The seven-day GM diet is back – but is it actually good for you?

Bananas are your GM friend

Bananas are your GM friend CREDIT: BLOOMBERG NEWS

Shoulder pads, sequins, and a seven-day diet plan that asks you to eat eight bananas in one day – the 80s certainly gifted us with some weird and wonderful trends. And now (along with the shoulder pads and sequins), that diet plan is making a comeback.

Supposedly the brainchild of General Motors (GM), the GM diet plan was developed to help their employees lose weight – although the automotive company has never actually confirmed the connection. A quick Google search reveals pages of fans of the diet, who rave about their 11lb weight loss after just seven days.

So what’s behind this ‘miracle’ diet plan – and is it actually good for you?

In short, the GM diet is an extremely strict seven-day plan that suggests you drink 12-15 glasses of water a day while cutting out alcohol, tea and coffee; and restrict your calorific intake from food.

Wondering what to eat on 8th day after GM diet? Many of the readers have asked this question in the comments and a few through email. So, I thought of explaining this topic as a separate post rather than replying to them so that it can help everyone who’re in a confused state about what to eat after completing GM diet program for a week.

  • Overweight or Obesity, is undoubtedly, one of the biggest problems faced by most of the people these days. The scientific solution to lose weight is to increase the expenditure and decrease the consumption of calories. Generally, our body burns a certain number of calories even while we’re completely at rest.

    That is called the Basal Metabolic Rate aka BMR. This BMR varies from one individual to another, based on several factors such as height, weight, age and lifestyle. So, if a person’s BMR is 1500 calories per day, then his body will burn those 1500 cal even if he does nothing. However, if the same person consumes around 2000 calories or more, then his/her body will store the remaining 500 calories in the form of FAT cells, resulting in weight gain. So, according to this principle, losing weight is purely calculation. Spend more than you consume and you’ll obviously shed weight.

    Now, let us come to our topic. Most of the people who follow the 7 day diet plan will lose around 4 to 7 kgs, depending on how they followed it. Unfortunately, there are several other factors that interfere with weight loss, due to which a few people might not get such fantastic results.

    Let us assume you’ve followed the diet properly and lost around 5 Kgs of weight in the span of 1 week. You’ll definitely gain weight after the 7 day diet, if you get back to your old lifestyle (eating habits). There is actually no guarantee that the weight you’ve lost is permanent. To be frank, there is no diet plan in this world that promises such guarantee. It is because, our body weight depends on how we manage it and it is a continuous process. If you wanted to stay fit and healthy, then you should always see what you’re eating. Consuming unhealthy or fast foods may lead to obesity and it is an open secret.

    What to Eat on GM Diet 8th Day?

    So What Should You Eat After Completing GM Diet?

    If you want to avoid those lost pounds from coming back, then you should definitely change your diet routine. It is advised to consume low carb high protein diet in order to maintain your weight permanently or until your next GM diet session. Failing in doing so will obviously ruin your efforts that were put into following the General Motors diet program.

    Simple Weight Loss Logic:

    1 pound of FAT = 3500 calories; 1 KG = 2.2 Pounds; In order to lose 10 Kg of weight, you should spend/burn around 10 x 2.2 x 3500 = 77000 calories. Since, reducing such a huge number of calories won’t happen even in the dreams, it is recommended to reduce a minimum of 500 to 800 maximum per day. So, if you cut down 800 calories per day, then it would take 77000/800 = 96 days to lose 22 pounds/10 Kgs of weight naturally without following any crash diet plans.

    What to Eat After Finishing GM Diet?

    First, calculate how many calories you need per day and based on the BMR value, you should plan your meal plan accordingly. Below, you can find sample meal plans for both vegetarians and non-vegetarian eaters.

    If your BMR is under 2000 calories, then you can consume either the 1200 calorie meal plan or the 1500 calorie meal plan. No matter, what your BMR is, you should never go below the 1200 calorie limit as it would impact your health in a negative manner.

    Along with the above diet routines, below are a few tips which if followed will result in much quicker weight loss.

