Mac How To: Microsoft Outlook for Mac Profile Switching

Outlook for Windows supports profile switching at launch natively, but the version for macOS makes it a little more difficult. Microsoft does, however, include a profile switching utility within Outlook for Mac and with some AppleScript you can launch the switching utility before Outlook. It’s not as seamless as Outlook on Windows, but it’s better than nothing! This script checks Outlook is closed (and quits it if it’s open), launches the profile switching tool, waits for you to change your default profile and close the tool, and then finally launches Outlook.

To get started, open up AppleScript editor (Applications > Utilities > Script Editor), and paste in the following:

set Outlook to "Applications/Microsoft Outlook.app"
set ProfSwitch to "Applications/Microsoft Outlook.app/Contents/SharedSupport/Outlook Profile Manager.app"
if application Outlook is running then
	tell application Outlook to quit
end if
tell application ProfSwitch to launch
repeat until application ProfSwitch is not running
end repeat
if application ProfSwitch is running then
	delay 1
end if
tell application Outlook to launch

Once you’ve pasted the code into the AppleScript Script Editor, go to File > Export. Name the file, pick the directory, change the File Format to Application, tick ‘Run Only’ and then click Export. Now you can save this into your Applications folder and pin it to your dock. 

Each time you launch, you can change the default profile Outlook should open with, and once you make the change and close the utility Outlook will launch with the correct profile.

How To: Fix Intel Laptop Coil Whine and Squeaking

There’s nothing worse than getting a new laptop, booting it up, and then hearing that incessant coil whine noise that kicks in and out. I’ve noticed it’s worse on the HP laptops we’ve used, but HP isn’t to blame. Intel is.

In our testing, the issue seems to be related to Intel’s TurboBoost feature that allows your CPU to kick into a super boosted mode when it needs to (and in some cases increase its clock speed from 1.6GHz to 3.5!), but this can come at a cost. Coil whine.

The only way we’ve found to fix this is to disable TurboBoost. On Windows laptops you have two options:

1. Disable TurboBoost in BIOS/UEFI

One option is to head into your BIOS settings and see if there’s a way to disable TurboBoost there. We’ve seen this option on many laptops, but strangely the HP we used did not have the option in BIOS which leads us into the next option:

2. Disable TurboBoost in Windows

This option requires Administrator permissions and involves a couple of easy to do steps.

Firstly open up Notepad. Paste in the following text

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power\PowerSettings\54533251-82be-4824-96c1-47b60b740d00\be337238-0d82-4146-a960-4f3749d470c7]
"Attributes"=dword:00000002

Then save the file, make sure you pick the Save type as “Any file” and end the file name in .reg – once saved, double click the file and merge this into your registry.

Then head to Advanced Power Settings in the Control Panel (Control Panel > Power Options > Change Plan Settings > Change Advanced Power Settings:). Once that’s open look under Processor power management > Processor performance mode > and Processor performance boost mode. Make sure Battery and Plugged In are set to ‘Disabled’. Reboot, and you’re done!

 

 

 

 

How To: Basic Server Security (CentOS 7) – April 2019

Out of the box, servers are often insecure and come with outdated software. In this guide we will be going through the basics of what you need to do to secure a server. This guide applies to CentOS 7 and was last updated April 2019.

1. Updates! Updates! Updates!

The first thing you need to focus on is updates. Ensuring your server is up to date is key, and you need to make sure you do this regularly.  Downtime in the name of security is justifiable, but with the correct configuration and redundancy you can avoid downtime too (but that’s for another blog post).

