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The Siberia Elite: An Early Contender for Best Over-Ear Headphone of 2014

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SteelSeries has garnered an international reputation as a leading company in both cutting edge personal listening gear, as well as gaming accessories, including what is in my opinion, the best MFi iOS game controller on the market, the StratusTheir Siberia Elite headphone ($199.99) are already considered a high-level, gaming-specific headphone, but read on to find out how they stack up as a dual purpose headphone, one that shines as both a gamer’s premium headset, as well as an audiophile’s dream headphone.



Apple's New CarPlay To Be Available for Some Older-Model Vehicles

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With the launch of Apple's new CarPlay last week at the automobile trade show in Geneva, many were left wondering if you had to buy a new Ferrari or Mercedes or Volvo in order to get it. Apparently, the answer is no. 9To5Mac has reported that at least some automakers will be offering aftermarket CarPlay installation for older models. They've confirmed that Mercedes will be doing this, and expect others to do so as well. This is good news, and it will be really interesting to see how it develops. Apple has made a fortune giving us better interfaces for our technology: first personal computers, then MP3 players, then smartphones, then tablets—and now the automobile.



Thecus N2310 NAS Review

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The rising tide of portable devices over traditional laptop and desktop computers is being facilitated by systems that used to be associated with those mature platforms. Case in point, Network-Attached Storage (NAS) devices, which are essentially purpose-built computers that serve files from the hard drives connected to them. This review takes a look at an economical, full-featured NAS from Thecus ($159) with model number N2310.



Getting Into the Mind of Smart TVs: Making the Right Choice

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Once upon a time, people owned cell phones, televisions, and cars. It was just that simple. But advancements in technology are changing all of that, and these days, "smart" is the buzzword. There are smartphones, smart TVs, and even smart cars. In most cases, the often overused adjective is synonymous with high tech, particularly when it comes to electronic devices; but what this entails varies depending on what you are talking about.



Review: Wren Sound Systems V5BT Bluetooth Speaker

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With Apple's introduction of Lightning connectivity to its mobile devices, accessory manufacturers are still playing catch-up. 30-pin-enabled speaker docks used to crowd the accessory scene, but that isn't the case with Apple's new Lightning connector. Bluetooth seems to be the go-to solution for wireless audio, and the Wren Sound Systems V5BT ($399) steps up to the plate in style.



Wello is a Health Tracker that Doubles as an iPhone case

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Wello, the iPhone case from Azoi Inc., is not your ordinary health tracker. The case itself uses hidden sensors for quick health readings, without the need for a wearable device.



Review: ChargerLeash and Might Mic S

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Big iPhone and iPad aftermarket items like cases and speakers garner considerable attention, but sometimes the small innovations can have a big impact. This entry takes a look at ChargerLeash and Might Mic S, two recently released accessories for the iOS platform that are worthy of closer examination.



Great Video from Volvo Demos Apple's New CarPlay

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On Monday our blogger Todd Bernhard posted a helpful overview of Apple's new CarPlay, which is getting a lot of attention this week because of the automobile trade show taking place in Geneva. A number of the carmakers are featuring CarPlay, and Volvo has posted a great video demo showing it in action, giving you a good idea how it works.



New Trent's Airbender Case Turns Your iPad mini into a Touchscreen Netbook

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I am always swapping cases for my iPad mini, depending on the occasion. Sometimes I need crush-proof protection. Maybe even water-resistant protection, too. Other times I need an integrated keyboard. Sometimes I want the flexibility of a built-in stand with multiple orientations. And other times I want a rubberized exterior for a reliable grip.



Meze Debuts the 11 Deco, Wooden In-Ear Headphones.

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Award-winning designer Antonio Meze is making quite a name for himself in the high-quality, personal audio sector these days. His stylish and elegant line of premium wooden headphones has met with overwhelming critical success and the Meze 88 Classics over ear headphones are some of the best sounding audiophile-grade gear on the market. While most of the products in the Meze catalog are on-ear or over-ear headphones, their newest design is an in-ear pair of earphones. Built to deliver a high-end, pristine listening experience, the 11 Deco ($79.00) are the first in the new Deco series of personal listening gear for the discerning customer.



Through March 5 Get $25 Gift Card When You Purchase an Apple TV

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Rumors were swirling on Friday that a new Apple TV device was imminent. The reason for the rumors? Apple began offering a $25 iTunes Store gift card with the purchase of each Apple TV. Analysts and enthusiasts concluded that Apple was clearing out inventory to make room for a new device, especially as it's been over two years since Apple has released a new version of the hardware. And then Jim Darlymple dashed all hopes with a single word: "Nope." He apparently has contacts inside Apple, because he's always been right when he says there's no truth to a rumor. So while the gift card offer may not herald a new device, it's an appealing offer in its own right.



Review: Introducing the Rugged booq Boa Nerve Messenger Bag

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It doesn't seem like too long ago that if you wanted a truly rugged and heavy-duty carryall, your options consisted primarily of military or camping gear. But with the rise in popularity of fashion-forward outdoor suppliers like REI, North Face, and Mountain Hardware, consumers have become rather accustomed to durable and rugged gear-bags that are also stylish and don't necessarily make people look like they’re going camping or off to war. Entering the fray of high-quality, rugged bags is booq, with their water-resistant, tear-resistant, and ultra-durable booq Boa Nerve messenger bag ($155.00).