    • Avoid high calorie foods like noodles, samosas, pasta and all kinds of foods that are high in carbs or starch.
    • Replace the white foods (white rice) with brown colored foods (whole-wheat). Brown rice is always better than the White rice.
    • Try to stop your coffee or tea drinking habit and consume Green tea for weight loss. It is both healthy and boosts your metabolism.
    • Drink enough water per day (min of 3 to 4 liters)
    • Soups are very beneficial for losing weight as they aid in better digestion. Include this Cabbage soup or Tomato soup in your daily routine.
    • Try to allot at least 30 minutes every day to perform exercises like cardio workouts or Yoga poses. If time is your biggest problem, then at least try to perform this 7 minute HIIT workout instead.

    If you follow these tips, you’ll definitely lose weight and also keep it OFF after finishing the GM diet.



Tips For Eye Health and Maintaining Good Eyesight

Image result for Representative Image (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ Mauro-Matacchione/ Image (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ Mauro-Matacchione/
It’s the age of technology and we are more than ever using our eyes to check our phones, computer screens, gaming consoles and televisions, which can lead to eye fatigue. Eat healthy, exercise regularly and more to take care of eyes, suggest experts.

Ophthalmologists guide you to follow some simple steps:

 Adequate sleep is essential for eye health and allows the eyes to repair and recover. Eight hours of sound sleep at night will go a long way in attaining better visual quality.

* Our eyes require multiple nutrients to function optimally. Vitamins and minerals along with green leafy vegetables and protein sources help to keep the eyes strong and sharp.

* Regular exercise not only keeps your body fit but also makes your eyes healthy by pumping more blood and oxygen to your eyes.

* A majority of office jobs require constant and direct glaring at the computer screen, making it difficult for your eyes. Make sure to take a break, every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds.

* Regular physical exam at least twice a year will keep you aware and helps to take necessary action in time.

* Keep your eyes protected from exposure to harmful UV rays.


Ireland emerging as good destination for Indian students

The safe and welcoming ecosystem of Ireland besides its excellence in the academic field are some of the primary reasons that attract Indian students. Ireland is considered as one of the safest and friendliest countries in the world.

Representational image

Representational image

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The numbers surrounding Indian students offshore have always been voluminous. Apart from the United States, European countries are most preferred education destination for Indian students.

Despite huge fall in the numbers of Indian students coming to the UK in the recent times, Ireland is emerging as the one of the best destinations for Indian students owing to its attractive higher education system, academic excellence, and job oriented programmes.

It is widely accepted that the Enterprise Ireland, which manages the country’s education under the Minister for Education and Skills, successfully provide employment soon after their completion of studies.

“The Irish economy continues to grow at the fastest rate in Europe which in turn is creating a high demand for well qualified graduates. Our world-class international education offering, coupled with post-study employment opportunities for international students makes Ireland the perfect destination for Indian students,” said Mr. Rory Power, Director – India of the South Asia, Enterprise Ireland, as reported in  .

One of the attributes that catches the attention of students across the globe is the unparalleled devotion of the Enterprise Ireland in generating jobs. There are as many as 200, 000 employees under the Enterprise Ireland.

Indian students in Ireland:

While numbers are expected to grow at a faster rate, there are currently around 2, 000 Indian students in Ireland for higher studies.

With the exit of Britain from the European Union, Ireland is the only English speaking country in the EU.

“Popular programmes among Indian students include cloud computing, cyber security and data analytics, and well as management and MBAs. Students are hearing a positive story about Ireland economic growth and we’re getting a lot of queries about post-study work opportunities,” said Mr. Barry O’Driscoll, Senior Education Advisor.

The safe and welcoming ecosystem of Ireland besides its excellence in the academic field are some of the primary reasons that attract Indian students. Ireland is considered as one of the safest and friendliest countries in the world.

According to the Expat Insider Survey 2015, Ireland is the fourth most welcoming country in the world.

The “stay back” policy of the country encourages many Indian students to take up jobs and other opportunities in Ireland after completing their studies.

Ireland Education Fair in India:


New drug can create ‘good’ fat to combat obesity

<p>New drug can create 'good' fat to combat obesity<br></p>New drug can create ‘good’ fat to combat obesity

Scientists have identified a new drug that can create beneficial “brown” or “good” fat to boost metabolism, combat obesityand Type II diabetes.

Researchers from Gladstone Institutes San Francisco in the US treated mice with a drug called bexarotene (Bex) and found they had more “brown fat, faster metabolisms and less body weight gain, even after being fed a high-calorie diet”.

