  • Microphone is prone to pick up noise
  • Spatial audio can have nasty interactions with EQ

There are wireless gaming headsets and there are wireless noise-canceling headphones. Two product categories with two different use cases.

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is, somehow, the best of both worlds. The ANC (active noise canceling) is better than any gaming headset we’ve tested, and the microphone is fully retractable, so it’s hardly noticeable. Of course, the audio quality is what matters most, and the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless proves again to be a notch above the competition.

SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro

A new standard

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Sonos Ray soundbar

The start of something awesome

Pros

  • Compact for versatile placement
  • Impressive sound for its size
  • Expandable to a full 5.1 system
  • Easy setup and control

Cons

  • Pricey for a small soundbar
  • Lacks a bit of midrange detail

Sonos has made a name for itself with its wireless multiroom audio. It’s also released a few soundbars over the years, but none are cheap. That’s where the Sonos Ray comes in. It’s still not cheap, but at $279, it’s significantly cheaper than anything else Sonos has to offer.

And what you get in return is a compact soundbar that sounds remarkably impressive for its size. It’s easy to set up, and of course, it’s expandable to a full 5.1 system when you’re ready to take the plunge.

Sonos Ray soundbar

The start of something awesome

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Dell UltraSharp 32 4K USB-C Hub

Deep blacks, more power

Pros

  • Large, sharp 4K IPS panel
  • Excellent image quality
  • Truly useful USB-C hub and KVM switch
  • Outstanding build quality and design
  • Standout warranty and support

Cons

  • Expensive
  • HDR support is so-so

Next-gen panel types like OLED and mini-LED offer significantly deeper blacks and brighter peak luminance, but they are still extremely rare, especially in large PC monitors. This new Dell monitor takes a different approach, though, using LG’s new “IPS Black” technology to achieve better contrast.

While not quite competitive with OLED, the new Dell UltraSharp 32 4K monitor (U3223GE) definitely takes IPS displays to the next level. On top of that, this UltraSharp monitor features the same great design and useful ports (and even a KVM switch!) you’d expect from Dell’s premium line of displays.

Dell UltraSharp 32 4K USB-C Hub

Deep blacks, more power

LG PuriCare AeroTower

Powerful, quiet, effective

Pros

  • Quiet
  • Efficient purification
  • Multiple cooling modes and fan speeds
  • 10-year warranty on the motor

Cons

  • No heating capabilities

If you didn’t think there was room for innovation in a simple air purifier, check out what LG is doing with its PuriCare AeroTower. The AeroTower works to improve air quality in your room as an oscillating fan. In our testing, we found the purification to be surprisingly efficient, all while staying quiet.

It comes with multiple cooling modes and tracks all the purification through the app. While $600 is a lot to spend on an air purifier, this is the best one we’ve tested so far.

LG PuriCare AeroTower

Powerful, quiet, effective

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Falcon Northwest Tiki

Mini PC gaming, perfected

Pros

  • Blazing 4K gaming performance
  • Fantastic thermal design
  • Top-notch build quality
  • Accessible upgrades
  • Standard three-year warranty
  • Limited fan noise

Cons

  • Limited Intel configurations

Prebuilt gaming PCs usually come with compromises, no matter how good they are. The Falcon NW Tiki, though, is a compact gaming PC that is nearly perfect.

The thermal design is to-notch, and for a PC of its size, it produces very limited fan noise. All that results in fantastic 4K gaming and easy upgrades well into the future. And of course, the build quality, cable management, and customization options are all immaculate. If you can afford the premium price tag that comes with a boutique PC like this one, you won’t be disappointed.

Falcon Northwest Tiki

Mini PC gaming, perfected

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Audio-Technica ATH-CKS50TW

Big buds, big sound, big battery

Pros

  • Great sound with massive bass
  • Huge battery capacity
  • Very good noise cancellation
  • Bluetooth Multipoint
  • IPX4 water resistance
  • aptX Adaptive

Cons

  • No wireless charging
  • No wear sensors
  • Bulky charging case

These Audio-Technica wireless earbuds are the opposite of Apple’s iconic AirPods. They’re black, bulky, and have tremendous bass. When’s the last time you’ve been able to say that about a pair of noise-canceling earbuds?

The buds also come with both very good ANC and long battery life. You’ll have to put up with the large case, of course. But when it comes to battery life and low-end performance, the CKS50TW have no competition at its price point.

Audio-Technica ATH-CKS50TW

Big buds, big sound, big battery

Editors’ Recommendations





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