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Best Fitting T-Shirts for Men (According to a Savile Row Tailor)

Best Fitting T-Shirts for Men (According to a Savile Row Tailor)

SCORES:

Mott & Bow — M8 / C8 / J7 — TOTAL: 23

Colorful Standard — M8 / C7 / J8 — TOTAL: 23

Asket — M7 / C8 / J7 — TOTAL: 22

Son of a Tailor — M5 / C8 / J7 — TOTAL: 20

Uniqlo — M6 / C7 / J6 — TOTAL: 19

Sunspel — M7 / C5 / J6 — TOTAL: 18

Rapanui — M5 / C6 / J6 — TOTAL: 18

True Classic — M5 / C4 / J7 — TOTAL: 16

Spoke — M4 / C4 / J4 — TOTAL: 12

Both ASKET and Mott & Bow produce high-quality T-shirts off the peg, but ASKET’s extensive choice of sizes, including width and length, should ensure everyone can find something that looks and feels great. Uniqlo seems to have created a superb-value, indestructible design that will last for years, while Colorful Standard proves that prewashed, hipster-approved organic tees can look great on all body shapes.

Of the two bespoke brands, Son of a Tailor was far superior to Spoke. The use of quality (albeit not organic) Supima cotton in a choice of weights, combined with a flattering, premium look and the ability to tweak subsequent designs to suit stands them apart, despite the strange discrepancy in sizing. Spoke failed to impress, although the remake of Chris’ original shirt was a significant improvement.

Taub isn’t surprised that the online algorithm approach isn’t, as yet, foolproof. “Getting people that aren’t experienced inputting their measurements is flawed. You could never get a customer to send their measurements accurately. I’m also surprised none of these brands ask for a simple photograph, as it would really add a dimension.”

But he does concede that “if you understand that the first T-shirt [ordered online] isn’t going to be the best, and instead consider it a journey with a brand you’re willing to trust and support—and that will still be in existence in the future—you will learn what looks good on you. Through trial and error, you will be able to get a custom fit from a factory-made garment. But from what I’ve seen so far, none of them really have been better than you just spending two days going to every single shop, and checking them out for yourself.”

Best Hair Dryers and Diffusers (2023): Blow-Dryers, Brushers, and Diffusers

Best Hair Dryers and Diffusers (2023): Blow-Dryers, Brushers, and Diffusers

From the time the first hair dryer was introduced for home use in the 1920s, every one looked nearly identical until Dyson debuted its Supersonic dryer in 2016, which matched the design of its bladeless fans. Now, several companies are adapting their drying tech into the lightest, thinnest package possible, looking more like a heat gun than a hair dryer (I guess these are a type of heat gun, technically).

I’ve used these three. They’re each less than a pound, relatively quiet, and have self-cleaning functions—you take the filter cover off the back and activate cleaning mode; the dryers shoot air in reverse to push dust and debris out. While each one stands out on its own, I wish I could combine all three for one perfect dryer.

Chi Lava Pro for $337: This one is slightly lighter than the other two. It has an LED screen indicating the exact temperature, which is a nice but rare feature, and there are four heat settings from cool to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. The big flaw, however, is that far too much air comes through the diffuser, blowing hair around more than should happen with that attachment.

Gama IQ2 Perfetto for $430: The Gama dryer is sleek and includes a safety feature to automatically turn off should it overheat (it did not do this in testing, thankfully). There’s a setting lock so you can dry your hair without accidentally changing the speed or heat. Plus, it comes with a silicone mat that puts the dryer into standby mode automatically when you place it down, turning back on when you pick it up. This is really helpful if you’re sectioning off hair for a blowout, and frequently have to put the dryer down. But it’s expensive and the magnetic filter cover constantly falls off.

Bio Ionic Smart-X High-Efficiency Dryer for $329: This Bio Ionic also has a settings lock, which I now believe should be on every styling tool. I prefer the look of this one the best, however, it doesn’t come with a diffuser, which I think should be standard at this price point.

KEF R3 Meta Review: Solid Bass, Premium Sound

KEF R3 Meta Review: Solid Bass, Premium Sound

Pulling the hefty speakers from their packaging, you’ll find a pair of port bungs, microfiber speaker grilles, and rubber feet. At the back of each speaker is a pair of rugged terminals allowing for discretely bi-amping the bass and upper drivers. I asked KEF about the need for bi-amping, as I only planned to connect to the lower terminals, and was told there’s no real company “voice” on the subject but the implication is that there’s minimal sonic benefit in doing so.

The speakers’ 4-ohm nominal impedance means they’ll likely be harder to drive than 6-ohm or 8-ohm speakers, but impedance is a complex subject and it varies by frequency. KEF claims the speakers can be powered by as little as 15 watts per side, but for best results, I still suggest a relatively brawny amp with good clarity, like the Naim Uniti Atom I employed.