“All current weight loss drugs control appetite and there is nothing on the market that targets energy expenditure. Introducing brown fat is an exciting new approach to treating obesity and associated metabolic diseases, such as diabetes,” said Baoming Nie from the Gladstone Institutes.

Scientists used cellular reprogramming to convert muscle precursor cells and white fat cells into “brown” fat cells and said it could be a new way to combat obesity and type II diabetes.

“Bex acts on a protein called retinoid X receptor (RXR), which controls a network of other cellular proteins. Specifically, when RXR was stimulated by Bex, it turned on genes needed to produce “brown” fat and turned off genes linked to white fat or muscle,” the study explained.

Brown fat, unlike white fat, helps the body burn energy through heat.

“However, while Bex is very effective at creating brown fat cells, it is not a very specific drug, and there are several potential side effects that may arise from taking it,” said Sheng Ding from Gladstone.

Researchers noted that infants are born with small amounts of brown fat, but as they age, most of it disappears.

“In adults, people with higher amounts of brown fat have lower body mass, and increasing brown fat by as little as 50 grams could lead up to a 10 to 20 pound weight loss in one year,” noted the study published in the journal Cell Reports


Good news! That cuppa coffee is key to your long life

ANI | Jan 17, 2017, 12.30 PM IST


Good news! That cuppa coffee is key to your long life (Courtesy: Thinkstock)Good news! That cuppa coffee is key to your long life (Courtesy: Thinkstock)

The finding that coffee drinkers tend to live longer than people who abstain has long puzzled scientists. US scientists believe they’ve found the answer – and it’s to do with caffeine. It helps to block chemicals in the blood that promote inflammation, they say. The study was published in Nature Medicine.

Drinking coffee and tea may help people to live longer by reducing chemicals in the blood that can trigger heart disease, researchers have found. Now researchers at Stanford University believe they may have hit on a reason why having a coffee or tea break is so good for us.

Caffeine, the ingredient that gives coffee, tea and some fizzy drinks a lift, blocks chemicals in our blood that promote inflammation. Inflamed blood vessels are more likely to become stiffer – a risk factor for heart disease. Inflammation also plays a key role in many other diseases, the research study said.

Tests on the blood of people fewer of the chemicals linked to inflammation – were found to have more caffeine in their bloodstream. Further investigation revealed that they, as might be expected, drank more coffee than their peers.

A chemical found in chocolate, theobromine, was also found to have an anti-inflammatory effect, although not as pronounced as caffeine.

David Furman of the Stanford University’s Institute for Immunity, Transplantaion and Infection said: ‘More than 90 per cent of all noncommunicable diseases of aging are associated with chronic inflammation.’ Dr Furmann added: ‘It’s also well known that caffeine intake is associated with longevity. Many studies have shown this association. We’ve found a possible reason for why this may be so.’

His colleague Mark Davis added: ‘Our findings show that an underlying inflammatory process, which is associated with aging, is not only driving cardiovascular disease but is, in turn, driven by molecular events that we may be able to target and combat.’

The authors found that in an ongoing study following participants aged 20-30, and another group of people aged 60, those who ‘tended to drink more caffeinated beverages’ had lower levels of inflammatory compounds in their blood.

Further tests in the laboratory in human cell cultures found that caffeine had an active role in combating the chemicals that trigger inflammation. The key chemical combated by caffeine is called Interleukin-1-beta.

When injected into mice, IL-1-Beta led to ‘massive systemic inflammation, along with high blood pressure’. It also led to immune cells – white blood cells that fight infection and – clogging the animals kidneys. It also found more platelets platelets, which make blood more likely to clot.

Dr Davis said: ‘That something many people drink – and actually like to drink – might have a direct benefit came as a surprise to us’.

‘What we’ve shown is a correlation between caffeine consumption and longevity. And we’ve shown more rigorously, in laboratory tests, a very plausible mechanism for why this might be so.’

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Protein-carbohydrate combo good for gut health

NS | Nov 27, 2016, 12.39 PM IST

Protein-carbohydrate combo good for gut health (Thinkstock Photos/Getty Images)Protein-carbohydrate combo good for gut health (Thinkstock Photos/Getty Images)
Dietary combination of protein and carbohydrate may help promote good gut health as such a diet encourages cooperation between ourselves and bacteria in our gut, suggests new research.