To update in CentOS, run:

sudo yum update && yum upgrade

2. Firewall

2.1 – Install the firewall

My preference for a firewall for beginners is CSF + LFD  (ConfigServer Firewall + Login Failure Daemon). To install CSF you’ll need to run the following commands:

sudo yum install wget nano perl-libwww-perl.noarch perl-Time-HiRes

Enter the /usr/src folder:

cd /usr/src/

Download the CSF tarball:

wget https://download.configserver.com/csf.tgz

Extract and install:

tar -xzf csf.tgz
cd csf
sh install.sh

Run the test to see if the server should be compatible:

cd /usr/local/csf/bin/
perl csftest.pl

The result should be:

# perl csftest.pl
Testing ip_tables/iptable_filter...OK
Testing ipt_LOG...OK
Testing ipt_multiport/xt_multiport...OK
Testing ipt_REJECT...OK
Testing ipt_state/xt_state...OK
Testing ipt_limit/xt_limit...OK
Testing ipt_recent...OK
Testing xt_connlimit...OK
Testing ipt_owner/xt_owner...OK
Testing iptable_nat/ipt_REDIRECT...OK
Testing iptable_nat/ipt_DNAT...OK

RESULT: csf should function on this server

2.2 – Configure the firewall

Now the firewall is installed, you need to configure it. This basic configuration will allow incoming traffic on a number of ports, you should edit the csf.conf file later to lock this down.

cd /etc/csf # Enter the CSF directory
cp csf.conf csf.conf.bak # Back up the existing csf.conf file
sed -i 's/TESTING = "1"/TESTING = "0"/g' csf.conf # Turns Testing mode off

Next, we’ll disable the existing firewall service and enable CSF.

systemctl stop firewalld # Stop firewalld 
systemctl disable firewalld # Disable firewalld from starting at boot
systemctl start csf # Start the new CSF firewall
systemctl enable csf # Enable CSF on boot
systemctl start lfd # Start LFD
systemctl enable lfd # Enable LFD on boot

You can whitelist your IP address to prevent you from getting locked out if you have too many incorrect password attempts, but only do this if you have a static IP. Do this by running:

csf -a 1.2.3.4 # Replace 1.2.3.4 with your IP Address (v4 or v6)

Once making a change, restart CSF with:

csf -r

3. Secure SSH

Securing SSH is the next important aspect. I’m going to assume you are already connecting to your server using public key auth with your own user in the wheel group (AWS, DigitalOcean, Azure, Linode use this by default) – if you aren’t using public key auth, do so.

We’re going to disable root login and disable login by passwords. This will prevent hackers from brute-forcing their way in over SSH to the default root account. 

cp /etc/ssh/sshd_config /etc/ssh/sshd_config_backup
echo "PasswordAuthentication no" >> /etc/ssh/sshd_config
echo "PermitRootLogin no" >> /etc/ssh/sshd_config

In the future, we will release a blog post on achieving PCI Compliance to achieve baseline security, keep your eyes peeled or follow us on Twitter (@cyberhatch).

ASCII Art featured image

Cheat-sheet: Linux Commands in Windows

If you spend a lot of time in the command line you may find it a bit difficult to remember the different commands you need to use to achieve basic things depending on whether you’re using Unix/Linux or Windows that day. This guide contains a cheat-sheet with some of the most used Unix commands and their Windows counterparts. If you use PowerShell you’re in luck because Microsoft has added a large number of the Unix commands as aliases for their Windows counterparts for you, but if you use CMD/Command Prompt still this list is for you.

 

Cheat-sheet:

Unix command: clear
CMD command: cls
The clear command is used to clear the window you currently have open, useful if the clutter is distracting you. The Windows alternative is cls (clear screen).

 

Unix command: ls
CMD command: dir
The ls command is used list the contents of the current directory, append with the location of another directory to list the contents of a different directory. The Windows alternative is dir (directory).

 

Unix command: cat
CMD command: type
cat is most frequently used to output the content of a file to the command line, or to add the content of file into another file. The Windows alternative is type (fairly self explanatory).

 

Unix command: sudo
CMD command: powershell Start-Process cmd.exe -Verb runAs
Windows doesn’t have an in-built answer to the sudo command (used to elevate your command line to run commands that are system sensitive), but powershell Start-Process cmd.exe -Verb runAs will open another CMD window for you running as the administrator user.

