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New Rugged Bluetooth Speakers: Buckshot, Slingshot, and BOOMBottle

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Now more than ever, we adventure enthusiasts, social nomads, and adrenaline junkies have our choice of a wide selection of high-quality portable Bluetooth sound systems to use with our iDevices during summer adventures. Read on to get the scoop on the latest crop of new, rugged Bluetooth speakers...


V-Moda Crossfade M-100: The Hardcore Gamer’s Dream Headphone

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Apple is preparing to upgrade its mobile operating system to iOS 7, and with that, we can expect to see a host of new features on our iDevices as well as significant improvements to already-existing features and apps. One of the things I'm excited to see is how mobile gaming evolves with iOS 7. On that note, it seems appropriate to feature a serious gamer’s headphone. Hardcore gamers and audiophiles alike will appreciate the quality of sound of the V-Moda Crossfade M-100s ($310) over-the-ear headphones. 

While many companies develop great headphones, very few pour as much time, energy, and resources into research and development as has V-Moda. The Crossfade over-the-ear headphones are very much the product of extensive crowdsourcing and feedback from a variety of audio experts and connoisseurs.



Invoxia Audioffice Goes Universal, with Lightning, 30pin, and USB Support

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When I last wrote about Invoxia's AudiOffice, I had one complaint... its lack of Lightning support for modern iOS devices. Fortunately, its new device fixes this. I actually had another minor complaint—its name, which led me to joke that it was an accessory for Audi automobiles! In the latest version, the mixed-case name is gone, now simply called Audioffice ($299).

The newer Audioffice is an elegant accessory, with a companion app, invoxia (free) that turns your iPhone, iPad, or Android device into a full function conference room speakerphone. You also can use internal and alternative apps like FaceTime, Skype, etc.



Piel Frama Offers a Case Worthy of Your Apple iPad mini

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When a product arrives in a package that looks this good, you wonder if what's inside could be worthy of its presentation. But with the iPad mini case from Piel Frama, there is no need to worry! The textured box, with its quality linen paper lining and gold text make for a beautiful presentation, and fortunately, the case inside is just as impressive.



3 Awesome New Ruggedized Bluetooth Speakers for Audio Anywhere

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Now more than ever, we adventure enthusiasts, social nomads, and adrenaline junkies have our choice of a wide selection of high-quality portable Bluetooth sound systems to use with our iDevices during summer adventures. Read on to get the scoop on the latest crop of new, rugged Bluetooth speakers...



TabletStage Doubles as Stand and Stereo for iPad

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The TabletStage from Mighty Dwarf has a split personality... and that's a good thing! Aside from splitting apart to form an easel for iPad, iPad mini, or other tablets, it also includes stereo speakers and can accept audio via Bluetooth, NFC (with supported tablets), or 3.5mm audio jack (cable included.) It charges via Micro USB (cable included) and, at least for my review unit, ships pre-charged and ready to use!

The TabletStage folds into a compact form for easy stowage in your gadget bag. When you unfold it,  the device forms a full-size "stage" for your tablet. The audio quality is surprisingly strong, thanks to a pair of clever slits in the base that act as a subwoofer. If you cover them up, you'll hear the difference.



Button TrackR is like Find My iPhone for all Your Important Stuff

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Find My iPhone is great, but do you ever find yourself wishing you could use it to find your wallet, keys, purse, and other important items? That's where Button TrackR by Phone Halo comes in. With its companion iOS app, Item TrackR (free), you can use your iOS device to find assorted gadgets!

I was already a supporter of Phone Halo's Wallet Trackr project, and once again, I put my money where my mouth is, via crowdfunding site Indiegogo.com as a paid supporter/investor. The new Button TrackR is an even smaller disc, which you attach to your important items and use with its free companion app to track your valuables. I've funded that project, too.

With more than $300,000 in pledges, the new project blew through its $15,000 funding level, but you still have a chance to get early adopter pricing and take some credit for helping. Check it out on Indiegogo and never lose your important items again!



Best Headphones Under $100: Introducing Griffin's Over-The-Ear WoodTones

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Do you love the natural beauty of wood? Do you want a break from all the metal and plastic of today’s mobile gadgets? Or maybe you are a true audiophile, a person who appreciates pristine audio reproduction when using your iDevice and its apps. If you fall into any of these categories, you'll be doing yourself a favor by checking out Griffin’s new WoodTones headphones ($99).

I’ve had the opportunity to try out many of the top over-the-ear headphones on the market, and I'm here to tell you, you will be hard pressed to find an all-around better pair for the money.



Over-the-Ear Headphones are Back and Here's a Pair You'll Love

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As a daily walking commuter in the city, I see many people like myself wearing headphones on their way to their destination. I've also noticed an interesting trend—more people are wearing full, outer-ear headsets versus the typical in-ear designs. I attribute this to the improved comfort and sound high-quality outer-ear headphones provide. Phiaton, a company that knows a thing or two about headphone audio reproduction, now offers a high-end model called the Bridge MS 500 ($299). Read on to discover if these headphones are the ones you've been looking for.



Forgot Father's Day? It's Not Too Late to Get These as Gifts

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If you have traveling geeks in your life (or are a geek traveler yourself) and are looking for two very cool tech products released this year, check out the booq Boa squeeze ($129.95) and the FAVI Bluetooth Keyboard ($39.99) (both plenty cool for non-geeks as well).


Best iPad Accessories, Reviews, iPad Cases

Best iPad accessories: there's lots to choose from and cases, stands and car mounts are just the beginning. We have the reviews that you need and 
let's face it; the iPad isn't a bargain item.  It is expensive, and it requires protection if you want it to last a while.  To get more value out of your device, however, sometimes you need to cough up a few more dollars and invest in some awesome gear.  That's where we come in.  We don't want you spending your precious money on worthless items. Here are our picks and reviews of the best iPad accessories for 2011.  Read on to find the absolute best gear and best ipad accessories.


Most iPad owners purchase a case to protect their device. The type of case you choose depends on how you'll be using your iPad and how much you want to spend. In this section we look at a variety of the best protective iPad accessories: cases, bags, shells, and sleeves, as well as stands. The descriptions not only include the list price but also the price on Amazon, so that you can get a sense for how much they're selling for through other online retailers.


New audio accessories are constantly evolving for all iOS devices, and starting earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), there were some great ones in action. Most prefer something compact, with good quality sound, and affordability. An integrated app is nice, but not crucial. 

The Bose MIE2i wired mobile headset

 are perfect examples of earbuds that are compact, have great sound quailty and are affordable. They are highly rated for both sound quality and comfort. They come with three sizes of StayHear silicon tips and an answer/end button on the inline microphone. The reviews say the quality of sound is tops. Note that these are standard earbuds - no noise-isolating to block unwanted sound.
 A comparison of these earbuds and other great accessories are in the 2011 Best Gear article.