“There are many different diet strategies that claim to promote gut health, and until now it has been very difficult to establish clear causality between various types of diet and their effect on the host’s microbiome,” said led author Andrew Holmes, Associate Professor at the University of Sydney in Australia.

“This is because there are many complex factors at play, including food composition, eating pattern and genetic background,” Holmes said.

In this study, the researchers found that the availability of intestinal nitrogen to microbes in the gut plays a key role in regulating interactions between gut microbes and their host animal.

“This research really lays the groundwork for future modelling by setting out the rules for a general model of how diet shapes the gut ecosystem,” Holmes said.

“The simple explanation is that when we eat in a way that encourages cooperation between ourselves and bacteria we achieve a good microbiome, but when we eat in a way that doesn’t require cooperation this lets bacteria do whatever they want — and mischief can ensue,” Holmes explained.

Despite the huge diversity of gut bacteria, two main response patterns emerged in the study — microbe species either increased or decreased in their abundance depending on the animal’s protein and carbohydrate intake.

“The largest nutrient requirements for our gut bacteria are carbon and nitrogen in the foods we eat. As carbohydrates contain no nitrogen but protein does, the bacterial community response to the host animal’s diet is strongly affected by this diets’ protein-carbohydrate ratio,” Holmes said.

“The fact that this same pattern was seen across almost all groups of gut bacteria indicates that the makeup of the microbial ecosystem is fundamentally shaped by a need to access nitrogen in the intestinal environment,” Holmes added.

This new research — published in the journal Cell Metabolism — is the latest in a series stemming from a study in which 25 different diets composed of different amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat were systematically varied in 858 mice.

The researchers said their new model suggests that while high-carbohydrate diets were the most likely to support positive interactions in the microbiome, such benefits were relative to the protein intake of the host animal.

Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.


SpotCam HD Eva review: The security features are good, but the app isn’t

book shelf eva

SpotCam is a relatively recent entrant in the DIY security sweepstakes, offering a trio of HD (720p) indoor and outdoor cameras. The $160 SpotCam HD Eva looks to muscle in—perhaps literally, given its bulky body—on the crowded Dropcam/Nestcam space with attractive features such as 24-hour continuous recording and motorized pan/tilt. A few peccadilloes, however, keep it from the top tier.

You can forget about hiding the SpotCam HD Eva in plain sight—there’s nothing inconspicuous about this camera; it’s easily the bulkiest we’ve reviewed so far. The head unit is bigger than a tennis ball—which is typically the largest comparative size we see on DIY security cams—and the base is nearly as big. In fact, it almost looks as if they stacked two of the same cone-shaped modules one on top of the other.

Inside that ample head is an IP camera ringed with 18 high-power infrared LEDs for night vision. The camera has a 110-degree field of view, which should be enough to take in most rooms.

In the event it’s not, you can take advantage of the SpotCam Eva’s pan-and-tilt functionality. Using the Spotcam mobile or web app, you can pan the camera 360 degrees—180 degrees in either direction—tilt it up 50 degrees, or down 20 degrees. Motorized pan-and-tilt is also a nice feature for tracking pets or (hopefully not) intruders as they move through your home.

SpotCam HD Eva also includes a speaker and microphone, so you can communicate remotely with family members or pets at home or scare off burglars with your voice. And, like all SpotCam’s, Eva can be used with IFTTT recipes to connect with other smart-home devices, including Philips Hue lighting, Nest Labs’ Nest Protect smoke/CO detector, and Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant.

eva front


SpotCam HD EVA boasts many desirable features, but its pan-and-tilt is hampered by clunky app control.

All surveillance footage is recorded to SpotCam’s cloud servers, and buyers get the SpotCam Live plan, which stores a rolling 24 hours of recordings for free. To store more, you’ll need to purchase one of the SpotCam NVR packages: 3-day recording for $3.95 per month or $39/year, 7-day recording for $5.95 per or $59/year, or 30-day recording for $19.95 per month or $199/year.