 

Unix command: rm
CMD command: del
Used to remove files and folders. The Windows alternative is del (delete).

 

Unix command: cp
CMD command: copy
Used to copy files and folders. The Windows alternative is copy (self explantory). xcopy also exists.

 

Unix command: nano, vi, ee
CMD command: notepad
CMD doesn’t have an in-built text editor*, but prefixing a file name with notepad will open it up in Notepad so you can edit it in the GUI. If you need to open a file as an Administrator (for example to edit the hosts file), see the next command.
* Some older versions of Windows come with edit from the DOS days, but Windows 7 64-bit and above does not.

 

Unix command: sudo nano
CMD command: powershell Start-Process “notepad.exe <filename>” -Verb runAs
This will open the file you want to edit in an elevated Notepad instance. For example, to edit the hosts file run: powershell Start-Process “notepad.exe C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts” -Verb runAs and then you can make the changes needed and save the file in the GUI.

 

Unix command: ssh
CMD command: ssh
Windows 10 supports SSH! (Version 1809 does, anyway – older versions probably do too).

 

Unix command: shutdown (and shutdown -r or reboot) 
CMD command: shutdown
Windows supports the shutdown command but the flags are slightly different. Replace the hyphen with a forward slash (e.g; rebooting on Windows requires shutdown /r instead of shutdown -r). Execute shutdown and CMD will display a list of arguments.

How To: Enable Wi-Fi Calling on the OnePlus 6T (Vodafone UK and EE)

One trick the OnePlus 6T has up its sleeve is that despite not being listed on Vodafone and EE’s supported devices list, it actually comes with the keys and certificates required to connect to the VoWiFi/Wi-Fi Calling servers – all you need to do is enable it in a debugging menu.

Please note that this is intended only for debugging, and is a feature that could be removed at any point (or, hopefully, enabled by default…) – as always, we do not accept any responsibility for any damage this may cause. 

Check it isn’t already available:

First off, check that Wi-Fi Calling isn’t already available by heading to Settings > Wi-Fi & Internet > SIM & Network > select your SIM and then looking under Enhanced Communications. Wi-Fi Calling may already be an option. If it is, simply enable it. If not, carry on reading.

How to enable VoWiFi/Wi-Fi Calling (and maybe even VoLTE!)

Open the dialer, and then open the keypad and enter:

*#800#

The phone should automatically pop up with the OnePlus Debug Menu (titled Log_test). Read the warning notice that may come up and if you’re happy to continue, tap Enter, in the window that then pops up, press on oneplus Logkit.

Scroll down the list and tap on Function Switch.

  

If you need VoLTE, tap the tickbox next to VoLTE switch. On the reboot notice that pops up, tap Cancel. Then, tap the tickbox next to VoWifi switch, then tap Reboot on the reboot notice that pops up.

Once you’ve rebooted the phone, head to Settings > Wi-Fi & Internet > SIM & Network > select your SIM, and then look again under Enhanced Communications. You should see the toggles for enabling VoLTE (if you enabled that), and Wi-Fi Calling. You can even select which method of Wi-Fi Calling you’d prefer (Mobile Data Preferred which will likely handle most calls over the cellular network, or Wi-Fi Preferred which will push most/all calls over Wi-Fi). 

  

When you’re done, simply turn enable Airplane Mode, and turn the Wi-Fi back on. Once VoWiFI appears in the top right (you may need to pull the notification shade down to see it, depending on how many icons are already displayed) place a call. If the call goes through, Wi-Fi Calling works.

Note: If you have Dual SIMs, you will need to enable Dual 4G networks on the SIM & Network Settings page to use Wi-Fi Calling on both SIMs.