Let It Glow

As gleeful as these speakers are to play, it’s no easy task to tell a story as rich and expressive as what the R3 Meta tell your ears minute by minute, beat by beat. You’ve just gotta hear these things. They’re incredibly nuanced, dynamic, and transparent, offering power and lyrical musicality on a level that few speakers their size can accomplish. Every song you play is a new chapter, as their chameleonic sound signature sets the stage for each new mix.

That’s not to say the speakers don’t offer their own distinctive sonic flavor; they certainly do. But what the R3 bring to the table is so clean, so sweet, and so effortlessly expressive—especially when powered by a transparent amplifier like the Uniti Atom—they lend themselves to every subject with sympathetic delivery. This means they’ll find all the flaws in your music, of course, but more often than not, it’s presented more as a stylistic choice. That lets your ears separate the production wheat from the chaff in everything you play, while still enjoying lo-fi recordings.

Older Beach Boys songs can sound a little thin and even tinny on many speakers, but songs like “In My Room” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” soar with the R3 Meta, with well-struck percussion that pops out from the immersive soundstage, satiny harmonies, and smooth guitar tones that seem to pull you to the warm Pacific beaches. Flipping to topflight modern production like The Weeknd’s “Starboy” resets the stage completely. The R3’s magnified clarity provided the best performance of the song I’ve heard yet, with laser synths, columns of bass, and swelling effects echoing out the sides and skimming past my face for an almost surreal experience.

The word “luminous” kept coming up again and again as I moved through dozens of compressed and hi-res tracks over several days. Every string and horn player, every synth effect, vocal, or guitar tone seems to bloom with its own intrinsic light when passed through the R3, for chill-inducing performances. When cymbals sparkle, the speakers light that sparkle with an extra shot of vivid shimmer. When reverb trails hang, the speakers extend and draw them out, letting them fade only just in time for the next musical entrance. And when bass bumps, it hits with marble-hard authority and musical energy.

Ninja Outdoor Oven Review: Smoky Goodness

Ninja Outdoor Oven Review: Smoky Goodness

If you’re a pellet smoker devotee who prides yourself on your devotion to your craft, then this workaround might make you barf in your mouth a little bit. But the Ninja oven had been in our house for all of three minutes before my husband ran to the store to get a rack of ribs.

My husband loves ribs, and he never gets to make them, because he has a full-time job, two little kids, an elderly dog, a house that’s constantly a mess, and a bespectacled gadget writer wife who is constantly wandering around mumbling, “Did you see where I put the … .” With the Ninja, he seasoned the meat, ran outside and toggled the oven to Smoker, filled the hopper with pellets, pressed Ignite, and set it to smoke for four hours at 250 degrees.

Then he went and mowed the lawn and jumped with his kids on the trampoline. By the time our friends came over, the ribs were ready. The ends were perfectly burnt and crispy, and the meat was falling off the bones.

We used Ninja’s proprietary Robust pellets, which are a mix of hickory, smoke, and cherry. Our backyard smelled awesome, but the meat tasted noticeably less smoky than restaurant ribs; it’s not the same as putting meat over a real fire all day. Since we’ve gotten the oven, however, my husband has made ribs many more times. No matter how you slice it (ha!), more ribs is better than zero ribs. Four hours is ideal, but even when we’re crunched for time, two hours with a wet sauce gave us a delicious, if a little less crispy, result.

Freshy cooked meats pizzas and other dishes outside next to the Ninja Outdoor Woodfire Oven

Photograph: Ninja

I’ve been using it to bake. I don’t like baking indoors when the air-conditioner is running (it’s a waste of energy), but with an outdoor electric oven, it’s fine. Preheating to a relatively low 350 degrees takes less than 10 minutes, or just as long as it takes to whip up batter. I can plug in a temperature and time, slide a pan in, walk into my blessedly cool house, and grab it when it’s done. My husband and I have both found the temperatures to be accurate; we haven’t had to recalibrate or adjust cook times to accommodate for inaccuracies. Thanks to the Ninja, my kids have been enjoying way more blueberry muffins, peach crisps, and plum tortes than they might otherwise have gotten this late in the summer.

I have my doubts about long-term durability of this oven. Ninja says you can store it outside and sent along a proprietary cover to endure all types of weather; nevertheless, the materials just feel cheaper and thinner than many other ovens I’ve tested. Also, this oven works, but it’s not a joyful experience to cook anything that requires high heat and a lot of vigilance.

But for cooking anything that’s set-it-and-forget-it, it’s amazing. On a recent beautiful summer evening, our next-door neighbor had a backyard party with several bands. With a rack of ribs in the Ninja, we were able to walk over, drink a beer, and keep an eye on dinner. When my 6-year-old went back to the party, he brought a chunky rib in his fist to gnaw on while listening to music.