Setup and Usage

Setting up SpotCam HD Eva isn’t difficult, but it is clunky. Using the SpotCam mobile app, I had to first to connect the camera to SpotCam’s Wi-Fi, then toggle to my phone’s settings to find my Wi-Fi network. Once I entered my Wi-Fi password, I then had to flip a switch on the back of the camera to put it in “client” mode before toggling back to the SpotCam app to wait for it to connect.

Confirmation that this rigmarole worked is a still shot from the camera’s live feed displayed on the SpotCam app’s home screen. Tapping this picture takes you to the live feed itself.

The Spotcam app is clean and intuitive, if a little unpolished. Directly beneath the live feed window are icons for turning audio on and off, capturing still photos of the feed, and a 30-second rewind. There’s also a button for sharing access to the camera in case you want multiple family members to peek in on the homestead. Tapping this opens a window where you enter the party’s email address, customize a couple of access settings, and add an invitation message.

book shelf eva


SpotCam HD Eva’s size makes it tough to conceal.

The bottom half of the screen features a horizontally scrolling timeline and icons for viewing a chronology of detected sound and motion events, triggering the microphone, opening the settings tab, and getting back to the live stream.

Both live and recorded video were sharp and vibrant during my use. Even in night-vision mode, the image had good contrast with plenty of detail. Many wide-angle lenses suffer from distortions around the edges of the image, but the Eva’s showed little warping.

You control the camera’s pan-and-tilt feature by swiping horizontally or vertically in the desired direction on the live feed image. This operation is hardly precise. In theory, the length of your swipe should determine how far the camera pans or tilts (the app displays the degree of rotation). But sometimes the slightest swipe would send the camera rotating the full 180 degrees, while what seemed like a longer swipe would barely budge it. Other times, the app wouldn’t respond to swiping at all.

spotcam app
All detected motion and audio events are easily accessible from a chronological log.

The SpotCam HD Eva can detect both motion and sound—the latter is always a bonus as you’re still getting some protection if something is happening outside the camera’s field of view. Detection alerts were timely and accurate in my tests. The SpotCam app offers a fair amount of customization to reduce the incidence of false alarms: You can set motion and audio sensitivity to low, normal, or high, and opt in to be alerted to motion or audio events, or both. You can also schedule alerts to be deactivated during certain hours or days, which means you won’t need to unplug the camera when you’re home.

When an event is detected, it’s added to the event log. You just tap the event icon and select the event to see video of the triggering action. You can also access recorded events from the live feed screen by sliding through the timeline, but pinpoint accuracy is tough on a phone’s small screen. Also, sometimes trying to view videos this way caused the app to close and reboot.

Although you can view recorded videos on the SpotCam mobile app, you can’t download them. For that you need to log in to the SpotCam web portal (which has all the same features as the app) and create a video from your surveillance clips. Once you select a period of time, you can opt to make a “normal” or time-lapsed video. The result is saved to a tab called My Film on the portal, from which you can download the video to your local drive.

Bottom Line

The SpotCam HD Eva has most of the makings of standout home security camera; unfortunately, some shortcomings in execution hinder its performance. Its bulky, non-descript design is curious considering how much emphasis other manufacturers—MyFoxand Neatmo in particular—have put on the aesthetics of their products. The clumsy pan-and-tilt operation diminishes what should be a standout feature, and the need to “create” a video feels like extra work.

Maybe these things will be improved down the line. If you can overlook them in the meantime, SpotCam Echo still offers solid security for a reasonable price.


Jobs recovery gets stronger, and job quality is ‘good’

The United States isn’t just continuing to add jobs — it’s strengthening as well, and that’s good for workers.

That’s the big takeaway from this morning’s monster jobs number, which blew away analysts’ expectations.

Annual wages rose at an annualized rate of 2.6 percent, which is big news in a job market that has experienced a tepid recovery when it comes to pay. But the kinds of jobs that were added were equally noteworthy. Professional and business services added 70,000 jobs to the U.S. economy; healthcare positions amounted to 43,000 more in gains, and even Wall Street — which has gained attention for slashing jobs and compensation this year — added 18,000 more roles.

“We’re seeing a gradual, but increasingly clear sign that bargaining power is beginning to grow for the worker,” said Bruce Kasman, chief global economist at JPMorgan Chase. “It’s moving slowly. We think that’s important for the economy.”

Construction on a single family home in Tiskilwa, Illinois.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Construction on a single family home in Tiskilwa, Illinois.