How To Fix: Could not get metalink for EPEL

Quick Fix

Error message:

Could not get metalink https://mirrors.fedoraproject.org/metalink?repo=epel-7&arch=x86_64 error was 14: HTTPS Error 503 - Service Unavailable

Fix:

sudo rpm --query --file  /etc/pki/tls/certs/ca-bundle.trust.crt

Output (will change as time goes on):

ca-certificates-2018.2.22-70.0.el7_5.noarch

Copy and paste output, and then run:

sudo yum reinstall ca-certificates-2018.2.22-70.0.el7_5.noarch

Then try yum update again.

 

 

 

 

 

Settings

Mac How To: How to stop accidentally quitting apps

If you’ve ever accidentally pressed CMD+Q and quit an app when you wanted to press CMD+W to close a tab or the window, you can easily re-map the key combination required to quit a specific app (or all apps) in Settings. 

To do this open Settings, head to Keyboard, and then Shortcuts.

Then select App Shortcuts from the list on the left and then press the icon

Settings

If you wish to remap the key required to quit a specific app enter the following:

Application: Select the app you want to change (e.g; Safari).
Menu Title: Type Quit
Keyboard Shortcut: Click in this box and press the new key combination you wish to use to quit apps.

Click Add and then quit and re-open the app you’ve changed the shortcut for.

Safari

If you wish to remap the key required to quit all apps enter the following:

Application: Leave All Applications selected
Menu Title: Type Quit
Keyboard Shortcut: Click in this box and press the new key combination you wish to use to quit apps.

Click Add and then reboot. 

All Apps

macOS How To: Enable AAC and aptX Bluetooth Audio Codecs

By default, macOS defaults to the SBC audio codec for Bluetooth headphones regardless of whether your headphones supports AAC or aptX. macOS itself, however, does support these codecs, it just needs enabling.

In my case, I am using the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9i that support the AAC codec, but this guide also includes a step for aptX for any headphones that support it.

To see what codec your Mac is currently using for audio on your headphones, hold down the option key on your keyboard, and click on the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar. Once the menu has popped up, move the mouse cursor down to the connected device and it will pop out another menu displaying the currently used codec:

Bluetooth Menu showing Beoplay H9i connected with SBC

If the Active Codec: is shown as SBC and your headphones support AAC or aptX, you’ll be able to enable the correct codecs with the following commands in Terminal (you’ll need administrator access on your account). Turn off your headphones before doing this (not doing so shouldn’t cause any harm, but it’s just easier).

To enable AAC:

sudo defaults write bluetoothaudiod "Enable AAC codec" -bool true

To enable aptX:

sudo defaults write bluetoothaudiod "Enable AptX codec" -bool true

Then run the following command and you should see the following settings afterwards:

sudo defaults read bluetoothaudiod

The above command should show the following:

Jons-MacBook-Pro:~ jonprocter$ sudo defaults read bluetoothaudiod
{
    "Enable AAC codec" = 1;
    "Enable AptX codec" = 1;
}
Jons-MacBook-Pro:~ jonprocter$ 

Once that is done, you can now re-connect your headphones. Once reconnected, start playing some audio and then go back to the Bluetooth menu (holding down the Option key again) and you should see the following (with aptX in place of AAC if your headphones support it):

Bluetooth Menu showing Beoplay H9i connected with AAC

If needed, you can disable AAC and/or aptX again using the following:

To disable AAC:

sudo defaults write bluetoothaudiod "Enable AAC codec" -bool false

To disable aptX:

sudo defaults write bluetoothaudiod "Enable AptX codec" -bool false

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9i vs Bose QuietComfort 35 (and QC35 II) – Headphone Showdown

If most reviews from popular outlets are to be believed, the Bose QC35s (and QC35 II, which are identical in every way except for the Google Assistant button and a differently designed carrying case in the box) are unrivalled in the wireless over-ear noise cancelling headphone market. How true is this though? Do they really have the best active noise cancellation? Are they really the most comfortable? Are they really the best for sound quality in this product range? These are the questions I intend to answer when comparing them to the Beoplay H9i from the high-end Danish brand Bang & Olufsen.

