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IK Multimedia iRig HD - Rocks CES awards!

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I was able to rock out loud at CES on the new iRig HD connected to an iPad (also connected to their new Bluetooth speaker--the iLoud), but that's not the point of this post. You can get more great CES coverage in the next issue of iPhoneLife (so if you haven't yet subscribed, hurry), and to say IK Multimedia rocked the show is putting it mildly. No other show vendor comes close to showcasing the latest (and coolest) iOS music gadgets like these guys! The iRig HD was a Best in Show Winner at CES--more booth pix follow with a PR announcement about the new HD model...



The CrystalCore TiltDock could have been invented by Apple, but it wasn't

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The CrystalCore TiltDock is the dock Apple should have invented, but it fell to Apple Core Gear to create. But they need your help! It's an IndieGogo crowdsourced project and at just $25 (plus shipping) for the first 100 backers, it's a bargain. Considering it will retail for close to $100, you should really take advantage of this offering.



The SunVolt Solar Panel: Charge your iDevices as Fast as with an Outlet

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I spent 6 years living on a sailboat in the Caribbean, and during my time on the yacht, I developed a great appreciation for the Sun’s ability to keep my batteries powered up for free, wherever I happened to drop anchor.  Since my sailing days I find I'm always on the lookout for efficient ways to harness this abundant source of electrical power for personal use, especially as one who spends a great deal of my time outdoors, with my iDevices. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to learn about the SunVolt, by Gomadic.



MTX brings big wireless sound to CES!

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Not all wireless speakers are created equal. You can turn up several of the mid and low-end models, and the sound is good, but they won't match a quality stereo receiver system with a preamp. Enter MTX with their Street Audio line of wireless (and wired) speaker technology. I was able to test out their "coming soon" line of new IT1 docks at CES. Wow is all I can say, even with the CES ambient show noise, these speakers cut right through everything with sparklingly clear tones, and rich depth. 6 internal speakers powered at a whopping 180 watts (RMS) with side-firing woofers will do that. The dock retails for $599, and the air wireless model for $799, which might seem a bit on the high side for a wireless speaker product, but well, the iT's are for serious audioheads! Oh yeah, they had some cool headphones too...



Best of CES 2013: Waterproof Cases

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I just got back from the amazing and spectacular event that was 2013’s Consumer Electronics Show. I had a blast, it was a great time with great people. Nonetheless, I'm a country boy at heart, and it's nice to be back in the rugged wilderness (relatively speaking) that is Sedona Arizona.
 
If you follow my iPhone Life magazine articles and blog postings then you already know a bit about me. I'm an enthusiast of all things outdoorsy, rugged and environmentally friendly. That said, there was certainly no shortage of amazing new iOS gadgets and gear that could make valid claims of meeting the rigorous IP and MIL-STD-810 military-grade standards, that were being presented at this years CES. Read on for a sampling of some of my favorites in the category of heavy-duty, rugged and durable accessories. Trust me when I say, we have a lot to look forward to, in this category, this year.



How to build a great stylus - Interview with Dr. Jae Son at CES!

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The GoSmart stylus (see my review here) is my most used accessory. I have tried a ton of stylus products, and they are all pretty effective in some fashion, but GoSmart is a cut above most products, in my opinion. It's not just the weight, feel or construction of it, all of which are superb. It is also the ingenious wire-frame tip that make it the right tool for intricate drawing tasks. I had a few minutes at CES to sit down with Dr. Jae Son, the inventor of the elegant GoSmart to find out how he came up with this amazingly great product!



Powerocks at CES - portable chargers that rock!

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They don't "rock" in the sense of playing music, though you could certainly use one to extend your rocking out time. No, they rock in the sense that some of their products feature a name that includes some geological term (like crystal, stone, etc.). These chargers do not resemble "rocks" at all, so not sure where they came up with that name, but likely some clever PR person decided it would be catchy. Anyway, they were showing every flavor of their "rocks" at CES, and all pack a lot of charge into a compact package. The mushroom looking gadgets in the image above are car chargers (called the "Flashroom") featuring dual output, USB-capable car charging of up to two+ amps. Oh yeah, they also look cute..

 



iHome gets all Bluetooth'ed up at CES!

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iHome had great products on display this year at CES. Too many to cover in one shot really, but will do my level best to round up the ones that shine. Many won't be released until later this year (some maybe not at all). I skipped most of the AirPlay capable models, as we have covered several on our blogs already. They were showing a new wireless speaker that is basically the iW3 (see my review here), but with Bluetooth, which is the better option in my opinion, unless you really must rely on AirPlay. Another interesting product is a speaker accessory that turns any analog audio player into a bluetooth-capable stereo, and an on-ear BT headphone that folds up and fits in your pocket (almost). Much more iHome CES gear coverage follows...



Review - iHome iW3 Wireless Speaker System

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Back in 2011, I reviewed the iW1 when it first came out; an awesomely portable/rechargeable wireless speaker from iHome--portable, as in literally no wires--with an internal 2600 mAh Li-ion battery. The Wi-Fi setup was a bit sketchy, but I finally figured out a compromise by setting up a second Wi-Fi access point. Been looking forward to trying out one of the new iW3 models and got my hands on a review unit. The iW3 is like the iW1, but taller, lighter and easier to haul around the house. The sound quality is pretty close to what I remember from the iW1, and though it won't blow out a window, it will let you easily push quality music to any room in your home.



AQ SmartSpeaker Review

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Apple's Airplay technology has reset the expectation bar for ubiquitous, wireless multimedia streaming. However, finding accessories that embrace and enhance the Airplay experience is a challenge. One company, AQ Audio, has entered the market with a wireless speaker that promises easy setup and great audio. Did they deliver on this promise? Read on to find out.



iPhone Accessories, iPad Cases, iPod Car Mount | iPhone Life Magazine

iPhone accessories is a growing market and knowing where to start looking is half the battle.  Whether you're looking for an iPhone accessories, iPad accessories or iPod Touch accessories you can find articles here on the latest products. For example, here's a snippet from an Arm Bands Review

"Have you ever tried to run with your iPhone in your pocket? It's more awkward than running with scissors. Your phone smacks against your thigh during every step or worse, falls out every few feet. Running with your device in hand is not much better. The headphone cord flops everywhere, and your hand is uncomfortable the entire time. The first step to taking your iPhone or iPod Touch on a run (please don't run with your iPad) is securing it to your body. Armbands can take a little getting used to (it feels slightly like running with a blood pressure cuff) but they are definitely much better than keeping your iPhone or iPod Touch in your pocket. Here are some solutions I've tried out..."

Here's a 2 Cases Comparison article: "There are two cases that protect your iPhone from just about anything: The Ballistic Hard Core and The Otterbox Defender.  So which to buy?  Both provide the best protection you can buy. The Ballistic provides five layers of protection. The Otterbox provides three. However, the three layers are all that's needed for most people. If you're a telephone repair man or think you might drop your phone three stories, then you might want the extra layers of the Ballistic..."

Perhaps you want to know more about Advanced Power Packs: "Trailblazers, and rugged outdoors types looking for a power pack that adds advanced GPS app features (mophie introducing their own app to go with the new juice pack) need look no further than the latest Juice pack product, called the "outdoor edition."Access to enhanced map sets, and GPS tracking features are among the features the app will offer... read on for more PR info, or go to the link above..."

All of these articles shed some more light on the topic of iPhone accessories and will help you todiscover what is out there on the market.