Factoring in things like solid summer consumer numbers and housing growth, it appears that the U.S. economy is improving despite a drag on corporate earnings to begin the year. That said, Kasman pointed out that he would like to see further increases in wage growth before he labels it a trend.

The humongous jobs numbers beat — of 255,000 on expectations of 180,000 jobs gained — in back-to-back months was viewed almost unanimously as a big positive for the American job market. After faltering in May, both June and July packed on triple-digit additions, buoying optimism that the U.S. economy is not faltering, but instead growing stronger.

“The job gains were broad-based,” said Deutsche Bank chief U.S. economist Joseph LaVorgna. “It’s fair to say job quality was good.”

What wage growth does not take into account are factors like bonuses and commissions, and if those also outstrip expectations, it’s a solid sign for consumers and the U.S. economy, LaVorgna said.

If the quality of jobs continues to lift wages and hours worked, it will translate into gains for consumers, and strengthen the economy further. LaVorgna noted that hours worked would translated into a boost for gross domestic product, as well.

“Overall, this is a very solid report, and one that should dispel some of the concerns that were raised by the now anomalous-looking May report,” wrote JPMorgan Chase chief U.S. economist Michael Feroli in a Friday morning analysis.

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Logitech G933 review: This wireless headset is so good, you can skip its high-end competition

Logitech G933

Logitech has been pushing hard to win back the gaming crowd in recent years—and I’ll be damned if the G933 isn’t one of their best shows yet.

How good? Well, I’d probably save a $100 (or more) and take this headset over our long-standing high-end recommendation of the Astro A50 and the SteelSeries Siberia 800, barring a few exceptions. Indeed the G933 can currently be found on Amazon for well below its MSRP.

Modern looks

As an update to Logitech’s G930, the G933 sports a familiar look. It’s got the same bulky air traffic control heft, the same coffin-shaped earcups instead of traditional round ones. It’s easily identifiable as the heir to Logitech’s old gaming headset.

Nevertheless, the G933’s been prettied up.

Logitech has added RGB lighting, of course. Like the rest of the company’s modern lineup, the G933 sports full 16.8 million color profiles for the strips of lighting on the rear of each ear and the lit-up logos on the facing sides. Sure, it’s pointless. But it looks good, and Logitech continues to offer some of the best lighting in the industry.

But illumination aside, the G933 is simply a sleeker headset. The G930’s ears were particularly ugly, a flat slab of matte-finish plastic saddled with the old, very-corporate Logitech logo and some chunky controls.

The G933 ditches that enterprise look, and instead features a less obtrusive logo (and logo placement), as well as some decorative accents that give it a lighter aesthetic. Some of it’s strange and a bit overdone—like a scattering of decorative triangle shapes inside the headband—but for the most part, these changes help the G933 look more like a modern headset and less like a relic of the ’90s.

Logitech G933

The G933 also moves its buttons to the rear of the headset, which helps with its clean, uncluttered look. All controls sit along the back of the left ear, and each has a unique shape for easier memorization if that’s your thing. You can control the power via a switch, toggle the EQ setting, turn surround sound on or off, cycle the lighting effect, mute the microphone, and adjust the volume. You can also reprogram the three “G” keys in the middle (labeled G1, G2, and G3) with a ton of other preset commands—or entire macros, if you prefer.

Also on the left ear is the microphone, though you might miss it at first glance. It retracts and folds directly into the earcup, making it practically invisible—but then folds down like a normal boom microphone and extends out so you can bend it towards your mouth.

The design is a gorgeous bit of engineering, albeit pretty useless. With headsets that I can use as decent street headphones, like the Polk Striker Pro, having a detachable or foldable microphone is useful. The G933 is so bulky, though, that I doubt I’d wear it away from my computer. The microphone style speaks to Logitech’s ingenuity more than practical application.

A more useful design aspect is convenient storage of the USB dongle, given that I’ve misplaced wireless dongles in the past. You just pop off the plastic plate on the left ear cup. The right plate also pops off, in case you want to replace the G933’s battery in the future.

Rounding out the design, the bottom of the left ear has a micro USB charging port and a 3.5mm analog jack. You can use the latter to plug the G933 into a phone, gamepad, or whatever—no battery required, though you’ll lose out on the lighting. But again, I wouldn’t wear these on the street. They’re big and goofy, despite Logitech’s improvements.