This review compares the H9i and QC35 (series I), but any differences with the QC35 II are made clear so this review can be used to compare the H9i and QC35 II too. Please note I also own both pairs of headphones, and bought them ourselves. This post is not sponsored by anybody.

Sound

When buying a pair of headphones, sound is the most important consideration for me. Both headphones are good to say the least. Bose audio products are typically dismissed within the audiophile community, often with the “No highs, no lows, must be Bose!” quip. I disagree with this assessment with these headphones. They sound good – not great or even very good, but good (and better than the Sony WH-1000XM2, which sound muffled and muddy even with extensive EQ tweaking to me). The QC35s mostly sound clear, and there is very little difference between in sound quality between the various ANC options in the app. Bose do have a downside to sound quality however, when turned up loud the case rattles and bass is boomy and distorted. The QC35s also sometimes lack definition and have a below average soundstage, which is disappointing when the Sony WH-1000XM2 have a good soundstage but worse sound overall in my eyes (or ears, rather). The QC35s go very loud on some phones, but are quiet on other devices. They can go to extremely loud on my Samsung Galaxy S9+ (the phone displays it as 150% volume), but on my BlackBerry Key2 and MacBook Pro they sound rather quiet and need to be at 75% volume to be a decent listening experience.

Despite the QC35 having good sound, the Beoplay H9i are in a league of their own. Their out-of-box sound is perfect for me, they have excellent soundstage and instrumental separation. The H9i sound is also customisable, which gives them an edge over the QC35. They can be tweaked in the Beoplay app in the section B&O refer to as ToneTouch. Here you can move a circle around the screen into pre-defined areas and you can make the circle larger and smaller to tweak the sound further. There are also sound pre-sets. One issue with the H9i sound however is when ANC is turned on or off. They sound better to me with ANC switched off, with even better sound-stage and clearer highs and mids. This is something many reviews have picked up on, but what they fail to mention is that even though the sound with ANC on is worse than with ANC off, the sound with ANC on is still better than the competition by quite a margin. Some reviews also complain about the H9is not going very loud, but for me 60% volume is perfectly loud and anything above becomes uncomfortably loud. Both headphones sound better wired also, the H9i sound remarkably similar to the much lauded 2nd Generation Beoplay H6.

Both headphones use Bluetooth 4.x, the QC35s use 4.1 and the H9i 4.2. Unlike last year’s Beoplay H9, the H9is lack aptX and rely on AAC instead and fall back to SBC on devices that don’t support AAC (not that this means they struggle in the audio department – they sound orders of magnitude better than the H9 and the competition. There is also evidence that AAC may be a preferable codec over aptX anyway too). The QC35s (and QC35 II) are limited to SBC and AAC too. Both pairs have little to no sound leakage at reasonable volumes which make them even more perfect for the commute.

Winner? Beoplay H9i.
The H9i are hands-down better sounding. Even with noise cancelling on, they are better sounding than the QC35 with clear highs, mids, and lows + better soundstage and instrumental separation. This is especially evident in complicated and loud songs, where the QC35s struggle to keep up and detail is lost and tracks sound messy the H9i are able to handle such tracks with ease.

Design, Build Quality, and Comfort

These two headphones couldn’t be further apart when it comes to design and build quality. While design is subjective, I think the Beoplay H9i are a considerably better designed pair of headphones compared to the QC35’s silver or black plastic coloured design that looks like it came straight out of 2004. The QC35s are made almost completely of plastic (including the ear cups that are made of plastic leather), with the only exceptions being being the headphone jack (we’ll come back to that later..), and the metal inside of the adjustment mechanism. Even the fabric on the headband is plastic (alcantara is in fact made of polyester and polyurethane).  Despite this, the QC35s do feel somewhat sturdy and are light weight. They are better constructed, and feel higher quality than the similarity priced and also plastic Sony WH-1000XM2.

