Thu. Dec 19th, 2019

Upgrade your life with the best new tech on display at IFA 2018

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The doors may be well and truly shut on one of the world’s biggest tech shows, IFA 2018, in Berlin, but its impact will be felt for months to come.

Companies vie to demonstrate how the latest cutting-edge innovations can transform your life for the better.

Except for tech giants Apple, Google and Dyson, the majority of the world’s leading consumer electronics brands are there.

Only the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas at the start of the year is bigger, but IFA 2018 has given its US counterpart a run for its money.

More than 250,000 consumers attend the annual expo which takes place in the vast halls of Messe. Close to 2,000 traders and tech companies display their gear.

Good walking shoes are a necessity unless you plan your assault well in advance.

This is how the chief buyers from Harvey Norman do it; they have years of IFA experience under their belts.

Virgin Media One filmed their exploits for an Ireland AM breakfast telly slot which was broadcast with Colin Baker at the helm.

Their mission, like my own, was to seek out devices with the most practical benefits for every day life.

So what’s new in TV and audio?

Some of the most impressive tech at IFA 2108 was in TV and audio.

Sennheiser revealed a soundbar that has, pardon the pun, raised the bar in home audio.

The Ambeo – hitting stores early in 2019 – is powered by 13 drivers and is compatible with 3D audio formats such as Dolby Atmos.

It recreates stereo and 5.1 content in immersive 3D sound and makes viewing movies a more cinema-like experience.

Sport also sounded great; and apparently Sky TV will be broadcasting Premier League soccer with 3D audio soon.

Sennheiser also launched its new voice-controlled wireless ear buds Momentum True Wireless.

A big talking point at IFA 2018 was the first 8K TVs which were on show from both Samsung and LG.

I could not see a huge jump in quality from the footage shown on these screens when compared to Sony’s latest 4K OLED TVs, the AF9 and ZD9, for example.

I can recall vividly having my mind blown by 4K footage for the first time and the quality of 4K resolution telly still amazes me.

But I’m not sure that the human eye can appreciate the higher definition of 8K on a 55in or 85in screen.

Samsung’s TV display did have huge queues, however, along with its stand for the Galaxy Note 9 smartphone which I reviewed here.

The Sony hall at IFA is always home to many exciting new products. This year these included its superb camera range and Aibo, the pointless but cute robot dog.

My favourite Sony product was the 1000MX3 active noise cancelling headphones and its latest smartphone, the Xperia XZ3, a gorgeous handset on sale next month.