The 3 Best Gadgets For Taking Pictures With Your iPhone

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More and more people are using their iPhones for photographyas the sole camera in their life or in conjunction with a professional camera. With the current products out on the market right now, I don't blame them! Here are some of the best new photography gadgets on the market:



You Have Been Selected: An Unlikely Invitation

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“Hi there," began the e-mail.  Even for a devoted Apple fan, this moment was still exciting—an e-mail for Google Glass.  I, Jake Underwood, high school senior, had been included in the chosen group. I had been offered a chance to buy Google Glass for $1500 plus tax. Can I borrow some cash?



Apple Supply Chain Rumors: iPhone 6 Possibly in July, Apple TV and iWatch in Fall

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StreetInsider.com reported Wednesday that a securities analyst who has contacts in Apple's supply chain says production of the iPhone 6 appears to be ramping up earlier than one would expect for a September launch, meaning that it could appear as early as July. It seems doubtful, and the bulk of the recent rumors have been suggesting September. On the other hand, analysts have been saying Apple needs to come out with a larger iPhone ASAP in order to stay competitive in a market that's rapidly moving toward larger devices. So perhaps Apple has indeed decided to try to speed things up. The analyst also says that his checks confirm that Apple's next generation of phones will have larger displays. His supply chain checks also indicate that Apple appears to be gearing up for a launch of an Apple TV set-top device and an iWatch, both no earlier than the second half of 2014.



Apple TV: To Buy or Not to Buy?

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The current Apple TV device turns two years old in March, and throughout those years, speculation about the development of a more robust Apple TV has been ongoing. The latest educated guesses predict a new Apple TV with Time Warner support by April, as detailed by my colleague Jim Karpen on February 13. Presumably, that box will replace your existing cable DVR box while making it easier to access content from iTunes and other Internet channels like Netflix. If anyone can make the cable guide more appealing, it's Apple. It would be ironic if the next iteration of Apple TV were to actually embrace cable and be sold or rented directly from your cable company, when so many people look to devices like the Apple TV or Roku to "cut the cord" and eliminate their cable bill altogether.



iWatch May Monitor Heart Rate, Blood Oxygen; Apple Patents Health-Monitoring Headphones

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The torrent of evidence for new products with a focus on health and fitness is astonishing, including a wide range of top experts Apple has hired. According to AppleInsider, a report last week in China's Electrical Engineering Times said that Apple is considering using optoelectronics in their rumored iWatch to monitor pulse and blood oxygen levels. This technology measures the changes in light reflected by the body. Light from small LEDs is projected onto one's finger, for example, and then the sensors measure the amount and color of the light reflected. From this it can determine how fast your heart is beating and how much oxygen saturation there is in your blood. Adding to the credibility of this report is the fact that Apple has hired experts in this area in recent weeks. Whether this technology is slated for an iWatch or other wearable device is unclear, but it appears likely that Apple is developing a product that will use it.



Bluetooth for the Audiophile: The Parrot Zik Over-Ear, Luxury iDevice Headphones

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Recently at CES I met with the folks at Parrot and among all of their flying drones and hopping and spinning robots, one of the things that stood out most for me at their display area was the elegant, stylish, and technologically advanced Zik Over-Ear Bluetooth headphones ($399.95).

I'll admit, I'm somewhat of a headphone snob; and it can take a lot to impress me, especially when it comes to Bluetooth personal listening accessories. I review a lot of great headphones for iPhone Life, and one of the side-effects to that is the fact that a pair of headphones has to be quite exceptional to get really high marks from me. Well, the Zik not only impressed me, they totally blew my mind and exceeded any expectations I may have had.



iBeacons Installation in Baseball Stadiums Has Begun

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Major League Baseball announced on Friday that installation of iBeacon transmitters in two stadiums has now been completed as part of a project to install the technology in over 20 ballparks by the start of the season in late March. Some 65 iBeacon transmitters were installed in Dodger Stadium and Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres. So what will it do for you? You'll need to load the MLB.com At the Ballpark app (free) on your iPhone or iPad, and then as you approach specific locations within the park, you'll receive messages on your device. Typically you'll receive offers for discounts at nearby concessions. Also, some parks are planning to use the technology to help guide you to your seat. And some will likely use it to offer information about points of interest within the ballpark. For example, a demo of the technology last fall at Citi Field, home of the Mets, used iBeacon to offer fans digital coupons as they entered the team's store. The demo also brought up an informational video when walking near the giant Apple in the stadium. Different parks will use it for different purposes.



BOOMBOTIX REX Review: Can It Survive the Ultimate Ruggedness Test?

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I was recently given a BOOMBOTIX REX ($119.99-$129.99) trial unit to experiment with. I warned the folks at BOOMBOTIX that I was going to be rough on it, but I honestly had no idea just how roughly that little speaker was going to be treated. You see, when it arrived, my infant son instantly appropriated it as his own—he LOVED the silky smooth, grippy texture the speaker had, and he also completely dug the cool geometric shape of the thing. It was light enough and small enough that his little baby hands could hold it and turn it over and over, while I tried to keep him from gnawing on it with his new front teeth. Read on to find out just how the REX fared under the baby torture test...



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