Beoplay H9i

Comparatively the H9i are made primarily of aluminium  and leather, with some plastic on the ear cups. They feel much sturdier than the QC35s due to the construction. This, however, is expected given they cost an extra £120 (RRP for the H9i is £449, compared to £329 for the QC35). I suspect the H9i will last longer than the QC35 due to the materials used, especially the leather on the ear cushions following some reviews that the fake leather on the QC35 ear cushions flake after around 11 months of ownership, and there are similar stories about paint on the plastic ear cups flaking too.

Comfort is also a huge consideration with headphones. I wear glasses, and they’re an extra consideration when deciding if a pair of headphone is comfortable. Comfort is subjective too. For me, the H9i are more comfortable over-all. They are considerably more comfortable than the QC35s with glasses on, and slightly more comfortable with no glasses. The QC35s are slightly better in hot weather (possibly as a result of the holes on the inside of the ear cushion) but otherwise the H9i feel better to me. Both have equally comfortable headbands, despite the H9i having less padding. I’d recommend trying a pair of each extensively though, as many regard the QC35 as the most comfortable on the market so they clearly differ for each person. To exemplify this point further, the B&W PX are typically very well reviewed for comfort but they hurt to wear for me. So try headphones on before buying.

Holes on ear cushion to keep ears cool.

Holes on ear cushion to keep ears cool.

Winner? Beoplay H9i.
The H9i are undoubtedly better built, and it is my personal view they are better designed and more comfortable (but again both are subjective).

Controls and companion app

As with pretty much all wireless headphones these days, both the H9i and QC35 come with companion apps. Both are well designed aesthetically, and are simple to use. The QC35 offers more functionality on paper (settings for switching the ANC between full, medium, and off + listing the paired devices) but lacks an EQ. The Beoplay app offers an EQ in the app (ToneTouch as they call it), but controls for the ANC are on the headphones themselves.

Bose QC35 Buttons

Controlling the headphones is a very different experience between the two. While the QC35s opt for plastic physical buttons on the right ear cup (volume up, volume down, and multi-button for skipping tracks and answering calls etc), the H9is use an aluminium touch sensitive panel (also on the right ear cup). With the H9i, you use gestures to control the headphones (swipe down for ANC on or off, swipe up for Transparency Mode, circle motion for volume control, and swipe forwards + back for track control, and tap for play/pause/calls). This is personal preference for sure, but I prefer the touch panel on the H9is – it feels more fun to use (and once you get used to the touch panel it’s a joy to use). The H9is on-device controls also offer more features (unlike the app), as mentioned you can enable Transparency Mode (which pauses music and pumps the outside into the headphones using the microphones) and you can control the ANC on-device too (although this is also now possible on the QC35 II). Both headphones use their power switch for pairing new devices, and can pair 2 devices at once each which is perfect if you use them with a computer and a phone. Both apps deliver firmware updates via their apps too.

 

Beoplay H9i Touch Panel

Apps:

         

         

Winners? Beoplay H9i.
Only slightly. While the Beoplay app has fewer functions than the Bose Companion app, it does offer an EQ to adjust the sound to your choosing. The H9i also offer more functionality using the on-device controls to avoid taking your phone out of your pocket (or if you want to control things like ANC if you’re not even using your phone). Compared to the QC35 Series II, this would be a draw due to the extra button for Google Assistant that can be re-purposed for ANC controls.

Active Noise Cancellation

This one is quite possibly the most interesting. B&O’s first attempt at over-ear ANC wireless headphones were 2016’s Beoplay H9, they had considerably worse ANC than any of the competition from Bose and Sony, but the same £449 price tag. Things are very different with the H9i. If the Bose QC35 have the best ANC on the market and can be given 100/100 for that, I place the H9i at 94-95/100. There is no doubt that the QC35 still have better ANC though (and Bose now give you the option to set the ANC to full/medium/off). Both are excellent, but the H9i aren’t quite as excellent as the QC35. Both cut out idle chatter, loud consistent noises, bus noises, train noises, office noise, and fan noise. It is worth mentioning however that with the H9i switching the ANC on will result in lesser sound quality compared to having it off and the soundstage with tighten up slightly, but the sound is still better than the QC35. The H9i do have one downside in that when ANC is switched on in a quiet environment, there is a quiet hiss in the background from the ANC circuitry. It has been improved via firmware updates since launch, so might be able to be improved further and is only noticeable in places where you would benefit from switching ANC off for the better sound quality anyway.