Logitech G933

My one and only problem with the G933, and a reason for some of you to stay away: It’s tight. The fit gets better the longer I wear it, but this headset still tends to vice-grip my head and leave me sore after a few hours of use. Corsair’s Void Wireless slips around more, but feels more comfortable—as does the Astro A50, if you’re willing to stomach the jump in price.

Bone rattlers

The G933 certainly sounds good, though. Running the default “Flat” stereo setting, it’s a moderately bright, punchy headset. I could do with a bit more low-end—and I did adjust that immediately by utilizing the “Drop the Bass” (eye-roll) EQ setting, and then tweaking from there.

But the G933 is a solid setup. The oversize ear cups give audio plenty of room to breathe in both gaming and non-gaming environments. Music sounds surprisingly good, too, though I’d still give the edge to the Astro A50 or HyperX Cloud (or any number of actualheadphones).

Like most headset manufacturers these days, Logitech touts G933’s 7.1 capabilities. I’ll give them this: The G933 has better simulated surround sound than most. Unlike some notable competitors (I’m looking at you, Corsair), enabling surround doesn’t ruin the G933’s sound. There’s little noticeable distortion, and in some games (Battlefield, for instance), it even does a serviceable job emulating surround.

But those moments are few and far between, and even a “pretty good” implementation of surround sound in a headset doesn’t really measure up to even the weakest of real-world, multi-speaker setups. I ended up leaving the setting off most of the time, because it either added very little or actively detracted from what I was listening to: for instance, muddling sounds together and creating a jumble of noises or hollowing out the center channel. The G933 in stereo is good enough as is.

Logitech G933

The G933’s microphone’s frequency response is decent, but this mic is more sensitive than most at picking up background noise. Every creak of my chair registered loud and clear, and my voice had a noticeable amount of hiss behind it—possibly from the microphone picking up the sound of my computer’s fans. So it’ll work, but maybe consider using push-to-talk so you don’t annoy your teammates.

As for range, I was able to get the usual 10 meters away from the dongle before audio dropped, even in my high-interference apartment. I did however notice that after the sound cut out and I moved back towards my PC, it took longer to find a signal than other headsets.

Battery life is a bit disappointing—if only because I just experienced that of the Corsair Void Wireless and Razer Man O’ War. My usage averaged around eight hours before needing a recharge. While this is better than most wireless headsets, it pales in comparison to the 12-plus hours you’ll get with the Man O’ War and Void Wireless.

Two final side notes: Logitech has fixed some early issues with the G933, so feel safe to ignore these points if you hear about them. First, you can now change how long the G933 idles before turning off. And second, the headset no longer thinks “50 percent battery” constitutes “Low,” and thus won’t commence beeping at you every two minutes for four hours. Those constituted my biggest complaints, and have been resolved by a firmware update.

Bottom line

The Logitech G933 would be a pretty good headset at its list price of $200. At its pretty-much-permanent sale price of $150 to $180, it’s probably the best price-to-performance ratio you’ll find, as wireless headsets go.

Sure, the Astro A50, SteelSeries Siberia 800, and the rest of the very high-end wireless headsets nail a few particulars better than Logitech—but they’re also twice as expensive. The G933 is good enough that most users won’t even notice a difference, and priced reasonably for a wireless headset. You can burn the money you’ll save on a Steam Sale.

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Sharp Aquos N7000 review: A 55-inch 4K UHD TV with good audio and HDR-10 (well, sort of)

lc60n7000u copy

If you’re looking for an affordable 4K UHD TV with the latest connectivity and better-than-average sound, Sharp’s $800 55-inch class Aquos N7000 should be on your short list. The N7000 is even “HDR-enabled” (High Dynamic Range), meaning it can play HDR10 content, although it doesn’t possess the display chops to take full advantage of that feature.

hu60k550uwg45to the left


Though I rarely talk about such things, the Aquos N7000’s design struck me as particularly clean and handsome.