“Did you bring enough of those for all of us?” a guest asked him. No, but just wait another week and we’ll see.

TP-Link Tapo RV10 Plus Review: No Maps, Self-Emptying

TP-Link Tapo RV10 Plus Review: No Maps, Self-Emptying

Robot vacuums are insanely expensive. A reliable, midrange mapping vacuum like the Shark AI Ultra (8/10, WIRED Recommends) can run you almost a grand. I say that it’s midrange because that’s what the market will bear, but $700 is out of my own budget for a home appliance. Those of us who are plebes must resign ourselves to cheaper bounce-navigation vacuums, or else to a life of constant maintenance.

But what if there was a third option—a vacuum that was just a little dumber, and thus a little less expensive? Enter TP-Link’s Tapo RV10 Plus, which has a self-emptying station, a mop, but a much cheaper navigation system and no mapping to slow it down, give your home details to Amazon, or post pictures of your butt to Reddit. It’s an intriguing value proposition. Personally, I found it to be a little wonky, but if your home is smaller and doesn’t have mixed flooring, this would be a great pick.

Well Done

Tapo is the smart home brand owned by TP-Link, which is well known to us (and possibly you) as a router manufacturer. The RV10 Plus is its first robot vacuum, but this is not TP-Link’s first rodeo when it comes to home appliances. That shows in the hardware’s clean lines and easy setup. No screwing on flimsy plates or stands—I pulled two pieces out of the box, connected the TV10 Plus to the app, and I was done. It also works with Google Home and Amazon Alexa.

The self-empty bin is amazing. The bin on most self-emptying robot vacuums usually has a shutter or a curve in the tube that connects it to the dust bag on the dock. Ostensibly it is to prevent dirt from leaking out, but it usually malfunctions or traps debris. On the RV10 Plus, the bin tube is straight, and there’s no door. Nothing ever gets stuck or trapped. Every time I checked the bin, it was empty. I never had to stick my poor index finger inside the chute to loosen clogs.

It took about 1.5 hours for it to charge from 5 percent to 100 percent. TP-Link claims around three hours of cleaning on one charge, which I found to be accurate. We had run times of up to two hours and 37 minutes at a standard cleaning level (you can set it to one of three vacuum power levels), with power still in the tank.

It also has a mop attachment with a perfectly adequate 300-mL water tank. You can select between three different water levels. To mop, you clip the panel with the washable mop pad on the bottom of the vacuum tank. The lowest water level worked well on my wooden kitchen floor and had about half a tank left when it finished cleaning about 250 square feet.

Rolling Around

Unlike many, even other midrange vacuums, the TV10 Plus uses gyroscope navigation to determine where everything is in your house and the distance between them. There’s a number of advantages to gyroscope navigation. First off, it’s much cheaper and faster than a laser system might be, and it doesn’t have a camera to violate your privacy or send images to Amazon. Few things are more annoying than a low-end mapping robot that wastes endless hours getting stuck and requiring three or four (or even 35) mapping runs to come up with an inaccurate map.

When it did clean a room, the TV10 Plus worked great. It swept over each room in long S-shaped passes that navigated adroitly around obstacles and picked up the big dog hair tumbleweeds that my heeler mix leaves by getting scratches and pets in the middle of the living room. When I mopped my kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom, it cleaned 250 square feet in around 24 to 29 minutes. This is fast and efficient; it cleans up all the Ritz cracker crumbs and powdered sugar under the kitchen table, and it’s a performance comparable to much more expensive mopping robot vacuums that I’ve tried.

However, unlike a mapping vacuum, you can’t program it to clean just one part of your house and stop. So every time I mopped, I had to keep an ear cocked and race to grab it before it dragged a wet, dirty mop pad onto the carpeted parts of my house.

The app does have a remote control, but it’s about 50–50 whether I remember and grab my phone first or the robot vacuum. I asked Tapo whether the company had any tips for setting automatic boundaries and its spokesperson suggested buying magnetic boundary tape ($25). I’ve used this tape before. It’s effective and it’s not particularly hard, but it is unsightly and annoying.

And because gyroscope navigation can get thrown off on low-friction surfaces, it occasionally misses the doorways between completely. That means I can take the trouble to pick up my entire house and it will spend all three hours cleaning only one room. That room is sparkling, but still.

Of course, it’s really easy to imagine a house in which this wouldn’t be a problem. In fact, in my old house, which was all hardwood floors in an open floor plan, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed Tapo’s shortcomings at all. If you have this specific use case, then congratulations! This is your unicorn, a self-emptying robot vacuum-mop combo that doesn’t completely suck and is under $500! For the rest of us, we might still need to spend the extra cash.