Winner? Bose QC35.
The QC35s simply have better ANC. Not by much, but it’s better and slightly more effective and the controls within the app that allow for a medium setting to allow some sound in is brilliant. Plus they have no noticeable ANC circuitry hiss.

Day-to-day Battery Life

Both headphones offer around 20 hours of battery with ANC + Bluetooth switched on. B&O claim 18 hours, and Bose claim 20 but I have managed to get around 24 from the H9i and 22 from the QC35. The Bose win over the H9i for wired with ANC on however with the QC35 claiming 40 hours vs 24 for the H9i. However, the H9i have a user replaceable battery which can double the ANC + Bluetooth live to 40 hours in a matter of seconds compared to the hours it takes both headphones to charge. B&O have proven that devices can be well designed and have user replaceable batteries. The H9i can also be used whilst charging them if you plug them into a computer that supports USB audio devices, giving the H9i an edge here too.

Beoplay H9i User Replaceable Battery

Beoplay H9i User Replaceable Battery

Winner? Beoplay H9i.
The Beoplay wins simply because you can replace the battery for yourself, resulting in both the headphones having a longer lifespan and also being easier than charging your headphones up on a long flight or if you simply forgot to charge them.

Included Accessories and Packaging

Bose QC35 Unboxed

Both headphones include cables, and aeroplane adapters. The Beoplay cable feels to be higher quality, but I don’t have the necessary adapters to try the silly 2.5mm cable the Bose QC35 come with on the H9i to directly compare any potential difference in sound quality. The H9i come with a better cable for charging, with it being a longer USB-C cable that has been designed to look better to the eye compared to the cheap looking Bose cable (cable aesthetics aren’t really a deal breaker though).

Beoplay H9i Unboxed

Winner? Draw.

While QC35s include a better carrying case compared to the H9i’s cloth carry bag, there is a question to be asked about whether B&O intentionally include a carry bag rather than a hard case to point at the build quality. Are they saying “pfft, you don’t need a hard case with these. We build our headphones out of metal and leather, not brittle plastic!”? Both have aeroplane adapters and an audio cable. The H9i box is better, but nobody really cares about that as soon as you’ve unboxed them so it’s barely worth mentioning.

Miscellaneous

The Beoplay H9i offer something B&O refer to as Transparency Mode, this allows you to swipe up on the right ear cup to let in the outside noise. Music is paused, and the headphones use the microphone array to let the outside sound in. I was initially worried about using this for things such as crossing the road, but transparency mode has not impacted my spacial awareness in the slightest so I personally feel comfortable with how well I’ll be able to hear any cars/vehicles that I can’t see. This mode is especially useful when your hands are full, allowing you to switch it on when walking around a shop for example and still have both hands free to do your shopping and carry your basket. The H9i also feature USB Audio, allowing you to plug them into a PC or Mac and use them over USB and charge them at the same time. Very useful.

Included Bose case + a Beoplay case (sold separately)

The H9i also offer a useful proximity sensor, which will automatically pause the music when you take them off and will automatically play music when you put them on. I quite enjoy how I can turn the headphones on, wait a few seconds for the proximity sensor to calibrate, and then put them on and music will automatically play without taking my phone out of my pocket. The proximity sensor was somewhat unreliable at launch, but this has been fixed in a firmware update and has no problems at all when instructions are followed (essentially with the headphones in the flat position but in the air, turn them on and wait for the light to go off – then put them on). The proximity sensor can be switched off too.

 

Beoplay H9i and Bose QC35 cables

Both devices can pair to two devices at once, you just have to pause/mute audio on one device and play on the other to switch between them. The QC35 lets you manage the devices via the Bose Connect app to remove/replace devices, whereas with the H9i you need to use the pairing function on the headphones themselves.