Specs and connectivity

The Aquos N7000 is a 54.6-inch display (55-inch class) that weighs about 48 pounds and is around 2.5-inches deep. It’s not overly svelte, but it’s easy enough to get out of the box and onto the wall. Add another 6.7 inches of depth if you use the stands. The panel’s native resolution is 3840×2160 with a hardware refresh rate of 60Hz. I find it one of the more attractive lower-end TVs on the market, but I’m a sucker for pewter (right after copper), the color that’s used on the bezel.

The N7000 sports four HDMI ports: two supporting the older 1.4 spe, and two offering up the 2.0a standard (via a recent firmware upgrade) that HDR-10 requires. ARC (Audio Return Channel) HDMI is provided for output to sound bars and A/V receivers. There are three USB ports, two 2.0 and one 3.0. Both keyboards and USB mass-storage devices are supported. Also on board are gigabit ethernet and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Connectivity is rounded out by component inputs (the green may be used for composite signals), and an optical/analog audio input.



All the ports on the Aquos N7000 are located stage right.

Remote and interface

The remote control for the N7000 is a take on the familiar, elongated type that’s been in use for a more than a decade now. There are quite a few buttons, including the classic red/green/yellow/blue function types, but they are logically laid out and I had little difficulty getting up to speed with it. The on-screen interface appears on the left, and cursoring to the right brings up more granular picture settings. It’s nicely rendered, easy to read, and the important picture settings are transparent so you can see the effect of the adjustment you’re making.

There’s also an app page which consists of two scrollable rows of large icons. The provided apps include Pandora, Vudu, Facebook, YouTube, and the other usual suspects. There are also native apps for displaying photos and video and playing music encoded in the most common formats, including the h.264 and h.265 60fps/2160p videos we use for testing motion. As a cord cutter, the only feature I really missed was a channel guide.

Picture and sound

The Aquos N7000’s picture is quite good for its class, though it’s far from state of the art. Overall, the color is about as good as you’re going to get with any WLED (white light-emitting diode) backlight. It’s a bit cold and it’s skewed towards the blue end of the spectrum. But saturation is decent and the color accuracy, while not perfect, is as good as I’ve seen for WLED. The greens aren’t annoyingly lime-y, and the reds aren’t overly pink or orange. Detail, as you’d expect with UHD, is quite nice; and the 1080 upscaling is first rate. Picture uniformity (no blurry or dark areas) was exceptional on the 55-inch unit I tested.

The N7000’s backlighting is edge, not array, which means the blacks aren’t as dark as they could be. On the other hand, there’s no blocking (visible borders where array LEDs are dimmed or shut off), and little blossoming (halos around bright objects on a black background). There was also only minimal bleed around the edges with a black image displayed.

There was some noticeable, if not aggravating stuttering during fast action sequences, which is to be expected with a 60Hz refresh rate. But a big shoutout to Sharp for advertising its Aquomotion smoothing technology without concocting a phony number or “effective” refresh rate to do so.

As I mentioned up front, the N7000 plays HDR-10 content, but it’s in no way up to snuff in that regard—at least not when compared to Sony’s X800/X900, Samsung’s SUHDs, and LG’s HDR sets. The maximum nits I saw from any portion of the screen was 415 and the panel is 8-bit, meaning it can’t render some of the subtle details that HDR’s 10- or 12-bit wide color gamut can provide. But within its capabilities, it handles HDR nicely, remapping colors intelligently with very mild upticks in contrast and vividness. To be fair, Sharp makes no great claims beyond being compatible with the content.

hu60k550uwg45to the right


Sharp’s N7000 is a good-looking TV.

Sharp calls out the N7000’s dbx-tv audio, and indeed, the sound emanating from the speakers is considerably better than average—especially if you reflect it off a hard surface, such as a wall, as most people will. We test our TVs with a curtain behind them for the most part, and the N7000 still delivered pretty fair results.

One nice little trick up the N7000’s sleeve is “wallpaper” mode, or the ability to display images when not otherwise fully operational. It’s a subtle way to show your guests vacation photos without subjecting them to a full-on sit down.

Buying advice

With the Aquos N7000, Sharp has done a good job marrying the latest connectivity, better-than-average audio, and HDR processing with low- to mid-range display technology. A 120Hz refresh rate would be nice, but this is a good TV for the price. It can’t do HDR to anywhere near full effect, so don’t buy it for that. Buy it because it’s the TV you like best in its price range. The chances are very good that it might be.

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