QC35 3.5mm won’t fit

One annoyance with the QC35 is the cable situation. They uses a Micro USB connector for charging, and most annoyingly they use a 2.5mm headphone jack on the headphones themselves (the cable included in the box is 2.5mm one end, and 3.5mm the other). Cables are easy enough to get, but most of us already have 3.5mm both ends so the use of 2.5mm on-device is needlessly annoying. The QC35 do however feature a voice over feature that tells you your battery life and connected devices when you turn them on, which for me was honestly the most annoying feature I’ve ever experienced from a pair of headphones so I switched it off. Some people might like it though. The QC35 II also feature a Google Assistant button (that can also be repurposed to control the ANC). This is the only difference over the original QC35.

Bose QC35 and Beoplay H9i Audio Cable

Summary

Beoplay H9i and Bose QC35 Together

Both of these are undoubtedly excellent headphones, especially given the price of the QC35. For me, as you may have guessed already, the H9i win. The exemplary build quality, sound quality, and design are what win me over. The QC35 are still unrivalled for ANC (although the H9i are close). Both have good battery, but not the best on the market (however the H9i battery is replaceable). Both can be used wired with no battery life should the unthinkable happen (unlike the B&W PX). Both are comfortable with no glasses on, but the H9i are comfortable with glasses unlike the QC35.

The H9i RRP for £449 but the QC35 RRP for £329. If you’re willing and able to spend the extra money I’d highly recommend the H9i over the QC35. If you aren’t, go for the QC35 (if you go for the series I, you can likely get them for under £300 too). The QC35 may not be as good as the H9i, but they’re still very good wireless over-ear noise cancelling headphones (and given the quality of the ANC, comfort, and relatively sturdy feel for a pair of plastic headphones, I’d recommend them over the Sony WH-1000XM2 too). It’s always worth checking headphones out before buying, or buying from somewhere with a relaxed returns policy so you can take them back if you’re unhappy. However, though, I don’t think you can really go wrong with either the H9i or QC35 – they’re both worth buying. If the H9i didn’t exist, I’d pick the QC35 over the competition from companies such as Sony, Bowers & Wilkins, and Beats any day.

Beoplay H9i Pros and Cons:

+ Brilliant sound
+ Brilliant design
+ Excellent Active Noise Cancellation
+ Replaceable Battery
+ 2 Year Warranty as standard
+ Can be used when battery has ran out via 3.5mm cable
+ Can be used over USB with devices that support USB Audio
+ Unrivalled build quality
+ Comfortable
Slight hiss when no music is playing in quiet environments with ANC switched on
App is not as feature rich as Bose or Sony’s
Comes with carry bag, not case

Bose QC35 Pros and Cons:

+ Light weight
+ World-class ANC
+ Good sound
+ Comes with hard case
+ Comfortable
+ Can be used when battery has ran out via 3.5mm cable
2.5mm Audio jack
Plastic build
Sound could be better
No replaceable battery
Design is dated

Beoplay H9i and Bose QC35 Together

Linux How To – Install BSD’s EasyEditor on CentOS 7

Easy Editor (ee) is one of my favourite built-in utilities from FreeBSD. It’s my preferred text editor (vs vi, vim, nano, pico etc). Thankfully it is easy enough to install it on CentOS 6 and 7 (tested on 2018.03.18).

1 – Prerequisites

Firstly, you’ll need to install some prerequisites:

yum install libX11 libXdmcp

This command should install a total of 4 things.

2 – Fetch the .rpm installer

wget https://cyberhatch.net/downloads/easyedit-1.5.0-2.el6.rf.x86_64.rpm

3 – Install it

rpm -Uhv easyedit-1.5.0-2.el6.rf.x86_64.rpm

If there are any missing dependencies, try running “yum install …” (replace “…” with the names of the missing dependencies).